What aircraft do you guys think were designed "perfect" from the outset?

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Doggzilla, Jan 20, 2020.

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

  1. Jan 20, 2020 #41

    bmcj

    bmcj

    bmcj

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,151
    Likes Received:
    5,063
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    I forgot to mention this one...

    Did the B-52 require any major mods to meet its original goal? It’s had an amazing longevity and looks pretty much the same as it did when it was introduced.
     
    BJC and Doggzilla like this.
  2. Jan 20, 2020 #42

    bmcj

    bmcj

    bmcj

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,151
    Likes Received:
    5,063
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Most of what you mentioned is centered around the way it was used, not failure of the design at the time it was designed. Aviation technology was advancing rapidly during that time, and any design was quickly outclassed, but IIRC, the B-17 flew higher and faster than many of the fighters that existed at the time it was designed.
     
  3. Jan 20, 2020 #43

    Hephaestus

    Hephaestus

    Hephaestus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    YMM
    Sopwith camel :pilot:

    Honestly it's a ridiculous question - there's never been an aircraft built that didn't suffer feature creep, role changes and updated technology/advancements during development/lifetime.
     
    bmcj likes this.
  4. Jan 20, 2020 #44

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    6,557
    Likes Received:
    5,338
    Location:
    KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
    The OP was mentioning "nearly perfect", so I took it to mean significant changes to fix real design flaws. Not mission creep, that has nothing to do with the quality of the design.

    U-2 to TR-1... that's a major design change, to create a more capable aircraft out of the same DNA. Nothing wrong with the original design, but the TR-1 is largely a different airplane.

    DC-3 having a cargo door to create the C-47 is not a design flaw that was fixed.

    Messerschmitt 262 having the landing gear changed to tri-gear because the first taildragger was nearly un-manageable... that was a significant design flaw that was fixed.
     
  5. Jan 20, 2020 #45

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,097
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Everywhere USA
    That’s actually what caused the U-2 incident. The Soviets sent us messages demanding we stop sending “bombers” over their territory.

    The thought the U-2 was a Canberra/B-57 and thought we were threatening them with a show of how untouchable our bombers were.

    They had actually helped the Chinese shoot down a Canberra/B-57 recon flight earlier (the first SAM kill in history) and so they naturally thought the aircraft flying over the Soviet Union was also the same aircraft.

    They were actually surprised to discover the wreckage was a U-2 because they weren’t really even aware of it.
     
  6. Jan 20, 2020 #46

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,097
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Everywhere USA
    And the Canberra might have been a good aircraft, but the US B-57 variant was a train wreck that was almost scrapped before even seeing combat. Only much later during Vietnam did it become successful.
    How could I miss the Buff? Almost perfect except for the avionics.

    In the Gulf War one of them got hit with a HARM anti radar missile because the tail gun radar was the same frequency as some Iraqi ground weapons. Despite being hit with the massive 150lb warhead, the Buff survived and was repaired.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...nti-radiation-missile-blew-apart-a-b-52s-tail

    Those things are absolute beasts.
     
    bmcj likes this.
  7. Jan 20, 2020 #47

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,097
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Everywhere USA
    As for the SR-71, it was very good but had one serious flaw. The intake control system. Controls had to be redone by NASA.

    "The YF-12 and SR-71 originally suffered from severe control issues that affected both the engines and the physical control of the aircraft. Wind testing at NASA Dryden and YF-12 research flights developed computer systems that nearly completely solved the performance issues. Testing revealed vortices from the nose chines interfering with intake air, which lead to the development of a computer control system for the engine air bypasses. A computer system to reduce unstarts was also developed, which greatly improved stability. They also developed a flight engineering computer program called Central Airborne Performance Analyzer (CAPA) that relayed engine data to the pilots and informed them of any faults or issues with performance and indicated the severity of malfunctions.

    Another system called Cooperative Airframe-Propulsion Control System (CAPCS) greatly improved the control of supersonic aircraft in flight. At such high speeds even minor changes in direction caused the aircraft to change position by thousands of feet, and often had severe temperature and pressure changes. CAPCS reduced these deviations by a factor of 10. The overall improvements increased range of the SR-71 by 7 percent"
     
  8. Jan 20, 2020 #48

    BBerson

    BBerson

    BBerson

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    12,626
    Likes Received:
    2,576
    Location:
    Port Townsend WA
    I can't find anything prohibiting thread drift in the HBA Code of conduct.
    Rule 1 perhaps encourages thread drift.
    Rule 5 is actually referring only to off topic threads (non-aviation).
    The code is sort of hard to find, it's in the support section at the bottom of the home page.

    HBA Code of Conduct

    1. Participate - Be yourself, have fun, invent, innovate, chat, plan, day-dream, and enjoy any other activity associated with this wonderful sport.

    5. Off Topic / Hot Button Issues - Non-aviation topics, especially those topics that are likely to cause division, should not be discussed here on HBA. Liberal vs. Conservative, Baptist vs. Catholic, support the war or don't support the war - these are all examples of conversations that can cause emotions to run high and divide our members. There are many other places on the internet to discuss those topics.
     
  9. Jan 20, 2020 #49

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10,195
    Likes Received:
    6,915
    Location:
    97FL, Florida, USA
    Caution: Nit picking to follow.

    I really like the RV-3; it is the one RV that I would like to own today. But, Van did modify the control system to eliminate the drooping ailerons.


    BJC
     
  10. Jan 20, 2020 #50

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Well, there WAS that one little issue of the vertical stabilizer.
    [​IMG]
    Landed safely. Just shows that BUFF pilots never miss a bit of tail......

    Ron "In before the lock" Wanttaja
     
    sotaro, Doggzilla and bmcj like this.
  11. Jan 20, 2020 #51

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    10,195
    Likes Received:
    6,915
    Location:
    97FL, Florida, USA
    Trivia: F-117 inertial navigation systems were reclaimed systems from mothballed B-52s.


    BJC
     
  12. Jan 20, 2020 #52

    bmcj

    bmcj

    bmcj

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    13,151
    Likes Received:
    5,063
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Yep, that’s the ’unstart’ procedure I was referring to.
     
  13. Jan 20, 2020 #53

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Doggzilla

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2,097
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Everywhere USA
    The answers to this thread have been very interesting. Definitely dont mind the thread drift at all.
     
    litespeed likes this.
  14. Jan 20, 2020 #54

    blane.c

    blane.c

    blane.c

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    3,781
    Likes Received:
    676
    Location:
    capital district NY
    DC-4 Annotation 2020-01-20 182250 4.png
     
    Doggzilla likes this.
  15. Jan 21, 2020 #55

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

    Wanttaja

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, but it *is* significantly different from the prototype, so it doesn't really qualify as "perfect from the outset."
    [​IMG]
    Ron Wanttaja
     
  16. Jan 21, 2020 #56

    blane.c

    blane.c

    blane.c

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    3,781
    Likes Received:
    676
    Location:
    capital district NY
    The triple tail was a one off and other than the four engines and the name (DC-4) had very little in common with the C-54 that Douglas produced through WW-2 and the airlines took up as the DC-4 after. That triple tail was bought by Japan and wrecked.
     
  17. Jan 21, 2020 #57

    gtae07

    gtae07

    gtae07

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,851
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Georgia
    You beat me to it.

    Later RV-3s changed to wing tanks like the rest of the family, vs a forward fuselage tank. The RV-3B also has the machined, pre-assembled spar like the -7 and subsequent models. Many have roll bars/canopy bows but I don’t know if that was a factory change or a popular (and wise) aftermarket addon.


    It’s extremely rare to find airplanes that changed little during development; it only seems more common because either (a) you don’t have the inside info to see what changed, and/or (b) the aircraft wasn’t in service long enough for changes to be needed. I’ve been on the inside of airplane development programs and it’s amazing how much changes from start of the build to first flight to certification.

    Much though some might think to the contrary, computers don’t know and solve everything. They certainly help us make better guesses (and make them faster), but then we just push the boundaries further (tighter margins, more demanding specifications, etc.) in exchange.
     
    Pops likes this.
  18. Jan 21, 2020 #58

    blane.c

    blane.c

    blane.c

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    3,781
    Likes Received:
    676
    Location:
    capital district NY
    Annotation 2020-01-20 203509.png
     
    bmcj likes this.
  19. Jan 21, 2020 #59

    Mark Z

    Mark Z

    Mark Z

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Granbury, Texas USA 0TX0
    Anything I can pull out of the hangar with one hand, easily mount, and go 200 kts.
     
  20. Jan 21, 2020 #60

    gtae07

    gtae07

    gtae07

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,851
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Georgia
    The XB-52 had tandem seating under a canopy...

    The engines changed a couple times (to turbofans on the H), the vertical tail shrank on the G and H, the tail guns went from quad 50s to a 20mm Vulcan to nothing (and manned, to remote-operated), I the ailerons got deleted on the G in favor of more roll spoilers, more fuel kept getting added...

    The B-52 is still around, yes, but I think as much of that has to do with nobody being interested in funding a replacement as any inherent super-quality of the design. It doesn’t fly much, there are lots of spare parts, it’s overbuilt... it’s like keeping on driving your low-mileage 90s car instead of buying a new one.
     
    sotaro and litespeed like this.

Share This Page

Group Builder
arrow_white