F-35 air-to-air - Pro and Con

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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hornetfinn

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Unread post12 Mar 2014, 07:12

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:if you watch the IR SU-35S display, it's mil power looks like the F-22 with the AB lit, and when the Su-35S had the AB lit it was just a huge flare.


Yes, there seems to be very little done in Su-35 to reduce IR signature. PAK-FA is pretty similar in that regard and J-20 doesn't seem much better. The tail section offers some masking effect, but otherwise only J-20 seems to have coating on the nozzles and has the most buried engine. I'd say F-22 and F-35 have much lower IR signatures than these competitors.
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zero-one

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Unread post12 Mar 2014, 09:53

av111 wrote:In an ideal world you want to be dominant in everything, but the question is more along the lines of which is more important.

As you mention Russia are developing their own advanced radar and medium to long range missiles so the actions of the enemy give you an idea of where future air combat is heading.

Also like you say WVR pilot training and strategy is hugely important. In truth if the F22, F35, Typhoon, Rafale, Sukois and Migs met each other in the air WVR then the pilots of each plane no matter which one you flew would start to sweat harder because the dominance of the aircraft is not decisive. To some extent developing an aircraft for manoeuvrability WVR has gone as far as it needs to go.

However by building an aircraft that focusses more on BVR fighting this on the other hand will allow you to tip the balance more decisively for air superiority. If you build an aircraft that focusses on this sphere there is a greater reward to be gained in terms of dominating the skies.


Thats correct, I simply wanted to counter my impression that you may be implying that Russian fighter's are more inclined towards the WVR fight and are thus dominant in that type of fight.

While American aircraft do not emphasize maneuverability and are therefore inferior in a dogfight.

Now it looks to me that you don't think that way at all, which is good.
Infact I think the west still holds a commanding lead in both BVR and WVR combat.
Now I'm not a westerner so I'm not simply saying that blindly.

For example
Russia may have many types of thrust vectoring equiped aircraft, but they have few actual TV equiped aircraft in service. I'm not sure how many of their Su-27SM2 actually have TV if at all. Their Su-30s only have them as an option, and they have less than 40 Su-35s on order.

The US only has 1 type of operational TV equiped fighter but has more than 180 of them to go around.

Furthermore, TV is only applicapble in certain maneuvers, other aircraft like the Viper, Rhino and Lightning 2 can perform other maneuvers very well without it.
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exosphere

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Unread post12 Mar 2014, 18:15

zero-one wrote:Russia may have many types of thrust vectoring equiped aircraft, but they have few actual TV equiped aircraft in service. I'm not sure how many of their Su-27SM2 actually have TV if at all. Their Su-30s only have them as an option, and they have less than 40 Su-35s on order.

The US only has 1 type of operational TV equiped fighter but has more than 180 of them to go around.

Furthermore, TV is only applicapble in certain maneuvers, other aircraft like the Viper, Rhino and Lightning 2 can perform other maneuvers very well without it.


On a side note, isn't TV a bit over-hyped? From what I've heard, TV helps if the original aircraft is unable to reach a high enough alpha to achieve its maximum lift using aerodynamic controls (for example, the F-16 achieves maximum lift at 32 degrees, but is limited to 25.5 degrees). However, if the aircraft is able to reach its max-lift alpha without TV, then the benefits of it are relatively low. TV would also help somewhat with post-stall maneuverability, but I seriously doubt stalling your aircraft would be a viable strategy in a multi-bogey WVR fight...

The one area where it seems a TV aircraft would have a definitive advantage over a non-TV aircraft would be really high altitude flight. At extremely high altitudes, where aerodynamic surfaces are less effective, TV would provide the aircraft with a better turning ability (I'm assuming this is why the F-22 has TV). This would be relevant in discussions about the F-35's maneuverability vis a vis, say, the unbeatable Su-xx Block CCCC 4.9999999+++++ Gen Super-duper-ultra-mega-flanker :roll: if it wasn't for the fact that it seems that most dogfights occur at relatively low altitudes, and not 70,000+ feet (nobody tell ELP :wink: ).
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Unread post12 Mar 2014, 23:03

Actually, now that I have looked up the atmospheric abortion/transition details, it looks like O2 and N2 are negligible in the IR band. CO2 has a nice deep band, but most of the absorption is actually in the H20 bands (so long as you are at a low enough altitude to have much H20). Looks like you are probably going to be easier to see if you are cruising above 30,000 ft.
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