PDA

View Full Version : F-117 retired



ishmael
03-11-2008, 06:35 PM
Heard this today, that the US stealth fighter is off to the mothballs.

Apparently there were less than sixty made, and they made their combat debut in the invasion of Panama. One of the pilots I read talked of flying into Iraq during Desert Storm. He spoke of knowing he was invisible to radar, but the air defenses putting up a pretty good curtain of flack, and it was just luck as it progressed. Didn't get hit, and none were in their twenty plus years of service.

WX
03-11-2008, 06:37 PM
So why are they being retired?

Paul Pless
03-11-2008, 06:44 PM
So why are they being retired?


http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/fighter/f22/f22_09.jpg

ishmael
03-11-2008, 06:44 PM
This new F-22(?) strike fighter is about as stealthy. The F-117 is apparently high hours on the ground to keep it running. But, our aircraft posters, more up on it, will tell us.

Tom Montgomery
03-11-2008, 06:48 PM
Here's the AP story:


F-117 Stealth Fighter to Be Retired
March 11, 2008 - 4:41am
By JAMES HANNAH
Associated Press Writer

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - The world's first attack aircraft to employ stealth technology is slipping quietly into history.

The inky black, angular, radar-evading F-117, which spent 27 years in the Air Force arsenal secretly patrolling hostile skies from Serbia to Iraq, will be put in mothballs next month in Nevada.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, which manages the F-117 program, will have an informal, private retirement ceremony Tuesday with military leaders, base employees and representatives from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

The last F-117s scheduled to fly will leave Holloman on April 21, stop in Palmdale, Calif., for another retirement ceremony, then arrive on April 22 at their final destination: Tonopah Test Range Airfield in Nevada, where the jet made its first flight in 1981.

The government has no plans to bring the fighter out of retirement, but could do so if necessary.

"I'm happy to hear they are putting it in a place where they could bring it back if they ever needed it," said Brig. Gen. Gregory Feest, the first person to fly an F-117 in combat, during the 1989 invasion of Panama that led to the capture of dictator Manuel Noriega.

The Air Force decided to accelerate the retirement of the F-117s to free up funding to modernize the rest of the fleet. The F-117 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, which also has stealth technology.

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=116&sid=1362465


A pair of F-22 Raptors
http://www.ratemyscreensaver.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/windowslivewriterf22raptor-a06dtwo-f-22-raptor-in-flying2.jpg

The Bigfella
03-11-2008, 07:12 PM
Can they send me 20 litres of that paint for a couple of my cars please?

WX
03-11-2008, 07:22 PM
January 07, 2008 12:00am

THE Australian Government wants to include one of the world's most expensive fighter jets, the US-built F-22 Raptor, in its lineup of deadly weapons.

Russian-built Sukhoi and MiG fighters will also be on the table when Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon sits down with air force chiefs to review the nation's air combat capability.

Until now, US law has banned the export of the Raptor to any country, even close allies such as Australia, but Mr Fitzgibbon said he would take up the matter with the US.

"I intend to pursue American politicians for access to the Raptor," he said.

The Howard government all but signed up to the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter.

But Labor has stepped back from buying $16 billion worth of the yet-to-be-built next-generation aircraft.

Mr Fitzgibbon has ordered a detailed review of all options for replacing the RAAF's ageing fleet of F-111s and F/A-18 Hornets.

When asked by the Herald Sun if the Russian-built war planes would be considered, he said all options would be included.

"The review should include a comparative analysis of everything on the market," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"I'm not ruling out any option."

That would include the latest Russian Sukhoi 35 and MiG-29 fighters, which compare favourably on performance and very favourably on price with US-built planes.

In the early 1990s Sukhoi offered the government a fleet of its Flanker aircraft for less than the RAAF spent upgrading its existing fleets.

Politics and the ANZUS alliance with the US prevented serious consideration of the offers.

Both Sukhoi, with its Su-34 and 35 attack aircraft, and MiG, with its MiG-29 combat fighter, are in service with air forces around the world including India, China, North Korea, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mr Fitzgibbon said the Government would also examine the decision by previous minister and new Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson to buy 24 Boeing Super Hornet fighters for $6 billion over 10 years.

The Government is heading for a major brawl with Boeing about under-performing projects worth $4.5 billion.

The Boeing contracts are on a "hit list" of 10 defence projects worth more than $11 billion that the Government and its military buying organisation have identified for urgent action.

The Seattle-based firm was represented in Australia by ex-Liberal leader Andrew Peacock, who won billions of taxpayer dollars worth of business for it.

Mr Fitzgibbon said he would strongly pursue American politicians to allow Australia access to the F-22 Raptor, despite the ban on foreign sales.

"We are well-placed to talk to Democrats on the Hill about it, and I want it to be part of the mix," he said.

The stealth aircraft, which are primarily designed for air superiority, are built by Lockheed Martin and Boeing and cost more than $150 million each.

The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter is predicted to cost about $70 million a plane.

Mr Fitzgibbon said he would not tolerate any delay in the JSF delivery or any increase in costs.

Sorry about the C&P but it was easier.

The Bigfella
03-11-2008, 07:29 PM
I believe there is plenty of good things not really discussed in public with the Super Hornet's abilities

WX
03-11-2008, 07:49 PM
Like what? Why buy an aircraft that hasn't got the range or speed of it's nearest possible rival? Doesn't make sense.

The Bigfella
03-11-2008, 09:12 PM
It does if you understand what fighter aircraft are actually about. Some of the fighters from the 50's were fast too

Delta Dart - F106A:

Maximum speed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_speeds#Vno): Mach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_number) 2.3 (1,525 mph, 2,455 km/h)
Range (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_%28aircraft%29): 1,800 mi (1,600 nm, 2,900 km) combat

Super Hornet:

Maximum speed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_speeds#Vno): Mach 1.8+ (1,190 mph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mph), 1,900 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
Range (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_%28aircraft%29): 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F/A-18_Super_Hornet#_note-USN_fact)


The Delta Dart from 1956 is faster and has a longer range on paper. Wanna take the Dart in a fight? I'll trust the avionics in the Super Hornet.

The Gentleman Sawyer
03-11-2008, 09:49 PM
"He spoke of knowing he was invisible to radar, but the air defenses putting up a pretty good curtain of flack, and it was just luck as it progressed. Didn't get hit, and none were in their twenty plus years of service."

Didn't one get shot down in Serbia?

Ken

LeeG
03-11-2008, 09:53 PM
so what's the cost of a F117 carrying it's max capacity of two bombs compared to two cruise missles?

WX
03-11-2008, 10:44 PM
faster than a Sukhoi?


Critics of the Super Hornet, and there are a great many in the expert
community, are concerned about major limitations in this aircraft. The first is that its top end performance is simply not competitive.
Having flown the aircraft supersonic, and having read the performance
charts, I know this criticism is valid. A former fighter pilot colleague who has flown it says the same. Every ex-military pilot and
engineer I know who has read the NATOPS flight manual agrees. At high
speed, where it matters for a fighter, the Super Hornet cannot compete against any of the Russian Sukhois, whether the older 1980s models, or the latest 2008 model.
http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/512-43671.aspx

JimJ
03-11-2008, 11:00 PM
If the F-117 are invisible to radar, how do we really know they have been retired?

JimJ

The Bigfella
03-11-2008, 11:04 PM
Could well be why the current push for the F22 is on

WX
03-13-2008, 04:00 AM
Ian at least the F-22 exists and does fly. Unfortunately the Yanks won't sell it to us, seems we are only allowed to have hand me downs:D
Maybe we should pretend we are going to buy Sukhois?

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 04:05 AM
I believe there is plenty of good things not really discussed in public with the Super Hornet's abilities


You are a politician.

WX
03-13-2008, 04:12 AM
Tyler we believe Ian is actually John Howard's alter ego:D
I guess the good things are things we the general public have to take as unknowables. Much like the unknown unknowables we don't know about.

ishmael
03-13-2008, 06:21 AM
Interesting discussion. It seems to me, and I'm no expert, that close in dogfights are pretty much dead, so as Ian pointed out, avionics are key.

What can the airplane "see" and how well can it lock its missiles or bombs from sometimes a few hundred miles out?

Golly, I wish we'd put these very cool abilities to use elsewhere.

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 07:22 AM
Interesting discussion. It seems to me, and I'm no expert, that close in dogfights are pretty much dead, so as Ian pointed out, avionics are key.

What can the airplane "see" and how well can it lock its missiles or bombs from sometimes a few hundred miles out?

Golly, I wish we'd put these very cool abilities to use elsewhere.

Only a non-pilot would think dogfighting is dead. I don't think the Air Force does as they included a gun on the F-22.
See Paladins thread on the SU-30 and you will see the Russians plan to dogfight too. http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76899

ishmael
03-13-2008, 07:43 AM
"Only a non-pilot would think dogfighting is dead."

I don't know about this stuff, I'm relying on what I read. How many actual dogfights have taken place since the Korean War? Not stand off missile to missile, but cannon to cannon? I'd wager it's a mere handful, but I don't know.

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 07:57 AM
Ish, do some research. The Air force bought into the missile thing during Nam. Sometime a short while later F-4's were fitted with gun pods.
The dogfight is not dead by a longshot. Unmanned will not suffice either.
Thats all fantasy island stuff.

ishmael
03-13-2008, 08:06 AM
So, how many plane on plane dogfights have happened since the Korean War?

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 08:18 AM
So, how many plane on plane dogfights have happened since the Korean War?

Your keyboard works as well as mine, do your own legwork.

ishmael
03-13-2008, 08:27 AM
Essentially, none, or very few, from what I can gather. Swoop and fire, get on his six, etc. is all very exciting, but when you can stand off a hundred miles and kill the other guy it takes you home to your buddies and your loved ones more safely.

If I'm wrong, tell me how?

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 08:34 AM
If I'm wrong, tell me how?

I have, you don't understand.

Watch Chucks video and think about it. There will be a quiz.

ishmael
03-13-2008, 08:39 AM
No, you haven't. You haven't said anything.

I can't watch vid here. What makes you think plane on plane dogfighting is still much an issue? As I said, I'd wager the total number that have happened, with modern jets, missiles since Korea can be counted on one hand.

Tylerdurden
03-13-2008, 08:50 AM
http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ModFighterGuns.htm

Pernicious Atavist
03-13-2008, 09:13 AM
Ishmael,
We had plenty of dogfights--gun on gun--during Vietnam. How many since, I don't know. But guns will always have a role.
As USAF learned the hard way, you can only carry so many missiles. Once you run out of those, you better have a gun! Our guys in the F-4 would have to scoot once they ran out of missiles, which happened all too often, that's why they hung gunpods under the wing and eventually built in a 20mm gatling system.
If US pilots ever have to engage an effective enemy, they'll need guns once the rockets run out; remember, they can only carry a few rockets, but lots of bullets.
Also--fighters provide ground support and use guns for that role.
You should recall that from your own time in the military.

ishmael
03-13-2008, 09:21 AM
Well, OK, I stand corrected. That's all I ever desire, I like to be corrected.

But you have to admit the trend is toward long distance, eh?

Pernicious Atavist
03-13-2008, 10:11 AM
Long range engagement capability is as old as warfare, so it's not a trend as such. The very employment of combat aircraft bespeaks that concept.
While the ability to 'reach out and touch someone' is important, the multiplicity of roles is equally important, and guns are essential. The only thing that may ever replace the gun is an energy beam, and that's still a few weeks in the offing.
Funny the 117 is retiring, I was just a young airman when the -15s and -16s came onboard, and they're still flying. My aircraft, the H-53 and its derivatives, are even older, as are many of the C-130s, though none experience the G-forces of fighters.