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"Vanishing American Air Superiority"



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 5th 10, 04:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
mike
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 43
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...r_superio.html

Vanishing American Air Superiority

By J.R. Dunn
The debate over the F-22 Raptor has been carried out at the customary
level of simplemindedness we've become used to when Congress handles
military questions. Since the early '60s, the favored method of
killing a military program has been to come up with an argument easily
expressed in a sound bite and stick with it. This time, the sound bite
was, "Why do we need two fighter planes, anyway?"

The answer is even simpler: We need two fighters because we need two
fighters. The historical record clearly reveals this: Every air
campaign carried out with two distinct and particularly formulated
fighter designs has been a success, and every attempt to do otherwise
has resulted in disaster.

U.S. Air Force doctrine on fighter procurement is known as the high/
low mix. The "high" component consists of a dedicated air-superiority
fighter, utilizing the latest aeronautical technology, fitted with
state-of the-art electronics, and carrying the most advanced air-to-
air weapons. These aircraft have one mission -- to kill enemy
airplanes. This is the paramount goal of a fighter force. Without it,
nothing else can be accomplished. That being the case, the high-end
fighter is the more expensive and complex part of the mix. They are
rare assets, to be utilized accordingly.

The "low" end is encompassed by the swing-role fighter, more commonly
known as the fighter-bomber. Though designed and built with slightly
less technical sophistication than the air-superiority models, these
aircraft fill a much wider role. They carry out interdiction missions
using bombs and rockets, provide ground-support for troops, and at the
same time can acquit themselves adequately in the air-to-air role if
enemy fighters show up. As such, they can supplement and reinforce the
air-superiority aircraft if massive air battles develop. The swing-
role fighter is cheaper and more easily and quickly constructed than
its haughtier brother, so there tend to be larger numbers of
them.

The high-low mix was pioneered during WWII. Both the British and the
U.S. stumbled onto the concept without quite realizing what they were
doing. In the years before the war's outbreak, the British embarked on
a crash program to build eight-gun fighters for the defense of the
home islands. The premier model was the Supermarine Spitfire, one of
the legendary combat aircraft of the 20th century. But the Spitfire
was supplemented by the lesser-known but still capable Hawker
Hurricane. The Hurricane could take on the primary German fighter, the
Messerschmidt Bf -109, only with difficulty, so an ad hoc strategy
developed during the Battle of Britain (August 12-September 15, 1940)
in which Spitfires attacked the fighter escorts while the Hurricanes
hit the slower bombers. This strategy worked well enough to force the
Luftwaffe to abandon daylight raids in September 1940, denying Hermann
Goering the appellation of "Tamer of Britain."

As the war went on and Spitfires appeared in more substantial numbers,
the Hurricane took on the fighter-bomber role. A dedicated ground-
attack version, the Hurribomber, with increased bomb load and heavy
wing cannon, began operating against Rommel's Afrika Korps in 1942.
Hurribombers served throughout the war North Africa, Italy, and Burma.

The U.S. backed into the high-low mix out of desperation. The
frontline fighter in 1943 was the Republic P-47, an excellent aircraft
with one major drawback: Its combat radius was limited to 300 miles.
That meant that it could not escort bombers to Germany and back,
leaving the 8th Air Force's B-17s and B-24s at the mercy of German
defenses. By sheer accident, a failing attack plane, the A-35, was
mated with the British Merlin engine (the same as used by the
Spitfire). The result was a magical airplane -- the P-51 Mustang, a
fighter capable of flying deep into Germany and back while at the same
time agile enough to outfly most opponents.

As the P-51 arrived in large numbers in the U.K. in early 1944, the
P-47 was shifted to the fighter-bomber role. Fitted with wing racks
for rockets and bombs, the P-47 flew constant escort over Allied tank
spearheads as they moved across northwest Europe into the Reich,
demolishing organized armored and artillery resistance. At the same
time, the Jug, as the pilots called it, could more than hold its own
against enemy fighters. Whenever some sorry remnant of the Luftwaffe
attacked P-47 wings (as in Operation Bodenplatte, the Luftwaffe's
January 1, 1945 last stand), they often got the worst of it.

Following the war, the high-low mix was carried on into the jet age.
At the outbreak of the Korean War, a superb air-superiority aircraft,
the F-86 Sabre, was entering service, while two first-generation
fighter jets, the F-80 Shooting Star and the F-84 Thunderjet, covered
the fighter-bomber role. As the war settled into an uneasy stalemate
in 1951, USAF F-86s established a barcap (barrier combat air patrol)
along the Yalu River to prevent communist MiG-15s flown variously by
Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean pilots from attacking U.N. forces.
Not a single successful incursion was made by communist air forces
during the war. In the meantime, F-80s and F-84s continually harassed
North Korean and Chinese forces.

The high-low mix proved itself in both WWII and Korea. But it was
abandoned during the era of specialization, the 1950s. The "century
series" fighters were, excepting the F-100 Super Sabre, the pioneer
supersonic fighter. The model was quickly superseded by more advanced
aircraft, designed for certain specific, limited roles, with no
attempt to cover either the air-superiority or fighter-bomber mission.
The F-101B, the F-102, and the F-106 were high-speed interceptors, the
F-105 a "fighter-bomber" designed to drop nuclear weapons, the F-104
an indescribable and dangerous oddity.

Coming into the '60s without a fighter to carry out its basic
missions, the USAF was forced to purchase the F-4 Phantom II,
developed on behalf of the enemy service, the U.S. Navy. While an
excellent aircraft, the F-4 was in many ways the apotheosis of the
fighter-bomber, too heavy and lacking the agility to fill the air-
superiority role. This was discovered immediately over Vietnam, where
American aircraft were hard put to match Soviet-supplied MiGs during
the early years of the war. It required a suite of improved air-to-air
weapons and a complete overhaul of tactics before U.S. air forces
could dominate the skies in their accustomed manner.

Much of those novel tactics were the work of Major John Boyd, a vastly
talented and wildly eccentric fighter pilot who in later years was to
trigger a revolution in military strategy. During the mid-'60s, he was
in charge of developing the USAF's new tactical fighter. This effort
followed a fiasco involving the General Dynamics F-111, which might be
called liberalism's attempt to build a combat aircraft. Though
intended as a fighter, the production F-111 was a monster aircraft the
size of a medium airliner, and just about as maneuverable. Though the
F-111 eventually found its role as a precision bomber, a large hole
remained where the USAF's future fighter aircraft was supposed to be.
Boyd's job was to fill that hole.

At first, it appeared that Boyd would be presiding over F-111: The
Sequel. General Dynamics sent him a proposal for a plane weighing no
less than 60,000 lbs. Boyd sent it back outlining exactly what he
expected: half the weight, powered by engines that hadn't even reached
the test stage yet, and with electronics and weapons systems that
nobody could quite comprehend. It was a sure formula for failure in
other hands, but everything broke the Mad Major's way, with advanced
engines and avionics becoming available at just the right moment. The
result was the F-15 Eagle.

But Boyd was not quite satisfied. He was perfectly aware of the
benefits of the high-low mix, and on his own, without permission from
anyone, began development of the necessary "low"-end aircraft. Working
out the design parameters to match a series of "Energy
Maneuverability" curves he had formulated (in large part from
reinterpreting the aircraft as a thermodynamic system), Boyd coaxed
several aircraft companies to produce prototypes to compete in a
flyoff. Unusually, both prototypes were successful. One became the
Navy's standard fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet. The other became the F-16
Falcon (though most pilots call it the "Viper").

Together, the F-15 and F-16 stand as the most effective fighter team
on record. The F-15 compiled a kill ratio of 105 kills to zero losses.
While the F-16's record was only half that, it more than effectively
filled the swing role as the primary high-speed attack aircraft in
theaters including Serbia and Iraq. Neither aircraft ever suffered a
loss in air-to-air combat.

It would appear that the high-low thesis is as well established as any
military concept ever gets. All the same, we're in the process of
dumping it in pursuit of false economy. To the battle cry of "who
needs two fighters anyway!" the U.S. is dropping the high end of the
equation -- the F-22 Raptor -- in the mistaken conviction that the
low end -- the F-35 Lightning II -- can cover all the bases.

The F-22 is the most effective air-superiority weapon ever devised --
the sole current operational example of the fifth-generation fighter.
With its full stealth, supersonic cruise capability, and electronics
that make the Starship Enterprise look like a birchbark canoe, it is
utterly unmatched as a fighter aircraft. Its kill/loss ratio is
estimated at 100 to 1 and is probably much higher.

The F-35 is a good little airplane, well-fitted for the swing role. It
possesses partial stealthing ("forward stealthing," which prevents an
enemy from knowing it's coming), performance matching most operational
fighters, and a good electronics suite. It has several minor failings
-- among them limited a internal weapons carriage, rendering underwing
carriage necessary (thus negating most of its stealth advantages),
along with an inability to fire its air-to-air weapons at maximum
speed. All the same, when matched against current fighter designs, it
would probably come out on top.

But the problem is that the F-35 will not be facing current designs.
Technical superiority in all fields -- and in the military more than
any other -- is the most ephemeral of assets. Even as the F-22 debate
winds down, Sukhoi, Russia's premier aircraft company, is preparing to
produce its own fifth-generation fighter, the PAK-FA. Fast, stealthy,
and with state-of-the-art electronics, the PAK-FA is known as the
"Raptor killer." It will probably have even better luck with the F-35.
As for China, persistent rumors have been circulating concerning tests
of a new fifth-generation fighter. (Interestingly, the Chinese have
adapted the high-low mix for their own fighter force even as the U.S.
seems about to abandon it.)

In a fifth-generation fighter environment, current tactics utilizing
long-range detection by AWACS planes, which then hand off interception
to individual fighters, will no longer be feasible. You can't play
that game with stealth aircraft. We will instead return to the tactics
of WWII and Korea, where opposing aircraft elements hunted each other
across the wide blue sky and whoever had the best eyesight struck
first. In that tactical environment, piloting skill and numbers will
make all the difference.

Production of the F-22 has been capped at 187. That's it as of next
September, and there won't be any more. Furthermore, rule of thumb has
it that at least a third of all high-performance aircraft are at any
given time laid up for maintenance or refitting, which leaves us with
approximately 120 F-22s ready for action at any given time. The
Russians and Chinese, on the other hand, have a slaphappy habit of
making more weapons than they actually need. Suppose, if things get
hot, our 120 planes are facing five hundred, a thousand, or even more
fifth-generation enemy fighters? (China today fields roughly 2,000
fighter aircraft.) What happens then?

We know what happens then because we've been through it before. When
WWII began in the Pacific, the Japanese possessed a world-class air-
superiority fighter in the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. American forces
attempted to challenge the Zero with a variety of low-end, often
obsolete aircraft such as the F-4F Wildcat, the P-39 Airacobra, and
the P-40 Warhawk. (And that says nothing the pathetic Brewster F-2A
Buffalo, which didn't even belong in the same historical epoch as the
Zero.) The result was a savage, year-long battering ended only by a
complete revision of tactics. It wasn't until 1943 that a crash
program involving direct flyoffs against a captured Zero resulted in
the F-6F Hellcat, which outmatched the Zero in all factors and at last
turned the tide in our favor.

Similarly, the Soviets, with the help of the British labor government
that sold them the rights to the Rolls-Royce Nene engine and the
Rosenberg spy ring who helpfully provided swept-wing wind tunnel data,
made a dramatic technological leap in the late '40s with the MiG-15.
Over Korea, USAF pilots were forced to contend with an enemy aircraft
that was as fast as theirs and more maneuverable at altitude. Only
superior U.S. training kept communist air forces at bay until, almost
by accident, the new model F-86E Sabre, fitted with hydraulic
controls, at last overcame the MiG advantage and handed air
superiority to U.N. forces.

We'll be facing such a situation again, and sooner than we'd like. One
of these days, over the Taiwan Straits or Central Asia, we will learn
that eternal air superiority is not guaranteed to the United States as
some kind of codicil to Manifest Destiny. American air forces will
inevitably suffer a whipping unlike any they've endured in decades,
and American troops and sailors will have to learn how to operate in
conditions where we lack air superiority, something unheard of since
1943. (Heads up, Ralph Peters!)

One of the major failings of American politics involves its short-time
horizon. American voters and politicians simply cannot grasp that
actions taken today can have consequences years and decades down the
line, and that, in a majority of cases, there will be no second
chances. Barack Obama has proven to have far more limited foresight
than even the average American pol. The F-22 cancellation is a clear
example of this. There will be plenty more to come.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker, and will be editor
of the forthcoming Military Thinker.
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  #2  
Old March 5th 10, 05:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
Ray O'Hara[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"


"Mike" wrote in message
...
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...r_superio.html

Vanishing American Air Superiority


what a load of ****.



  #3  
Old March 5th 10, 06:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval
Walt[_5_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"


Some wrong facts there. Not A-35, but A-36. The A-35 was a completely
different aircraft and manufacturer. And the the A-36 was designed to
British specifications.
The F-86 was operational earlier than stated. I first became
operational in 1949 with SAC.
This is where I stopped reading.
I agree with the concept though. Air superiority and fighter bomber.

On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 07:59:46 -0800 (PST), Mike
wrote:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...r_superio.html

Vanishing American Air Superiority

By J.R. Dunn
The debate over the F-22 Raptor has been carried out at the customary
level of simplemindedness we've become used to when Congress handles
military questions. Since the early '60s, the favored method of
killing a military program has been to come up with an argument easily
expressed in a sound bite and stick with it. This time, the sound bite
was, "Why do we need two fighter planes, anyway?"

The answer is even simpler: We need two fighters because we need two
fighters. The historical record clearly reveals this: Every air
campaign carried out with two distinct and particularly formulated
fighter designs has been a success, and every attempt to do otherwise
has resulted in disaster.

U.S. Air Force doctrine on fighter procurement is known as the high/
low mix. The "high" component consists of a dedicated air-superiority
fighter, utilizing the latest aeronautical technology, fitted with
state-of the-art electronics, and carrying the most advanced air-to-
air weapons. These aircraft have one mission -- to kill enemy
airplanes. This is the paramount goal of a fighter force. Without it,
nothing else can be accomplished. That being the case, the high-end
fighter is the more expensive and complex part of the mix. They are
rare assets, to be utilized accordingly.

The "low" end is encompassed by the swing-role fighter, more commonly
known as the fighter-bomber. Though designed and built with slightly
less technical sophistication than the air-superiority models, these
aircraft fill a much wider role. They carry out interdiction missions
using bombs and rockets, provide ground-support for troops, and at the
same time can acquit themselves adequately in the air-to-air role if
enemy fighters show up. As such, they can supplement and reinforce the
air-superiority aircraft if massive air battles develop. The swing-
role fighter is cheaper and more easily and quickly constructed than
its haughtier brother, so there tend to be larger numbers of
them.

The high-low mix was pioneered during WWII. Both the British and the
U.S. stumbled onto the concept without quite realizing what they were
doing. In the years before the war's outbreak, the British embarked on
a crash program to build eight-gun fighters for the defense of the
home islands. The premier model was the Supermarine Spitfire, one of
the legendary combat aircraft of the 20th century. But the Spitfire
was supplemented by the lesser-known but still capable Hawker
Hurricane. The Hurricane could take on the primary German fighter, the
Messerschmidt Bf -109, only with difficulty, so an ad hoc strategy
developed during the Battle of Britain (August 12-September 15, 1940)
in which Spitfires attacked the fighter escorts while the Hurricanes
hit the slower bombers. This strategy worked well enough to force the
Luftwaffe to abandon daylight raids in September 1940, denying Hermann
Goering the appellation of "Tamer of Britain."

As the war went on and Spitfires appeared in more substantial numbers,
the Hurricane took on the fighter-bomber role. A dedicated ground-
attack version, the Hurribomber, with increased bomb load and heavy
wing cannon, began operating against Rommel's Afrika Korps in 1942.
Hurribombers served throughout the war North Africa, Italy, and Burma.

The U.S. backed into the high-low mix out of desperation. The
frontline fighter in 1943 was the Republic P-47, an excellent aircraft
with one major drawback: Its combat radius was limited to 300 miles.
That meant that it could not escort bombers to Germany and back,
leaving the 8th Air Force's B-17s and B-24s at the mercy of German
defenses. By sheer accident, a failing attack plane, the A-35, was
mated with the British Merlin engine (the same as used by the
Spitfire). The result was a magical airplane -- the P-51 Mustang, a
fighter capable of flying deep into Germany and back while at the same
time agile enough to outfly most opponents.

As the P-51 arrived in large numbers in the U.K. in early 1944, the
P-47 was shifted to the fighter-bomber role. Fitted with wing racks
for rockets and bombs, the P-47 flew constant escort over Allied tank
spearheads as they moved across northwest Europe into the Reich,
demolishing organized armored and artillery resistance. At the same
time, the Jug, as the pilots called it, could more than hold its own
against enemy fighters. Whenever some sorry remnant of the Luftwaffe
attacked P-47 wings (as in Operation Bodenplatte, the Luftwaffe's
January 1, 1945 last stand), they often got the worst of it.

Following the war, the high-low mix was carried on into the jet age.
At the outbreak of the Korean War, a superb air-superiority aircraft,
the F-86 Sabre, was entering service, while two first-generation
fighter jets, the F-80 Shooting Star and the F-84 Thunderjet, covered
the fighter-bomber role. As the war settled into an uneasy stalemate
in 1951, USAF F-86s established a barcap (barrier combat air patrol)
along the Yalu River to prevent communist MiG-15s flown variously by
Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean pilots from attacking U.N. forces.
Not a single successful incursion was made by communist air forces
during the war. In the meantime, F-80s and F-84s continually harassed
North Korean and Chinese forces.

The high-low mix proved itself in both WWII and Korea. But it was
abandoned during the era of specialization, the 1950s. The "century
series" fighters were, excepting the F-100 Super Sabre, the pioneer
supersonic fighter. The model was quickly superseded by more advanced
aircraft, designed for certain specific, limited roles, with no
attempt to cover either the air-superiority or fighter-bomber mission.
The F-101B, the F-102, and the F-106 were high-speed interceptors, the
F-105 a "fighter-bomber" designed to drop nuclear weapons, the F-104
an indescribable and dangerous oddity.

Coming into the '60s without a fighter to carry out its basic
missions, the USAF was forced to purchase the F-4 Phantom II,
developed on behalf of the enemy service, the U.S. Navy. While an
excellent aircraft, the F-4 was in many ways the apotheosis of the
fighter-bomber, too heavy and lacking the agility to fill the air-
superiority role. This was discovered immediately over Vietnam, where
American aircraft were hard put to match Soviet-supplied MiGs during
the early years of the war. It required a suite of improved air-to-air
weapons and a complete overhaul of tactics before U.S. air forces
could dominate the skies in their accustomed manner.

Much of those novel tactics were the work of Major John Boyd, a vastly
talented and wildly eccentric fighter pilot who in later years was to
trigger a revolution in military strategy. During the mid-'60s, he was
in charge of developing the USAF's new tactical fighter. This effort
followed a fiasco involving the General Dynamics F-111, which might be
called liberalism's attempt to build a combat aircraft. Though
intended as a fighter, the production F-111 was a monster aircraft the
size of a medium airliner, and just about as maneuverable. Though the
F-111 eventually found its role as a precision bomber, a large hole
remained where the USAF's future fighter aircraft was supposed to be.
Boyd's job was to fill that hole.

At first, it appeared that Boyd would be presiding over F-111: The
Sequel. General Dynamics sent him a proposal for a plane weighing no
less than 60,000 lbs. Boyd sent it back outlining exactly what he
expected: half the weight, powered by engines that hadn't even reached
the test stage yet, and with electronics and weapons systems that
nobody could quite comprehend. It was a sure formula for failure in
other hands, but everything broke the Mad Major's way, with advanced
engines and avionics becoming available at just the right moment. The
result was the F-15 Eagle.

But Boyd was not quite satisfied. He was perfectly aware of the
benefits of the high-low mix, and on his own, without permission from
anyone, began development of the necessary "low"-end aircraft. Working
out the design parameters to match a series of "Energy
Maneuverability" curves he had formulated (in large part from
reinterpreting the aircraft as a thermodynamic system), Boyd coaxed
several aircraft companies to produce prototypes to compete in a
flyoff. Unusually, both prototypes were successful. One became the
Navy's standard fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet. The other became the F-16
Falcon (though most pilots call it the "Viper").

Together, the F-15 and F-16 stand as the most effective fighter team
on record. The F-15 compiled a kill ratio of 105 kills to zero losses.
While the F-16's record was only half that, it more than effectively
filled the swing role as the primary high-speed attack aircraft in
theaters including Serbia and Iraq. Neither aircraft ever suffered a
loss in air-to-air combat.

It would appear that the high-low thesis is as well established as any
military concept ever gets. All the same, we're in the process of
dumping it in pursuit of false economy. To the battle cry of "who
needs two fighters anyway!" the U.S. is dropping the high end of the
equation -- the F-22 Raptor -- in the mistaken conviction that the
low end -- the F-35 Lightning II -- can cover all the bases.

The F-22 is the most effective air-superiority weapon ever devised --
the sole current operational example of the fifth-generation fighter.
With its full stealth, supersonic cruise capability, and electronics
that make the Starship Enterprise look like a birchbark canoe, it is
utterly unmatched as a fighter aircraft. Its kill/loss ratio is
estimated at 100 to 1 and is probably much higher.

The F-35 is a good little airplane, well-fitted for the swing role. It
possesses partial stealthing ("forward stealthing," which prevents an
enemy from knowing it's coming), performance matching most operational
fighters, and a good electronics suite. It has several minor failings
-- among them limited a internal weapons carriage, rendering underwing
carriage necessary (thus negating most of its stealth advantages),
along with an inability to fire its air-to-air weapons at maximum
speed. All the same, when matched against current fighter designs, it
would probably come out on top.

But the problem is that the F-35 will not be facing current designs.
Technical superiority in all fields -- and in the military more than
any other -- is the most ephemeral of assets. Even as the F-22 debate
winds down, Sukhoi, Russia's premier aircraft company, is preparing to
produce its own fifth-generation fighter, the PAK-FA. Fast, stealthy,
and with state-of-the-art electronics, the PAK-FA is known as the
"Raptor killer." It will probably have even better luck with the F-35.
As for China, persistent rumors have been circulating concerning tests
of a new fifth-generation fighter. (Interestingly, the Chinese have
adapted the high-low mix for their own fighter force even as the U.S.
seems about to abandon it.)

In a fifth-generation fighter environment, current tactics utilizing
long-range detection by AWACS planes, which then hand off interception
to individual fighters, will no longer be feasible. You can't play
that game with stealth aircraft. We will instead return to the tactics
of WWII and Korea, where opposing aircraft elements hunted each other
across the wide blue sky and whoever had the best eyesight struck
first. In that tactical environment, piloting skill and numbers will
make all the difference.

Production of the F-22 has been capped at 187. That's it as of next
September, and there won't be any more. Furthermore, rule of thumb has
it that at least a third of all high-performance aircraft are at any
given time laid up for maintenance or refitting, which leaves us with
approximately 120 F-22s ready for action at any given time. The
Russians and Chinese, on the other hand, have a slaphappy habit of
making more weapons than they actually need. Suppose, if things get
hot, our 120 planes are facing five hundred, a thousand, or even more
fifth-generation enemy fighters? (China today fields roughly 2,000
fighter aircraft.) What happens then?

We know what happens then because we've been through it before. When
WWII began in the Pacific, the Japanese possessed a world-class air-
superiority fighter in the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. American forces
attempted to challenge the Zero with a variety of low-end, often
obsolete aircraft such as the F-4F Wildcat, the P-39 Airacobra, and
the P-40 Warhawk. (And that says nothing the pathetic Brewster F-2A
Buffalo, which didn't even belong in the same historical epoch as the
Zero.) The result was a savage, year-long battering ended only by a
complete revision of tactics. It wasn't until 1943 that a crash
program involving direct flyoffs against a captured Zero resulted in
the F-6F Hellcat, which outmatched the Zero in all factors and at last
turned the tide in our favor.

Similarly, the Soviets, with the help of the British labor government
that sold them the rights to the Rolls-Royce Nene engine and the
Rosenberg spy ring who helpfully provided swept-wing wind tunnel data,
made a dramatic technological leap in the late '40s with the MiG-15.
Over Korea, USAF pilots were forced to contend with an enemy aircraft
that was as fast as theirs and more maneuverable at altitude. Only
superior U.S. training kept communist air forces at bay until, almost
by accident, the new model F-86E Sabre, fitted with hydraulic
controls, at last overcame the MiG advantage and handed air
superiority to U.N. forces.

We'll be facing such a situation again, and sooner than we'd like. One
of these days, over the Taiwan Straits or Central Asia, we will learn
that eternal air superiority is not guaranteed to the United States as
some kind of codicil to Manifest Destiny. American air forces will
inevitably suffer a whipping unlike any they've endured in decades,
and American troops and sailors will have to learn how to operate in
conditions where we lack air superiority, something unheard of since
1943. (Heads up, Ralph Peters!)

One of the major failings of American politics involves its short-time
horizon. American voters and politicians simply cannot grasp that
actions taken today can have consequences years and decades down the
line, and that, in a majority of cases, there will be no second
chances. Barack Obama has proven to have far more limited foresight
than even the average American pol. The F-22 cancellation is a clear
example of this. There will be plenty more to come.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker, and will be editor
of the forthcoming Military Thinker.

  #4  
Old March 5th 10, 07:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
Ray O'Hara[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"


"Ed Rasimus" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 11:10:15 -0500, "Ray O'Hara"
wrote:


"Mike" wrote in message
...
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...r_superio.html

Vanishing American Air Superiority


what a load of ****.


That's a difficult argument to refute. Penetrating analysis at its
finest.

What parts? Spit/Hurricane? Sabre/Thunderjet? Century series? Boyd and
hi/lo mix?

You've given us so much to think about Ray.



what better planes being planned never mind actually being built by anybody
else.

the points the author makes are false strawman types.

the Brits on 1940 didn't need two types, they needed more spits, they were
building them.

maybe you can say we have "hurricanes" now but who is building 109s?
if there were no 109s then the Hurricane would have ruled the sky.

technology is moving past the manned fighter. building the most advanced
manned fighter now would be akin to building the most advanced bi-plane in
1935.

what we have is better now than what others have now, building a hugely
expensive "better" plane that will be obsolete in short order is a waste



  #5  
Old March 6th 10, 01:35 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
Richard[_11_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 64
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

On Mar 5, 12:39*pm, "Ray O'Hara" wrote:
"Ed Rasimus" wrote in message

...



On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 11:10:15 -0500, "Ray O'Hara"
wrote:


"Mike" wrote in message
....
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...an_air_superio....


Vanishing American Air Superiority


what a load of ****.


That's a difficult argument to refute. Penetrating analysis at its
finest.


What parts? Spit/Hurricane? Sabre/Thunderjet? Century series? Boyd and
hi/lo mix?


You've given us so much to think about Ray.


what better planes being planned never mind actually being built by anybody
else.

the points the author makes are false strawman types.

the Brits on 1940 didn't need two types, they needed more spits, they were
building them.

maybe you can say we have "hurricanes" now but who is building 109s?
if there were no 109s then the Hurricane would have ruled the sky.

technology is moving past the manned fighter. building the most advanced
manned fighter now would be akin to building the most advanced bi-plane in
1935.

what we have is better now than what others have now, building a hugely
expensive "better" plane that will be obsolete in short order is a waste


Worse. Given the cost of the airframe, maintenance, crew training and
support vs Drones...its more like bldg BB in 1935 instead of carriers.
  #6  
Old March 6th 10, 03:52 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
150flivver
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 171
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

On Mar 5, 6:35*pm, Richard wrote:
On Mar 5, 12:39*pm, "Ray O'Hara" wrote:



"Ed Rasimus" wrote in message


.. .


On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 11:10:15 -0500, "Ray O'Hara"
wrote:


"Mike" wrote in message
...
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...an_air_superio...


Vanishing American Air Superiority


what a load of ****.


That's a difficult argument to refute. Penetrating analysis at its
finest.


What parts? Spit/Hurricane? Sabre/Thunderjet? Century series? Boyd and
hi/lo mix?


You've given us so much to think about Ray.


what better planes being planned never mind actually being built by anybody
else.


the points the author makes are false strawman types.


the Brits on 1940 didn't need two types, they needed more spits, they were
building them.


maybe you can say we have "hurricanes" now but who is building 109s?
if there were no 109s then the Hurricane would have ruled the sky.


technology is moving past the manned fighter. building the most advanced
manned fighter now would be akin to building the most advanced bi-plane in
1935.


what we have is better now than what others have now, building a hugely
expensive "better" plane that will be obsolete in short order is a waste


Worse. *Given the cost of the airframe, maintenance, crew training and
support vs Drones...its more like bldg BB in 1935 instead of carriers.


Aren't y'all making quite a leap saying UAVs have surpassed manned
fighters when to my knowledge, not a single UAV has ever successfully
engaged a manned fighter. Suddenly manned fighters are obsolete.
There's a bit of difference between firing a hellfire or dropping a
GBU on an unsuspecting pickup truck and attacking an IADS. UAVs may
be useful weapons but they hardly are close to having the speed,
range, flexibility or firepower of a manned aircraft.
  #7  
Old March 6th 10, 04:29 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
Paul Saccani[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 07:59:46 -0800 (PST), Mike
wrote:

The U.S. backed into the high-low mix out of desperation. The
frontline fighter in 1943 was the Republic P-47, an excellent aircraft
with one major drawback: Its combat radius was limited to 300 miles.
That meant that it could not escort bombers to Germany and back,
leaving the 8th Air Force's B-17s and B-24s at the mercy of German
defenses. By sheer accident, a failing attack plane, the A-35, was
mated with the British Merlin engine (the same as used by the
Spitfire). The result was a magical airplane -- the P-51 Mustang, a
fighter capable of flying deep into Germany and back while at the same
time agile enough to outfly most opponents.


This is quite mistaken.

The Merlin was first fitted to five aeroplanes (with the USAAC
designation P-51) of the first batch of Mustang Mk. 1s. These aircraft
were named Mustang Mk X. They were definitely not the A36 Apache
(the A35 was a version of the A31 Vengenance).

This wasn't accidental, deficiencies above 15,000 feet with the
Allision powerplant at altitudes above 15,000 feet were identified in
early testing, and Air Chief Marshall Wilfrid Freeman authorised test
and development of a Merlin engined version in April 1942. This was
before the A36 had even been ordered.

The A36 was ordered simply because USAAC funds for fighters in Fiscal
year 1942 had already been exhausted. General Oliver Nichols and
Major Benjamin Kelsey decided to use funds allocated for Attack
Bombers and had NAA make the minimum changes needed to legally produce
a genuine attack version. But the first 150 P-51 were already ordered
before this decision, and the first 150 P-51 for USAAC were already
flying before the follow on expedient A36 was flying.

The A36 hadn't even had first flight by the time that Merlin engined
Mustang Mk Xs were already flying. And Packard Merlin engined Mustang
Mk 1As were ordered from NAA before the A36 had even been thought of.


Cheers,

Paul Saccani,
Perth,
Western Australia
  #8  
Old March 6th 10, 05:16 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
Ray O'Hara[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"


"Paul Saccani" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 07:59:46 -0800 (PST), Mike
wrote:

The U.S. backed into the high-low mix out of desperation. The
frontline fighter in 1943 was the Republic P-47, an excellent aircraft
with one major drawback: Its combat radius was limited to 300 miles.
That meant that it could not escort bombers to Germany and back,
leaving the 8th Air Force's B-17s and B-24s at the mercy of German
defenses. By sheer accident, a failing attack plane, the A-35, was
mated with the British Merlin engine (the same as used by the
Spitfire). The result was a magical airplane -- the P-51 Mustang, a
fighter capable of flying deep into Germany and back while at the same
time agile enough to outfly most opponents.


This is quite mistaken.

The Merlin was first fitted to five aeroplanes (with the USAAC
designation P-51) of the first batch of Mustang Mk. 1s. These aircraft
were named Mustang Mk X. They were definitely not the A36 Apache
(the A35 was a version of the A31 Vengenance).

This wasn't accidental, deficiencies above 15,000 feet with the
Allision powerplant at altitudes above 15,000 feet were identified in
early testing, and Air Chief Marshall Wilfrid Freeman authorised test
and development of a Merlin engined version in April 1942. This was
before the A36 had even been ordered.

The A36 was ordered simply because USAAC funds for fighters in Fiscal
year 1942 had already been exhausted. General Oliver Nichols and
Major Benjamin Kelsey decided to use funds allocated for Attack
Bombers and had NAA make the minimum changes needed to legally produce
a genuine attack version. But the first 150 P-51 were already ordered
before this decision, and the first 150 P-51 for USAAC were already
flying before the follow on expedient A36 was flying.

The A36 hadn't even had first flight by the time that Merlin engined
Mustang Mk Xs were already flying. And Packard Merlin engined Mustang
Mk 1As were ordered from NAA before the A36 had even been thought of.


the whole article was bull****.


  #9  
Old March 6th 10, 07:24 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
g lof2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 11
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

On Mar 5, 8:16*pm, "Ray O'Hara" wrote:
"Paul Saccani" wrote in message

...





On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 07:59:46 -0800 (PST), Mike
wrote:


The U.S. backed into the high-low mix out of desperation. The
frontline fighter in 1943 was the Republic P-47, an excellent aircraft
with one major drawback: Its combat radius was limited to 300 miles.
That meant that it could not escort bombers to Germany and back,
leaving the 8th Air Force's B-17s and B-24s at the mercy of German
defenses. By sheer accident, a failing attack plane, the A-35, was
mated with the British Merlin engine (the same as used by the
Spitfire). The result was a magical airplane -- the P-51 Mustang, a
fighter capable of flying deep into Germany and back while at the same
time agile enough to outfly most opponents.


This is quite mistaken.


The Merlin was first fitted to five aeroplanes (with the USAAC
designation P-51) of the first batch of Mustang Mk. 1s. These aircraft
were named Mustang Mk X. *They were *definitely not the A36 Apache
(the A35 was a version of the A31 Vengenance).


This wasn't accidental, deficiencies above 15,000 feet with the
Allision powerplant at altitudes above 15,000 feet were identified in
early testing, and Air Chief Marshall Wilfrid Freeman authorised test
and development of a Merlin engined version in April 1942. *This was
before the A36 had even been ordered.


The A36 was ordered simply because USAAC funds for fighters in Fiscal
year 1942 had already been exhausted. *General Oliver Nichols and
Major Benjamin Kelsey decided to use funds allocated for Attack
Bombers and had NAA make the minimum changes needed to legally produce
a genuine attack version. *But the first 150 P-51 were already ordered
before this decision, and the first 150 P-51 for USAAC were already
flying before the follow on expedient A36 was flying.


The A36 hadn't even had first flight by the time that Merlin engined
Mustang Mk Xs were already flying. *And Packard Merlin engined Mustang
Mk 1As were ordered from NAA *before the A36 had even been thought of..


* the whole article was bull****.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Ray, once agian you shown you don't know anything about technology.
Yes the artical has problem, mostly because it uses that the
nomenclature that has cripple you military planner, designers and
enginners since WWII. If we stop thinking in terms like fighter,
destroyer, and frigates, and stick with name that express purpose and
mission, then explaining these facts would be a lot easier.

What we call fighters today are actual two different types of
airplanes. They are not a high cost and low cost version of a single
type of combat aircraft as most people think of them, Instead they
have two compleatly different mission, one the air superiority
airplane destroyer designed to shooting enemy aircraft from the sky,
and the second a high speed ground attack aircraft design to destroyer
targets on the ground. The latter is a much simplier mission to
accomplish, which has resulted in this type of aircraft been cheaper
to build, and therefore thpugh by many to be the "low cost fighter."

Now we come to today problem. while UAV technology has advance enough
that unmanned aircraft can preform certain land attack missions, they
can not profrom them all. And UAV technology can not accomplish air to
air combat until they are able to match the situational awareness and
reaction time of man aircraft.

Yes, the F-22 has it share of problem, mostly because of the insane
system we created for designing, and manufacturing weapons in the USA.
A long time ago the AF should had told Lockheeds engineers to redesign
to reduce the F-22 unit cost, This in turns would have made the
higher, more economical, production runs politically possible. Etc etc
etc.

And Ray, as to the main conclusion of Dunn story, that the US need air
superiority manned fighters, it is you who is full of BS.
  #10  
Old March 6th 10, 09:22 AM posted to rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval,rec.aviation.military.naval
dott.Piergiorgio
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 56
Default "Vanishing American Air Superiority"

Ray O'Hara ha scritto:

the points the author makes are false strawman types.

the Brits on 1940 didn't need two types, they needed more spits, they were
building them.

maybe you can say we have "hurricanes" now but who is building 109s?
if there were no 109s then the Hurricane would have ruled the sky.


OK plese try this:

Take one of the best and with the most refined flight models WWII a/c
sims, and try to fly spitfires and hurricane at low, medium and high
altitudes, doing also combat acrobatics, and notice the differences....

Best regards from Italy,
Dott. Piergiorgio

(mantained the X-post to competent NGs)
 




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