F-35 Flies Against F-16 In Basic Fighter Maneuvers

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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sferrin

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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 20:12

charlielima223 wrote:He said that if both aircraft were armed with 2 sidewinders, 2 amraams, 2 1000lbs bombs, 18000lbs of fuel, and both were at full mil power (didn't give the altitude) ; the F-35A can almost keep up with his F-15E. That blew my mind away.


Not to mention the F-35 will probably fly further.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 20:13

charlielima223 wrote:Greetings!
Long time reader first time poster. Really enjoy the subject matter, maturity, and the wealth of knowledge.

The aviation week article was very enlightening.

Whenever people often throw out the claim that it "can't turn and can't run", that tends to put a wild hair on my 4th point of contact. I always ask, "what are you comparing it too and in what context"? Living in Las Vegas I am fortunate to attend the open house air show here at Nellis AFB whenever I can every year. Last year I saw the static display of the F-35A being tested by the Test and Evaluation Group 422nd. I got the chance to speak with a former F-15E pilot now testing the F-35A. He said that if both aircraft were armed with 2 sidewinders, 2 amraams, 2 1000lbs bombs, 18000lbs of fuel, and both were at full mil power (didn't give the altitude) ; the F-35A can almost keep up with his F-15E. That blew my mind away.

So reading this article with its high AoA and hearing first hand about the F-35A's acceleration, the F-35 is definitely no slouch. So it stands to reason that all 3 variants can become a very formidable close dog fighter. So no the F-35 is not an F-22, Typhoon, or a Su-35 at an airshow doing maneuvers that seem ballistic.


The F-22 can also preform all demo maneuvers at combat loads, too
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 22:50

cantaz wrote:
neurotech wrote:I'm well aware that the F/A-18 is capable of more than the 7.5Gs authorized. The Swiss F-18 variant has a few structural upgrades and is cleared to 9Gs.


On legacy Hornets, is there a G limiter or just an over G warning? Any good sources on what the Swiss did to their Hornets?

The F/A-18 has a G Limiter (G-LIM warning if exceeded) and a G Limiter override switch.

The Swiss F-18s have some bulkheads and structural components in the wing roots made out of titanium, not aluminum. They also have changes to the FCS, for increased G Limit. The Swiss F-18s were originally restricted from carrying A/G weapons, partly for political reasons, which also allowed the expanded envelope. The Swiss jets were upgraded later on for A/G weapons carriage, although not with 9G envelope.

From "The Great Book of Modern Warplanes", edited by Mick Spick
Swiss F/A-18C/D Models, powered by F404-GE-402 engines are virtually straight off the shelf,but with a couple of unusual modifications.In Switzerland the Hornet is used for Air Defence only, and their aircraft are thus devoid of air-to-surface kit.But the ensuing weight savings were eaten up by the use of titanium fuselage bulkheads instead of aluminium alloy,which increases airframe life by another 2000 hours.The Swiss are not known for rapid aircraft replacement, and thus look like a typical example of Helvetian thrift. Almost certainly the Swiss will still be operating Hornets in 2030, long after they have been retired elsewhere


As far as I can tell, the F-22A (& maybe F-35A) have a real 9G envelope with A/G weapons loaded.

If you want to see "real" BFM, go watch the Jetstream series on YouTube. They showed the CF-18 pilots learning how to dogfight.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 04:40

sferrin wrote:
charlielima223 wrote:He said that if both aircraft were armed with 2 sidewinders, 2 amraams, 2 1000lbs bombs, 18000lbs of fuel, and both were at full mil power (didn't give the altitude) ; the F-35A can almost keep up with his F-15E. That blew my mind away.


Not to mention the F-35 will probably fly further.


Different airshow different time... (MCAS Miramar 2009)
They had the F-22 demo team there. Though not talking to the pilot just taking in the awsome display of :D MURICA power that is the F-22 :D I over heard a spectator talking with one of the demo pilots inquiring about the range. The pilot didn't delve too much into details. Tried to keep it simple for us laymen to understand. Essentially the F-22 was designed to have the same operational range (many people I have seen seem to confuse operational ranges with ferry ranges) as an F-15C. Because the F-22 has more efficient engines and has a very sleek design, F-22 can go a little further then what the manual told them.
So if all F-35 variants have a "standard" operational load out (all weapons internal with the exception of current block AIM-9X and missionized gun pod for STOVL and CATOBAR) and a full internal load of fuel. I would make a SWAG (scientific wild a$$ guess) that a F-35 with a low drag "sleek" body (when compared to current aircraft with similar load and fuel) and an engine that is design with better efficiency at mil power, would have slightly better range then what is said on paper.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 04:53

Not only that with the finely manufactured outer mold line getting sleeker as the aircraft wears it in (and with the engine perhaps getting slightly less powerful at same time but factored in we have been told [Oz Parliament]) then 'lookin' good.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 04:56

strykerxo wrote:
The F-22 can also preform all demo maneuvers at combat loads, too


the announcer and pilots are always quick to mention at airshows that the F-22s are already configured for combat.
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all pictures are at Nellis BTW :)

back to the topic at hand... the F-35 :)
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 07:37

vilters wrote:@ hornetfinn

Agreed for the most part but. The 110 alfa does not prove a lot in energy management.

OK, the F-35 "can" pull 110°, but all A/C are left as sitting ducks at 110° (rather as dropping ducks), with no energy left whatsoever, for the next minute or so.
Energy management is more important then pure alfa numbers.
How fast can you regain the lost energy?

All is OK if that 110° gives you the shot. After that it's all about the time to rebuild the lost energy ASAP.

Just like "G".
"G" has no meaning at all.

Some aircraft turn way inside 9G pulling F-16's turns while pulling only 7 G.

(Less drift, less slip. They stay "in" the turn and do not slide out as the F-16 with its relatively small wing does.)

To turn, wing aera and power to sustain the turn are more important then pure "G".

The pilot in the "7G" plane has to suffer a lot less, is still turning inside, and "waiting" for the "9 G" pulling F-16 to apear in front of its nose.

The results of DACT where not Always in favor of the higher "G" airplane.
Often the F-16 has to revert to brute power and go vertical to "escape".

PS: I use the F-16 as an example but it "IS" the best all around A/C ever build.


I agree with that, but my point is that F-35 has all the tools to have very good raw performance even in close-in dogfights:
- has very high AoA capability and seems to be extremely controllable in such situations (low speed maneuverability)
- has high G capability (instantaneous and sustained turn)
- has enough power to at least keep up with pretty much any fighter out there (sustained turn and vertical performance)

It seems like F-35 can do it all very well when it comes to fighter maneuverability. I think that when all these things are taken into account and F-35 didn't have very good close-combat maneuverability, it would be quite miraculous engineering achievement. I think F-35 will surprise a lot of people (both professional pilots and general public) when it gets to show all its potential in exercises and also air shows.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 08:25

hornetfinn wrote:
vilters wrote:@ hornetfinn

Agreed for the most part but. The 110 alfa does not prove a lot in energy management.

OK, the F-35 "can" pull 110°, but all A/C are left as sitting ducks at 110° (rather as dropping ducks), with no energy left whatsoever, for the next minute or so.
Energy management is more important then pure alfa numbers.
How fast can you regain the lost energy?

All is OK if that 110° gives you the shot. After that it's all about the time to rebuild the lost energy ASAP.

Just like "G".
"G" has no meaning at all.

Some aircraft turn way inside 9G pulling F-16's turns while pulling only 7 G.

(Less drift, less slip. They stay "in" the turn and do not slide out as the F-16 with its relatively small wing does.)

To turn, wing aera and power to sustain the turn are more important then pure "G".

The pilot in the "7G" plane has to suffer a lot less, is still turning inside, and "waiting" for the "9 G" pulling F-16 to apear in front of its nose.

The results of DACT where not Always in favor of the higher "G" airplane.
Often the F-16 has to revert to brute power and go vertical to "escape".

PS: I use the F-16 as an example but it "IS" the best all around A/C ever build.


I agree with that, but my point is that F-35 has all the tools to have very good raw performance even in close-in dogfights:
- has very high AoA capability and seems to be extremely controllable in such situations (low speed maneuverability)
- has high G capability (instantaneous and sustained turn)
- has enough power to at least keep up with pretty much any fighter out there (sustained turn and vertical performance)

It seems like F-35 can do it all very well when it comes to fighter maneuverability. I think that when all these things are taken into account and F-35 didn't have very good close-combat maneuverability, it would be quite miraculous engineering achievement. I think F-35 will surprise a lot of people (both professional pilots and general public) when it gets to show all its potential in exercises and also air shows.


I think it'll surprise the enemy / haters more than the public

=D
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 14:20

charlielima223 wrote: I got the chance to speak with a former F-15E pilot now testing the F-35A. He said that if both aircraft were armed with 2 sidewinders, 2 amraams, 2 1000lbs bombs, 18000lbs of fuel, and both were at full mil power (didn't give the altitude) ; the F-35A can almost keep up with his F-15E. That blew my mind away.


A few questions here how are these things loaded on both aircraft.

The F-15E has a max internal fuel load of 13,500 lbs, so is it carrying EFTs or CFTs?
as far as I know, all strike eagles have CFTs, so Im guessing its the latter,

and for the F-35A, is it carrying those GBUs internally or externally?

Im guessing it has the GBUs and the slammers internally with the sidewinders externally,

also it looked more like the pilot was comparing sustained cruise speed not acceleration,
if so, it looks like at light combat loads the F-15E is still superior to the F-35A (at least slightly)

I thought the F-35A should be superior to all 4th gens when we start hanging weapons on em.

how does an F-16 compare to an F-15E anyway when it comes to acceleration and sustained cruise speed?
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 17:12

An analysis I did used some similar numbers. The both aircraft having 2 x 2,000# bombs, both with full fuel minus that needed to fly 500nm, and the F-35 not carrying Sidewinders. With those differences I see the F-15E at Mil pushing .97M at higher alt and .99 at 20,000ft. I see the F-35 pushing 1.2M+ in each case.

Beagle analysis vs anecdote
analysis had larger and draggier weapons, targeting pods, only 14,600# fuel remaining,
total of 1,400# lighter weight in analysis but with more drag than the anecdote.

Stubby analysis vs anecdote
analysis had heavier internal bombs but no external weapons, only 12,400# fuel remaining
total of 3,580# lighter in analysis and with less drag than the anecdote.

So, I'm not really that surprised. Altitude plays a roll too as in my analysis at 20,000ft the speed difference was .25M while at 36,000ft it was .3M

Edit: Oh and the F-16 could only cruise at .92M-.87M at 20k and 36k respectively and took significantly more time to accelerate from cruise to 1.2M
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 18:20

From the article that started this thread:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-fl ... -maneuvers (Apr 2, 2015)
Col. Rod “Trash” Cregier, F-35 program director:
“It was an early look at any control laws that may need to be tweaked to enable it to fly better in future. You can definitely tweak it—that’s the option.”

From an article of yesterday:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/ ... 4C20150407 (APRIL 7)
Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, the two-star general named in January to oversee all things F-35 for the Air Force:
"We are already considering and thinking through what are some of the technologies that will be part of the F-35,"

( for an explanation of this last statement see: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... cence.html )

What is going on,... IOC in a few months time,...
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 18:49

jjk wrote:From the article that started this thread:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-fl ... -maneuvers (Apr 2, 2015)
Col. Rod “Trash” Cregier, F-35 program director:
“It was an early look at any control laws that may need to be tweaked to enable it to fly better in future. You can definitely tweak it—that’s the option.”

From an article of yesterday:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/ ... 4C20150407 (APRIL 7)
Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, the two-star general named in January to oversee all things F-35 for the Air Force:
"We are already considering and thinking through what are some of the technologies that will be part of the F-35,"

( for an explanation of this last statement see: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... cence.html )

What is going on,... IOC in a few months time,...


"IOC in few months"...... for the F-35B. But you quoted a USAF general. He is less interested in that airplane, because his service doesn't fly them.

Also, they plan to have that F-35 platform around for a very very long time so they are indeed looking at the future and how to equip it for that future.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 19:05

Giovanni de Briganti, really...? He's worse than Sweetman. He will jump at each and every chance to try and take the piss about the F-35.

Thinking about future upgrades for the F-35 is pretty normal. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that we are talking of changes happening anytime soon. For example, we know the USAF funded next generation engine is going to be sized to be an easy slot-in replacement for the current F-135. Perfectly sensible, since the F-35 is going to make up most of the inventory for many years into the future. Is it going to come online anytime soon becase the F-135 is "obsolete"? I don't think so. That's usual de Briganti crappy spinning.

F-35 and upgrades are supposed to be one. Beyond Block IV, there is an ambition to keep upgrading the software every two years or so, introducing more capability all along, with hardware changes happening, when necessary, at greater time intervals to make good use of planned depot maintenance stops.

It is good news, not bad news.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 19:10

jjk wrote:( for an explanation of this last statement see: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... cence.html )

What is going on,... IOC in a few months time,...


Wow, the ignorance is stunning. I guess the guys at defense-aerospace must think the F-35 is like an iPhone and if we wait long enough, they'll be free on contract :roll:

Of course the Air Force is looking at future upgrades for the F-35. This is a plane that's going to be in service for FIFTY YEARS. At least. Who knows how long the F-35 will actually end up serving. Nobody thought the B-52 would be around for fifty years, much less the seventy years that the current airframes will have on them when they finally retire. The B-52 has hardly stayed the same, avionics-wise. In fact, because they didn't plan for a long lifespan (how many Air Force planes served more than ten years in the 60s?), they've been stuck with the same inefficient turbofan engines they rolled off the line with. Obviously, the Air Force doesn't want that to happen again.

But way to take one general's comment completely out of context and spin it into an admission of some glaring weakness.

archeman wrote:
"IOC in few months"...... for the F-35B. But you quoted a USAF general. He is less interested in that airplane, because his service doesn't fly them.


The F-35 is so software dependent, that the services are going to be a lot more interested in the other variants than they were with other planes. They're doing a good deal of training together and will be collating all that maintenance data together so that all the services can benefit. If the Air Force general has any sense (and I imagine he does), then he very much cares about how the IOC for the F-35B goes. All of the weapons software that was accelerated into 2B so that the Marines could get up and running is the same code that goes into the Air Force 3i code for IOC.
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Unread post08 Apr 2015, 20:14

archeman wrote:
jjk wrote:From the article that started this thread:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-fl ... -maneuvers (Apr 2, 2015)
Col. Rod “Trash” Cregier, F-35 program director:
“It was an early look at any control laws that may need to be tweaked to enable it to fly better in future. You can definitely tweak it—that’s the option.”

From an article of yesterday:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/ ... 4C20150407 (APRIL 7)
Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, the two-star general named in January to oversee all things F-35 for the Air Force:
"We are already considering and thinking through what are some of the technologies that will be part of the F-35,"

( for an explanation of this last statement see: http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... cence.html )

What is going on,... IOC in a few months time,...


"IOC in few months"...... for the F-35B. But you quoted a USAF general. He is less interested in that airplane, because his service doesn't fly them.

Also, they plan to have that F-35 platform around for a very very long time so they are indeed looking at the future and how to equip it for that future.


So USAF doesn't bother that USN's F-35 IOC doesn't work.
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