Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Why Are Harper and MacKay So Blase About the Lives of Canadian Pilots

Here's the scenario.  Air patrol over the vast, empty Arctic.  February.   A long, long way from the nearest airbase.  Suddenly warning lights turn the instrument panel into a Christmas tree.  One F-35 pilot out of luck.

Since Canada first took to patrolling the far north we knew the job required a twin-engine aircraft.   We used the CF-100 Canuck, the CF-101B Voodoo and the CF-18 Hornet.   We once  knew that the vast Arctic was no place to run out of engines.  Apparently Harper and MacKay know better.

My guess is that the air force won't put our pilots lives at more risk than necessary.  In other words, if we do wind up with the F-35s, don't ever expect them to venture very far from their home base on patrols.


Anonymous said...

I like this article on the subject, http://www.spyonyou.com/index.cfm?showarticle=143

Anonymous said...

You should setup a facebook page for your blog

The Mound of Sound said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Anon, but I wouldn't begin to know why I should do that or how to go about it.

LeDaro said...

Mound, I think young people use facebook more than blogs to get information.

It is as easy as signing up for your blog.

Uncommoner said...

I've made the same point myself a dozen times, and I remember when I was just a little kid explaining why we bought the Hornet instead of the Falcon at an airshow.

It isn't that there aren't alternatives out there that would better suit our requirements, either. I can name a half dozen without even trying: super hornet, strike eagle, rafale, typhoon, mig-35, SU-30 or 35, PAK FA, etc, etc, et al.

All of them twin-engined, most with a better payload capability to boot.

And all of them almost certainly cheaper than the Lightning II.

Anonymous said...

Mound it is pretty easy, and the reasons why is the millions of users on there, it is easy to share your stories... I've been posting links to many of your blog posts anyways, but I think it would just make sharing it with others easier.
Either way keep up the good work.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'll look into the Facebook thing. Is there the usual privacy problem with that?

UnCom, I'd prefer the updated F-15 myself. They've greatly lowered the radar signature for those to whom that matters. It can carry an enormous load out of stores, has pretty decent maneuverability, great speed and, especially with conformal tanks, enormous range. Oh, and did I mention it has twin engines? Plus we'd be dealing with Boeing which has a pretty good business relationship with Canada and would probably offer some impressive cost offsets.

If there's growing interest in the north and the anticipation of possible tensions over resources, we need an aircraft that can actually patrol and can get some decent distances fast.

Uncommoner said...

Mound, either the Strike Eagle/Silent Eagle or the Super Hornet would be good choices...

I just personally dislike the thought of always buying american. It irks me. I would rather see Canada buy a few off the shelf fighters (say, the SU-35 or 37) and buy a license to produce it.

We have Bombardier tool up, or start up a crown corporation (start up AVRO again as a crown corp?) and build our own. Employs Canadians, helps support and expand our Heavy Industry and it might even (if we fiddle with the design and manage to improve it) lead to some modest export sales. As it has with the C-7 series (which are, in Europe, preferred to the M-16/AR-15 among many parties).

But yes, the F-15 E or SE would work just fine. Canada has no real need for stealthy aircraft anyways, especially since "stealth" is not so efficient as the Americans like to tout. Back in the 1990's, the French (I think, it's been a long time) had a radar that could detect the F-117 and B-2 by the roiled air they left in their wake.

Stealth just isn't a need. Neither is a single-engine, unproven, multi-role fighter that seems destined to be a dilettante rather than a jack of all trades.

Saskboy said...

Twitter, not facebook :)

Anonymous said...

Hey!! They are blase about a lot of things....Veterans, retired people living on OAS who are NOT baby boomers and the poor in this country.