PLAN Aircraft Carrier programme...(Closed)


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AndrewS

Captain
Registered Member
We are not interested in minimum speed and maximum speed. You want to be refuelling at a height and speed that is convenient to the thirsty aircraft and at that condition the refueller itself should be at a comfortable cruising speed and height.
I can imagine war games being played on a computer system using these things but I can't image these being developed before much more experience has been acquired. After that it will be considered if there will be a likelihood that there will be occasion to use these if they had been made available and that use and its likelihood is set against the costs of such a program - the buying and maintaining the aircraft and everything belonging to them, training the crews, bases, adapting the AOR's, &c.
I would say there is a huge range of operating speeds and heights that are suitable for both the J-15 and the TA600. Remember that the turboprop powered KC-130 manages to refuel the F/A-18.
 

Intrepid

Captain
Remember that the turboprop powered KC-130 manages to refuel the F/A-18.
There is a tanker on alert while flight operation is in progress - to refuel aircraft that are arriving with low fuel and going arround because of a bolter. This tanker is normaly not a KC-130.
 

kwaigonegin

Colonel
There is a tanker on alert while flight operation is in progress - to refuel aircraft that are arriving with low fuel and going arround because of a bolter. This tanker is normaly not a KC-130.
actually more than one. Used to be done by the S3Bs but recovery tanking has been taken over by the bugs. They are call 'wet configuration' when doing tanking missions.
 

delft

Brigadier
I would say there is a huge range of operating speeds and heights that are suitable for both the J-15 and the TA600. Remember that the turboprop powered KC-130 manages to refuel the F/A-18.
A boat hull has more drag than the C-130 fuselage and so the speeds of KC-130 is some 100 km/h faster. And I would think the F/A-18's would be happier to fly higher and faster when taking on fuel.
If I wanted to design a sea based aerial refueller I would look for retractable boat steps and/or retractable water skies to reduce drag and either turbofan or a modern turboprop as used on An-70 for propulsion.
KC-130 was developed because C-130 was already available. All engineering is finding suitable compromises.
 

plawolf

Brigadier
I kinda like the idea of unmanned stealth airships as possible future tankers.

Their inherent characteristics means they use very little fuel to stay airborne and move around compared to conventional tankers. Their ability to move very slowly means they can descend and tether to a supply ship to take on fuel and replacement nitrogen gas without ever having to actually land.

The slow speed of airships could be mitigated by them flying high and using a very long fuel hose and small engine attached to the boom, which can fly large circles under the airship to achieve sufficient airspeed to allow fighters to refuel without risk of stalling out.

These would lack speed for rapid deployments, but you can use buddy tanking to meet any emergency needs and tide any thirsty birds over until they can get to an airship to fully stock up.

If UCAVs develop to one day be able to challenge manned fighters in air combat, such a set up could conceivably replace carriers for most air defence missions.

So instead of sending out a carrier strike group, you just deploy UCAVs and send up airship tankers to support them with fuel.

If you develop the concept a bit more, you can easily turn the airships into UCAV motherships, with UCAVs able to automatically dock and launch from them, thereby removing the need for the UCAVs to land even to rearm after combat. You will just need to rotate the drone motherships once their munitions stocks start running low for replenishment.

I can see that as a potential long term development path for aircraft carriers 30-50 years down the line, where flying airship carriers start to first supplement, and then eventually replace the seaborne variety.
 

kwaigonegin

Colonel
I kinda like the idea of unmanned stealth airships as possible future tankers.

Their inherent characteristics means they use very little fuel to stay airborne and move around compared to conventional tankers. Their ability to move very slowly means they can descend and tether to a supply ship to take on fuel and replacement nitrogen gas without ever having to actually land.
.
it's in the works and will be reality in the next 10 years. USN is planning on using UCLASS airframes and turning them into CBARS (Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System).
It will be loosely based on the X-47B
 

plawolf

Brigadier
it's in the works and will be reality in the next 10 years. USN is planning on using UCLASS airframes and turning them into CBARS (Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System).
It will be loosely based on the X-47B
Breaking news is that UCLASS has been quietly canned...
 
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