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Duncan Sandys Redux

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Duncan Sandys Redux

Old 10th Aug 2009, 12:01
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Sometime in the future, after the drone world loses a few due to bandwidth and round-trip time propagation delays, perhaps someone will suggest replacing all the expensive ground infrastructure and satellite constellation with a cheaper alternative?

Which runs on food and can be immediately co-located with the air vehicle.

Otherwise known as a 'pilot'......
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 19:54
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Good to see the Times c0ck it up again!

At present the ministry leases Reaper UAVs from General Atomics, of the United States, for use in Afghanistan
They were purchased outright in 2007 under Foreign Military Sales for UOR!!!

Right, onto the "Bandwidth Naysayers" - satellites are not the only answer and Line Of Sight (LOS) comms on other frequencies. See how they did it here, in the UK, first:

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Equipment and Logistics | Pilotless passenger jet flown remotely by RAF in world first

LOS with a manned aircraft flying 3-500nm away does not give latency issues (not that 1.5 secs (max) with Geo Stationary Satellite is that big an issue anyway for most applications!). Furthermore, the latest micro-satellites in NEO from UK manufacturers could be provide a better solution or the 60,000ft balloons also already pointed out.

So why bother? You don't have to use the satellite bandwidth looking for downed aircrew's locator beacons when they could be something more useful (like flying UAVs!). You don't have to have a mini rescue package of A-10s, MH53s and Apache/Cobras on standby. You don't have to run the risk of having your aircrew paraded on telly. You don't have to support an expensive life support system on an aircraft. The bottom line - for every expense generated by UAVS there is a saving elsewhere.

Oh, and a Predator or Reaper costs about the same as it does to train one of Beagle's cheaper alternatives (pilots?) - the difference being that you should get 20-25,000 flying hours from Pred/Reaper and I don't know many combat pilots with that many hours! Training a UAV pilot is significantly cheaper than training a manned aircraft pilot - ask the Royal Artillery who are doing fine with the Hermes 450 - shock horror!

Your choice, ladies and gents - join the "Luddites" or embrace the next step in aviation?

I, for one, will not be joining the "let's smash the loom" brethren.

B Word
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 20:36
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I agree that your beloved drones certainly have their place - but they are not the universal panacea that some would advocate.

An unmanned aircraft built by 't Bungling Baron ? I think I will move to Mars if such things ever appear in significant numbers.

"The trial was a complete success. The BAC 1-11 took off first and and I caught up with it 30 minutes later."
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Old 10th Aug 2009, 21:38
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Drones!!! - do you mean these?



I too may join you on Mars if certain companies get involved - still at least it won't kill the pilot!

Finally, I agree that UAVs offer capabilities not a solution (I hope that makes sense!?).

B Word

PS - just read what you meant by t'Bunglin Baron -

'BWoS' is a more accurate acronym for British Aerospace. It stands for British Waste of Space.....and has a fictional character know as 't Bungling Baron who runs it, assisted by Seth, his Clerk of Works and Boogeroff, his flatulent whippet. Old Scrotum, his wrinkled retainer, looks after 't Baron's domestic interests at 't Big House by 't Werrks.
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Old 11th Aug 2009, 10:05
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the next stage perhaps the more felxible approach would be to have a number of drones (3 for example) that would be slaved to a central fighter variant at least 2 crew,probably 3 (Pilot, Nav, drone operator).

Drones can be sent to recce, attack, and get into the high threat areas whilst the lead ship loiters away from the area but giving LOS comms and human decision making.


Or the whole lot controlled from a larger 747 style airplane with more operators, flying 300nm away from the fight.
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Old 11th Aug 2009, 22:45
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I've done some research on the use of the word "Drones" and there are 3 possible explanations all stemming from the early ages of aviation that seem plausable:

1. The noise that Archibald Montgomery Low's early remotely piloted aerial target aircraft made was very much a fixed "drone".
2. The aerial targets of the day were painted yellow with a black stripe.
3. The first successful remotely piloted aircraft was the DH Queen Bee (see pic).



Now all I need is a date with the "thinking man's totty" from Balderdash & Piffle and I'll be happy

Anyone else care to chip in?

The B Word
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Old 12th Aug 2009, 08:07
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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That's a great photo!

Obviously the officer is in charge and he's ordering the corporal to twiddle the various knobs and tits...

"Corporal, make the drone turn right a bit!"
"Righty ho, sir!"

Whilst the SAC is probably there to carry the box back to the drone HQ after the Queen Bee has landed. Or to sweep up the bits of Queen Bee if the grunt gunners actually manage to shoot it down.

'Drone' is increasingly being used by the press as they're obviously fed up witht he Spams and their RPV...UAV...UCAV...UAS...(insert next TLA or 4LA here) terminology.

"Death Dealing Drones kill Taliban Warlord" has a much catchier headline sound to it.
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 03:08
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Sometime in the future, after the drone world loses a few ... perhaps someone will suggest replacing all the expensive ground infrastructure and satellite constellation with a cheaper alternative?

Which runs on food and can be immediately co-located with the air vehicle.

Otherwise known as a 'pilot'....
..

But those 'pilots' are not cheaper. Meatware in an aircraft with accommodations for same is more expensive than remotely piloted air vehicles, unless you can economize on the little things such as training, pay, pensions, and search and rescue operations.
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 06:41
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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@GPMG

S-400 anyone?

Near remote, far remote – drones have all the nodes of vulnerability that manned AC have plus one no matter how or wherefrom you control them.

Granted that it is not that important a point when engaging Worthy Oriental Gentleman but otherwise…
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 17:22
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Gentlemen, having been involved in the wonderful world of Drone, RPV, UAV etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, since around 1984, my observation is that the loss rates are pretty much the same, for pretty much the same reasons. Only thing that appears to have changed is the expotential increase in costs, for no real increase in capability.
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 18:40
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Ladies and Gents

After a lot of trawling on various opensource internet govt stats sites I have found the following for accident rates:

PREDATOR Cat A
2005 1.25/10,000fg hrs
2006 0.33/10,000fg hrs
2007 0.6/10,000fg hrs
2008 0.57/10,000fg hrs

FJs Cat4/5
SHAR 1.88/10,000fg hrs (>1979)
Jag 1.02/10,000fg hrs (>1973)
GR7/9 0.97/10,000fg hrs (>1988)
GR1/4 0.59/10,000fg hrs (>1980)
F3 0.28/10,000fg hrs (>1985)

So for about a £4-5M UAV/UAS you get the same accident rate as you do for the massively more expensive £20M+ FJ - not including the widows pensions!!!

Yet another UAS vs MAS (Manned Air System) myth debunked?

LJ
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 20:13
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Crikey

I knew the Jag was bad (hence the song "We plough the fields and scatter the Jaguars from the land"!) but I had no idea that the SHar was so bad.

Are they DASA stats?
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Old 13th Aug 2009, 20:17
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, the FJ stats are from DASA and the PRED Cat A Mishaps are taken from 3 seperate US UAV reports on the internet.

The single engined jets don't fare too well and the Jag on one engine normally took it to the scene of the crash!

LJ
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 06:59
  #34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by The B Word View Post
3. The first successful remotely piloted aircraft was the DH Queen Bee (see pic).

And note who is flying it. Not one of your twin-winged master race but a Cpl. How long before we have sqn ldrs commanding sqns again?
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 08:56
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Lower Deck Aircrew?

The USN use Master Chiefs to drive UAVs at sea. Do you think that might apply across the UK as UAVs take over the world?
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 10:52
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I could have sworn that I recently read posts here and elsewhere, and articles in various places, that emphasised the value of human pilots and other aircrew on current operations. How else do you explain the fact that ISTAR types acquired in recent years?

LOS with a manned aircraft flying 3-500nm away does not give latency issues (not that 1.5 secs (max) with Geo Stationary Satellite is that big an issue anyway for most applications!). Furthermore, the latest micro-satellites in NEO from UK manufacturers could be provide a better solution or the 60,000ft balloons also already pointed out.

Satellites cost money to build and launch. Ones in Low Earth Orbits have a restricted field of view/footprint so you need more. The Iridium system has 66 of them - not including six spares. Balloons may be cheaper to launch but how many do you think you would need? This sort of infrastucture won't be cheap. I almost forget to mention the effects of bad weather which tends to attenuate microwave signals. What happens if the one time you really need the system the monsoon has reduced the data capacity (look up Shannon-Hartley law) to less than that you need?

But those 'pilots' are not cheaper. Meatware in an aircraft with accommodations for same is more expensive than remotely piloted air vehicles, unless you can economize on the little things such as training, pay, pensions, and search and rescue operations.

Surely a ground based pilot still needs training, pay, pension, etc? As for SAR, surely you're not suggesting that aircrew are the only service personnel who may need rescuing or extracting from somewhere nasty?
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Old 15th Aug 2009, 15:39
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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WE B F

Some I agree with some I don't. Control links for UAVs are not that bandwidth hungry (eg. PREDATOR A is 10s of Kbps) but it is the Full Motion Video(FMV) streaming that takes all the bandwidth (eg. PREDATOR A is about 2-3Mbps). In other words the FMV is 1000 times more bandwidth hungry.

Now with future advances in compression techniques then the problem will start to go away -if I had told you back in 1978 that you would have 200odd digital colour channels on your TV now, then you would have laughed at me (there's still nothing decent to watch!).

Now, manned aircraft flying 14hr+ ISTAR missions are definately going to be a thing of the past in the future. Develpomental aircraft such as BAeS MANTIS are being designed to stay airborne for 24hrs+. That's a very sore bottom for the aircrew types if we go back towards manned aircraft!

The B Word
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Old 16th Aug 2009, 20:23
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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PN

And note who is flying it. Not one of your twin-winged master race but a Cpl.
I think the issue for debate would come down to "weapons or no weapons" for SNCOs acting in command; and, yes, I know that there are a lot of capable and responsible SNCOs. A debate that has been done to death by the RAF, FAA and also the AAC.

Just for the record, the Cpl could be testing the control potentiometers, anyway? He is, after all, a comms techy - look at the flash on his arm.



The officer clearly has 2 wings, so is a pilot.

LJ
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 01:33
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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With regard to the TSR2 cancellation; I remember being told by a Senior Officer Student on SORF at Manby that Mr Healy had reported to the PM during a Cabinet meeting that a TSR2 wing had broken whilst under test and that it was this that led to the decision to cancel the project.

The statement that the wing had failed was quite correct - but incomplete. The wing that failed was the one being tested to destruction.


I'd be interested to know if anyone has any definitive information on this story. It gets repeated in books and magazines pretty frequently but a more recent document claims that although the wing was obviously under test, it broke at 85 percent load, which (if true) paints a slightly different picture. Anyone know more?
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