F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2019, 23:38
by SpudmanWP
F-35: What The Pilots Say
Firsthand accounts of flying the world’s most advanced fighter.


Billie Flynn | Experimental test pilot, Lockheed Martin
For four years, all people could talk about was how we’d lost a dogfight against a 40-year-old F-16. Paris was the first time we showed what the airplane could do.

Lieutenant Colonel David “Chip” Berke | USMC (ret.)
If you were to write down all the ways in which you could measure an airplane—payload, fuel, ordnance, handling—and ask 100 pilots to rank which is the most important, I guarantee you that 100 out of 100 pilots would say “situational awareness.” By far. Not a single pilot in the world would say “turn radius.” Not one. Because the more you know, the more accurately you know it, the better able you are to make a decision.

Lieutenant JG Thorys Stensrud | U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 125
My first flight was July 2018. It was surreal. I don’t think it really hit me until after we landed—just how impressive the jet is and how big a step it is from a T-45 to the first gray, Navy jet.

Colonel Arthur “Turbo” Tomassetti | USMC (ret.)
And every time I took somebody out for a first flight, when we came back—I was usually at plane side when they were coming down the ladder—I was waiting for the minute when they lifted their visor to see the expression on their face. And in every case, that expression was a smile.

Major Valerie “Twitch” Wetzbarger | F-35 instructor pilot, USAF 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base
That mission {SEAD} is very similar to the F-15E, but the information fusion, pilot interface, and physical capabilities in the F-35 take our efficiency across the formation and among partner nations to a whole new level.

Jon Beesley | Lockheed F-35 Chief Test Pilot, 2002–2011
The F-35 is as maneuverable as any other airplane, except perhaps the F-22. Russian airplanes are also very maneuverable, but if you dig into [the Russian demonstrations of maneuverability], what you’re seeing is the capabilities of airplanes flown by exceptional pilots. What we were building with the F-35 is an airplane that everybody can fly. That’s the critical part of it.

Squadron Leader Andy Edgell | Royal Air Force, F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force
Lots of people want me to make the comparison between the Harrier and the F-35, but it is chalk and cheese.

Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris | USAF 4th Squadron Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base
Reading the first sortie on the first day, I certainly felt overwhelmed with the amount of information. And the next sortie I flew, I could manage some of my sensors differently to give me just the information I needed for that particular mission. Figuring out how to declutter your display to match the scenario is one of the main skills we learn here that we can’t simulate in day-to-day training, because you don’t get to train with the rest of the Department of Defense on a daily basis.


Much, much more at the link
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180971734/

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2019, 00:14
by spazsinbad
Get the PDF of the above article here (RED FLAG part): viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54962&p=414794&hilit=Shiner#p414794

Entire Article PDF: F-35 Pilots Say Air & Space Smithsonian Apr-May 2019 pp9.pdf (7.1Mb)

download/file.php?id=29889

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2019, 00:45
by juretrn
How bout this one
The F-35 absolutely is fun to fly! It’s exhilarating because there is so much power. I vividly remember a pull-out of a dive. It was about a 70-degree dive to get to the actual test point, at 5,000 feet. I recovered full backstick, a pull-out to 50-degree angle of attack, and I could not believe how quickly the aircraft turned the corner. I had probably been flying the aircraft for about three years at that point, but at that moment, it absolutely took my breath away.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2019, 03:09
by marsavian
Chip Berke

Air-defense networks can also be limiting for stealth aircraft. The first thing you have to think about in the F-35 is managing your signature. In an F-18, you don’t even think about it because everybody sees you the minute you take off, so you don’t spend a lot of time trying to hide. Managing all the components of low observability is very challenging, and pilots have to think about it all the time. And they don’t do it well the first time. We all struggle with that initially. But you de-brief and analyze and start to build a database of the methods being used to detect you. You start to build a strategy that will keep others from finding you. Where do you want to put other people in the formation so you can maximize information sharing and sensor coverage and sensor footprints? It’s really no different, from a philosophical viewpoint, from what we’ve always done. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what our weaknesses are: What do I need to fix as a pilot?

In an F-22 and F-35, one of the most enjoyable things is being virtually undetectable until it’s way, way, way too late for the threat. If you manage the signature really well, and you do it in a way that is integrated with the other platforms, most of the time the threat doesn’t know you’re there. And that’s why I have extreme faith that the machine is going to be the most dominant aircraft ever built.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2019, 13:26
by mixelflick
OP said: Much, much more at the link
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180971734/

Folks, he isn't kidding. If you haven't read the full article, you're doing yourself (and the F-35!) a real dis-service. Thanks so much for posting this, it really speaks volumes..

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 16:30
by zero-one
Call it nitpicking but I don't like it when F-35 pilots say "it flies like any 4th gen".
The 4th gen performance ball park is huge.

Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)

On the other hand we have 4th gens that approach Raptor levels of performance in some areas (i.e. Typhoon, Su-35)
The F-35 as we know is the best of the F-16C and F/A-18. So this puts it at the top tier 4th gen level in performance terms. in fact, if it was a 4th gen, it would be the top performing NATO 4th gen in most metrics, specially when combat configured.

Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 16:38
by spazsinbad
'zero-one' said above: "...Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion." Until the NATOPS/ Dash One flight manuals become available with associated performance figures / graphs etc. (perhaps they now will only ever be in computer/PDF format?) then 'vague' is the word especially for a ONE LINER quote, especially for those not having flown any of the aircraft - 3rd/4th or 5th gen. 6th gen will be VAGUER still. :shock: Dis is de troof. :roll:

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 16:46
by ricnunes
zero-one wrote:Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)


Actually this is the very first time that I read anywhere that the F-14 was/is considered a "3rd gen" fighter aircraft. Or putting into another perspective everything that I read so far points out the F-14 as being a 4th gen.

Could you share the some info/sources that state that the F-14 was/is a 3rd gen fighter aircraft?

IMO, the F-14 is clearly a 4th gen fighter aircraft and I would say that it was the very first 4th gen fighter aircraft (just like the F-22 is the very first 5th gen fighter aircraft). This for several reasons being one of them the fact ("fact" as IMO, that is) that if the F-14 was a 3rd gen fighter aircraft then the F-15 would also be a 3rd gen fighter aircraft as well and I guess that everyone would disagree (and rightfully so) with this.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 17:10
by white_lightning35
zero-one wrote:Call it nitpicking but I don't like it when F-35 pilots say "it flies like any 4th gen".
The 4th gen performance ball park is huge.

Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)

On the other hand we have 4th gens that approach Raptor levels of performance in some areas (i.e. Typhoon, Su-35)
The F-35 as we know is the best of the F-16C and F/A-18. So this puts it at the top tier 4th gen level in performance terms. in fact, if it was a 4th gen, it would be the top performing NATO 4th gen in most metrics, specially when combat configured.

Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion.


Why is it that, out of all the great information in the article, the least important part is what warrants mention? I'm pretty sure pilots will say it handles like 4th gens because it isn't a lot better and it isn't a lot worse. Somewhere in the same ballpark where pilot skill is the determining factor.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 17:31
by sferrin
ricnunes wrote:Actually this is the very first time that I read anywhere that the F-14 was/is considered a "3rd gen" fighter aircraft.


Never heard that before. I'd always heard it described as the 1st of the 4th gen. (The F-4 was 3rd gen and the F-14 is next gen by every metric.)

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 21:40
by citanon
For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 22:18
by swiss
citanon wrote:For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932


Multiple Air Force and industry sources confirm that the Raptor has a lower radar cross section over a wider range of frequencies than the F-35 (as the Air Force maintained for nearly decade till 2014), but the newer aircraft is far better at managing its signature thanks to an incredibly advanced electronic warfare suite. That is likely why retired Air Combat Command commander Gen. Mike Hostage told Breaking Defense : “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.” The operative word there is can. As current ACC commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle told National Defense Magazine : The F-35 has much better “passive capability to determine who’s out there [and] its ability to manage its own signature.”


This is indeed an interesting quote.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 22:28
by citanon
F-35 pilots: masters in the new martial art of LO-fu :D

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2019, 23:03
by spazsinbad
citanon wrote:For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932

AGAIN this quote from same 'rehashDave' article: "...(This first appeared several years ago.)…"

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 00:05
by SpudmanWP
"rehash {insert name of clickbait article here}" is what Nation Interest does.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 09:54
by zero-one
For the life of me I can't find the article I read where the F-14 was referred to as a 3rd gen. Personally I was also surprised by that and I don't agree with it either. So lets scratch that. Whats the best performance fighter of the 3rd generation era?
F-4M, Mig-23 MLD, EE Lightning maybe?

some 4th gens would offer only marginal improvements over those top end 3rd gens. (i.e. Mirage 2000, Gripen, F-14A). so saying that the F-35 is can only match those...well its a bit insulting.

white_lightning35 wrote:Why is it that, out of all the great information in the article, the least important part is what warrants mention?

I just thought it was interesting.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 12:20
by hornetfinn
I think real problem is that flight performance issues get pretty complex, especially when different loadouts, capabilities and mission profiles are taken into account. Also like others have said, there are huge differences in flight performance within every fighter generation.

My take is that F-35 has about equal flight performances to best 4th gen jets when all are clean. However I don't think there are many 4th gen jets that have equal flight performance to F-35 even when they are clean. To my eye it seems like EF Typhoon has roughly similar (and probably sometimes better) acceleration, ITR/STR and climb performance, but doesn't have nearly similar slow speed and high-AoA capabilities. Same thing with Dassault Rafale and F-16. Hornet and Super Hornet are the opposite of that. Maybe Su-35 has about similar all-around flight performance as F-35, although it doesn't seem as crisp and controlled when it's maneuvering (IMO). Of course some 4th gen jets are quite a bit faster (top speed) than F-35 when they are totally clean.

F-35 really shines when all jets go to combat in realistic configurations. Anything other than light to medium air-to-air loadout and I don't think there exists a 4th gen jet that can keep up with F-35. Naturally the best possible loadout for F-35 (in comparison to other jets) is the full internal load of 2 JDAMs/8 SDBs and 2 AMRAAMs. Other jets would carry those externally along with 2-3 EFTs and targeting pod. Then F-35 has significantly superior flight performance to pretty much all 4th gen fighters.

But naturally the pilots can't go into these kinds of details and need to describe things in simple terms for public consumption. It's also that F-35 might well feel like 4th gen jet when flying, even though it had better performance than any one of them in general. Maybe F-22 feels different...

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 12:32
by f-16adf
"The F-14 was a transitional aircraft, a third generation airframe with third generation avionics and engines."
pg 88 from "F-15 Eagle Engaged", Col. Dildy USAF, Davies.

I recall another book, referring to Tomcat as "3.5 gen." don't remember the title though.

However, I'd bet Tomcat pilots would disagree with these statements.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 12:49
by mixelflick
Tomcat is 4th gen through and through, there's just no other way to describe it. And I'd echo the sentiments that it's the first 4th gen. Much, much more advanced airframe than the Phantom. Much more sophisticated radar/weapons. Talk about first look, first shot, first kill! For its day it could reach out and touch someone better than anything flying.

And it was no slouch WVR. It was bigger, went further, carried more, had more powerful engines and conveyed an advantage that was unheard of up until that time. For all these reasons and more, the F-14 is/was a 4th gen fighter..

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 13:56
by sferrin
f-16adf wrote:"The F-14 was a transitional aircraft, a third generation airframe with third generation avionics and engines."
pg 88 from "F-15 Eagle Engaged", Col. Dildy USAF, Davies.

I recall another book, referring to Tomcat as "3.5 gen." don't remember the title though.

However, I'd bet Tomcat pilots would disagree with these statements.


Well he was an Eagle pilot. :wink: I don't know how he thinks the AWG-9/Phoenix was a generation behind the APG-63. And, if it weren't for P&W not getting the F401 working, the two aircraft would have used variants of the same engine.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 14:13
by weasel1962
For one, the awg-9 was analog using an 8-bit microprocessor.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 15:21
by sferrin
weasel1962 wrote:For one, the awg-9 was analog using an 8-bit microprocessor.


That's hardly enough to justify moving the entire aircraft to a previous generation. The F-15 could only guide one missile at a time for instance. Maybe IT should be considered the 3rd gen aircraft? :wink:

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 15:53
by ricnunes
mixelflick wrote:Tomcat is 4th gen through and through, there's just no other way to describe it. And I'd echo the sentiments that it's the first 4th gen. Much, much more advanced airframe than the Phantom. Much more sophisticated radar/weapons. Talk about first look, first shot, first kill! For its day it could reach out and touch someone better than anything flying.

And it was no slouch WVR. It was bigger, went further, carried more, had more powerful engines and conveyed an advantage that was unheard of up until that time. For all these reasons and more, the F-14 is/was a 4th gen fighter..


sferrin wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:For one, the awg-9 was analog using an 8-bit microprocessor.


That's hardly enough to justify moving the entire aircraft to a previous generation. The F-15 could only guide one missile at a time for instance. Maybe IT should be considered the 3rd gen aircraft? :wink:


Yes, I fully agree with the above.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2019, 16:23
by marsavian
Not only the first 4th gen but in its final F-14D form still the overall best IMO not including all the +/++/.5 sub-classifications that followed.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 07:27
by zero-one
sferrin wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:For one, the awg-9 was analog using an 8-bit microprocessor.


That's hardly enough to justify moving the entire aircraft to a previous generation. The F-15 could only guide one missile at a time for instance. Maybe IT should be considered the 3rd gen aircraft? :wink:


This is an interesting discussion but we're getting off topic. Its the reason why I started a thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=55175&p=415268#p415268

The generation definition taken from an article of the Airforce magazine in 2009 are as follows
Generation 1: Jet propulsion

Generation 2: Swept wings; range-only radar; infrared missiles

Generation 3: Supersonic speed; pulse radar; able to shoot at targets beyond visual range.

Generation 4: Pulse-doppler radar; high maneuverability; look-down, shoot-down missiles.

Generation 4+: High agility; sensor fusion; reduced signatures.

Generation 4++: Active electronically scanned arrays; continued reduced signatures or some “active” (waveform canceling) stealth; some supercruise.

Generation 5: All-aspect stealth with internal weapons, extreme agility, full-sensor fusion, integrated avionics, some or full supercruise.


So the F-15 cannot be relegated to 3rd gen because it has high maneuverability.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 07:37
by marsavian
There are third generation fighters like the Mig-21 that are highly maneuverable. Also updates could take a 3rd gen fighter into a 4th gen fighter e.g Mig-21Bis/Bison. The third and fourth generations probably consist of one broad spectrum in which the same fighter can jump to a different position on it depending on updates. There's probably only three broad generations in reality ; subsonic, supersonic and stealth which are fundamentally defined by the airframe in each case.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 09:07
by zero-one
marsavian wrote:There are third generation fighters like the Mig-21 that are highly maneuverable. Also updates could take a 3rd gen fighter into a 4th gen fighter e.g Mig-21Bis/Bison. The third and fourth generations probably consist of one broad spectrum in which the same fighter can jump to a different position on it depending on updates. There's probably only three broad generations in reality ; subsonic, supersonic and stealth which are fundamentally defined by the airframe in each case.


You're right, the definitions are really just guide lines and not really hard facts set in stone.
Personally I look at it this way. If the air frame was built from the onset with combat agility in mind then its more or less a 4th gen onwards. Theres a big difference between an aircraft that is able to dogfight (i.e. F-4, Mig-21) and one that was built to dogfight (F-15, F-16)

However this changed in 5th gen. The F-35 was not "built to dogfight" it was just built to able to dogfight if needed. But because the maneuverability and performance needed to be able to dogfight in this day and age is so high, the F-35 turns out being better than purpose built dogfighters in the 70s and 80s.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 09:33
by spazsinbad
Yep - here we go again. DOGfight. Time for the thread to end. 'Hitler' has been mentioned in absentia. Leave it out cheef.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 09:53
by zero-one
:lmao:
I'm sorry Spaz...
no matter what thread we go to we end up in this topic. At this point I don't think we can have a fighter jet thread without talking about speed and pulling Gs at some point, they seem to go hand in hand :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

On the bright side, AEWACs and Cargo plane threads are free of this non sense

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 10:41
by marsavian
'Dogfighting' is an irrelevant metric as every fighter generation since the early biplanes could pull at least 20 degrees/sec turn rates and 6-7g. It was only the first supersonic fighters that were the historical anomaly as they basically were built for low drag high speed rather than any serious turning. The latest fighters have just returned to the historical norm in dogfight performance.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 11:28
by zero-one
Woah 6- 7 Gs without G suits? I don't know about that. I've read World war 2 planes like the Mustang and Spitfire pulling about 6Gs but thats the absolute highest for that era. When fighters started to return to combat agility, the F-14A had a limit of just 6.5G but was considered the best in the world at that time.

Anyway, Kinematics is what sets fighters apart from any other type of aircraft. Lots of planes have powerful sensors, massive networking capabilities and even stealth. But combine all that to a relatively small aircraft, make it fast and maneuverable and you end up with something that is much harder to shoot down than any other type of airplane. Thats why we can never remove the kinematic aspect from fighter threads, its such a big part of what makes fighters what they are.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 13:08
by mixelflick
zero-one wrote:Woah 6- 7 Gs without G suits? I don't know about that. I've read World war 2 planes like the Mustang and Spitfire pulling about 6Gs but thats the absolute highest for that era. When fighters started to return to combat agility, the F-14A had a limit of just 6.5G but was considered the best in the world at that time.

Anyway, Kinematics is what sets fighters apart from any other type of aircraft. Lots of planes have powerful sensors, massive networking capabilities and even stealth. But combine all that to a relatively small aircraft, make it fast and maneuverable and you end up with something that is much harder to shoot down than any other type of airplane. Thats why we can never remove the kinematic aspect from fighter threads, its such a big part of what makes fighters what they are.


THIS

Unless PCA fundamentally changes the game with no emphasis on speed/turning G's, it'll be a metric wherever fighters are discussed. Honestly, I think it's going to take either one BIG air battle or a full on war to cement the fact that fighters shouldn't be dogfighting. Not saying it can't happen, am saying it hasn't happened yet.

Russia still builds jets to dogfight, China does too. We have in the past, and seem to be in transition to a force that won't, or doesn't want to. I also think design teams don't want to have egg on their face if they build a whiz bang fighter that can't dogfight, then winds up in one and gets shot down.

Then again, they design to spec/requirements. Someone at DoD is going to have to have the courage to make that call..

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 13:26
by madrat
Dogfighting mostly resulted in standoffs, not kills. Most kills were opportunity kills, catch the enemy unaware. Even during Vietnam, this truth did not evaporate. Communist planes were most dangerous fling out from the cover of clouds and jamming. Once recognized the usual result was not necessarily unit kills against the MiGs. And the U.S. fighters enjoyed significant energy and endurance advantages, not maneuverability advantages. You really have to have energy and endurance advantages once both sides are aware of the engagement. Otherwise anytime you catch an enemy unaware you have the greatest chance for victory.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2019, 14:16
by zero-one
mixelflick wrote:Russia still builds jets to dogfight, China does too. We have in the past, and seem to be in transition to a force that won't, or doesn't want to. I also think design teams don't want to have egg on their face if they build a whiz bang fighter that can't dogfight, then winds up in one and gets shot down.


I agree with your initial points but not so much with this one. These are the kinds of statements that make American aircraft look like they are less capable in WVR than Russian/Chinese aircraft.

I often hear Indians say that American aircraft are inherently less capable in a dogfight because of the American belief that they will never have to dogfight due to Stealth. I have shot down these statements left and right.

Everyone tries to make their fighter have the best of both worlds. BVR and WVR. The Russians/Chinese don't have the technological advancements of the US so they try a different approach for BVR in the form of ram jet powered BVRAAMs and integrated IRST systems as well as fighters with massive radars.
its not true that Russians focus on WVR, it only looks that way because they have no choice, shooting a stealth fighter at BVR ranges is nearly impossible so they're best bet is to close in and hope for the best.

The US on the other hand continues to invest in very high performance engines to continue their E-M advantage over the Russians. If you look at the most advanced fighters between the US, Russia and China. Tell me which group would have the most advantage in a dogfight.

USA
F-22
F-35
F/A-18E
F-15X
F-16V

Russia
Su-57
Su-35
Su-30
Su-27SM3
Mig-35

China
J-20
J-16
J-11
J-10

I'd say team USA has a pretty commanding lead in dogfighting capabilities just on aircraft performance alone.
I'm not saying they will want to dogfight because no one does, even the Russians don't want to dogfight. But if it came to that, American fighters are built to be better dog fighters than anyone else's fighters. By the way I'm not an American so this isn't nationalistic chest thumping.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 28 Mar 2019, 12:31
by mixelflick
We'll probably be crucified for speaking about dogfighting but oh well...

I understand and agree with your point. Because of superior engines, American aircraft will have the E-M advantage. Somehow though (probably the youtube effect), Russian fighters are judged superior WVR. Up until just recently, they certainly did the flippity flop thing more convincingly. Most people will look at this and think, "OMG, no other aircraft stands a chance". Whereas in reality, neither aircraft really stands a chance given dogfights will in all likelihood be mutual kill events.

100% agree Russians will crow about dogfights simply because they don't do the BVR thing very well, and their stealth technology just isn't there. They have access to the same data we do though, showing mostly BVR kills over the past 25 years. They know, deep down what that data means.

But they need to sell airplanes too, and can't really point to their air to air combat record. Youtube has been their great equalizer, as it dramatically magnifies the perception that airshow tumblers = the best.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2019, 12:56
by zero-one
mixelflick wrote:We'll probably be crucified for speaking about dogfighting but oh well...


we survived :pint:

Anyway, I'd like to add, I think some of the things that are intended for BVR superiority end up being useful in WVR as well.
Internal weapons bays for VLO, ended up giving you 0 parasitic drag.

high alpha capability which I'm convinced is for high Inst turns, useful for both BVR and WVR.

Not sure how accurate this is, but DCS seems to make it look like BVR involves far more maneuvering than most people think.
To pilots out there, do BVR tactics really involve this much high energy maneuvering?
Rather, Is maneuverability really relevant in BVR combat


Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2019, 13:00
by mixelflick
zero-one wrote:
mixelflick wrote:We'll probably be crucified for speaking about dogfighting but oh well...


we survived :pint:

Anyway, I'd like to add, I think some of the things that are intended for BVR superiority end up being useful in WVR as well.
Internal weapons bays for VLO, ended up giving you 0 parasitic drag.

high alpha capability which I'm convinced is for high Inst turns, useful for both BVR and WVR.

Not sure how accurate this is, but DCS seems to make it look like BVR involves far more maneuvering than most people think.
To pilots out there, do BVR tactics really involve this much high energy maneuvering?
Rather, Is maneuverability really relevant in BVR combat

Really good points about certain BVR qualities lending themselves to WVR, esp inst turns. In fact, I think the high inst turns of the new F-35 demo are the most impressive part of the display!


Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2019, 12:26
by hornetfinn
I think F-35 is really exceptional fighter even in WVR situation. It has very good flight performance all around and has excellent nose-pointing ability and very carefree handling according to pilots (even compared to other modern jets). It also has very good acceleration and power, about as good as any according to pilots who have flown jets like F-22 and EF Typhoon. Su-27 derivatives also have good nose-pointing ability, especially the TVC equipped ones. But only Su-35 seem to have the power to quickly accelerate after said maneuvers. Also many of the maneuvers seem to be less controlled than in F-35, F-22 or Super Hornet. That could be my wrong interpretation about them though.

Compared to Russian IR missiles, AIM-9X and ASRAAM are clearly better with much more capable imaging seekers, LOAL and better maneveuverability. Sure R-73 derivatives are still very dangerous missiles, but they are definitely starting to show their age even with upgrades. Not idea about how Chinese missiles compare.

F-35 has EO DAS and the best helmet mounted system in any fighter jet. These (and other sensors and sensor fusion) will make sure that F-35 pilot will have superior SA even in WVR fight compared to any other jet in all conditions. This will be extremely important in real world WVR combat where confusion and ID problems seem to be rather common.

So I don't think Western designers have forgotten WVR combat (or "dogfighting"). For example F-35 seems to have all the tools to be really dangerous even to best WVR machines out there. But it's just a small part of the overall capabilties it has.

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2019, 13:10
by mixelflick
Well said...

Re: F-35: What The Pilots Say

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2019, 16:26
by spazsinbad
I absolutely knew this would happen based upon my own experience transitioning firstly from a radial prop SLOW trainer to a WWII era first jet fighter trainer to an A4G Skyhawk (fifty years ago now) - WHY WON'T THIS THING GO FASTER! :mrgreen:
Visiting the Warlords: An April 2019 Update from the CO of VMFAT-501
29 Apr 2019 Robbin Laird

"...He [Lt. Col. Adam Levine, the CO of VMFAT-501] made the point that the “newbies” had never experienced the much more pilot intensive processing of data which legacy pilots do, expected their machines to work in ways that could facilitate what they wanted to do, but to do them faster.

In other words, they already assumed the new baseline of man-machine interaction and wanted that interaction to speed up.
…"

Source: https://sldinfo.com/2019/04/visiting-th ... vmfat-501/