Author Topic: Apophenia's Offerings  (Read 1140026 times)

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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'être 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
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3308 on: May 25, 2024, 07:50:06 AM »
A propos of nothing (except, maybe, Carlos' car musings?), I present the 1965 Bonneville Short Wagon - a car that Pontiac was wise enough not to build  ;)
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Offline Glanini

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3309 on: May 26, 2024, 10:12:01 AM »
Love these F5s

Offline finsrin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3310 on: May 26, 2024, 02:32:11 PM »
Like that Pontiac wagon  8)

Offline Kerick

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3311 on: May 26, 2024, 10:13:57 PM »
A propos of nothing (except, maybe, Carlos' car musings?), I present the 1965 Bonneville Short Wagon - a car that Pontiac was wise enough not to build  ;)

The original sport utility vehicle. Or cross over. Or whatever.

Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3312 on: May 28, 2024, 04:00:55 AM »
The original sport utility vehicle. Or cross over. Or whatever.

And the winner is ... "Or whatever."  ;D
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3313 on: May 29, 2024, 01:00:40 AM »
I love a good whatever.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3314 on: May 29, 2024, 05:58:40 AM »
I love a good whatever.

 ;D ;D

I've decided to mount links to my Swords to Plowshares GB submissions:

Turning Beat T-72s ... - Korean-Ukrainian Construction Vehicles
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=11116.0

An Out-Sized North Star - DC-4M? Meet Guppy
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=11085.0

Still a Warrior of Sorts - Turbo-PBY Canso goes Peacenick
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=11077.0

Der Phönix (just the artwork for Greg's Do 335 racer)
-- https://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=11063.0
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3315 on: May 30, 2024, 01:39:12 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3316 on: June 13, 2024, 10:33:36 AM »
Leopard 1 A-RC Main Battle Tank*

The Leopard 1 A-RC 4.0 MBT is a surplus Leopard 1A5 hull fitted with a KNDS unmanned turret. Main armament is an L/55 120 mm Rheinmetall Rh-120 gun equipped with an autoloader. Secondary armament is a KMW FLW 500NG RWS mounted on the turret roof and armed with a 30x113 M230LF autocannon.

Rebuilding the Leopard 1 A-RC involves both add-on armour and the refitting of the hull for the crew of 3. The driving position remains on the starboard side of the hull. The commander's position to port (in the former secondary ammunition stowage site). The gunner sits directly beneath the rooftop turret.

______________________________

* Based on RW Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 proposal by KNDS.

BTW, I made up the FLW 500NG. I've no idea what the actual RWS is on the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0. Its not Nexter's ARX-30 (as used on the EMBT demonstrator). But I can just about imagine an FLW 500 underneath a fancy new cladding.
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3317 on: June 14, 2024, 02:42:52 AM »
 :smiley:

Now give it Ukrainian markings
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3318 on: June 15, 2024, 06:06:04 AM »
Now give it Ukrainian markings

I decided to give the Ukrainian markings to another re-turreted Leopard 1   ;)

Chocolate, Cuckoo Clocks, and Smug Neutrality

In 2016, the Swiss federal defense firm RUAG purchased 96 ex-Esercito Leopard 1A5 tanks. The Swiss intended to store these vehicles for parts or for future restoration for sale. Since an armoured vehicle storage site at Villesse in northern Italy had available space, the RUAG Leopards were parked there. It was hoped that these tanks could be quickly refurnished and sold on to Brazil. But that didn't pan out. In early 2023, inquiries were made about transferring some or all of these vehicles to Ukraine. That move was blocked by the Swiss Federal Council in the name of 'neutrality'. But something had been overlooked.

Perhaps it was because the sold-off ex-Esercito tanks were (at least temporarily) staying on Italian territory. But, whatever the reason, officials at the Agenzia italiana difesa - the MoD section responsible for disposals - neglected to file the appropriate export permits with the Italian licensing authority, Uama. Unfortunately for RUAG, permits for both sale and export of surplus Esercito equipment were mandatory under Italian law. As a result, RUAG could make no claim for a legal sale of these Leopard 1A5s. Doubtless RUAG would be able to claw its money back but, without legal permits, the Swiss Federal Council had no further say in the transfer of these vehicles to Ukraine.

Leopardo 1A-120 - Leopard Update, Italian-Style

This reversal for Switzerland's government presented Italian PM Giorgia Meloni with an opportunity at the the G7 summit in Borgo Egnazia. There, she announced that Italy would be reclaiming the 96 ex-Esercito Leopard 1A5 tanks for refurbishment before sending them on to Ukraine. This allowed Meloni to distance herself and her Fratelli d'Italia party from Putin supporters among Italy's other far-right parties. After a review of the state of the tanks, it was concluded that at least 50 could be restored to operational condition relatively quickly. Of the remaining 46 vehicles, 34 would be stripped for parts and scrapped. The other 12 would be fully modernized as Leopardo 1A-120s.

The revised Leopardo 1A-120s shared hulls with the Leopard 1A5s already being shipped to Ukraine. But the turret was entirely new. This was the Leonardo DRS Hitfact II turret armed with an Oto Melara 120/45 LRF (120mm L/45 Low-Recoil Fitting) smoothbore main gun. On the turret roof was mounted a Leonardo DRS Hitrole L2R RWS armed with a 12.7 mm HMG. This main turret is the same as that on the wheeled Centauro II MGS being built for the Esercito - indeed, Iveco's delays in hull production for the third tranche of MGS orders left some turrets surplus and available for the Leopardo 1A-120 project.

While Leonardo DRS views the Leopardo 1A-120 as a rolling advertisement for its Hitfact II turret, the ZSU are grateful for another MBT armed with a main gun firing NATO 120 mm tank ammunition. The restored Leopard 1A5 tanks would act as ZSU direct fire-support vehicles but the upgunned Leopardo 1A-120s would be operated as Main Battle Tanks - albeit, at the more lightly armoured end of the MBT spectrum. The 12 x Leopardo 1A-120 tanks began arriving at the Autumn of 2024. Within two weeks of deployment of the dozen Leopardo 1A-120s near Kharkiv, Russian MoD spokespeople were announcing their confirmed destruction of "more than twenty of these new NATO tanks".
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3319 on: June 16, 2024, 02:23:06 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3320 on: June 21, 2024, 09:55:55 PM »
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.

I really like these and given the popularity of the F-5 over the years, it seems like there would be a real "market" for an improvement like this.

One idea I saw floated before was to take a two seat variant, and then just make the second seat area an additional fuel tank. I don't know how practical this would be in real life, but it would add some range without major changes.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3321 on: June 22, 2024, 04:21:09 AM »
I really like these and given the popularity of the F-5 over the years, it seems like there would be a real "market" for an improvement like this.

One idea I saw floated before was to take a two seat variant, and then just make the second seat area an additional fuel tank. I don't know how practical this would be in real life, but it would add some range without major changes.

Thanks taiidan'  :smiley:

Replacing the rear seat with extra tankage would be fairly simple ... and a quick mod to make. It would also be a lot more plausible as an approach than my time-travelling belly CFT. ;)

Downsides are the pilot having virtually no view to the rear for dogfighting those MiG-17s. Finding a small enough targeting radar would be a real challenge too. (Finding space for period radar electronics was one reason for my changes to the nose gear.)

On radar, you'll notice that my descriptions in that 'F-5CM' backstory are really vague. I have absolutely no idea what US radar might have made a suitable installation in the F-5 at that time. Does anyone else have suitable period sets in mind?
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3322 on: June 23, 2024, 02:00:49 AM »
The radar challenge isn't just about the dish size.  The overall front fuselage is small which will cause problems with many radars even if a smaller dish is used.  Probably the best I could offer would be to advance the introduction of the AN/APQ-159 to replace the earlier AN/APQ-153.  This offered roughly a doubling in performance.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3323 on: June 24, 2024, 04:40:12 AM »
Yeah, 'advancing' the timeline on AN/APQ-159 would be the simplest way to go. I doubt that the USAF would even consider foreign sets at that point. But are there any 'not-made-here' radar sets of the era that would fit the F-5 airframe?
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Re: Apophenia's Offerings
« Reply #3324 on: June 24, 2024, 05:50:55 AM »
Yeah, 'advancing' the timeline on AN/APQ-159 would be the simplest way to go. I doubt that the USAF would even consider foreign sets at that point. But are there any 'not-made-here' radar sets of the era that would fit the F-5 airframe?

An AN/APQ-126 might be doable.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.