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mmx747
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748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:32 pm

I'm sure there's a thread about this somewhere but was too lazy to find it, sorry.


Will there ever be a 748 or A380 size bomber aircraft? Maybe they're not very agile but they have very long range, very good MTOW and tons of rooms for military equipment and bombs etc.

I'm not very familiar with military aircraft so this may sound completly crazy to most of you.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:37 pm

Wasn't there a proposed version of the 747 as a cruise missile carrier?
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tjh8402
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:08 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Wasn't there a proposed version of the 747 as a cruise missile carrier?


Yes there was. Pretty interesting design.

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-b ... 1605150371
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:46 pm

One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David
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Slug71
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:03 pm

Unlikely. The cost to refurb would probably be enormous and the performance less than ideal. Would probably be much easier and cheaper to do a clean sheet.
 
DigitalSea
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:57 am

If it came down to it, I am sure the US would utilize civilian aircraft as decoys/cruise missile trucks if needed. Life throughout the world would be pretty bad at that point though.
 
steman
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:23 am

The current B-2 and the proposed B-21 have already a very long range which can be extended with air refuelling and they carry a heavy load of weapons. But they are relatively small, the B-2 being only about 20 meters long. I doubt there will ever be the need for a bomber the size of a 747 or a A380. Weapons are getting smarter and smaller, no need to carry several tons of them. Even the TU-160 is not that big compared to airliners. But maybe we will see a 747 or A380 sized strategic airlifter in the future. Afterall those C-5s aren´t eternal.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:57 am

flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.


As a cruise missile truck you wouldn't need that.
You'd have to design some nice mechanism to get them out the door though.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:59 pm

Not sure it's a universal ban, but I do remember there was a special provision in one of 'major' arms control treaties. Basically the idea was to prevent development of bombers out of civilian airliner platforms. (To preempt questions -- no idea where does the torpedo in the bomb bay of P-8 fit in this respect, legally).

Wouldn't this rule prevent such a development?
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Channex757
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:21 pm

Two words apply here (especially for the A380).

Sitting
Duck

They would just be such a massive target for the other side to aim at with their long range weapons, and neither is really designed for low level flying. That's why the USAF is making such a fuss over stealthy designs for bombers. We could discuss the arsenal aircraft the USAF wants, but again these big civilian aircraft are not designed for military flying tactics such as low level.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:42 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Not sure it's a universal ban, but I do remember there was a special provision in one of 'major' arms control treaties. Basically the idea was to prevent development of bombers out of civilian airliner platforms. (To preempt questions -- no idea where does the torpedo in the bomb bay of P-8 fit in this respect, legally).


The bomb bay on the P-8 is rather small. However it will fit depth bombs and as you mentioned the standard air dropped torpedoes.
The wing pylons are designed to mount harpoon missiles.

In theory you can mount SBD's in both the bomb bay or on the pylons.

So from a technical stand point the P-8A has tactical bombing capability. You would probably not call it a strategic bomber though.

The one thing about the P-8 besides the bomb bay is the capability to launch sonobouy through the rotary launchers. So if you can design smart munitions the size of a sonobuy, then you may be able to use those launchers to launch micro diameter bombs (with the destructive power of a 155 mm shell perhaps).

bt
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tjh8402
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:38 pm

Channex757 wrote:
Two words apply here (especially for the A380).

Sitting
Duck

They would just be such a massive target for the other side to aim at with their long range weapons, and neither is really designed for low level flying. That's why the USAF is making such a fuss over stealthy designs for bombers. We could discuss the arsenal aircraft the USAF wants, but again these big civilian aircraft are not designed for military flying tactics such as low level.


I think the idea here is to use it in a permissive environment such as against ISIS. The US Air Force as previously described a "soda machine" model of CAS wear a JTAC can identify a target and order a strike from a patrolling aircraft above, input the targeting info and requested ordinance, and have it delivered. The plane would be orbiting at eight comfortably high altitude, out of the range of manpads and AAA. At that point, you need a plane with endurance that can simply loiter on station and capacity and payload for a variety of ordinance so you can request whatever you want. These are all characteristics the airliners have. That doesn't mean this is necessarily a good idea, but it's where the thought might come from. It's basically the role of the B1s and B52s play today, and the new bomb and rocket slinging AC-130s will play.

The B-21 primary mission will be very different.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:42 pm

Channex757 wrote:
We could discuss the arsenal aircraft the USAF wants, but again these big civilian aircraft are not designed for military flying tactics such as low level.


Maybe not military tactics, but the 747 have been modified and approved to be fire bombers to fight wild fires. They have to go pretty low to make sure the retardant do not get dispersed by the wind.

bt
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tjh8402
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:49 pm

steman wrote:
The current B-2 and the proposed B-21 have already a very long range which can be extended with air refuelling and they carry a heavy load of weapons. But they are relatively small, the B-2 being only about 20 meters long. I doubt there will ever be the need for a bomber the size of a 747 or a A380. Weapons are getting smarter and smaller, no need to carry several tons of them. Even the TU-160 is not that big compared to airliners. But maybe we will see a 747 or A380 sized strategic airlifter in the future. Afterall those C-5s aren´t eternal.


The B-2s unrefueled range is 6000 nm, but I can't find out if that's with a full payload or not. It is a couple thousand miles less then a 747 or A380s max range ( although it is longer than a -8fs payload focused range). The advantage of using a 748 or A380 bomber is you can save wear and tear on the limited B-2 fleet, cheaper operating costs, and probably easier logistical support (you don't want to land or keep a B-2 at just any airport, whereas a hypothetical airliner based bomber would have fewer security concerns, allowing more flexible operations). If you designed the weapons delivery systems to be modular, they'd also have some flexibility to be converted to transports.

WIederling wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.


As a cruise missile truck you wouldn't need that.
You'd have to design some nice mechanism to get them out the door though.


See linked article:
https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/why-b ... 1605150371
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:50 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David

You can make it a hybrid bomber/ECM/EW/AWACS aircraft with the bombs in the lower deck and all the mission critical equipment and crew areas on the top.
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WIederling
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:08 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David

You can make it a hybrid bomber/ECM/EW/AWACS aircraft with the bombs in the lower deck and all the mission critical equipment and crew areas on the top.


I'd demand inclusion of Parasite Fighters for your Eierlegendewollmichsau Thingy too. :-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
LightningZ71
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:20 pm

So, the soda machine bomber concept is a neat idea, but, there's not quite anything out there that would quite fit the profile of what they'd really be looking for. Ideally, you'd want something that has a truly ridiculous range, similar to the Soviet bear in concept with turbo props for propulsion and high endurance planned into the design. This is, of course, a setup for a permissive environment. The plane would have multiple, internal weapons bays for dispensing SDBs and other precision munitions without incurring the drag from external mounting. It would also likely have all sorts of electronics and optical intelligence gear as it would be a perfect observation platform. Self defense jammers and decoys would be a natural fit as permissive environments don't always stay that way.

However, what's the main issue here? Crew endurance. You can't keep a crew aloft for as long as you can keep the plane itself. This would have to be a drone. We already have high flying, long loitering drones with optics and weapons carriage. You just want a larger one that can do more.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:52 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
However, what's the main issue here? Crew endurance. You can't keep a crew aloft for as long as you can keep the plane itself.

With a plane of a size of A380 used as a bomber, I have a feeling you will risk getting weight-constrained a while before you get volume constrained.
And given enough volume, you probably can create unparalleled creature comforts for the crew to rest, while the next shift takes over.
Just borrow a page from some airlines' F class offerings. Comes commercial-off-the-shelf, too.
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:18 pm

WIederling wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David

You can make it a hybrid bomber/ECM/EW/AWACS aircraft with the bombs in the lower deck and all the mission critical equipment and crew areas on the top.


I'd demand inclusion of Parasite Fighters for your Eierlegendewollmichsau Thingy too. :-)

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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:28 pm

WIederling wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.


As a cruise missile truck you wouldn't need that.
You'd have to design some nice mechanism to get them out the door though.

They can shove it out the back. That's how a Minuteman was launched from a C5 as a proof of concept.
"It's not getting to the land of the nonrev that's the problem, it's getting back." ~~Captain Hector Barbossa
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prebennorholm
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:03 am

TWA772LR wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David

You can make it a hybrid bomber/ECM/EW/AWACS aircraft with the bombs in the lower deck and all the mission critical equipment and crew areas on the top.

The A380 fuselage is pressurized. The two floors are active structures keeping the fuselage in shape when pressurized.

Such a hybrid plane would need an unpressurized weapons bay and a pressurized upper crew deck. That would mean a totally redesigned fuselage such as on the P-8A or the Nimrod.

No way can an A380 fuselage floor easily become a pressure bulkhead, and even if it could, then the rest of the fuselage structure isn't made to support such a bulkhead.

A new fuselage would likely also mean a new center wing box. A new center wing box would mean changed landing gear. What do we have left? Engines and tail feathers and not much more.
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WIederling
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:11 am

prebennorholm wrote:
The A380 fuselage is pressurized. The two floors are active structures keeping the fuselage in shape when pressurized.


Airlock style torpedo tubes ?
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Andre3K
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:09 pm

With all of that aside, a freaking M-15 could take out either one of those. Stealth might not be necessary but those planes are too juicy on radar to be worth the risk.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:54 pm

Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:33 pm

Now if the bigger is better is taken out of the equation....what about attaching (or rather rebuilding) a redundant A345 with the body of an A330ST Super Beluga?

Plenty of thrust, and an unpressurised volume capable of being stuffed with armaments of all sorts. The same idea could be stretched to the Dreamlifter as well....
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:58 am

How about a B-52 Max? New wing and engines, same fuselage. If Boeing could pull that off they could move on to the favorite 757Max.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:44 am

FrmrKSEngr wrote:
How about a B-52 Max? New wing and engines, same fuselage. If Boeing could pull that off they could move on to the favorite 757Max.


Ah, one may dream, I will not be a dream crusher, or else I would point out the even replacing the B52's engines seems a difficult task
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WIederling
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:21 am

Channex757 wrote:
Now if the bigger is better is taken out of the equation....what about attaching (or rather rebuilding) a redundant A345 with the body of an A330ST Super Beluga?


Thinking Thunderbirds: Now you need to be able to open the maw in flight. :-)

anyway. Beluga is a "volume transport". So, the "useful" properties are limited. :-)
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ssteve
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:02 pm

One thing to bear in mind is that while the B-52 has huge wings, it's fuselage is basically 757-sized. When you have a payload, it's very dense... it's bombs or fuel.

So you kinda want the 777-8 wings grafted onto the 767-2 for your off-the shelf replacement of the B-52. Not that that's possible.

In any event, yooooge wings. Yuge. Tiny fuselage.
 
tjh8402
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:24 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
So, the soda machine bomber concept is a neat idea, but, there's not quite anything out there that would quite fit the profile of what they'd really be looking for. Ideally, you'd want something that has a truly ridiculous range, similar to the Soviet bear in concept with turbo props for propulsion and high endurance planned into the design. This is, of course, a setup for a permissive environment. The plane would have multiple, internal weapons bays for dispensing SDBs and other precision munitions without incurring the drag from external mounting. It would also likely have all sorts of electronics and optical intelligence gear as it would be a perfect observation platform. Self defense jammers and decoys would be a natural fit as permissive environments don't always stay that way.

However, what's the main issue here? Crew endurance. You can't keep a crew aloft for as long as you can keep the plane itself. This would have to be a drone. We already have high flying, long loitering drones with optics and weapons carriage. You just want a larger one that can do more.


A UAV is likely to be the ultimate implementation of this concept. That being said, there are rumors that the B-21 may be "optionally manned", which would make it a candidate, although it could also do the job with crew. B-2's are already flying 24 hour missions so no reason the B-21 can't loiter over a battlefield a while, it'll just need tanker support and room for an extra crew.

prebennorholm wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
One problem with the 380 as a bomber is that the both floors are load-bearing. You can't remove the upper floor in a 380 to gain more space.

David

You can make it a hybrid bomber/ECM/EW/AWACS aircraft with the bombs in the lower deck and all the mission critical equipment and crew areas on the top.

The A380 fuselage is pressurized. The two floors are active structures keeping the fuselage in shape when pressurized.

Such a hybrid plane would need an unpressurized weapons bay and a pressurized upper crew deck. That would mean a totally redesigned fuselage such as on the P-8A or the Nimrod.

No way can an A380 fuselage floor easily become a pressure bulkhead, and even if it could, then the rest of the fuselage structure isn't made to support such a bulkhead.

A new fuselage would likely also mean a new center wing box. A new center wing box would mean changed landing gear. What do we have left? Engines and tail feathers and not much more.


I think that's where a 747 would have more potential. With the flight deck up top, you probably have ways of isolating it as a pressure vessel. The 747 cruise missile carrier would've had to open a door on the main deck to fire missiles and NASA's SOFIA airborne telescope 747SP can open its main deck door in flight.


Mortyman wrote:
Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...


The idea behind this would be to have a cheaper to run alternative that would save $ and precious flight hours on more expensive and valuable aircraft in a more permissive environment. You don't necessarily need supersonic or stealth bombers for plinking terrorists in pickup trucks. Might also allow for more forward deployment options if they don't have the same security requirements.


FrmrKSEngr wrote:
How about a B-52 Max? New wing and engines, same fuselage. If Boeing could pull that off they could move on to the favorite 757Max.


There is an ongoing evaluation of re-engining the B-52. Among the questions being discussed is whether to go the cheaper but lower performing route and stick to 8 engines or change it to 4, which would require a massive reengineering of the plane.

Andre3K wrote:
With all of that aside, a freaking M-15 could take out either one of those. Stealth might not be necessary but those planes are too juicy on radar to be worth the risk.


As stated above, this would have to be for a permissive environment where the plane is out of the reach of any enemy defenses, not contested airspace such as Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not unlike the situation that the AC-130 or even B-52 must be used in now. A B-52 is probably just as vulnerable to air defenses as a 747 would be. The B-1 is at least a little stealthy and can sprint out supersonic.
 
Ozair
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:50 am

tjh8402 wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...

The idea behind this would be to have a cheaper to run alternative that would save $ and precious flight hours on more expensive and valuable aircraft in a more permissive environment.

I think you would find that there aren’t many savings that occur from flying a cheaper airframe if you are going to keep the previous high threat airframe in service. The USAF has done the numbers a host of times and a smaller, lighter, cheaper to operate CAS platform for permissive environments still hasn’t made it though. While it could be argued some of that is institutional bias there are additional type considerations from maintenance, weapons support, training, additional aircrew etc that have to be factored in. Per hour flight costs are a small percentage of overall capability cost once everything gets factored in.

Even UAVs have not reduced the personnel burden as the airframes still need to be serviced, flown and often require additional support and intelligence staff to monitor, assess and advise the mission commander.
The final side is most military platforms don’t have a problem with flight hours (USN excepted). There are plenty of hours remaining on the current Bomber fleet and while they cost more to fly they also need to be flown to maintain currency and capability. You might as well rotate your bomber crews though operational deployments to give them exposure to dropping live weapons, even in permissive environments.

tjh8402 wrote:
You don't necessarily need supersonic or stealth bombers for plinking terrorists in pickup trucks. Might also allow for more forward deployment options if they don't have the same security requirements.

The three things that made the B-1 the CAS platform of choice in Afghanistan were payload, persistence and speed. The B-1 has able to bring a large number of weapons onto station, remain on station for 12 hour periods and when a TIC occurred transit to that location faster than most other platforms. So stealth isn’t important in that environment but speed certainly can be.
 
tjh8402
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:55 am

Ozair wrote:
tjh8402 wrote:
Mortyman wrote:
Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...

The idea behind this would be to have a cheaper to run alternative that would save $ and precious flight hours on more expensive and valuable aircraft in a more permissive environment.

I think you would find that there aren’t many savings that occur from flying a cheaper airframe if you are going to keep the previous high threat airframe in service. The USAF has done the numbers a host of times and a smaller, lighter, cheaper to operate CAS platform for permissive environments still hasn’t made it though. While it could be argued some of that is institutional bias there are additional type considerations from maintenance, weapons support, training, additional aircrew etc that have to be factored in. Per hour flight costs are a small percentage of overall capability cost once everything gets factored in.

Even UAVs have not reduced the personnel burden as the airframes still need to be serviced, flown and often require additional support and intelligence staff to monitor, assess and advise the mission commander.
The final side is most military platforms don’t have a problem with flight hours (USN excepted). There are plenty of hours remaining on the current Bomber fleet and while they cost more to fly they also need to be flown to maintain currency and capability. You might as well rotate your bomber crews though operational deployments to give them exposure to dropping live weapons, even in permissive environments.

tjh8402 wrote:
You don't necessarily need supersonic or stealth bombers for plinking terrorists in pickup trucks. Might also allow for more forward deployment options if they don't have the same security requirements.

The three things that made the B-1 the CAS platform of choice in Afghanistan were payload, persistence and speed. The B-1 has able to bring a large number of weapons onto station, remain on station for 12 hour periods and when a TIC occurred transit to that location faster than most other platforms. So stealth isn’t important in that environment but speed certainly can be.


I'm playing a bit of devils advocate here. I have no idea if the operating economics actually work out in the favor of a concept like this. I was more trying to come up with a plausible explanation/advantage for them. That being said, the USAF and USN/USMC are going to have a face a reckoning. We are flying the wings off our planes using them for wars they were never intended to fight, and while that might be more of an issue for the fighters than the Bombers, we are still putting wear and tear on what is a pretty limited fleet. Either we need to stop fighting these kinds of wars or find something else to fight them with or else we risk not having the assets available for the sort of war they are designed for. The B-1 has been brilliant in its CAS role, but while it's nice to have there, it's essential to have if we're going to strike North Korea. Whether that means turning the bomb truck role over to a 747, AC130, drone, or some other platform, or just draw back our involvement in those conflicts entirely (my preferred solution but that's a different debate), I don't think a never ending COIN war is what we ought to be committing our fighters and heavy bombers to.
 
WIederling
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:13 pm

tjh8402 wrote:
NASA's SOFIA airborne telescope 747SP can open its main deck door in flight.


SOFIA has a pressure bulkhead ahead of the telescope section.

The telescope mounts into the bulkhead in a rather "involved" articulation.
Image
Image
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Image
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cpd
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:16 pm

Mortyman wrote:
Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...


Maybe to keep up with the evolved TU-160. ;) Given talk of that mystery aircraft that pretty much "up and vanished" on the F15s and other aircraft, I suspect the USA certainly doesn't need another bomber.

But there is a certain lure of these huge missile trucks like the 747 that was mooted at one point. Carrying large amounts of long range cruise missiles and standing off at a safe range.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:14 pm

It would probably be easier to take the wing and engines and crash design a fuselage. Still silly and as kinda noted you don't want civilian aircraft being treated like warplanes. Last thing the world needs is more civilian planes being shot down by itchy air defense people.
 
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:17 pm

The last bomber that had a format like the 747 or A380 was the B-52. The B-52, 747 and A380 were meant to fly very long distances with large loads and at high altitude. Those functions are revealed in the wing design. The comparison stops there.

The 747 and A380 are designed to carry large passenger and freight loads at high altitude over long distances. Pax loads are not dense - passengers like their personal space are are not terribly heavy, so the fuselage is designed around a ton of cabin space. The wings are optimized for long range cruise. The 747F also makes a good freighter - lots of cabin space although cargo loads are usually denser and heavier than passengers.

Bombs are far heavier and denser than passengers or indeed most cargo. For as large as the B-52 is, the space allocated to bombs is not great because of their weight. The structure is designed to carry a very heavy and dense "cargo" close to the wing box where the structural center of the aircraft is located. The wings are designed to carry this heavy and dense load - plus an enormous amount of fuel - over long distance at high altitude. Later on the B-52 was flown at low altitude due to change of tactics, but the wings weren't originally intended for this.

If you put a bomb load in the 747 or A380, you'll probably find that most of the cabin is empty (and therefore wasted) space because you hit the weight limit long before you hit the space limit. Additionally, the bomb load is very dense and the structure may not hold such a heavy and dense cargo. So the 747 and A380 are not good bomber designs even if they came out when the B-52 did.

Since the B-52 has come out, technology has changed and been flavored by experience, as mentioned above. It makes for a nice global-range bomb truck that drops munitions that contain the intelligence to do their mission.

But had you lined up these three aircraft in 1955 using a big time machine, even then it would have been no contest that the B-52 was meant for the mission and the 747 and A380 were not.
 
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cpd
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:16 pm

Another idea was carrying and launching ICBMs from a 747.

I imagine such a thing would be very provocative and controversial today.
 
WIederling
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:54 pm

smithbs wrote:
... A380 were not.


Imagine an A380 flying in low level terrain following mode. :-)

( B-52 wasn't designed for that either )
Murphy is an optimist
 
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glideslope
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:48 am

Mortyman wrote:
Why would the US need another bomber ? The US should be well covered With their B-52's, B1's and B2's ...


One can never have "Too Many" Bombers.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
cumulushumilis
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Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:26 pm

There already exists platform/proof of concept frame built from the parts of two 747s, that would be perfect for the job. The systems on the A380 and 747 are very mature, so why not apply the the concept of the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft? That thing appears to be the perfect bomb truck capable of lifting 500000 lbs with most of the systems cannibalized from the 747. I would not be surprised if that "Frakenplane" has not already been evaluated by the USAF as a cruise missile carrier/bomber.
 
WIederling
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:57 pm

cumulushumilis wrote:
There already exists platform/proof of concept frame built from the parts of two 747s, that would be perfect for the job. The systems on the A380 and 747 are very mature, so why not apply the the concept of the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft? That thing appears to be the perfect bomb truck capable of lifting 500000 lbs with most of the systems cannibalized from the 747. I would not be surprised if that "Frakenplane" has not already been evaluated by the USAF as a cruise missile carrier/bomber.


per design it is a rather bombastic muzzle loader :-)

( see Jules Verne : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Purch ... North_Pole )
Murphy is an optimist
 
SCAT15F
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:34 am

Re: 748 or A380 Bomber Aircraft?

Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:26 pm

Or just use the An-225 for 560,000 lbs of bombs over a longer range (still short compared to typical bombers).

Stratolaunch would be perfect however for one huge 500,000 lb thermobaric bomb. :white:

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