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 Post subject: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:40 am 
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I managed to find some costs for bombers, so here goes. 3 trend lines, all piston engine birds, all early to mid jets, all mid to late jets (cutoff being mid to late '60s).

The trend for late jets would be a much better fit by excluding the BONE and Spirit.


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Cost v perf all B.png
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Cost vs perk UK US B all.png
Cost vs perk UK US B all.png [ 70.17 KiB | Viewed 742 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:54 am 
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And I've just noticed a slight error so here we are corrected for exotic materials and design fads.


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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:26 pm 
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Interesting, especially the high cost for stealth.

Could we get a data point for the B-70? Use the performance spec for the last prototype, and the cost authorized for the first production run. If needed, add a cost fudge factor upwards similar to the first authorized vs actual for the F14A and F-111 production.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:52 pm 
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KDahm wrote:
Interesting, especially the high cost for stealth.

Could we get a data point for the B-70? Use the performance spec for the last prototype, and the cost authorized for the first production run. If needed, add a cost fudge factor upwards similar to the first authorized vs actual for the F14A and F-111 production.

To be fair, both F-117 and B-2 were very limited production runs; the former not being much past a series of hand-built prototypes and the latter intended to have been produced in far greater numbers. If we had some realistic numbers for what the 110th B-2 would have cost, I think the graph wouldn't look quite so ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:23 pm 
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KDahm wrote:
Interesting, especially the high cost for stealth. Could we get a data point for the B-70? Use the performance spec for the last prototype, and the cost authorized for the first production run. If needed, add a cost fudge factor upwards similar to the first authorized vs actual for the F14A and F-111 production.

There is actually a unit cost for production B-70B in U.S. Strategic Bombers. I'll post it tomorrow

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:27 pm 
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gtg947h wrote:
To be fair, both F-117 and B-2 were very limited production runs; the former not being much past a series of hand-built prototypes and the latter intended to have been produced in far greater numbers. If we had some realistic numbers for what the 110th B-2 would have cost, I think the graph wouldn't look quite so ridiculous.

The same reason is behind the very high costs quoted for the B-70. Virtually everything developed for the XB-70, the XF-108 and the SST was costed off to the two XB-70s actually built.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:56 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
KDahm wrote:
Interesting, especially the high cost for stealth. Could we get a data point for the B-70? Use the performance spec for the last prototype, and the cost authorized for the first production run. If needed, add a cost fudge factor upwards similar to the first authorized vs actual for the F14A and F-111 production.

There is actually a unit cost for production B-70B in U.S. Strategic Bombers. I'll post it tomorrow


I've got it- $6.06M, but I don't have a year for that.... let me dig.

Edit- Jan '62. OK I will put the B-70 up.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:19 am 
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So looking at the data I decided to split the jets into sub- and supersonic. Doesn't make that much of a difference, one can see their trend lines almost blur into one another, there is a very slight vertical separation but not much.

Sigrun merited her own dataset as she rather skewed everything else. Cheap at half the price, I'll take two! Actually, valid point here- The production Valkyrie was almost exactly half the cost of production Hustlers. $6.06M vs $12.44M at almost the same time (early '60s) for 1.6x the effectiveness. Put another way, one could buy a production Valkyrie for $1M LESS than a Mirage III of the same year. American production efficiencies at work gents, if only Detroit could've taken that on board a few years later!!

Interesting to compare the B-58 with the FB-111F. Interesting also to compare the BONE (and Miss BUFFy) with the GR4, that really surprised me (GR4 cost, by the way, is the GR1 cost + the GR4 upgrade program cost/142 airframes; hope you all agree with my train of thought).


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Cost v perf all B-2.png
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Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, Ministers should never know more than they need to. Then they can't tell anyone. Like secret agents, they could be captured, tortured.
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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:50 am 
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I'd be wary of predicted production costs for the B-70 for the same reason as predicted performance for any unbuilt aircraft - they never tried it, so we don't know. Really, if you're using B-70 projections, you ought to be looking at (for example) projections for the full 132-aircraft run of B-2s.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:40 am 
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I understand, I can only work with the figures available to me. Corrected for inflation, these are (B-2A £729M, B-70B £43.5M).

Now if we suppose that the original order of 132 off B-2A stood, we could make a stab at 2 a/c per month for the first year, and 3 per month thereafter. Gives a total production run of exactly 48 months for the 132 off. Supposing that at the end of year 1, and completion of serial production no.24, the plant could reduce the cost by 25%, and that every month's batch thereafter found a 1% saving- ambitious maybe- this gives a mean cost per airframe of £528.1M.

Let's say that the B-70 was way over-optimistic in its costs and that it quadrupled during production. That still takes us to only £172M............

I've corrected the chart based on these, see below. it doesn't make much difference. Even with B-70 costs rising to 10x their original projection, we still get almost double the effectiveness from it than a serialized production B-2A.


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Cost v perf all B-3.png
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Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, Ministers should never know more than they need to. Then they can't tell anyone. Like secret agents, they could be captured, tortured.
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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:41 am 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Sigrun merited her own dataset as she rather skewed everything else. Cheap at half the price, I'll take two! Actually, valid point here- The production Valkyrie was almost exactly half the cost of production Hustlers. $6.06M vs $12.44M at almost the same time (early '60s) for 1.6x the effectiveness. Put another way, one could buy a production Valkyrie for $1M LESS than a Mirage III of the same year. American production efficiencies at work gents, if only Detroit could've taken that on board a few years later!!.


Sigrun is probably a bit more expensive than the @ B-70 since she has all the bells and whistles that were dropped in @. However, the cost comparison with the B-58 is intriguing since it shows how inter-related costs are. What cost the money on the B-58 was it used a lot of construction techniques that were on the bleeding edge of technology then and they were applied to a much smaller fleet than planned (an early example of B-2 syndrome).

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:49 am 
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Interesting too, the curves for sub and supersonic. It costs less to make a supersonic bomber of effectiveness n than a subsonic one of the same effectiveness. So, that difference in the curve shows the cost delta for the effectiveness that speed alone brings. And it is....... very approx. £100k.

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 Post subject: Re: Cost vs Performance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:58 am 
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Continuing this series a little, and taking on board some of Stuart's comments in the TBO FAQ about useful metrics, I've decided to look at aircraft weights as a function of their performance. Quite interesting as it happens, if we take weight of materials used (as a commodity bracket, approximately the same commodity breakdown for any given decade or era around the world) we can point to which is the most effective design for any given resource pool to design an air force around.

You do not want to base an air force on Mig-31s I can tell you.


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All F score by loaded weight.png
All F score by loaded weight.png [ 55.8 KiB | Viewed 548 times ]

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Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, Ministers should never know more than they need to. Then they can't tell anyone. Like secret agents, they could be captured, tortured.
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