HMS EAGLE in the Falklands

Short tail B-52s lack the rudder authority to handle a 1/4 engine out at takeoff and landing speeds. The only realistic option would be business jet engines in the 15,000 lbf thrust range. You can't use more thrust to increase MTOW because of the control authority issue and there's no real point in spending all this money to save fuel on a plain that only flies a few hundred hours a year, although efficiency gains would increase payload-to-range.
 
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Nick P

Donor
What part of this are you not getting? A major part of the cost of keeping the B-52 fleet online is the comical fuel consumption and the man-hours of servicing eight ancient engines per bird. Any effects on the platform itself are a side benefit.
Yeah I read an article earlier that flat out said the USAF will pretty much have to reengine them because by 2030 it will be almost impossible to source spare parts for the engines.
Both of these points are true. The main reasons for not upgrading the engines in the 70s, 80s and 90s were that the costs were higher than the possible savings. The USAF had warehouses full of spare parts, there were far more ground crew who were fully trained in these engines, the projected fuel savings were less than the cost of all the new engine work for an old aircraft that was expected to be phased out when the B-1 entered service or when all 165 of the shiny new B-2 bombers were delivered by 2010.
Now the spare parts are running out, and the USAF only got 20 B-2s, the B-1 fleet is now down to 65 aircraft, the B-21 is still to fly and at risk of cancellation, so the USAF need to keep the B-52 flying.

Can we now get back to the South Atlantic please?
 
What part of this are you not getting? A major part of the cost of keeping the B-52 fleet online is the comical fuel consumption and the man-hours of servicing eight ancient engines per bird. Any effects on the platform itself are a side benefit.
On the plus side they have a massive supply of spare parts because of the sheer number sitting out in Arizona help keep the 50 or so we still have flying.
 
On the plus side they have a massive supply of spare parts because of the sheer number sitting out in Arizona help keep the 50 or so we still have flying.
That's part of what I meant in my earlier post, it would be a massive investment and also means all those spares go to waste a time when the USAF needs the money to fund the B-21. Also if they can afford the fuel and the things will fly for at least another 12 years without spending money on an upgrade (by which time they hope the replacement might actually be flying) they may end up putting it off. That said they do seem to be moving forward now but having said they would do something about the BUFF's a dozen times or so before (and just let them soldier on) I hold little hope.

Back to the TL I was wondering what the likely time left in service Eagle has, can it soldier on long enough to get another fleet carrier built or will the RN always have a gap covered only by the ski jumps?
 
Back to the TL I was wondering what the likely time left in service Eagle has, can it soldier on long enough to get another fleet carrier built or will the RN always have a gap covered only by the ski jumps?
Probably depends on how much they're willing to spend to keep Eagle in service. My guess? They let Eagle retire before the new carrier(s) are ready and cross deck the Phantom and Buccaneer squadrons with the USN and MN to maintain proficiency.
 
Probably depends on how much they're willing to spend to keep Eagle in service. My guess? They let Eagle retire before the new carrier(s) are ready and cross deck the Phantom and Buccaneer squadrons with the USN and MN to maintain proficiency.
US maybe but aren't Foch and Clemenceau to small for Bucc's (Phantoms are a complete no hoper there)?
 
US maybe but aren't Foch and Clemenceau to small for Bucc's (Phantoms are a complete no hoper there)?
Probably too small to be used operationally. But they just might be able to trap and launch from them (if they're operating at very light weights) to maintain their carrier qualifications.
 
Probably too small to be used operationally. But they just might be able to trap and launch from them (if they're operating at very light weights) to maintain their carrier qualifications.
Maybe but the twins were only 22,000 tonnes so its likely right at the edge, although they did serve on Hermes which is only a thousand tonnes heavier. The Phantoms are certainly impossible if Hermes couldn't do it there is no way the Foch class could.

In any case they are long in the tooth and any new carrier is likely to either use F/A-18's, Rafale or a carrier version Eurofighter (the last is unlikely). Probably best to put the F-4's ashore and start fresh on the new ship, and then operate the Buccaneer until either a new design comes on stream or they just switch to using Hornet's for attack as well.
 
In any case they are long in the tooth and any new carrier is likely to either use F/A-18's, Rafale or a carrier version Eurofighter (the last is unlikely).
I think this alt-Falkland War pretty much butterflies away the Eurofighter and the Rafale as we know them. One of the main reasons France left the Eurofighter programme (which hasn't even officially started at this date) was their demand for a carrier capable variant which no-one else wanted. Now the British are in the market for such a thing themselves, which changes the politics of the entire programme.

Of course there are still the usual work-share and leadership problems any multi-national programme has, so I wouldn't be surprised if the French still end up leaving when the other partners reject their preferred plan (that the French specify, design and build the aircraft while everyone else pays for it). But by then a carrier version has been baked into the Eurofighter design so probably survives and enters service.
 
I think this alt-Falkland War pretty much butterflies away the Eurofighter and the Rafale as we know them. One of the main reasons France left the Eurofighter programme (which hasn't even officially started at this date) was their demand for a carrier capable variant which no-one else wanted. Now the British are in the market for such a thing themselves, which changes the politics of the entire programme.

Of course there are still the usual work-share and leadership problems any multi-national programme has, so I wouldn't be surprised if the French still end up leaving when the other partners reject their preferred plan (that the French specify, design and build the aircraft while everyone else pays for it). But by then a carrier version has been baked into the Eurofighter design so probably survives and enters service.
Well we'd still want the carrier version ourselves and if we manage to get other European nations (and possibly India and Australia) to chip in for a joint carrier project that's alot of planes needed. Although something tells me the French would leave that program as well likely due to the debate over should it be nuclear or not.
 
While the UK requiring a carrier capable aircraft would be an issue in the Eurofighter project, I suspect that the compromises that would be required would see it dropped, so while the history of the Eurofighter project would be different the outcome would be the same. I think that the FAA will ultimately go for the Hornet and Super Hornet on a new carrier.
 
While the UK requiring a carrier capable aircraft would be an issue in the Eurofighter project, I suspect that the compromises that would be required would see it dropped, so while the history of the Eurofighter project would be different the outcome would be the same. I think that the FAA will ultimately go for the Hornet and Super Hornet on a new carrier.
Makes sense and with Australia buying Hornets as well it makes a possible carrier collaboration more likely. OTL one option for replacing the Melbourne was to get either Britain or the USA to build a simple Carrier able to fly Hornets. Now with one potentially available off the shelf that idea could be revisited (but that does depend on the 1983 election).
 

Zen9

Banned
I always got the impression that but for the UK the Eurofighter would have collapsed as a project.

And superceded by Euro-Hornet.
 
I always got the impression that but for the UK the Eurofighter would have collapsed as a project.

And superseded by Euro-Hornet.
The same could be claimed regarding Panavia Tornado which was developed from the earlier Anglo-French AFVG project that was cancelled because Dassault and the French Government did not want it and Whitehall kept changing the parameters due to changing requirements (typical story of its time)

The British took the design to the next 'level' and mooted the idea of a European produced multirole strike plane that the European industries could build relatively cheaply in large numbers

The Typhoon was developed from the earlier British EAP which used many of the components from the Tornado project (Engines, tail etc) - and using the same management model as the Tornado gave the Europeans a decent 4th Gen fighter - delays mainly due to the 'peace dividend' following the collapse of the warsaw pact saw the aircraft not perhaps achieving its full potential outside of the RAF.

Had Britain retained fixed wing CATOBAR carrier capabilities into the 80s and 90s then I could possibly see both aircraft being adapted for 'salt water ops'.
 
The same could be claimed regarding Panavia Tornado which was developed from the earlier Anglo-French AFVG project that was cancelled because Dassault and the French Government did not want it and Whitehall kept changing the parameters due to changing requirements (typical story of its time)

The British took the design to the next 'level' and mooted the idea of a European produced multirole strike plane that the European industries could build relatively cheaply in large numbers

The Typhoon was developed from the earlier British EAP which used many of the components from the Tornado project (Engines, tail etc) - and using the same management model as the Tornado gave the Europeans a decent 4th Gen fighter - delays mainly due to the 'peace dividend' following the collapse of the warsaw pact saw the aircraft not perhaps achieving its full potential outside of the RAF.

Had Britain retained fixed wing CATOBAR carrier capabilities into the 80s and 90s then I could possibly see both aircraft being adapted for 'salt water ops'.
Unless you want a home produced product for political and defense (with an "s" :)) industrial base reasons, I would argue buying F-14s would be a better route than the Tornado. Besides the ass pain of modifying the aircraft for carrier use, I'm not sure a Tornado is a good bet for carrier use because it is a bit underpowered for an aircraft its size with engines no more powerful than those on a smaller and lighter Baby Hornet. I talked to a USAF F-15 driver several years ago who fly ADVs on an exchange tour and he said the engines on that thing "sucked" and that it was badly underpowered.
 
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Makes sense and with Australia buying Hornets as well it makes a possible carrier collaboration more likely. OTL one option for replacing the Melbourne was to get either Britain or the USA to build a simple Carrier able to fly Hornets. Now with one potentially available off the shelf that idea could be revisited (but that does depend on the 1983 election).
I don't see Australia collaborating on an aircraft carrier, they can't really afford it. If they get anything to replace Melbourne it'll be a second hand Invincible, but since it's unlikely that the UK will make one available until the new carrier is built the capability to will be gapped and unless they can maintain the expertise by having Australian personnel serve on RN and USN carriers it'll be expensive to reestablish.
 
Unless you want a home produced product for political and defense (with an "s" :)) industrial base reasons, I would argue buying F-14s would be a better route than the Tornado. Besides the ass pain of modifying the aircraft for carrier use, I'm not sure a Tornado is a good bet for carrier use because it is a bit underpowered for an aircraft its size with engines no more powerful than those on a smaller and lighter Baby Hornet. I talked to a USAF F-15 driver several years ago who fly ADVs on an exchange tour and he said the engines on that thing "sucked" and that it was badly underpowered.
Well if I could have chosen the Aircraft to be the ADV of the UK I would choose the F15 - same for the RAAF instead of the F18!

But its not cheap - it's the most expensive fighter of it generation both in terms of aircraft cost and operating costs by a significant margin - and with regards to performance your F15 pilot would say the same thing of any other fighter of that period. It took the F22 to wrest the crown from it after all.

The F15 was the big bad wolf for a very good reason. The ADV was a long range, long endurance missile truck intended to snuff Russian bombers over the North Sea.

The whole purpose of the Tornado platform was to keep the lifetime costs as low as possible - the 'underpowered' RB 199s where designed to be economical and compact while still delivering the desired thrust etc - while allowing for a sustainable European based production.
 
Unless you want a home produced product for political and defense (with an "s" :)) industrial base reasons, I would argue buying F-14s would be a better route than the Tornado. Besides the ass pain of modifying the aircraft for carrier use, I'm not sure a Tornado is a good bet for carrier use because it is a bit underpowered for an aircraft its size with engines no more powerful than those on a smaller and lighter Baby Hornet. I talked to a USAF F-15 driver several years ago who fly ADVs on an exchange tour and he said the engines on that thing "sucked" and that it was badly underpowered.
This is something I was thinking about as well. If the UK is retaining CATOBAR capability, it could well be interested in Tomcats. This is around the time that the -14D was being developed and that would give the UK a credible strike-fighter, allowing them to replace both the Phantoms and Buccaneers with a single airframe. With a larger user base, the USN may elect to develop the Super Tomcat instead of the Super Hornet (fingers crossed).
 

Zen9

Banned
So first off....I know all about the sorry stories of the MRCA and Eurofighter. The German even banned their industry from taking part in EAP.
And MRCA was supposedly a replacement for the Starfighter. Hence why the UK compromised on range.

As to Tomcat , this was looked at for the RAF and concluded that the thing was too expensive. But that the radar missile combination was ideal for the role envisaged.
F15 however was cheaper but lacking the radar missile system which was itself expensive.
AI.24 and Skyflash were the correct outcomes of this process.
They even looked at fitting it to the Tomcat , but the USN machine was just too expensive even without the American radar missile combination!
 
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