Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Erik

      Site Upgrade   08/15/2017

      CombatACE is undergoing an upgrade. UPDATE: 08/18/17 - STAGE: Final Design and Modification.
      Trying to log in? Your new username is your old display name (the name shown when posting). 

    Graviteam Tactics: contact!

    By 33LIMA,
    New tanks on an old battlefield!     Ukrainian developer Graviteam's widely-acclaimed wargames have entered their third generation with the arrival of Mius Front, but my introduction has come only lately, and with their second-generation series - Graviteam Tactics - Operation Star (GT:OS). Why the wait? Well, I've tried a few PC wargames over the years, namely the original versions of Combat Mission and Theatre of War, and I haven't been massively impressed. Which may seem strange, given that I've been dabbling in wargames for many years - I still have my 1/300 models and terrain for NATO -v- WARPAC, last seen in action circa 1990. Below, Scotia Micro Models T-72As lead BMP-2s as they move up behind smokescreens, before shaking out into line for an attack on an enemy-held ridgeline. Overhead, home-made MiG-27s help keep NATO heads down.     I played solo, using concepts aired in the Wargames Research Group's Programmed Wargames Scenarios, but with my own method of drawing playing cards to determine the presence and types of enemy units as my force advanced. Rules were WRG's 1950-1985 set, but adapted to use the more realistic concepts in their 1988 rules for the 1925-50 period (preferred over the 'rival' Challenger rules, with their rather complex move sequence). I also dabbled in a game based on home-made rules for 1/76 scale models - which again, I still have. I much referred the larger battles possible in 1/300 scale, though it's interesting to see that, even in the computer age, wargaming with miniatures, and fairly big ones at that, is enjoying something of a revival with the Bolt Action system from Warlord Games.   When PCs arrived, my preference was very much for tanksims over wargames, starting with SSI's Panzer Commander...       ...then moving on to Novalogic's Armored Fist 2 and Microprose's  M1 Tank Platoon II...     I didn't much like Combat Mission Beyond Overlord or, more recently, Theatre of War because to me, they simulated wargaming rather than war. Let me explain myself, here: tactical-level wargames - I have no interest in the strategic variety - cast you in the role of your side's commander. But they seem usually to make you play like a miniature wargamer, with far too much ability - or worse, need - to micromanage, to control individual vehicles or even soldiers.   If - as is normally the case, in a post WW1 tactical scenario - you are wargaming the role of a company commander, your 'pieces' should be you platoons, not your individual tanks; if a battalion commander, your pieces are your companies, not your platoons. PC-based wargames seemed to me to lack suitable AI to play the role of your subordinate commanders, and therefore, as I said, simulated wargaming, rather than war, by encouraging - or requiring - micromanagement.   To me, this was also true, in their own way, of many rules for miniature wargames. The set which broke this mold in my eyes was the aforementioned WRG WW2-era set. These made your platoons, not individual vehicles, the pieces whose moves and tactics you, the player, directed. I make no apology for quoting some telling lines from Phil Barker's introduction.   'In the hope that players are tired of the traditional fascination with minor and often irrelevant differences in tank armour and penetration, we emphasise tactics, terrain and control. This does not mean that the technical content is inaccurate, but that differences in performance not substantiated by careful research or that are insignificant compared with random factors have been given only the attention they deserve...We pay much attention to troop psychology, to what is possible to and with the men who control the weapons, and how these men can be effectively commanded. Real battles are not fought by nicely-painted model tanks, but by men who are tired, frightened, dirty and often cold and hungry. These rules are set in the real world of rain and mud, dust and mirage.'   That's the way to do it!   For me, the Graviteam wargames seem to stand out in the genre much as did these WRG rules in their day, and for much the same underlying reason - that they aim to simulate war, rather than simulate wargaming.   This is a recent discovery, and was made, not with GT:OS, but with SABOW, Steel Armor - Blaze of War. I tried the GT:OS demo a year or more ago, but it featured a little skirmish in near darkness, which, I decided, made it hardly worth making the effort to get to grips with the complex interface. It was SABOW that helped me learn this interface, because its rather excellent tanksim element is embedded in the same sort of wargame. So when BundleStars very recently renewed its amazing deal for GT:OS - £4.45 Sterling for the original game plus 8 DLCs - I decided it was time to take the plunge. Or should that be, 'pull the trigger'?     The mission This being a mission report rather than a review, there should be a mission, right? So here it comes. It's nothing elaborate, or even terribly challenging but it is somewhat unusual, because it mixes and matches different GT:OS elements. This is possible because the game developed from its WW2 Eastern Front roots - sadly not towards the Western Front, but post-war. So my GT:OS bundle includes the following, on top of the basic game and a pack of high-resolution textures:   - Krasnaya Polyana 1943 - Shilovo 1942 - Volokonovka 1942 - Sokolovo 1943   ...and post-war...   - Shield of the Prophet (Iran-v-USSR in Afghanistan, complete with Chieftains, yay!) - Op Hooper (Angola) - Zhalanashkol (USSR-v-China)   While each of these has one or more 'operations' or small campaigns, which are excellent in their own right if SABOW's are anything to go by, the GT:OS Battle Editor allows you to generate fights on any of the included maps, using any of the included side's weapons. You can't have KV-1s on the same side as M60s, but you can take one of the Soviet maps and set up a fight between post-war Soviet and Western troops and tanks. Which is what this mission is about.   I really wanted to fight with Chieftains, which are on Iran's side in the Shield of the Prophet DLC, and despite the Iranian markings, look great outside of the Afghan setting...     ...but either I'm missing something important, or there's a bug, as I can't for the life of me get Chieftains to respond to orders. So they just sit there, looking and sounding great, but quite immobile. So instead, I set up a fight for the Iranian M60A1s. These have no such qualms!   Here's the setup screen, after a few clicks have plonked my chosen friends and foes onto the Eastern Front Sokolovo (winter) map. I have opted to use NATO-style unit symbols, as you can see.     In the blue corner, on the left, we have two tank-heavy Combat Teams (in British Army parlance), each with two platoons of M60s and a platoon of mechanised infantry in M113 APCs. There's also a separate company HQ element (which I forgot to add also to the northernmost team); this includes a mortar section, perhaps it is based on Iranian Army ToE's.   In the red corner, to the right, we have Chinese forces from the People's Liberation Army (from the Zalanashkol DLC), not using NATO symbols as I now see. This is a practice mission so the enemy is just an infantry company, with no heavy weapons, nothing more dangerous to my tanks than RPGs. The enemy is a company defended locality, with two platoons up (in front) and a third one in depth (behind), with company HQ nearby - a fairly standard deployment, giving both depth and a degree of all-round defense. It has taken just a minute or so's clicking to get this set up.   Next step, just as per SABOW, is another click to start the 'Unit Deployment' phase. This takes a little longer, because I take the time to adjust the initial settings to bring each platoon into close formation. Below, you can see the result. In each Combat Team, a four-tank platoon (blue diamonds) is either side of a mech inf platoon (blue 'pointy rectangles'), all facing east. The enemy is indicated only by the red PLA flags north and south of Animal Farm (somebody who built this map was maybe a fan of George Orwell, because the Soviets certainly were not). The conventional symbols on the map indicate things like the cover available at each spot you can place a unit. There is also a 3-D 'real world' view for this purpose, which is handy if you want to place units with more care (eg hull down or in cover, for defensive operations) but I'm not hanging around and am usually happy to use the map view, if I'm attacking.     The next step, when happy with deployment, is to click forward to the Unit Orders phase. The main difference is that from the same map, you get access to the full in-game set of command icons. This being a try-out rather than a deadly serious battle, I keep my orders simple. Each infantry platoon is ordered to attack frontally the nearest enemy position. On either flank of the attacking APCs, a tank platoon is to advance to a fire position short of the enemy positions (hopefully at no closer than extreme RPG range) from which they can shoot the infantry onto the objective. Wider angles between covering fire and assaulting troops would have been better but otherwise, it's all fairly conventional. The blue lines show the lines of advance for each platoon; you can set up dog-leg routes. This pic was taken just after I started the battle, hence the clock at the top is ticking.     I haven't yet worked out how to control indirect fire support, but I try to set the company HQ mortar section to hit the enemy localities, though I am not sure if it will work. I'm even more clueless as to whether I could have opted to have off-map artillery in a quick mission. But until I can control my organic supporting weapons, there's not much point. This will be mostly or wholly a direct fire job.   Below is the bird's eye view - drone's eye, these days - as my troops begin to move off. I hadn't ordered my troops to mount up - I wasn't sure if they would debus to make the final assault, and don't yet know how to make them do that. There's a choice of icons, but I just turn them off. From Youtube videos, a lot of people play with these turned on - or maybe it's just for their videos. I hate markers with a passion; I would simply not play a game that wouldn't let me turn them off. The currently-selected (M60) platoon is on the left, with the M113s and dismounts bottom centre and right.     Another thing people seem to do (again, maybe only for videos, but I have my doubts) is play GT:OS from an airborne, God's Eye view. Again, to me this is unrealistic and anathema, even if it is a convenient way of monitoring the battlefield. The pic below shows the view with the hated icons turned off and the camera lowered. Much better! Again, this is the southern company group; the right-flank M60 platoon can be seen moving up to support the mech infantry in the foreground.     At this point, I drop the camera to ground level and track over to the right-flank tank platoon. One day, I may have a go at making a little mod without Iranian markings (they are more conspicuous on the 113s) as I plan on doing a lot of simulated NATO -v- WARPAC stuff in GT:OS.     A single keystroke will, for as long as I need it, bring up the command interface or (as below) the location markers, which are useful for orientation.     For now, as my AFVs grind forward noisily through the snow, I'm content to use what time I have to watch my southern Combat Team advance. I've made my plan, given my orders, and now it's time to see how it pans out. Like real life, GT:OS plays out in real time - you can pause, speed up or slow down the action, but the only turns are in the operational level in GT:OS campaigns. This is a big plus for me.     I don't have too long to wait before the balloon goes up. Automatic weapons fire breaks out somewhere up ahead and left. I see red and green tracers cutting back and forth. A beeping sound, familiar from SABOW, tells me there's a message 'on the air', and I know that it must be a contact report. Which is exactly what it is. Lt. Kashani, on the left of the southern company group with his four M60s, is reporting in, confirming that the party has begun!     ...to be continued!

    F-16: The Shattered Dream

    By MigBuster,
    F-16: The Shattered Dream       The F-16 was designed from the outset as a pure Air to Air fighter, but what eventually went into production wasn’t quite the envisioned dream. The dream was partly from renowned aircraft designer Harry Hillaker at General Dynamics,who in the mid 1960s spent many of his spare hours designing the aircraft of his dreams – “a lightweight, high-performance jet that could fly circles around all other fighters”. He got to work with a group of people that got dubbed the Fighter Mafia on what was eventually to be to be a “best effort” technology demonstrator for the USAF.   The Fighter Mafia? Hillaker stated there were three core members of the Fighter Mafia, namely John Boyd, Pierre Sprey and himself. They had ideas that went against the grain of the USAF upper echelons at the time and they wanted a lower cost, lightweight Air to Air fighter.  [1] There were other protagonists but regardless of who they were the Light Weight Fighter (LWF) would not have happened without their influence in the Pentagon.   John Boyd Ex fighter pilot John Boyd who also now worked at the Pentagon had recently been applying his work on E-M theory to the design of the F-15.  However he had in his mind a concept for a Light Weight Fighter (LWF) and he sat down with Hillaker and they started to put ideas together. Much has been written about Boyd but what we can say is that he was very well respected by most for his achievements, however he upset a lot of the establishment at the time which may have ultimately gone against him. In 1975 the Air Force awarded Boyd the Dr Harold Brown award (the highest scientific achievement granted by the Air Force), with a citation stating how E-M was used in designing the F-15 and F-16.[9]   Pierre Sprey On the opposite end of the achievement spectrum was this guy, yes the same one that you may have seen recently on RT (Russia Today) going under the title of “F-16 designer” or even “creator of the F-16” (taking credit for dead peoples work……classy Pierre). [13] Pierre Sprey was at the time a civilian Defence Analyst (with no military background) at the Pentagon and his involvement in the F-16 seems to have been minimal. It consisted of collecting data on aircraft reliability, effectiveness and cost and analysing the data with Hillaker and Boyd. [1] Corams Book, “Boyd” makes out the inlet in the F-16 was positioned where it was due to a suggestion by Sprey [14]. Unsurprisingly this appears to be patently false.[21] Described by others who worked at the Pentagon at the time as a Luddite[28] and a gadfly[2] his name is regretfully part of this history.     Was the LWF to be a day time only Visual / WVR fighter?   yes and no!   The Fighter Mafia didn’t want radars in the LWF did they? Corams Boyd [9] makes out the addition of a large ground mapping radar was a change not wanted, whereas Michel III [26] makes out the USAF added a Pulse Doppler radar that the Fighter Mafia completely opposed. Other available information suggests that Boyd did not want a Radar in the F-16 due to his experience of small radars in single man jets in the 1960s. A valid point at the time because they were very limited without a dedicated RIO/WSO as found in the F-4. He likely was surprised at how good the APG-66 was due to rapid advances in computing technology. [6]   So the LWF was never going to get a radar or AIM-7 right? Err false……at the point the LWF prototypes were being built (now designated YF-16), they had provisions for AIM-7 and a bigger avionics package than was specified for the LWF requirements [7], and this was long before the USAF got their paws on it. If the LWF concept went into production it almost certainly (politics permitting) would have had AIM-7 and an APG-66 type FCR regardless, even if the radar had only A-A modes.   So why all the fuss and misunderstanding over the radar? It seems more likely that General Dynamics knew in the early 70s there was no way on this planet or the next that they could sell a front line A-A fighter without a radar and the AIM-7 despite its Vietnam combat performance.   But the YF-16 had a tiny nose and no radar? It is important to ignore what the YF-16 looked like because it was a quick build technology demonstrator. It must be clarified that one of the YF-16s actually did have a radar[20] required for testing the Vulcan cannon. Some may be aware that the F-4A (F4H-1F) also received a complete nose job from block 3 to accommodate a larger radar.[25]   Okay so why then did the production F-16A not carry the AIM-7 from the off? This one is less of a mystery but has been intertwined and confused with Fighter Mafia ideas and the LWF concept.   Officially the USAF simply had no requirement for AIM-7s on the F-16A so they were never put on. General Dynamics did conduct proof of concept AIM-7 firing tests in November 1977, including conformal fuselage carriage, but no effort was made to develop this because it wasn’t required. [5]   Unofficially and sadly it was 100% politics. There were zero technical reasons why the production F-16A didn’t carry AIM-7 from IOC in 1980, however there was a big political reason likely involving the F-15 and sources outside of Coram do verify this:   Air Force four-star generals had ordered him not to put a Sparrow missile on the F-16 because they didn’t want it competing directly with the F-15.[3].   This consensus also being backed up by one of the initial Viper cadre in the late 1970s:   “The lack of a radar missile capability for the Viper was pure politics. The radar was modified quite cheaply in late 70's to use the thing. Small CW antenna in the radome and a tuning doofer in the RIU, and presto!” [4]   Myth of the simple Fighter Compared to the F-15 the F-16 was actually a far more technologically advanced design with far higher risk. This was down to several factors: ·         The F-15 was the first fighter to be procured in years by the USAF and was very costly, so McDonnell Douglas favoured a lower risk approach. [1] ·         To get the range and performance required for the size, the F-16 had to use a full on cutting edge Fly By Wire computer system and be longitudinally unstable. Such was the risk the design team had provisions for mounting the wing further back if the FBW system didn’t work with a penalty in range and performance degradation. [1]   YF-16 wins the fly off but then what? After the fly off in 1974, the YF-16 was considered overall the better aircraft in A-A performance and range over the YF-17. Lower cost and the decision to use the F100-PW engine (also used in the F-15) no doubt also went in its favour.   Once accepted the F-16 design was then handed to the US Air Force Configuration Control Committee (CCC) led by ex fighter pilot Alton Slay. Here the LWF concept was killed and a slight redesign turned the F-16 into the “multirole” fighter the USAF wanted with an emphasis on the A-G role. [2] What is clear is that they enlarged the fuselage to add more fuel (to retain the range) and increased the wing area from 280sqft to 300sqft (to retain some manoeuvrability), the horizontal tail and ventral stabilisers were also enlarged [8]. What is less clear is the various amounts of weight that was added. [15]   Boyd did not agree that 300sqft was a big enough increase to retain the original manoeuvrability and spent considerable effort to get it increased to 320sqft but alas failed to get this changed – he blamed the F-15 and politics as part of the USAF decision. [9]   A multirole F-16? When the F-16A first rolled off the production line, despite being bigger it was actually lighter than the Prototype YF-16 used in the flyoff (which was just a quicky build tech demonstrator). [8] It was however not the LWF the mafia had hoped for and was never designed for carrying loads of bombs and external ECM pods. Hillaker stated that if he had designed the F-16 as a multirole jet as the USAF wanted to use it he would have designed it differently. The Harry Hillaker F-16 design with emphasis on A-G was the excellent if underpowered F-16XL. [1]       F-16XL - Fly super jet fly! (f-16.net)     Okay so was having no AIM-7 capability a problem? Production F-16s would not see AIM-7 capability till the mid 1980s (Block 32s for Egypt) [19] and 1989 for the USAF with the F-16A ADF [16].   This sounds like criminal negligence on behalf of the USAF because with no AIM-7 but still a major A-A role for USAF flyers in the Cold War it didn’t sound like a great deal for the flyers. There was some saving grace however, being the 1980s there were a lot of ways around the relatively primitive radar and missile technology of the era [22] and the F-16 despite the enforced lower performance was still in some respects superior to the F-15 close in. [23]     So what would a LWF F-16A look like if the USAF had accepted it in an alternate reality? ·         Smaller with 280sqft wing area and less fuel (but similar range). ·         Around 13000 lb empty weight. [15] ·         Engine: Same F100-PW-200. ·         Avionics: APG-66 with nose enlargement, RWR. ·         AIM-9, AIM-7 and Cannon armament. ·         Drop tanks.   Hillaker stated he thought if the F-16 had gone to production as intended then only about 300 would have been procured by the USAF………..just like the F-104.[1]     Were the USAF right to do a half arsed redesign on it? History would say they were. It was more useful because A-G is where most of the action has been and despite the lower A-A performance it turned out to be more than good enough in the A-A role. New F-16s still roll off the production line in 2016 (nearly 40 years of continuous production) and the F-16 is still seen as a benchmark design to compare others to, so can’t be too bad.   It wasn’t all roses though - with the “Multirole” F-16 the USAF had plans to add everything but the kitchen sink to it over time, to the inevitable point where they had structural failure at Block 30 when trying to wedge such things as LANTIRN onto it [24]. That meant the structure had to be totally redesigned at Block 40/42 and accounts for much of the weight increase at those and later blocks due to the effort to turn it into a bomber (Switching to the F-16XL might have been less hassle after all!).   Later projects to improve performance on the production F-16 were also cancelled, notably Agile Falcon [17] in the late 1980s (to make the wing bigger - kinda similar to what Boyd suggested originally) and Multi Axis Thrust Vectoring (MATV) [18] in the early 1990s.     Getting old and fat The production F-16 got fatter and fatter so here is a very simple chart that shows Wing loading increase over time.          And the F-16 today The F-16E may have the highest Wing Loading on the chart but it is no doubt the best production F-16 for real combat today (before the F-16V upgrades take place).    AESA radar, sensor fusion, internal ECM suite, towed decoys, FLIR, and CFTs for extra range……..all the important parameters of a fighter today require space in the airframe……..so not completely suited to a LWF concept………..   But it was a nice dream while it lasted……………                               References:   [1] Interview: Harry Hillaker - Father Of The F-16 http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=135 (Accessed 2016)   [2] (Michel III, M.L, 2006) THE REVOLT OF THE MAJORS: HOW THE AIR FORCE CHANGED AFTER VIETNAM     [3] Retired General Mike Loh who worked on Alton Slays USAF CCC team: In June 1972, the Air Force had sent Loh to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering and assigned him to the prototype office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to manage the budget, contracts, and overall engineering for the Lightweight Fighter. When the F-16 was selected, the Air Force formed a system program office at Wright-Patterson, where Loh signed on as director of projects, with the responsibility to integrate the avionics and weapons systems on the airplane. But he was in a quandary. Air Force four-star generals had ordered him not to put a Sparrow missile on the F-16 because they didn’t want it competing directly with the F-15. But they didn’t say anything about inventing a new missile. “I pursued a lightweight radar missile very quietly, as an advanced development project, with no strings to the F-16 or any other fighter,” Loh says. “I worked quietly with missile contractors and the Air Force Development Test Center at Eglin to put together radar missile designs that could fit on Sidewinder stations. This initiative later turned into AMRAAM, the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.”   (Bjorkman. E, 2014 ) The Outrageous adolescence of the F-16, Air and Space Magazine  http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/The-Outrageous-Adolescence-of-the-F-16-241533731.html (Accessed 2015)   [4] “The lack of a radar missile capability for the Viper was pure politics. The radar was modified quite cheaply in late 70's to use the thing. Small CW antenna in the radome and a tuning doofer in the RIU, and presto!” http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8478&hilit=Boyd+love&start=15 Pat “Gums” McAdoo http://www.f-16.net/interviews_article28.html     [5] Information provided by GD engineer **John G Williams   [6] “ I will add that JB was totally against putting a radar in the Viper, as the radars he was familiar with (and that would have fit in the nose) were pretty useless and for the most part was weight he felt the F-16 could do without. I suspect he was surprised with how good the radar turned out to be (although still very weak compared to the Eagle)”. [Roscoe retired USAF Fighter Pilot] http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=8478&hilit=Boyd+love&start=15   [7] Although the LWF requirement specified only minimal electronics , the design team recognized that an operational aircraft would probably require a heavier and more bulky avionics package. The decision was made to size the aircraft to carry heat-seeking Sidewinder missiles plus an M61 cannon, but to make provisions to allow Sparrow radar-homing missiles to be carried at a later date should this be required. F-16 Design Origins, Code One Magazine http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=131 (Accessed 2015)   [8] “ I was a structural engineer on the YF-16 and F-16 flight test teams, so was familiar with weights at the time. Forty years is too long to remember all the numbers, but when the F-16 was in early flight test, I did a weight comparison between the two and was very surprised to find the F-16 empty weight was less than the YF-16. So, the YF-16, designed for 6.5g at 14900 lb was heavier than the F-16, designed for 9g at 22,500 lb. Don't confuse the design weight as the actual weight, two totally different things. Here's why the YF-16 was heavier. First, it had a much larger structural margin. meaning it was designed for 25% overload capability, because no 150% static test was performed. Second, it was not a refined structural design, either design loads or stress analysis. If there was any doubt about load or stress, it was made a little heavier. Third, manufacturing processes were not refined. It was built as cheaply as possible. Remarkable, when you consider the added g and design weight, larger wing, horizontal tail, and ventral fins, and longer fuselage of the F-16, in addition to an 8,000 hour service life.” [John G Williams**] http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=25121&p=266379#p266379   [9] (Coram. R, 2004 ) Boyd: the Fighter Pilot that changed the art of war   [13] Some of these gems are captured around 36:03 on this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HVY6Fdc2CM       [14] (Coram. R, 2004 ) Boyd: the Fighter Pilot that changed the art of war p246.   [15] Source [2] (Michel III) claims 2 tons (4000 lbs) and source [9] (Coram) claims 3000 lbs. Simply using the same wingloading value as Boyd wanted at 320sqft but for a 280sqft design gives around 13000 lbs so may as well go with that.   [16] F-16A ADF http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article14.html   [17] Agile Falcon http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article21.html (Camm F) The F-16 Multinational Staged Improvement, RAND N3619.   [18] F-16 MATV http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article19.html (Accessed 2016) Thrust Vectoring in the real world, Code 1 Magazine http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=163 (Accessed 2016)   [19] Egyptian Block 32 with AIM-7 http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article4.html (Accessed 2016)   [20] “ I am not sure where the false story of no radar on the YF-16 started, but I guarantee you it was there. It was not a radar like you might expect, with a scanning antenna inside the radome and a glowing, flickering screen in the cockpit, but it was a radar nonetheless. The function of the radar was to provide range-only information for the gun sight. Although I'm not certain, I seem to recall only one of the airplanes had a gun, as a cost saving measure. If so, only one airplane would have had the radar system.”  [John G Williams**]   “Confirming that only the second prototype had a ranging radar installed, the Solid State Range-Only Radar (SSR-1) developed at General Electric, AESD, Utica, New York. “ [http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA041197 ] http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=28763&p=312806#p312806 (Accessed 2016)     [21] The General Dynamics team also studied several different air intake configurations before settling on the final air intake located underneath the nose. The ventral location for the intake was chosen to minimize the sensitivity of airflow into the engine to high angles of attack. At a 20-degree AoA, the local flow direction to a ventral intake was only ten degrees below datum, as compared to 35 degrees in the case of side-mounted inlets. The design team had actually started with a chin-mounted Crusader-type intake, but it was gradually pushed further and further back to save weight until the process finally had to be halted to keep the intake ahead of the nosewheel. There are some disadvantages to such an air intake location --- the mounting of the inlet underneath the fuselage is potentially dangerous to ground personnel and appears at first sight to invite foreign object damage (FOD) to the engine by the ingestion of stones and other runway debris into the intake. However, it avoids the gun gas ingestion problem, and since the nosewheel is further back, it avoids nosewheel-induced FOD. In order to save weight and complexity, the geometry of the intake was fixed. F-16 LWF http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article4.html (Accessed 2016)   [22] (Anderegg C.R, ) SIERRA HOTEL FLYING AIR FORCE FIGHTERS IN THE DECADE AFTER VIETNAM, Chapter 17   [23] “Throughout the book I have attributed credit where it is due. However, many statements in the book are my own. For example, in the last chapter I write that the F–16 is a better day, visual dogfighter than the F–15. F–15 pilots who read that statement will howl with anger. Sorry, Eagle pilots, but I flew the F–15 for over ten years, and that’s the way I see it.” (Anderegg C.R, ) SIERRA HOTEL FLYING AIR FORCE FIGHTERS IN THE DECADE AFTER VIETNAM   “If my memory serves me right, our pair won the 2v2 training session, but in a 1 v1 scenario, the Baz was no match for the Netz. The latter jet has to be the worlds best WVR fighter platform.“ [baz [F-15] pilot Yorem Peled ] (Aloni, S, 2006) IDF/AF Israeli F-15 Eagle units in Combat, Osprey   [24] “There was a total re-engineering of block 40 structure following a static test failure of a block 30 airframe. Test failure was at 137% of limit load, well short of the 150% requirement. Patches applied to block 30 airplanes allowed those airplanes to continue flying. Airplane weight had increased with each block from block 1 on and it finally caught up with the true capability. So Block 40 was essentially a new structure, much stronger than previous blocks. The block 40 LANTIRN installation was also a big driver in redesign because it drove the CG forward. That shift required more down tail trim load, increasing fuselage, tail, and wing loads. So block 25 structure is not close to the block 40 or 50 structure in static or durability capability.” [John G Williams**] http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27459&p=299748#p299748 (Accessed 2016)   [25] F-4A http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f4_2.html (Accessed 2016)   [26] the Configuration Control Committee ordered it equipped with a small but highly capable pulse Doppler radar, something the Critics had adamantly opposed. (Michel III, M.L, 2006) THE REVOLT OF THE MAJORS: HOW THE AIR FORCE CHANGED AFTER VIETNAM     [28] Retired General Mike Loh: Loh says that each Fighter Mafia member had a different agenda. “Boyd was unquestionably the leader and dominated the crusade. His motivation was to vindicate his EM theory, and he wasn’t concerned about any mission beyond close-in air-to-air combat. He spent hours debating anyone who challenged his views.” On the other hand, General Dynamics [Author: Pentagon not GD! ] system analyst Pierre Sprey “was a true Luddite, opposed to any advanced technology,” says Loh. “His agenda was to produce the cheapest fighter for daytime air combat in Europe against Warsaw Pact forces.”   (Bjorkman. E, 2014 ) The Outrageous adolescence of the F-16, Air and Space Magazine  http://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/The-Outrageous-Adolescence-of-the-F-16-241533731.html (Accessed 2015)       **John G Williams was a structural flight test engineer at General Dynamics, and worked on programs including the YF-16, F-16, F-16XL and F-2A.

    Sopwiths over Flanders Fields 5

    By 33LIMA,
    'Superiority with the Snipe'     The title of this mission report is from the chapter on the featured aircraft in 'Sopwith - the Man and his Aircraft' by Bruce Robertson, one of a famous series of comprehensive aviation histories by British publishers Harleyford, this one dating from 1970. Quoting from that chapter:   'It is said that when No.4 (A.F.C.) Squadron after the Armistice took its Snipes to Cologne and showed their manoeuvring powers to some German airmen, they expressed first their astonishment and then their gratification that they personally had not met them in action...from performance figures and test reports the Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard it is often quoted as the best fighter of the 1914-1918 War period...however, the Martinsyde Buzzard did not enter squadron service and thereby few can dispute the statement that the Snipe was the finest fighter, from any country, to operate in the 1914-18 War.'   Whether or not the Sopwith Snipe truly merited that accolade can be debated, of course. However, with a significantly more powerful engine conferring higher speed and better altitude performance, a better view for the pilot, greater fuel and ammo capacity and less tricky flying characteristics, the Snipe was certainly an improvement over the aircraft from which it was developed, the redoubtable Camel. So it is a worthy machine on which to finish this set of mission reports.   That said, I can't help but feel that the Sopwith Dolphin would have been a better choice for inclusion in Wings over Flanders Fields. The Snipe saw combat only during the last six weeks of World War One. By war's end, just three squadrons had them - 4 (Australian), 43, and 208, compared to the Dolphin's four (19, 23, 79 and 87). Despite its engine troubles, the Dolphin was a fine fighter, said to have the agility of a Camel and the performance of an S.E.5. And it saw action for a much longer period, from February to November 1918. It also has the distinction of being the RFC and RAF's first multi-gun single seat fighter. Happily, I can fly the Dolphin in First Eagles 2 (thanks to moders at the A Team Skunkworks...who also provide a Snipe)...     ...and of course in Rise of Flight - having just purchased the Strutter in the Halloween 2016 sale, I now have all the RoF Sopwiths, including the Dolphin, again seen here without the two extra Lewis guns it could carry...     The Snipe was an effort to improve the Camel, while the Dolphin could be said to have been an effort to improve on the Camel. The Dolphin was a very different design, notably adopting an in-line engine, a 200 hp geared Hispano Suiza. The Snipe stuck with a rotary engine, the Bentley B.R.2, at 230 hp, significantly more powerful than the B.R.1s and Clergets of the Camel. The Snipe prototypes were almost identical to the Camel, except they replaced the latters's straight top wing with one whose dihedral matched the lower wing. Combined with a large open panel in the centre, this lowered wing significantly improved upward visibility from the cockpit. Later, longer-span wings were fitted, with four rather than two bays of interplane struts. And a round-section fuselage was adopted, producing an aircraft which seemed to owe little to its famous predecessor. Having put in a reasonable amount of stick time into WoFF's Camel, I'm keen to see how I get on in its Snipe.     The campaign   With such a short combat career, this was going to be a short campaign one way or another. And having chosen to fly with the Australians, it was going to be shorter still. For WoFF's No. 4 (Austrialian Flying Corps) Squadron gets its Snipes just in time for the Armistice - my new pilot, Robert Digger from Brisbane, kicks off his operational career on 1st November 1918. So I'll have to survive less than two weeks, to see the end of the War to End All Wars. A bigger worry is whether my modest PC will be able to handle a campaign in WoFF's CPU-intensive later war skies. There is, of couse, one way to find out...   I find myself stationed at the airfield of Auchel, quite a way from the front. However, I won't have to worry about tedious trips to the lines, because my first 'mission' is actually a transit flight - the squadron is relocating to Avelin, to the east and much closer to the scene of the action. Historically, this reflects the fact that the German armies were at that point in hostilities finally near collapse, being driven back all along the front, with revolution in the air back home and the abdication of the Kaiser just days away.   For the flight, I'm given just one companion, and after a while following on the heels of the others, I strike out direct for Avelin, noting that my machine is faster than any Camel I've flown, but like most of WoFF's aircraft, needs generous amounts of rudder in the turn.     Despite the briefing warning us to be on the lookout for the enemy, the flight is uneventful, and I have plenty of time to admire the cockpit and the scenery, the weather being cloudy, but fine.       About half-way there, we pass the town of Loos, the eastern side of which is much damaged by shellfire. Just beyond, we cross the former front lines, now abandoned but still churned up by the pounding it has taken from the guns of both sides over the many months of static trench warfare, now at last come to an end.     Soon, we are back over unravaged countryside, and the shelled ground falls behind...     ...and not long after that, I'm coming into land at out new home, presumably a former German airfield but now very much in our hands. Thiis is signified by a pair of S.E.5s sitting on the airfield and some Snipes parked in front of the sheds, whose undamaged state indicates that their erstwhile occupants have left in a hurry.     Signs of enemy collapse and rumours of an Armistice notwithstanding, I have no reason to believe that the pace of operations will slacken off - the reverse if anything, given the need to keep the retreating enemy on the hop. I expect that this will be the last little cross country flight I'll be doing for a while, and that I'm about to find out just how good my new Snipe really is, where it matters most - in combat.   ...to be continued!

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS