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Fairwell Illustrious!

Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Fairwell Illustrious!

Well after 32 years, 900,000 miles and plenty of coflicts, HMS illustrious has docked for the final time!
I always though these carriers were incredible bits of kit and the harriers that they carried used to fascinate me (that is until they were scrapped!). Anyway I would post a link but I know I will be frowned upon for trying to share something interesting so I shall post no pics or link. I think you all know where you can find it Wink
A truly magnificent piece of engineering.. I hope it's saved!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
9 REPLIES
nanotm
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

wanna bet its sold to the Indians for a few quid per tonne less than scrap value or better yet the Argies for a similar price .... every time we get rid of something decent it gets sold for less than scrap value to the people we next expect to be at war with .......apart from ocean that we bought as 3 second hand boats and had some clever dockworkers do a most professional cut n shut job so it looks like a nice new monstrosity and then wonder why its always in port needing repairs ........
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
gromittz
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

Quote from: 7up
A truly magnificent piece of engineering.. I hope it's saved!
What a magnificent boat  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,924
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

Quote from: nanotm
.apart from ocean that we bought as 3 second hand boats and had some clever dockworkers do a most professional cut n shut job so it looks like a nice new monstrosity and then wonder why its always in port needing repairs ........

What?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
nanotm
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

you cant be the only person alive that doesn't know you'd be locked up for doing to a car what they did with that piece of floating scrap
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

@ 7up   Agree with what you say...
But see this thread.....   http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,129611.0.html
and if you really want to put a linky in to a news item.... you are welcome to do so, because you have explained what and why it is there  ! ! ...        Wink
  ( Unlike some.......     Roll eyes   )  
WTF
Grafter
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

Quote from: 7up
the harriers .. (that is until they were scrapped!)

Actually, the Harriers were sold to the US Marines (I seem to recall for $200m) who plan to use them for parts for their existing fleet of Harriers which they are continuing to use until they get their F35Cs .. if they ever get them.
The F35C is the same plane our new carrier was designed around.  It's the most expensive weapons system ever developed and a technological marvel - or would be if it actually worked.
Last week, it's first trip overseas was cancelled - for the second time - because the entire fleet had been grounded after one was set alight by it's own jets.
Last year, the issue was that the jets were setting light to the deck when used in VTOL.  
Talking of VTOL, there has also been the minor issue that the extra weight means there's insufficient power to take off or land with a full weapons load (what weapons they manage to take off with have to be ditched before landing).  Aside from these minor issues, it is apparently difficult to fly at night and in the rain (!); it's much vaunted stealth features have already been defeated by Russian and Chinese systems (before it's even in the air) and it has a massive blind spot behind the pilot (something of an issue given the essential HMD helmets - that replace the HUD - aren't yet available) which, combined with it's lack of speed (because of VTOL), combat software (F35s are not yet allowed to fire their guns or drop live ordenance) and stealth (see above) make it something of a sitting duck should it ever get involved in a dog fight.
Then there are the 'top 50' parts - things like fuel hoses, turbine blades and rudder hinges- with abnormally high wear and/or failure rates.
Given the F35 is already 4 years late (and even the US Navy doesn't expect to get the C variant into service until at least 2019) and 7 times over budget, it does rather look like Illustrious has been replaced by the world's biggest and most expensive helicopter carrier.
nanotm
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

wouldn't they be better off investigating jet copters rather than continuing to waste cash on a something that should already work (harriers clearly operated perfectly well for some long time) or maybe that's a bit to sci-fi for current military, certainly it would be a better option to have the ability to take out jets with a more agile and versatile craft in my view than to rely on a relatively restricted version of the once great harrier
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
WTF
Grafter
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

Actually, what we should have done was include a cable launch system - as currently used by every carrier in every navy in the entire world.
Not only would a cable launch system have allowed us to use the cheaper, simpler and more capable STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) version of the F35 (the B), should the problems ever get solved with that, it would have allowed us to deploy other existing, working, perfectly capable and (comparatively) cheap planes immediately the carriers went into service rather than 8 or so years later.  We could even have leased those planes until the F35B was available.
Unfortunately, current cable launch systems are steam driven and because our carriers are not nuclear, they have no way of generating the required quantities of steam.  Plus it would have added a considerable amount to the price of the carriers - though those costs could have largely been offset by buying cheaper aircraft.
Space was left in the carriers to cater for a possible electrically powered cable launch system however, this too is still in development in the US and is not currently working.
As things stand, it's the F35C or helicopters.
Well, so long as you insist on having manned aircraft.  It's quite possible that if the air arm were unmanned, that could open up an number of other possibilities.
As for 'jet copters', they've had those since the 60s (the Huey being possibly the most famous) and they're only capable of a max speed of around 200mph (something to do with the ends of the rotor blades going supersonic by that speed) making them sitting ducks when up against supersonic fighters.  The only reason we get to use so many helicopters these days is that our (or rather, the Americans') fighters have already imposed total air dominance.
nanotm
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Re: Fairwell Illustrious!

I was thinking of a type of hybrid helo, based on the design of the thing they used in the avatar movie but with the addition of twin jet engines so the rotors could be prevented from causing excess drag at supersonic speeds and yet would still operate in a similar way to a normal helo during take off /landing and low speed manoeuvring
which would make them a bit like the osprey but more versatile in that they would have the multirole capabilities of the harrier on top of being troop /baggage carriers
as I said its sci-fi but it could become sci-fact and probably cheaper than the current cost of acquiring a working f35c
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you