Northrop Being Screwed by the US Government

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #1 GregP, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    On several occasions I have made the assertion that Northrop was directed by the US Government to merge with Consolidated and have been told by several in here that was patently wrong, and other reasons were responsible for the cancellation of the B-49 Flying Wing.

    Here is a video clip of Jack Northrop, the test pilot Max Stanley, the production pilot Bob Cardenas, and the company president indicating otherwise for your consideration:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui_o257DZE0

    Enjoy ...
     
  2. Jugman

    Jugman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    SO WHAT? There are a lot of cases of "Someone Who Was There" expressing an opinion that -to be blunt- was complete bullshit. Regardless if that applies here, it is indisputable that the B-35/B-49 had a very limited c/g range and serious control and stability problem. That the only advantage the B-49 had over the B-45 was slightly higher average cruising speed and about twice the combat radius. while the capability of the B-47 surpassed both by a considerable margin. To top it off the B-49 could not carry nukes. The B-36 atleast had about twice the combat radius of the "medium" jet bombers and a much higher maximum bomb load.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #3 GregP, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    No, the B-35 / B-49 did NOT have serious control and stability problems. It had issues that were corrected according to Bob Cardenas (USAAF test pilot) and Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot). If anyone in the world knew, it was these guys. Both said it had issues that the SAS corrected.

    The B-36 was a joke and when the government does this stuff, a "so what?" tells me all I need to know. Let's say we disagree strongly and let at least that part of it go.

    I can say with great confidence that the proof of concept aircraft, the Northrop N9M-B, has NO issues with stability. We own it and fly it today and the usual pilot, Ron Hackworth, loves it and says it has no characteristics that would make it unacceptable. Coupled with the statements from Max Stanley and Bob Cardenas, I'd say the B-49 cancellation was a petty, personal vendetta by Symington and it is too bad he was ever in government and even more shameful he wasn't prosecuted.

    But, as they say, opinions vary. I see you don't care and that's OK.

    Today that behavior would result in prison for Symington, and Northrop would get a huge penalty payment from the government. The lawsuits would run into billions.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    9,769
    Likes Received:
    800
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    retired Firefighter
    Location:
    Central Florida Highlands
    Unfortunately that is not true as Northrop got screwed over in the F-20 deal.

    Although the F-20 fiasco may be the Reason Northrop got the B-2 contract :)
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,072
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I always thought very highly of the F-20 and do not understand why it saw nothing in the International market.

    I was also always under the impression and understanding that politics came into play with the B-35/B-49.
     
  6. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Politics? Yes.

    Consolidated was owned largely by people who were on the Federal Reserve Board and they wanted some business to line their pockets. So Northrop was out. It is called "conflict of interest" and they could not get away with it today as the ownership is public record and they would not ne allowed to bid.

    In fact, bidders today for a governamt project of this size must certify their ownership and undergo vetting before they are alloed to submit.

    Yes, Northrop got screwed again on the F-20. It's lsck of success in the international market can be tied directly to the USAF. They allowed some nation "most favored" status and would then allow them to purchase F-16's. The others were allowed to purchase the F-20, but felt as if theyh were only being allowed sub-standard erquipment as a result of the politics.

    Too bad none were smart enough to have a fly-off between the F-20 and someone else's F-16's. The F-20 would have acquitted itself quite well and would then have garnered some orders. ANother real job by the DOD on Northrop.

    As a result of the F-20, it is very probable that NO US company will ever again fund another first-line fighter on it's own money.

    In one test, the F-20 and the F-16 weere scrambled together. 2 minutes later the F-20 was at 10,000 feet just going through Mach 1 and the F-16 was still on the ground aligning its INS. Chuck Yeager, at an older age, offered to dogfight anyone else in an F-16 while he flew the F-20. There were no takers. The "fly off" was on paper and the F-16 was declared a "winner." They compared a refurbished F-16 against a brand new F-20! Talk about a hornswaggle.

    It reminds me of the F-35 situation. It started in the early 1990's and is STILL not in service! It is overweight and once you hand bombs on it, is basically another F-18 with better avionics until it gets rid of the ordnance. Last I heard it was being limited to 5.8 g's! You can do better than that in a Van's RV civil lightplane.

    But that's another post and has nothing to do with Northrop.

    Incidentally, I put that video clip out for you to watch and draw your own conclusions, but if that doesn't make your blood boil, then all I can say is we have a different value set. Which is OK, too. We don't all have to think alike.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    ....and lets be careful of the politics. Thank you.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Which situation? There are 3 models of the aircraft and all 3 have had their share of issues and milestones.

    If you're talking the Air Force or navy version, not really, if you're talking the Marine version, yes it had/ has issues. I've posted some progress reports on the F-35 and it's coming along just fine, yes it has issues but one needs to look into who drove some of the problems. Lockheed isn't blameless but the DoD has created a lot of solutions to problems that didn't exist and the media has eaten it all up.
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    It is also indisputable that Sec of Defense Forrestall, Sen. Stuart Symington, wanted Convair and Northrop to merge...

    conspiracy
    Conspiracy?
    Times Herald ? 11 August 1949 ? Page 28 - Newspapers.com
     
  10. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Considering that Northrop had the entire purchase price for Grumman paid for out of taxes, they didn't do to badly recently.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    OK Joe, I disagree, but it doesn't matter. We're stuck with the F-35 unless someone with some brains comes along and cancels it. As long as it is around, I hope it succeeds since we'll be flying it. I worked on the program for Parker-Hannifin Corp. and know many of the issues but, again, as long as we're buying it, maybe they'll FIX the thing. I hope so. It HAS potential.

    Many people know what is wrong but there are so many subcontractors that nobody wants to step forward and fix it because many of the root causes are in or at least partly in someone else's corner as an expense item. As a result, nobody is fixing many of the root causes of major issues. Or at least that's the way it was in 2011.

    Maybe they fixed it all since then ...

    But if the 5.8 g limit is correct, the rest of the world's fighter jocks are liining up to shoot it down once it is in service. Maybe that's a bogus number that was reported in the press. Wouldn't be the first time they messed up something so basic.

    The government tends to muck up every aircraft they buy with add-ons after the design is set. They added so much to the Presidential helicopter it couldn't hardly take off! Now THAT's meddling! They do the same thing with submarines, tanks, trucks, etc. Maybe what we need is to THINK about the things we want to buy, specify them, and then buy THAT.

    Ya' think? Is it really as easy as that? Can't be or we might have at least tried it recently.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #12 FLYBOYJ, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    The X-35 had potential, turning it into a production machine was the issue. Again, you can't paint the whole program with a broad brush. The "C" model has been the problem child and it has been making progress
    Care to identify them? The last time I remember the DoD came out with something like 95 major deficencies - LMCO says more than half of them has been fixed. I remember the F-15 and F-16 when they were first developed, many of the same issues and detractors...

    I know many people who been on this program from the beginning and for every milestone made, 10 bad stories are written about this aircraft. It's probably the most advanced weapons system ever developed, everyone forgets that...

    Regardless - remember this is not a dedicated air to air fighter and again, which version?
    The IMC isn't in the guise of a Howard Hughes or Tony Stark - it's all the GS-12s and 14s who are on such programs....
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Care to explain?
     
  14. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #14 GregP, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    Well, let's see. One of the issues is the taileron actuators. There IS an issue which has been identified and the prime (Moog) refused to fix it unless the government paid for it, but THEY designed it and so THEY needed to fix it. Maybe they HAVE by now ... I'm three years out of date. I hope so.

    In order to help hide the F-35, they shunt much heat generated internally into the fuel. So, when it gets low on fuel, they have limited options before it gets very important to have some more heat sink.

    The range with a full weapon load is much too short.

    The thing is massively overweight and there is little way to address thaht short of finding some untralight unobtanium. They simply stuffed too much into the limited space.

    Without going into details that are proprietary I can say there probably WERE some 90+ issues with it as you say, many of which were caused directly by the government purchasing agency handing down change orders to something that had already been frozen.

    As for it not being a primary air-to-air, the title is joint strike FIGHTER, and fighter had BETTER be a primary mission or we should cancel it right now and sue the primes for 20+ years of damages plus penalties. Once the ordnance is gone, it better be a damned good fighter. The F-15E is and the F-4 was decent if no lightweight.

    Parker-Hannifin was the prime for the lift fan clutch and some of the lift fan systems. We had NOTHING to do with supplying the lift fan power ... it was derived from a PTO shaft that was driven by the engine. The clutch worked fine and Parker didn't make the fan doors or fan itself either. We made the clutch and many of the flight control system actuators as a subcontractor to the control system prime. So I KNOW the actuator issues and many of the fan clutch issues that were addressed.

    If some things have been fixed, then many issues are behind us. If not, there is a shark swimming upstream to bite somone in the posterior when they aren't looking. I'm hoping the shark died in the fresh water a couple of years back.

    If not, then surely the service test untis sent to Eglin will find out the faults and SOMEONE will address them. I don't think service test issues are swept under the rug but, if so, it wouldn't be the FIRST time.

    The F-100 made it through testing without ever being flown in close formation and wound up killing a few young pilots when it got into "the thing" and crashed due to lack of rudder authority at high AOA (the famous "Sabre Dance). And it had inertia coupling problems to boot, but wasn't the only aircraft so afflicted.

    The F-102 was a turkey until it was redesigned, and we bought it anyway, is all its guises. Then Dubbya flew one, but that's another story ... best left for fairy tale time.

    The F-104 made it into service despite being ... an F-104. I think the Germans and Dutch paid dearly for THAT one. We didn't buy too many.

    The F-15 and F-16 had issues but nobody ever accused them of being slugs. At LEAST they had sparking performance of a world record sort. Stalwarts if ever we had any stalwart fighters after the P-51.

    So, I hope the F-35 is having or has HAD the issues addressed seriously. But if it's business as usual like 3 years ago, the aircraft is in some trouble. Since I'm not hearing about more problems much, perhaps it has finally had the major items addressed, and that would at least mean it has a fighting chance for success.

    But it had better be a good fighter when the heavy ordnance is gone ... WITH a decent g-limit, or we've been sold a bills of goods that we didn't order. I hope that is NOT the case, and I suppose we'll all find out soon enough, won't we? even though it's 22 years past the original contract date, the thing is finally about to start coming into service, and the press these days isn't shy about reporting crashes and other issues.

    As an unrelated aside, I hope the F-22 Oxygen system issues are a thing of the past, but haven't heard anything definite as a primary cause of the problem.

    Oh yeah, our airshow is in the first week of May 2014 at Chino will feature the F-22 Raptor Demo team. It's the first time in years that the F-22 has ventured west from the east coast, and we are looking forward to seeing a good flight demo. If you get a chance to be in southern California in early May, come see it! We also will have seven or more P-47's flying together. So c'mon down to Chino and see a great airshow the first weekend of May.
     
  15. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    Is the "problem child" the "C" or "B" model?
     
  16. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,183
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    Australia are committing to the F-35A, and since it will be, essentially, the only fighter type aircraft we will have it will need to be at least a competitive fighter. We will have some F-18E/Fs, but they will be seriously outdated by the time we get the F-35s, especially since we won't be replacing them (only the F-18As) with the F-35.
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    The A variant is the normal F-35 for an Air Force.

    The B variant is the STOVL unit.

    The C variant is the Naval model with extended wings (with folding tips) for slower stall speeds and better handling around an aircraft carrier trafic pattern, plus a bit more internal fuel. The water doesn't give back many planes than land in it, so they want a few more shots at landing before they punch out.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,993
    Likes Received:
    438
    Trophy Points:
    83
    #18 tomo pauk, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    My humble opinion about the F-35: maybe the aircraft is okay, or would be in short time. The main problem is that countries involved do not have plan B in most cases. So they will have to wait, whether it means 20, or 25, or 30 years to get their aircraft, from the time programme started.
     
  19. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    One of the issues is the march of technology. If you wait long enough, the computers in a 20 years old design will no longer even have a CHANCE of spare parts. It would be good to FLY it before the computers are obsolete!
     
  20. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    retired avionics engineer
    Location:
    Southern California
    #20 davparlr, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    Interesting comments. Let's take a comparison look at two of these aircraft. The B-45 does not really fit into this comparison.

    Empty weight

    B-36A 135,000 lbs
    XB-35 90,000 lbs

    Gross weight
    B-36 310,380 lbs
    B-35 180,000 lbs

    Engines
    B-36 6 x 3250hp, 28 cylinder, R-4360, total hp required, 19,500
    B-35 4 x 3000hp, 18 cylinder, R-3350, total hp required, 12,000

    Top speed
    B-36 345 mph
    B-35 391 mph (est)

    Ceiling
    B-36 36,000 ft
    B-35 40,000 ft

    Range in miles with bomb load
    B-36 7760 w/10k lbs of bombs (actually this is listed as a combat radius of 3380 miles)
    B-35 8150 w/16k lbs of bombs

    Your quote,
    Seems unsupportable for the B-35 version compared to the contemporary B-36.

    This needs verification. I have never heard this and I doubt the USAF would have proceeded with a program for a strategic bomber that could not carry an atomic bomb. From a size and weight carrying capability, the B-35/49 could easily carry the late 1940s atomic bomb. Besides, it was demonstrated on “War of the Worlds”. :D.

    It is very apparent that the B-35 airframe was a much more efficient airframe for the strategic role than the B-36. In addition, mission reliability would have been significantly better due to the smaller number of engines. And, of course, it had a demonstrated reduction in radar and visual cross section. In addition, stability augmenters were quickly becoming available.

    The B-45 quite a bit faster but was only capable of going 1000 miles with a 10k bomb load. The B-47 was a superior aircraft but did not have near the range of the B-36 or the B-35.

    Data is from "American Combat Planes" by Ray Wagner
     
Loading...

Share This Page