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N74JW


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#3916 2009-04-22 17:00 GMT-5 hours    
I knew this was coming... The T-38 fleet is one of the oldest operating fleets of military aircraft in operation today. The big question is what will replace the venerable fighter? Northrup Grumman no longer builds the F-5 platform and there are no chances of a production line being restarted. There is currently no supersonic trainer in development in the US.

Thoughts?

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/04/22/325476/usaf-surveys-industry-for-t-38-replacement.html

I could see a localized version of the KAI T-50 from South Korea as a possible option. The T-50 is supersonic and in production for the RoKAF. Not to mention the uncanny similarities to the F-16, which is produced by Samsung Aerospace for the RoKAF.

A trainer version of the F-16? Lockheed Martin has the F-16 already in production for the UAE, and some other nations. How much would it take to modify an F-16D in a manner that renders it a stable and reliable training platform? The VISTA project conducted by the USAF and NASA has proved the idea of an "inflight simulator" on the F-16. Also, the digital F-16 could provide a good entry into the digital cockpits of the F-22, F-35 and F-15E. The only draw-back I can see is the possibility of a technology gap between the T-6A, and the proposed "TF-16D". Maybe that is what simulators are for???

Lastly, a localized version of the BAe Hawk or McDD T-45C Goshawk. The big question there is how important is supersonic flight to the training regimen? Many air forces conduct their pilot training without the use of supersonic trainers. Could this part of the flight envelope be added to the pilot's type conversion course?

My $$$ is on the TF-16D

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#3917 2009-04-22 20:46 GMT-5 hours    
I think it should be noted that it is very rare for operational pilots to go supersonic, as this is a major waste of fuel, plus unneeded wear and tear on the engine(s) and airframe. My $$$ would be on a system similar to the Hawk or Goshawk, or even the new Aermacchi trainer (I forgot the designation...sorry). So I don't think a supersonic trainer is needed, just give the pilots that training on type. I don't think it would be that difficult to incorporate into a familiarization syllibus.

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#3918 2009-04-23 00:04 GMT-5 hours    
Yeah id think the American version of the BAE Hawk, the T-45 would probably be the route they go. But as of right now the 562 remaining T-38 aircraft are getting avionics and structural upgrades to extend service life to 2020. I guess much like the A-10C program.

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#3919 2009-04-23 10:32 GMT-5 hours    
It is good to note the fact about supersonic flight. Would that apply to the F-22 and it's super-cruise capability? I do know it is not legal to fly supersonic on civil airways, but I imagine that it is possible in military airspace.

As for the T-38, I guess they don't build them like they used to...

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#3929 2009-04-28 11:58 GMT-5 hours    
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bytefyter :
the new Aermacchi trainer (I forgot the designation...sorry).



do you mean the 346?

it actually HAS supersonic capabilities
take a look here

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#3931 2009-04-28 21:51 GMT-5 hours    
Quote
do you mean the 346?


Yeah...that's the one. I didn't realize it had supersonic capabilities (although I haven't really looked too much into that aircraft).

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It is good to note the fact about supersonic flight. Would that apply to the F-22 and it's super-cruise capability? I do know it is not legal to fly supersonic on civil airways, but I imagine that it is possible in military airspace.



The only time I could really see the supercruise capability come into play is if the pilot needs to get to a patrol/target area, or needs to get out of said areas in a big hurry.

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#3932 2009-04-29 10:17 GMT-5 hours    
I know the F-22 does use super-cruise in air to air engagement scenarios. This capability allowed one pilot to claim 8 victories against the F-15. The Raptor being able to hit the opponent, quicker, and faster before they had time to react.

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#3933 2009-04-29 10:20 GMT-5 hours    
The M-346 can go supersonic in a dive, Mach 1.2

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#3960 2009-05-06 13:50 GMT-5 hours    
twin-engined, quadruple fly-by-wire, embedded simulation, supersonic, advanced handling characteristics, a lot of US technologies.... I think the M-346 can be the best option for US requirements. Moreover, a lot of programmes have been established between US and italian industries. And with the selling of 48 such trainers in the Emirates, and 16 in Italy, with the development programme of a dedicated armed version, will make it more suitable for the US needs, cutting all the costs related to development of non-specific equipments. If you add the number of airframe involved, it's foreseeable the opening of a production line in continental USA. Something else? Greetings from Italy......

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#3961 2009-05-09 13:35 GMT-5 hours    
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twin-engined, quadruple fly-by-wire, embedded simulation, supersonic, advanced handling characteristics, a lot of US technologies.... I think the M-346 can be the best option for US requirements. Moreover, a lot of programmes have been established between US and italian industries. And with the selling of 48 such trainers in the Emirates, and 16 in Italy, with the development programme of a dedicated armed version, will make it more suitable for the US needs, cutting all the costs related to development of non-specific equipments. If you add the number of airframe involved, it's foreseeable the opening of a production line in continental USA.


Partial to the M-346, are we?

Just poking some fun at you, Ikaris. But you do make some very valid points in your statement, and I could see the 346 being a viable T-38 replacement.

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