LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

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Cain Marko
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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 18:56

Vipul Dave wrote:late Parvez Khokhar sir had voiced his concern over weight increase in MK2. However in recent recently published article of Saurav Jha, it was stated that designers of MK2 were successful in bringing the design weight of MK2 down by 350 KG compare to MK1.So weight increase is not be a problem. So far as higher fuels consumption is concern in GE 414 Engine, It may not consume more fuel for same performance level i.e say for example 20 KN thrust is required for X performance. GE 414 shall not consume more fuel for that power compare to GE 404 since GE 414 is an engine which operates at very high compression ratio so not necessarily there should be high fuel consumption for same performance. In fact the fuel consumption shall be less.

His concern over poor air intake design is very genuine. We should hire American company such as Boeing to resolve the intake issue. Other improvement we may carry out is wing redesign. This unnecessary large design has resulted in weight and turn rate penalty.

If we carry out some practical changes such as wing and air intake redesign along with continuous work on AOA increase and wight reduction in MK1, We can enhance the performance of even MK 1 and can make that a very decent plane acceptable to IAF.


Actually I have a big doubt about weight decreasing on the block 2, sounds like a fantasy. Can't think of a single fighter design in recent times where weight has reduced in the newer version - gripen, viper, fulcrum, hornet, flanker. And many of these had metal components that were replaced by composites allowing for reduction. The tejas otoh, already uses composites in a big way. Btw, all of the aforementioned birds had weight increases upon upgrade, and that is despite far more experience in such exercises. It will be a miracle if they.maintain same weight for mk1 and mk2, let alone reduction. The best candidate for weight reduction in second iteration was probably the mirage 2000 since its engine was quite heavy resulting in poor twr, a 414 would certainly have helped if the design allowed it.

Am not too sure about range / endurance being reduced based on increased power; the SFC for the 414 is better than the 404, also, it will carry more fuel, but you never know - more fuel.capacity might mean a weight and range penalty . Tech gurus can probably enlighten here

But no, the mk2 seems another candidate for overpromise and underdeliver, esp. in terms of weight reduction and ridiculously optimistic timelines.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_20317 » 27 Dec 2014 19:12

Shooklaw reports halla over underallocation by around 50% to IAF for capital budget.

Saturday, 27 December 2014
Air force modernisation: Parliament panel slams MoD’s “lackadaisical approach”

<snip>
The parliamentary panel reveals in its “Fourth Report on Demands for Grants (2014-15)”, which was tabled on December 22, that the IAF had projected a requirement of Rs 62,408 crore for capital purchases this year. Against that, it was allocated only Rs 33,711 crore, half its request.

“The Committee are baffled at such a meagre allocation as Air Force has a long list of projects planned for induction during the year 2014-15…”



The caption pic right at the top of the write up is an LCA. Now out of the veritable menagerie of planes with IAF why was the LCA chosen. I am sure it is a pure coincidence :twisted: .

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 19:16

Well, considering budgetary constraints, sky rocketing Rafale price and falling sqd. strength don't see why more mk1s won't happen esp. If foc is achieved quickly.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Vivek K » 27 Dec 2014 19:31

Is anything of importance left for the FOC? If the only thing remaining is the IFR probe and the most cone, can we not get a single piece of each and demo on a LSP aircraft? If these two are the only items holding up FOC, then additional orders should be released.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 19:32

BVR capability, very crucial. But what you say might happen what with modis make in India drive and all. Perhaps the orders can be for foc specced birds if foc is a surething? We know that HAL can integrate derby on 2032 based on lush upgrade, but then this is not a vanilla 2032 either.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_28911 » 27 Dec 2014 19:38

Image

HAL should complete the order of 40+8 LCA Mk-1 by 2020 as per current schedule. LCA Mk-II is likely to achieve FOC in 2021-2022 time frame. So there's a room for additional 24 LCA Mk-I if we assume Mk-II serial-production will only start after it achieves FOC.

But as per Dr Tamilmani all of the 4 LCA MkII test vehicle will be of production standard so there's a possibility of HAL starting serial production before FOC is achieved (like what LM is doing with F-35).

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby NRao » 27 Dec 2014 19:42

The tejas otoh, already uses composites in a big way


Everything is based on RoI or cost-benefit. If there is no benefit, and benefit is a very broad term, they do not make any changes.

The most recent plane, with plenty of open source info is the F-35. Skinning the F-35 fighter, though from 2009, provides a good amount of details.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 19:46

Yes, obviously. But weight reduction afaik is one salient benefit of composites, right?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby NRao » 27 Dec 2014 20:08

So, if one is able to reduce the weight of a radar unit by X Kgs, and that impacts the CG of the plane. Then what? Rearrange "stuff" within? Rewrite the code to deal with the new problem (and it is a problem). Associated costs (rearrange "stuff" or write new code) - $ (do we have enough funds or do we need to ask for more?), time (can we meet deadlines), resources, materials, ..............................

And, who knows what else.

Which is why I think/feel the LCA is the very best to have happened. Despite all the warts.

But weight reduction afaik is one salient benefit of composites


The article I posted addresses various aspects on this topic.
Last edited by NRao on 27 Dec 2014 20:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Hitesh » 27 Dec 2014 20:11

The problems with Tejas Mk 1 and the subsequent desired changes in Mk 2 means that ADA needs to come up with a fresh design instead of trying to improve the original design. Let us come with a design that we can build around Kaveri and maximize the full benefits from Kaveri and make the new design a real superior fighter plane instead of trying to shoehorn an incompatible engine into a flawed design.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cain Marko » 27 Dec 2014 20:17

NRao wrote:So, if one is able to reduce the weight of a radar unit by X Kgs, and that impacts the CG of the plane. Then what? Rearrange "stuff" within? Rewrite the code to deal with the new problem (and it is a problem). Associated costs (rearrange "stuff" or write new code) - $ (do we have enough funds or do we need to ask for more?), time (can we meet deadlines), resources, materials, ..............................

And, who knows what else.

Which is why I think/feel the LCA is the very best to have happened. Despite all the warts.

But weight reduction afaik is one salient benefit of composites


The article I posted addresses various aspects on this topic.

all well and good, but my post was in the specific context of DRDO claim of.weight.reduction.for.mk2, they seem to think there is ROI

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Krishnakg » 27 Dec 2014 21:25


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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Vivek K » 27 Dec 2014 22:28

Work out the delivery of the pending items. Involve TATA or Mahindra or a major industrial group to increase rate of production. Cancel the MMRCA. PMO should directly monitor the progress on the MK2 with the DRDO chief directly reporting. There is a lot of money at stake in the MMRCA purchase.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 27 Dec 2014 22:43

RV, there is credence to what SJha is saying. The 414 has an airflow of 170 lb/sec. The Kaveri has an airflow of 172 lb/sec. So theoretically, if the intake is good for Kaveri, it should be good for the 414. What you are seeing in the wind tunnel model is the auxiliary intake being changed from a spring loaded hinged door (like in the Jaguar) to fixed louvers (like in the Su-30, Mig-29). By the way, the auxiliary air intakes are not for extra air.

Dave sahab, I don’t understand what part of the underperformance on Mk1 you don’t understand.
1. The choice of the wing is a deliberate design choice. I don’t know why AVM Matheswaran is bringing up the canard issue now. Where was he (and the IAF) when ADA was studying canard layouts for the LCA? By the way, ADA studied various wind tunnel models (including the canard and the conventional tailplane) and found that LCA does not need an extra tailplane or a close-coupled canard. Instead the wing design is blended in a way to allow the trailing edge to work as a tailplane. Please find the studies of the F-16XL wing which is based on the same wing design. It did better than the F-16 with a tail plane. A case for a close-coupled canrd can be immediately shot down too. The wing does extremely well till 35 degrees AoA. The plane would have sufficient STR at 28 degrees AoA!
2. Most, if not all of LCA Mk1s problems are due to 15-20% increase in weight but no compensatory increase in installed power. With this, both the lift-to-drag ratio and power-to-weight ratio went down, which affected the top speed, STR, acceleration, and rate of climb. Another adverse effect is that the wings can’t carry the increased mass at 13.5g (9g capable aircraft), instead they can only carry them at 12g (8g capable aircraft).
3. ADA is also learning the nuances of design. Some air intakes like the intake for the APU could have been finer. They realized that the current air intake for the APU provides more air than required. Hence they are designing an optimized intake for Mk2. ADA can certainly also be accused of some gross oversights, e.g. the pylon designs, the abrupt end of wing body blending strake. Surely, they should be called up on that. But not for the things you are asking for.
4. Some of our subcomponents are not up to the cutting edge. For example, we don’t seem to know how to build the nose-cone, a frameless HUD,etc. Whole of the Indian aero industry (including Victorji’s favourite private sector) is learning with ADA. We can’t afford to be so restless.

CM sahab, LCA-MK1 to LCA-MK2 change is not similar to Gripen C/D to NG change. It is rather like the LCH-2 to LCH-3 change. They are increasing the volume, but mostly filling that up with extra fuel tanks. In the empty condition, they don’t add much weight. Also, many subcomponents for Mk2 are being redesigned after a decade or 2. Therefore, their weights have gone down (especially the electronic ones).

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SaiK » 27 Dec 2014 22:43

I would focus on T:W ratio over weight reduction now. [at least for block 1 & 2 and focus on what IAF wants]. come back with block 3 or 4 for advanced performance and features. Please look at the operational and capability point of view also. Let us not say, as JTull mentioned, that I modified a bit - in a "start-of-the-technology" state forever!!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cybaru » 27 Dec 2014 22:54

Doesn't it have 3000 liter internal fuel capacity and 3 external 1200 liter fuel tanks it can carry? The combination above should be plenty enough for any mission at the moment. We only have 6 refuellers. Whats the plan here? Dedicate a whole bunch of refuelers to the LCA squadron at sulur? Are we planning on using LCA for deep SEAD work, which is doable, but doesn't have to be the first tasking.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 27 Dec 2014 23:02

My problem with ADA is not pertaining to the LCA. My problem is with program management, especially time management. I feel every step in a project of such immense national importance should have a strict timeline and fall back option! For example, they installed the MMR in LSP-3. I am sure they would have known the performance even before that. Then why did they have to wait for the nose cone till the last moment! They should have delinked the indigeneous nose-cone development from Mk-1 a few years back! Similarly, why did the IFR have to wait till 3 months before FOC? HAL was supposed to serially produce LCAs from 2012. It woke up in 2011 to start setting up an assembly line! HAL can say that the design was not finalized till IOC-2. But was the assembly line ready to churn out Mk-1s at the envisaged rate from 1st day after IOC-2. I don't think so.

There has to be accountability for time. And that is not possible with one primary integrator and designer. And this is why I want the private sector to come up and provide an alternative.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby PratikDas » 27 Dec 2014 23:34

Thank you, Indranil, for your recent posts. Good critique for jingos to note but much to take solace in as well.

I hope a large order of engines for the LCA is on the cards between Modi and Obama.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_20292 » 27 Dec 2014 23:50

Karan M wrote:
Good part is now everyone who has experience and can contribute has gone to LCA. Jags, MiGs, Su's - its all there.


word.

You should see how many Profs and Labs at IISc Bangalore are associated with the LCA, the AMCA etc.

GTRE. So many!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Sanjay » 28 Dec 2014 00:37

Question: loaded A2A with 4 BVR, 2 WVR int fuel and gun, what is Tejas Mk.1 T:W ratio ?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srai » 28 Dec 2014 02:56

Cain Marko wrote:
Vipul Dave wrote:late Parvez Khokhar sir had voiced his concern over weight increase in MK2. However in recent recently published article of Saurav Jha, it was stated that designers of MK2 were successful in bringing the design weight of MK2 down by 350 KG compare to MK1.So weight increase is not be a problem. So far as higher fuels consumption is concern in GE 414 Engine, It may not consume more fuel for same performance level i.e say for example 20 KN thrust is required for X performance. GE 414 shall not consume more fuel for that power compare to GE 404 since GE 414 is an engine which operates at very high compression ratio so not necessarily there should be high fuel consumption for same performance. In fact the fuel consumption shall be less.

His concern over poor air intake design is very genuine. We should hire American company such as Boeing to resolve the intake issue. Other improvement we may carry out is wing redesign. This unnecessary large design has resulted in weight and turn rate penalty.

If we carry out some practical changes such as wing and air intake redesign along with continuous work on AOA increase and wight reduction in MK1, We can enhance the performance of even MK 1 and can make that a very decent plane acceptable to IAF.


Actually I have a big doubt about weight decreasing on the block 2, sounds like a fantasy. Can't think of a single fighter design in recent times where weight has reduced in the newer version - gripen, viper, fulcrum, hornet, flanker. And many of these had metal components that were replaced by composites allowing for reduction. The tejas otoh, already uses composites in a big way. Btw, all of the aforementioned birds had weight increases upon upgrade, and that is despite far more experience in such exercises. It will be a miracle if they.maintain same weight for mk1 and mk2, let alone reduction. The best candidate for weight reduction in second iteration was probably the mirage 2000 since its engine was quite heavy resulting in poor twr, a 414 would certainly have helped if the design allowed it.

Am not too sure about range / endurance being reduced based on increased power; the SFC for the 414 is better than the 404, also, it will carry more fuel, but you never know - more fuel.capacity might mean a weight and range penalty . Tech gurus can probably enlighten here

But no, the mk2 seems another candidate for overpromise and underdeliver, esp. in terms of weight reduction and ridiculously optimistic timelines.


LCA Mk.1 is flying around with a 200kg ballast to be within permissible CG limits. Mk.2 is supposed to get rid of that ballast through better internal weight distribution.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shreeman » 28 Dec 2014 04:21

Cybaru wrote:Doesn't it have 3000 liter internal fuel capacity and 3 external 1200 liter fuel tanks it can carry? The combination above should be plenty enough for any mission at the moment. We only have 6 refuellers. Whats the plan here? Dedicate a whole bunch of refuelers to the LCA squadron at sulur? Are we planning on using LCA for deep SEAD work, which is doable, but doesn't have to be the first tasking.


Sulur is a training establishment. Kind of like pune was initially, and still is. Not a gwalior.

LCA is a point defender. Will never see any other role in India. The Jaguar, 27 drivers are not going to sit on their hands in CAS and SEAD/DEAD will go to long legged aircraft and dare I say drones (the self-immolating type) long before any LCA is tasked.

The utility is a 1:1 Mig21 swap to offset the JF17/F16/J-0Xs that might come across. But if LCA had already been in service for some time (M21s retired), then the case for MMRCA would be very weak and thge AMCA etc would take on centre stage. It would be difficult to justify putting hard currency in anything but an engine.

As is, the engine is something no one talks about. Large import contracts of every other kind are in the vogue. Status quo maintained for one more generation.

So a fly-sized multi-role Jaguar/27/21/A10/JH7/JF17 replacement, network centric, low observability, supercruise capable, high AoA, long range, swarm capable, agile for CAS, numerical replacement, deep strike leader MK-II, Mk-III,... are planned instead of building in numbers.

Re. refueling, ze Su30s, they are strikers, point defenders, bombers. Also refuelers and transports. That is the short term plan.

Ever more OT: Same with Navy as far as next decade carrier service is concerned, the 29k is medium range AEW and refueler. No transport there though. So short legs and an auxiliary for a cbg.
Wonder why Indian Navy wouldnt buy a few Mi26s for shore resupply to the carriers. The Seaking types are going to make infinite trips as a replacement.

A lot of this is just strategic blindness, some of it is jugaad, and some over-optimism and over-reaching capabilities. So dont take this as criticism of one "side" or the other.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 28 Dec 2014 04:28

Image

The design hurdles that ADA/DRDO face with the LCA and also the frustration that the IAF has can be summed up by the above image.

Probably the most relevent measuring stick we can find is the Gripen which uses the same engine as the LCA, the GE404. The LCA (and eventually maybe the LCA2) are smaller than the Gripen (which is 5' longer) but have much greater wing area and weight. Whether the weight follows from the wing area we don't know but that could be the case.

Matheswaran and Khokhar point to the problems: the LCA fares badly in turn rate, climb rate and range. The turn rate and climb penalties would give it a severe disadvantage in close combat while the range would limit the weapons load if it is to be increased with external fuel tanks. The suggestions they offer to fix these drawbacks are probably in line with what the consultants must have said--reduce wing area and/or add canards, rework the intake design to boost engine output. What they are pointing to may be close to the image labeled LCA 1A powered by the existing GE404 but incorporating a smaller wing area, canards and reworked air intakes. This may also be close to what the LCA 2 may look like. If wing fine-tuning is required, it could use dog-tooth leading edges which is a common technique to boost wing performance used by Gripen, Phantom, F-15, F-18 etc as shown in the right wing. Just looking at this configuration gives me the feeling that it would produce a meaningful increase in performance, maybe even over the Gripen if weight can be kept down to comparable levels.

These changes would of course "delay" the LCA but I'd wager that if the IAF knew the changes they are suggesting were being tried and incorporated, they would be willing to wait, not for another 10 years but maybe 2 or 3 years. It seems what is frustrating the IAF is that none of the changes suggested are being made by ADA/DRDO apart from minor tinkering here and there.

We need to find out exactly why ADA/DRDO are not reworking the obvious items--wing area and intake design being key. What I've read so far coming from ADA/DRDO is "it's not needed" but this is not good enough. When a bigger aircraft using the same engine blows you out of the water on every single measure, something is fundamentally wrong. There is certainly more under the hood that we not be able to master without more R&D, like airframe optimzation. But we can and should at least address the obvious problems. It seems to me that the ADA/DRDO want to have a "unique" design and not have to "copy" any other airplane. If so, this is plain foolish. The F-86 copied the MiG-15 and the F-16 copied the MiG-21. My suspicion is that they want to hurry up and get FOC by hook or crook so they can put a feather in their cap. If this is true, it is unpardonable.

Edit: Removed "Ferry Range" and added "Combat Radius". Former was not clear enough.
Last edited by Victor on 28 Dec 2014 22:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 28 Dec 2014 04:41

Victor sahab,

I refrained from answering for a long time, because whatever you have brought forth till now has been discussed multiple times before. But your completely biased views have gone on for too long. I will answer them with technical points to the best of my abilities. It is okay that you don't believe ADA's studies, but tell me why you need it (because Gripen has it is the worst reason), because I can't see of any.
1. Close coupled canards: Not needed because the wing can go to 35 degrees AoA effortlessly. The plane would do exceptionally well if it can go to 28 degrees.
2. Control surfaces: I have not read that LCA's elevators don't produce enough torque.

In the meantime, you would do well to read about the lead up to LCA's layout finalization. Please read about HF-25, HF-73, Advanced Strike Aircraft (ASA), Ground Attack Fighter (GAF), and early LCA design alternatives. The below picture shows the HF-73 next to one such alternative.
Image

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 28 Dec 2014 06:07

indranilroy wrote:What do you want your canards for?

Yes "because Gripen has them" is a bad reason but the Kfir, Rafale, Typhoon? I'm guessing it's mainly to reduce the wing area, overall weight, increase wing loading, improve the turn rate and climb rate. But why ask me? The IAF seems to think they were suggested for LCA by consultants and ADA isn't listening. Don't leave out the intake. Is it really OK just because ADA says so? If not why no movement there? It's no consequence what was tried earlier (maybe by the Kurt Tank-trained engineers?). What is the situation now is all that matters. If people suggest that nothing needs change and all is well, we have nothing to talk about.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby srin » 28 Dec 2014 08:29

Mirage 2000 is also a tail-less canardless delta. Don't see people asking for canards on it. And also, they are so impressed with the Mirage that they wanted to buy more of it 10-12 years ago (triggering the MMRCA saga).
Secondly, why canards ? Why not LERX ? Or why not LEVCONs for the AF version ? See http://drdo.gov.in/drdo/pub/dss/2009/main/2-CEMILAC.pdf, page #9, Section 3.3 "Sustained turn rate using LEVCON"

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Vivek K » 28 Dec 2014 08:51

And Canards can be added if found beneficial in future development of the aircraft. Let us stop looking for excuses and support the LCA.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Surya » 28 Dec 2014 08:58

maybe the LCA will need a comparitive trial with the Mig 21 and 27 :((
Last edited by Surya on 28 Dec 2014 08:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Indranil » 28 Dec 2014 08:59

Victor wrote:
indranilroy wrote:What do you want your canards for?

Yes "because Gripen has them" is a bad reason but the Kfir, Rafale, Typhoon? I'm guessing it's mainly to reduce the wing area, overall weight, increase wing loading, improve the turn rate and climb rate. But why ask me?

The Kfir, Rafale and Gripen have close-coupled canards. The Typhoon has it for a completely different reason. But none of them are for decreasing wing area, overall weight, or climb rate. I don't even know what you mean by increase wing loading.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shreeman » 28 Dec 2014 09:45

Image

It ij said in wise hadith that which can refuel tayyara-e-miraje can also refu-e-el everything else subject only to numbers of refueling kits. At 8,000kg+internal fuel it can probably refuel three light fighters and stick around for minimal air defense for a while. Refuelers are therefore aplenty unless you want to go fight in south china sea.

Numbers on the other hand,...

AI15 will be fun for you lot. LCA-SPs, LUH-GTV + prototype, ALH numbers, IJT news, LCH TDs in reasonable shape, UAVs (the ruystasm porototype should wander out), may be even a mock refueling probe strapped on ground display, rafail shoulkd show, Ka226t should be hovering, yadayada...

Ask some kweschens.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_26622 » 28 Dec 2014 10:21

My two cents - Adding Canards to LCA or any Delta airframe will result in increase in length or need to be vertically staggered. Check how Rafale at 50 ft is longer than M2000 at 47 ft or Tejas at 43 ft. That will further worsen weight issues.

That said why add something when the LCA compound delta meets\exceeds operational parameters. This little fighter packs way above its size and does not need add-on cosmetics. This canard discussion reminds me of SU-30 MKI vs. Su-35, where the latter does not need canards to do similar acrobatics.

Canards is absolutely the wrong way to go if one is trying to evolve into stealth designs - F-22, F35 and even PAKFA does not use them.

Now what would be interesting is addition of thrust vectoring on to the small LCA airframe. That will make it at par with anything seen in Starwars :D

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Gyan » 28 Dec 2014 11:05

Let's keep it simple. LCA MK-1 is reasonable aircraft at cheap price. It is better than Mig-21, 27 and two of them are better than one Mirage 2000 and Mig-29. So at a price of USD 25 - 30 Million dollars it should be ordered in hundreds.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby member_28756 » 28 Dec 2014 11:20

Victor wrote:Image

The design hurdles that ADA/DRDO face with the LCA and also the frustration that the IAF has can be summed up by the above image.

Probably the most relevent measuring stick we can find is the Gripen which uses the same engine as the LCA, the GE404. The LCA (and eventually maybe the LCA2) are smaller than the Gripen (which is 5' longer) but have much greater wing area and weight. Whether the weight follows from the wing area we don't know but that could be the case.

Matheswaran and Khokhar point to the problems: the LCA fares badly in turn rate, climb rate and range. The turn rate and climb penalties would give it a severe disadvantage in close combat while the range would limit the weapons load if it is to be increased with external fuel tanks. The suggestions they offer to fix these drawbacks are probably in line with what the consultants must have said--reduce wing area and/or add canards, rework the intake design to boost engine output. What they are pointing to may be close to the image labeled LCA 1A powered by the existing GE404 but incorporating a smaller wing area, canards and reworked air intakes. This may also be close to what the LCA 2 may look like. If wing fine-tuning is required, it could use dog-tooth leading edges which is a common technique to boost wing performance used by Gripen, Phantom, F-15, F-18 etc as shown in the right wing. Just looking at this configuration gives me the feeling that it would produce a meaningful increase in performance, maybe even over the Gripen if weight can be kept down to comparable levels.

These changes would of course "delay" the LCA but I'd wager that if the IAF knew the changes they are suggesting were being tried and incorporated, they would be willing to wait, not for another 10 years but maybe 2 or 3 years. It seems what is frustrating the IAF is that none of the changes suggested are being made by ADA/DRDO apart from minor tinkering here and there.

We need to find out exactly why ADA/DRDO are not reworking the obvious items--wing area and intake design being key. What I've read so far coming from ADA/DRDO is "it's not needed" but this is not good enough. When a bigger aircraft using the same engine blows you out of the water on every single measure, something is fundamentally wrong. There is certainly more under the hood that we not be able to master without more R&D, like airframe optimzation. But we can and should at least address the obvious problems. It seems to me that the ADA/DRDO want to have a "unique" design and not have to "copy" any other airplane. If so, this is plain foolish. The F-86 copied the MiG-15 and the F-16 copied the MiG-21. My suspicion is that they want to hurry up and get FOC by hook or crook so they can put a feather in their cap. If this is true, it is unpardonable.


Yeah much longer will it take to develop this new version ? The plane is already much delayed already redesign it will take lots more time since its practically a new plane.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SanjayC » 28 Dec 2014 11:31

Gyan wrote:Let's keep it simple. LCA MK-1 is reasonable aircraft at cheap price. It is better than Mig-21, 27 and two of them are better than one Mirage 2000 and Mig-29. So at a price of USD 25 - 30 Million dollars it should be ordered in hundreds.


Exactly. LCA is being compared with Gripen and declared inferior and unfit for service. Dudes, that's the wrong way. It should be compared to what Pakistan has -- if LCA is superior to 90% of the planes that Pakis can throw at us in war, it should be immediately inducted and deployed on Western border. What's the problem? Comparing it to the best in the world and then rejecting it is plain stupid. Our platforms have to be benchmarked against what our enemies have, not with what the Western countries have.

The comparison is unfair in another way too -- India's first effort at an aircraft is being compared to state-of-the-art product from countries which have been developing aircraft for 70 years. Please read about how Israel developed the Merkava tank and how they kept inducting existing crappy versions while immediately starting work on next version to overcome its shortcomings. The "best and the greatest" thingie can be left to the next version of LCA -- just induct the goddamn first version ASAP and make it face the Pakis and gain experience with the platform. Rest assured, LCA is not going to face Gripens in war. It can also go into Pakistan and drop bombs even if it is not the greatest in the world -- just make enough numbers of them and Pakis will be overwhelmed. There really is an attitude problem with Indians and their quest for obtaining the unobtanium in the first attempt. In the end, they achieve zero.

Motto should be: "Thou Shalt Not Attempt to Obtain the Unobtanium in Your First Try. If Joo Can Deliver Just 70% of the Unobtanium, We Shalt All Applaud and Start Work on Next Version. One GOOD aircraft in the field is better than ten BESTEST aircraft on the drawing board." This needs to be drilled into the heads of IAF and scientists both.

Another problem is the Harishchandra Syndrome -- plagiarism, lifting of ideas, copying designs that work -- are considered immoral and sinful. The quest is for pristine, unique designs that are the unburnished output of one's own intellectual work, so that one looks good for "creativity" and attract applause as "men of substance who are known for creativity and originality."

Well, LCA is being designed for the defence of the country, and not to prove that Indians are capable of original thought. This needs to be drilled into our scientists and tell them that copying ideas is 100% halal and there is no shame attached to it. US, China, all do it. If the scientists are extending the development process because they are refusing to copy stuff and wasting time in "original solutions," then their backsides need to be whipped and a sense of shrewdness and cunning introduced in their personality.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Victor » 28 Dec 2014 12:01

SanjayC wrote:India's first effort at an aircraft is being compared to state-of-the-art product from countries which have been developing aircraft for 70 years.

HAL has been making airplanes for over 70 years and developing them for almost that long too, believe it or not.

Please read about how Israel....kept inducting existing crappy versions while immediately starting work on next version to overcome its shortcomings. The "best and the greatest" thingie can be left to the next version..

Exactly what IAF is suggesting, isn't it? Induct a few crappy versions and immediately start work on the next version to overcome shortcomings. That's the only way things will work. The first version is "almost ready" and "will be inducted next year" so let's get to work immediately on the next version. Where's the disagreement?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Cybaru » 28 Dec 2014 12:26

Victor wrote:Image


Sorry man, those values quoted for range just seem absurdly wrong. Must be from the Gripe-n marketing department!

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Neela » 28 Dec 2014 12:41

So let's call it BTG now. BeatTheGripen is as good a name as any.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby SanjayC » 28 Dec 2014 13:36

Victor wrote:HAL has been making airplanes for over 70 years and developing them for almost that long too, believe it or not.


Umm .. please name some fighter aircraft that HAL designed and developed before LCA.

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Ramu » 28 Dec 2014 14:54

Victor wrote:Image
.


Pardon my ignorance. Where did you get this picture from?

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Re: LCA News and Discussions, 22-Oct-2013

Postby Shreeman » 28 Dec 2014 15:00

Victor took the numbers from wiki, but didnt pay attention to glorious km to mi conversion errors in the specifications. Ballasts and all the LCA is approx 1000kg heavier (according to wiki), and while this comes at a combat load cost, the ferry ranges (max. fuel, tanks and all) are going to be in the 3000km range for both. Victor's sauce says the same in km, then conveniently mixes up the numbers re. ferry/combat/.. in poodlistan units.

Gripen also comes with a 250nos/8 accident record. Hasnt seen any real combat yet. LCA numbers are 15nos/0 accidents so far, and its wiki numbers are 50% speculation in the range/load department. When the SPs actually achieve thrm, they can be noted but until then its little more than lab testing.

Now, if I were to interject my personal bias, it would say the swedes are compulsive liars. So I will not take the Gripen's achievements without a dosage of salt too large for my rasam. The aircraft is real, and in service. But the brochritis is worse than F16 Model69.

Only the operators know the real numbers, and let them worry about that. Gripen is not something you will fight unless you take on Thailand (and send in the 29s/30mki then) so lets keep it between the M21, and the Tejas. Shiny new LCAs in chandigarh (or jammu or random rajasthan/gujarat location) will do much good as long as they are not gate guardians.

There is no real debate over whether the LCA should have a 200+ manufacturing run. It is the when/annual rate that is being debated. I say 50, you say 4. Perhaps call it a squadron a year (taking 10 years to replace everything, then!) and move on?

They can be doing their MK-X/XMCA/XGXA on the side as long as the 1+ squadron/year keeps getting churned. But production is not side business, scaling up has its own specialty -- manufacturing engineering, and supply chain management has made many people very rich.

ps -- the HF-XX designations speak for themselves re the rest.
pps -- wind tunnels, engine testbeds, flying engine testbeds. this whole airframe wizardry falls in the same domain range as my comic strip design attempots.


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