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Old 17th October 2018, 02:24 AM   #121
Delvo
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Excuse my ignorance but what is the big difference between the new type of landing and an ordinary landing by a conventional plane? Apart from the slower speeds.
The lower speed allows it to be done in a shorter distance. A normal, non-shortened-by-STOL landing would use a runway of a few thousand feet; on a ship you need to get it done in several hundred.

The extreme in runway-shortening would be to do it at zero forward speed and get that runway length down to zero, which would be a vertical landing (STOVL). But the more severely you shorten the landing, the lighter you need to be (because you only have the lift the engine can directly generate, not that plus aerodynamic lift), so the maximum length that fits on the ship's deck would allow the heaviest load to be carried during landing.

Last edited by Delvo; 17th October 2018 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 17th October 2018, 11:49 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Which harriers are you talking about? there is al ot of difference between various models and marks.
As far as I know, no Harrier other than the Qinetiq test model ever did an SRVL. Happy to be shown wrong if anybody knows better, though.
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Old 17th October 2018, 04:04 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
As far as I know, no Harrier other than the Qinetiq test model ever did an SRVL. Happy to be shown wrong if anybody knows better, though.
[quoteHarriers were notoriously twitchy to control in vertical flight[/quote]

This is the bit I was commenting on.
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Old 18th October 2018, 09:20 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Another issue along with the instability was the wheel arrangement. It was like a bicycle with little training wheels really far out to the sides (on the wingtips).
It does seem odd that the landing gear configuration was never changed to anything more conventional. It probably seemed adequate when it was thought that aircraft would only be doing vertical or very short take-offs and landings. I'll have to ask my brother about that once he's recovered.
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Old 18th October 2018, 09:47 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
It does seem odd that the landing gear configuration was never changed to anything more conventional. It probably seemed adequate when it was thought that aircraft would only be doing vertical or very short take-offs and landings. I'll have to ask my brother about that once he's recovered.
I assume the landing gear arrangement was dictated by design constraints arising from things like engine placement, performance goals, etc. Probably no aerospace engineer wants a Harrier-style landing gear if the overall design admits something more conventional.

JayUtah introduced me to the engineering term "satisficing", which is the necessary practice of satisfying one set of design requirements by sacrificing others. I got the impression that doing this well is the core of the engineer's art.

Which is to say, the gear arrangement couldn't have been changed without redesigning the entire plane. In other words, the landing gear configuration was changed to something more conventional, but the Harrier ended up becoming the F-35 in the process.

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Old 18th October 2018, 09:52 AM   #126
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I would guess that, had it been viable with the original airframe, it would have been done on the AV8B.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:12 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
It does seem odd that the landing gear configuration was never changed to anything more conventional.
Try finding a placement for the landing gear that doesn't put tyres close to hot engine exhausts...
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:59 AM   #128
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I think the Harrier is a good example of what I think of as "evolutionary pressure in design".

War is one of those things that tends to make intractable demands. "Adapt or die", literally. Think of the various military-industrial complexes as ruthlessly forcing evolutionary adaptations on each other.

Gunpowder makes body armor extinct, and then forces the evolution of a whole new kind of body armor. Tank armor improves, forcing the evolution of new kinds of ammunition to defeat it, forcing the evolution of new kinds of armor, and ultimately the evolution of active protection systems. Radar drives the evolution of stealth technology, but now it looks like passive stealth may be an evolutionary dead end. The emergence of drones will likely drive the evolution of jamming and hacking technology. Etc.

The Harrier evolved to fill a particular niche in a particular warfare ecosystem. The design turned out to have broader evolutionary advantages, and expanded into other niches. Meanwhile its original ecosystem evolved and changed and its original niche disappeared.

I've lately started to wonder if evolutionary biologists might find a useful laboratory in military history. Most biological processes seem to evolve over such long time periods that we're left guessing as to the actual mechanisms and pressures that produced this or that change. The military-industrial complex replaces random mutation with intelligent design, but the process of natural selection should be similar, and makes changes in the space of decades where biology requires millennia.
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Old 19th October 2018, 02:34 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I would guess that, had it been viable with the original airframe, it would have been done on the AV8B.
Probably, although they did move the outrigger landing gear closet to the fuselage, but that also meant they had to be longer due to the canted wings.
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Old 19th October 2018, 02:38 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Probably, although they did move the outrigger landing gear closet to the fuselage, but that also meant they had to be longer due to the canted wings.
I hadn't ever noticed that!
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Old 19th October 2018, 02:57 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Probably, although they did move the outrigger landing gear closet to the fuselage, but that also meant they had to be longer due to the canted wings.
Plus the wings were longer than on original Harriers.
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Old 19th October 2018, 02:58 AM   #132
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For anyone in NY that wants to the QE she will anchor in the Hudson River around lunchtime today.
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Old 21st October 2018, 04:58 AM   #133
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Old 21st October 2018, 02:04 PM   #134
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