Discussion on canning the F-35 for the US Air Force

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Actually, the F-4 wasn't developed as a joint fighter. It was a Navy only project, pressed into service with the Air Force because the Air Force had no decent fighters at the time. Interceptors like the F-104 and F-106, fair weather light bombers like the F-105 fought in Vietnam and performed poorly. Both the Navy F-4 and A-7 were adopted by the Air Force out of necessity.
The F-18 was a different story. Basically a Northrop YF-17 (the competition for the General Dynamics F-16) built by McDonnell Douglas (the Navy wouldn't have a Northrop plane since they did not have experience building carrier aircraft), bought by the Navy. Under the agreement between Northrop and McD, Northrop was supposed to be sub-contractor for the Navy planes, and prime contractor for the foreign sales land based versions. In a stroke of marketing genius, Micky D sold other countries the carrier version, to be based on land.
So, no, the Air Force wouldn't buy the "loser" of the YF-16/YF-17 competition. That is not to say the YF-17/F-18 is a lesser aircraft.
The F-111 was another story. It was a plane nobody wanted, except the Secretary of Defense, who was not quite as smart as he thought he was. The Navy, wisely seeing the way the wind was blowing, let the aircraft be developed and kept their mouths shut. About the time they were handed the monstrosity, they correctly declared the "fighter" was too heavy for carrier ops.
The Air Force got stuck with that underperforming pig. The aircraft did shine during the Gulf War though.
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the F-111 the precursor to the F-14?
 
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They were both big and had a variable geometry wing. Other than that, well, if I said they were related in any manner I suspect Astro would hunt me down and beat me with a very large stick. Justifiably so.
The F-111 has one defensive move. Go low and real fast. I think a C-130 loaded with a Ranger company and all their gear could outturn it. Not exactly what you are looking for in a fighter.
 

y_p_w

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Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the F-111 the precursor to the F-14?

It was supposed Robert McNamara's master plan to have a joint fighter program. He was very big on joint programs. Some claim he directed the Air Force to accept the F-4 and A-7. McNamara ordered the TFX program even though the Air Force and Navy didn't think it was a good idea.

The F-111 was supposed to be a fighter, but the F-111A ended up becoming a tactical attack aircraft (like I suppose the F-117). The F-111B for the Navy was just wholly inadequate for the mission. This explains the issues:

Years before anybody thought of developing the F-14, in the early 1960's the US Navy and US Air Force had planned to build a fighter that should meet the requirements of both the Navy and the Air Force: The F-111. The Navy version was the F-111B, nicknamed "Sea Pig" by Navy crews and test personnel, an 85,000 lbs experimental fighter aircraft that was build to carry the 1,000 lbs heavy AIM-54 Phoenix missile and the AWG-9 radar.​
Missile and radar were a unique composition to shoot down aerial enemy targets 100 miles away. F-111B flight tests were not successful and killed several pilots. The aircraft was too heavy, too clumsy, too much a maintanance nightmare. Only 7 F-111B were produced before the program had been canceled in 1968. The AWG-9 radar and Phoenix missile would be installed in the F-111B replacement aircraft, the F-14A Tomcat. The Navy and Hughes decided to continue testing the AWG-9/Phoenix with the F-111B prototypes to ensure that the system was ready when the Tomcat was ready to fly years later.​
 

y_p_w

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They were both big and had a variable geometry wing. Other than that, well, if I said they were related in any manner I suspect Astro would hunt me down and beat me with a very large stick. Justifiably so.
The F-111 has one defensive move. Go low and real fast. I think a C-130 loaded with a Ranger company and all their gear could outturn it. Not exactly what you are looking for in a fighter.

It's pretty well acknowledged that Grumman (who worked with General Dynamics on the F-111 project because of its experience with carrier aircraft) learned from the unsuccessful exercise and applied that to the F-14.

The F-111 wasn't really a fighter. That's why it would never have served the US Navy well. The USAF was satisfied with it as a tactical bomber.
 
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