Most Cost Effective Fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Clay_Allison, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    You know that cheaper, more efficient fighter production is near and dear to my heart. In that vein, what fighter delivered the most bang for the buck for the country producing them?

    I guess I'd submit the F6F Hellcat for its 35k flyaway cost and high victory totals.
     
  2. Burmese Bandit

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I agree..and it's not just the cost of the fighter. Remember in a war, time is money. The F6F had no costly redesigns and factory delays - it just rolled out and on and on and on with nary a hitch!
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,262
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    Ratings:
    +218 / 1 / -0
    I would go for the Yak series of fighters. The changes were limited during the period of the war, it was simple yet effective and served Russia well from the begining to the end.
     
  4. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Good entry.
     
  5. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Sales for Karl Performance
    Location:
    Ankeny, Iowa
    Home Page:
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0 / -0
    I believe the Mustang was relatively cheap to produce wasn't it?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,426
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Ratings:
    +86 / 0 / -0
    Is that F6F price correct? I have read elsewhere the price was for the airframe only.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4
    You have to look at this 2 ways. Cost per unit and the numbers built vs. the entire cost of the contract.
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,452
    Likes Received:
    696
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    Ratings:
    +932 / 3 / -3
    Define the metric for most 'cost effective"?
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4
    Yep...

    Cost per unit, cost to operate, total cost based on contract price, cost vs. life longevity with or without attrition rates applied
     
  10. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    J, you know more about this than I will ever gain the opportunity to learn. Why don't you define the smartest metric and I'll just agree with you.
     
  11. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    2,686
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Sales for Karl Performance
    Location:
    Ankeny, Iowa
    Home Page:
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0 / -0
    Works for me too!
     
  12. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Finland
    Ratings:
    +67 / 0 / -0
    It is plain impossible to compare the the prices, let alone cost/effectiveness in different countries, for obvious reasons. Perhaps it is better to compare only US planes ?
    AFAIK the 35,000$ for the F6F does not include the "Goverment Furnished Equipment" (engine, armament, intruments etc.) so it is not directly comparable to USAAF aircraft. Still, I think the F6F and the P-51 were the most cost/effective US fighters ( in terms of total cost/damage done to the enemy).
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4
    I think if you're talking real cost per unit you have to take the cost of the entire contract and divide that into the units built.

    Let's say an individual aircraft is sold to the government at $30,000 per unit. The government would pay theoretically pay $30,000,000 for 1000 units.

    That $30,000 per unit price tag is based on building one airframe and recovering development cost. What happens is when you mass produce aircraft the man-hours to build the aircraft will go down and it’s actually cheaper to build a large quantity of aircraft than just one, as with the various parts and components that go into the aircraft. With a contract for 1000 units, the price of each aircraft may go down to say $25,000 with difference either being split, taken back by the government or kept by the contractor depending on the way the contract is written. Usually the contractor would recoup that money unless the government paid for the aircraft's development.

    So a contractor may state that an individual aircraft cost so much per unit, it will actually depend on how many units were built to get an idea of actual costs. I haven’t even factored in spare parts or post production costs, modifications and engineering support to repair or alter aircraft that have already been delivered.

    This is just some example of many variables that have to be considered. We could also look at cost of operating an aircraft. What it would cost per man-hour to keep the plane flying.

    Spare parts? Cost of parts is another determining factor.

    Again many variables and scenarios to really determine the cost effectiveness of an aircraft.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,426
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Ratings:
    +86 / 0 / -0
    It sounds like the USN had some shady cost accounting practices. Some things never change....:cry:
     
  15. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,869
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired
    Location:
    Toronto
    Ratings:
    +3,637 / 1 / -2
    Surely the Me-109 has to be in this mix - even with issues over slave labour - it was clearly a masterpiece of mass production and evolution.

    MM
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4
    And you have an example of that, then and now?!?!?!? :rolleyes:
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4

    It would be - over 35,000 units.
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    109
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +141 / 0 / -4
    Wasn't the cost effectiveness of the P-40 a major reason it stayed in production so long?
    The Truman Commission hashed over this question after the war.
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,368
    Likes Received:
    894
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +1,132 / 2 / -4
    You're probably correct. Curtiss Wright was a giant in the pre-war years and I'm sure the development cost of the P-40 was easily absorbed as much of the tooling to build the aircraft was probably developed when the P-36 was first built. Another aspect to look at as a situation like this gives a big advantage to the contractor.
     
  20. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,595
    Likes Received:
    355
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    Ratings:
    +579 / 1 / -0
    I suspect the challenge here will be determining with any kind of accuracy the cost of a fighter aircraft. There is the purchase price which has already been discussed but there are other factors. Certainly for RAF aircraft, the "flyaway" price did not include certain vital equipments that were supplied as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) - little things like guns, gunsights, radios. Then there's the "through life costs" of sustaining the force - maintenance, training/reskilling pilots and groundcrews, replacing casualties, modificiations to keep the capability current etc. Militaries worldwide still struggle with the accounting mechanisms for these bigger issues so I suspect we in the WW2 aircraft forum, talented though many of us are (self NOT included!!), will have a hard time obtaining the data to make effective comparisons.

    Sorry to be a downer...

    Oh, and my vote - any fighter that the Brits got under Lend Lease 'cos they were "free"!:)

    KR
    Mark
     
Loading...

Share This Page