Fighter Designations

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Many people here seems to assume, that designations for fighters in WC univers show how old they ar (lower designation number=older fighter)

Seeing many common things in confed millitary to US military, I think that the designations used by the fighters do not indicate that they entered service in thesimilar order . As long as US ffighters are concerned F-22 is much newer than F-104, and B-2 is newer than B-52 ...

also there seems to be no continuity - B-52 replaced B-36, witch replaced B-29... and there was no B-50 or B-51 and many other, as far as i know

What do you think about this?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The US military designations are linear - but they reset the numbering in the 1960s when they unified the designation system among the different services.

The 'missing' aircraft do exist - a designation is given to every plane built, whether it's mass produced or not. The B-50 was an update of the B-29 Superfortress and the B-51 was a prototype that didn't go into production.

Wing Commander's designations seem to have reset at some point, too - a few things that are especially old, such as the CF-117, have much higher designations.
 

HammerHead

Rear Admiral
Trying googling or wikipediaing the different designations- for instance, the F-23 or the YF-17

A little deeper search would actually show you the "casualties" of the 1960's designation reset (IIRC 1962) -

The first F-4 Phantom model designed for the air force (the F-4C) was initialy designated the F-110A Spectre.

Then came the "reset", and the Navy F4H Phantom and the F-110 were re designated as F-4B and F-4C respectively.
 

Mancubus

Rear Admiral
Ok, you are right with the designtions. but what about F117? it suddenly gets designation much different from both earlier (F-16, F/A-18) and latter (F-22) fighters? I mean, genarally they go in line but there are some strange exceptions

(i know that there is some strange buissnes with plane beeing classified and so on, and that it was speculated to be F-19)
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
well you should know that the F-117 is not even a fighter at all. The designation was intended to fool enemy surveillance into believing that were developing a new fighter when we were in fact developing a stealth attack bomber
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
Besides its designation, the F-117 is not a fighter. It is more in the vain of a special attack plane like the FB-111.
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
Somebody on wikipedia claims (and take it with a grain of salt) that the F-117 was purposely misnamed with an F instead of an A or B to attract top shelf fliers into the development program.... who knows if that's true though.

This actually brings up a WC question I've had for a while, but I have no idea what the answer is- The Excalibur development program seems somewhat similar to the USAF's advanced tactical fighter program, in that it created a bunch of spinoffs- besides the Excalibur, I've heard that the Dragon/Lance was also an offshoot of the same program.

Did that particular program develop an advanced version of each class of WC fighter? It seems like the Excal fit the medium fighter designation (though I have seen the Excal classified in different places as both a medium and a heavy fighter), the Dragon/Lance fit the heavy fighter designation- was there also an "Excalibur derived" light fighter and torpedo bomber? The Devastator looks aesthetically similar, but that obviously doesn't mean a whole lot.

Last, but not least, is the same branch of military development responsible for the Excal program also behind the "black" variants of hellcats, shrikes, etc?
 

Drakon

Spaceman
Wasn't the Excalibur a testbed for a new fighter powerplant type? I think to one extent or another the Lance was the final product of the program - or at the very least a follow-up to perfect some of the features. The concept appeared to be to create a solid heavy fighter capable of decent atmospheric performance, use of a cloaking technology, employment of a superior, unconventional energy source, and to do those things while retaining the ability to mount impressive energy weapon, missile, and (at least in a bombing variant) torpedo armaments.

The Bearcat seems to be the medium fighter derivitive from Excalibur's design btw, with a blend of what would appear to be influence from the Hellcat. I think I read that it was unreliable and costly though when it comes to maintenence. I don't know if that effected any other ships down the road, but since the Lance's infinite afterburning capability doesn't seem to take hold in all the following fighters, I'd assume the powerplant at least was dropped either for cost or complexity?

That aside I would think that whenever a new fighter comes out and performs well it becomes a new standard against which to judge future equivelents. In at least one sense or another all heavy fighters coming after Excalibur would have to be derived from it in some removed sense or another, while any new, ground-breaking features would innevitably trickle down to other ship types. ^^
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The Bearcat seems to be the medium fighter derivitive from Excalibur's design btw, with a blend of what would appear to be influence from the Hellcat. I think I read that it was unreliable and costly though when it comes to maintenence.

We know so little about the Bearcat. That sounds like something someone made up. The Bearcat is a heavy fighter.

I don't know if that effected any other ships down the road, but since the Lance's infinite afterburning capability doesn't seem to take hold in all the following fighters, I'd assume the powerplant at least was dropped either for cost or complexity?

Since the Excalibur didn't have the ramscoop intakes for restoring afterburner fuel, I don't think that's an assumption we can make. We don't know detail of later "power plants" to that level.
 

Drakon

Spaceman
Thx Chris for the clarification. It just goes to show that I can't trust everything I read out there. xP
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Sturgeon's Law ("Ninety percent of everything is crud.") applies to everything, but even doubly so fanfic-y stuff.

Mine included. :p
 

Nob Akimoto

Rear Admiral
http://www.crius.net/zone/showthread.php?t=21916

Rough service charts are here, I've been on vacation and haven't really been able to update them to account for Star*Soldier. Note that there's a rough correspondence between the fighter service dates and their designators. the only real exceptions tend to be around those frames that we have no idea about with regards to their actual designators, but the 90s series being made canon in Star*Soldier, make seqential numbering much more plausible.

A couple rote observations based on the wonderful new manual, however.

The fact that the Lance is now confirmed as the F-107 (and perhaps it's now safe to suggest the Bearcat is the 103) puts forth the suggestion that the Prophecy Era fighters were at least in the developmental stage during the tale-end of the Terran-Kilrathi War. At the very least, the Tigershark and Piranha may very well have been in the evaluation stages of their prototype phase,

As for RL USAF/USAAF/USN fighter designations.

The USAAF/USAF went through a number of changes leading up to the 1962 Tri-Force Designation System, (notably in 1948 when the USAF proper was established) but practically every number designation prior to '62 was used either for prototypes or limited production aircraft.

The F-117's designation is one of those things that spawns a lotta urban legends, and I think the rec.aviation.military FAQ breaks down msot of the common theories, primarily centered around counter-intelligence or leak protection.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
The F-117's designation is one of those things that spawns a lotta urban legends, and I think the rec.aviation.military FAQ breaks down msot of the common theories, primarily centered around counter-intelligence or leak protection.
Well, the counter-intelligence thing would be fairly tough to dismiss - counter-intelligence stuff is rather hard to disprove, because it's the kind of thing that tends to be denied automatically.
 
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