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Old 31st August 2018, 07:49   #331
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
One question to the experienced Military historians,

why is that the IAF has only Commissioned officers as pilots whereas other Airforces have JCO's or NCO's flying? Like in the image it was an Flg. Sgt flying the jet. Was it back then a common practice?
It probably also had to do with the staggering amount of "aerial" casualities, both in WWI and WWII.

During WWI, a pilot could expect 40-60 hrs, before .......

Interestingly, early Indian pilots in the Royal Flying Corps including Inder Lal Roy (uncle of Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee) and Hardit Singh Malik were given Commissions. Very likely because of their social background and English education. Two others were Lt. Srikrishna Welingkar and 2nd Lt. Eroll Chunder Sen.

Around the Battle of Britain, the average life expectancy of a fighter pilot was 4 weeks. About 550 died during the battle. Roughly two thirds of pilots in the RAF were Officers.

Basic training for an Officer would have taken a few years + added time to qualify for wings.

All of the above is based on the all knowing Internet!

Last edited by travancore : 31st August 2018 at 08:14.
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Old 31st August 2018, 12:09   #332
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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It probably also had to do with the staggering amount of "aerial" casualities, both in WWI and WWII.

During WWI, a pilot could expect 40-60 hrs, before .......
...
Thanks. I was guessing the same that casualities could be a reason but also there was a story of a british mechanic who took an unauthorized flight and managed to score some German kills (remember it from a book i read quite a long time ago) and also at the other end of the spectrum that such JCOs/NCOs have smuggled aircrafts to allied side of the border.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
^^^^^
Caution - this is as per what I know and my knowledge could be incomplete:

In the RAF & US Army Air Corp till WW-II and, some time thereafter in the RAF, enlisted men, called Flight Sergeants, also flew aircraft in large numbers...
Hope this helps.
I was not aware that this is still in practice in the helicopters.

One technical question though, were the Indian built Gnats any different to the original British ones? Also, how did they fair against the "Kurt tank" built HF Marut?

I know that Martus have an infamous reputation but to me they represent a special icon in the history and have been seldom spoken about too! First Indian made jet fighter-bomber and to an extent the forefather of our Tejas.
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Old 31st August 2018, 17:31   #333
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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One technical question though, were the Indian built Gnats any different to the original British ones? Also, how did they fair against the "Kurt tank" built HF Marut?

I know that Martus have an infamous reputation but to me they represent a special icon in the history and have been seldom spoken about too! First Indian made jet fighter-bomber and to an extent the forefather of our Tejas.
The first generation HAL "Gnats" I believe were essentially the same as those used by Finland and Yugoslavia in an operational role. The Ajeet incorporated a wet wing and underwing hard points.

The geopolitical scene at the time ensured that the Marut would always remain underpowered; and never reach its true potential.

The Gnat was an "airframe built around the pilot and engine" with a rate of climb of 20,000 ft/min (?) and a roll rate of 360deg/sec. Comparing that to the much, much larger Marut, I am not sure a performance comparison can be made.

Incidentally, the Focke-Wolfe Fw-190 is a lasting tribute to Kurt Tank's genius.

Last edited by travancore : 31st August 2018 at 17:40.
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Old 31st August 2018, 21:18   #334
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
One technical question though, were the Indian built Gnats any different to the original British ones? Also, how did they fair against the "Kurt tank" built HF Marut? I know that Martus have an infamous reputation but to me they represent a special icon in the history and have been seldom spoken about too! First Indian made jet fighter-bomber and to an extent the forefather of our Tejas.
Where else but on T-BHP!

Detailed story of Marut here >>> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...t-fighter.html

On Gnat & Ajeet in IAF here >>> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...-page-6-a.html

Till around 1964 the HAL Gnats were identical to those built by Folland (by then a subsidiary of Hawker Siddeley). Poor reliability of hydraulics controlling the horizontal tail & vertical stabilizer plus the tendency of the guns to jam were sore points and the IAF almost took the decision to end future production. Before that, 1965 happened. HAL (and I assume Folland) worked on both problems with Gnats coming off the line 1966 onwards presumably better on both counts. But here I am now running on fumes of hearsay and not any proper book or journal I have. Ajeet was an improved version described in the thread above in post #1 and also visually in post #72.

The Marut was a very good product aerodynamically speaking with a great wing design. In clean conditions lo-lo-lo it could out run a Hunter which itself was one of the peak transonic aircrafts of the time. Prof.Kurt Tank really made the airframe unbreakable, Russian style. It also meant the airframe was a little heavier than comparables. As Travancore mentioned the RR Orpheus at 2200 kgf was too small for Marut and the aircraft remained underpowered all its life.

The IAF did not exercise the patience or vision that developing strategic competence needs deep & extended user interface to mature a design and, in my opinion, did not provide HAL the co-operation to perfect the niggles of which there were many. This was in sharp contrast to what the Navy did in exactly the same time frame with the British Leander frigate where the I.N. and Maz Docks worked as partners and not as vendor and distant customer. That is why today we design our own destroyers and now our first nuke while 57 years after Marut flew we cant get a Tejas into service. Rant over.

The Marut flew over 200 lo-lo attack sorties in 1971 including some that were over 200 n.m. into enemy territory. No Marut was lost. On one or two occasions when jumped by Sabres they just hit the deck and outran the Sabres - this when they were considered underpowered. But too many niggles remained - canopies flying off, engine flaring out when all four 30mm Adens were fired, etc.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 12:22   #335
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Where else but on T-BHP!
Detailed story of Marut here >>> http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...t-fighter.html
Thanks! I was searching for this.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The Marut flew over 200 lo-lo attack sorties in 1971 including some that were over 200 n.m. into enemy territory. No Marut was lost... canopies flying off, engine flaring out when all four 30mm Adens were fired, etc.
True. There have been cases of them being subjected to extreme ground attacks and yet returning to base breaking no sweat.

What made me wonder about this beautiful bird was inspite of having a twin engine config, how could the A/C so underpowered?

Was the design so heavy that even in a twin engine config it was underpowered (apart from the fact that the two engines themselves weigh a lot!!)? What was so heavy?

Was there any russian engine on offer/considered?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
... In clean conditions lo-lo-lo it could out run a Hunter which itself was one of the peak transonic aircrafts of the time. Prof.Kurt Tank really made the airframe unbreakable, Russian style... Rant over.
Pretty much my Rant too! All I don't understand is the hurry the IAF is in and the lack of foresight (?) or distrust in the design and development offices of the Defence Ministry. Having personally experienced HAL working environment, (not everyone and no offence meant), they lack work ethics and motivation to achieve something. No doubt on their skills and abilities but they are lazy. This probably is different with MAZ Docks or Vizag Docks where several private players were involved (and involved from the beginning) to off load mass manufacturing and fabrication.

Hope with the recent handing over of command to the IAF for the Tejas production, things will improve. If not this will be the biggest example of how the end customer ruined a manufacturer!

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 3rd September 2018 at 12:24.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 12:43   #336
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

As far back as 1973 (maybe even earlier) the Indian Navy recruited IIT graduates to build up its design team. A classmate of mine, R-Adm Mohinder Badhwar, joined the Navy immediately after graduation, did a post-graduation while in the Navy, and went on to head the Navy's design team. He made significant contributions to the development of India-made warships.

The Indian Air Force didn't take this route. Perhaps so because there was HAL, and the Navy didn't have its equivalent in the civilian side.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 14:41   #337
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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As far back as 1973 (maybe even earlier) the Indian Navy recruited IIT graduates to build up its design team. A classmate of mine, R-Adm Mohinder Badhwar, joined the Navy immediately after graduation, did a post-graduation while in the Navy, and went on to head the Navy's design team. He made significant contributions to the development of India-made warships.

The Indian Air Force didn't take this route. Perhaps so because there was HAL, and the Navy didn't have its equivalent in the civilian side.
The Navy has a branch called the Corps of Constructors. They are the ship designers. The IN set up this branch with foresight in the early 1950s long before we even had any plans to build let alone design warships. They usually are the most educated, technically speaking, officers in the Service all being post graduates and many being PhDs from Russia or UK. It is this Corps that is the backbone behind our ship designing capability and which acts as the interface point as well as shock absorber between the Service [customer/user] and Ship builder[vendor]. The Air force missed this trick 60 years back and continues to miss it today.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 16:56   #338
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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The Navy has a branch called the Corps of Constructors. They are the ship designers. The IN set up this branch with foresight in the early 1950s long before we even had any plans to build let alone design warships.
http://www.rediff.com/news/report/de...e/20140926.htm

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Interestingly, India was building world-class warships two centuries ago.

In 1817, Mumbai Docks (today the Naval Dockyard) built HMS (Her Majesty's Ship) Trincomalee, the oldest warship afloat, which is currently berthed in Hartlepool, UK.

Mumbai Docks also built HMS Minden, on which Francis Scott Key composed America's national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, in Baltimore. Also built in Mumbai was the HMS Cornwallis, on which China signed the Treaty of Nanking, ceding Hong Kong to the British in 1842.

After independence, when the navy took the far-reaching strategic decision to build, rather than buy, its warships, a Corps of Naval Constructors was set up in 1956. In 1964, this evolved into the Central Design Office, the forerunner of today's Directorate of Naval Design.

Tellingly, neither the army nor the air force have their own design agency -- and they have achieved little success in indigenisation.
This fantastically summarizes the indigenisation efforts of Indian Navy. I strongly believe that this legacy of ship building from British era was founding stone for such efforts in Indian navy.

Last edited by varunswnt : 3rd September 2018 at 16:59.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 21:11   #339
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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But too many niggles remained - canopies flying off, engine flaring out when all four 30mm Adens were fired, etc.
Could you expand on this pls. ie the technical reason. The recoil induced speed drop could not be the reason, could it?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 3rd September 2018, 21:54   #340
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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Could you expand on this pls. ie the technical reason. The recoil induced speed drop could not be the reason, could it?

Regards
Sutripta

May be it got smoked out due to the fumes from the guns.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 22:01   #341
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

^^^^^
^^^^^
Sutripta, The recoil of four 30mm Aden cannons was strong enough to de-light both engines. After a tragic loss of a test pilot off Jamnagar in 1971 the IAF adopted a practice of firing only 2 at a time. about the canopy bit I don't recall details now except hey tended to either fly off or jam at inopportune moments. Group Capt Suranjan Das, then our foremost test pilot was lost in a Marut flight testing afterburners when things went awry and his canopy gave him trouble. The link below will shed some colour.
https://marutfans.wordpress.com/2010...-suranjan-das/


Varunswnt, the era of building the sailing ships thrived till about 1857 till Bombay was controlled by the East India Company and the data as shared by you is correct. The Parsis of Bombay were at the forefront of this industry and native experience and British techniques & designs were all rolled into one. After 1857 a very conscious policy of ending any ship building capability in India was followed by the Crown as apart of their wider policy of economic dominance. As a consequence whence came 1947 we had almost no ship building capability beyond small trawlers. Our current Indian naval design competence was developed from scratch post-independence and has not benefitted from the great Parsi shipbuilders of the 1700s and 1800s.
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Old 4th September 2018, 10:32   #342
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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After 1857 a very conscious policy of ending any ship building capability in India was followed by the Crown as apart of their wider policy of economic dominance. As a consequence whence came 1947 we had almost no ship building capability beyond small trawlers. Our current Indian naval design competence was developed from scratch post-independence and has not benefitted from the great Parsi shipbuilders of the 1700s and 1800s.
Thanks for this background and I stand corrected here. 1857 uprising could be the cause and may be Crown didn't wanted India to be technologically advanced that time.

Read a little more about the Parsi family who built those HMS and it turned out to be current Ness Wadia family. I am aware of Parsi contribution but was not aware on their ship building, thanks to you I read a more on this subject.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadia_family

http://www.zoroastrian.org.uk/vohuma...of%20India.htm
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Old 4th September 2018, 19:36   #343
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Sutripta, The recoil of four 30mm Aden cannons was strong enough to de-light both engines.
Was wondering if it is possible to do a back of envelope calculation.
What was the weight of the Marut, and the flame out - did it occur only at a certain speed band, or anywhere in its envelope?

The Gnat also had Adens (2 I think). And was small and light. Any problem there?

Regards
Sutripta

PS - Didn't Sashi Tharoor touch on Indian shipbuilding in his (now) famous speech?

Last edited by Sutripta : 4th September 2018 at 19:38.
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Old 4th September 2018, 19:40   #344
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What made me wonder about this beautiful bird was inspite of having a twin engine config, how could the A/C so underpowered?

Was the design so heavy that even in a twin engine config it was underpowered (apart from the fact that the two engines themselves weigh a lot!!)? What was so heavy?

Was there any russian engine on offer/considered?
From your posts I guess you are a serving pilot. On the engines I quote from the HF-24 thread which may help shed some light [see box below]. A lot of this you know. Regarding the air conditioning I don't know.

Quote:
SEARCH FOR A SUITABLE POWER PLANT

The design of the HF-24 had been based around the expected availability of the 3700 kgf (kilogram force) afterburning Bristol Siddeley (later Rolls Royce) Orpheus engine which the British planned to develop. An after burning turbo jet is one in which fuel is injected and exploded in the hot exhaust of the jet (behind the turbines) which still has some oxygen in it. The resultant combustion of pure vaporized fuel into a red hot efflux blasting rearwards at hundreds of metres per second results in a rocket like acceleration and very high power to weight ratios. Afterburners consume prodigious volumes of fuels and are usually used when high thrust is needed for a few minutes. Unfortunately, the British requirement for this power plant was discarded and the Indian Government in a short sighted decision declined to underwrite its continued development (to Rolls Royce) even though the budget was only £13 million not a large sum even by the standards of 1961. This decision was to bedevil the Marut programme permanently. The design team was forced to adopt the non-afterburning 2200 kgf Orpheus 703 which powered the Gnat as an interim solution. It was an utterly reliable engine but with inadequate power for the Marut. We evaluated the Soviet Tumansky RD-9F that powered the contemporary Mig-19. The Tumansky powerplant had a full thrust of 3750 kgf with afterburners and put it just right for the Marut. But for reasons I donít fully understand the Tumansky engine was rejected on grounds of surging and limited MTBO (Mean Time Between Overhauls). Speaking in favour of the Tumansky RD9F it was a rugged engine, had great acceleration, was resistant to ingestion of dust, mud and ice and went on to power the Soviet Mig-19, Yak-25, the Chinese ShenyangJ-6 & Nanchang Q-5. It is popular in Western literature to decry the old Soviet engines as having a lower MTBO. What is less understood is that between the two MTBO points this Soviet engine needed little care & maintenance. However, I donít want to be harsh in judging those who took these decisions as I have not stood in their shoes.
With regard to weight a close comparable is the later variant of the Mig-19 which the Chinese built the Nanchang Q-5D. On an empty weight of 6400 kgs and MTOW of ~11,800 kgs it had a dry power of 6000 kgf and wet thrust of 7500 kgf. The Marut powered by the RR Orpheus had an empty weight of 6200 kgs, a MTOW of 10,900 kgs and 4280 kgf dry from both Orpheus - much later HAL tweaked the thrust up to 4400 kgf.

Hope this helps.
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Old 4th September 2018, 21:31   #345
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Default Re: Combat Aircraft of the Indian Air Force

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The 1981 Osirak strike was executed by Israeli Block 10 F-16As, with F-15As providing fighter escort. In 2007, when the Israelis struck a suspected Syrian nuclear plant deep inside Syria, it was the F-15Is that bombed it and F-16Is provided fighter escort.
I stand corrected about the Osirak strike being the introduction of strike capability to the Eagle (they did in fact provide escort at that time). It was in fact a raid on the PLO HQ in Tunisia as part of Operation Wooden Leg (1985) that was the genesis for the Strike-Eagle concept essentially. Of course now Boeing is planning ever more ludicrously capable variants of the Eagle including the last Qatari guise.

REF:https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/th...-mu-1701606283

Time and again I can't help but feel a sliver of relief at the prescient move by the IN to have their own design bureau. It seems to have borne fruit over the years. It was certainly interesting to learn about the Wadia family and the long history of ship building in Bombay.
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