Friday, August 30, 2013

as an extra note, or epilogue of sorts...

So, one thing I did not address in my poorly written posts about the hornet was some of the developments being made on the so called Advanced Super Hornet, that recently flew for the first time this month.

Now, despite not being a fan of the Super Hornet, this Advanced version (if delivered with the features promised) will certainly add enough capability and range to at least make it live up to the requirements initially given to the aircraft.

New Enhanced Performance Engines will offer 20% more thrust while supposedly being more efficient, which can allow for better performance, especially coupled with the redesigned pylons which are no longer canted, so they no longer cause a massive amount of drag.  With these two things alone, I estimate a sizable jump in speed so that it at least meets if not exceeds the top speed of the original Hornet (though still not coming close to the Tomcat's), so thankfully it won't be such a slouch in the speed department.  maneuverability should also make an improvement, as the carriage of external fuel, along with the airbrake-like pylons are what really restricted the hornets agility as well.

Also, the most exciting thing to happen with this new variant may be the addition of a IRST/electro optical tracking system.  I believe (and correct me if i'm wrong), it's the same as the model that is being integrated on the F-35, which when combined with it's further reduced radar cross-section, will help give the Super Hornet a massive tactical advantage to make up for it's still lacking range, altitude, and speed by no longer relying on it's radar as the sole means of scanning for targets, while also providing enhanced missile warning, and increased overall surviveability.

I did briefly mention the conformal fuel tanks, that add a sizable amount of fuel so that it can at least meet the ranges initially promised several years ago.  Though, what I find funny was this hilariously laughable title to the article about them on Alert 5 Military Aviation News:
They lie!
Uh, yeah.  That's totally not true, unless those new CFTs are pumping a unicorn fart/pixie dust mixture into the engines, while simultaneously being made of unobtanium.  Either they forgot to add the word "external" before the word fuel, or people over there have gone full retard.  It's misinformation like this that screws everyone over.  That, and the new CFTs add lift, which usually means it also increases drag, which (when coupled with the weight of these tanks) could also mean that it's bringback weight is significantly less than the baseline super hornet.

So, I guess in short, I'm happy these developments have come along, and they make the Super hornet an overall more suitable option, but these improvements still simply raise it's capabilities to simply meet performance of 50 year old jets, and only exceeds them in matters of sensors that could be installed on better airframes. I still feel the Super Hornet airframe was a massive waste of time to begin with.  As evidenced by another little thing I whipped up in my spare time.

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