Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 1057733 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3300 on: April 21, 2024, 12:48:46 AM »
It reminds me of the Lockheed CL-1200 Lancer proposal to replace the F-104 Starfighter in some ways, the larger tail not so much but the high-mounted wing definitely.

I thought the same
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3301 on: April 21, 2024, 04:04:21 AM »
Thanks folks!

It reminds me of the Lockheed CL-1200 Lancer proposal to replace the F-104 Starfighter in some ways, the larger tail not so much but the high-mounted wing definitely.

Spot on, Jeff. Although the actual prompt was Robin's F-8 wing swap suggestion for the Lightning, the Lancer was definitely an influence on this Starfighter adaptation.

One feature of the CL-1200 that I didn't care for was the slight hunchback effect from the new wing centre section. I was guessing that the less severe dihedral of the Vought wings would allow me to reduce that effect ... although I have no idea whether RW F-104 top longerons would really permit that. (BTW, I'd imaged that production Starfire IIs had fixed (non-folding) outer wing panels. Later F-112 variants would likely have had added pylons and, possibly, wingtip rails as well.)

That vertical tail was based more on the U-2 ... but more swept-back for much higher speeds. The horizontal tails could have been low-set like the Lancer but I placed them more centrally on the jet pipe. That was more by instinct than by planning - it just looked better to my eye.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3302 on: April 24, 2024, 05:22:21 AM »
Playing some more with air-superiority fighters for the Vietnam War. This time, a 'least mod' F-100 evolution ...

The North American F-107C Nemesis

Despite its designation, the F-107C Nemesis had next to nothing in common with the NA-212 YF-107 'Ultra Sabre' of the late 1950s. Instead, the F-107C (charge number NA-262C) was a direct descendant of the in-service F-100C Super Sabre. Indeed, from the cockpit rearward, the two aircraft types were all but identical. The key differences were the F-107's side intakes dictated by the fitting of a large search radar in its nose.

That AN/ASG-14 search-and-track radar was necessary for the intended armament of AIM-7C Sparrow SARH missiles. Backup armament was twin AIM-9B Sidewinders and an M61 Vulcan cannon. [1]  With the F-107C's raison d'Ítre being air-to-air, emphasis was on manoeuvrability and firepower versus maximum speed. As a result, manoeuvring was essential against MiG-21s while, with opposing MiG-17s, speed could be used to advantage. The F-107C was most closely matched by the VPAF's MiG-19 on MigCaps.

Top: North American F-107C-NA-2 Nemesis armed with twin AIM-7C Sparrow missiles on its inboard Type X pylons; a pair of 450 US gallon drop tanks; and outboard racks for AIM-9B Sidewinders. Note the enlarged dorsal fin fillet which externally distinguished the F-107C-NA-2 model from the low-rate initial production F-107C-NA-1 Nemesis.

The relatively poor success rate of the AIM-7C SARH missile over Vietnam led to a revised emphasis on IR missiles.

Bottom: North American F-107C-NA-4 Nemesis armed with four AIM-9Bs on 'Y' racks on its inboard Type I pylons and a pair of 450 US gallon drop tanks (here, in SAE camouflage colours) but with no outboard racks. With outboard pylons fitted, the F-107C could carry six AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles - or, later on, a mix of AIM-9Bs inboard and a pair of the new AIM-9Es outboard.
______________________________________

[1] The M61 Vulcan 'Gatling gun' replaced the F-100's two starboard 20 mm cannons; the ammunition drum displaced the portside 20mm guns.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 05:24:52 AM by apophenia »
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3303 on: May 12, 2024, 05:14:04 AM »
I'm still on that SPF-inspired SEA air superiority fighter though-experiment. This one was prompted mainly by the earlier 'recycling' of the F-107 designation.

That got me wondering if anything was to be gleaned from that earlier NA-212/F-107A project. My conclusion was: not much. But the raising of the wings seemed to offer promise. The XF-107/F-107A's main undercarriage was moved to the fuselage ... potentially freeing-up wing space for more pylons.

My first go (top) retained the F-100 nose and tail surfaces. But that raised wing means a major redesign of the central fuselage. So, why not go further and redesign for a smaller and more powerful J79 engine? That goofy F-107A dorsal intake was dictated by separation issues for the ventral weapons package.

I took the opportunity to create a 'sunken' fuel tank - not exactly a 'drop' tank, more a conformal fuel tank which could be jettisoned in an emergency (pinching an idea for 1930s PZL fighters). Other than being lower-drag, would such an arrangement have any utility in a 1960s fighter? Dunno.

Other detail changes are a portside M61 Vulcan gun, a gun-ranging radar, and an IRST turret. The M61 Vulcan gatling gun replaces the F-100's four prone-to-jam cannons. The Texas Instruments AAA-4 IRST seeker can be used for 'silent' (ie: non-emitting) intercepts but is really there just in case the VPAF should introduce jet bombers into the conflict.

My second go (bottom) takes the raised-wing F-100 concept out another notch. Here, the obvious change is the large, nose-mounted search radar. The new forward fuselage also introduces a new ventral intake which, in turn, results in the cockpit being raised slightly. The latter should somewhat improve pilot visibility to the rear as well. For fun alone, I've also enlarged the vertical tail. This is now almost an entirely new airframe ... which seems to rather defeat the purpose of exercise.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3304 on: May 16, 2024, 05:10:02 AM »
Last go at a Vietnam-era air superiority fighter. My conclusion is that the only realistic option was to develop the F-5C 'Skoshi Tiger'. Those USAF experiments involved a handful of F-5A-15 and F-5A-20 'Freedom Fighters' withdrawn from MAP. But to truly succeed, the 'Skoshi Tiger' programme had to go further.

Two early-model 'Freedom Fighter' limitations needed to be tackled - the absence of a search radar and a limited range. With unfair use of a crystal ball, I've addressed both of these concerns with a time-warp belly CFT. Permanently attached, that conformal fuel tank also holds new landing gear stowage bays and the relocated gun armament.

A new, rearward-retracting nose gear (based on the F-100) and the relocated guns free-up nose space for the new search radar. For that new set, I am imagining an existing radar of the day fitted with a reduced scale dish to fit the F-5's smaller nose.

Bottom: Revised F-5CM 'Skoshi Tiger' on the ground with gun bays open in belly CFT. Equipped for mid-range aerial combat, this aircraft has inverted 'T' AIM-9D rail mounts on its wing pylons. Standard 'Freedom Fighter' wingtip tanks are also carried.

Top: Airborne F-5CM 'Skoshi Tiger' with missile rails on pylons and wingtips. For weight and speed considerations, normally only 4 x Sidewinders would be carried but this otherwise 'slick' fighter also has an inflight refuelling probe mounted.

Although in no way perfect, I suspect that this reorganized 'Freedom Fighter' would be the best that the USAF could have managed in a least-mod Urgent Operational Requirement of that time. The F-16 that they actually needed was still a long way off in time and technology.
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Offline Glanini

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3305 on: May 16, 2024, 05:52:47 AM »
Very nice, so much work behind them

Offline finsrin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3306 on: May 16, 2024, 06:13:16 AM »
Nice  :smiley:
Depicting lot of alternate SEA aircraft flavor !

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3307 on: May 16, 2024, 08:55:39 AM »
Thanks, folks  :D
"It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes." - Agent Rogersz