Russian aircraft design

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19 years

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It wasn't. You don't design a low wing loading design for a recon aircraft, do you?

I wouldn't call the Blackbird a high wing-loading aircraft. :rolleyes: (You are aware that the F-4 flew it's recon missions at a lower altitude than the Vigilante I presume?)

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20 years 8 months

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I wouldn't call the Blackbird a high wing-loading aircraft. :rolleyes: (You are aware that the F-4 flew it's recon missions at a lower altitude than the Vigilante I presume?)

As a bomber it was a sitting duck for air defenses and a fire torch in terms of hit survivalability, its engines ran dirty mkings the aircraft easy to spot and track.. As a recon aircraft it was pretty unsuitable, as a carrierborne aircraft way too big, too complex and too heavy, the bird was, although aesthetically pleasing, just terrible, IMO. And from the web it looks like a good half of its pilots think the same. It is unimportant for me as whether you accept it or not..

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19 years

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You mistakenly said IS. Currently the A-5 is vapourware.

Clearly you need to acquaint yourself with the term. I belive the term you're grasping at is "abandonware".

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19 years

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As a bomber it was a sitting duck for air defenses and a fire torch in terms of hit survivalability, as a recon aircraft it was extremely unsuitable, as a carrierborne aircraft way too big, too complex and too heavy, the bird was, although aesthetically pleasing, just terrible, IMO. And from the web it looks like a good half of its pilots think the same. It is unimportant for me as whether you accept it or not..

I'm not seeing in there anywhere "bad aerodynamic design" which was the only thing I was claiming it had going for it.

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20 years 8 months

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I'm not seeing in there anywhere "bad aerodynamic design" which was the only thing I was claiming it had going for it.

I don't quite see the logic of this. According to what criteria the Vigi's aerodynamic design was 'excellent'? And second, what is the point of an 'excellent aerodynamic design' leading to poor overall design? Aerodynamic design is not a thing existing for itself, it is only as good as it is suitable for the specific roles the aircraft was designed for, don't you think?

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19 years

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I don't quite see the logic of this. According to what criteria the Vigi's aerodynamic design was 'excellent'? And second, what is the point of an 'excellent aerodynamic design' leading to poor overall design? Aerodynamic design is not a thing existing for itself, it is only as good as it is suitable for the specific roles the aircraft was designed for, don't you think?

Not sure what you're trying to convince yourself of here. All I've said is that from an aerodynamic standpoint it was a great design and ahead of it's time. Which is why Mikoyan used it for a starting point when designing the Mig-25. Anybody can take a great aerodynamic design and saddle it with stupid ideas turning it into a not so hot overall design.

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20 years 8 months

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Not sure what you're trying to convince yourself of here. All I've said is that from an aerodynamic standpoint it was a great design and ahead of it's time. Which is why Mikoyan used it for a starting point when designing the Mig-25. Anybody can take a great aerodynamic design and saddle it with stupid ideas turning it into a not so hot overall design.

I fail to see the aerodynamics as a separate category, not related to the capabilities of the aircraft itself. For instance, the poor recon characteristics of the RA-5C is directly related to the aerodynamic layout. But if you still want to persuade yourself about how hot the design of the Vigi was, please, be my guest.

BTW, you still failed to mention exactly criteria made the Vigi design as 'excellent'.

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You mistakenly said IS. Currently the A-5 is vapourware. The A in its designation means it was primarily a ground pounder anyways..

Thats why i said that, because both are no fighters. ;)

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24 years 3 months

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A-5 was a piece of crap, to be honest.. Ill-suited for a bomber, making it even worse recon aircraft. Due to large wing area and low wing loading, the photos Vigies took were seldom sharp enough to be really useful. No chance against the pics RF-4s took.

Strange because the RA-5 is not the only recce plane with low wing loading. Also strange the RA-5 got an increased wing area compared to the A-5...
But it certainly had some issues.

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20 years 6 months

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The Vigilante was built for going high and fast with pure nuclear load. In its days it was incredibly advanced and capable. But already at service entry the mission had been cancelled thanks to inter-service and political issues. And later as a photo-recon, you can't blame the jet for not being quite that good in a role it was not designed for. But it was an incredible aircraft.

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I fail to see the aerodynamics as a separate category, not related to the capabilities of the aircraft itself.

You're the only one.

For instance, the poor recon characteristics of the RA-5C is directly related to the aerodynamic layout.

"The RA-5C was generally regarded as the best tactical photo-reconnaissance aircraft in the Navy--that is, when it was working properly. The aircraft was extremely complex, and was difficult to maintain properly, and numerous missions had to be cancelled because of maintenance problems. "

http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/newa5_4.html

BTW, you still failed to mention exactly criteria made the Vigi design as 'excellent'.

It used the same powerplant as the F-4 Phantom and despite being bigger and heavier it could out pace the F-4. Also at lower fuel levels it could oout manuever the Phantom, again despite being larger and heavier with the same powerplant. It was enough ahead of it's time that both strike and interceptor derivatives were considered. Mikoyan was impressed enough with it that he told his designers to use it as a starting point when developing the Mig-25. But hey you're smarter than everybody else so I guess none of that matters. :rolleyes:

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"....The aircraft was extremely complex, and was difficult to maintain properly, and numerous missions had to be cancelled because of maintenance problems. "

The Vigi had a few first which are considered standard these days. HUD beeing one of them. Considering the reliability of the electronics in those days IMO it was normal to have so much downtime. :p


It used the same powerplant as the F-4 Phantom and despite being bigger and heavier it could out pace the F-4. Also at lower fuel levels it could oout manuever the Phantom, again despite being larger and heavier with the same powerplant. It was enough ahead of it's time that both strike and interceptor derivatives were considered. ...

Sure it was more aerodynamicaly clean in its standard recce configuration. That is no pylons and dropstanks and nothing else to shoot with more than film. Phantom was alwas hauling some junk under its wings. :D

IMO the Vigi could be adapted for more than just USN recce.
Anyway both the Phantom and Vigi r among my favorit aircraft.

/Dan

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20 years 8 months

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You're the only one.
Wrong.

"The RA-5C was generally regarded as the best tactical photo-reconnaissance aircraft in the Navy--that is, when it was working properly. The aircraft was extremely complex, and was difficult to maintain properly, and numerous missions had to be cancelled because of maintenance problems. "

http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/newa5_4.html


Maintenance issues were absolutely out of the scope of my arguments. I was talking about low wing loading of the Vigi which made the ride in the aircraft quite bumpy - resulting in unclear hazed photographs. This problem was DIRECTLY related to aerodynamics.

It used the same powerplant as the F-4 Phantom and despite being bigger and heavier it could out pace the F-4.
Yes, much of it related to its clean config..

Also at lower fuel levels it could oout manuever the Phantom, again despite being larger and heavier with the same powerplant.
What advantage does it bring for an unarmed recon aircraft?

It was enough ahead of it's time that both strike and interceptor derivatives were considered.
LOL! That says nothing. Did you know that Mikoyan actually considered a bizjet design based on a MiG-25?

Mikoyan was impressed enough with it that he told his designers to use it as a starting point when developing the Mig-25.
Prove it..

But hey you're smarter than everybody else so I guess none of that matters. :rolleyes:
You always say that when you have nothing to back up your claims with. My summary of this topic is quite ans simple - so far there are absolutely no proofs about the connection RA-5C --> MiG-25 except rant of some individuals who could not swallow the fact that not everything was invented in the USA. So they quickly had to come up with some artificially invented fairytale about Mikoyan sh!tting in his pants once he has seen a Vigilante. Exactly what kind of data could have Russians obtained about the RA-5C, anyway? B/W photos from a mag plus basic tech specs? Gimme a break.. Is THAT the big deal?

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Also at lower fuel levels it could oout manuever the Phantom, again despite being larger and heavier with the same powerplant.

Which would be a particularly useful advantage, given the NVA propensity to try and hit them with SA-2s. There's one hilarious snapshot from a Vigi that actually shows clear as day an SA-2 that was fired at the jet whizzing by underneath it.

Mikoyan was impressed enough with it that he told his designers to use it as a starting point when developing the Mig-25.

I thought the story was that someone came back from Paris and told Mikoyan to draw up an interceptor along the lines of the Vigilante? At any rate I've never seen any concrete evidence of the story, but Yefim Gordon does mention it in his Aerofax MiG-25/31 volume as a potential source of the FOXBAT's configuration.

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The actual story is that Mikoyan came back from the 1959 Paris Airshow and told the PD section to draw up an interceptor along the lines of the Vigilante but without the all-too-complex boundary layer blowing system.

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18 years 7 months

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The beauty of the Su-27 concept is its clarity. Once you've seen it you ask yourself how anybody could have ever designed some other configuration for a twin.

The Su-27 is extremely heavy and on the edge of what you would call a fighter. That doesn't mean it's bad, but if the Eurofighter was planned with a 18 ton empty weight from the start, you would be surprised what would have come out of it.

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Contrary to the seventies the projects which rolled out in 80-s and later were totally different. Their main assignment field was to operate at supersonic where choosing the right wing shape is no brainer at all. They were focusing on delta wings used in initial ATF studies, Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen, Lavi and the soviet MFI while drawbacks of deltas at subsonic have been reduced with help of canards. The US designers quickly realized that by applying canard-delta design, they will have problems to fullfil the stealth requirements(RCS), what explains why they got stuck with a common aft-tail design. The F-22 inherited less design features from seventies and eighties, basically it is a tweaked 60th design. No blended wing-body design, no real LERXs exploiting the non-linear lift as on the F-16,F-18, Mig-29, Su-27, no delta wings with sweep angle around 60deg suited for supersonic flight and maneuvering as Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen.. etc. When lacking the TVC the aircraft would be almost considered as the F-15.

So, all stupid except for the glorious Sukhoi engineers, who did not choose the "no-brainer" aerodynamics? I maybe suggest to read a couple of lines on flight control, a field that evolved as major factor from the 70s on. In this field Soviet designs lagged behind due to the attached development costs. They rather went to better aerodynamic concepts (more CL max, more stability), but with a price in terms of weight and drag.

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Try to adapt Rafale for an armored tactical bomber with side-by-side cockpit arrangement... Got his point now? Rafale is a neat bird but the flexibility of its design is rather poor, you cannot tweak it much more than you got in the basic version. Whereas, Su-27 design and its modifications cover the wide spectrum from a pure air superiority fighter to a Tu-22M-3 replacement. I find Flankers a bit boring nowadays, but I have to agree, the design itself is incredibly adaptable..

But please note Su-27 weight almost double the Rafale's weight. So when two Rafales fly in close formation you have a double-seat fighter bomber that is comparable in empty weight to the Su-34.

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The Su-27 is extremely heavy and on the edge of what you would call a fighter. That doesn't mean it's bad, but if the Eurofighter was planned with a 18 ton empty weight from the start, you would be surprised what would have come out of it.

Su-27 is only 16.5 ton empty with huge fuel tank and nose. u cannot fit that radar into tiny nose of Rafale.
it is Su-30MK that is 18 tons. and it does not use advance weight saving materials.

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You always say that when you have nothing to back up your claims with. My summary of this topic is quite ans simple - so far there are absolutely no proofs about the connection RA-5C --> MiG-25 except rant of some individuals who could not swallow the fact that not everything was invented in the USA. So they quickly had to come up with some artificially invented fairytale about Mikoyan sh!tting in his pants once he has seen a Vigilante. Exactly what kind of data could have Russians obtained about the RA-5C, anyway? B/W photos from a mag plus basic tech specs? Gimme a break.. Is THAT the big deal?

flex,
the story about the MiG-25 and the A-5 is quite popular, probably because it fits the prejudice that Russians were unable to develop anything useful on their own. I guess Mikoyan started with a clean sheet when we got the assignment to make a Mach 3 interceptor. The Vigilante used some very useful concepts, especially the air intakes. No Soviet fighter had similar intakes, their technology was not able to deliver the performance needed. The Vigilante was an inspiration, but that's it. You cannot design an aircraft from the visual impression you got from an airshow. But as design engineer you are well of if you use the things other people use. If the Americans build an aircraft that big and capable of Mach 2.3, it is a useful basis.

Often in technology the guy who has the first idea is credited most honor. I actually think that the design work that follows is much more demanding than having an idea. Most "ideas" get shelved and nobody hears of it any more. The problems the MiG-25 got were for real and they were tough. MiG solved them without looking at the A-5. Even if he copied the general arrangement from the A-5, that doesn't make his work any less honorable.