Are aircraft designed and if so, which is the best looking one?

Discussion in 'Modern' started by ivanotter, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. ivanotter

    ivanotter Member

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    Are military aircraft actually designed or do they just look the way they do because of the engineering department's requirements?

    Is it by chance the F-4 and F-16 are "good looking"?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I was in the USAF when they first transitioned to the F4, I don't ever recall anyone remarking how beautiful they were.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Designed for function - nothing less, nothing more.
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The designers of the A-10 definitely weren't too concerned about beauty.
    I guess you could say cars are designed, aircraft are engineered.
     
  5. ivanotter

    ivanotter Member

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    My opinion as well. They just came to look the way because of engineering.

    A10 is surely functional, but not in the "designed" category.

    That said, I still the the X-32 is a joke design wise. It is an embarrassment and could be the reason for losing out (although F-35 is not exactly hot in the desing department either).

    Will it change with the public getting more and more involved in these projects? Will the next generation a/c be designed to attract "votes" ?
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    If we start designing our fighter aircraft to be appealing to the public, then the men and women who work with them are in for a very rough time. Engineer the military aircraft to do their jobs. Leave the streamlining and "vote" catching for Lear and Cessna.
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The 'public' is not a factor.

    The mission specified by the contractor drives the design. The shape is defined by subsets (like 'Stealth' or 'Supersonic' or 'Heavy lift/Short field' or 'capacity = 100 fully loaded troopers or 2 M1A1 tanks or 2 AH-1 Cobras') of the Mission and Technical Specs.

    The required aerodynamic and stability derivatives further define the external envelope,
     
  8. ivanotter

    ivanotter Member

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    Shame, really.

    So, conclusion: It would be time to compliment the team behind the

    F-16
    F-4
    F/A 18 (More so the Super Hornet)
    ...and of course Mitchell and his Spitfire

    and "let the tires down" of the people behind
    X-32 (OMG)

    But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I can see it creeping in, though. The people making decisions are also human after all. If I were on the selection board and they came in with the X-32, I would still be laughing and maybe forget some of the finer details. It does detract if it is "ugly" (or a downright joke).
     
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