Re: The Red Barrows
Nope - these guys instead!
The Red Arrows aerobatic team will get new aircraft when their ageing Hawk T1s finally give up the ghost, the British Ministry of Defence said Tuesday. What should replace the Hawks, though? The venerable jet has been the mainstay of the Reds' fleet since 1979, wowing crowds at air shows around the world with their nail-biting …
Display aircraft must do far more flying hours than any other military aircraft, so maintenance costs and ease of maintenance become very important. This is why frontline aircraft are so unsuitable.
Also important are low altitude and low speed behaviour - displays are not done at 30,000 ft Mach 2
Trainers are also built tough to survive student abuse, so more safety margin for surviving frequent high G turns
If you're going for maneuverability, why not go with a Fokker Dr.I?
P.S. There are no originals left, mainly because they're so unstable that they tend to fall out of the sky if the pilot loses attention for a moment. But, that makes them exciting and challenging to fly, as well as great for dog-fighting.
P.P.S. I'm fortunate to have seen the airshow at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, back when Cole Palen was still alive and flying some of the planes there:
P.P.P.S I'll get my coat. It's the one with the neck-scarf attached.
Canada has an air demonstration squadron of Canadair CT-114 Tutor which were procured in 1962. (http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/aircraft-current/ct-114.page) We really need some new planes to replace them. I hope that they pick something like the SuperHornet for the replacement given the history of using the CF-18 in the Air Force. But given our history of procurement the SuperHornet will be long retired by the time we get around to buying anything to replace the Tutors even if we decided to replace them today.
The Red Arrows have always used a cheap trainer, which seems like a shame for such a populous, rich, and important country!
In my opinion even the RNZAF's A4 Skyhawks were a better display plane, let alone the RAAF's F/A-18s.
The USN Blue Angels now use the F/A-18, before that the A4, and before that the F4 (which the UK used to have a few of).
I think the F/A-18 (especially the F model) is the best display aircraft in the world right now, because:
- real fighter size and power
- not too expensive to purchase or run at $60m, vs $100m for Typhoon, and probably $40m for new Hawks.
- impressive high-alpha manoeuvres and very tight loops and turns
Here's my own shitty iPhone 4 video of an RAAF F/A-18 from a few years ago. Not being zoomed in too much (ahem) gives a good perspective on how small the display box is.
I think the UK should bite the bullet and use the Typhoons. Would be impressive. And the UK can afford it.
I’d be prepared to bet that the only option is a newer Hawk. After all, there’s no point in having a supersonic aircraft (and the RAF already did that with the Lightning display team) because it isn’t going to be able to go supersonic in a display. The plane needs to be relatively cheap, and yet powerful enough to get itself into virtually any position. The Hawk ticks all the boxes, so the sensible replacement is another Hawk.
All the ex-air cadets here know that there is only one plane for the job. Robust enough to deal with a weekly procession of puking teenagers yet simple enough that it only needs started with a couple of big shotgun cartridges and some WD40. Repairs usually carried out with a roll of duct tape and some cable ties (or plain old Sellotape for the ones I flew in).
Gentlemen I give you the - de Havilland Canada Chipmunk
I've always liked the lines of the Brit version of the Jaguar and seeing Tornados changing their wing geometry while in a diamond formation slow roll would be a really neat sight.
*Yes, I know they are retired designs and therefore highly impractical BUT no more so than, say, the Mozzies/Lancasters/etc others have suggested...
If we're doing retro :
Blackburn Buccaneers - always gave a good display.
F4 Phantom, 9 of them smoky buggers thundering past, already smoky enough just add colour!
F111, 9 of them on mass take off then doing a flyby dumping fuel into their exhaust, you could have an awesome BBQ. Must be some that could be dusted off in a boneyard somewhere....
Alternatively, anything they bloody want - so long as they pay for them instead of taking it out of our taxes. If they can't recoup the purchase and operating costs from the punters it's not a sustainable business model. In the brave new post-socialist capitalism is king world, it's the only way.
Those Sea Kings may have been based on an original Sikorsky design, but when they came off the Yeovil production line there wasn't much American engineering input left..........
The airframe was re-engineered for UK tooling and much improved. Power and transmission was UK made and heavily modified. The avionics fit (the bits which made it so good) were all British.
It may have looked the same as the Sikorsky, but it was vastly improved and modified.
As to what should replace the Hawks, how a squadron of BAE Taranis drones? Save on the cost of the pilots
Both way too unwieldy at low speeds. The Red Arrows display is very much based on being able to do a lot of aerobatic feats close to the public, something that wouldn't be possible on the faster jets. They'd have to convert to the "make a lot of passes in various close formations" type of display also flown by for instance the Blue Angels. No doubt they could do it but it's not the same sort of display.
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