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1966 Northrop F-5B

That’d be a neat way to kickstart the “Euroga Flying Club” :-)

Hmmm; I’d be looking for an F16

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

BeechBaby wrote:

As always buying it is the easy part. Maintenance, running costs, storage, licence ratings and training and on

We used an F-5 to train on when doing courses in maintenance (when I was in the military). Taking it apart, “fixing” components, putting it back together. Maintenance vise, the F-5 must be one of the simplest things there is, in relative terms. Only later did we transitioned to F-16 before going out to the squadrons, it was merely a couple of months course, so the F-16 is also very simple to work with (this of course requires all the tools, all the equipment, all the people, the right organisation with loads of money. It really is no one man’s job to keep them flying, and they are not designed around that principle in any sort of way). The F-5 maybe could be maintained by a very small team, but how to get spare parts?

The F-5s (A and B version from the mid 60’s, exactly like the one being discussed here) were used by the RNAF for more than 20 years after we got the F-16s. This was for no other reason than the F-5 could do certain missions just as well, and at the fraction of the cost of the F-16. What got them in the end was cracks in critical structural components. The last years they flew, cracks had to be monitored before every single flight. To fix this would essentially require new airframes. I wonder about the plane above here. How many flight hours does it have left? Only the particular history of the plane can tell.

LeSving wrote:

What got them in the end was cracks in critical structural components.

It seems to be the death nell of many military types. Stress fractures, spar weakness, and not for the lack of maintenance. Also I noted that a lot of military types have pretty short and strict key items lifed.

Government conservatism, built in life redundancy? The expectation of what they may have to do in military life?

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

BeechBaby wrote:

It seems to be the death nell of many military types. Stress fractures, spar weakness, and not for the lack of maintenance. Also I noted that a lot of military types have pretty short and strict key items lifed.

It is a trade-off between performance and maintenance/life span. Clearly for military fighter aircraft the trade-off is very biased towards performance.
The use of composite in main structural items will improve the life span/inspection requirements.

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

BeechBaby wrote:

Government conservatism, built in life redundancy? The expectation of what they may have to do in military life?

Maybe a bit of everything. They are designed around a service life, let’s say 20 years. This includes X hours per year, Y landings and so on. There is only so much the structure can take before cracks starts to become a factor. Extending the life further is essentially “on condition”. Things have to be monitored more closely, and maintenance costs increases. Would you use time and money on that (maintaining old and in many respect outdated technology), or could that time and money be used better elsewhere? At some point it makes no sense anymore. When everything is “on condition”, then everything has to be monitored and checked all the time, and the risk of failure starts soaring. What you get is low availability and high cost. The cost isn’t the main problem maybe, but low availability is.

speed wrote:

sorry to disagree but the F-5 is the most difficult aircraft that I have flown (C-101, F5, F18 and EFA).

I’ll let the guy who wrote that know, chance is I’ll see him this weekend :). AFAIK he flew the F5 and FA18 as well.

speed wrote:

I’m a F5 Instructor Pilot so if we start a crowdfunding I’d be more than happy to provide training :)

Oh yea! Even though I have to admit, I’d love to fly the Hunter more than any other airplane. But even one flight on one of those costs more than my yearly flying budget.

LSZH, Switzerland

Xtophe wrote:

for military fighter aircraft the trade-off is very biased towards performance

I have worked on testing of jet engines (M88 & CFM56 for Rafale & A320Neo), the military wants performance and don’t give a cent on efficiency and long term reliability/costs for a normal use, but they were hugely concerned about reliability for extreme single missions and happy to take the whole thing out for inspection after each sortie

ESSEX, United Kingdom
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