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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War > Air Power

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Air Power A place to discuss the implements of War in the Air!

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Old 09 Jan 14, 13:23
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StormyB4 StormyB4 is offline
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My biggest problem with the F-35 is, does its capability justify the cost? I don't believe it does. I would rather have more F-22's and a new multi-engine CAS/battlefield interdiction plane.
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Old 09 Jan 14, 17:25
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Originally Posted by Axis of Evil View Post
I have wondered the same thing. A-10s, F-18s and F-16s are not as big on computers. Too many working parts on the F-35...
For those of you who seem to think that flight control computers are “bad”, let me suggest that current fighters such as the F-16, F/A-18, F-22, and F-35 would not be as maneuverable or as battle damage tolerant as they are without full-time flight control computers. Please see the excerpts below from a paper on the F/A-18E flight control system. The control laws can automatically reconfigure the system if a flight control is damaged allowing the pilot to control an aircraft which would have been uncontrollable without the computer system. The entire paper is good reading if you are interested in how the latest flight control computers enhance aircraft maneuverability and battle damage tolerance.

One of the primary goals for improving the Super Hornet’s maneuverability included addressing the total systems design and integration of the Flight Control System (FCS), Operational Flight Program (OFP), and Mission Computers (MC) in order to optimize the control effectors in all phases of flight, including failure modes and battle damage. This integration would be key to approaching, if not achieving, an inherent ability within the Super Hornet to be maneuvered without concern for inadvertent departures, even with heavy and/or asymmetric store loadings, and to remain a safe and potentially lethal weapon system even with flight control failures or battle damage to some control surfaces.
The Super Hornet FCS is a digital, quad redundant, fly by wire, full authority Control Augmentation System (CAS). Improved integration of the FCS has provided a significant increase in flight safety following FCS failures and/or battle damage to flight control surfaces. This has allowed for the elimination of the heavy and redundant mechanical backup system found in the heritage Hornet. All control law computations are performed by four digital computers that work in parallel. Redundancy in the control system allows multiple like failures to occur before the pilot notes any degradation in stability or controllability. Unlike the heritage Hornet which can revert to an alternate mechanical system without a CAS function, the Super Hornet CAS function always provides closed loop control with available control effectors even after failures and always attempts to provide acceptable flying qualities
There are 12 primary flight control effectors on the F/A-18E/F. An example of the use of fully integrated controls in a multi-axis environment can be seen in the longitudinal axis where control is provided through a combination of stabilators, leading and trailing edge flaps, ailerons, LEX spoilers, and rudder toe-in.
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