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Subject: Successful design in military airplanes rss

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Gustavo Jornet
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Hello everyone.

Let's say post WWII: which one would you consider the most successful planes? Considering for example lifespan, number built or being a turning point in operational role.
Probably the B-52 would be a good candidate.
I'm going to say the F-4 Phantom II: the performance in Vietnam (along with the Sidewinder) was outstanding, for what I know.

Probably among you are experts that can have better opinions.
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Michael Howden
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For Fighters I would have to go Tomcat, but that is mostly a sentimental pick.

For Chit Chat I have to say Dibs.
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Johnny O aka Johnny Soul
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I'd have to agree with the F-4 Phantom. I knew a fella who flew them in Vietnam. He said he'd been shot down once, shot up once and got 1 MiG kill.
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Gregory Amstutz
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scribidinus wrote:
I'd have to agree with the F-4 Phantom. I knew a fella who flew them in Vietnam. He said he'd been shot down once, shot up once and got 1 MiG kill.


+1. In service from Viet Nam to Desert Storm. Everything from Interceptor to Dog Fighter, Close Air Support to Wild Weasel, Recon to Target Drone, this did it all, and did it well.
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Gustavo Jornet
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dogzard wrote:
+1. In service from Viet Nam to Desert Storm. Everything from Interceptor to Dog Fighter, Close Air Support to Wild Weasel, Recon to Target Drone, this did it all, and did it well.


That is why I thought this has been an overall excellent plane
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Justin Case
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Taking into account years of service and the more subjective "importance" of the platform, I'd certainly agree that BUFs and Phantoms must be considered, and may even top the list by a narrow margin, but I'm going to cast my personal vote for the SR-71 Blackbird.

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Jeff
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I'd like to say my old airplane (KC-135 Stratotanker):



After all, it's got longevity (the oldest ones I flew were in the neighborhood of 55 and 56 models; that's more than 60 years and counting of service) and is still a viable part of our air strategy today. It's a strategic and tactical force multiplier and is a critical part of our air operations. (not to mention a beautiful airplane, but again my bias may be showing with that observation...)

...but, I really should give a nod to it's stablemate...



...Like my old plane, the B-52 is venerable (built in the early 50's and introduced to the Air Force in 55), it's been a strategic/nuclear option during the cold war, a strategic high-level threat, a low level threat, even occasionally a tactical asset.

So, I'd vote for one of these two. More than 60 years of contributions, and still going strong.

(If you make me pick one, I'll pick my tanker, but I'll be the first to admit I'm heavily biased!)
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Scott Allen
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I'll nominate the A-10




and F-16.
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The Count
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F-86 Saber
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Matt
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C-130 (and variants). Very flexible intra-theater airlift. Lots of it. Plus attack, intel, recon, rescue, refueling, etc...

Edit: forgot to type refueling
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Ed Holzman
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To the best of my knowledge, no F15 Eagle has ever been defeated in an ATA engagement over its 40 years in service.
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The Count
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Bearcat89 wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, no F15 Eagle has ever been defeated in an ATA engagement over its 40 years in service.
Correct
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Gustavo Jornet
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All of these really have been excellent designs.

Something on the other side? MIGS?
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Ed Holzman
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1974vertigo2009 wrote:
All of these really have been excellent designs.

Something on the other side? MIGS?

You probably can't top the MiG-21 for longevity and flexibility. It's ubiquity makes it the AK-47 of the air. The Su-27 has been internationally recognized as a stellar Gen4 fighter design.
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Christopher Dearlove
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I'm going to limit myself to British aircraft, and stack them up against cracking the hardest of markets: selling to the USA.

Which leaves, I believe, two candidates, the Canberra and the Harrier. Of course that's because they occupied specialist niches.
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Josh Jennings
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Probably not what you're looking for, but in terms of:

Quote:
lifespan, number built or being a turning point in operational role


I would have to say that the MQ-1 Predator should be considered:

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Michael Howden
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Bearcat89 wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, no F15 Eagle has ever been defeated in an ATA engagement over its 40 years in service.


And one was landed, sans a WING after a midair collision. So yeah, sentimentality for the F-14 aside, the Eagle is the real competitor in the fighter category for me. I just can't stop humming Kenny Loggins
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Michael Berg
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The SR-71 had a monster impact from the 60's until its retirement in 1990. Its success can be measured it a lot of ways, starting with the massive pile intelligence it gathered. The speed and altitude records it set show how extremely capable it was - a two hour flight from New York to London in 1974?! I also cannot overstate the role it played in asserting US power during the Cold War. This was the American spyplane, and it was the best.

And to you guys touting engagement records: no SR-71 was ever shot down.
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Patrick Newman
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AWESOME thread!

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As an aviation nerd all my life, it would be hard for me to pick just one, given all the different missions.

For service length and versatility, both the C-130 and BUFF would be hard to beat.
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Michael Howden
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1974vertigo2009 wrote:
dogzard wrote:
+1. In service from Viet Nam to Desert Storm. Everything from Interceptor to Dog Fighter, Close Air Support to Wild Weasel, Recon to Target Drone, this did it all, and did it well.


That is why I thought this has been an overall excellent plane


I was under the impression that the F4 was a bit of a disaster as a fighter. No guns to dogfight with = shoot missiles, hope they hit, and run. It played other rolls well and hung around but the previous generation Saber has a much better record as a fighter.
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Gustavo Jornet
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Thanks for the comments and keeping the thread alive.

I'd like to also note this (I suppose it is an aircraft):



It is still in use and has played an important role in transport and logistics



For those who may not know it ( ) is the Boeing CH-47 Chinook


I personally always feel an special link to this oldie:



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Adrian Hague
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CasualSax wrote:
The SR-71 had a monster impact from the 60's until its retirement in 1990. Its success can be measured it a lot of ways, starting with the massive pile intelligence it gathered. The speed and altitude records it set show how extremely capable it was - a two hour flight from New York to London in 1974?! I also cannot overstate the role it played in asserting US power during the Cold War. This was the American spyplane, and it was the best.

And to you guys touting engagement records: no SR-71 was ever shot down.
+1
The SR 71 is certainly one of the most beautiful military planes ever built.

So, no love here for the F/A 18 and it gajillion variants?
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Ed Holzman
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CasualSax wrote:
And to you guys touting engagement records: no SR-71 was ever shot down.

Apples and oranges, but I agree that the SR-71 served a vital role.

The USAF purchased 32 SR-71s (of which 12 were lost in service over their 34 years of operation, even though none were ever shot down). That's almost 38% lost in service.

The USAF purchased 1120 F-15s (of which 123 where lost in service even though none were ever shot down over their 40 years of operation, despite over 100 ATA engagements with enemy aircraft). That's almost 11% lost in service while actively engaging enemy aircraft.

I would give the edge in reliability to the Eagle.
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How about the good old F-111?
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Udo Schwalenberg
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I would say, for me it is the Avro Lancaster.

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