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(LA Times)   The coolest story you'll read today about rebuilding a fire damaged B-2 bomber   (latimes.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, San Gabriel Mountains, stealth technology, wide-body aircraft, tailpipes, Guam, Northrop Grumman, whales, Palmdale  
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3081 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Mar 2014 at 11:54 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-20 11:53:35 AM  
"Lazarus"? Well, I guess that's one thing you could name a bird that died in a fire and was reborn.
 
2014-03-20 12:06:56 PM  
The one thing in the story that stuck out to me is that there is a Home Depot on Guam.
 
2014-03-20 12:08:40 PM  
Take it to my house.  My dad has a killer set of tools.
 
2014-03-20 12:19:27 PM  

timujin: "Lazarus"? Well, I guess that's one thing you could name a bird that died in a fire and was reborn.


Sees what you did there...

img.fark.net

KidneyStone: Take it to my house.  My dad has a killer set of tools.


Is he a television repairman?
 
2014-03-20 12:27:49 PM  

cgraves67: The one thing in the story that stuck out to me is that there is a Home Depot on Guam.


But does it stock SPAM?
 
2014-03-20 03:02:37 PM  
Only $105 million?!  When I first read the articles about this fire and about how the Air Force had pretty much lied by omission to cover up what had happened, I honestly expected the repair price to be about 5x larger.
 
2014-03-20 03:39:05 PM  
:)
 
2014-03-20 07:34:08 PM  
2.1 billion dollars. Two and one-tenth billions of dollars for one airplane, with the capability of delivering 40,000 pounds of bombs anywhere. In World War II, a Balao class submarine like this one:

upload.wikimedia.org

Cost nine million dollars to build. In 1964, a Chinook helicopter:

www.fas.org

coincidentally also cost nine million dollars to build.

2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.
 
2014-03-20 07:43:42 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: 2.1 billion dollars. Two and one-tenth billions of dollars for one airplane, with the capability of delivering 40,000 pounds of bombs anywhere. In World War II, a Balao class submarine like this one:

Cost nine million dollars to build. In 1964, a Chinook helicopter:

coincidentally also cost nine million dollars to build.

2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.


You do realize this was conceived and designed at the height of the cold war, where the intent was to penetrate one of the most dense and sophisticated air defense networks in the world, right?
 
2014-03-20 07:58:20 PM  

SashiRomanenko: You do realize this was conceived and designed at the height of the cold war, where the intent was to penetrate one of the most dense and sophisticated air defense networks in the world, right?


Two point one billion dollars. To fly over an enemy's airspace. To put in harm's way. There is no mission in the world that can justify a 2.1 billion dollar airplane. None. For the cost of six of them, you can build an entire nuclear aircraft carrier. At today's prices. The people who authorized this should have been taken out and crushed. Because they had something other than America's best interests in mind.
 
2014-03-20 09:10:33 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: SashiRomanenko: You do realize this was conceived and designed at the height of the cold war, where the intent was to penetrate one of the most dense and sophisticated air defense networks in the world, right?

Two point one billion dollars. To fly over an enemy's airspace. To put in harm's way. There is no mission in the world that can justify a 2.1 billion dollar airplane. None. For the cost of six of them, you can build an entire nuclear aircraft carrier. At today's prices. The people who authorized this should have been taken out and crushed. Because they had something other than America's best interests in mind.


A nuclear aircraft carrier doesn't carry the deterrent factor in the same way, and not every problem is a nail that can be solved with a hammer.
 
2014-03-20 09:35:03 PM  
The people that "authorized this" envisioned us having 30 more of them (or more!) which would have brought the cost per plane down considerably (the 2.1 Billion figure is including the R&D costs).

The plane (and other criteria of course) went a long way to ending the Cold War because after it was built Russia realized they couldn't build anything similar.

At the cost of 50 billion (we'll say) it helped stopped/prevent more wars/conflicts by it's very existence otherwise.

What's the cost of one war prevention worth?

how much did Iraq cost again?
 
2014-03-20 09:37:40 PM  
2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.

The number of aircraft to be be purchased was cut back from 100 to 20.  All of the research and development had to be spread out over just 20 aircraft and there was a LOT of research and development.  If they could have just gone to stealthaircraftparts.com and bought what they needed off the shelf, it would have cost way less per aircraft.  But they couldn't, there was no off the shelf stuff that did what they needed.  I'm sure there was plenty of government spending waste and abuse but a lot of work went into just making it work from an engineering point of view.
 
2014-03-20 09:57:11 PM  

mhix01: 2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.

The number of aircraft to be be purchased was cut back from 100 to 20.  All of the research and development had to be spread out over just 20 aircraft and there was a LOT of research and development.  If they could have just gone to stealthaircraftparts.com and bought what they needed off the shelf, it would have cost way less per aircraft.  But they couldn't, there was no off the shelf stuff that did what they needed.  I'm sure there was plenty of government spending waste and abuse but a lot of work went into just making it work from an engineering point of view.


This. While the B-2 did end up costing more than expected, when you cut a program by 80% or so all that R&D falls on those fewer planes. So they end up being that much more expensive.

And quite honestly, if these things ever need to be used for their intended purpose, the $2.1b per unit cost is going to seem like a friggin' bargain compared to what NOT having it could cost. Yes, military hardware, especially cutting edge stuff, is expensive. Frightfully so. Probably even more than is really absolutely necessary. But we'd usually rather spend the money for technology and training that can not only be effective but bring people home again. We could just rely on numbers and attrition, but we haven't been willing to fight like that since WW2.
 
2014-03-20 11:09:19 PM  

SashiRomanenko: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: SashiRomanenko: You do realize this was conceived and designed at the height of the cold war, where the intent was to penetrate one of the most dense and sophisticated air defense networks in the world, right?

Two point one billion dollars. To fly over an enemy's airspace. To put in harm's way. There is no mission in the world that can justify a 2.1 billion dollar airplane. None. For the cost of six of them, you can build an entire nuclear aircraft carrier. At today's prices. The people who authorized this should have been taken out and crushed. Because they had something other than America's best interests in mind.

A nuclear aircraft carrier doesn't carry the deterrent factor in the same way, and not every problem is a nail that can be solved with a hammer.


I used an aircraft carrier as an example of the price range we're talking about here. A couple of billion dollars is a lot of eggs to put into one basket and spin around your head, all the while praying that something innocuous like too much moisture doesn't get into your SAS (Stability Augmentation) system, and cause your pilots to have to eject from your multi-billion dollar aircraft that isn't even under attack, leaving it to look like this:

www.popularmechanics.com

because you've made it so complicated and unstable that it is impossible to fly without a computer interpreting what you want the plane to do, and forcing the entire ridiculous boondoggle to defy the laws of physics to accomplish a goal that could be accomplished with military hardware that we already own.

We need to find out who profited from this dupery and dissimulation, and they should be immured.

Also, you're correct that not every problem is a nail that can be solved with a hammer. Hence, diplomacy.
 
2014-03-21 04:51:17 AM  
UNAUTHORIZED FINGER

2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.

Nuclear strategic deterrent.

Had to build them.
 
2014-03-21 08:23:22 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: SashiRomanenko: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: SashiRomanenko: You do realize this was conceived and designed at the height of the cold war, where the intent was to penetrate one of the most dense and sophisticated air defense networks in the world, right?

Two point one billion dollars. To fly over an enemy's airspace. To put in harm's way. There is no mission in the world that can justify a 2.1 billion dollar airplane. None. For the cost of six of them, you can build an entire nuclear aircraft carrier. At today's prices. The people who authorized this should have been taken out and crushed. Because they had something other than America's best interests in mind.

A nuclear aircraft carrier doesn't carry the deterrent factor in the same way, and not every problem is a nail that can be solved with a hammer.

I used an aircraft carrier as an example of the price range we're talking about here. A couple of billion dollars is a lot of eggs to put into one basket and spin around your head, all the while praying that something innocuous like too much moisture doesn't get into your SAS (Stability Augmentation) system, and cause your pilots to have to eject from your multi-billion dollar aircraft that isn't even under attack, leaving it to look like this:

because you've made it so complicated and unstable that it is impossible to fly without a computer interpreting what you want the plane to do, and forcing the entire ridiculous boondoggle to defy the laws of physics to accomplish a goal that could be accomplished with military hardware that we already own.

We need to find out who profited from this dupery and dissimulation, and they should be immured.

Also, you're correct that not every problem is a nail that can be solved with a hammer. Hence, diplomacy.


Show us on this doll where the mean airplane touched you...

So, two incidents in 20 years? No deaths? I would call that a success, compared to most any aircraft. You also have demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about - every single commercial aircraft in flight since the early 80 's requires a flight computer to process the pilot inputs.
 
2014-03-21 10:45:52 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: 2.1 billion dollars. Two and one-tenth billions of dollars for one airplane, with the capability of delivering 40,000 pounds of bombs anywhere. In World War II, a Balao class submarine like this one:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 300x333]

Cost nine million dollars to build. In 1964, a Chinook helicopter:

[www.fas.org image 525x384]

coincidentally also cost nine million dollars to build.

2.1 billion dollars. For one aircraft, designed to fly into enemy airspace. We've lost our minds.


Ok, let's convert that to WWII cost and capabilities.

The B2 is capable of deliverying 20 tons of ordinance with a crew of 2. The usable bomb load of a single B-17 is 4,800 lbs, or slightly under 2.5 tons, with 10 crew members. That means it takes takes 9 B-17s and 90 men to perform the same mission as a single B2.

The unit cost of a B17 is $238,329, which is $3,806,470.81 today times 10, so $38,064,708.10 for aircraft costs. This doesn't factor into R&D costs being far lower for a B17, the volume of B17s produced far lowering R&D costs of the unit, or any economics of scale.

Now let's factor in the training costs for the crew. Each crew member costs the government about $682,300 (2002 costs) to get up to speed. So that's $1,364,600 for a B2, or $6,823,000 for a B17 or $61,407,000 to deliver the bomb same load.

We're up to $99,471,708 for these B17s. Now let's consider attrition. We can consider that every B17 sent will be shot down by any country equipped with air defenses less than 60 years old, which is almost every country. So every attempt to bomb will cost around $99,471,708 and will most likely not achieve it's objective.

This is because of those B17s that can penetrate to the objective, an entire bomber box (group) that dropped all their bombs would only have 32% of hitting within 1,000' of their objective. So, to ensure you hit the objective, you have to send enough bombers to not only survive the attrition rate, you have to send 3x more to have a very good chance of scoring your hit.

So now let's put the same weight of ordinance on the target. Since you can expect 68% of you weight will miss, you have to send 3x more on top of that to put the same weight on the target.

So, assuming a very generous 20% of aircraft sent survive to the target, your cost is now $7,161,962,976, (8x as many aircraft to make up for attrition, 3x as many to assure a hit, 3x as many to put the same amount of ordinance on the target).  This is over cost of 3 B2s, which would survive to the target, give the same % to hit, put the same weight of ordinance, and without the loss of 6,480 men.

This is not including that the B17s can't deliver heavy nuclear weapons, the costs of benefits for all those lost men, the public response to personel losses of that magnitude, that this is just for one mission and not that this would be required for every mission, the strategic deterrence the existence of the B2 creates, or many, many other factors.

I know a lot of these numbers are comparing apples to nuclear capable stealth aircraft, but then again so was your initial comparison. Nothing out there can come close to the B2 and it more than serves it's purpose. You can't compare WWII era subs and transport helicopters to that. Nothing compares.
 
2014-03-21 10:54:03 AM  

SashiRomanenko: Show us on this doll where the mean airplane touched you...

So, two incidents in 20 years? No deaths? I would call that a success, compared to most any aircraft. You also have demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about - every single commercial aircraft in flight since the early 80 's requires a flight computer to process the pilot inputs.


The attrition rate of the B52 has been around 1 aircraft per year so 1 per 10 years is exceptionally good.
 
2014-03-21 10:58:30 AM  

SashiRomanenko: Show us on this doll where the mean airplane touched you...

So, two incidents in 20 years? No deaths? I would call that a success, compared to most any aircraft. You also have demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about - every single commercial aircraft in flight since the early 80 's requires a flight computer to process the pilot inputs.


Well, it got me and every other service member and taxpayer right here:

img.fark.net

Those 20 planes cost the average American taxpayer about $318 per person. It cost the average service-member a little more, because he not only got to pay taxes on it, but that's now money that is already earmarked in the budget, and not available to up his wages. But that isn't the issue. That would be cheap for a program that can make me and my loved ones safer, but this airplane was never about that. It didn't make you safer. And it was never used for its original purpose (thank God).

As to your point that there were only 2 incidents in 20 years, I can only say 2.1 billion dollars burned up in one incident and that incident equals a .50 failure rate. Not acceptable.

And while you are right when you state that I have no idea what I'm talking about, your example is flawed. While every commercial aircraft since the early '80s does require a flight computer, in most every other case, if you turn off that flight computer, the airplane continues to fly.
 
2014-03-21 11:12:39 AM  
Also, well-done MadMattressMack. This has been a good debate on this subject. I've enjoyed arguing about this with SashiRomanenko, and one of the first persons I ever favorited on FARK, studebaker hoch. I don't think anyone's mind has been changed, but we're all better informed.
 
2014-03-21 12:12:27 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Also, well-done MadMattressMack. This has been a good debate on this subject. I've enjoyed arguing about this with SashiRomanenko, and one of the first persons I ever favorited on FARK, studebaker hoch. I don't think anyone's mind has been changed, but we're all better informed.


Thanks. The B2 is one of the few aircraft in the Air Force I'd be willing to fight to save on the budget. Now, if it was being proposed today to spend over $40 bn on 20 aircraft capable of flying over Moscow undetected then I'd say no, but at the time the ATB was a good idea for the cold war. Since the money's already spent I'm all for keeping an aircraft with those capabilities in our ranks.

I do completely disagree with the idea of dumping the A10 for the F35, though. That's the stupidest move I've heard in a long time.
 
2014-03-21 01:20:31 PM  

MadMattressMack: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Also, well-done MadMattressMack. This has been a good debate on this subject. I've enjoyed arguing about this with SashiRomanenko, and one of the first persons I ever favorited on FARK, studebaker hoch. I don't think anyone's mind has been changed, but we're all better informed.

Thanks. The B2 is one of the few aircraft in the Air Force I'd be willing to fight to save on the budget. Now, if it was being proposed today to spend over $40 bn on 20 aircraft capable of flying over Moscow undetected then I'd say no, but at the time the ATB was a good idea for the cold war. Since the money's already spent I'm all for keeping an aircraft with those capabilities in our ranks.

I do completely disagree with the idea of dumping the A10 for the F35, though. That's the stupidest move I've heard in a long time.


As an old Army Aviation guy turned combat engineer, I'm all for ground support, so I couldn't agree with you more. The A-10 is wonderful, cheap and easy to fly, and the enemy still hasn't come up with a solution for it, so why replace it with something that doesn't accomplish the mission nearly as well? Oh yeah, to put money into the military industrial complex. I'm more a Smedley Butler, or Dwight Eisenhower kind of guy, and cast a gimlet eye on military salesmen.
 
2014-03-21 03:30:03 PM  
There are thousands of great photographs and years of daily log entries that we'll never get to see.

The cooler something is, the more likely it's going to be classified top secret.

Feh.
 
2014-03-21 09:30:10 PM  

studebaker hoch: There are thousands of great photographs and years of daily log entries that we'll never get to see.

The cooler something is, the more likely it's going to be classified top secret.

Feh.


As a former F-15E, B-2, AC-130 & A-10 tech, basically yes, I can confirm this.
 
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