Hypothetical

Magneto

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#1
I need you to suspend disbelief for a moment, as I fully admit that this is just idle thought and fantasy with no real purpose other than background information for fictional writing that I do, but I want your thoughts and input here.

Let's assume your aircraft fleet consisted of past air frames.... how much could you get out of upgrading them with modern technology? I'll throw a couple air frames out as examples to consider:

The Vought F4U Corsair
Junkers Ju 87
B17 Flying Fortress
MiG-21
F-4 Phantom II
F-8 Crusader
Sud-Ouest Vautour

Assume full access to modern weapons and avionics, what roles could you see these aircraft taking in a modern world? I presume the first three would be limited to ground attack. I don't know if you could plausibly mount air-to-air missiles on them, but that could be wrong, and I don't know how much you could get out of modern avionics... (but assume money is no object for the sake of entertaining the fantasy).

I know that the MiG-21 is still in service in some parts of the world, but for the last four aircraft, if you could outfit them with the latest technology would they be competitive against Gen IV and Gen V aircraft? Or would they be relegated to special roles like electronic warfare, ground support, whatever else you can think of?

Thanks for your input in advance, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
 

Scorpion

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#2
That will be difficult to do for many reasons. You need some major changes to do so. Although I doubt you can get that achieved. Flight dynamic issues e.g. new engine, radar, missiles, wings and other hardware components like electronic, cockpit. All these play a major role. The aero-physics or aerodynamic will force you to re-shape and re-calculate. Another ting to note is that every type of military aircraft has its own role/purpose. Air support, transportation, attack, defense, bombers all are designed to carry a specific role assigned to. You can not assign a bomber aircraft to air to air role. Why? Low in speed, heavy, lack manoeuvre's capability...etc. I could carry one but kinda busy these days. I hope that helps.
 

Magneto

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I asked the responses to suspend disbelief, I know the most realistic answer, but it's for a work of only loosely realistic fiction. You've told me what I already know. I'm asking, if new technology were applied ground up in constructing older airframes, what could one expect?

Some modification of the air frame to accommodate this is expected and fine, but I assume that it would be plausible under such circumstances to integrate modern technology to some degree into antiquated designs - the MiG-21 has had this done to some extent, I assume you could do quite a bit with modern engines, modern computer systems and modern weaponry. At the very least.
 
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Legend

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The old aircraft mentioned would not outperform G4/5 but will defiantly be a major headache.
 

Magneto

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The old aircraft mentioned would not outperform G4/5 but will defiantly be a major headache.
That's sort of what I assumed as well. Not truly competitive in a head to head, but if they had superiority in number there would be trouble, and it would always be something to worry about.

I'm writing a fictional story about a continuing World War, in which technology has advanced but the scale of combat is so great that a lot of old equipment is still in service out of necessity, and just being upgraded when possible as newer technology comes out. The best equipment is generally relegated to the best and most elite units, and it goes from there. So while they have no radar of their own, assuming that you could put a missile or maybe two missile on an old world war two fighter, and there's a radar station or airborne radar aircraft to vector them toward targets they could do some damage, a missile is a missile - doesn't really matter where it comes from. Now in a dog fight? Obviously a problem, but I suppose there would be situations where a prop plane might have an advantage? I don't know what most jet fighters stall out at when traveling at low speed, or if you could use that to you advantage at low altitude if you were in a Corsair and suddenly found an F-18 on your ass.