Replacement RAF AWACS

I always wondered if a towed Balloon mounted radar might not be the solution for naval AEW?
Balloons are too susceptible to wind and manoeuvre so would probably restrict the manoeuvrability of the ship. They also require significant helium stocks to be employed effectively for relatively little gain in altitude.

Kites are more effective but have a very limited payload.

Regards,
MM
 

Yokel

LE
I always wondered if a towed Balloon mounted radar might not be the solution for naval AEW?
AEW not only increases the radar range due to antenna height, but it operates from a position in front of a task group. Not only does this extend the range, but it provides a way of maintaining security. The radar is powered up some distance from the ship.

Balloons are too susceptible to wind and manoeuvre so would probably restrict the manoeuvrability of the ship. They also require significant helium stocks to be employed effectively for relatively little gain in altitude.

Kites are more effective but have a very limited payload.

Regards,
MM
Helium? We should use Hydrogen! I saw a programme in which a former NASA Engineer said he had spent his life struggling to ignite Hydrogen. He also said the Hindenberg disaster was the coating on the gas bags catching fire, as the flames were yellow, but Hydrogen burns with a blue flame.

What is going on with the kite?
 
I always wondered if a towed Balloon mounted radar might not be the solution for naval AEW?
There's an idea. Give any hostile recce aircraft, surface vessel or submarine a helium filled indicator of exactly where you are.

Tactical brilliance; Jellicoe and Beatty would've loved it.........
 
Last edited:
There's an idea. Give any hostile recce aircraft, surface vessel or submarine a helium filled indicator of exactly where you are.

Tactical brilliance; Jellicoe and Betty would've loved it.........
Beatty might, Jellicoe had more brains.
 

Yokel

LE
There's an idea. Give any hostile recce aircraft, surface vessel or submarine a helium filled indicator of exactly where you are.

Tactical brilliance; Jellicoe and Betty would've loved it.........
I think fighter aircraft first appeared over the Western front to counter enemy observation balloons and reece aircraft. Likewise the reason it was felt necessary to launch aircraft from ships was because only one RNAS aircraft took part in Jutland - there were several seaplane carriers but they had trouble getting to sea, and twenty five minutes was the time a well drill ship could achieve for stopping, craning the seaplane into the water, manning it, and starting it up.

The day after Jutland the Grand Fleet was overflown by Zeppelins and was unable to do anything. A few months later cruisers (and battleships?) could launch fighters like the Sopwith Pup from a platform built over a gun turret and the guns. Later in 1916 a Sopwith Pup from HMS Yarmouth shot down a Zeppelin.

Beatty might, Jellicoe had more brains.
If it depended on wireless communication Beatty would not have been interested. Unless he could store some more Cordite charges in it
 
One would hope they're going to do the engine upgrade as part of it. Keeping those PWs going another 15 years may be interesting.....
 
From a submarine.....

Launching it was the easy bit, getting it back in a hurry if the RAF showed up was a different matter, in the worst case the line would be cut and the boat dived. The autogyro fell out of favour quite rapidly.
 
One would hope they're going to do the engine upgrade as part of it. Keeping those PWs going another 15 years may be interesting.....
There are hundreds of the things lying around however and the USAF has also chosen not to upgrade the engines on their E-3Gs.

Regards,
MM
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Boeing 707 - last airframes built in 1978 IIRC
Inefficient engines. They are starting to make Shacks look youthful.
All commercial 707s are now retired.
The French and UK E-3s used different engines - the CFM56.

The 707 might be old but it forms the basis of a number of still very current capabilities (which are not entirely to do with the airframe). Don't confuse that with the age of the airframe design.

The difference being that cost isn't the prime operating criterion for an air force, as it is for a commercial airline.

The USAF is invested in the TF33 engine across quite a number of aircraft in its fleet, not just the E-3. The B-52 for one, as well as some of the EC/RC-135 types.
 

Latest Threads

Top