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Old 13th May 2019, 05:44 AM   #81
Captain_Swoop
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Originally Posted by BillC View Post
This strikes me as well with ASW aircraft. After searching with airborne radar or magnetic anomaly sensors, a seaplane would be able to then land on the water and conduct a sonar search. (Or vice-versa.)
They drop a sonar buey. Why would they need to land?
What would they do with a contact if they were on the surface?
ASW helicopt have a 'dipping' sonar they lower in to the water without landing.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:19 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
It depends how you define 'the time' the Gloster Meteor served for decades with air forces around rthe globe. The RAF retired it's last few working as target tugs in the 80's.
Martin Baker still operate two as test aircraft.

It's engine theRolls-Royce Derwent was used in all kinds of applications for many decades.

It can't be compared with the contemporary German Jumo that needed a rebuild every 8 or so hours.
The time is during WW2, of course. Its contemporary German turbojets, while vastly more efficient, had serious reliability problems. The ME626 had a time between overhauls of 50 hours, at least in the beginning.

Progress was quick and by the time of the Meteor (which barely saw active service before the war ended), it was an entirely different matter.

... Although I expect any still in service have probably been through several sets of engines, with improvements.

My point was that a piston powered duct fan with afterburner could be built with wartime standard materials, and if correctly constructed could have an edge over contemporary prop fighters.

As it were ... well I read somewhere that Il Duce was quite pleased to be able to say he now had a jet in his inventory, and when you have to serve under a dangerous despot, that would be an advantage in itself.

Hans
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:25 AM   #83
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I'll add a favorite of my own: The PO2

Built in vast numbers, but little known in the West.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polikarpov_Po-2

Hans
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:33 AM   #84
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I'm no expert on the subject of planes, but this is a local legend: Beverley XB259

http://www.beverley-association.org.uk/html/259/259.htm

I went in it a few times. Once on Paull airfield in the 70s, an done at Beverley Transport Museum. Now at Fort Paull.
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Old 13th May 2019, 10:03 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
A matter of definition, of course, but I think Pope130 termed it accurately: A ducted fan with an afterburner.

More competent design might have rendered it a usable concept, but the
(high) weight/power ratio and (low) efficiency of the piston engine would always leave it mediocre at best.

OTOH, it could be built with the technology of the time. This was only marginally true of real jets.

Hans
Almost exactly the opposite of the turbo-compound engine, which used exhaust gas from a piston engine to drive a turbine to drive a propeller. In it's ultimate form, I think there was no mechanical connection from the crankshaft to the prop, it was just a gas generator.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:31 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Add the Wight Quadruplane to this one.
Another similar quad winged aircraft with a similar lack of success.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wight_Quadruplane

Or the much bigger Pemberton-Billing Nighthawk. A twin engined quad with a 37mm cannon and searchlight.

It had an endurance of 18 hours and was supposed to be able to wait all night for a Zeppelin to arrive and then shoot it down.
Unfortunately it only made about 60 mph and took over an hour to reach 10,000 feet.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Nighthawk
An hour?!? Wow! My understanding is also that Zeppelins proved at first to be unexpectedly resistant to attack once the fighters reached them. Large but very diffuse targets with relatively few crucial parts to shoot at. It took experimentation until fighter attacks became effective - I think shooting an entire load of incendiaries at a single gas bag was found to be the best approach. But once this was discovered it first drove the development of high altitude airships, then eventually convinced Germany to completely abandon Zeppelin attacks on London.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:40 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
An interesting concept was the General Aircraft Fleet Shadower.

Designed in the 30s as an early 'stealth' aircraft. It was very quiet and had a very long endurance. It could shadow enemy warships at night out of hearing and sight. It had a stall speed of only 39 knots.

It was superseded by radar and never saw widespread service going in to service in 1940 and being retired in 41.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera...Fleet_Shadower
Reminds me in general concept of the Lockhead YO-3 used in the Vietnam War.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_YO-3
A very quiet/high endurance plane designed to shadow enemy troops (at night) without being detected. Pretty much a prop-assisted glider.

Last edited by Giordano; 13th May 2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:52 PM   #88
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Has the Republic XF-84H Thunderscreech been brought up yet?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republ...Thunderscreech

Two counter-rotating forward props on concentric turbo-driven shafts. Apparently fast but also the loudest airplane ever made. The tips of the props were supersonic at operating speeds so the plane emitted constant sonic boom shock waves even when on ground that could incapacitate unprotected personnel, disrupt operations throughout an airport and were heard up to 25 miles away.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:58 PM   #89
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I suspect most of you have heard of the B-58 Hustler but I will mention it in this thread because the Vulcan has already been brought up:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_B-58_Hustler

A supersonic nuclear bomber and IMO one of the sexiest most beautiful airplanes ever built (ignoring its grim mission). Relatively quickly made obsolete by events, but for me as a young boy this was exactly what a jet plane should look like!
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:06 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Has the Republic XF-84H Thunderscreech been brought up yet?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republ...Thunderscreech

Two counter-rotating forward props on concentric turbo-driven shafts. Apparently fast but also the loudest airplane ever made. The tips of the props were supersonic at operating speeds so the plane emitted constant sonic boom shock waves even when on ground that could incapacitate unprotected personnel, disrupt operations throughout an airport and were heard up to 25 miles away.
I kind of assume that the XF-84 is one of those "Things That Nobody Has Heard Of" That Everybody Has Heard Of.

Like somebody who doesn't really care about airplanes has probably never heard of it, but they don't care, so what's the point? Meanwhile everyone who does care about airplanes has heard about that crazy brown note airplane.
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:10 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by BillC View Post
The Edgley Optica was a weird one. It came to prominence for two reasons: being flown by Mark Hamill in the 1989 movie Slipstream, and for a crash which killed the police pilot and his passenger.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgley_Optica

I saw one of those flying at Farnborough in 1988. Quite noisy IIRC
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:20 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
IMO one of the sexiest most beautiful airplanes ever built
That would be the Victor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_Victor


https://www.thunder-and-lightnings.c...ctor/index.php


http://yorkshireairmuseum.org/exhibi...age-victor-k2/

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Old 13th May 2019, 02:32 PM   #93
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However, the one you haven't heard of is the Valiant.
It was the 'insurance policy' in case the Vulcan and Valiant didn't work out.
It was very 'conventional' compared to the Vulcan and Valiant and didn't stay in service as long.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_Valiant
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:52 PM   #94
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I think you meant to say Vulcan and Victor.

I remember walking along the Crinan Canal as a teenager and experiencing the Vulcans practicing low-level runs. They were monsterous beasts, fantastic aircraft.
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Old 13th May 2019, 03:00 PM   #95
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It has been said about sailboats that if they look "great" (sleek and sexy) they usually sail great (with only a few exceptions). I suspect the same applies to airplanes.

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Old 13th May 2019, 03:52 PM   #96
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Burnelli

The Burnelli lifting fuselage aircraft of the late 1930s. Very efficient design, it was a step on the way to modern lifting body, flying wing and spanloader technologies. Had WW-2 not intervened, with it's high demand for proven designs, the Burnelli concept might have succeeded.
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:06 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Mikemcc View Post
I think you meant to say Vulcan and Victor.

I remember walking along the Crinan Canal as a teenager and experiencing the Vulcans practicing low-level runs. They were monsterous beasts, fantastic aircraft.
Yes Victor of course.

I don't see the fuss about the Vulcan, It's a boring triangle, the Victor is the sexy one, those swooping crescent wings and scifi front end.
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:25 PM   #98
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To me the Victor looks like it was designed by someone who learned everything they knew about jet bombers from the Bell X-1. Advanced, but somehow also primitive. And those intakes just look saggy.

For me, the peak bomber aesthetic is probably the B-1B.

But I'm also fond of the F-117 (which is a bomber despite its nomenclature). Its form is pure "interim", but also an absolute dedication to singular function: Lowest possible radar cross section. Only the most meager concession is made to the aerodynamic requirements of flight. Low RCS is everything.
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:38 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

But I'm also fond of the F-117 (which is a bomber despite its nomenclature). Its form is pure "interim", but also an absolute dedication to singular function: Lowest possible radar cross section. Only the most meager concession is made to the aerodynamic requirements of flight. Low RCS is everything.
For a proper designation, I'd say it should have had an "A" (Attack), rather than a "B" (Bomber). But it certainly isn't an "F".
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Old 13th May 2019, 04:45 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
For a proper designation, I'd say it should have had an "A" (Attack), rather than a "B" (Bomber). But it certainly isn't an "F".
Lately in casual contexts I think of any dedicated air to surface attack craft that relies on bombs rather than guns as a bomber.
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Old 13th May 2019, 07:07 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
To me the Victor looks like it was designed by someone who learned everything they knew about jet bombers from the Bell X-1. Advanced, but somehow also primitive. And those intakes just look saggy.

For me, the peak bomber aesthetic is probably the B-1B.

But I'm also fond of the F-117 (which is a bomber despite its nomenclature). Its form is pure "interim", but also an absolute dedication to singular function: Lowest possible radar cross section. Only the most meager concession is made to the aerodynamic requirements of flight. Low RCS is everything.
Victor had a constant critical Mach number across the entire wing and consequently a high cruise speed, the nose and tail, were also designed to the 'area rule' for the same critical mach number so the shape of the Victor had a constant critical mach number all over.
A similar looking aircraft was the Buckaneer, it had similar crescent wings for the same reason.
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Old 14th May 2019, 02:47 AM   #102
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Nah, the sexiest plane is the Airbus Beluga:

I like big fuselages and I cannot lie...
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Old 14th May 2019, 03:04 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
For a proper designation, I'd say it should have had an "A" (Attack), rather than a "B" (Bomber). But it certainly isn't an "F".
That depends on who you want to convince they want to fly it, doesn't it?
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Old 14th May 2019, 04:31 AM   #104
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Fantastic thread, the best fun I've had on ISF for years. Well done to all contributors!
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Old 14th May 2019, 04:47 AM   #105
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Two of my favourite little-known aircraft are the stunningly unaesthetic Avro Bison and Blackburn Blackburn (so ugly they named it twice). For some unfathomable reason there was a decision made that naval spotter-reconnaissance aircraft needed a full-sized chart table and enough room for the observer to stand up inside the fuselage, but still needed to be small enough to operate from an aircraft carrier. There was a two-seat side-by-side trainer version of one that reputedly had so much drag that it could barely get airborne from the Fleet Air Arm's longest land runways, never mind a carrier. Fortunately they were never needed in a war; in any kind of combat they'd have been sitting ducks.

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Old 14th May 2019, 05:10 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
They drop a sonar buey. Why would they need to land?
What would they do with a contact if they were on the surface?
ASW helicopt have a 'dipping' sonar they lower in to the water without landing.
I guess because a sonar array that could be placed in contact with the water from an amphibious aircraft could be larger and more sensitive than a dropped sonar buoy or dipped sonar.
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Old 14th May 2019, 06:36 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by BillC View Post
I guess because a sonar array that could be placed in contact with the water from an amphibious aircraft could be larger and more sensitive than a dropped sonar buoy or dipped sonar.
The current strategy seems to be to use the helicopter for covering a large area quickly, while its parent frigate or destroyer brings the big stuff up behind. Either the ship following up on contacts from the helo, or the helo covering the route of a contact being chased by the ship.

And a ship-helo team can stay out longer and operate in more conditions than a seaplane.
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Old 14th May 2019, 06:42 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

For me, the peak bomber aesthetic is probably the B-1B.
Probably because it looks more like a fighter than a bomber.
Quote:
But I'm also fond of the F-117 (which is a bomber despite its nomenclature). Its form is pure "interim", but also an absolute dedication to singular function: Lowest possible radar cross section. Only the most meager concession is made to the aerodynamic requirements of flight. Low RCS is everything.
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
For a proper designation, I'd say it should have had an "A" (Attack), rather than a "B" (Bomber). But it certainly isn't an "F".
I've always wondered how it ended up as and "F".
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Old 14th May 2019, 06:46 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Probably because it looks more like a fighter than a bomber.
Probably not.

Why would you think that about me?
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Old 14th May 2019, 06:59 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I've always wondered how it ended up as and "F".
Marketing. Hey Congress, we can't tell you about this Stealth FIGHTER we're building, but continue to fund it anyhow. And the Air Force hates having a ground attack mission, hence their repeated attempts to kill the A-10.
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:07 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Reminds me in general concept of the Lockhead YO-3 used in the Vietnam War.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_YO-3
A very quiet/high endurance plane designed to shadow enemy troops (at night) without being detected. Pretty much a prop-assisted glider.
This surely wins the thread for aircraft you never heard (of).
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:13 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The current strategy seems to be to use the helicopter for covering a large area quickly, while its parent frigate or destroyer brings the big stuff up behind. Either the ship following up on contacts from the helo, or the helo covering the route of a contact being chased by the ship.

And a ship-helo team can stay out longer and operate in more conditions than a seaplane.
I am surprised that this is true. The Seahawk helicopter, one of the current anti-submarine navy helicopters, has an endurance up to 3-1/5 hours and a range of 282 miles. Although there are no current USN seaplanes used for anti-sub patrol (AFAIK), many of the seaplanes used in WW 2, such as the PBY Catalina, had endurances of up to 31 hours and ranges of 2,500 miles - one of the main reasons they were so beloved for patrols.

This does not resolve the "operate in more conditions" issue but isn't that referring to the difficulty seaplanes have landing on rough water, rather than in flight? I imagine helicopters and seaplanes both (being relatively slow, bulky, and with low max altitudes compared to most jets) have similar problems in flight in storms, with the Catalina actually having slightly higher ceilings and max speeds vs helicopters. And notably landing a helicopter on a rocking aircraft carrier deck in high and gusty storm winds is probably very difficult - is it that much less limiting than landing a seaplane in a storm when the seaplane can travel thousands of miles to find smoother water?

Am I misunderstanding the facts?

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Old 14th May 2019, 07:21 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Marketing. Hey Congress, we can't tell you about this Stealth FIGHTER we're building, but continue to fund it anyhow. And the Air Force hates having a ground attack mission, hence their repeated attempts to kill the A-10.
Stereotypes aside, there doesn't seem to be any good information about how it happened. Some say it was to mislead the Soviets, or fit into some negotiation with them. Others say it was to attract the top pilots. Still others suggest it was an accident - just another meaningless anomaly in the application of the tri-service numbering system.
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:33 AM   #114
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Also, as hilariously awesome as the A-10 is, it hasn't made a lot of sense, operationally or fiscally, in a long time. That's why the Air Force is trying to get rid of it. Modern CAS is being done more effectively by the F-16, F-15E, and the B-1B.

The age of the multirole fighter is upon us. Building a dedicated tactical ground attack plane today would be like building a dedicated night fighter.
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:36 AM   #115
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The age of the fighter plane is over.
Make way for the Drones.
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:37 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Stereotypes aside, there doesn't seem to be any good information about how it happened. Some say it was to mislead the Soviets, or fit into some negotiation with them. Others say it was to attract the top pilots. Still others suggest it was an accident - just another meaningless anomaly in the application of the tri-service numbering system.
To be fair, it was the F-111 that initially muddied the waters; the F-111B would have been something that could reasonably be described as a fighter, but every F-111 (as opposed to FB-111 and EF-111, which definitely weren't fighters either) that actually flew had low level bombing and ground attack as a primary mission.

Dave
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Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:51 AM   #117
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I am surprised that this is true. The Seahawk helicopter, one of the current anti-submarine navy helicopters, has an endurance up to 3-1/5 hours and a range of 282 miles. Although there are no current USN seaplanes used for anti-sub patrol (AFAIK), many of the seaplanes used in WW 2, such as the PBY Catalina, had endurances of up to 31 hours and ranges of 2,500 miles - one of the main reasons they were so beloved for patrols.

This does not resolve the "operate in more conditions" issue but isn't that referring to the difficulty seaplanes have landing on rough water, rather than in flight? I imagine helicopters and seaplanes both (being relatively slow, bulky, and with low max altitudes compared to most jets) have similar problems in flight in storms, with the Catalina actually having slightly higher ceilings and max speeds vs helicopters. And notably landing a helicopter on a rocking aircraft carrier deck in high and gusty storm winds is probably very difficult - is it that much less limiting than landing a seaplane in a storm when the seaplane can travel thousands of miles to find smoother water?

Am I misunderstanding the facts?
A ship-helo team can operate in more conditions than a seaplane. And while the helo's own endurance is limited, the destroyer it's flying from can stay on station for weeks at a time - in any weather. A seaplane that has to fly thousands of miles away to land is not going to be much use in hunting the submarine it left behind. When the USN does need that kind of trade-off, they just operate land-based ASW planes like the P-3 and the P-8.
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Old 14th May 2019, 07:57 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
To be fair, it was the F-111 that initially muddied the waters; the F-111B would have been something that could reasonably be described as a fighter, but every F-111 (as opposed to FB-111 and EF-111, which definitely weren't fighters either) that actually flew had low level bombing and ground attack as a primary mission.

Dave
Yep. And the F/A-18 should actually be the AF-18. And the F-15E should actually be the AF-15. The F-16 should probably be the AF-16, but at least in that case it was designed as a pure fighter, that later turned out to be flexible and upgradeable enough to be an effective multirole.
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Old 14th May 2019, 08:42 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's a ground effect vehicle, I think? Like this funky looking thing:

https://www.elitereaders.com/airfish...-marine-craft/
Yes, according to Wikipedia, it is a ground effect vehicle. For some reason, it kept getting full of eels.
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Old 14th May 2019, 08:45 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The current strategy seems to be to use the helicopter for covering a large area quickly, while its parent frigate or destroyer brings the big stuff up behind. Either the ship following up on contacts from the helo, or the helo covering the route of a contact being chased by the ship.

And a ship-helo team can stay out longer and operate in more conditions than a seaplane.
Exactly, I served on ASW Frigates in the RN in the 80s. We had an array of detection gear including variable depth sonar that could be lowered deep to detect subs 'hiding' in thermal layers. We had a helicopter that could be armed with AS torpedoes and depth bombs that we could send to engage any distant contacts and our own onboard weapon systems.

Most of the sensors were passive 'listening' devices, they could pinpoint and identify a particular class of sub and even individual boats.
Active 'pinging' was only used as a last accurate 'fix' before a weapon was engaged.
Bigger helicopters from carriers and cruisers carried 'dipping' sonars as well as sonobuoys and could locate and engage targets on their own.
I am sure the sensors and systems are a lot more sophisticated today.
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