PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - JSF and A400M at risk?
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Old 3rd Oct 2008, 19:49
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 781

One more try, and then I'm out.

Taking a dedicated air combat aircraft like Typhoon and turning it into a carrier aircraft would be difficult for a number of reasons. These include:

1. Reworking the flight controls (and probably surfaces and actuators and wings and canards and engine controls) to give level 1 handling and response down to 135 knots on the glideslope, as well as at the end of catapult launch, and on the bolter. Deltas are pretty horrible to the deck (ask Boeing). Complete new flight qualification tests, probably in the USA as we don't have the test facilities in the UK)

2. Relocating the gears (to give acceptable deck handling) and beefing them up (F-35C gears weigh well over twice those on the A for a reason)

3. New structure to take the hook loads, and new systems to retract and extend the hook, and also to relocate the hook to give acceptable post-engagement characteristics. Complete series of cat and trap tests (in the US)

4. New nose gear to take the catapult bar and all new structure and nose gear bay to take the new leg and twin wheels (probably would need to be an extending leg to allow launch)

5. New cockpit and windscreen to give the required over the nose view for CV approach

6. New systems to integrate JPALS approach system with the flight controls. Also new avionics to integrate properly with CVF operations.

7. Re-stressed airframe to take the impact loads of carrier landing and launch (including all pylons and external stores). Requalified airframe to take the completely new operating and loads spectrum. All new fatigue test specimen and tests.

8. Further work to remove materials susceptible to corrosion

I could, honestly, go on. The point is that the Typhoon has been deliberately (and very sensibly) optimized for its intended primary role. It's a great aircraft for that reason. But trying to take it and get it to the deck would mean undoing 15 years of detail design and starting nearly all over again.

One more thing - JSF a 'hideously expensive and protracted saga'? What would Typhoon be described as?

I very much agree that the answer will, in the end, be political. All major defence decisions are. However, there is no 'choice' between JSF and Typhoon for CVF - that's over.

Ok, done. Very happy to respond to any PMs on this.

Best regards to all as ever,

Engines is offline