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Aerospace and Ordnance discussion/news.

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I don't know which is stranger, that there's a youtube video of a sock puppet explaining the difference between air to air missiles... or that it's actually pretty good:  

Chinese Xian H-6 medium bombers ready for maritime orientation flight on Saturday. Looking decidedly Old School.  

The optics for both gunner and pilot include thermal imagers made by Safran (based on their Iris product line). The Osiris mast-mounted sight also includes other optics, a laser-rangefinder and an aut

  • 2 weeks later...





  Apparently in Kazan the hardest part to produce - as "Business Online» learned, schedule of manufacturing the most important part  of plane was signed - the central beam made out of titanium.


   Unique technology began to be recovered at the Kazan aircraft plant named after Gorbunov - a branch of "Tupolev". It is a vacuum annealing and welding of components made of titanium, and electron-beam welding (ELU-24) and annealing (UVN-45). Against the backdrop of the news lull on the resumption of production of the Tu-160 reported by the factory newspaper "Forward!".

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Have Dash II was an early 1990s attempt to try some new things in air to air missiles.  The missile body was trapezoidal, rather than round, in cross-section, and was coated with radar-absorbing material so that when attached to a fighter, the missile would contribute less to radar cross section.


I frankly doubt that these measures would have been enough to get the ultra-tiny RCS figures American aerospace engineers were aiming for, but perhaps in the early 1990s that wasn't common knowledge.




Another very interesting idea tested in this design was the bank-to-turn autopilot.  This is one of those ideas which has large theoretical advantages, and gets engineers excited, but has proven for one reason or another to be a bear to get to actually work, and has thus been seldom utilized (although the MDBA Meteor does use bank-to-turn to avoid choking the ramjet).


Airplanes have a preferred orientation when performing maneuvers; they can pull more Gs pitching nose-up than they can by pushing the nose down or than yawing left or right:




This is in part because humans have a preferred orientation; they can take more positive Gs (blood rushing into feet) than they can take negative Gs (blood rushes into head).  But this also improves the structural and aerodynamic efficiency of the airplane.  The structure can be lighter if it only needs to be rated for high G loading in a particular direction, as opposed to being able to take that loading in any direction.  The control surfaces can also be smaller; the rudder doesn't need to be big enough to generate a 9 G yaw for instance, which means less drag as well.


So, in order to turn an airplane particularly sharply the aircraft is rolled so that the preferred maneuvering orientation lines up with the direction the pilot wants to go, and then they can start a coordinated turn in that direction.

Air to air missiles don't work like this.  They have no preferred orientation for maneuvers, and skid to turn.  This means that the fins that cause a pitching motion have to be just as big, draggy and heavy as the ones that cause a yawing motion, which is why all air to air missiles have cruciform fins:




At least part of the reason that bank to turn has been seldom used is that some early air to air missile sensors would become confused if the missile rolled.  The reticule seekers used in early heat-seekers would return incorrect angular measurements to the target if the missile were rolling, so the AIM-9 (and several of its clones) used these nifty little air-driven gyroscopes to prevent them from rolling at all:


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Maybe the minigun pods but the USAF gave up on most gun pods due to inaccuracy/deflection issues especially with larger caliber (20mm+) models.  both the Harrier pods and F-35 pods are purpose built pods attached specifically to the air frame vs podded on standard hard points.


I'm not even sure how many of the bigger 20mm pods the USAF would still have in inventory.

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In premise you could mount a gun pod on an A-10, but I am 99% sure that none were ever qualified for use on it.

I've seen a loadout chart illustrating the use of gun pods on the '10, but I find it dubious they were ever mounted.

If I manage to get to the book I saw it in while sorting my trash, I'll post the images.


The pods for the most part can be hung on anything that can lift them, being basically self contained.  The mounting of any gun pod on the '10 though, would be "pretty fucking silly" on the overall scale of "dumb shit you can sling under an aircraft".

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I think the most common use of them was on the Phantom before the variants with the internal Vulcan were produced.




There was also an attempt to fit a 30mm gunpod to the F-16. http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article18.html




It worked poorly.

Yeah that's the baby Avenger.  IIRC it had some 'vibration' issues. :P

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