close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Are V/STOL aircraft really needed?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by RBR, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. RBR

    RBR

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2001
    Location:
    Texas
    Is there any real combat role they fill that can't be done with conventional aircraft? I guess it's good to be able to land/launch from small areas if really needed. But how often is this a big factor or do they have a tactical advantage in dog-fights or ground attack with their vectoring? I would think this ability would make any aircraft more complex (higher maintenance), higher cost and possible safety issues.

    I was just wondering since the new joint fighter had to have this feature.
     
  2. skyboss_4evr

    skyboss_4evr

    Messages:
    2,630
    Likes Received:
    364
    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    The USMC requires V/STOL capability due to the fact that their AV-8B's and JSF aircraft operate from amphibious assault ships. These type ships do not have steam catapults like conventional aircraft carriers and they are much smaller. Therefore, a conventional fighter is incapable of launching/landing aboard one of these ships. Also, thrust vectoring DOES provide an advantage in ACM engagements. It allows the aircraft to turn tighter and make faster adjustments in speed. During the Falklands Islands war, the British Harriers used a technique called VIFF'ing (vectoring in forward flight) very effectively against the Argentine Air Force. This maneuver is basically when a Harrier pilot in forward flight, suddenly re-directs his engine nozzles down or even slightly aft, allowing them to come to a near stop in mid-air. In doing this, the pursuing enemy aircraft overshot the Harriers allowing the Harrier pilot to bring his weapons to bear on the 6 o'clock position of the enemy aircraft.

    I haven't even touched on the advantages of V/STOL when it comes to close-air-support. But I think you can see my point.
     

  3. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Location:
    Pretty Fly for a White Guy
    I'd say the higher cost/safey issues are easily off set by the cheeper floating platforms that support them and the slower landing/to speeds.
     
  4. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Mucus City, USA
    The Brits lost zero Harriers air-to-air against the Argentine’s (quasi-) supersonic F-4s. This not only is a reflection of the juevos of those British Harrier pilots, it also makes a statement about the Argentine’s AAMs.

    I must say, I think the VERTOL requirement for the JSF was dumber than a wooden watch. Then again, since we haven’t had a beachhead assault since Inchon, I also question the continued need for a Marine Corps (I’ll now hunker down and await the incoming).
     
  5. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2000
    Location:
    Aridzona
    Excuse me while I distance myself from Slim; don't want to get hit with any stray rounds. ^3


    ;f
     
  6. amprecon

    amprecon

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Providence Village, TX
    Hey Tennessee Slim,
    As a 10yr Navy vet, I question the need for either the Army or the Air Force. The Navy has it all! Sea-borne, air-borne, ICBMs and our own ground-pounders. We've done more with less than either of the two forces since our inception. GO NAVY! ;c
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    24,810
    Likes Received:
    12,426
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Well Slim, my buddy, a retired Navy Chief says the Marines on ship give the Sailors someone to dance with, but I always figured we Marines gave the other services someone to look up to. ;f
     
  8. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

    Messages:
    4,682
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    I fought a few Harriers and never saw one use vectored thrust in ACM. I suppose it could happen, but it would be foolish, IMO.

    A jet turns hardest (maximum turn rate at minimum turn radius) at "corner," the minimum airspeed at which one can pull placard G. In the Tomcat, this was somwhere around 340 KIAS, depending on weight. Of course, when you're pulling max Gs at corner, your jet wants to bleed airspeed. So, to maintain corner, you select blower or descend.

    If a turning Harrier decided to tighten down his turn radius with vectored thrust (if that even works, which I don't know), he would lose airspeed doing it. Thus, he would lose G and, therefore, turn rate. So, he would end up trading increased turn rate for decreased
    turn raduis. Plus, he's slow, not where he wants to be. (Speed is Life.)

    A jet with only heaters and a small turn radius gets fought differently. If I come to the merge with a Harrier and he does some weird vectored-thrust thing, I simply extend, pitch up, and come back to schwack him with a radar missile.

    And, by the way, after the Coast Guard, the Marines are my second-favorite branch of the Navy.;f
     
  9. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Mucus City, USA
    The Brits claim they did VIFF against Argentine fighters. They could be lying.

    I make cracks about the jarheads but you gotta give ‘em one thing; they are the biggest bang for the buck. No other service brings as much violence to the battlefield per dollar spent as the Corps.

    Good-night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are.
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    24,810
    Likes Received:
    12,426
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Ya Slim, I was in Amtracs. What a thrill being closed up in one of these things in the water.
    One time the tractor I was supposed to be on, going out to an LSD, sank. The crew and one passenger got out under water but where I was sitting in my tractor, in the back of a Jeep, I probably would have been pinned down or crushed by the Jeep.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. TheGrinch

    TheGrinch

    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    You are right on the VIFFing, it's like fighting a delta wing airplane, one bat turn and dead in the water.

    However, the correct speed is 310 for average weight. Unless the Tomcat has gained a lot of weight since I left.

    Grinch
     
  12. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Mucus City, USA
    Uncle M2, I realized jar... ...uhm ...Marines wuz different first time I saw them practice an amphibious assault. The first man up the beach was running like his britches were on fire, holding his rifle over his head and shouting at the top of his lungs, “Shoot me, M****r F*****s, I’m INVINCIBLE!!!”
     
  13. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 1999
    Location:
    Chez Bippy
    If my piss poor memory serves me correctly the brits did "viff" but not quite as discribed here. A tornado crew I met at Holloman some years ago discribed it like this:

    They drew the Argentine fighters into a shallow dive to gain some speed, and sence the -8 can accelerate faster than an F-4, some of the Argentinian pilots would get suckered and pour on the coal to try & "catch up". Once they picked up a bunch of energy the -8 pilot pulled back through level to a posative rate, and did a roll left or right as if initiating a high G turn. While he was doing this he would pull off power, rotate the nozles to 90 degree down.

    The F-4 pilots anticipating a turn would initiate one as well but sence the F-4 has more energy it would always over shoot. The -8 pilot would not turn but continue the roll, pour on the power as his aircraft went inverted, then then rotate the nozles aft. This would displace the -8 far enough away from where the F-4 pilot thought it would be to give the -8 pilot a few seconds to make the kill. Not all of them fell for it but more than enough did!

    They werent so much "stopping" in mid air but rather displacing the aircraft along its flight path. Ive done some work with the JSF at White Sands and Edwards and it is a kick *** fighter. But as with the AV-8 its VTOL capability is GREATLY reduced with combat loads, and I think the VTOL requirement is a waste. THe AV-8 does have its place in combat and it could have been upgraded for much less money than the x-tra cost to add it to the JSF.

    They should have just went with vectored thrust and not tried to make everybody happy with VTOL.
     
  14. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

    Messages:
    4,682
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    It's a nice story, but I can't imagine "drawing" an enemy into a dive by flying straight. That would be akin to a joke we used to say after being beaten up in ACM: "I had him trapped at my six..."

    If I were behind a Harrier that was unloading with opening in front of me, I'd shoot him. Then, if he rolled without pulling, I'd match his roll and shoot him again (he'd still be way in front of me and not moving much with his 1 G of VIFF thrust). Then, if I were somehow fooled into an overshoot, I'd gun him as I closed. Then, if he weren't dead yet, I'd put on a bat turn into the sun and let him try to match my climb with his diminished energy package.

    This will be a gross oversimplification, but one that would probably apply to 90% of the world's ACM engagements. A fighter needs to be doing one of three things while fighting:

    A) Turning at corner, and modulating throttle/altitude to maintain airspeed.
    B) Unloading in burner, adding as much energy as possible.
    or
    C) Pulling the nose on for a shot and then immediately getting back to A or B.

    Wasting time VIFFing (in essence, not turning and not adding energy) would likely lose a Harrier angles, altitude, speed, or all three.
     
  15. HKMark23

    HKMark23 Millennium Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 1999
    Location:
    Chez Bippy
    It seemed to work for them at the time sence they didnt loose any -8's but I agree that it is a waste, and if it was used against pilots with better skill/training/aircraft it probly would not have worked so well.

    As I said I think the VTOL aspect of the JSF is a waste and takes away from the aircraft overall, more conventional vectored thrust as with the Raptor makes much more sence. I can see having VTOL ability in a fighter, but only on a very limited basis. Upgrade the -8 as needed and keep them operational for awhile, but I would not go much beyond that. Besides the Harrier makes for a fine distraction towords the end of an airshow after you've been standing around all day in the hot sun explaining that those are infact NOT real big bombs but drop tanks hanging from the wings ;f
     
  16. MV22Crewchief

    MV22Crewchief

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville,NC
    Well myself being a CH46E Crewchief with over a 1000 flight hours in it then re-enlisted and went to the mighty MV22 Osprey to be a Crewchief. The Marine Corp needs this tilt-rotor technology more then anything, specially with there aging fleet of CH46E. The Osprey has Unlimited range, 3 times the carrying capability and goes about 2 times as fast as the CH46E, about 5 times the payload. And to top all that off it can land and take-off in the same places as any heli.....:)
    Not a jet guy so no comment on that...

    Smitty
     
  17. CaptainOveur

    CaptainOveur

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    Prescott
    There's nothing like the B2, B1, B52, F117, or F22 in the navy's inventory.

    With the navy's "ground force" you might be able to take a small island...not a country. The marine's equipment is limited and not nearly as far-reaching and extensive as the Army's.

    I'm an Army vet, but these days (more than ever) each branch of the military brings a specific ability and area of operation in which they simply reign supreme.

    Coordination between the branches to use the "specialities" as effectively as possible is the biggest and most effective weapon these days.
     
  18. cliffb

    cliffb

    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2001
    Location:
    Nevada
    Quick comment.
    I believe the Argentines had A-4 Skyhawks, not F-4 Phantoms.
     
  19. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Location:
    HotLanta, GA
    Yes the Marine Corps still needs a VSTOL combat aircraft.

    1. It can take off from the LHA's or any other ship with a helicoptor pad.
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/lha-1.htm

    2. It can land in a secured combat area to refuel and arm and be at the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area) in less than 2 mins.

    The problem with the Harrier is they try to give the Harrier other roles for which it was not designed.
    It is not designed for air to air combat.

    That's why we have F-18's

    It's designed to carry a payload of bombs and rockets and blow the enemy to hell. Then if it survives the bombing run go back and get more and repeat.

    I think some people here need some lessons on Marine Corps warfare doctrine.

    The mission of the Marine Corps is to go in blow the crap out of the enemy and then the Army comes in to keep security.
    But since we have cut back on the military they now require the Marine Corps to do Army duty.
    The Marine Corps is not a defensive force.
    It's supposed to be offensive.

    When Desert Storm I came along the ONLY american force that was ready to fight was the Marine Corps.(and of course spec ops)
    The Marines have this wondeful program called maritime prepositioned ships all over the world that are full of brand new equipment.
    They called the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps called the ships and said Yo! we need those ships here. and guess what! The Marines were ready to kick that Arse while the Army was still pondering how to get those M1 tanks over to the gulf.
    Fact. Period.
    Oh the Army now has prepositioned ships now. They Like the way the Marine Corps kick that arse.
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/sealift.htm

    Anybody Remember Hati?
    Remember that the Navy took a bunch of Army dudes on a big arse aircraft carrier to Hati? Hmm wonder why they did that?
    The U.S. Army haven't been on Navy ships since Korea.


    The Army is REAL interested now in ships and especially pre-positioned ships.

    As far as the V22 program is concerned well. I was selected to go to Maryland and participate in that program.
    Since I was getting out I passed the buck to another Marine who I thought would enjoy the oportunity in bringing a new aircraft into the inventory.
    Long story short after 2 years he left that program.
    Nice aircraft to many sophisticated moving parts.

    can you say Mogadishu?

    Anybody want more Marine Corps doctrine lessons?
    Of course I have left out the really boring crap and have touched very lightly on a couple of subjects.


    The Argentines had A-4 Skyhawks and French made Super Entendards.
    They were capable of carrying those nice anti ship missles called the Exocet. The British lost 2 or three ships to those nasty things.
     
  20. CaptainOveur

    CaptainOveur

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    Prescott
    Your 3 page dissertation would be interesting if you weren't talking so much BS throughout it.

    There are other forces that are designed to move in and blow the crap out of the enemy. As much as you want them to be, the marines are not the only force that does, or can, do this.

    There are also many many units in the army that are ready at a moments notice to go into battle and be deployed. They have units as far inland (in the middle of the country) as Ft. Hood that are ready to load up on C5s and whatnot to be immediatly deployed, not to mention dedicated airborne units and others.

    And except for the coast guard, just about every military force is offensive, except for the fact that certain units within them are defensive.

    When you are ready to return to reality, you may continue posting.

    Enough armchair-doctrine already.