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Modular a/c for the RAF?

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Seahornet1
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Seahornet1 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:32 am

Agent K wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:50 am
Crusty wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:39 am
Nah, if all you want is a large speed range and maneuverability handling changes this can all be achieved via software applied to a single-fixed design airframe that has a large speed range and engine/s powerful enough to cover the high performance regime and be de-rated
Not sure I agree with that, I know from my wind tunnel days that you cannot optimise performance over a disparate speed and performance range, software can't generate lift! I suspect, if that was the case, then Aeralis, and indeed the worlds manufacturers would have thought about it already!
I agree with Agent K; and, it wouldn't make economic sense either. Imagine if the RAF had bought a load more T-bird Jaguars, to operate in derated mode, instead of buying Hawks. Both purchase price and running costs would have been very much higher. (The Red Arrows would have looked pretty darn good though! :thumbs: )

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Tooks
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Tooks » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:45 am

Seahornet1 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:49 am
Tooks wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:00 am
Agent K wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:15 am


Maybe I'm reading it differently/incorrectly, nut I'm not sure the proposal is to re-role/re-build aircraft once in service, so once ZZ999 is a Primary Trainer, or Fast Jet Trainer, or light attach aircraft it stays that way. The savings and efficiencies are in design/development/manufacturing where a single basic common/core type can be developed for numerous and disparate roles throughout the training/light attack/reconnaissance spectrum.


As always I'm happy to be corrected.
This is more like what my take on it is as well.

I can’t see how having to drag an aircraft back into a hangar, disassemble large parts of it, reassemble it into a different configuration with the resultant testing etc brings any economies.

Manufacturing cost is but a small part of most aircraft through life costs, the expensive bit is spares and ‘people time’ whether that’s the spanner turners or the Airworthiness regime around all military aircraft.
Maybe you guys have missed this bit...?
...the modular design means it can be adapted as circumstances change. Aeralis expects the change between versions to happen within a normal 24 to 48-hour maintenance cycle...
The concept is clearly that maintenance crews will be able to reconfigure the aircraft to meet operational needs. Agreed, my 'ZZ999' example was a gross exaggeration, and wouldn't make any economic sense, but the idea that individual airframes can easily be reconfigured and re-roled to meet changing operational needs is at the core of this proposal. I'm sure that many of the fleet would be expected to retain a single configuration throughout their service life, but being able to adjust the balance of the fleet (to meet long term, or even short term operational needs) without buying more airframes could have economic benefits.

As to whether the concept makes any economic sense in real life, I'm certainly not convinced either. And the answer to that question is almost certainly one of the key things that the RAF are expecting to get in return for their small investment.
Yes, I had missed that bit, so thanks for the quote!

I agree it’s a great idea, I just don’t see it surviving first contact with the real world.

In a job years back, I was involved in a study to see whether we could save money by having a multi role helicopter that could cover various critical roles. That only involved internal fit changes, not airframe or engine, but it was surprisingly difficult to make work and deliver any savings.

It’s an interesting project though, and the MoD must be expecting something for their investment, which I suspect at this point will be a proof of concept study or some such.

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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Sparts99 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:24 pm

"I agree with Agent K; and, it wouldn't make economic sense either. Imagine if the RAF had bought a load more T-bird Jaguars, to operate in derated mode, instead of buying Hawks. Both purchase price and running costs would have been very much higher. (The Red Arrows would have looked pretty darn good though! :thumbs: )"

The Jaguar was originally conceived as an Anglo French advanced trainer with light offensive capability, so your comparison with the Hawk is pretty valid. Except the Jag suffered from a lack of specific excess thrust (if I remember the term correctly) that was probably a throwback to its original trainer rather than combat spec.
In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.

Seahornet1
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Seahornet1 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:44 pm

Sparts99 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:24 pm
...Except the Jag suffered from a lack of specific excess thrust (if I remember the term correctly) that was probably a throwback to its original trainer rather than combat spec...
Yes, good point; if they de-rated the Adours on a Jag, they'd need a catapult to get it in the air at all!

What a great jet though, and sadly missed... :'(

TS010
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by TS010 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:14 am

Great idea as long as they don't want a role change after midday on a Friday.😏🤣

Crusty
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Crusty » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:46 pm

Not sure I agree with that, I know from my wind tunnel days that you cannot optimise performance over a disparate speed and performance range, software can't generate lift! I suspect, if that was the case, then Aeralis, and indeed the worlds manufacturers would have thought about it already!
Flaps, slats various camber changing devices, you can even blow bleed air over them as in the Bucc, I don't see the speed range being a problem at all.

There is a modern Trend for companies throwing out outlandish concepts backed up by smart Cad design and flashy web sites. Many of them attract investment (Which I reckon is the main reason for most) hardly any get to production

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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Agent K » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:58 pm

Crusty wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:46 pm

Flaps, slats various camber changing devices, you can even blow bleed air over them as in the Bucc, I don't see the speed range being a problem at all.
I know what's possible...............…. but if as you suggest you'll still have a single type optimised either for the primary training function and the required speed and performance range, and thus too slow/docile for any light strike platform, or you'll have a type optimised for fast light strike carrying around the added weight of surface blowing devices, control surfaces and/or with an inefficient wing planform and aerofoil creating more drag increasing fuel burn and reducing payload.


I do think these guys know what they are talking about, and if you want a single modular design for all the roles described then wing and powerplant changes will be needed. There is good reason why the Jaguar never saw it's originally conceived role as an advanced trainer.

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C24
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by C24 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:04 pm

Buy American with an offset clause to built bits here in the UK.
C24.
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Crusty
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Re: Modular a/c for the RAF?

Post by Crusty » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:16 am

Agent K wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:58 pm
Crusty wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:46 pm

Flaps, slats various camber changing devices, you can even blow bleed air over them as in the Bucc, I don't see the speed range being a problem at all.
I know what's possible...............…. but if as you suggest you'll still have a single type optimised either for the primary training function and the required speed and performance range, and thus too slow/docile for any light strike platform, or you'll have a type optimised for fast light strike carrying around the added weight of surface blowing devices, control surfaces and/or with an inefficient wing planform and aerofoil creating more drag increasing fuel burn and reducing payload.


I do think these guys know what they are talking about, and if you want a single modular design for all the roles described then wing and powerplant changes will be needed. There is good reason why the Jaguar never saw it's originally conceived role as an advanced trainer.
I'll buy you pint if it ever gets off the drawing board/CAD :pop:

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