LCA News and Discussions

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palash_kol
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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby palash_kol » 10 Oct 2010 14:07

SanjibGhosh wrote:India to develop its own futuristic computer operating system
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/n ... 96216.html


Meanwhile, Saraswat said many countries have evinced interest in buying Akash, Nag missiles and light combat aircraft 'Tejas' developed by India.There is possibility of export of many things, including the LCA whose performance and capability matches with the best aircraft in the world in that category[/b[b]]."Many countries are approaching us for Akash missiles, Nag missiles and LCA," he said but declined to name them, saying "it's premature".Saraswat, however, stressed that DRDO's main role is to meet the indigenous requirements of the armed forces."Export is only incidental," he added.


Long way to go in very short time...
Keep it up...dont give up DRDO.. 8)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratik_S » 10 Oct 2010 18:34

Akash has the best possibility to win foreign contracts as it is a complete project where as Nag and LCA still have few miles to conquer. We can start negotiating with other countries to export Nag and more specifically LCA by 2015 and start exporting them by 2018-19, where as Akash is ready to go.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kailash » 12 Oct 2010 10:53

Watch LiveFist for some update on Tejas from a less know magazine (Def Biz - Any one heard of this mag?)

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby uddu » 12 Oct 2010 13:33

Kailash wrote:Watch LiveFist for some update on Tejas from a less know magazine (Def Biz - Any one heard of this mag?)

The image says
"Elusive Tejas"
"When will India fly it's indigenous fighter aircraft"?
Ain't it flying?
Def Business. Let's watch out for the article to confirm.
AOA, let the Tejas be always elusive to all enemies be on the ground or in the sky.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby shiv » 12 Oct 2010 14:23

palash_kol wrote:
SanjibGhosh wrote:India to develop its own futuristic computer operating system
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/n ... 96216.html


Long way to go in very short time...
Keep it up...dont give up DRDO.. 8)


OT reply/query posted at the link below
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4290&p=960476#p960476

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Avid » 12 Oct 2010 19:28

There are logical reasons for choice of 414 (as the specs point out).

Additional evidence is from the Gripen --> Gripen MK2 (Gripen NG);
LCA is going to be making the same transition LCA --> LCA MK2 using 414 as the next step from 404.

For the naysayers -- note Vishnu's account of ride in Gripen NG and supercruise. Also, the effort and extent of redesign for Gripen should be an indicator for redesign requirements for LCA.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 13 Oct 2010 09:29

The Tejas Interview

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby SanjibGhosh » 14 Oct 2010 13:07

Austin wrote:The Tejas Interview


Is this not very disappointing ! This means, if everything goes fine and as per the plan (?) LCA mk-II will start coming in 2017 !!
It also indicates that Mark-I will not have BVR till 2014 !!

Also the amount of modification was mentioned here, it seems that Mk-II would be an all new fighter under the wrap of LCA.
Does it also indicates that Naval Mk-II will come before the IAF one ?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 15 Oct 2010 04:34

^^
Some confusion there in this article and which needs more clarity, as FOC is going to be around 2012 per even recent reports. This report also mentions new CCM & IFR as well for MK1 itself, so there could be new requirements added by the IAF which are to be added as well. Or more likely, the journo has mixed up the delivery dates of the 2nd batch of 20 (by 2014) with the FOC by 2012 and quoted them together.

On the plus side, it states that even MK1 LCA will have IFR and that HMDS integrated with missiles compensates for engine performance shortfall and is accepted by the IAF.

MK2 dates are not surprising at all and reflect the amount of changes.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby SaiK » 15 Oct 2010 07:50

There is no point in project management of tejas. Let the actual be done, anyway Kaveri will come when it comes, and lets proceed with the best available and IAF start using the home grown puppy. I wish the first squadron is in full swing and sent for joint exercises with many nations.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby venku_Raj » 16 Oct 2010 08:25


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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby chackojoseph » 16 Oct 2010 11:34



Tejas Mk-2 will also see structural changes in the aircraft which will be noticeable in wider wing span to carry extra weapons load along with extra fuel, aircraft will also have large air intakes to let the high thrust engine generate additional power for the aircraft, engine change for Tejas Mk-2 will result in the rear fuselage being changed too .


IIRC so many people were doubting when I said that air intakes will change too. :D

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratyush » 16 Oct 2010 11:47

^^^ if thats the case then we may be looking at another 1000 test and validation flights over a period of 5 years from the flight of first Mk2 prototype.

Assuming the statrt is made now. First flight may be around the middle if 2013/14. Add 3 to 5 years of testing and we could see the Tejus Mk 2 enter service only by 2018/19.

If the conclusion drawn by me is correct. Then will we only see 40 LCA mk 1s in service till 2018/19. The order for 199 new injuns not withstanding. As they cannot be used to full potential in light of the need to redesign the air intakes and the tail structures.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratik_S » 16 Oct 2010 13:42

Pratyush wrote:^^^ if thats the case then we may be looking at another 1000 test and validation flights over a period of 5 years from the flight of first Mk2 prototype.

Assuming the statrt is made now. First flight may be around the middle if 2013/14. Add 3 to 5 years of testing and we could see the Tejus Mk 2 enter service only by 2018/19.

If the conclusion drawn by me is correct. Then will we only see 40 LCA mk 1s in service till 2018/19. The order for 199 new injuns not withstanding. As they cannot be used to full potential in light of the need to redesign the air intakes and the tail structures.


Yup, this a concern. It took Americans 6 years to induct the Super Bug into the USN after its first flight in late 1995. However the article mentions that the size and length of both the GE engines is same. If this is indeed true than there is not real need for 1000 test flights as most other components are similar or will be tested in Labs. Hope for the best.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vivekmehta » 16 Oct 2010 13:52

i think these MK2 time lines also highlights the importance of MRCA to maintain fighter strength . if MRCA is signed even by next year July (2011) . we will get first 18 brids in 3 yrs according to contract(2014-15) . so by the time mk2 reaches induction we will atleast have 50 MRCA's(2018-19) in service . though its looks like Mk2 will be a significantly different bird capability wise from current version but it will worth waiting . meanwhile MRCA can fill in numbers . FGFA will also be around the corner by then .

but this puts us a question like what will be the role of MCA (sorry forgot the new name of program) and what would be its likely capabilities and time lines it it has to fit in.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby chackojoseph » 16 Oct 2010 14:00

Actually No! I have know it for past few years and I knew they were working on it. So, they have budgeted for the changes.

They will not have to redo the flight testing for changed airframe. Only incremental testing ad majority will go through the engine tests as well. Testing is done to gain confidence. if folks remember the first phase of LCA tests were cut down because of the confidence levels and the desired parameters. I will again link you the first every story which spoke of it (click)
The offer also included redesigning the LCA Tejas to accommodate the GE- F 414.


some things have changed from what I wrote because of GE 414 IN version. But, MK2 was designed ground up for the newer engines.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Pratyush » 16 Oct 2010 16:02

We need to understand if the AMCA is the same as PAK FA or a diffrent design. If it is a diffrent design then the authorisation needs to be given in the very near future for it to reach sq service by 2023/25.

The reason I ask is it is not clear to me at all about the two. I have seen the Indian concept work for the AMCA. I have seen the PAK FA fly. They are as diffrent as nignt and day.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby karan_mc » 17 Oct 2010 06:02

@Ajatshatru

2016 is the time frame Tejas MK-2 should hit production ok ! , then HAL will be able to produce let say 8 to 10 T-M2 per year and then may be two years later when production stabilize they may hit 14 T-M2 , so by 2020 we might have 48 estimated jets and another 60 plus by 2024 , if i am not wrong AMCA should have its first flight by 2018-19 and in next 5 years inducted that will be 2023-24 so when AMCA is Available IAF will sure go for AMCA rather then T-M2 or T-M3

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 17 Oct 2010 08:53

chackojoseph wrote:


Tejas Mk-2 will also see structural changes in the aircraft which will be noticeable in wider wing span to carry extra weapons load along with extra fuel, aircraft will also have large air intakes to let the high thrust engine generate additional power for the aircraft, engine change for Tejas Mk-2 will result in the rear fuselage being changed too .


IIRC so many people were doubting when I said that air intakes will change too. :D


who doubted you that air intakes will change ? That was the one thing that EVERYONE knew right from the beginning..

if the F-414 needs more airflow than the F-404 then its common sense that the intakes that were designed with the airflow of the Kaveri and F-404 in mind will need to be modified to cater to the higher airflow requirements of the F-414..

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby chackojoseph » 17 Oct 2010 09:44

Kartik wrote:who doubted you that air intakes will change ? That was the one thing that EVERYONE knew right from the beginning..

if the F-414 needs more airflow than the F-404 then its common sense that the intakes that were designed with the airflow of the Kaveri and F-404 in mind will need to be modified to cater to the higher airflow requirements of the F-414..


:lol: Ok. Thanks for telling.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Vivek K » 17 Oct 2010 10:05

Where is LSP 5???

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby abhijitm » 17 Oct 2010 10:17

We are already a generation behind western conventional aircrafts. We have achieved a great deal with LCA Mk1. Now isnt' it wise to use all experienced cream talent and start seriously working on unmanned 'fighter planes' than going to Mk2 or 3 or AMCA? because by the time we fly those birds we will be almost 2 generation behind the new technology. and then we will start working on next gen...we will always be catching and panting. So why not buy (or co-develop) gen 4/5 aircraft from foreign sources to maintain par defence?

Just my thought...

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Juggi G » 17 Oct 2010 10:44

Finally Confessions :eek: :P :mrgreen: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

"JF-17 Not As Advanced As LCA, But It Can Drop Bombs" : Nawaz Sharif


Clicky for Bigger Scan

Image


Air Cmde (Retd) Parvez H Khokhar served as India's Air Advisor in Pakistan and is also former Project Director (Flight Test) on the Light Combat Aircraft programme.

Copyright & Courtesy Vayu

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby tushar_m » 17 Oct 2010 11:16

it might get contrary to the Light combat aircraft

but do anyone think that the lca mk2 will be a 2 engine fighter close to AMCA

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 17 Oct 2010 13:16

Well,it looks as if the LCA is slowly but inevitably morphing into something different,Great pity! This is exactly what happened to the F-16.Intended to be a great light fighter,par excellence at air combat,it ended up as a jack-of-all trades,but still an excellent bird.If LCA MK-1 is aimed at being a pure air-combat fighter,replacing the MIG-21's primary role and pushed to the limit in this avatar,MK-2 can further exploit the basic design.With "larger wings,redesigned intakes",etc.,we are now talking about an entirely different aircraft-role wise and this is bringing the LCA into the MMRCA class if the Gripen is a contender for that role! The LCA will become a "single-engined" AMCA.We keep on pushing the design paramater/capability envelope and inevitably the induction of the aircraft will also be pushed back again and again!

There was a report in the media that AKA wants Dec. 27th as the LCA's IOC date.If true,great.Let's start seeing the LCA in IAF roundels first and as the Pakis have said,their JF-17 might noit be as advanced but it can "drop bombs".Time for the LCA to also be able to "drop bombs and fire misssiles"!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby neerajb » 18 Oct 2010 12:43

Pratik_S wrote:However the article mentions that the size and length of both the GE engines is same. If this is indeed true than there is not real need for 1000 test flights as most other components are similar or will be tested in Labs. Hope for the best.


Tejas Mk-2 will also see structural changes in the aircraft which will be noticeable in wider wing span to carry extra weapons load along with extra fuel, aircraft will also have large air intakes to let the high thrust engine generate additional power for the aircraft, engine change for Tejas Mk-2 will result in the rear fuselage being changed too .


Commonality between Tejas Mk-1 and Tejas MK-2 will be digital Fly by Wire (FBW) Flight Control System (FCS) along with some avionics which both aircraft will share, but sources also told us that FBW Software will require some modification in them to support structural changes which Tejas MK-2 will have.


http://idrw.org/?p=882

I think they'll have to do extensive flight testing since they are changing the structure quite drastically.

Cheers....

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby P Chitkara » 18 Oct 2010 13:12

By now the program has gained considerable experience and would have refined the processes to an extent where it will be known exactly what points require extensive testing. Though the testing may be extensive but, it will be localized to the areas that will undergo change or will be affected by the change.

So, it may not take as long as some people are expecting.

The first iteration saw the program being extremely cautious to the extent the aircraft getting over engineered. Now that there is greater confidence and experience, things should take lesser time.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby vcsekhar » 20 Oct 2010 13:09

Has anyone read the latest vayu article by Prof. Prodyut Das. Seemed like a complete hatchet job by him, although i am not an expert on aircraft design and can't really comment on the specifics but it followed up on his usual line of aircraft are too complicated these days and too heavy for performance etc etc.

However, i have spoken to fighter pilots who have spent some time on the LCA project and they all had a pretty high opinion of the LCA and also on the Mirage 2000 (the prof also thinks poorly of M2K too).

cheers..

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Willy » 20 Oct 2010 13:24

Just a vauge thought!!! Now that the LCA-MkII will have to be redesigned a bit , can a bit of stealth be built into it? Could serve as a testbed for some AMCA concepts...............

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Manish_Sharma » 20 Oct 2010 13:40

Tejas already has a big nose + higher thrust engine now, Mk IIs Radar range will be really big!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby P Chitkara » 20 Oct 2010 14:20

Sorry, didnt get it :-?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 20 Oct 2010 15:01

I am anguished at the continuing "enlargemement" of Tejas.Like Pinnochio's nose it gets larger with each "lie"! Its development appears to be never ending.When will it ever finish? Why we are trying to turn it into a fighter of MMRCA class defeats me.It was always intended to be a lightweight replacement for the MIG-21s which are rapidly being retired in large numbers.If the LCA MK-1 can enter service at least with capabilities equal to or slightly better than the MIG-21Bisons,then it is worth it,as we need cost-effective replacements in large numbers for them.AKA has reportedly wanted Dec.27th to be the day of induction of the underpowered LCA MK-1.The faster that is done the better,so that the IAF can get to grips with the fighter and then decide what further needs to be done to make it a meaningful exercise developing this '80s gen. design for the future.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Jagan » 20 Oct 2010 20:19

Posted on LiveFist

http://www.scribd.com/doc/39718239/VAYU ... -LCA-Tejas

article from Vayu by Prof PRodyut Das.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Rahul M » 20 Oct 2010 22:06

Willy wrote:Just a vauge thought!!! Now that the LCA-MkII will have to be redesigned a bit , can a bit of stealth be built into it? Could serve as a testbed for some AMCA concepts...............

radar sig reduction has been a part of LCA design since day one. in any aircraft the biggest source of radar returns is the engine face. in LCA's case the engine face is very well hidden, much like LO fighters.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby AnuragK » 20 Oct 2010 22:32

http://www.scribd.com/doc/39718239/VAYU ... -LCA-Tejas


Some Indian scientists n engineers felt that India had the capability n could design, develop, n mfg an a/c on its own with some help from outside. To this lofty goal, they set about their task with some funding managed from GoI with gr8 difficulty. The IAF clearly not interested in overambitious plans steered clear from identification with the project at that early stage.

Did the scientists n engineers succeed in their objective?

Well, it was neither a total failure nor a total success. It was a mixed bag, as is not unusual in such projects. The scientists n engineers, however, did commit some cardinal sins:
>>They ignored Indian aviation history n ought to have taken cognizance of the failure of the Marut program - the engine. Overconfidence on the Kaveri without an appropriate backup (co-development with foreign partner from the beginning) did them in.
>>Design n development is one thing but productionizing is a different ballgame altogether. They should have co-opted HAL (the production engg agency) from the very word go.
>>IAF should also have been roped in early enough in the project.

There do remain some basic design flaws in the Tejas airframe structure n these have been rightly pointed out by the author in his article. These flaws are due to be addressed in the Tejas MkII re-design n re-test (hence the 4-yr delay).

So, on objective assessment, the scientists n engineers did demonstrate capability to put a airplane in air, though not of full war fighting capability.

Then what was Tejas?

>One should consider it as a scientific TD effort n towards that objective there is no hesitation in saying that it has been a brilliant success. It has kickstarted the war plane design, development, mfg capability in India. Going forward from here, the concerned players can confidently claim that they will be able to deliver a fully fighting platform in the next endeavor n that is the single largest gain/takeaway from this continuing LCA saga.
>The Arjun n LCA saga should be a wakeup call for the IA n IAF. That, users are the primary stakeholders n it doesn’t pay to maintain arms-length distance n then be critical/cynical. They should get involved by dirtying their hands. The DRDO should learn that it does not pay to keep designs open n fluid indefinitely. This encourages users to keep shifting goal posts, creating nightmares for the designers. Design QRs should be frozen after TD approval.

What are the lessons?

>The monies invested so far have not gone waste. Infrastructure has been created. A lot of learning has happened. Niche capabilities have been developed. Project development cost has remained well below world standards n comparable with China.
>The most successful Chinese a/c (comparable to western n our own LCA) to date has been the J-10 n don't forget it has taken them 40 yrs to reach here n that too without an indigenous engine as yet.
>The defense forces should realize there is no such thing as a perfect/ideal weapon. Weapon systems continuously evolve over their lifetime. They should be prepared to induct initial (suboptimal performing) models to be followed up by block upgrades. If they keep insisting on final product, then I'm afraid the product will never leave the lab.
>>No nation built up capabilities for free. There is always a price to be paid for building capability. Arjun n LCA should be treated as R&D investment (not expenditure) for future.
>Indian public should stop being cynical. We have not done too badly (even by China standards). Of course we still have a very long way to go. There are bound to be failures which have to be taken in stride n the price paid but that does not mean we stop persisting. China has had many more failures compared to us but they persisted. The J-10 PV n LSP trials have had 5 accidents in total out of which 4 were crashes. Persistence ultimately pays in such endeavors.
>I do not agree with Prof Pradyut Das's one-sided cynicism. I challenge him to have offered a rehashed/suitably upgraded Gnat to the IAF n see how the IAF would have accepted it even at lowest price.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 21 Oct 2010 01:37

Jagan wrote:Posted on LiveFist

http://www.scribd.com/doc/39718239/VAYU ... -LCA-Tejas

article from Vayu by Prof PRodyut Das.


A gem! Prof Das is rising steadily on the ladder which has Pushpinder Singh at the top. Delightful reading.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Indranil » 21 Oct 2010 02:14

^^^ I remember in one of my very first posts, I had posted about using the air brakes for pitching the nose up. Though not used for the same objective, it seems that the air brakes has a pitch inducing effect.

Also many moons ago, there was a poster here by the name of Rajeev. He kept telling us that having the control surfaces move at 2Hz is not enough. Most of us shot him down. We had actually taken our discussion offline. Rajeev contacted Air Marshal Rajkumar, who directed him towards Dr.Deodhare.

He mailed him a simple question.
I just wanted to find out how many times a second the commands to elevons are updated on the LCA? in other words how many times a second does the elevons move on the LCA?


He forwarded me the reply from Dr. Deodhare
At 80 Hz.
.

Just wanted you guys to know.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby GeorgeM » 21 Oct 2010 02:28

Please understand that this program is mature enough now to take such criticism as constructive opprtunities. We have a flying production version. If Prof. Das is speaking within his realm of expertise then his observations demand merit. Gen Patton once said, "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

Please note that even large and established corp like GM, Fords and Caterpillars of the world do make this simple but critical mistake of 'Not listening to the Customer'. It is not a monopoly of the said R&D org. Also it would seem near impossible to leap from Marut to LCA to AMCA like you flip a switch. It takes years of patient, costly, faliure ridden data collection/analysis process to even develop an IC engine Turbo. Ask Garrett how they struggle even today even after decades of Turbo development. Now talk about complex advanced weapon systems like a fighter aircraft. I guess it is in this light that Prof. Das' argument for evolving Mig21+Gnat sounds appealing. He has a point. Respect it.

Having said that, it is not the weapon, but how adept you are with it, that matters. Like a shepherd kid named David once slayed a warrior giant Goliath.

Bring on the LCA. :D

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Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Karan M » 21 Oct 2010 03:20

One does not necessarily have to appreciate luddite junk, just because it happens to have been written by a Professor.

Furthermore, the man does himself no credit by taking all sorts of cheap shots and sarcastic jibes throughout the article both at the aircraft, and towards the end, at the people working on it. One may well ask as to what his contributions are, as versus sarcastic and ill-thought out penmanship.

Many of his statements are ludicrous beyond belief, including the claim that the Gnat should be the epitome to aspire to. The Gnat had many reliability issues, was a point defence platform at best, and would never be accepted by today's IAF. It would be massacred by any number of platforms today.

A modern equivalent would have no long range situational awareness, would totally be at the mercy of off board sensors, virtually no legs to speak of, and talk of a primitive armament.

His dismissal of the MiG-21 receiving an AI is another humorous insight into his mindset, and one which hardly inspires confidence. In todays age of BVR, where missiles are getting more and more accurate, and deadly (the Swedish AF Chief described Meteor as a "death ray") this self proclaimed expert would have our pilots go up in a LCA which is light, and does not carry any expensive avionics junk, as he implies what all those items are.

FBW is dismissed in cavalier manner and so is the choice of a delta wing. Perhaps instead of spending crores in visits to the NAL windtunnel (over 3000 visits last one heard), the poor incompetent designers should have visited Shri Das, who can visualize air.

The worst part is he is serious. Has he even spared a thought for the pilots, the poor folks who would have to take his all metal, "simple" fighter into the air, and then get hammered mercilessly from beyond visual range by missile swarms, and if they survive those (chanting the belief that since Sparrows were bad in Vietnam, so would BVR missiles today be), having no EW suite to speak of, no long range radar to figure out whats what, no heavy modern armament (because heavy armament requires heavy structures)... lets disband all our Sukhoi squadrons and let us acquire the state of the art re-engineered Sopwith Camel, as light as it gets, turns on a dime, and of course, Shri Prodyut Das can be hired as Chief Designer, in contrast to those who work on the LCA.

I believe the Sopwith MK2, with atya-adhunik wood, fabric and metal will be light enough for his ideal aircraft.

And by the way, one parting sally, ask the pilots of yester years whether they would prefer the Gnat to take into combat, or a Mirage 2000 or a LCA or a Sukhoi, and you'd get the answer. Flying all the way into enemy airspace, without a clue of whats going on, with barely enough fuel to return, does not translate to an enjoyable event.

Furthermore, Das rants on and on about light aircraft, without having the faintest clue of whats happening in adjacent fields. Surface to Air missiles are increasingly deadly. The PRC itself fields overlapping SAM shields, all the way from low altitude to high level, and is manufacturing these items serially. Going into such a hornets nest, in a "light" aircraft, which for the sake of lightness eschews "heavy" defensive aids and armament would be the height of folly.

Having read enough of this "experts" rants, all I wish is that he is nowhere near any position of influence regarding Indian systems programs. The price for his delusions will have to be paid for by those who use these weapons in combat. In return, I am sure he would publish one more article in Vayu, bemoaning his critics

Kartik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4927
Joined: 04 Feb 2004 12:31

Re: LCA News and Discussions

Postby Kartik » 21 Oct 2010 03:52

While I have great respect for Prof. Prodyut Das' seeming knowledge of aircraft design, I cannot but be befuddled by his continued tirade against light fighters that have modern avionics systems. He seems to be the type who would blast Maruti Suzuki for introducing a Maruti 800 when the Ambassador would've done the job just fine with minor tweaks. Or he'd be blasting newer hatchbacks when the Maruti 800 would've done the job just fine with minor tweaks. The problem is that product design cannot just always be based on tweaks and tinkering of older and existing designs. At some stage a clean sheet design is required, and in fact even desirable especially as modern manufacturing, design and analysis methods become available.

Some parts of the article are good, but some are really just his personal opinion. I for one, thought that the ram air scoop added a bit of personality to the Tejas design. He calls it something that would offend a "wife-beating raddi-waala" which is nonsense to be honest. If it does the job it was intended to do then what the hell ? The Typhoon has a scoop like the Tejas, and the Gripen has one under its fuselage. These are functional, but Prodyut Das simply labels them as offending the general layperson's sensibilities (it’s a matter of personal opinion) while not pointing out any deficiencies by adding these.

And when I say functionality it is for a reason- for instance, I work on a derivative program where the ECS system has been modified due to higher flow requirements for a larger volume cabin. The earlier system (used for 3 decades and more) was elegant, with louvres and now it doesn't work- the reason being that now that CFD exists, the ECS engineers know how much flow they need and consequently need a larger duct to dump the hot exhaust gas. 2 decades ago, they possibly just guesstimated the exact volume that was required to be transferred through the ECS and the temperatures inside the duct. if it failed during service, the airline came back and changes were made.
Now- they need a new vent that in turn opens up a duct right into the air-stream and generates drag. What is the option to prevent that? Other than to re-design the entire ducting system (that can take 1.5-2 years), they could possibly switch off the air-conditioning and kill some passengers. Looks dirty yes, but it is functional. The earlier design would leave these hot exhaust marks on the underbelly and worse, panels would fly off the aircraft. Now we can study the effects of temperature better (thanks to powerful CFD tools) and we understand the issue better so in-service issues will be lesser but a slight performance penalty may be required.

So, without really being part of a program, an outsider like Prodyut Das can sit and be smart and say "they were foolish to do this and that and this". Which is basically an opinion which everyone has, but without the perspective that comes from knowing what options they had, it has no meaning.

Some aspects of his article are quite inaccurate-such as the empty weights of the Tejas and Gripen. LCA is now known to weigh 6500 kgs and weight reduction optimization is a part of the mandate for the Tejas Mk2. The Gripen A weighed 6500kgs and Gripen B was 7100 kgs. The Gripen C weighed 6800 kgs and all this is per Saab literature, not some Wikipedia data.

While it is true that the Gripen's landing was designed to a higher rate of descent than that of the Tejas, it is true that the Tejas' landing gear requirements were modified at design stage to be able to sustain 10.5 m/sec rate of descent at the time of impact with runway during landing. Maybe ADA should've asked Messier Dowty or Goodrich Landing Systems to design the gear for them since they have many decades of experience and are the default designers of landing gear for Boeing/Airbus/Embraer aircraft. Then there'd be no mistakes at all. That is the solution- keep designing, don't give up. Else basically just sub-contract everything to others who have been doing it for years because your first effort will have some mistakes and you have patrons who cannot bear any mistakes.

Has the Tejas suffered a landing gear collapse as yet? nope. Will it in service? Don’t know but seems highly unlikely. But other aircraft have, most notoriously the F-16, whose spindly nose gear has on multiple occasions broken while landing and taxiing. Would that be considered ok? A lighter landing gear that might suffer a failure during service? Or take the JF-17's landing gear whose single nose wheel (with half-fork) design is similar to that of the F-16 - any issues reported ? No- but it didn't even feature a steering system initially (it was added later) and when a video of it was shown where the camera was mounted near the nose gear, the shimmy in the nose gear was there for all to see. Just in case others don't know what shimmy means, it is not desirable in a landing gear. Not the best possible design but as as long as it is not a catastrophically bad design, it shouldn't be a big issue.

Regarding the design of structures to fail at just 100% of the ultimate load and not 101% of the ultimate load, well it is easier said than done. We know what happened to the Airbus A380's wing that failed just below 100% of ultimate load. The best brains money can buy in Europe were behind that wing's design and analysis and it still happened. It set the program back and cost money to fix.

And it is not so easy to do either. Preliminary loads are obtained by a mix of wind tunnel models, experience (from an existing similar design) and are not always the most accurate. In all aircraft design programs, some risk is associated with preliminary loads and flight testing is required to confirm these loads. Some regions like the fairings are not modelled in a detailed fashion on wind tunnel models and so you get fuzzy results there. How confident you are about your preliminary loads can in some ways influence your design and analysis- if you design it to 100% load and the load goes up by 1%, you are hosed. You need to re-design, re-analyse and re-release drawings to manufacturers. All of that costs money and time.

As I said earlier- its easier for an academician like Prof Prodyut Das to sit by the side and criticize (after all hind-sight is 20-20), but very rarely is a first effort product in a new domain a total success. If you make the same mistake again and again then it’s a different matter (and even that is not new in the Aircraft business, since program timescales are such- one person working on one program may not work on the other and may not get to implement lessons he learnt in the first). How energetically you support it and put in efforts to overcome the issues are what will be critical.


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