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Thread: Look! Up there! In the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane!

  1. Top | #11
    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whollygoats View Post
    Heh...

    My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:



    shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

    The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.
    I grew up on Air Force bases, and always disagreed with people who say that F-4s and A-10s are ugly, but I guess aesthetics are a subjective thing.

    Oh, and the F-22 looks downright elegant compared to those old lifting bodies. I don't see the connection at all. The F-22 seems more like an updated F-15.

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    I love the A-10s. The Army uses our local airport for their A-10 pilots to practice short landing and take offs so I got to see them quite often when I was working there.

    As I understand, the A-10s are being phased out. The Army would prefer a craft with both a pilot and a weapons officer separate. So if you've got some fun money stashed away, you may be able to buy one of your own soon.
    ITMFA

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    I love the A-10s. The Army uses our local airport for their A-10 pilots to practice short landing and take offs so I got to see them quite often when I was working there.

    As I understand, the A-10s are being phased out. The Army would prefer a craft with both a pilot and a weapons officer separate. So if you've got some fun money stashed away, you may be able to buy one of your own soon.
    Oh...I think the A-10 may be around a bit longer than we think. The 'plan' was to replace the fleet of A-10s with F-35s. Huh? The A-10 was purpose-built to fulfill the specific needs of ground support and does them better than almost any other craft. Still. I think the only thing comparable in the world is the Sukhoi Su-25 Grach. As far as I know, the F-35 does not have the linger time that the A-10 can provide, and that talk is now shifting to NEW 'replacement craft', which is no surprise, coming out of the 'defense' contracting industry. There is talk of bringing back prop light-attack aircraft, like the Embraer Tucano (or Textron's Scorpion jet), to fulfill the ground support role at relative low cost. In today's conflicts, an airforce equipped like a banana republic despot might not be a bad idea.

    I think that upgrades of the A-10 is the way to go forward on this. The same with the F-22 Raptor.

    What is it that the UK and the other NATO nations fielding in the way of ground support aircraft? Harriers? The Jaguars have all been retired, but I'm not sure what they have shuffled in to their place.

    (ETA: Heh...I just checked 'close air support' on wiki, and they state that, yeah, Harriers are being used, but most CAS strike craft listed are F-16s and F-18s (and some F-15s and Eurofighters). This is a mite amusing, because none of these craft were originally designed to fulfill CAS missions. At all. Quite the opposite. Those are 'air superiority' craft...fast, nimble, and unprotected from ground fire. *sigh* Every fighter seems to become a 'multi-purpose platform', no matter what you do.)

    I think the F-35 is another bastardized acquisition program that is attempting to get one design to fulfill too many objectives....to 'save money'. What we tend to get is half-fast products that don't fit the bill.
    Last edited by whollygoats; 12-05-2017 at 06:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by whollygoats View Post
    Heh...

    My nomination for fugly is the Spook, aka F-4 Phantom II:



    shown here with the F-22 Raptor, which has a tenous resemblence to the lifting bodies above.

    The F-5 had the reputation of being a "triumph of thrust over aerodynamics" and was lovingly known by its pilots and mechanics as the "Iron Sled". I've always thought of it as a brick with wings. Still, despite a contretemps over self-defence, it distinguished itself sufficiently to claim being "the world's leading distributor of MiG parts," and was retired with honors after a long career.
    I grew up on Air Force bases, and always disagreed with people who say that F-4s and A-10s are ugly, but I guess aesthetics are a subjective thing.
    Agreed. And A-10s are homely beauties.

    From my back deck, I get to watch the local ANG fly their F-15C Eagles. I must be on a regular flight path. Last week, it was a formation of eight. I wish they had A-10s to play with, but the nearest wing is in Mountain Home, over in the next state.

    Oh, and the F-22 looks downright elegant compared to those old lifting bodies. I don't see the connection at all. The F-22 seems more like an updated F-15.
    Sure, because that's what it is. I believe I used the term 'tenuous'.

  5. Top | #15
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    Another candidate for fugly, in my book, at least, is



    The Fairey Gannet, which was more than an 'experimental aircraft', it served, with some distinction, with the Fleet Air Arm and other naval airforces worldwide for a number of years (1953-1978). It was a sub-hunter. The wings double-fold up so that it can fit on lower decks on aircraft carriers.

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    Count me as another big fan of the A-10. The official name is the Thunderbolt II, but everyone I know calls it the Warthog. I've actually been lucky enough to see them many times, since one of the larger A-10 training squadrons is based in my home of Tucson.

    I've even heard (from quite a distance, but it's unmistakable) the sound of the GAU-8 firing once, while driving to Yuma.

    I'll make a list of all the aircraft I've worked on over the years here at some point, with pictures hopefully.

  7. Top | #17
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Take two Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet engines, stacked one above the other. Stick on a tiny cockpit and a stubby set of wings, arm it with a pair of 30mm cannon and four dozen unguided 2inch air-to-air rockets (later replaced by a pair of de Havilland Firestreak heat-seeking missiles), and you have the fabulous English Electric Lightning - able to take off from its bases in East Anglia climbing at 20,000ft/min, blast out over the North Sea at Mach-2, shoot down the Soviet nuclear attack bombers, and then run out of fuel, all in the space of a few hundred miles.

    It is an absolutely beautiful and completely insane aircraft.

    (pictured Lightning F3 No. XP695, belonging to 11 Sqn RAF, above RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall, 1973; and the same aircraft on the ground at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, 1975)




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    The definitive version, the P-51D (shown above) was powered by the supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin 1650 liquid-cooled V12 engine which put out 1695 hp all the way up to 30,000 feet. This version also had the bubble canopy which greatly improved visibility.

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