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Royal Navy F-35B compared with anything

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Royal Navy F-35B compared with anything

Old 12th Oct 2018, 06:27
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Gums - one of my replies has clearly entered the vortex.

I was (as an ex-Harrier type) reading your words on recovery fuel and wondering what a second try was?😉
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 08:07
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Toadstool, thank you for your polite apology

On the subject of Buffs, we had a USAF exchange officer who'd flown them during the Vietnam war. Operating from Guam in cells of 3.

The lead aircraft would call the release and the other 2 would do so at the same time. For days my colleague had been in 'White' formation, but one day they were in 'Green'. Approaching the target area, he heard the transmission "White, releasing in 3 - 2 -1 - NOW!". Whereupon his aircraft began to shudder and his bombardier called on the interphone "Close call that, I only just got the bombs away in time!".

They were 15 min from the target and had just Buffed someone's jungle. No complaints were ever received, but my colleague said that the array of blue and red lights waiting to greet them at Guam was...impressive! His BN's feet hardly touched the ground during the subsequent debrief!

I had a trip in a Buff whilst at GV79 - interesting, but give me the Vulcan any day!
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 08:15
  #23 (permalink)  
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BEagle, I wonder if that was just wings with bomb doors possibly closed?
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 11:41
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Gums -
thanks for sharing your stories; forever valuable. Its the kind of stuff I cant get enough of and its one of the things that gives this site its value, in my eyes: tales from experience. Your days of going 'down town' are valuable memories. Robin Olds said the 'V' had more flak than the Germans in WWII. Would we ever put an F-35 into flak filled skies?

In one of my prior comments, removed by admin, I referred to a picture of a low flying Harrier GR3 in the Falklands that was about head height. Low flying in some situations can be useful for tactical reasons, e.g. to show a presence; but I don't see a F-35 ever doing it.

PS. I have issues with my PM - apologies to anyone who has sent me a PM and received no reply.
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 14:01
  #25 (permalink)  
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WW, why no SoF? A Reaper orbiting covertly above a target can bring rapid retribution but its presence is largely covert. There will be occasions when you want to reveal part of your hand, the surprise appearance of a threat can do just that.

however in a 'benign' environment you may not deploy an F35 at all when a Typhoon can do all the missions as effectively.
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 14:48
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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PN -
I was just pondering various situations and talk of the highly lethal radar guided flak in Vietnam got me thinking. I also vaguely remember instances when, I think in Afghanistan, that fastjets were called in simply to make their presence felt by flying low near where hostile forces gathering/moving. My agile (some would say unstable!) mind then recollected something about a hostility in an African nation when Harriers were called in from the offshore carriers.

I also remember of way back when Buccaneers where called in off the carriers to do fly-by's over Belize; this 'flexing of the bicep' did the trick in dissuading neighbouring forces massing on the border from invading.

If some rag-tag 'army' that cant afford S400 but can buy lots of 40mm etc. flak was operating within range of our carriers that are only equipped with F-35, what would we do? If time was of the essence, would we risk F-35's in that situation? Albeit, a remote situation.

Just a thought that wafted into my empty head!
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 15:40
  #27 (permalink)  
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In your last the idea of a show of force where the opposition had 14.5 and 23 mm, let alone 40 mm would probably never be contemplated.

In Lagos in 1985 something spooked the gunners and everything opened up. It was reported and a family was killed in a block of flats. There was then a news clamp down and nothing more heard.

In places like that, no show of force. Against a few AK and a machine gun a risk certainly but far lower - and don't do a second pass.

In Iraq, 90 years ago, ROE permitted show of force but no attack unless fired upon. Our hero spent 2 hours showing force when eventually he was fired upon. Within the ROE he duly bombed them. In the debrief the Int O and political officer were not amused
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 15:53
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Salute!

@ mod censors, this is about Harriers and other attack jets per thread title - delete if you wish

I never heard the story about a GR3 making an "show of force" pass. Good stuff, and we saw a few examples in that stoopid war I flew in when the earth was still cooling. In fact, a young Captain in our wing was rescued within 100 meters or so of the Vee when his mates used drop tanks and low passes to buy time ( F-100D from 3rd TFW at Bien Hoa). They had run outta 20mm. He was retrieved by a Army Cobra and in the 1990's became the USAF Chief of Staff. Flew with him during our time together at Hill when in Vipers.

Harrier fuel vs Stubbie fuel: [entry to satisfy mod censors about thread] Fuel to "hang around" is really nice to have. And our Sluf had it. I shall stick to my opinion that the F-35 can fly further and hang longer than any Harrier ever built, even if it carries extra gas in high-RCS external tanks. So when we showed up the grunts were happy. We could hit what we aimed at and we had hang time. The Double Ugly ( aka F-4 variants) would show up and scoot back to a nearby tanker, and we had plenty (tankers) because of them. You will not be able to do that in a less-then-permissible environment, meaning zilch long-range SAM's or enema interceptors. So better have your gas and plenty of it.

RE flak up North. Yep, it was really intense, and the Vee up there had plenty of practice. They also had better radar tracking then Reich air defense, from the central control down to the embedded radar. I only saw that for the few missions I flew Downtown, and first time was a 85mm site and had maybe 6 or 7 tubs firing in a coordinated "round-the-clock" sequence, with each tube firing maybe a tenth of a second apart. Looked like a canister CBU impact. The manual aimed guns were countless. In fact, after a few minutes of when a raid began there were layers of light gray, like clouds, from the self-destruct features going off. 23mm low, then 37mm, then 57mm and finally the 85's airbursting at 20,000 to 25,000 feet. As with the Falklands, more attack plnes were shot down by flak than missiles. I think the first time we saw a significant SAM shootdown ratio was the Yom Kippur episode. My Israeli students in the Viper said the best way to counter the SA-6 was to have tank taxi up and used its big gun, heh heh.

Gums sends...
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 16:32
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
Fantastic posts, Gums. Thank you!
Seconded!. Here ya go gums, hope your not hard of hearing



I've watched this a few times now and the person who put it together did so with some panache.

I particularly appreciated Mr Ian Gillans scream during the catapult launch and the lyrics "racing like a fireball" with the SLUF at low level through the V hills.

Last edited by glad rag; 14th Oct 2018 at 14:02. Reason: info and thank you to MOD[S]
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 17:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wingless Walrus View Post
Gums -
thanks for sharing your stories; forever valuable. Its the kind of stuff I cant get enough of and its one of the things that gives this site its value, in my eyes: tales from experience. Your days of going 'down town' are valuable memories. Robin Olds said the 'V' had more flak than the Germans in WWII. Would we ever put an F-35 into flak filled skies?

In one of my prior comments, removed by admin, I referred to a picture of a low flying Harrier GR3 in the Falklands that was about head height. Low flying in some situations can be useful for tactical reasons, e.g. to show a presence; but I don't see a F-35 ever doing it.

PS. I have issues with my PM - apologies to anyone who has sent me a PM and received no reply.
Aye, I remember the HUD film at the debrief of the 1st May raid on Stanley showing our rad-alts flicking between 5 and 15ft on the run-in over the dunes. Just seemed safer down there somehow. The climb to 150ft to drop the clusters was a bit scary because you could then see all the other flak!

Ho-hum!
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 05:48
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Royal Navy F-35B compared with anything

Salute!

Since the mods cut off our thread that began to explore may aspects of attack planes besides just the ability to land on a boat, maybe we could try again.

@ mods!!! PLZ outline specific rules so we can discuss stuff as long as we avoid foul language or pure political diatribes.

The F-35B is great follow-on to the Harrier, IMHO. But we need real world Harrier and F-35 pilots to jump in here. The armchair experts can rant and rave and such, but it's much better to hear from folks that operate the hardware. And folks with actual combat experience are the ones we should value.

First item of interest is how much gas should you have when making your landing? Enuf for just one shot at it? Enuf to have a go at it and divert? and so forth.... Actual military directives apply, but personal opinions/rationale is appreciated.

Gums sends...

Last edited by gums; 13th Oct 2018 at 05:49. Reason: typos
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 07:00
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Morning Gums - the Harrier driver’s view. As far as landing fuel goes - enough so you don’t flame out getting to where ever the yellow coats put you.

No need to carry fuel for an extra visual pattern. It just means you have less thrust margin on the first approach so almost a self fulfilling prophecy.

UK Harrier minima were 1200lb remaining as you broke (pitch to you I think), 800lb in the hover alongside, 500lb at touchdown. Min useable 300lb. Some chose to bump up by a couple of hundred but tbh that only gave you a very short pattern if you messed up. I messed up once...I have a very clear memory of thinking I was going for a swim as the ‘flashing 250 lb a side lights’ came on when I’d just entered the groove. (Turned base). My error was to overshoot the ship first time round - mainly because one of the older guys had told me my decel to the hover was ‘wet’ and I needed to grow up...so I made the next one ‘sporty’ and completely over cooked it. Oops.

As far as diversion fuel goes - required until you can see the ship, or have reasonable confidence you’re going to see the ship - or you just need to dump to get below hover weight. So not required on VFR days. Required until good two way with Mum backed up by TACAN on moderate days - 750ft cloudbase and above. Rationale? At 250ft in the UK Low Flying system you are considered VFR if 500ft clear of cloud. On proper IFR Radar approach days - until Decision Height or MDA - if that was not possible due to performance it became a command decision to fly or not.

Please find a way of continuing the Vietnam stories, they’re excellent!

Small point of order - All UK F-35Bs are the property of the RAF - they just let the dark blue help out operating and maintaining them as a Joint Force. So Joint that they don’t even call themselves Joint - in that only organisations that are struggling to actually be Joint refer to themselves as Joint. Sort of thing.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 07:50
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Salute Orca!

Well, now, a real attack puke and has some time in the Bug landing on really big boats, cat shots in a calm sea with no moon and visible lights, and.... neatstuff for the wannabe folks to do it for real. Ya gotta love it. A good Marconi HUD is always nice on a dark night.

We Yanks are always amazed how close/low the RAF and RN folks go with the fuel. So guess that's the one approach/try or else mentality. Considering the size of your island and all the old strips there, I guess that's "acceptable" for a divert. My friend Waldo with hisHarrier exchange tour said that the good thing about the GR3 ( tink that was the one) was you could put down on the soccer field a kilo away if things were tense. You would take flak from the boss, but the jet was still in one piece, and so were you, heh heh.

So USAF vs RAF standards WRT fuel are significant. Only time I ever saw variations was in combat, and then we reverted to your numbers. The grunts needed the ord when in close quarters, and I was fortunate to fly jets that had the gas ( A-7D) or could land almost any place ( the A-37).
++++++++
I have a hard time with the Harrier numbers posted by the Brits on these forums compared with the F-35 ( aka Stubby, when you see the thing with an F-15 next to it. Looks like the same plane but short and fat!) . Even if TSFC is better for that big motor in the Harrier, the Stubbie carries a helluva load of gas, all internal. So loiter should be great if you cruise at a reasonable speed someplace near the tgt or other area of interest. In other words, you don't runaround in supercriuse or charge in at 0.9M when 200 miles from your station/tgt/orbit. A lot of combat effectiveness depends upon the operaters and their procedures and skill. The public relations brochures are usually optimistic, but the mil spec numbers are usually bare minimums. Our experience in the A-7 and A-37 was we could beat the textbook range by 50% most days.

Good to converse, Orca. Need some old farts with Harrier time and hopefully some Falkland, Storm and such experience.

Gums sends...

P.S. In case anyone is intersted, I live 60 miles west of that big storm that just hit. Went thru VooDoo checkout training at Tyndall back in 1966. Our weak side of the storm was ho hum, and all is well here. Over there it is really bad.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 08:41
  #34 (permalink)  
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Gums, I found the original thread way down the page.

Anyway, based on 'anything' we used to have a 14% minimum landing fuel on one type during training which was reduced to 11% once qualified on type. Operational limits were just half that overhead but for practicable purposes I think 9% for wife and kids. Sometime later the fleet minimum was increased to 14%.

Diversion fuel OTOH was always interesting with the basic instruments to visual and climb out and transit on top. UK may have had lots of landing surfaces and in emergency the Harrier is best placed, but where open runways are concerned things can get very dark after 5pm. In worst case, landing short at the diversion or overflying a red/Amber base for a blue diversion may be a sensible option.

orca, you will remember the emergency landing on a Spainish Mership, what happened there? Had mother moved?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 08:54
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Salute Pontius!!!

So good to hear from real aviators.

I like the percentage numbers you have put forward and will take them any day.

In some planes I flew, your best bet after a missed approach or abort was to just stay slow at same altitude and cruise over to a better field. In the U.S, that was 150 to 200 miles compared to the Motherland distances.

For the nuggets here, listen to what we old farts contribute. Take it or walk away, your choice. i learned more around the bar at the pub than in my briefings.

Gums sends...
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 09:12
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Pontius,

Our intrepid SHAR driver couldn’t find Mum - I think due to a nav kit failure. Need Mogwi or someone to pitch in with what Suds was faced with. He settled for a landing on a freighter when the square search for Mum proved fruitless.

Sometimes we had to practice EMCON procedures - which I think Suds was doing but again not sure - I and two buddies were operating under EMCON one day - no radios and no radar within a certain distance of Mum. We used to get her position as an offset from a reference point over UHF then put Systems to stand by and come inbound. We’d been up on a sweep and had tanked, so Mum could have been anywhere! We got a completely duff offset, were out of gas on arrival - faced with empty sea - and (after a great call from lead ‘Has anyone got any ideas?’ Which Mum replied to with ‘Zip Lip’!!!!) We set off to try to land on a big merchant man we’d seen on the way in. As we streamed to land number 3 sensibly took a wide pattern and somehow saw Mum in the gloop. We all got back - shaking/ smiling etc with no fuel whatsoever.

Had to go straight to FlyCo so the grown ups could shout at us for breaking radio silence.

Very nearly 3 folk having a group swim somewhere in the Med!

Good times!
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 10:36
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Me on the boat with both the boat and pilots now exercising EMCON with polished ease after a few gulp moments at the start. Rotation of guys from the mainland to achieve various boat ticks. Boat and FlyCo continue with an iron-clad EMCON in rather average conditions. The #2 decides that enough was enough and that his formation leader had done all he could. Still no help from the boat so broadcasts "This game of hide and seek is over!". FlyCo replies a with a terse invite to his office on landing; #2 replies inviting the FlyCo to his bigger office if he made it aboard. Slight pause on the radio before the formation leader broadcast a simple "paper, scissors, rank" prompt.

To me the accent on the radio from #2 would have overcome the fly pro change. Is he a 3 star now?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:17
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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I do remember being incredibly disappointed when Mum told me that I couldn’t have a position because we were under EMCON and I was already in the over head.

Not professing to be an expert on everything - but being sure that the CVS didn’t have a teleport - I disagreed.

Cue a very frustrating conversation (which in itself probably did away with any benefit we had bought through EMCON) trying to explain to Mum that there were jets in the overhead but they were the previous formation - not us.

I have a feeling we were invited to FlyCo for that one too!
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:27
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Got to love ship drivers. Sat in the wait. If you maintain this DFC in about 5 miles you’ll be in a fog bank. Nothing. Ok you’re about to sail into a fogbank. Nothing. Shortly followed by ship sailing into the fog bank. Nothing but the top of the tacan mast left visible.....any chance you could reverse course and steam back the other way? Nope.
From flyco, divert ashore.
Fully appreciate the bigger surface/sub surface picture and that we were just a weapons system. Made it interesting sometimes. Especially with a jet with a fuel / no hover. And no fuel / can hover dichotomy.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 11:43
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Play to your strengths - no fuel and hover every time! 😉
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