The End is Near for F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet Production
February 18, 2014 9:19 AM
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Boeing thinks the EA-18 Growler is the most likely version to be purchased by the US
One of the staples U.S. Navy for a number of years has been the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighter. However, reports indicate that the new U.S. defense budget that is set to be unveiled next month has no allowance for purchasing new versions of the fighter.
New purchases of the electronic attack version called the EA-18G Growler are also nonexistent. Some in Washington want to continue to purchase the aircraft with a $75 million defense appropriations bill that would call for the purchase of 22 new aircraft. Boeing, the maker of the Super Hornet, also wants the military to purchase more EA-18G aircraft.
The Hornet has been around since the 1970's and replaced the F-14 Tomcat and A-6 Prowler. When the last orders are completed, the Navy will have 563 Super Hornets and 138 Growlers. The current orders will have production of the aircraft continuing through 2016.
Boeing says that 90,000 full time jobs around the country are dependent on Super Hornet production, and the company is currently shopping the jet to foreign nations now. Boeing had hoped to court Brazil with the purchase of 36 Super Hornets, but
concerns over the NSA’s spying program
led the Latin American country
into the arms of Sweden and its Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG
The existing Super Hornets will be
supplemented by the troubled
F-35 Lightning II
for U.S. Navy duties.
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RE: Great Jet
2/21/2014 10:43:04 AM
"Truth be told, most airplanes are harder (and more dangerous) to fly when one of two engines go out than a single-engine plane"
Actual engineers and pilots have claimed that having losing 1 engine when you have 2 is better than losing your only engine. You don't even need to be a pilot to know that. You lose the plane in a crash or you lose maneuverability and head home on limp mode. Which would you choose?...and yes the plane flies just fine on one engine. If you ever watched the documentary of the engineers and test pilots, they designed and tested it that way.
Also, maintenance and reliability takes a small hit when going to 2 engines. However, if you ever check maintenance logs, most problems comes are not engine problems as long as they are maintained properly. Since every squadron has teams dedicated to each plane, there is little to worry about having 2 engines. Electronics and sensors seems to go out faster than anything. Yes I worked in a Squadron under 2nd MAW in Cherry Point, NC. I've read plenty of maintenance logs.
On actual operations and training having two engines has pros and cons.
1. 2 engines normally produce more thrust
2. When one engine fails, you can still get back home instead of losing the whole plane, pilot and causing collateral damage.
3. 2 engines can be more efficient when cruising at high speed. This depends on efficiency at different levels.
1. 2 engines are normally heavier than 1. It could lower range in small jet with a small fuel tank.
2. normally lower maneuverability
3. twice the chance of engine failure
For the F35 that is supposed to be a one platform fits all, having 2 engines is better than one from a design perspective covering all the checklists. Don't expect it to do anything extraordinary as it is not specific purpose built. But it should be a good fit for most missions.
If you still have doubts about 2 engines vs 1. There are plenty of pilots that had to lose a plane because they sucked in a bird. Ask them what they would rather have for most flights.
RE: Great Jet
2/21/2014 10:54:09 AM
BTW, I know some people will say "well, losing one engine will throw the plane off balance and you'll crash anyways"
Yes, that is true depending on where the engine is. I don't expect an Osprey to stay in flight losing an engine. However, the F35 are made with engines closer to the center and can keep some maneuverability with one engine. It should stay in flight unless it has other damages as well.
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