Most Beautiful Aircraft

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I deleted my post as I saw this later

“Pilots were generally fond of the Javelin, since it was sturdy and reliable, with a roomy cockpit, good field of view for the aircrew, and generally pleasant handling. Engine-out handing was regarded as benign, and it was one of the first RAF aircraft that could break Mach 1, if only in a dive. However, even in maturity -- with the all-moving tailplane, control-surface stabilization systems, and stall-warning system -- it couldn't be thrown around in any serious fashion”
I'd describe it as a missile-delivery system, rather than a fight of any serious note.

At this distance in time, it's remarkable to consider the performance limitations of some of the aircraft we accepted into service. More than a few of the early jets had some serious issues in terms of dynamics. Compare and contrast with the pretty much care-free handling of such as the Typhoon.

It shows where we've got to.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
When I was kid in the mid seventies, as my Dad was driving into Worcester along the A38 I was always straining my neck to look out of the left window, as there was a Gloster Javelin standing outside the ATC hut near the allotments. It always looked to me like it was just waiting for a Chap with a handlebar 'tache and a pipe to leap in, light the fires and hare off into the sky to smite HM's foes... A beautiful, aggressive looking plane, IIRC it was carted off sometime in the early eighties.
 
I'd describe it as a missile-delivery system, rather than a fight of any serious note.

At this distance in time, it's remarkable to consider the performance limitations of some of the aircraft we accepted into service. More than a few of the early jets had some serious issues in terms of dynamics. Compare and contrast with the pretty much care-free handling of such as the Typhoon.

It shows where we've got to.
In the 80s I worked in MOD with M*** S******, who was hugely proud of his time as a Javelin navigator. He very much rated the aircraft, in particular during service in Singapore.

He had been commissioned after joining the RAF as an apprentice at Halton.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
When I was kid in the mid seventies, as my Dad was driving into Worcester along the A38 I was always straining my neck to look out of the left window, as there was a Gloster Javelin standing outside the ATC hut near the allotments. It always looked to me like it was just waiting for a Chap with a handlebar 'tache and a pipe to leap in, light the fires and hare off into the sky to smite HM's foes... A beautiful, aggressive looking plane, IIRC it was carted off sometime in the early eighties.
Pipe still lit... :-D
 
“Mission 66“, hey … Bloggs certainly didn’t buy that magazine in Penang! 10 years on, and still couldn’t … and the freedom of the East was protected by Aussies in Mirages. Great posting indeed, even for a Blunt!
 
Beautiful aircraft, many others I like that have been mentioned like buccaneer, vampire, meteor. We can all go on about Vulcans, ,lightning, spits and lancs but some of the early jets were so stunning. Way ahead of their time.
At Flixton Aircraft Museum, they have a number of Cold War NATO jets. Meteor, Javelin and a couple of US first Generation jets.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
I'd describe it as a missile-delivery system, rather than a fight of any serious note.

At this distance in time, it's remarkable to consider the performance limitations of some of the aircraft we accepted into service. More than a few of the early jets had some serious issues in terms of dynamics. Compare and contrast with the pretty much care-free handling of such as the Typhoon.

It shows where we've got to.

think how much computing power is in one Typhoon though. how would it handle without them?
 
“Mission 66“, hey … Bloggs certainly didn’t buy that magazine in Penang! 10 years on, and still couldn’t … and the freedom of the East was protected by Aussies in Mirages. Great posting indeed, even for a Blunt!

There were still CAC Sabres up top into the mid-60s before their replacement by the Mirage.
 
think how much computing power is in one Typhoon though. how would it handle without them?
Breeze block comes to mind……
or was that the F117?:rolleyes:
"Breeze block" is correct.

Typhoon was DELIBERATELY designed to be unstable :( .

Defies any logic that I know of . . . but, it was explained, this helps with, enables, the "extreme" manouvering characteristics, that it was/is thought would be advantageous.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Modern fighter aircraft aircraft are designed to be unstable. It assists manouverability. The computer flies the aircraft. The pilot's controls input to the computer what the pilot wants to happen. The computer then does it.(Awaiting correction by proffesional.)
 
back as far as the F16 days. Typhoon's carefree handling is probably more down to commercial aircraft like the A320 than any fighter. Airline pilots don't want to struggle to fly their aircraft,no more than fighter pilots do.
 
Modern fighter aircraft aircraft are designed to be unstable. It assists manouverability. The computer flies the aircraft. The pilot's controls input to the computer what the pilot wants to happen. The computer then does it.(Awaiting correction by proffesional.)
When the Typhoon was being designed the computing power needed to fly the plane was still two iterations from being small enough to be fitted inside the fuselage, but the designers banked on it being small enough by the time the first airframes were ready.

The computer's were late (quelle surprise) but the project anticipated that and the first fly-by-computer frames took to the sky with the computers being on the ground connected by data link.
 
Modern fighter aircraft aircraft are designed to be unstable. It assists manouverability. The computer flies the aircraft. The pilot's controls input to the computer what the pilot wants to happen. The computer then does it.(Awaiting correction by proffesional professional.)

As you insisted...

:-D

JB
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
Never get your doubles mixed up - it could be embarassing in a pub.
 
When the Typhoon was being designed the computing power needed to fly the plane was still two iterations from being small enough to be fitted inside the fuselage, but the designers banked on it being small enough by the time the first airframes were ready.

The computer's were late (quelle surprise) but the project anticipated that and the first fly-by-computer frames took to the sky with the computers being on the ground connected by data link.
I remember back in the late Eighties doing my work experience at British Wasteofspace in Brough, I remember seeing the prototype, IIRC it was designated EFA at the time?
 
"Breeze block" is correct.

Typhoon was DELIBERATELY designed to be unstable :( .

Defies any logic that I know of . . . but, it was explained, this helps with, enables, the "extreme" manouvering characteristics, that it was/is thought would be advantageous.
The first aircraft that was inherently unstable was the actually the Wright Flyer, which is understandable given the circumstances. However, it wasn’t long before both the advantages and disadvantages of aerodynamic stability were realised. A little into World War One aircraft designers were taking this into account so that some instability was designed into fighters in order to make them more agile, while bombers were designed to be less manoeuvrable but more stable to allow more accurate bombing; especially important given that they flew at low level compared to today and could easily be buffeted by air currents etc.

This more or less continued, with varying degrees of success depending on requirements and the state of the art of aerodynamic design, until the advent of small digital computers with sufficient processing power. Unlike most civilian aircraft, a modern fighter is inherently unstable to the point that it would go completely, violently and catastrophically out of control within seconds if it wasn’t for the software taking pilot inputs and balancing them with the computed control surface movements necessary to keep the aircraft under control, whether in normal flight or hard combat manoeuvring.

Given the airflow over an aircraft it will tend to “weathervane”, i.e. become directionally stable in the direction of motion due to a “fluid” (air, in this case) passing around it. However, an aircraft can be designed such that it always “wants” to depart from stable flight, i.e. it’s unstable. Simply, modern combat aircraft allow this to happen when required, but with sufficient pilot/computer control such that even a relatively small pilot input will work with the aircraft’s inherent instability to allow it to depart from straight and level flight and do so very rapidly in a controlled way, rather than work against such manoeuvring as a stable aircraft would. This results in highly agile manoeuvring – the aircraft wants to change direction many times every second due to minor fluctuations in airflow, and wants to do so very quickly. So, when it suits, let it do it.

This can be easily demonstrated with an A4 piece of paper; hold it vertically by one hand, move it quickly through the air and note that the “leading edge” flutters, i.e. it “wants” to depart from the direction of motion, and tries to do so back and forth very rapidly. Modern combat aircraft take advantage of this and make it a virtue, not a vice.
 
think how much computing power is in one Typhoon though. how would it handle without them?
My post above (#8,499) addresses this in part, but needs some justification.

When a physical system departs from inherent stability it can and often does so in accordance with the square law (or thereabouts). For example, the measured departure could be 2, 4, 16, 256 millimetres for every arbitrary tick of a clock (perhaps every one-thousands of a second). Examples of this include RTAs when cars are merely clipped and very quickly end up upside down in a tree, or power tools going from lovely to terrifying almost instantly.

A modern combat aircraft is inherently unstable and relies on computers assessing both the pilot inputs and what is required of the control surfaces to keep the aircraft flying safely. However, in contrast to a car it has a much larger mass and is moving very much faster. If the computers fail the aircraft will depart from stable flight in accordance with the square law (or thereabouts), but with much greater momentum (mass x speed). Even if the aircraft is straight and level when the computers fail the tiny fluctuations in airflow build up in just a few seconds such that the aircraft will quickly tumble and far exceed design limitations, resulting in catastrophic structural failure. Biggles needs to make his excuses and quickly step outside of his office if this happens.

Of course, software can and does go wrong, so the strategy is to understand this and try to mitigate it as best as possible. There are two main techniques involved. The first is to use old hardware, which is well understood, including any bugs. Examples of this is that (from memory) both the Space Shuttle and F16 used 8- (or possibly 16-bit) CPUs for their fly-by-wire control, even though more modern processors were available (although some of the consideration here was also down to finalising the design to allow manufacture to start).

The second main strategy is to contract three different companies to write the software, but as part of the contract they aren’t allowed to talk to each other, meaning that they arrive at the same solutions but with different code (more or less). For any pilot input the three software solutions are polled and a software controller (itself with multiple redundancy) implements the most popular option. By the time the aircraft is in squadron service this is almost always three out of three every time, but anomalies are examined and if necessary corrected (it’s one of reasons that modern combat aircraft have hugely expensive in-service costs).

The modern world’s massively complex, and I’m happy to benefit from that, but you can’t beat a haggis supper with brown sauce and a pickled onion.
 
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