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#1 2021-12-11 21:14:52

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,190

RobertDyck Postings

This topic is available for any NewMars member who might wish to call attention to a particular post of RobertDyck

Like other before have been given thumbs up this is on Terraforming mars.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 39#p188639

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#2 2021-12-14 07:50:12

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

There are many notable posts by RobertDyck

This post is to highlight the comprehensive depiction of water on Mars, as indicated by satellite images and careful analysis.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 49#p188749

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#3 2021-12-14 18:47:16

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,190

Re: RobertDyck Postings

Added the content to the water processing from regolith topic as it adds content to assuring we have a solid ability to survive and go home once our mission is done and have an ability to set the stage for the next.

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#4 2022-01-21 11:07:41

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

The Post Repair process is currently working in April of 2003.

Post 15,600 featured RobertDyck ... this is a long post reporting on activities of and with the Mars Society.

It shows that RobertDyck was deeply involved in activities of the Mars Society at the time.

This post gave me a glimpse of why RobertDyck is taking a global lead in designing a passenger vessel for Solar System travel.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 600#p15600

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#5 2022-02-07 13:31:27

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

Biographical sketch for Announcement of presentation ...

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 79#p190879

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#6 2022-02-23 12:03:48

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

This is too good to pass up ... it showed up as post #15701 in the Re-Scan, which means it is displayed before the main run begins.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 701#p15701

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#7 2022-07-05 06:19:48

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

In this post RobertDyck provides an overview of the history and production of alcoholic beverages.

This is not necessarily the "best" of his many posts, but it ** is ** the latest!

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 33#p197233

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#8 2022-07-05 16:45:19

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,542

Re: RobertDyck Postings

I was impressed by the latest post as well.  It happens to be a topic of interest for me.  I would like to be the first man to make whisky on Mars.  Maybe a vinyard as well.  Probably next to that newly discovered glacier in the Mariner Valley.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#9 2022-12-30 18:17:21

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

RobertDyck has provided many well written, well documented, and well illustrated posts over the years ...

There may be a post that is even more comprehensive than this one, but I doubt it....

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 73#p204573

In this post, RobertDyck expands upon the opening subject of an artificial womb, to provide a detailed study of how babies mature inside a natural mother, and what an artificial womb must supply to insure a successful birth.

Science fiction writers have been imagining artificial wombs for generation ships and similar far distant space futures, but I have never seen anything that comes close to matching this work by RobertDyck!

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#10 2023-01-26 08:47:42

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

Over the 20 years RobertDyck has been posting in this forum, he has mentioned the Canadian fighter jet program that was a leading edge activity in it's time ...

The article at the link below provides a glimpse of the times, and of the program ...

https://www.19fortyfive.com/2023/01/cf- … n-bombers/

CF-105 Avro Arrow: Canada’s Mach 2 Plane Built to Kill Russian Bombers
Story by Robert Farley • 1h ago
Comments

In the early 1950s, the Canadian government began to solicit orders for a new high-speed interceptor. The explosion in jet technology had rendered Canada’s first- and second-generation interceptors obsolete; in order to patrol Canada’s vast airspace, the Royal Canadian Air Force would need something awesome.

Avro CF-105 Arrow
Avro CF-105 Arrow
© Provided by 1945

(Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel Here. 19FortyFive publishes original videos every day.)

Avro Canada answered the call with the CF-105 Avro Arrow, a high-performance interceptor on the cutting edge of existing aviation technology. A big, beautiful fighter, the Arrow offered a promise to patrol Canadian airspace for decades, while also throwing a lifeline to Canada’s military aviation industry.

But the Arrow was not to be. Changes in technology, politics and defense priorities would work to kill the CF-105, and with it the greater portion of Canada’s defense aviation industry. Still, the legend of the Avro Arrow would survive for a very long time.

Avro Arrow: An Interceptor
The Arrow emerged as part of the same intellectual and engineering ferment as the B-58 Hustler and the MiG-21 Fishbed. The early 1950s saw remarkable leaps in airframe and engine technology, such that developmental aircraft offered enormous improvements in capability over existing warplanes. Jets designed in the early part of the decade were utterly obsolete by the end.

Avro CF-105 Arrow. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
CF-105 Avro Arrow. Artist Rendering.

Continue reading

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#11 2023-01-27 03:40:30

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,557

Re: RobertDyck Postings

The Popular Mythology of "Super Fighters"
The period of time between the 1950s and 1960s was an incredibly fluid era in military aviation, with a near-endless stream of parallel developments in all countries (especially the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and France) with the economic capacity to fund development.  There's an immense lack of understanding on the part of the general public about the general viability of the various then-current aircraft, radar, and weapon systems under active development.

The Avro Arrow first flew two months before the F-4 Phantom II.  The F-4 could carry up to 18,650lbs of external stores (weapons and fuel).  The Arrow could carry 3 Sparrow missiles that weighed about 510lbs each.  If you filled all of the Arrow's internal fuel tanks with gas then it was technically over its design takeoff weight limit, with zero armament.  Most aircraft can and will fly overloaded by reducing maneuvering capabilities and accepting longer takeoff runs.  The Arrow's overload with full fuel and weapons would've been very slight, relative to its maximum takeoff weight, and its airframe was built pretty stout, so I can totally believe that this is perfectly doable as a routine practice.  It won't hurt the airframe unless you try to maneuver violently.  That said, you were already at the limit of its airframe's "as-designed" payload carrying capabilities before any upgrades were even considered.  This is not a good place to start off, if you have any other options.

Until the very last variants of the Sparrow missile were deployed decades later, Sparrow's launch-to-kill ratio against maneuvering fighter-sized targets was abysmal during the Viet Nam War, even after "Top Gun" taught pilots how to use them.  IIRC, around 11% of all shots taken with a Sparrow actually guided to the target.  Anecdotally, most of those successes were against non-maneuvering fighter-sized targets that were unaware that someone had taken a shot at them, because they lacked radar warning receivers.  Uncle Sam was very interested in a faster interceptor at that time, but he already had jets capable of carrying Arrow's class of weapons load at Mach 2+ speeds, namely the J-75 powered F-106 Delta Dart.  The F-106 also had a greater combat radius than the twin engine J-75 powered Arrow.  You can imagine what he thought of procuring a much more expensive aircraft burning twice as much gas, with one fewer onboard missiles, even if it had a superior radar and a RIO to help find and shoot at enemy bombers.  Back in the day, the Soviets weren't the only ones who used ground control stations to help intercept enemy bombers.  As far as Uncle Sam was concerned, his trigger pullers were supposed to pull triggers and his ground controllers were there to identify targets for his shooters to shoot at.  The concept of an "onboard target spotter" was not new, but compared to ground control radars of the day, airborne radar systems were lacking in both range and sophistication.

Very little of this is a mark against the Arrow, specifically, but it greatly affected how the Arrow could be employed just the same.

Meet America's "Arrows", the XF-108 Rapier and YF-12
The XF-108 Rapier, a home-grown "Mach 3 capable" interceptor that was similar in concept and appearance to the Arrow, was also cancelled around the same time as the Arrow, because it was equally unworkable.  Had the F-108 been built, it would've been horrendously costly, it would have under-performed, and it would not materially improve the defensive capabilities of the United States in an actual shooting war with the Soviets.  The Air Force tried the "Mach 3 interceptor" concept again with the Lockheed YF-12 / A-12, an interceptor variant of the SR-71 Blackbird that was truly capable of Mach 3 flight speeds, and that likewise failed and was cancelled.  The GAR-9 / AIM-47 / AIM-54 Phoenix missile that survived the cancellation of the wide variety of fighter and fighter-bomber jets it was to be used with, was another dud that was actually pressed into service with the F-14 Tomcat.  Thankfully, we never had to use Phoenix missiles in combat.  All the missile tech based upon vacuum tubes was hot garbage.  If it ever worked, then it only worked in carefully choreographed tests.  And then there was actual air combat that seldom, if ever, closely resembled testing.

A Mach 3 interceptor with a Mach 5 missile that can technically reach out over 100 miles, but only if the target is unaware and the size of a bomber and only if the "fighter" that fired the missile continues to paint the target with its own radar, almost all the way to the target.  Yeah, that'll be real practical against hundreds of enemy bombers firing two to three missiles each, potentially escorted by long range high speed interceptors like the MiG-25.  Not.

Fledgling Missile Technology Delays Long-Range Missile Slinging Dreams
As a general rule, 1950s missile technology was not advanced enough for any of these sophisticated interceptor or multi-role fighter-bomber concepts to work as intended.  Sometimes the missiles worked, but if and when that would happen was as reliable as a coin flip.  If you carried 8 air-to-air missiles with you, then you might walk away from a realistic air combat scenario against enemy fighter jets with 2 kills, at most.  If you launched them against slow and unmaneuverable bombers at your altitude, then you might walk away with 3 to 4 kills.  Yes, they were that bad.  Almost anything could decoy or confuse their guidance systems, even if they received help from the launching aircraft's sensor systems.  The Sun itself, hot rocks on the ground, flares, chaff or ground clutter for radar guided missiles, were all as-likely targets as the enemy aircraft, dependent upon altitude and orientation when a shot was taken and while the missile was on its way to the target.  Worse still, against a formation of enemy aircraft they would frequently go after other aircraft that were not the intended target.  That means your wingman and yourself, ripple-firing missiles against inbound bogies, might accidentally have all or most of your missiles attack the closest enemy aircraft or the one with the greatest signature, to include flaming debris created from a successful "kill".  This is an obvious problem that almost nobody talks about, because they're grossly unaware that simply having a faster aircraft or more fuel or more missiles is in no way equivalent to generating casualties amongst the enemy's air forces.

Most of the time, who would walk away from an even-terms air-to-air combat engagement or "dogfight" boiled down to situational awareness and training to exploit the strengths of your aircraft and weapon systems.  Having missiles created stand-off distance that a "guns only" fighter didn't have, but a pilot from that era with situational awareness and training could defeat multiple inbound missiles using countermeasures and maneuvering.  If he managed to merge with you, then your chances of not walking away increased drastically, especially if his jet was more maneuverable and your BFM experience was limited.  Speed could allow you to disengage from a slower opponent, a tactic frequently exploited by American F-4s in Viet Nam, but that then becomes an opportunity lost and your air force's other slower / less maneuverable aircraft remain vulnerable to interception.  Therefore, if you were an F-4 pilot flying combat air patrol against inbound MiGs, you were forced to re-engage until you were out of missiles or fuel, or too damaged to continue to fight.

Air Combat Results Between Generational Fighter Technology
To give people perspective on "just how effective" 1950s era jet fighters were against propeller driven aircraft of WWII vintage, of the 266 propeller-drive A-1D Skyraiders lost over Viet Nam during the 1960s and 1970s, only 3 were ever shot down in air-to-air combat by MiGs and 5 were lost to surface-to-air missiles.  By the numbers you were almost infinitely more likely to be shot down by enemy air defenses, which were highly effective even back then, than enemy fighters.  The Skyraiders were often referred to as "Spads", after the WWI-era fighters.  Well, fewer "Spads" were lost flying close air support missions at treetop level, where anybody with an AK-47 could shoot at them, than the supersonic "Mach 2 capable" F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bombers.  The A-1D was essentially an "A-10 of the Viet Nam War era".

The US Navy's "Ahead-of-its-Time" Fleet Air Defense Interceptor
The Vought XF8U Crusader III, a competitor design to the F-4 Phantom II, which was also not selected for production, was powered by a variant of the J75 that produced 29,500lbf, just 500lbf shy of what the latest Orenda Iroquois engines could produce.  Lots of Vought advocates were bitter about that decision, too, but one pilot could not handle the workload required of him while using 1950s radar tech, and it was painfully obvious to everyone.  Even the most skilled pilots couldn't do what was required of them.  On paper, the XF8U was a great fighter, much like the Arrow.  In practice, its pilot could not fiddle with the radar and fly the plane at the same time.  Whereas the Arrow would have a pair of even thirstier Iroquois engines fed by 2,900 gallons of internal fuel, the XF8U had 2,000 gallons of internal fuel for its single J-75 engine with better thrust-specific fuel consumption.  Both engines were broadly comparable in power output, and they both drank gas like a fish drinks water.  The XF8U would've been cheaper to produce and operate than an entirely new type of airframe, but it was also not a viable combat plane.

The Failure of the B-2's Grandaddy
The flying wing advocates were similarly bitter about the cancellation and destruction of the Northrop "flying wing" bomber prototypes.  That aircraft was also a ground crew's nightmare to maintain.  In the air, it was unstable because computerized flight control systems were not yet advanced and reliable enough to prevent it from executing uncommanded pitching and yawing movements.  However theoretically "good" it could've been at carrying bombs great distances, or possibly evading certain types of radar detection at long distances, it was horrendously complex to maintain and difficult to fly, especially during the critical takeoff and landing phases of flight.  Those were the real reasons it was not selected over the B-52, which is still in service today.  It was a great concept, and the Air Force really liked it (obviously, since they built the B-2 and took Jack Northrop, a retired civilian with no security clearance, to the hangar where the then Top Secret B-2 stealth bomber was being built to show it to him before he died), but the first rule of military procurement was / is to not equip your military with weapon systems that were more likely to kill them than the enemy.

The Arrows Extreme Payload Performance Limitation Traded for Extreme Speed
The Arrow was a very high performance aircraft, regardless of what generational era of fighter jets we're talking about, but it didn't carry enough fuel for its pair of very thirsty engines, which is why its combat radius was worse than the F-4 (powered by 2 J-79s) and much worse than the F-106 (equipped with 1 of the J75 engines that powered the Arrow prototype).  The Orenda Iroquois engines burned fuel at an even faster rate than the J-75 because they produced more thrust and had worse thrust-specific fuel consumption figures.  The F-4 and F-106 were also very thirsty aircraft, which is why you never saw them without their external fuel tanks.  There was no way for Arrow to carry a lot more fuel externally without sacrificing much of its speed advantage.  At that point, it's a less-well-armed F-4 with a slightly better thrust-to-weight ratio.  Arrow's armament was incredibly light for an aircraft of its immense size and power.  In point of fact, single-engined F-106 fighters were more heavily armed.

Arrow was essentially a hot-rodded F-4 Phantom carrying 18,712lbs of extra weight.  It supposedly had an internal fuel capacity of 2,900 gallons, but if you add 2,900 * 6.8 (standard Jet-A pounds per gallon calculation), you arrive at 19,720lbs.  If you add 19,720lbs to its empty weight of 49,040lbs, that's 68,760lbs, and then you're already over its max takeoff weight of 68,605lbs.  You therefore have a fully functional full-fuel aircraft with less than zero weight allocation left for the pilot and RIO, or any missiles.  Arrow could take off and fly just fine with the extra weight because of how strong its airframe was, but what about when your Air Force starts adding a bunch of heavy stuff that they later determine is a "requirement"?

The new Orenda Iroquois engines would've made the Arrow heavier still, because using more thrust equals more fuel consumption, but the Arrow had a very marginal max takeoff weight increase of 6,810lbs over the F-4.  Anyone who thinks a pilot won't use whatever power you give him is not living in reality.  There's little point to having a "Mach 3 capable" interceptor if you can't actually use it to "go Mach 3".  The US Air Force looked at the Arrow and was initially chomping at the bit to get them before they did a detailed analysis.  Someone then determined that what was an initially tantalizing possibility was an altogether rather pointless proposition.  Arrow had little room left for upgrades (during the then-forseeable future using vacuum tube computers) and any upgrades would likely trade some of its fantastic speed for something else of greater use- like more range and better sensor capabilities to find the targets in the first place (in the 1950s and 1960s, this meant adding a lot of weight in the form of avionics).

Arrow could carry 3 Sparrow missiles with active radar homing, a system that wasn't ready for prime time for another two decades or so while electronics and inertial navigation technology caught up.  There were no functional active radar homing missiles to be had back in the 1950s, meaning the technology couldn't get the missile close enough to the target for its onboard radar to take over terminal guidance.  F-4 Phantom can and did carry 4 Sparrow missiles and 4 Sidewinder missiles and 12 Mk82 500 pound bombs, during the Viet Nam War.  That was a standard loadout for the Phantom.

Another One Bites the Dust
The BAC TSR-2 first flew three months before the General Dynamics F-111.  The F-111 could fly about 1,000 miles further than the TSR-2 and could carry more than 3 times the weapons load of the TSR-2.  More importantly, it could maneuver similarly well to a fighter jet and carry a lot of ordnance a long way to the target.  Those were both things that the TSR-2 could not do, because it was never designed to do them.

Why was my favorite prototype not selected?
It's almost as if there's a running theme here.  Lots of half-baked aircraft and weapon systems concepts that superficially appear to do one thing quite well, are seldom selected for procurement because of excessive cost and/or complexity, or utter lack of viability as an operational weapons system.  Countless weapon systems programs were ultimately cancelled because they failed to perform to specifications and there was no path to a workable weapon.  For every US combat plane that was selected for procurement, there were two or more competing design concepts that were not selected.  There will always be some sour grapes over this, but combat is not and should not be about pleasing the public or your contractors.  Whatever weapon system best fits the multitude of requirements should be selected.

Failure to Meet Specifications
I'm told that the YF-23 performed quite well in pure speed and stealthiness, but its avionics and engines were quite troublesome and it was comparatively poor at basic maneuvering, relative to the F-15.  For an air supremacy fighter jet prototype intended to replace the F-15, that was the kiss of death.  I think the YF-23 could've been an excellent F-111 replacement, but it was supposed to be a F-15 replacement.  As fighter jets go, the F-15 was / is truly excellent in all respects except cost and stealthiness (something the F-15 was never designed to be).  If the US Air Force wants a stealthy F-15, then that's what you design, which is what Lockheed provided, and why they won the Advanced Tactical Fighter contract with their F-22 design.  The way the contract terms read, it was pretty clear that the Air Force wanted a "stealthy F-15".  Northrop could've provided that, but they optimized for speed and stealth over maneuverability- a basic design requirement for all air supremacy fighters.  In the world of real air combat, no US fighter jet has ever fought an enemy at speeds greater than Mach 1.3.  Cruising at high speed is highly desirable, but functionally that speed will only be used for a scramble to intercept inbound enemy bombers.  The rest of the time you fly at 600mph at most, assuming you have tanker support galore.

What's Old Is New
The Arrow, F-4 Phantom II, and F-106 Delta Dart all lacked an internal cannon, as-designed, which was later added to all operational F-4s and F-106s not converted to high speed photo recon roles.  Mid-to-late 1950s thinking about air-to-air combat, was that guns were obsolete for that purpose.  After missile guidance and fusing systems improved so dramatically 30 years later, those strategists were proven correct.  There's been no US "gun kill" recorded against an enemy fighter jet in air combat since 1981.  In point of fact, there were vanishingly few mid-to-late Viet Nam War "gun kills".  The moment improved Sidewinder variants arrived in-theater, along with monumentally improved air combat training curriculum provided by the now famous "Naval Fighter Weapons School", aka "Top Gun", to teach prospective "fighter pilots" how to use missiles and basic flight maneuvers, almost all kills from that point forward were credited to Sidewinder or Sparrow missiles.  Even the F-8 Crusader, aka "The Last Gunfighter", achieved most of its kills with missiles, not guns.

The All-Missile-Armed Fighter, a "Great Concept", Decades in the Making
Despite that historical fact, certain people within the "fighter mafia" thought guns needed to be present on all fighter jets, so they've been incorporated into all new fighter jets since Viet Nam.  To be fair to them, guns are good for strafing ground targets and keeping the enemy's heads down while friendly troops maneuver.  So long as communication of friendly and enemy positions is accurate, this works rather well.  Fast forward to today, and a variant of the Stinger missile would be a "better gun than a gun" for very close-range dogfighting.  For the same weight as the 20mm M61 Gatling cannon, plus its empty ammo drum, a fighter jet could carry an internal 19-shot Stinger missile "rocket pod".  At point-blank ranges, Stinger's 1kg of guided high explosive warhead is no more dangerous than a stream of unguided 20mm cannon shells if they impacted the target aircraft.  Stinger or similar weapons are exceptionally well-proven to badly damage or outright kill every type of aircraft in existence, including the A-10 and Su-25.  Some of the A-10s lost in the first Gulf War were shot down by "Strelas" (Russian for "Arrow"), which is their equivalent to the Stinger.  The difference is that the Stinger is much more likely to actually hit the enemy aircraft, even if it's maneuvering, thereby posing less risk to friendly aircraft or ground troops nearby (if the dogfight occurs at low level over friendly troops).

Does this concept work using modern electronics and software, backed by decades of sensor and missile design experience and refinement?

It now seems to work rather well, especially using GPS.  That took about 5 decades of continuous development, though.

If a bunch of money was spent to develop and procure the Arrow or XF-108 or YF-12...  They would all be long retired by now, just as the real life F-4, F-106, and SR-71 actually were.  Those jets and their mission profile became obsolete concepts with the advent of reliable long-range surface-to-air missiles and radar systems inordinately more powerful than anything that will ever be shoehorned into a fighter jet.

We could afford to support a few dozen SR-71 squadrons.  We could never afford to procure and operate thousands of SR-71s or Arrows.  F-4 Phantoms were fielded in the thousands and for many decades because they were so versatile, whereas a few hundred F-106 interceptors were built and then quickly remanded to our Air National Guard units.  The F-106 was a fair bit faster than the F-4 if both were laden with fuel to give equal range, it could fly higher, climb faster, and even turn more tightly.  Unfortunately, what those F-106s lacked was the ability to do all that WHILE carrying a weapons load roughly 10X greater than what a F-106 could actually carry.  The F-106 was completely limited to its internal weapons bay, which was designed for much smaller missiles than the US Navy's AIM-9 Sidewinder design.

Conclusions
Given how long it took for American missile capabilities to catch up with the propaganda printed on glossy defense contractor brochures, along with "canned test results" that in no way resembled actual combat, it should come as no surprise that if I was put in charge of development and procurement, I would spend a lot more money on sensors, avionics, and weapons development.  This is not so much the benefit of hindsight as the realization that if you put modern sensors and weapons on a WWII-era A-1D Skyraider, then it becomes a deadly serious threat to virtually any "modern" fighter jet within range.  In other words, "how fast it goes", past a certain point, is largely irrelevant.  It's either on station when required and in the numbers required, else how fast or maneuverable or otherwise technically excellent its airframe design might be, becomes a "moo point"- much like the opinion of a cow, it just doesn't matter.

America spent mad money on "new airframe" design / development / procurement, while failing to achieve anything of great consequence.  This was painfully evident during the Viet Nam War, but the correct lessons were not learned.  We still think we can design a specific aircraft that makes training and experience irrelevant.  If we had stuck with and upgraded the F-4 Phantoms, entirely skipping the F-14, F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 procurement, no actual loss of combat capability would've occurred.  By the time the "Super Phantom" was under development, we already had so much money into the Phantom that there was no possible way it was cheaper to buy brand new airframes that were largely untested designs of unknown quality.  They turned out well, but we had no way of knowing that and all of them required drastically more maintenance than the F-4s they replaced.  In short, the juice was not worth the squeeze.

A P-47 with an AESA radar and AIM-120s will ruin your day every bit as quickly as an Eagle or Super Hornet.  If I can afford to purchase an entire squadron of P-47s so-equipped, for the price of a single F-15, then all arguments about how much faster the Eagle is, become downright silly.  For all practical purposes, whenever that Eagle is loaded for combat, it flies at the same speeds as a Boeing 747 jet airliner and its maneuverability is unremarkable.  I can affordably put an entire squadron in the air using simpler and more durable subsonic airframes, covering far more volume of airspace with sensors and weapons as a result.  A single Eagle can only ever be in one place at one time.  That was the same problem that plagued the Me-262.  It was a great fighter jet, but there were too few of them and too late to make any difference.  The nazis kept chasing after perfection and forgot that any reasonably good weapon is better than none at all.  Our program analysts and procurement officers never "onboarded" that lesson.  If I lose a ship or two from incoming missiles, then the magnitude of the loss is a minor fraction of losing an Eagle.  I'm not suggesting that we go back to propellers.  That would be equally silly.  However, we quite literally had thousands of fighter jet type aircraft that were more than good enough to get the job done.  All the billions spent on the entire "Teen Series" of fighter jets was an extravagant waste of tax payer money.  It was a great example of what you'd do if you were playing with someone else's money, rather than your own.

The reason I know I'm not out in left field here, or merely using hindsight, is that a handful of the honest defense analysts of that era came to the exact same conclusions that I did.  We were spending crazy money on new fighter jet designs while neglecting sensors and weapons design.  In aggregate, we spent a bunch of money on all of it, but it wasn't focused on the objective.  We would outright cancel entire missile systems / programs because the weapon failed to meet a range or accuracy criteria, even if the guidance system or propulsion system was miles ahead of what we were using.  That kind of silliness never truly "bit us in the rear" because we never had to fight the Soviets and their military was even less competent than our own.

Delta-Winged Dreams
If we were still flying upgraded variants of the F-106s and had the new (still in development) Cuda or Peregrine missiles to arm them with (because at least 8 of them would easily fit inside the F-106's weapons bay while not weighing more than the ancient AIM-4F/G "Super Falcon" missiles and "Air Genie" nuclear-tipped unguided rocket that they did carry operationally), then our Delta Darts would be awfully dangerous to mess with, especially if you're flying a bomber type aircraft.  The F-106s were continually upgraded over their service lives, so there's little reason to think future upgrades involving lighter and more sophisticated radars and sensors were not feasible.  That was only possible because F-106 procurement was so limited and its mission was so tightly focused on intercepting enemy bombers.  If we had tried that with our front line multi-role fighters, especially after the "everybody gets their own multi-role fighter" silliness that was the defining feature of the "Teen Series", then costs would quickly spiral out of control, so you either get no upgrades on cost grounds or you buy brand new aircraft with decreasing parts commonality with the older models already in service- another undesirable "feature" of the "Teen Series".

The only F-106 upgrades that would actually matter are carrying more fuel, preferably internally for maximum speed and maneuverability, multi-function displays for the pilot (F-106A/B models) and RIO (F-106B models) to use to simplify and prioritize workload, an AESA radar system, and a modernized IRST set (the historical F-106s actually had these).  The rest is just fluff.  A F-14 or F-15 would not be a meaningfully better turboprop bomber interceptor than an upgraded F-106 or F-4 carrying more missiles and fuel.  That's the only possible place to go for actual combat capability.

With all the money saved by instead having continuously operated F-4 (tri-service non-stealthy multi-role fighter) and F-106 (purpose-built bomber interceptor, now provided by an increasingly eclectic array of F-15s / F-16s / F/A-18s / F-22s) production lines, we could afford to give our pilots enough flight hours, create high-fidelity simulators, and test new engines and avionics on testbed airframes.  Now that we're right back to purchasing non-stealthy airframes for lack of suitable stealthy replacements (F-22 production line shut down, F-35 production not fast enough), we may as well have low-cost airframes.

Why didn't anyone else think of this before me?

Well, they did.  Quite a few people thought of this.  All the incessant churn of new this / that / the other is terrible for training, parts availability to assure that enough airframes are available when required for training and combat, and thus overall combat readiness decreases.  That's exactly what we've seen happen over the past two decades, between the pointless but inordinately costly wars in the Middle East and various program timeline failures with the F-22 and F-35.

Has the military actually learned any lessons from this?

Of course not.  Why would anyone ever think such a thing is even possible?  Certain people may be aware and may endeavor not to repeat past mistakes, but there's no institutionalized knowledge, taken to heart, preventing repeats of this kind is silliness.  USAF needed more A-7s while the Navy quit using A-6s, but the A-7s weren't all-weather attack jets like the A-6s, so then they needed to be upgraded to all-weather capability and as expensive as the A-6s were.  Why?  Well, someone else is paying, that's why.  You'd never do something like that with your own money.  That is where the problem starts and ends.  I can't count how many M16 / M4 carbine replacements have come and gone.  They all spend tens of millions of dollars, produced nothing, and then the cycle repeats.  What did the new "Wunder Waffe" do better?  The cost was greatly improved- it went up in all cases.  I guess this will go on until the tax payers can't afford to buy new toys for the military, or someone in charge of procurement "grows up".  We'll all be long dead before the latter happens, but the former is increasingly likely.

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#12 2023-02-12 11:50:28

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

In the Large Ship topic, RobertDyck has been thinking about adapting the Helion fusion reactor design for space flight.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 98#p205998

SearchTerm:Helion adapted for space flight

Follow up with more detail: http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 17#p206017

(th)

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#13 2023-06-24 09:06:46

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

This is for RobertDyck, on the off chance that RobertDyck did not already see a noteworthy post by Mars_B4_Moon...

In this post, Mar_B4_Moon provides a link to an article about research done in Canada on blood samples taken from a number of astronauts at intervals before, during and after extended space flight.

https://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.ph … 48#p211248

The work done by the Canadian medical researchers appears (as I read it anyway) to support the notion that a rotating habitat would be a "good idea".

I am therefore hoping that there might be a connection established between the Large Ship "team" and the medical staff who published their findings.

It is going to take more than wishing and hoping to bring Large Ship into existence, let alone on it's way to Mars.

Building allies is a well established way to lay the foundation for a request for funding.

(th)

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#14 2023-10-02 13:16:52

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

RobertDyck just added a post about NERVA to his ** very ** long list of interesting and helpful posts.

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 76#p214376

An ISP of 975 is even better than the 900 that GW Johnson has used in the past, for flight planning calculations.

In his post, RobertDyck pointed out the mass of the nuclear engine, which I presume is greater than the mass of the traditional chemical rocket engine to be replaced. However, I would like to point out that the supply of oxygen to fuel the original engine is not needed, so whatever the mass of that was, it can be subtracted from the mass of the NERVA engine.   

For RobertDyck ... if you decide to take up this question, please do so in the NERVA topic.

(th)

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#15 2023-10-02 15:51:05

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,548
Website

Re: RobertDyck Postings

The propulsion Isp sets the effective exhaust velocity.  That and the achievable mass ratio MR sets the dV the vehicle might be capable of.  That deliverable dV needs to equal or exceed the sum of the orbital mechanics dV's,  factored for losses,  that the vehicle is intended to overcome.  Solved the other way around:  MR = exp(dV/Vex). 

Propellant mass fraction (of the ignition mass) is 1 - 1/MR.  There is some inert mass fraction for a stage.  Propellant fraction plus inert fraction plus payload fraction must sum to 1.0000,  they cannot be anything else!  Even for non-reusable stages that only fly in space,  inert mass fraction is rarely below 4 or 5%.  You have asked for what cannot be delivered from a single stage,  when payload fraction turns up negative (payload fraction = 1 - propellant fraction - inert fraction).  In a two-stage design,  the entire loaded upper stage is the payload for the lower stage.  It cascades from there,  for 3+ stage designs.

The mass ratio MR deals with expelling a total propellant mass.  For chemical,  some of that is oxidizer,  and some of that is fuel,  their ratio set by the oxidizer/fuel mass ratio r required for the engine to burn correctly.  Doesn't matter,  there is still just a total mass to be expelled,  period.  The same applies to nuclear thermal,  it's just usually one species instead of two.  For two-species chemical,  the oxidizer mass fraction = r/(1 + r),  and the fuel mass fraction = 1/(1 + r). 

You don't get to "subtract" anything.  There is simply a total mass to expel,  defined by the rocket equation solved in reverse for MR. 

And by the way,  Isp has not only propellant performance in it,  but also nozzle performance,  which is partly expansion ratio,  and partly realistic nozzle losses.  The proper propellant-only performance figure is not Isp,  but delivered (NOT theoretical!) chamber c* velocity!  But nobody uses that!  Everybody uses Isp,  and the published Isp tables for propellant combinations do NOT include the effects of nozzle losses!  And the expansion ratio used to generate the table data is rarely what your own preferred design really has!  The errors using this stuff are significant!

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2023-10-02 16:00:15)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#16 2023-10-23 07:35:44

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re Google Meet...

Please create a Google Meet link at meet.google.com.

Then, please post the link in the new Google Meet topic. I will add it to the top post in the topic.

If you are host, simply announce that you are opening the link in the Google Meet topic.

You can admit guests, or you can set the account to admit guests without review.

(th)

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#17 2023-10-31 14:38:30

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

RobertDyck posted a concise summary of the benefits of use of chloroplasts and contrasted the method with alternatives

SearchTerm:chloroplasts

https://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.ph … 46#p215446

(th)

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#18 2023-10-31 17:17:29

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck ...

Just FYI ... I sent you an email today about kbd512's work on the forum software.

The old address I had on file came back as undeliverable, so I tried using the email feature of the forum ...

(th)

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#19 2023-11-09 08:02:16

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re post in Glucose topic....

Thank you for providing the meaning of (g) (gas) and (l) (liquid).

(th)

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#20 2023-11-13 22:19:13

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re Preparing for New Version of forum software ...

As a member of the Admins, you are eligible to take part in a team effort to prepare for the next version of the forum software.

You are under no obligation, so please ignore this if it comes at a less than ideal time, or for any other reason.

kbd512 has completed capture of the existing data, and packaging of the data and the installation files for installation on duplicate systems we can build at home. The files are uploaded to a shared location, and I am pretty sure you are able to access the files.  The share was set up a long time ago, so you may need to have the link sent to you by email.

Please let us know if you are interested.  Details are posted in Housekeeping.

(th)

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#21 2023-12-16 07:10:46

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re history of Apollo Service Module thruster failure...

Thank you for providing this history!

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 31#p217231

(th)

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#22 2023-12-22 13:13:37

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RebertDyck re additions to Celestial Navigation topic...

Thanks for that treasure trove of NASA documents!

I found this in the second of the set of four, and thought it was worth noting for the NewMars community...

s, NASA modified
the IBM machines to operate like a modern personal computer, even if the
machine cost a million dollars and
required an air-conditioned room of its
own .

That would have been in the creative period when DEC was starting, (1957) as were other minicomputer makers.

(th)

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#23 2024-01-05 15:28:52

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re business opportunity as reported in Large Ship topic ...

A friend is trying to start a business. He wants me on his board of directors. He's counting on me for technology projects. He gave me a salary offer, and it's good. However, that depends on his financing coming through. A guy in California has been promising financing "any day now". Yesterday my friend called me, said his contact has money. He will fly to California to file documents to open a mining corporation. He's a retired miner. The project is to re-open a gold mine. It was closed when drop in gold price made the mine no longer profitable. Now that gold prices have increased, they want to purchase the mine and restart mining. Due to the time involved, I'm skeptical of the guy promising money. If it does come through, great! But I'm not counting on it.

Because of research/investigation I am doing in an unrelated area, I perked up upon reading your post ...

It occurred to me to inquire what other minerals or elements might be available at this abandoned site?

Because high technology is making increasing use of rare Earth elements, there may be something at that site even more valuable than gold.

Also ... an operation like this is going to  need to use a lot of fossil fuel ... a small nuclear reactor might be an alternative that would be eligible for the gushers of money flowing in the US to try to put an end to fossil fuel use.

What country is the mine in?

(th)

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#24 2024-01-14 22:29:42

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re Post in Damascus Steel topic ...

Thanks for your post!  The details about your visit with the master, and your subsequent experiments are interesting (to me for sure) and they certainly fit into the topic nicely.

I've watched a lot of the "Forged in Fire" episodes, and have some (admittedly limited) sense of how difficult it is to create metal objects that can stand up to the rigorous testing that is characteristic of the series. 

The Damascus Steel topic is available for anyone who is a member of the forum who has experience or would like to make a comment about the sophisticated metal working involved.

(th)

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#25 2024-02-24 14:31:59

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 17,872

Re: RobertDyck Postings

For RobertDyck re Health Care in Canada in Politics topic...

This post is intended to (at least try to) encourage you to further develop your reporting and  commentary on health care for the population of canada.  Your recent introduction of a new character in the drama caught my eye. I know nothing about the new environment minister other than what you've reported. 

My observation is that if this person did indeed base jump from the CN tower, (and I have no reason to doubt it) then I know two things about this individual: First, he is willing to take significant risks, and he has good judgement, because I deduce that he survived. That tells me as a corollary that this person has self confidence of a high order, and in this activity at least, such confidence seems warranted.

Please extend your observations and commentary to the questions surrounding environmental policy.   For the most part, your readers here are not major industrial polluters, but all of us are likely to be minor league polluters. 

(th)

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