F35 - Money well spent.

Slime

LE
Thread drift alert.
I‘ve been praising modern fancy ways of design in this thread, but need to actually crack on and design some tool accessories I need to make.
With a definite comical irony I’ll be getting out sheets of A4 and scale rulers, and my most high tech ‘design tool’ will be an automatic pencil :)
 
I wonder if people are trying to over think the concept here?

One example I heard about NGAD could relate to the section of Sea Harrier below.
View attachment 563386

If it was found that for example, two extra fixings were desired for a more secure fit the NGAD approach would be that by changing the amount of fixings on a screen would at the same time automatically:

Increase the order of fixings.
Alter all ‘drawings’
Add the extra fixings to work sheets.
Allow the extra holes to be drilled automatically on new parts if done via a mill.
Changed the level of spares ordered.
Change the inspection routine.
Change the maintenance requirement if needed.

None of the above is rocket science, but IF the idea worked, just one change would affect everything it needed to automatically, and with the biggest difference (that I could see) being the ‘intelligent’ changes to maintenance or servicing schedules if necessary.
The difference not being that a change of fixing method or wiring making a difference to servicing, but that the change being more automated and done with A.I. assistance.

The above wouldn’t change for changes sake, but a reaction to an issue done more quickly.
Work instructions, QA inspection instructions, etc., etc. aren't going to change themselves just because a drawing was updated. CAD systems are simply not that capable and the idea that "AI" will somehow solve the problem simply reveals a misunderstanding of what AI is and what it can do.

You could hypothetically build a bespoke software system that glues the entire company together and does everything automatically, but that just in itself turns into a huge and lengthy project that bogs down further progress. That sort of thing in fact is the very antithesis of "agile".

If the USA are going to start banging out aircraft more quickly, and have multiple fleets, or mini fleets, the old way of doing things just won’t keep up.
I have no idea at all if a modern aircraft type or sub type can be designed and made each year or two* but that’s the plan USAF want.
In my opinion, the procurement problems in the US are institutional. Their commitment to "revolutionary" change is what is holding them back, and I suspect their latest obsession won't turn out any differently.

As an aside, an Aviation Week feature popped into my inbox earlier talking about an agile approach to new Gripen software.

*Things have changed an awful lot in complexity since the super quick design/build of the A4.
We also have to wonder if all the new aircraft would be to the same quality standards or whether some would be a cheaper and more disposable model.
As I understand it, Saab's ability to modify their Gripen software more quickly than the US can do the same with the F-35 has everything to do with the design choices they made when they designed the aircraft and nothing to do with "agile". The F-35 was designed to be a highly integrated system so that it could do all the things that you like - including automatically ordering maintenance stock. If you change one thing then many other things are affected, and complexity cascades through the entire system.

Saab separated the systems that control the basic plane dynamics and affect the safety from the systems that have all the whizzy new features. They can change the latter will little or no impact on the former. They don't have to recertify the entire plane just because a customer wants to add something minor.

That means that although the Gripen was not meant to be the vanguard of a whole new generation of aircraft that made all others obsolete (as the F35 was widely trumpeted to be) Saab can add software features to their plane relatively quickly and flexibly on demand, while LM have a long specification-development-test-certification pipeline for any change.

The reason for this is not the development process used. It was the result of user criteria that were laid down by the customer, the Pentagon. If you specify that you want 'x', that will have consequences for the design that limit what the engineers can do. If you insist that you want 'x', then that limits the design to 'y'.

The answer isn't to tell the engineers that they are going to the wrong sort of meetings. The answer is to understand what the consequences of your user requirements specifications are and maybe dialling back on some of your more unrealistic demands if they introduce inherent problems.

That isn't how the procurement process works in the Pentagon however. You make your mark there by coming up with ever more futuristic concepts and getting them into the requirements, knowing that you will never be the one who has to live with the consequences.
 

Slime

LE
Work instructions, QA inspection instructions, etc., etc. aren't going to change themselves just because a drawing was updated. CAD systems are simply not that capable and the idea that "AI" will somehow solve the problem simply reveals a misunderstanding of what AI is and what it can do.

You could hypothetically build a bespoke software system that glues the entire company together and does everything automatically, but that just in itself turns into a huge and lengthy project that bogs down further progress. That sort of thing in fact is the very antithesis of "agile".


In my opinion, the procurement problems in the US are institutional. Their commitment to "revolutionary" change is what is holding them back, and I suspect their latest obsession won't turn out any differently.


As I understand it, Saab's ability to modify their Gripen software more quickly than the US can do the same with the F-35 has everything to do with the design choices they made when they designed the aircraft and nothing to do with "agile". The F-35 was designed to be a highly integrated system so that it could do all the things that you like - including automatically ordering maintenance stock. If you change one thing then many other things are affected, and complexity cascades through the entire system.

Saab separated the systems that control the basic plane dynamics and affect the safety from the systems that have all the whizzy new features. They can change the latter will little or no impact on the former. They don't have to recertify the entire plane just because a customer wants to add something minor.

That means that although the Gripen was not meant to be the vanguard of a whole new generation of aircraft that made all others obsolete (as the F35 was widely trumpeted to be) Saab can add software features to their plane relatively quickly and flexibly on demand, while LM have a long specification-development-test-certification pipeline for any change.

The reason for this is not the development process used. It was the result of user criteria that were laid down by the customer, the Pentagon. If you specify that you want 'x', that will have consequences for the design that limit what the engineers can do. If you insist that you want 'x', then that limits the design to 'y'.

The answer isn't to tell the engineers that they are going to the wrong sort of meetings. The answer is to understand what the consequences of your user requirements specifications are and maybe dialling back on some of your more unrealistic demands if they introduce inherent problems.

That isn't how the procurement process works in the Pentagon however. You make your mark there by coming up with ever more futuristic concepts and getting them into the requirements, knowing that you will never be the one who has to live with the consequences.

With regards to this:
Work instructions, QA inspection instructions, etc., etc. aren't going to change themselves just because a drawing was updated. CAD systems are simply not that capable and the idea that "AI" will somehow solve the problem simply reveals a misunderstanding of what AI is and what it can do.

Yes, don’t worry, I get it :)
Senior USAF officers involved in the programme are saying it will work this way, you say it won’t. :)
 
Is anyone managing expectations in all this ?
 
Is anyone managing expectations in all this ?
Boeing, Lockheed, BAE, Airbus all laugh in “pork money”. On a serious note, Typhoon is close to maturing into a very very very potent airframe both as an air defender, strike, soon a EW platform.
It’s taken longer than the arm chair critics want but it’s here now, the production line is still open, order books look healthy.

The question we should be asking is how much is tempest going to cost?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Boeing, Lockheed, BAE, Airbus all laugh in “pork money”. On a serious note, Typhoon is close to maturing into a very very very potent airframe both as an air defender, strike, soon a EW platform.
It’s taken longer than the arm chair critics want but it’s here now, the production line is still open, order books look healthy.

The question we should be asking is how much is tempest going to cost?
Time taken is largely down to budgets being found history repeating over and over.

A good amount of what Tempest will cost will be down to people holding to commitments and schedules.
 
Boeing, Lockheed, BAE, Airbus all laugh in “pork money”. On a serious note, Typhoon is close to maturing into a very very very potent airframe both as an air defender, strike, soon a EW platform.
It’s taken longer than the arm chair critics want but it’s here now, the production line is still open, order books look healthy.

The question we should be asking is how much is tempest going to cost?

Typhoon is very good.
We need to upgrade to the latest or bin those that can't be upgraded and buy new.
Tempest. Now then. What are we going to be playing at ?
Downtown Damascus or St. Petersburg ?
One lot we can afford, the other we can't manage more than a slack handful.
We can actually have a very potent defence force with a very good rapid intervention arm if we choose right.
We need to pick a box and stay in it.
 
Time taken is largely down to budgets being found history repeating over and over.

A good amount of what Tempest will cost will be down to people holding to commitments and schedules.
Well we can blame Telic and Herrick for Typhoon, the decision to scrap updated jags in favour of GR7-9, hindered in my opinion.

I do think that predominantly going alone for tempest, (ai know of the partners) is a good thing, just don’t let the Germans or french get involved and it should deliver, on time and near budget.
 
Due to my obvious shock at your post my tongue may now be in my cheek.

Oh my yes, you are right, what a complete and utter shock, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you..........totally shocked

Do you think I should invent a time machine so I can go back around four years ago, go to USAF and tell them their new concept is rubbish because cars are different to planes..............And that by showing how commonplace part of their new process has become doesn't count because some random ARRSE poster has said cars aren’t planes?? ;)

As for your last paragraph, that’s already been covered too.............
Unless of course you know better :)

A cynic might wonder why the U.K.(or just ARRSE) aren’t world leaders in military aircraft building and sales...........After all, ALL the US has done design and build something and fly it............Clearly they aren’t a patch on the ARRSE collective.

On the other hand, perhaps the US have just been lucky, maybe their design process didn’t work and couldn’t work, maybe no one knows who made any decisions, and it was just pot luck that they managed to design, build and fly something in a very short period of time :)

Maybe there is an area 51 hangar full of random monkeys randomly typing away, and they struck bingo on their first go. :)

To be serious, give your head a bloody wobble will you. A laser scanner works the same whether it’s looking at an Allegro, F1 racing car or aircraft.....or even at a crime scene.

The same applies to 3D printing the results of the scan for further modelling.
You may already know the RAF have used carbon parts made by companies whose actual primary business is making carbon car parts.
Not aimed at you @Slime as you get it.

There was a good reason BRitish Aerospace got into bed with McClaren (I think it was they) with a technology partnership on carbon fibre, both were pushing it to its limits.

I will also add that when I visited the heat exchanger line (I forget the company) the Typhoon heat exchangers were knocking about the factory, the McLaren (or F1) ones were behind a curtain we were not allowed to see, the reason given was that their heat exchangers were much more advanced.

Yes perhaps the commercial implications of getting the upper edge in Formula One meant it needed to be closed off to prying eyes, but if we were designing something better I am sure ours too would be behind curtains.

As far as production lines, aircraft share a lot of the same efficiencies, but yes, they are not cars, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and take the relevant bits of car manufacturing and leave the irrelevant, the problem was the ‘consultants’ couldn’t understand what was irrelevant do to all their training being in mass production.

As a Procurement person it is very frustrating when the senior executives listen to consultants and ignore those who can see both sides of the coin.

You have to know where engineering needs to lead, where time and cost leads and a whole multitude of other influences in aircraft production but unfortunately there are too many cocks wanting to be the big dick.

I am out of that industry now but it is the same in my new industry, fcking one trick ponies unable to think of multiple differences trying to push a one company approach, an approach that they learned from a one trick pony consultant.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Well we can blame Telic and Herrick for Typhoon, the decision to scrap updated jags in favour of GR7-9, hindered in my opinion.

I do think that predominantly going alone for tempest, (ai know of the partners) is a good thing, just don’t let the Germans or french get involved and it should deliver, on time and near budget.
We’ve got a bloody good partner in the Swedes - see Gripen comments from others. Leonardo? Excellent. Keep it to that if the Japanese have been politicked out.
 
Typhoon is very good.
We need to upgrade to the latest or bin those that can't be upgraded and buy new.
Tempest. Now then. What are we going to be playing at ?
Downtown Damascus or St. Petersburg ?
One lot we can afford, the other we can't manage more than a slack handful.
We can actually have a very potent defence force with a very good rapid intervention arm if we choose right.
We need to pick a box and stay in it.
Preaching to the choir here mate, we need a limited but very potent expeditionary force to protect our needs and responsibilities.
 
As I understand it, Saab's ability to modify their Gripen software more quickly than the US can do the same with the F-35 has everything to do with the design choices they made when they designed the aircraft and nothing to do with "agile". The F-35 was designed to be a highly integrated system so that it could do all the things that you like - including automatically ordering maintenance stock. If you change one thing then many other things are affected, and complexity cascades through the entire system.

Saab separated the systems that control the basic plane dynamics and affect the safety from the systems that have all the whizzy new features. They can change the latter will little or no impact on the former. They don't have to recertify the entire plane just because a customer wants to add something minor.

That means that although the Gripen was not meant to be the vanguard of a whole new generation of aircraft that made all others obsolete (as the F35 was widely trumpeted to be) Saab can add software features to their plane relatively quickly and flexibly on demand, while LM have a long specification-development-test-certification pipeline for any change.

Those *are* the design choices you'd need if you were doing agile software development...
 

Slime

LE
Which I’ve previously said that I’d love a squadron of B21 raiders however if it ever got that bad, “dreadnaught” CASD.

Blatant thread drift :)
With the recent goings on from the far left and serial activists, I could see that if the RAF even had two or three B21 aircraft there with be lefties spontaneously combusting all over the U.K.
The talk or chemtrails, UFOs or other conspiracies would just be too much for them :)
 

Slime

LE
Is anyone managing expectations in all this ?

The Americans aren’t helping in this respect. The cheeky monkeys keep silent until they have actually achieved something. That can make it harder to know when they started :)

If the end goal is to produce a new aircraft, or add a new system to an existing aircraft every one to two years we could almost count the starting point as the beginning of 2021.

It seems to have taken them three years to fly their first demonstrator, and the demonstrator is surely the easy bit in comparison to full fat aircraft.
Lets hope the size/scale of the demonstrator was closer to the Iranian stealth demonstrator than the first tiny Gripen demonstrator :)
 
Blatant thread drift :)
With the recent goings on from the far left and serial activists, I could see that if the RAF even had two or three B21 aircraft there with be lefties spontaneously combusting all over the U.K.
The talk or chemtrails, UFOs or other conspiracies would just be too much for them :)
Those conspiracies happen of both sides of the political spectrum,
 
Top