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Such statistical conclusions tend to be a bit off, compared to reality. They seem to ignore what is being done to survive and shorten the Other Guy's survival time.

Statistically speaking, an infantry platoon commander and machine gunner have about 30 sec to live in combat.

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Running out of spares? Avionics especially.

 

The problem of most AAW studies is the concept of stored kills in one's inventory. This presumes one can apply the stored kills to the items needing killing at a suitable time/place.

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Its hard to put a single number to the rather open ended definition of 'last'. As in, totally operationally ineffective? It also depends on which patricular time frame of the cold war we're talking about. It seems to me *some* assets would have short life spans and others could survive relatively long, provided their home bases weren't blasted or slimed.

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It does seem likely to me that if neither side scored a decisive win in the first few weeks of WWIII, it would have either gone Global Thermonuclear War or devolved into a Twilight: 2000 kind of deal (or they'd sign a peace treaty). At least from the '60s on, the weapons systems were so destructive and so hard to replace (it's a lot easier/faster to build P-47s than F-15s).

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Running out of spares? Avionics especially.

 

The problem of most AAW studies is the concept of stored kills in one's inventory. This presumes one can apply the stored kills to the items needing killing at a suitable time/place.

 

In the '60s, fer instance, could USAF fighters/interceptors flown enough sorties in a high-intensity war to have lasted long enough to break boxes? I would have expected fuel and AAMs to run out before the birds became unflyable.

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Interestingly -particularly for my pal Stuart Galbraith- early stealth tests -apparently- resulted in a crash at Rendelsham Forest, which is not-surprisingly proximate to RAF Rendelsham Heath, and did indeed occur during the mid-eighties.

 

At the time, the crash was widely circulated to be that caused by a UFO going down in that area. The notion was sold successfully enough that a rather thick book was published on that basis. My neighbor (at that time), a rather charming and winsome lass, asked me over for drinks and crisps, and amongst other things we talked about that crash.

 

Apparently not a little mystique remained, even a decade or more on.

 

 

 

Shot

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Thanks Stuart. Failing memory fogged by a lot of bourbon that particular night with that particular lass has smudged some of the details, but that's the gist of what I recall from the book the lass placed in my hands.

 

I seem to recall as well something about the Rendelsham Forest incident, in which the tools the various technicians used to recover wreckage and so forth were immediately classified as 'Top Secret', since they might contain residue from the wreck itself. I also remember hearing that a USAF general was killed in at least one crash.

 

Interestingly, the thing I saw on the glass teat went to some length to talk about how F-117 pilots were exhorted to trust their instrumentation, and how said instrumentation either was designed to or was the forerunner of certain aspect of current 'Bitching Betty' systems.

 

 

 

Shot

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The doco I watched -for what it's worth- did nevertheless mention that a DCF system had been installed in the F-117 for specifically that reason.

 

Not to argue the F-16 and -18 issues; both of which are considered to be aerodynamically unstable IIRC, but that only serves to underscore the point.

 

 

 

Shot

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It depends what aircraft you are talking about. The F4 seems to have been reliable enough. But there was a claim in one book (and im uncertain of its veracity) that after every 2 hour flight, the F111 required something like 12-24 hours of maintenance. Now maybe thats just early ones (which were fully capable of running of falling out the air on their own without the Vietnamese giving an input), or maybe its someone just doing things by the book. You can of course surge aircraft and minimise on the maintenance, but that tends to come back to bite you at a later point if you do.

 

6-12 man-hours of maintenance per hour of flight (not total hours from start to finish) seems a bit extravagant, but not toally implausible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

Roger, have you got that janes 'from the cockpit' series book on the F117?

Sir, I do not. You know now what to get me for Christmas. :)

 

 

 

Shot

 

A six foot blonde with a riding crop and a bad attitude? ;) (Sorry couldn't resist, I'll go sit in the corner and have a "Time Out".)

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Im very surprised the F4 was that heavy. You usually think of that as fairly simple by the standards of its replacement, and the F14 did have a bit of a rep as a hangar queen.

 

F111, which lt was a clearly a great combat aircraft in a lot of ways. But I find that quite remarkably high.

 

Not so bad when compared to the last of the Supermarine stable

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Im very surprised the F4 was that heavy. You usually think of that as fairly simple by the standards of its replacement, and the F14 did have a bit of a rep as a hangar queen.

 

F111, which lt was a clearly a great combat aircraft in a lot of ways. But I find that quite remarkably high.

 

I had a college instructor that flew F4s. He said they were proof that if you hang enough power on it even a brick can fly. ^_^

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