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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 22nd Jan 2009, 03:57
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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Well, there have been repeated unofficial comments about the floor not being up to spec.
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 07:43
  #282 (permalink)  
 
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The "old" floor was indeed dire and made of swiss cheese, but has since been the subject of a COMPLETE redesign to ensure that it meets ALL the stated requirements.

That, at least is one less thing to worry about.
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 08:09
  #283 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
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Is that one of the things contributing to the weight problem then?
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 09:18
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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Not that I'm aware of, but then again, I am just a mushroom
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 09:28
  #285 (permalink)  
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Times - JSF

Why can't this government tell the truth for once?
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 12:29
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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While it is pretty obvious the carrier delay is being done to save money, or at least spread out spending, I think a two-year delay is probably better in terms of Dave-B deliveries. Unless LockMart has changed its production schedule in the last few months, the timescale for the delivery into UK service, if they buy 138, is 2014-2029. The three test models are due to be delivered in 2011-2012. Even if the UK had an earlier IOC of 2014 as LockMart offered according to the article, there would hardly be enough Daves in service by the time the carriers had originally been due to enter service, and there would be a handful of converted pilots fresh from training in the States (hence why the US has earlier IOCs mostly for training squadrons that will train almost every nation buying them). Besides, it was originally proposed that the Harrier would go on until 2018 and that would initially be deployed on the CVFs as there wouldn't be enough JSFs in UK service.

Unless they scrap the Harrier earlier, then there would be a problem mostly as pilots would have nothing to fly for several years. What would they do with them all?
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Old 23rd Jan 2009, 18:05
  #287 (permalink)  
 
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Correct: as discussed several times here, the UK took the decision some years ago to extend the life of the Harrier, buy JSF later and operate the first CVF at least with Harriers until the JSF arrived.

I can think of a few logical reasons to do this. Operating a brand-new aircraft off a brand-new ship is asking for trouble. Moving JSF purchases to the right reduces the overlap with T3 Typhoon. Also, later JSFs could be ordered with the F136 engine (if it doesn't get cancelled) which takes advantage of the 2004-05 configuration change that provides a bit more airflow - the F136 can produce a bit more thrust than the F135, making a difference on vertical landing.

So Hutton's statement that "the later delivery is in line with..." is accurate. Getting in touch with my inner grammar Nazi: to infer that the carrier delay is the result of JSF delays is not accurate, but did Hutton imply it?
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Old 24th Jan 2009, 20:16
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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This week's Aviation Week & Space Technology paints a bleak picture of the program: flight-test aircraft are 12 tons overweight, with the payload of production aircraft expected to be at least 5 tons under spec. And in addition to the FADEC issues, cracks have now been found in engine gearbox casings, requiring strengthening.

The most serious claim made by Av Week is that 'Sarajevo profile' steep approaches may not be possible "because of possible flutter issues with the propellers." If true, look for Boeing to capitalize on the loss of one of the underlying prop vs. fan arguments.
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Old 24th Jan 2009, 21:38
  #289 (permalink)  
 
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Linky to Aviation Week story to which turboshaft refers
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Old 24th Jan 2009, 21:51
  #290 (permalink)  
 
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A400M Problems Range Far Beyond Engines

Jan 23, 2009
By Jens Flottau

PARIS – Airbus is facing much more than just contractual and schedule challenges in its A400M military airlifter program, as the aircraft may need massive re-engineering work to achieve its performance targets.

In turn, numerous issues threaten to make the A400M a less attractive and capable aircraft for its customers, industry sources tell Aviation Week. They come in addition to the well-publicized delays in the flight-test program that are linked to the lagging engine full authority digital engine control (FADEC) development (Aerospace DAILY, Nov. 25, 2008).

One key area of concern appears to be the A400M being overweight, which would negatively affect the aircraft’s payload and range capabilities. Sources close to the program say the aircraft is significantly heavy in its current development status. The first six units to be used in the flight-test program are 12 tons heavier than planned, those sources say. A weight savings campaign has identified a reduction potential of 7 tons. Early production aircraft will only incorporate reductions of 5 tons at the most, leaving payload below the 30-ton mark.

Airbus officials suggest the main performance criteria aren’t at any particular risk. Executive Vice President for Programs Tom Williams says the more he has reviewed the program, the more certain he has become “this is still going to be a bloody good airplane.” The aircraft is beating its short field performance and load targets, he says.

Yet, industry sources say the weight problem could well turn out to be the primary issue with the aircraft, rather than engine software. One observer believes the A400M payload will end up 3-4 tons below the original target even after all possible design changes, which could include the introduction of carbon fiber in noncritical areas. The three-year time frame proposed by EADS between the first flight and first delivery at the end of 2012 at the earliest would suggest that modifications to some parts of the aircraft structure also are possible.

Sources close to the Europrop International engine consortium say that FADEC issues with the TP400 are expected to be resolved by June. The EADS chief executive said earlier this month that once an acceptable standard FADEC was provided, the A400M could fly around one month later. But in addition to software, there are also hardware issues surrounding the engines. Because of unexpectedly high loads, cracks were found in some of the original design engine gearbox casings. Those needed to be partially strengthened. The sources say that upgraded casings already have been delivered to the Sevilla, Spain, final-assembly line and will be installed to replace the original parts.

Some special operational performance goals also are in doubt, according to people familiar with the details. The A400M may not be able to fly “Sarajevo profile” steep approaches because of possible flutter issues with the propellers.

Finally, some systems may be rejected by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), people familiar with the program say. The agency appears not to agree with how oxygen bottles and fire protection systems are installed in the fuselage and main gear bay. If no agreement is reached, the A400M will not be given EASA approval needed for the planned civil certification.

An EASA official says the agency does not comment on ongoing certification processes.
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Old 25th Jan 2009, 11:24
  #291 (permalink)  
 
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Great!

Overweight, less payload and not able to carry out tactical type approaches.

What a great tactical airlift platform

Less than 30 tons payload - what's the point?

More C17s and C130Js please
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Old 25th Jan 2009, 11:53
  #292 (permalink)  
 
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Less than 30 tons payload - what's the point?

More C17s and C130Js please
I would agree with your view to get rid now however......

these problems (weight, FADEC, props) are not necessarily insurmountable. The weight can be got down and will still give a useful load enabling FRES etc to be hauled around which can't be done in a J. The FADEC and the props issue I'm sure can be sorted - didn't the J have prop delamination issues at the start? That seems to have gone away now so with the extra delays they can address the issues.

Whilst I concede the delay is more of an issue for us as the K is on its last legs, I'm still not sure that getting out is the right plan. We need the capability medium and long term and even the J can't take the larger loads, let alone the distance the A400 will be able to take them.

When you factor in the extra issues of getting more C-17s and more J's such as cost and delivery time I'd say it's a pretty difficult to decision to make.
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Old 25th Jan 2009, 22:36
  #293 (permalink)  

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Whilst I would concede that the C130 won't be able to carry FRES it's worth pointing out that FRES is about as far off as my elevation to Air Rank. It's safe to say that the A400M is a good few years off too. Realistically, a mini fleet buy of US Js to cover the coming woes of the next few years plus a few more slots on the C17 production line would see us right.

Then we can sit back and wait for the A400, Moon Base Alpha, FRES and Tracy Island to be delivered in a few years time......
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Old 25th Jan 2009, 22:52
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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If the A400 gets binned what happen to Fres..................just a thought

And in the meantime as you all wax lyrical anyone have an argument with a few C17's and some more J's to take up the current slack...............
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Old 26th Jan 2009, 00:00
  #295 (permalink)  

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Stick em on the C17s. The yanks don't have an intermediate size transport aircraft to lug all their Pirahnas etc around in they just go on a boat or a C17.

Personally I reckon we could do with a bunch of C17s, the remaining C130s and a fleet of C27Js. The C17s just take the stuff directly to where it needs to go or spoke it out on a couple of C130s, whilst the C27J would cover 95% of all the in-theatre TacAT requirements.
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Old 26th Jan 2009, 00:41
  #296 (permalink)  

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Any RAAF chaps care to comment on C130J & C17 ops?
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Old 26th Jan 2009, 06:25
  #297 (permalink)  
 
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The weight issue is somewhat perplexing - how can it be that, even after weight reduction redesigns, the aircraft may end up with a reduced payload capability of 3 - 4 tonnes?

Then we can sit back and wait for the A400, Moon Base Alpha......


Ooh, yesss........


OK, OK - yes, I know that actually Gabrielle Drake appeared as Lt Ellis in UFO, not Space 1999, but any excuse to post her piccie will do!
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Old 26th Jan 2009, 15:06
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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Just where in the current OrBat will the A400M sit?

Too big for tactical work with associated airdrop/para problems

Too small for strat - not a big enough payload or the range of a C17

Why don't we just go with platforms we know work and wait for development of future US platforms - 'fat' C130 etc

The A400M I'm afraid will be a complete white elephant, late and over budget, overweight and no good for the job.

And C27's would be good intra-theatre tac airlift too
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Old 26th Jan 2009, 19:33
  #299 (permalink)  
 
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I don't see the issue with regard to the "perfect storm" scenario regarding lack of AT in 2012. The solution to this, delay in A400M etc is simple...

Make all tours of the Stan 1 year (unaccompanied of course), or until relieved, and send everyone and everything out and back by ship (transit time not counting towards the 1 year of course) apart from the last portion of the journey. AT only required from the disembarktion port/country directly into theatre.....

By the way, I'm joking, but somebody else with this idea might not be......!!
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Old 27th Jan 2009, 08:01
  #300 (permalink)  
 
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Biggus -

Are you advocating the return of troopships of the maritime variety? I can just picture convoys sailing along the Med......decks crowded with seasick soldiers.

Might even give the Navy a "raison d'etre" and a case for funding a new generation of convoy escorts! Plus jobs in the shipyards, if we have any left that is, (the dockyard workers were always a safe vote as far as the "Old" Labour party was concerned) mind you, it might also make a few ex pats feel proud at the sight of a White Ensign as the sail past.

O, for an Empire.....

MB
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