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97 votes
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Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

First of all, it took at least five years even back then, but your observation is absolutely correct. You would need to go back one more decade to find a frontline fighter that was designed within ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
90 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

There are quite a few reasons for this- technically speaking, the primary one is that the system complexity has increased tremendously. More systems mean more interfaces, more redundancies, meaning ...
aeroalias's user avatar
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43 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

UPDATE: I want to clarify/emphasize a few things in my answer. #1: Ultimately, the core driver of development time is growing complexity. More advanced threats means more advanced systems, which ...
Hephaestus Aetnaean's user avatar
40 votes
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Why does it take so long to develop a passenger aircraft?

It's similar with military aircraft. In a mature field it becomes ever harder to create something that is clearly better than what we have already. Since every new development costs so much, the ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
39 votes

Was a six-engine 747 ever seriously considered by Boeing?

The "fifth engine mount" option on the 747 is not designed to handle a running engine. It was an option used only by Qantas as a means of ferrying spare engines to remote locations, where flying a ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 3,030
26 votes

Why does it take so long to develop a passenger aircraft?

There are many unavoidable factors that contribute to lengthy aircraft development: Aircraft development involves a great variety of subsystems. Examples include: the aerodynamic surfaces, the ...
Joooeey's user avatar
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17 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

In the age of computerized design, drafting, testing and milling, we can develop products faster than ever before. It's definitely not technology slowing down development. When we develop a plane for ...
gwally's user avatar
  • 2,394
15 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

This is just an additional point, but a bit more than a comment. In the late 60s there was still a cohort of design/test personnel whose skills and attitudes were formed during WWII and the early ...
Chris H's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why was the A340 developed with four engines?

Hindsight is 20/20. At that time, nobody could be sure the ETOPS rule would be extended the way it eventually was. The 1985 extension was a gift from the FAA to Boeing, so US carriers could use the ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
12 votes

Was a six-engine 747 ever seriously considered by Boeing?

[This answer refers to the original version of the question before it was edited.] Literally speaking, yes. At least you have thought about it. Seriously, the target is not to fit as many engines as ...
bogl's user avatar
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12 votes

Why does it take so long to develop a passenger aircraft?

By the time an aircraft program is announced to the world, it would already have had a few years of conceptual development with a team of a dozen people. The business/market objectives, basic ...
JZYL's user avatar
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7 votes
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What's the point of the Total In-Flight Simulator?

There's a detailed and very interesting Air Force paper on this: CAPABILITY OF THE TOTAL IN-FLIGHT SIMULATOR (TIFS). The main point it makes is that TIFS wasn't just about gathering aerodynamic data, ...
Pondlife's user avatar
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7 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

One other factor that has to be considered: The government oversight of military projects has also risen in complexity. The paperwork and approvals necessary are staggering. A good deal of the trouble ...
tj1000's user avatar
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7 votes

What is the correct range of the 787-10?

The range of an aircraft depends on the payload. The value you typically find is the range at typical payload. You can find the payload/range diagram in the Boeing 787 Airplane Characteristics for ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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6 votes

If maximum speed was a priority for modern military fighter jets and bombers, approximately how fast would they likely be?

If we take the pinnacle of fast conventional aircraft development - the SR71 and XB70, we find that Mach 3 is about the practical limit for sustained flight, given current metallurgy. Above that, ...
tj1000's user avatar
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5 votes

If maximum speed was a priority for modern military fighter jets and bombers, approximately how fast would they likely be?

Increasing the speed of an aircraft results in having to make trade-offs. Drag will increase as the square of the velocity, meaning a doubling of speed will take 4x the power to achieve. This problem ...
Tom K's user avatar
  • 611
5 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

Don't forget the hours (years) of flow simulation , dynamic response, FEA, and other computer simulations that modern vehicles require. These are necessary and good, since they reduce testing cost ...
Lachoneus's user avatar
5 votes

How does one develop artificial stabilization for aircraft uncontrollable without it?

There seems to be some kind of stubborn myth that unstable systems are impossible to control by humans, and you need some high tech computer magic to do it. This is not true. I invite you to take a ...
Sanchises's user avatar
  • 13.4k
5 votes

Why does it take so long to develop a passenger aircraft?

Aircraft are complex machines. A Boeing 747 consists of ~6 million parts, all of which have to be designed, tested and certified. Compare this to cars, which have ~10,000 parts. Developing a new car ...
Hobbes's user avatar
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4 votes
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How does one develop artificial stabilization for aircraft uncontrollable without it?

Most modern high agility ariplanes (such as fighter jets) are unstable in the sense that (among other things) their center of gravity (nearly) coinsides with their center of lift (i.e. they are wildly ...
alexsh's user avatar
  • 464
4 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

Technology-Life-Cycle In the first decade of the 20th century planes were invented and started flying with piston-engines, in the middle of the century we got the advanced turbofan-engines. Both ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 1,155
4 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

The first jet fighter only had to be better than a none jet fighter. The next jet fighter only had to be better than the first jet fighter for the single job it was created for. Lot of different ...
Ian Ringrose's user avatar
4 votes

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

Feature Creep This has been ongoing for decades: Fewer types for more and more roles. Where military planes were originally designed for a narrow set of missions, there has been the tendency to ...
Durandal's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

Why are planes using rivets & not welded construction?

I came to this thread in search of comparisons between rivets and welds. My curiosity was piqued in reading "The night the Fitz went down" / by Hugh E. Bishop in cooperation with Dudley Paquette. ...
Wendy's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

Where can i find aircraft blueprints for study purpose?

Fifteen euros gets you what you need here: https://www.the-blueprints.com/vectordrawings/show/1750/embraer_190/ This one is six euros: http://www.lulu.com/shop/elodie-roux/3-view-drawing-plan-3-vues-...
Juan Jimenez's user avatar
4 votes

Was a six-engine 747 ever seriously considered by Boeing?

The answer is actually Yes, Boeing explored both 5- and 6-engine variants during the design phase of the 747-100 series. So, your first rationale was the correct one. I read about it in an older book ...
MUNGHOLMI's user avatar
4 votes

Why does it take so long to develop a passenger aircraft?

It doesn't take a decade to develop a new passenger aircraft from scratch. Two years is plenty long enough. The issue with Boeing is that they wasted the best part of 10 or 20 years fooling around ...
alephzero's user avatar
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