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

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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neurotech

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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 00:52

mrigdon wrote:I was curious about the differences in fighters between the Navy and the Air Force and whether the training was adjusted to the capabilities of the planes or vice versa. The Navy obviously favors certain performance parameters that the Air Force isn't concerned with, most notably low speed control for carrier landings, and this obviously affects the entire design.

I found a PDF concerning Naval air training. It mentions two models used to break down air-to-air combat sequences: Maneuver Conversion and Firing Sequence. You can read the full PDF for yourself http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/research/0710770100.pdf

It's an old paper, so it may not be relevant any longer, but depending on the model you use to break down air-to-air engagements, one might seem to favor certain maneuvers that the other model wouldn't.

I was trying to find information about how the Air Force approaches BFM and training. The Air Force and Navy have had fighters with quite dissimilar performance envelopes and the internet is always going on and on about 9G fighters, but the Navy has never had a 9G fighter in front line service (correct me if I'm wrong), yet they've always managed to perform well while going up against "superior" Air Force planes in exercises. There's obviously more to performance than how many Gs you can pull, but how you train your pilots should have a big effect as well.

The Navy have never had a 9G fighter in front line service. F-16 doesn't count as its only for aggressor training. I'm not sure there is a philosophical difference between USAF & USN in ACM, as much as its simply training to the strengths of the aircraft. The F-14A had a tendency to compressor stall during ACM, so slow, high alpha flight wasn't a good idea.

The F/A-18 can quickly bleed energy down to under 100 kts during ACM if the pilot doesn't manage their energy state. The F-5 (& T-38) is another jet that is agile, but doesn't have a lot of thrust to maintain energy during maneuvers. Its critical to make the lead turn count, and get on the bandits six, and shoot.

The F-5 and T-38 aggressor jets have nailed everything including F-22s with surprisingly regularity. The usual way is that the F-22 lets the T-38 get above them, and they can trade altitude for energy and get onto the F-22s tail.

They have done tests with the F/A-18s using JHMCS during ACM firing off boresight and the results are humbling for the bandits expecting a standard dogfight. The F-35 will exploit this even more than the F/A-18 does. Of course, the MiG-29 also has HMS, although not as advanced as the F/A-18 uses.

Training matters a lot more than "technology" when it comes to ACM results.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 01:48

neurotech wrote:
mrigdon wrote:I was curious about the differences in fighters between the Navy and the Air Force and whether the training was adjusted to the capabilities of the planes or vice versa. The Navy obviously favors certain performance parameters that the Air Force isn't concerned with, most notably low speed control for carrier landings, and this obviously affects the entire design.

I found a PDF concerning Naval air training. It mentions two models used to break down air-to-air combat sequences: Maneuver Conversion and Firing Sequence. You can read the full PDF for yourself http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/research/0710770100.pdf

It's an old paper, so it may not be relevant any longer, but depending on the model you use to break down air-to-air engagements, one might seem to favor certain maneuvers that the other model wouldn't.

I was trying to find information about how the Air Force approaches BFM and training. The Air Force and Navy have had fighters with quite dissimilar performance envelopes and the internet is always going on and on about 9G fighters, but the Navy has never had a 9G fighter in front line service (correct me if I'm wrong), yet they've always managed to perform well while going up against "superior" Air Force planes in exercises. There's obviously more to performance than how many Gs you can pull, but how you train your pilots should have a big effect as well.

The Navy have never had a 9G fighter in front line service. F-16 doesn't count as its only for aggressor training. I'm not sure there is a philosophical difference between USAF & USN in ACM, as much as its simply training to the strengths of the aircraft. The F-14A had a tendency to compressor stall during ACM, so slow, high alpha flight wasn't a good idea.

The F/A-18 can quickly bleed energy down to under 100 kts during ACM if the pilot doesn't manage their energy state. The F-5 (& T-38) is another jet that is agile, but doesn't have a lot of thrust to maintain energy during maneuvers. Its critical to make the lead turn count, and get on the bandits six, and shoot.

The F-5 and T-38 aggressor jets have nailed everything including F-22s with surprisingly regularity. The usual way is that the F-22 lets the T-38 get above them, and they can trade altitude for energy and get onto the F-22s tail.

They have done tests with the F/A-18s using JHMCS during ACM firing off boresight and the results are humbling for the bandits expecting a standard dogfight. The F-35 will exploit this even more than the F/A-18 does. Of course, the MiG-29 also has HMS, although not as advanced as the F/A-18 uses.

Training matters a lot more than "technology" when it comes to ACM results.


Misconception the USN Fighters are all capable of 9G's. They just don't operate them as such during peace time to save airframe lives....
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 04:05

Thanks 'mrigdon' that PDF about NAVY Air Combat Training is dated Sep 1976. ACM and differences USN/USAF have been debated a few times. AFAIK some BFM PDFs for new Goshawk T-45C pilots have been uploaded also which perhaps are more informative about what happens today. However thanks because it is complex and interesting - only excerpts below:
MANEUVERING ENGAGEMENTS Vol. I - Methodology
Sep 1976 Walter R. Nunn, Richard A. Oberle, CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES, Operations Evaluation Group

"SUMMARY - INTRODUCTION
Air-to-air warfare capability is an integral part of the U.S. defense capability, and recent experience in both Southeast Asia and the Arab/Israeli conflicts reemphasizes the need for continual, comprehensive aircrew training in this type of combat. The U. S. has schools in which fighter pilots receive instruction in air combat maneuvering (ACM) and, more recently, instrumented ranges have been developed to expand our training capability. Regretfully, the analysis community has been slow in developing a unified methodology for evaluating a total system (aircraft, aircrew, weapon system, and tactics) during training. The main reasons for the difficulty are: (1) the complexity of air-to-air scenarios, (2) differences between training and actual combat, and (3) difficulties in reconstructing air-to-air engagements for analysis. [ :mrgreen: AND HOW TO MAKE MOVIES OF SAME! :devil: ]

Some partial success has been achieved in analyzing ACM. The U.S. Air Force has used energy-maneuverability models successfully to design maneuver tactics based on optimal energy management . Such models generally cannot quantify less-than-optimal maneuvering, and do not lead to probabilities of win, loss, and draw. Attempts to use game-theory techniques have generally been unsuccessful although such techniques appear to have considerable potential.

Various ad hoc techniques have been used for analysis of ACM data obtained on test ranges, with emphasis being on statistical properties. Numerous useful measures of effectiveness (MOEs) have been formulated, but attempts to integrate the MOEs into an overall scheme which evaluates ACM effectiveness have been unsuccessful.

In 1971, AirTEvRon Four (VX-4) was tasked by CNO to evaluate the survivability of the AV-8A Harrier attack aircraft in a hostile fighter environment. Because of the Harrier's unique thrust vectoring capability, the scope of the project was enlarged to include an ACM evaluation of the Harrier. At this time, no numerical methodology was available to quantitatively assess the value of the thrust vectoring in ACM. In an attempt to support with analysis the conclusions reached by the aircrews, CNA analysts and the VX-4 project officers developed an analytic evaluation scheme which has since become known as the Maneuver Conversion Model. Using this model, analysts were able to quantify the aircrew
assessment of the value of the Harrier thrust vectoring for ACM. This early success stimulated research to extend the Maneuver Conversion Model and also to explore other ACM models.

This study describes the structure and numerical properties of two stochastic models of air-to-air combat that have proven useful in understanding the sequences of events observed in test-range engagements. These models (the Maneuver Conversion Model and the Firing Sequence Model) have important differences which will be discussed below. However, the models have several things in common:..."

Source: http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/ ... 770100.pdf (2.8Mb)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 06:14

Corsair1963 wrote:Misconception the USN Fighters are all capable of 9G's. They just don't operate them as such during peace time to save airframe lives....

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.

If a pilot Over Gs the jet, what follows is usually a JAGMAN investigation, and probably a FNAEB. The Navy will also ground a jet if any cracks are discovered, and not patch the airframe.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 06:30

Some Goshawk T-45C stuff on this thread and of course the usual (it is faskinatin' how people want to be experts in 1v1 --- I BLAME TOPGUN!): viewtopic.php?f=54&t=24031&p=273474&hilit=Goshawk#p273474

BASIC FIGHTER MANEUVERING SECTION ENGAGED MANEUVERING
FLIGHT TRAINING INSTRUCTION T-45 STRIKE

Oct 2012 CNATRA P-1289 (Rev. 10-12)

Source: https://www.cnatra.navy.mil/pubs/folder5/T45/P-1289.PDF (3.4Mb)

BeKuz it is a DoD USN website there is a problem with the 'security certificate' a common feature on these DoD sites - so get past it by ignoring the warning etc.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 11:30

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?
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 11:46

spazsinbad wrote:BeKuz it is a DoD USN website there is a problem with the 'security certificate' a common feature on these DoD sites - so get past it by ignoring the warning etc.


Yeah, government entities are poor at maintaining certificates AND encryption standards. Doesn't give me a lot of faith in their 'secure' nature.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 13:54

I love how F-35 is supposed to have very poor maneuverability and raw performance still after all the data coming from real world testing. There seem to be a lot of people who keep telling everybody that F-35 can’t maneuver or can’t accelerate even though:

- It has been proven to be able to handle 110 degree angle of attack. How an earth can some aircraft do that and not be highly maneuverable?
- It has been proven to be able to pull 9 G’s. How an earth can some aircraft do that and not be highly maneuverable? Especially considering the AoA capabilities
- It has T/W ratio (A-model) about equal or superior to Dassault Rafale, any model F-16, any Su-27 variant and most F-15C versions. How an earth can some aircraft do that and not have a lot of power available?
- F-16 is used as an "aggressor" to test BFM. Why do that if F-35 wasn't highly maneuverable?
- Experienced test pilots (with experience with very high performance fighter jets like F-16, F-22 and EF Typhoon) seem to be highly pleased with the way the aircraft flies, accelerates and maneuvers.

I think people are still thinking that the acceleration and sustained turn rate figures were the best the F-35 could do and compare them to what F-16 or similar fighter jets could do. They do not understand that those figures were with some specific weapon and fuel load which likely was not that light (especially given F-35 huge internal fuel load) and would encumber any fighter a lot.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 14:34

@ 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.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 16:01

Well lets take Doc Nelson's statement for what is, we've established that the F-35 has impressive high Alpha performance, and could actually do more which is an option for future blocks. What does this mean?

Well it means they have confirmed that the F-35 has at least one major strength if it ever ends up in a phone booth, high Alpha performance.

Now the critics will have to change their arguments from "the plane can't maneuver" to "fine she has impressive AOA abilities, but can she maintain energy, and how large is her 5,6,7, or 9G envelope...etc

Now the chances of the plane maintaining energy is really quite high, u got a lot of thrust coming out of the motor with very little to no parasitic drag to speak of. What about base drag? well remember an internally armed F-35A has better subsonic acceleration than a clean F-16C, so that means base drag must be very low.

remember the Top speed of the F-35 is for a combat configured F-35, so Im guessing the max G load is also for a combat configured F-35.

I'm pretty confident that this will be an F-16 with high AOA
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 17:37

I have asked on other threads about an acceleration requirement early in the program, but have not heard much about it. It was in one of the B.S. books so it is hard to say to a high degree of confidence whether it was a hard characteristic. Paraphrasing "the F-35 should accelerate 100 knots in 500 feet", does anyone know of or have documentation of the requirement. My assumption is that this would allow an advantage in the "slow" arena, getting in and out of maneuvering states quickly, engaging and disengaging at will.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 17:49

spazsinbad wrote:...
MANEUVERING ENGAGEMENTS Vol. I - Methodology
Sep 1976 Walter R. Nunn, Richard A. Oberle, CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES, Operations Evaluation Group

"SUMMARY - INTRODUCTION
Air-to-air warfare capability is an integral part of the U.S. defense capability, and recent experience in both Southeast Asia and the Arab/Israeli conflicts reemphasizes the need for continual, comprehensive aircrew training in this type of combat. The U. S. has schools in which fighter pilots receive instruction in air combat maneuvering (ACM) and, more recently, instrumented ranges have been developed to expand our training capability. Regretfully, the analysis community has been slow in developing a unified methodology for evaluating a total system (aircraft, aircrew, weapon system, and tactics) during training. The main reasons for the difficulty are: (1) the complexity of air-to-air scenarios, (2) differences between training and actual combat, and (3) difficulties in reconstructing air-to-air engagements for analysis. [ :mrgreen: AND HOW TO MAKE MOVIES OF SAME! :devil: ]
..."

Source: http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/ ... 770100.pdf (2.8Mb)


That was almost forty years ago, we might be able to do a bit better today... :D
(better cameras, better flight data recorders/visualizers etc...)
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 18:03

Yes and forty years is a long time for technology. However I can see by all the input on these endless 1v1 threads is that most people have little idea of what it might be like. Fair enough. I myself know little or nothing about a lot of things. About 1v1 ACM (only DACT with RAN jets dissimilar to A4G which is not much and one sortie against a Mirage IIIO) I know heaps. We did a lot because of our role as 'poor man fleet defender' which included air to ground - but NOT as some have imagined - all we did. Anyway 1v1 is a physically gruelling exercise for the pilot. As explained earlier the aircraft approach and depart one another at high speed and yes they do slow down sometimes but more often than not the opposing aircraft will be at the limit of pilot ability to see it - coming or going - then be in his face & - if he is lucky - behind same.

Our A4G Skyhawk had no ability to carry out BVR (except being directed by ship/ground radar to target to become visual) then only WVR was our speciality.

I did see an F-15 movie clip (it is in my PDF about A4G 4.4GB) but I think it was snaffled from a regular movie and not Youtube. Maybe the clip is there now. I could put it online I suppose. It shows some of the issues; but one does not know anything about airspeed/G/orientation. So to me it seems a bit useless for the purposes described above.

What has impressed me is another clip (I can put online) again taken from a movie, perhaps not online, that shows the simulation in the debriefing at an instrumented tactical range. Now I think this would be more useful/instructive because all the parameters are shown and can be replayed - slowed down - 'freezed' etc. to better understand what is going on at any moment in the engagement. Just seeing aircraft (without context of all of the above) is useless IMHO. But go ahead - make my day - get LM/JPO/Hollywood/Bollywood to make such a move ala whatever takes your fancy. Because it probably has not been done I will reckon it is because 'it ain't easy'. Such is life.

Unfortunately the only copy of the clip of the tactical range is very poor quality so not worth putting anywhere but attached here: IF you are quick one can PLAY movie then Right Mouse Click on it to select ZOOM for a better view
Attachments

ComputerTacticalRangeGunSortieRecreation.wmv [ 693.36 KiB | Viewed 11884 times ]

Recreation of Actual Simulated Air Combat Sortie Ending Video.png
Last edited by spazsinbad on 07 Apr 2015, 18:26, edited 5 times in total.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 18:07

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.
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Unread post07 Apr 2015, 19:12

cantaz wrote:On legacy Hornets, is there a G limiter or just an over G warning?



There is a G limiter and override switch according to the natops.
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