ThePointblank
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FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:24 pm

This comes at a time when the USN is struggling with serviceability and reliability of the old classic Hornet fleet, and a number of incidents with the current Blue Angels F/A-18's where components have fallen off the aircraft during demonstrations.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...hornet-for-blue-angels-rol-419812/

Quote:
The US Navy has started a process to replace the Blue Angels demonstration team’s aircraft with a squadron of Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornets.

Boeing will receive a contract to draw up the engineering plans needed to convert the single-seat Super Hornet into a configuration specific to the Blue Angels role, the navy said in a 3 December acquisition notice.

The engineering work will support engineering change proposal 6480, which is entitled, “Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) Super Hornet Conversion”, the acquisition document shows.

Note some of the specified changes to the Super Hornet for the Blue Angels; removal of the gun and missile launchers, installation of flight auxiliary fuel pumps for prolonged inverted flight, a smoke generator, and changes to the control stick for more pilot feedback.
 
Powerslide
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:48 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Thread starter):
current Blue Angels F/A-18's where components have fallen off the aircraft during demonstrations.

Was this due to improper maintenance or just component failure?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:14 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 1):

Was this due to improper maintenance or just component failure?

Age related issues. The classic Hornets are flying well past their designed service lives. Some of the issues are explained in this thread:

USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues (by ThePointblank Jun 7 2015 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
 
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moo
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:14 pm

Is there any particular reason the Blue Angels need to use front line aircraft rather than trainer aircraft? The cost of flight hours on the Hornets must be well above that of using a T-45 or the up coming new trainer...
 
wingman
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:33 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Is there any particular reason the Blue Angels need to use front line aircraft rather than trainer aircraft? The cost of flight hours on the Hornets must be well above that of using a T-45 or the up coming new trainer...

It's all marketing and image. Taxpayers want to see what the government is blowing its wad on, the shiny stuff, not the basement leftovers. Despite the overall lousy ROI on military spending, I admit I'm a complete sucker for air and navy shows. All the planes have a cool factor, but when the Blue Angels show up in proper gear it's a different level of excitement. And woe be unto them if the F22 is included, because that guy just makes the F18 look like the basement stuff.

Long story short, you gotta bring the goods if you want the people to drink the Kool-Aid. And Americans likey the Kool-Aid.
 
Sooner787
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:36 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Is there any particular reason the Blue Angels need to use front line aircraft rather than trainer aircraft? The cost of flight hours on the Hornets must be well above that of using a T-45 or the up coming new trainer...

Well, going forward, it's probably more cost effective to use Super Hornets than the
other option, the F-35C.

Besides, the Blues need a 2 seat aircraft for the press / VIP rides as well.
 
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moo
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 5):
Well, going forward, it's probably more cost effective to use Super Hornets than the
other option, the F-35C.

Besides, the Blues need a 2 seat aircraft for the press / VIP rides as well.

But as I said, there are other options than just front line aircraft - the Red Arrows perform majestically on 30 year old Hawk trainers, and all their aircraft have 2 seats (helps when ferrying the Circus ground crew between displays).

I haven't ever seen the Blue Angels, but I did see the Thunderbirds when they performed at RIAT one year - I was fairly underwhelmed, they didn't seem to do anything which required such a hefty aircraft as the F-16.

I'm not complaining, it just seems that most other countries display teams (not all, as Im aware some other teams do use front line aircraft) use trainer aircraft rather than front line aircraft - so is it just a case of bling, as wingman diplomatically puts it, or is there an actual reason for front line aircraft being used in display teams, specifically in this case?
 
Sooner787
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
or is there an actual reason for front line aircraft being used in display teams, specifically in this case?

IIRC, the nararators of both the Blues and T-Birds point out during the shows
that these front line aircraft can be quickly converted back into combat aircraft
if the need arises.

Plus the Blues also do carrier quals in their squadron aircraft as well.

I hope this change is in effect for the 2016 season, I have enough classic
Hornet Blue Angels photos to wallpaper my house
  
 
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:14 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
I haven't ever seen the Blue Angels, but I did see the Thunderbirds when they performed at RIAT one year - I was fairly underwhelmed, they didn't seem to do anything which required such a hefty aircraft as the F-16.

IMHO the Thunderbirds don't even come close to comparing to the Blue Angels. I've seen both perform probably a dozen times each, I don't bother watching the Thunderbirds anymore but the Blues are always on my checklist.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
sprout5199
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:20 pm

Quoting wingman (Reply 4):
Despite the overall lousy ROI on military spending

I have to disagree. Just look at when the blues(or was it the t-birds) flew over the superdome for the superbowl the one year, Everybody bitched about the DOD spending 200,000 for the 30 second spot on TV cuz nobody inside could see them, meanwhile a 30 second spot ad cost 3 million. Good ROI. And just think the Blues are known world wide, whats the ROI for that? Any airshow in the world would love to have them. Money well spent-- something the DoD is not known for.

Dan in Jupiter
 
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:41 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 8):
IMHO the Thunderbirds don't even come close to comparing to the Blue Angels. I've seen both perform probably a dozen times each, I don't bother watching the Thunderbirds anymore but the Blues are always on my checklist.

I agree 100%. I'm am an AF vet, but the Blue Angles put on a much better show. I think the TBs are risk adverse to a fault, probably since the time the entire formation hit the ground years back.

The TBs did great with T-38s, most don't know what is front line combat aircraft or not. I think the T-45 is a good choice for the Blues. It would be very cool to see the Blues with F-16s. Doesn't the Navy fly them for A to A training at Fallon? That would make them legit, plus the TBs could break their stones over it...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:10 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 7):
IIRC, the nararators of both the Blues and T-Birds point out during the shows
that these front line aircraft can be quickly converted back into combat aircraft
if the need arises.

No, only the T-Birds F-16s can be quickly readied for combat, and the aircraft retain most of the combat systems, gun, missile systems, bombing computers, etc.

The Blue's F/A-18s will take a while to return to a combat configuration. They have had guns and missile systems removed, and I don't think they have a bombing computer aboard, either.

The T-Bird pilots also maintain a combat mission ready status, the Blues pilots do not.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:28 am

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 11):
No, only the T-Birds F-16s can be quickly readied for combat, and the aircraft retain most of the combat systems, gun, missile systems, bombing computers, etc.

According to Aunt Wikipedia, the Thunderbird F-16 have the gun system removed, as well as an exhaust (APU?).


David
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Oroka
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:40 am

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
But as I said, there are other options than just front line aircraft - the Red Arrows perform majestically on 30 year old Hawk trainers, and all their aircraft have 2 seats (helps when ferrying the Circus ground crew between displays).

Snowbirds are kicking around in 55 year old CT-114s, and may be flying them till 2035 (making them 75 years old).

 
avnut43
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:09 pm

Foxtrot Alpha covered the story too. There were some good comments as to why the Blues should get Super Hornets

Navy Eyes Transitioning The Blue Angels To F/A-18E/F Super Hornets
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/nav...-angels-to-f-a-18e-f-su-1746825502
 
Sooner787
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:23 pm

Quoting avnut43 (Reply 14):
Foxtrot Alpha covered the story too. There were some good comments as to why the Blues should get Super Hornets

Navy Eyes Transitioning The Blue Angels To F/A-18E/F Super Hornets
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/nav...-angels-to-f-a-18e-f-su-1746825502


From that article, it sounds like the 2017 season would be the soonest the Blues could complete
a transition to the Rhinos?
 
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:45 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 11):
The T-Bird pilots also maintain a combat mission ready status

Pretty sure that's not correct. They don't have the time to practice/qualify in bombing, ACM etc. as they have an extremely busy schedule with practice and shows. They do maintain their air-refueling qualifications and of course instrument flying.

That being said, after their normally 2-year tour with the team, it doesn't take much to get them back on mission ready status in the aircraft they came out of (i.e. F-16/F-15/A-10...). But they have to re-learn.

Mission ready status for a t-bird pilot means he's ready and fully qualified to fly in shows.

[Edited 2015-12-10 10:46:11]
 
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afterburner33
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:20 am

I also saw the Thunderbirds at RIAT a few years ago. It was great to finally see them, and they put on a beautiful technically correct display of precision flying. But it just wasn't as exciting and dramatic as the Red Arrows display a bit later, who always produce a wonderful crowd pleasing show.

I haven't yet seen the Blue Angels, but would like to. Unfortunately not living in the US is a bit of a hindrance.

It's horses for courses really. Crowds generally like seeing large powerful combat jets in display teams, which was one of the reasons both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds used the F-4 Phantom in the past, despite it not being a particularly aerobatic aircraft. The Thunderbirds even briefly used the F-105 - hardly the most agile aircraft available. The Red Arrows are of course an exception ... but then they're never going to get to use Typhoons!

[Edited 2015-12-11 00:28:33]
 
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moo
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:32 am

Quoting afterburner33 (Reply 17):
The Red Arrows are of course an exception ... but then they're never going to get to use Typhoons!

The Hawk isn't a particularly aerobatic aircraft either, and the Red Arrows have never flown front line aircraft, they have always flown trainers (although there were other aerobatic teams in the RAF which flew front line aircraft, but thats because up until 1964 a lot of squadrons had their own teams using whatever equipment the squadron was issued with at the time).

While the Hawk isnt a front line jet, the Red Arrows do have uprated engines but nowhere near that of anything considered front line these days - and the Red Arrows can still put on a full, dynamic and crowd pleasing display.
 
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:46 am

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
I haven't ever seen the Blue Angels, but I did see the Thunderbirds when they performed at RIAT one year - I was fairly underwhelmed, they didn't seem to do anything which required such a hefty aircraft as the F-16.
Quoting apfpilot (Reply 8):
IMHO the Thunderbirds don't even come close to comparing to the Blue Angels. I've seen both perform probably a dozen times each, I don't bother watching the Thunderbirds anymore but the Blues are always on my checklist.

Couldn't agree more the Tbirds are boring, the Blues are very impressive, great show.

Quoting moo (Reply 18):
The Hawk isn't a particularly aerobatic aircraft either

Well that's just nonsense.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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moo
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:20 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 19):
Well that's just nonsense.

And yet you offer no rebuttal, just a personal opinion.

If you want an aerobatic aircraft, you have to go to something designed for aerobatics. The Hawk is designed as a trainer aircraft, and the bulk of what the Red Arrows do is precision flying rather than what you would see an Extra 300 do.
 
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747classic
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:38 am

Why not search the Navy and Marine inventory for "legacy" F18's with the most remaining flight hours/cycles (active or stored) and convert these relative low time aircraft with the special " aerobatic proof " parts of the current Blue Angel aircraft.
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moo
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:28 pm

Quoting 747classic (Reply 21):

Why not search the Navy and Marine inventory for "legacy" F18's with the most remaining flight hours/cycles (active or stored) and convert these relative low time aircraft with the special " aerobatic proof " parts of the current Blue Angel aircraft.

Reading between the lines, there just aren't enough of those sort of airframes left - back in 2011 various Navy and Marine squadrons were borrowing Super Hornets for instructors to fly alongside students in Legacy Hornets in order to preserve flight hours on the Legacy Hornet fleet (cite Airforces Monthly article back then - can dig out tonight if interested in specifics).

Any low time stored aircraft are already being swapped in for high time airframes in the front line squadrons - and lets face it, properly equipping those squadrons are more important than an aerobatics team.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:50 pm

Surprised no one talked about the Blue Angles Sky Hawks. While maneuverable, those planes (and the non-high performance fighter) could not do the verticals like the F-18s and to some extent the F-16's.

bt
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ThePointblank
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:01 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 11):
No, only the T-Birds F-16s can be quickly readied for combat, and the aircraft retain most of the combat systems, gun, missile systems, bombing computers, etc.

In theory, yes, but in practicality, bringing a Thunderbird F-16 back into the operational fleet is next to impossible.

Of all the F-16 Block 32's the Thunderbirds used, only two air frames, 87-0293 and 87-0381 are operational today and even then probably because they were both pulled off the line early. There was an attempt to use the ex-Thunderbird F-16's for other purposes, such as aggressors, but that got canned because of the structural issues the air frames had as a result of their service with the Thunderbirds. Now, most are either sitting at AMARG, or serving as ground instructors or static displays.

Quoting moo (Reply 22):
Reading between the lines, there just aren't enough of those sort of airframes left - back in 2011 various Navy and Marine squadrons were borrowing Super Hornets for instructors to fly alongside students in Legacy Hornets in order to preserve flight hours on the Legacy Hornet fleet (cite Airforces Monthly article back then - can dig out tonight if interested in specifics).

Correct. This was discussed here:
USN/USMC F/A-18 Corrosion Damage Issues (by ThePointblank Jun 7 2015 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

Basically, half of the legacy fleet of Hornets is down for long-term maintenance. There is an extensive backlog at fleet depots waiting on aircraft to be overhauled.
 
Max Q
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:51 am

Quoting moo (Reply 20):
And yet you offer no rebuttal, just a personal opinion.

If you want an aerobatic aircraft, you have to go to something designed for aerobatics. The Hawk is designed as a trainer aircraft, and the bulk of what the Red Arrows do is precision flying rather than what you would see an Extra 300 do.

Well if you want to see an Extra 300 do its thing go to a display that has one.


To imply the Hawk is not aerobatic however is just ridiculous, in fact what the Red
Arrows do with it is precision aerobatics.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
lapa_saab340
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:03 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 25):
To imply the Hawk is not aerobatic however is just ridiculous, in fact what the Red
Arrows do with it is precision aerobatics.

Right on. Most if not all military trainers are aerobatic (with some exceptions like the T-1 Jayhawk probably). Some aircraft limited to positive-G maneuvers (due to the lack of inverted systems) are still aerobatic.

Also, there is no "more aerobatic", "less aerobatic", or "particularly aerobatic". You can say agility, or discuss roll rate, or sustained turn capability, or any of such things; but it's incorrect to say an F-105 is "less aerobatic" than an F-16.

The F-105 flew briefly with the Thunderbirds, and its short-lived career with them had nothing to do with the aircraft's maneuverability. There was an accident during a display performance in which one of the aircraft had structural failure of one of the wings. It turns out that aircraft had priorly been involved in an aerial refueling incident in which the pilot overshot the basket of the KB-50 tanker, and the basket and hose hammered one of the wings pretty hard. Somehow that got overlooked when that airframe was selected for the Thunderbird fleet.
 
bennett123
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:27 pm

IMO, there is no way the USN will stop using the F18 as long as the USAF uses the F16.

Simple as that.
 
checksixx
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:22 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 11):
No, only the T-Birds F-16s can be quickly readied for combat, and the aircraft retain most of the combat systems, gun, missile systems, bombing computers, etc.

In theory, yes, but in practicality, bringing a Thunderbird F-16 back into the operational fleet is next to impossible.

There is a huge difference between making it combat ready should the need arise (dire circumstances), and bringing it back to the fleet after serving with the team. He was correct, they can, and have demonstrated that capability within the thunderbirds.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...lane-that-suited-up-for-1621225937


Concerning super hornets for the Blues...there is NO plan currently for conversion. Only a request made to Boeing to develop a modification program should it move forward.
 
SP90
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:11 am

The remaining legacy Hornet squadrons are getting upgraded to F-35 and Super Hornets anyway right? Soon there will be no one left flying the legacy Hornet so it makes no sense to have the pilots train for the newer jets only to get picked for Blue Angels duty and end up flying the old jets again.
 
Sooner787
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:44 pm

I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost effective to convert LM's F-35C test
frames for Blue Angel duty once the flight test program winds down?

Didn't they do something similiar with the legacy F/A-18A's
when the replaced the Skyhawks in the mid 80's ?
 
zululima
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:36 pm

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 30):

I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost effective to convert LM's F-35C test
frames for Blue Angel duty once the flight test program winds down?

Firstly, that's the first time I've heard anything referring to the F-35 as "more cost effective". I'm not just joking, either. I don't expect that frame to be able to handle a Blues-type program with efficiency. Also, cheaper or not, the F-35 would be a bad choice for a display team. I have no interest in seeing the Navy's newest dump-truck act sporty. What I would love is to see the Super Hornet do a high-alpha pass.

As for the BA vs TB etc. While the Blues do a better, tighter job at display, they still get quite boring after you've seen them three times. I don't even pay attention on the once-every-two-years occasions that I see them perform. (exception: just saw a very unique show from the top of the Hancock tower in Chicago - wow) I use that time to get to the parking lot early. Would it kill them to actually come up with a new show from time to time? So predictable, and so many of the passes are just slight variations of each other, with a few minutes in between to be bored in the hot sun. It would be nice if they could use the introduction of the E/F to revamp and create a modern show that really showcases the Hornet's capabilities.
I didn't get a 'Harumph' outta that guy!
 
Oroka
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:36 am

Quoting zululima (Reply 31):
I have no interest in seeing the Navy's newest dump-truck act sporty.

A F/A-18 is a dump truck compared to a P-81... fast jets are not designed to be super nimble dog fighters of world wars past, they dont need to be, and that is more and more so coming into modern age. The F-35 doesnt need to perform like a F/A-18, or a F-14, or a SR-71, or a P-81 to be an effective fighter. How many dog fights have there been in the last 20 years? You could have used a B-1 loaded for A2A and had the same outcome for most of the modern air combat splashes.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:21 am

Quoting SP90 (Reply 29):
The remaining legacy Hornet squadrons are getting upgraded to F-35 and Super Hornets anyway right? Soon there will be no one left flying the legacy Hornet so it makes no sense to have the pilots train for the newer jets only to get picked for Blue Angels duty and end up flying the old jets again.

There isn't much regarding conversion between the legacy Hornet and the Super Hornet for the pilot; if you are already qualified in the legacy Hornet, the "transition" qualification to the Super Hornet is like 5 hours of flight time, and a NATOPS check. Not really a big deal.

It's not as big as an issue compared to the USAF Thunderbirds; many F-15 and F-15E pilots are selected to fly for the Thunderbirds on a fairly routine basis.

Quoting Sooner787 (Reply 30):
I wonder if it wouldn't be more cost effective to convert LM's F-35C test
frames for Blue Angel duty once the flight test program winds down?

Most of the early production F-35's will fly on in training squadrons, weapons schools, and development. Those squadrons alone will eat up most of the airframes involved.

[Edited 2016-01-11 00:26:04]
 
AviationAddict
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:53 am

According to Wikipedia Boeing was awarded a contract to begin the conversion back in July and the work is supposed to be done by September of this year (2017); can anyone here confirm that? Has the work begun?
 
SCAT15F
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:46 pm

One thing is certain, the Blue Angels won't have to worry about accidentally breaking the sound barrier on the deck anymore. The E/F can't do it; not even in clean configuration.
 
qcpilotxf
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:47 pm

Last time I checked, that contract wasn't an actual conversion contract, but an engineering contract. The actual conversion to a Blues aircraft is performed by the squadron not depot. It will still be a while before we see a Blue and Yellow Super Hornet.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:50 am

The linked article below seems to indicate that an E/F can go supersonic at sea level when clean. (The usefulness of a clean fighter not withstanding...)

https://hushkit.net/2012/07/13/hushkit- ... inal-word/
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: RE: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:54 am

zululima wrote:
Firstly, that's the first time I've heard anything referring to the F-35 as "more cost effective". I'm not just joking, either. I don't expect that frame to be able to handle a Blues-type program with efficiency. Also, cheaper or not, the F-35 would be a bad choice for a display team. I have no interest in seeing the Navy's newest dump-truck act sporty. What I would love is to see the Super Hornet do a high-alpha pass.


This.

Lets just imagine an electronic warfare version of an airshow display: "Ladies and gentlemen, the second F-35 has detected the attacking F-35 from 20 kilometers away, and changed direction. Now it won't have to do dogfighting above the airfield."
 
LightningZ71
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:55 pm

Likely due to cost and liability reasons, the next version of the Blues or T-birds will be flown by UCAVs. The pilots will crisply salute, walk into a trailer together and simultaneously click "go" on their laptops...
 
SCAT15F
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:24 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
The linked article below seems to indicate that an E/F can go supersonic at sea level when clean. (The usefulness of a clean fighter not withstanding...)

https://hushkit.net/2012/07/13/hushkit- ... inal-word/


Very interesting, thanks for posting!

Makes the Super Hornet sound better than what the typical "talk" has indicated about it since the aircraft first flew. With the proposed engine thrust upgrades and zero-net drag conformal fuel tanks, it should perform considerably better than the C/D in the areas where it doesn't already...
 
LightningZ71
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Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:08 pm

It will still suffer a slight maneuver penalty due to the extra mass, but it should definitely improve mission flexibility.
 
SCAT15F
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:34 am

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:26 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
It will still suffer a slight maneuver penalty due to the extra mass, but it should definitely improve mission flexibility.


I find it pretty amazing that the Super Hornets increased wave drag versus the C/D is partially remedied by the CFT's. Pretty much a win-win.

The interesting thing about the Super Hornet is that compared to the legacy Hornet the wings are bigger, the LERX's are bigger, the fuselage is longer, yet the engines -though more powerful- are exactly the same size as the F-404. It means that technically (with intake mods) the C/D could use the F-414 (think of the kinematic performance possibilities!): or looking at it differently, the Super Hornet could (or should?) have incorporated a larger engine. The reason for using the same size of engine as the C/D was likely to save $ by not having to redesign the rear fuselage (this is what I surmised when the plans for the Super Hornet were revealed back in 1991). Most people would think, eh, no big deal; but the result is an aircraft evolution that could have had much better performance from a thrust-to-weight ratio perspective.
 
LightningZ71
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:22 am

There is still growth potential in the F414. It can be feasibly modified to create more thrust and improve sfc further. I was hoping that that might be part of the advance package. Something people also forget is that the SH program was also considering RCS in the design. Keeping smaller engines and redesigning the inlets allowed them to obscure the fan from direct frontal radar exposure. Unfortunately, the need to keep cost and complexity under control also killed variable geometry inlets and didn't allow for the development of the more modern LO diverterless supersonic inlet that could have improved supersonic performance.
 
SCAT15F
Posts: 629
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:34 am

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:54 am

The 26,400 lb thrust 414 EPE engine would certainly go a long way to improving performance across the board. Combined with the new conformal tanks and the stealth weapons pod, you end up with a pretty viable and decently low-observable Gen 4++ fighter that should hold its own for many years to come. I'd take that over the F-35C, and it would cost significantly less to boot...
 
angad84
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:29 am

I think the EDE, or some sort of SFC improvement programme, makes most sense. These guys are going to have to keep up with F-35C in about a decade's time.

Cheers
Angad
 
Ozair
Posts: 1572
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:17 pm

angad84 wrote:
I think the EDE, or some sort of SFC improvement programme, makes most sense. These guys are going to have to keep up with F-35C in about a decade's time.

Cheers
Angad

The USN's interest in enhancements to the F414 has always centered around longer time between overhaul and not increased thrust.
 
LightningZ71
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: FA-18 Super Hornet To Be Modified For Blue Angels

Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:52 am

Must concur, you won't see anything more on the internals unless it saves upkeep costs.

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