Hi everyone, here?s my question about the F-16 wing loading. I got to www.codeonemagazine.com and had the following information fom the editor (an aerodynamicist working on F-16 wind tunnel models) : wing loading, based on current aircraft gross weight / wing area is not sufficient to accurately account for actual lift being generated. Actually, the F-16 LERX generates as much as about 35 % of total lift when the aircraft flies in the 5 degrees to 28 degrees AoA range. Although the F-16 cannot take advantage of high AoA flight regimes (being restricted by its FBW system), it indeed has a lower wing loading when flying in that AoA range, except I think when leading-edge slats are actuated at low speed (since lift increases but drag also).

Therefore, as an example: take a clean F-16C-30 (GE engine) : unarmed, full internal fuel, average fuel density being 0,785.

Wing loading is about 384 kg/m2 (if anybody remembers how to go from kg/m2 to lbs/sq.ft, tell me). Such a figure is broadly comparable to the MiG-23 ML Flogger G, anyway more than the 365 kg/m2 of the lightest F-16A-15 version. To make the difference with this powerful aircraft, the combination of high T/W (1,16), Combat Edge suit, and canted seat alone wouldn?t be sufficient in a 8-9 G sustained turn when faced to the MiG 0,87 T/W ratio. Therefore there must be a wing loading advantage somewhere for the F-16 to be this great continuous 9G turning machine that we all admire. So we get a wing loading of 270 kg/m2 when adding the LERX area.

Would anybody know at what speeds do the strakes vortices actually improve overall lift ?

I doubt such a 28° AoA be reachable at supersonic speeds...

Therefore, as an example: take a clean F-16C-30 (GE engine) : unarmed, full internal fuel, average fuel density being 0,785.

Wing loading is about 384 kg/m2 (if anybody remembers how to go from kg/m2 to lbs/sq.ft, tell me). Such a figure is broadly comparable to the MiG-23 ML Flogger G, anyway more than the 365 kg/m2 of the lightest F-16A-15 version. To make the difference with this powerful aircraft, the combination of high T/W (1,16), Combat Edge suit, and canted seat alone wouldn?t be sufficient in a 8-9 G sustained turn when faced to the MiG 0,87 T/W ratio. Therefore there must be a wing loading advantage somewhere for the F-16 to be this great continuous 9G turning machine that we all admire. So we get a wing loading of 270 kg/m2 when adding the LERX area.

Would anybody know at what speeds do the strakes vortices actually improve overall lift ?

I doubt such a 28° AoA be reachable at supersonic speeds...