Forgotten Warbirds

  • What could have been.

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    A thousand thumbs up. I did a high school project on the YF22/YF23 and the F20. If the test pilot's hadn't gloc'd and died I think the F20 would have had a better shot at least of some country picking it up. I won't repost the 2 very well known Youtube F20 videos, but for it's time, the sales pitch in those vids was completely valid. The turn around/sortie generation rate of the F20 is what just one thing that really set it apart, as well as the time it took to get off alert and into the air, SO fast for the time.

  • The Tigershark got screwed by the F-16 and all the marketing/lobbying.

    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. —Ayn Rand

  • The early Buffalo models were a different aircraft altogether than the later models. They were light-weight and had sprightly handling. They were capable of out-maneuvering the F4F-3 Wildcat....which put them almost on a par with the Zero.

    Only the F2A-1 (also the export version of the A-1, B239) was maneuverable, it is when USN started to overload and not compensate for the added weight with a more powerful engine in the A-2 and A-3 models. The export versions of the A-2 model (Brewster 339B,C, D, E) sold to the Dutch and used by the Commonwealth airforces were just marginally better than the F2A-3.

    “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.”

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    Too bad the B-32 was a shitty bomber.

    “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.”

  • The Tigershark got screwed by the F-16 and all the marketing/lobbying.

    True, but when 2 of the prototypes both crashed (both Gloc IIRC), that was a deathblow to the program, leaving just 1 prototype left - plus the F16 lobby took full advantage of both crashes, especially the 2nd one, in terms of painting the F20 in a negative light.


    Really good paper on the F20 - https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a228122.pdf


    Quote from the above -


    At 1/3 the cost of an F16, it was only 10 percent slower and had 15 percent less range, but was about a third the cost to operate, way faster times for getting off the runway in an alert posture, etc etc. Before the 2nd crash, the F20 had completed over 1500 separate flights during testing. It did very, very well by any metric IMO. The USAF however considered the F20 demonstrators "pampered", and that the 1500 flights weren't a credible set of tests under real operational conditions. It was very political as well. The final crash took place here in Canada, there is video on YT of the F20 crashes.

  • Yep, the Fighter Mafia killed the F-20. Can't have independent private enterprise competing against our glorious government programs.

    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. —Ayn Rand

  • yep, the lcs "ships" are a more contemporary example

    Yes, but sort of in reverse - but you're absolutely right about the gov programs part. The USN got the LCS class and they are balls, while the USAF/etc didn't get the F20, but it was fantastic. Murderface did work on the LCS class IIRC, am I right MF? Shame how they turned out (so many engineering and ship frame casualties, plus few if any of the modules ended up working, the ASW/etc stuff). That said, they will add some VLS and missile capabilites, and when they do work, having the 2 30mm gun turrets, the front 57mm, and the 24 Hellfire/etc missiles, plus the crazy huge wake the Freedom types make is a weapon itself...taking on a swarm of small boats, the LCS may be good for the mission. The ships have a tiny, tiny crew, plus they aren't built to absorb much damage, so taking fire IMO is a big concern, even .50 cals would be bad news vs the LCS IMO, much less larger caliber guns and missiles.


    I think of the Perry Class frigate in that shoot ex a while back - USS Thach. I took 5 Harpoon missiles, several (I think it was 4 or 5) Hellfires, a Maverick missile, a 2000lb and 500lb laser guided bombs, a MK48 torpedo, then numerous rounds of all kinds of guns, from 20mm up to 5". It stayed afloat for 12 hours before finally sinking. I doubt an LCS would survive 2 of any of the above, much less all of that.


    Luckily the USN is in the Frigate market now. Canada has already selected a great Frigate for our new ships, about 15 of the Type 26, but we tossed the Brit radar and are putting in the US Spy7 system, and will be using USN weapons that we already have plus new ones, none of the Brit weapons (yay).


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  • Yes GMan, I worked on hull numbers 2 through I think 13, maybe 18? The company I was with at the time specialized in cranes and running gear (winches, elevators, hangar doors, etc). Don't remember which hull number it was, but it was a Freedom class where I saw the Hellfire system for the first time.


    Incidentally, Freedom class has a steel hull with an aluminum superstructure while Independence is all aluminum. Independence was the real pain in the ass. Everything was electric over hydraulic and both ships were PLC controlled to allow for the small crew. It was a technology demonstration nightmare at times, but we got everything working. The main failure is in the combining gear. I don't remember who designed that abortion, but I know it was a foreign outfit.

  • I think of the Perry Class frigate in that shoot ex a while back - USS Thach. I took 5 Harpoon missiles, several (I think it was 4 or 5) Hellfires, a Maverick missile, a 2000lb and 500lb laser guided bombs, a MK48 torpedo, then numerous rounds of all kinds of guns, from 20mm up to 5". It stayed afloat for 12 hours before finally sinking. I doubt an LCS would survive 2 of any of the above, much less all of that.


    Sure, but that Perry was just a steel hulk. With ammo and fuel onboard she would have burned or blown up. Perhaps after just one hit.


    The USS Stark was a Perry, and the crew barely managed to save her after fighting fires all night, with the help of two other USN ships and a Saudi Arabian vessel. The Stark was hit by two Exocet missiles, one of which failed to detonate.

    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. —Ayn Rand

  • Sure, but that Perry was just a steel hulk. With ammo and fuel onboard she would have burned or blown up. Perhaps after just one hit.


    The USS Stark was a Perry, and the crew barely managed to save her after fighting fires all night, with the help of two other USN ships and a Saudi Arabian vessel. The Stark was hit by two Exocet missiles, one of which failed to detonate.

    The aluminum super structure also melted from the intense heat of the fires.

    “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.”

  • Yep, but even a steel hull will eventually buckle and fail from intense fire.

    There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide. —Ayn Rand

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