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f-18 foolproof f-16 topgun flight school

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2008, 14:24
by yunus
I think the F-18 was designed from outset to be easier to fly requires less training. F-16 as great as it is requires higher skill level. Nations who have recognised this have opted for f-18.

RE: f-18 foolproof f-16 topgun flight school

Unread postPosted: 16 Jun 2008, 02:50
by INO
So, the F-16 takes a higher skill level to fly? And you got this information where? Or maybe you have seat time in both? Just curious which nations have recognised this as "the" reason to chose an 18 over a 16.

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2008, 03:17
by outlaw162
Variations in pilot skill level are more apparent in aircraft that are more difficult to fly.

There is a certain amount of humor in hearing a comparison between these 2 fighters as to which one is more difficult to fly.

IMHO, compared to the Century Series (100-110) fighters, the F-16 is an extremely easy and forgiving aircraft to fly.

The gap between the performance of the best pilot in the squadron and the worst is narrowed considerably. Both best & worst are nearly on the same level because these aircraft are so capable. Time marches on.

The gap between the best & the worst in the earlier fighters very often resulted in a new surviving worst.

Re: Interesting

Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2008, 02:25
by LordKadghar
the_Hudge wrote:The TLAMs can tackle many targets at distant ranges but the Super Hornet cant carry buddy stores, AAMs, AGMs and be everwhere.

You are correct. Fortunately, after some time of deploying with the Rhino, the Navy has learned the advantages of having more than a single Super Hornet on the flight deck. Therefore one can have some Rhinos with buddy stores configured as tankers, some configured with AIM-120s as fighters, and some with a strike loadout as strikers. It's not like every single plane is going to be intended to do every single mission on every single flight. The advantage here is that you can mix and match as is necessary to accomplish the mission... which rolls into the whole discussion about common parts between strikers, fighters, and tankers (and EA assets in the near future).

BTW-- I don't know where this discussion of "Blocks" started, but nobody in NAVAIR refer to them. The Super Hornet starts with Lot 21, and the latest is Lot 29.

Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2008, 02:40
by outlaw162
I thought the Rhino was the F-4. Do they call the F-18 the Rhino now? Is there room in fighter aviation for two Rhinos?


Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2008, 02:58
by LordKadghar
Good question-- the F-4 was the Rhino also. Problem now is that with both the Super Hornet and Hornet around the boat, there is potential for confusion, which is a big deal given that the arrestor cables need to be set differently for a C model vice an E/F. As a result, when calling the ball, it becomes either "Rhino, ball" or "Hornet, ball".

I think you're right, that it may be a nod to tradition with the old Phantoms, but I can't say for sure.

Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2008, 19:04
by INO
I am pretty sure that lot 30's are already flying in fleet squadrons.

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 09:08
by radar
Pilotasso wrote:
Danimal wrote:The F-16 does have lower wing loading, bleeding off less energy in high G turns, lower aspect ratio for quicker roll rates and a better thrust to weight ratio. The F/A-18 does have a slightly more capable radar package (until the APG-68 version 10) but despite all this they have nearly identical real world performance, especially if we're talking about super hornets and CJ's. However, speaking from experience, my unit's F-16CJ's consistently owned spanish F/A-18C's. Although I would most likely chalk that up for more experienced pilots plus we had JHMCS and they didn't. So realistically I'd say that the battle would go back and fourth with no clear cut winner.

Several things I would like to point out here. First of all, the plane that has higher wing loading is the F-16 not the Hornet. The Hornet radar is not only slightly superior, it is considerably superior. If your talking about APG-65 VS APG-68V9 then the difference is not too much but if your going to include the APG-70 then I have to completely disagree that they are on par.

Spanish F-18's are A MLU's not C's.

My country also trains frequently with Spains F-18's, and among Pilots in my country, they too find that the F-18's fall somewhat behind but only due to worse piloting on the part of the spanish drivers. As far as perfomance goes I have never heard anything bad so far. Infact our pilots say that their kit is better than ours (F-16 MLU). The recent aquisition of helmet mouted sights and (yet unspecified) IR targeting pods has narrowed the gap, but it does give the edge in a knife fight. It will be interesting to see what will happen when they meet again.

Good post. Frisian flag 2012 exercises in Holland Finnish airforces gets 100 kills and 6 loses against Eurofighter ( Germany, UK), Polish new F-16 and older F-16 planes ( Norway, Belgium) and Gripen ( Swedish) of course we dont know what were the rules in that exercises, but still its a amazing numbers...Finnish fighters probably could use their own data link?!

F-16 Versus the F-/A18

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2012, 09:03
by avon1944
Sorry I am late to the discussion, here is an article I came across in about 2005. Its good reading, enjoy.

"A Navy Test Pilot's Perspective" by Tougas, John Toonces "Flight Journal" Jun 03 Issue ... 62073/pg_3 ___ GONE!!

As a Navy test pilot on an Air Force exchange tour, I have the best job in the world: I get to fly the F-16 Viper and the F/A-18 Hornet. Last summer, I completed Viper conversion training at the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, and the first thing they teach is the single-engine, single-seat mindset-a new concept for a twin-engine fighter pilot. The Viper has only one engine and pilots quickly learn the "Iguana stare," which is when one eye constantly monitors the engine instruments, and the other scans everything else. Some USAF pilots have labeled the F-16 a "lawn dart," as it has one of the highest accident rates in the Combat Air Force. It's a myth that the high accident rate is caused by the lack of redundancy inherent to a single-engine fighter. The reality is that most F-16 mishaps occur because of factors other than engine failure. Running into things (the ground or other airplanes) accounts for more than three-quarters of F-16 mishaps.
After 50 hours in the jet, I've come to consider the aircraft at least a close acquaintance, and we're working toward becoming good friends. During that time, I've formed some opinions and impressions of the Viper compared with my normal mount: the F/A-18 Hornet.

When compared with the Hornet's, the Viper's cockpit is more compact and is very comfortable. The ejection seat's fixed, 20-degree recline angle is great for all phases of flight except air-combat maneuvering (ACM). During a fight, the pilot has to constantly lean forward to look over a shoulder or check six, and at 7 or 8G, the fixed recline angle produces a sore neck and back in nothing flat. A flight surgeon once told me that 90 percent of all fighter pilots suffer from chronic neck and back pain and Viper drivers suffer the most. The single-piece bubble canopy is one feature that I wish the Hornet had.
The glass comes down to the elbows and wraps around the pilot; it provides great six o'clock and over-the-nose visibility without a canopy bow or heads-up-display (HUD) post to obstruct the view.
The main instrument panel is centrally located, compactly organized and easy to scan. The Viper is a fly-by-wire electric jet, but it still has what are considered old-fashioned, round airspeed and altitude dials, tape gauges for vertical speed indicator (VSI) and angle of attack (AoA) and an analog attitude indicator. These are the primary flight instruments because the HUD is technically not certified for IFR (instrument flight). In the Hornet, I use the HUD as my main information source and crosscheck the steam gauges during instrument approaches. The Viper HUD gives the same data as the Hornet HUD does, but the format's different. Adapting was easy except for one important item: the angle of attack bracket.

The two indicators look exactly alike, but they work exactly opposite; when landing, one tells the pilot to pull when he should push, and vice versa. It's potentially very confusing. Flying AoA "backward" was tough at the beginning, but I eventually figured it out. The rest of the Viper's HUD symbols are busy but easy to interpret. By flipping a few switches, the pilot can customize HUD information as needed for the mission.
The Viper's side stick and throttle are marvels of ergonomie design. For single-seat strike fighters without the benefit of a guy in the back (GIB) to operate the radar and weapons systems, the hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) design is key to managing the airborne workload. As its name impliesHOTtAS allows complete pilot control of the weapons systems with hands-on maintenance of the flight controls. The Viper has 16 hotHOTome of the "HOTAS-able" functions include: radar mode select, bomb pickle, gun trigger, missile pickle, chaff/flare dispense, etc.
The throttle designator control (TDC) is a feature that's found in both aircraft, and it's essentially the "mouse" of the weapons system. It's used for slewing the cross-hairs over targets detected on the radarscope or in the HUD and locking onto them. The Viper's TDC is on the throttle under the left thumb; it took some getting used to for making fine-tuning adjustments. The Hornet's TDC is a little easier to use because of its location under the left index finger. I have much more dexterity with my index finger and found sensor slewing much easier in the Hornet.
In the Viper, all radar and targeting forward-looking infrared (FLIR) pod information is presented on the two monochrome multifunction displays (MFDs). They are smaller and are of older technology than the Hornet's, but the displays are easy to read in all lighting conditions. The F/A-18 has three color MFDs with the center one being a larger digital moving-map display. The moving map, or multipurpose color display (MPCD), is the key
feature that distinguishes the two strike fighters. The sheer amount of situational awareness that the Hornet's MPCD provides the pilot of threats, friendly locations, geographic references and navigational data significantly enhances combat effectiveness. Without the moving-map display, the pilot's mental workload doubles, and some of the more senior pilots, including myself, will "down" the aircraft and not fly it if the map display fails. Some newer block Vipers have display upgrades that mirror the current capability of all Hornets, but those are exceptions. Avionics in the Hornet are far superior to those found in almost anything I have flown. The one exception is the Super Hornet; it has two additional displays that improve on the Hornet's design.
The F-16 consoles aren't as well organized as the Hornet's; some switches are hard to reach. For the most part, that doesn't affect normal operations but could delay pilot reaction time during an emergency. For example, the Viper's throttle obstructs access to the engine control switch with afterburner selected. This switch is used to back up the electronic engine control during certain failures; reaching around the throttle could delay completing the critical action procedures if the engine gets sick right after takeoff.
The Hornet's consoles are logically grouped by systems. The environmental control system control panel, electrical control panel and lighting control panel are separate units. Conversely, the Viper's left console has flight-control switches mixed with the electrical switches and fuel transfer switches; they're clustered together. After about a dozen simulations and flights, I was able to adapt to the F-16 normal and emergency procedures checklists, but the Viper's cockpit layout appears to be a product of evolution, whereas the Hornet's cockpit layout has changed little since day one.

Both the Hornet and Viper use fly-by-wire flight-control systems, which means aircraft response is governed by a set of programmed flight-control laws that "live" in the flight-control computers, which I affectionately refer to as "George." In other words, the pilot isn't flying the airplane, George is. The pilot tells George he wants the airplane to do something, and George then zips through the math to figure out which flight-control surfaces should be moved to fulfill the pilot's request. The big difference (and it is a big one) is that the Hornet uses a conventional center stick, and the computer senses stick position to interpret what the pilot wants. The Viper uses a side stick, and the computer senses stick force from pilot input.
Flying a side-stick control takes a while to get used to, but once you do, it's a joy. The conformal stick's shape feels very natural (it fits in the hand like a melted candy bar), and it allows easy access to nine of the 16 HOTAS controls. Two fully adjustable forearm rests on the right cockpit bulkhead stabilize and isolate the pilot's arm and wrist, so when rattling around the cockpit during turbulence or going after the bad guy, the pilot's arm won't accidentally move and initiate unwanted control inputs. In its original design, the Viper's control stick didn't move at all; it just measured pressure from the pilot's hand. However, after initial F-16 flight tests, a ¼ inch of stick movement was incorporated to give a small dead band and a nominal breakout force to give better "feel" of a neutral stick because otherwise it was entirely too sensitive. The control harmony is quite good (the pressures required for pitch and roll mix well), but without the capability to physically position the stick, it's easy to contaminate roll inputs with unwanted pitch inputs, and vice versa.
My first Viper instructor predicted that I would over-rotate on takeoff and drop the right wing; he was right. The over-rotation occurs because a pilot is used to "moving the stick and then something happens" at rotation speed. When I reached 145 knots and pulled back, of course the stick didn't move but a scant ¼ inch, so I pulled more. The inexperienced have no way of knowing how hard to pull, so I pulled probably twice as hard as was necessary.

After a half-second delay, the nose abruptly responded to my input and pitched up to about 10 degrees, while at the same time the right wing dipped to about 10-degrees wing down. I released back-stick pressure, and the aircraft held 10-degrees pitch as I gently leveled the wings. According to my instructor Lt. Col. Dan Levin, who has more than 3,000 Viper hours, pilot-induced-oscillations (PIO) are very common on takeoff for transition pilots.

In my opinion, the Viper's biggest strength is its brute force: it has lots of horsepower. The biggest kick in the pants-next to a catapult shot off an aircraft carrier-is the kick from stroking full afterburner in a General Electric-powered, bigmouth Viper on a cold winter morning. With a greater than 1.2:1 thrust-to-weight ratio at takeoff gross weight, it takes all of 1,200 feet to get airborne at 160 knots, and the jet can be supersonic just two miles later, if it's left in burner. The acceleration is unbelievable! If there weren't a 7G restriction on a fueled center-line tank, I would easily have 9G available to pull straight into the vertical and accelerate on the way up. Of course, I've done the "quick climb" to 15,000 feet, and after level-off, I still have 350 knots. The Viper can out-accelerate most anything in the air, including the Hornet.
To accurately compare the Hornet's performance to the Viper's, I took off from the same runway. The Hornet needed 200 feet more than the Viper to get airborne at about the same speed, and at the end of the runway it had only 330 knots versus the Viper's 500-plus. The best climb angle that I could get out of the Hornet before airspeed started to decay was 45 degrees, and I leveled off with 200 knots; the Viper's climb took one minute less. The Hornet's lack of thrust seems to be where all the critics linger, and that's valid-to a point. When a pilot flies into battle, lots of thrust is nice to have and is definitely fun to have, but it isn't necessarily a must-have-depending on the aircraft's other attributes. Like the Viper, the Hornet has different engine versions in inventory, but even with two "big motors," the GE-404-402 has 18,000 pounds of maximum thrust each, and in a drag race, the Hornet would be no match for the Viper.
When the wheels are in the well, the Viper flight controls change from takeoff and landing gains (it automatically changes modes, as it requires different pressures for the same reaction) to cruise gains. This reduces the PIO tendency in pitch when the aircraft is slower and near the ground. The acceleration in after-burner seems to build with airspeed, and it's really a kick! The faster I go, the faster I go; this is primarily because of the fixed-geometry inlets that become more efficient as airspeed increases. Canceling afterburner (AB) at 300 knots and 2,000 feet AGL does not stop the amazing acceleration.
Even in military power, the Viper easily slips above the 350-knot climb speed in a 15-degree climb. On the other hand, the Hornet has a smooth and steady acceleration and quickly reaches the standard climb profile of 300 knots in a 15-degree climb at military power. In the Hornet, the nose must be lowered to about 5 degrees at 10,000 feet for it to accelerate and maintain a 350-knot climb speed.
Once in the air, the Viper pilot can drill around all day at 350 to 400 knots and still have fuel to spare. If there's a concern about fuel conservation, the Hornet works best in the 300- to 350-knot speed regime. Roll performance in the Viper is slightly faster than the Hornet's. A full-deflection aileron roll is eye watering in a clean Viper (about 360 degrees per second) and very impressive in a slick Hornet (about two-thirds the speed of a Viper). One nice feature of the side-stick controller is the capability to rapidly capture a precise bank angle by simply releasing the stick. The jet's controls essentially freeze when the pilot lets go of the stick, even when whipping around at maximum rate roll. This is real handy in rolling in on a target (both air-to-air and air-to-ground). The Hornet's roll control is equally precise, but it requires a bit more finesse. Its flight-control system in cruise is a "G-command" flight-control system; it continuously trims to IG flight regardless of aircraft attitude. If a pilot rolls inverted in a Hornet and lets go of the stick, the jet "pulls" IG and enters a gradual dive to maintain IG. Doing the same in the Viper causes the pilot to get light in the seat; the jet doesn't feel any pilot input, so it continues to head straight and inverted. The Hornet's G-command has bitten a few transition pilots during ACM when they were confronted with very nose-high, low-speed attitudes. Tomcat drivers learning the Hornet typically release the controls, as that is what they were used to doing in the F-14, which stops flying around 100 knots. In the Hornet, this just leads to a further nose-high attitude, as the Hornet reverts to pulling and placing IG on the airplane.
The Viper rolls well, but it is easy to inadvertently add G during rolling maneuvers because it takes some concentration to prevent accidentally applying back-stick pressure while exerting side pressure in for the roll. I encountered this early in my training. It was challenging, at first, to perform a pure, constant IG maximum-rate aileron roll: nose up and then fly a gentle arc up and then down while rolling so the seat of my pants stays in the seat all the way through. My tendency was to load the roll to 2G halfway through by applying too much back pressure. The next time, I overcompensated and got light in the seat, as I saw about O.SG. Again, the learning curve is steep; eventually, I could max-perform in roll without inadvertently pulling or pushing G.
In the beginning of the training, it's difficult to yank the nose around in a minimum-radius, maximum-G level turn without accidentally introducing aileron in it that isn't wanted. On my first few attempts at a 9G level turn, I tended to ratchet the wings back and forth from one bank angle to another. The side stick feels only the first 25 pounds of pilot input in the longitudinal axis, at which time it gives all 9G (or whatever's available at that speed). Apparently, I must have also inadvertently applied a small amount of lateral-stick force, and that caused unintended bank-angle changes and the subsequent ratcheting. After a few more tries at a 9G level turn, I learned that by using a smooth, gradual G buildup and by toning down the amount of pull, I could nail a 9G, 360-degree turn while maintaining constant altitude within 100 feet.
This jet can hurt you because it has absolutely no problem holding 9G, especially down low. The Hornet is limited to 7.SG by the flight-control software, even though the airframe can handle 9G; in fact, some foreign versions were going to be sold as 9G jets. The tradeoff is fatigue life. When dog-fighting in a Hornet, I rarely see 7.SG, and if so, it's momentary because I'm usually closing to guns after the second merge and am trading airspeed for nose position.

There's no better performing fighter in the close-in, slow speed, knife-in-the-teeth dogfight than the F/A-18 Hornet, except maybe, of course, a Super Hornet. But that's another story. The Hornet flies very comfortably at AoAs of up to 50 degrees and has great pitch, roll and yaw authority between 25 degrees of AoA and the lift limit of 35 degrees of AoA. Most crowds are amazed when the Blue Angels perform the Hornet low-speed pass, which is around 120 knots and only 25 degrees of AoA. There are no nasty departures to worry about, and if the pilot happens to lose control, the best recovery procedure is to grab the towel racks (two handgrips on the canopy bow used during cat shots). On the other hand, a Viper has a 25-degree AoA limiter built into its software, and even fewer degrees of AoA are available if it's carrying air-to-ground goodies on the hard points. Up against the limiter, the nose stops tracking; in that case, it's time to drop the hammer and use the big motor to get the knots back, which by the way, happens in a hurry.
The Hornet, however, will stand on its tail, hold 100 knots and 35-degrees AoA and swap ends in a maneuver called "the Pirouette," which looks like a jet fighter doing a hammerhead with a quarter roll. To the spectator and the participant, it looks and feels impossible. The Hornet gets slower (high-energy bleed rate) quicker than anything I've flown, and it gets faster (low acceleration performance) slower than anything I've flown. In a Hornet, it's difficult not to get the first shot in a close-in dog-fight that starts from a perfectly neutral merge (going opposite directions at the same altitude). My Viper buddies tell me there is very little room for error when they fight the Hornet. The best way to handle the situation is to get the Hornet to slow down, while they maintain energy so the Viper's superior thrust-to-weight will out-zoom the Hornet and then they can shoot at it from above. As a Hornet driver, I have never lost to a Viper guy that I saw, but I have run into Viper drivers that said the same thing about their jet.

As I dirty up for landing (lowering the gear handle is the only pilot action, all other configuration changes are automatic), the Viper becomes a blended-rate command, AoA-command flight-control system. I can trim the aircraft hands-off to the approach AoA of 11 degrees, and the flight-control system should maintain that AoA. In my experience, the Viper is very pitch-sensitive-especially in the flare.
Landing the Viper is easy, but landing the Viper while making it look good is far from easy. The airspeed is controlled with the throttle, and the glide slope is controlled with the stick (at least on the front side of the power curve). The pilot must use the throttle very judiciously on final; with the huge General Electric motor, it's easy to gain excess airspeed rapidly and then float a quartermile down the runway. If the pilot misjudges and gets slow, he can scrape the tailpipe or prang the landing gear, with a bounce back into the air below flying speed (very bad).
The Hornet, by contrast, is very easy to land. The aircraft is trimmed for on-speed, and the glideslope is flown with the throttles until touchdown at 650 to 700fpm. Both aircraft have a HUD flight-path marker (FPM) to tell the pilot where the jet is going. The pilot places the FPM on the piece of runway he wants to touch down on, and that's where he'll land. In the Hornet, the throttle is the primary control for the FPM; in the Viper, it's the stick. The vertical-G load on an average trap at the boat is about 2.7G. The longitudinal deceleration from grabbing an arresting cable is about 4G. That landing is actually a precisely controlled crash. It's easy to nail the glideslope in the twin-engine Hornet by adjusting one throttle at a time by "walking the throttles." Precise glide-slope control is really handy when landing on the boat. As a Navy carrier pilot, I'm not the best at flaring the Viper; I usually bounce once or twice, which I'm told isn't bad.

I am often asked, "Which one do you like the best?" The answer is easy, and I reply with this analogy: the F-16 Viper is like the Dodge Viper, and the F/A-18 Hornet is like a Lexus. If I want to cruise around town and experience pure acceleration performance, I would drive the Viper. If I want to cruise in total luxury on a long road trip with all the amenities and Gucci displays, I would drive a Lexus.
It's definitely more fun to fly the Viper, but the Hornet is the aircraft that I would want to take into combat. The primary deciding factors are the superior ergonomics in the Hornet's cockpit design, and its avionics controls and displays. The only jet that I've flown that is better is the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Another major consideration is the Hornet's capability to take a surface-to-air missile (SAM) up one tailpipe and still make it home on the other engine, as was demonstrated in the 1991 Gulf War.
Speed is nice to have, and 1 wish the Hornet had more, but my confidence in the jet that I grew up in is high. However, the more exposure I get to the various Viper upgrades and different blocks, the more I appreciate its capabilities. The real bottom line is this: if I were a bad guy, I would hate to go up against either one.


RE: F-16 Versus the F-/A18

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2012, 08:29
by Des
straight from the horses mouth

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2013, 11:08
by hornetfinn
I find it interesting that F/A-18 Hornet is often said to have low thrust-to-weight ratio and slow acceleration. However with F404-GE-402 engines Swiss, Finnish and some later US C-D Hornets have, the power-to-weight ratio is very comparable to most F-15Cs, MiG-29 and F-16 Block 50/52 (with F100-PW-229 engines). Also acceleration is similarly very good, comparable to those mentioned aircraft. Of course with the earlier F404-GE-400 engine the power-to-weight ratio is not very high, but still quite comparable to Su-30MK and much better than JAS Gripen or Mirage 2000. It's also quite comparable to many F-16 versions with F100-PW-200/220 engines. Of course Hornet has higher drag than most of the mentioned aircraft, but that doesn't affect subsonic acceleration much.

For example having witnessed Finnish Hornets taking off with similar external loads to F-16s, JAS Gripens and Mirage 2000s etc in exercises in Finland, the Hornets seemed to need much shorter takeoff distances and climb much steeper after takeoff. Of course being bigger and more powerful than those aircraft means that similar external load affects it less. Also Hornets seemed to usually operate with less external fuel as they have usually only one external centerline tank while F-16s, Mirage 2000s and Gripens usually used two or three tanks. I think Hornet has very respectable range and combat radius figures compared to F-16 or other similar aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2013, 18:14
by zero-one
Was watching an old History Channel Documentary called "Jets and Super planes" produced in 1998.

In my oppinion, its not the average Discovery channel documentary that preatty much targets a novice audience

This documentary is more of an intermidiete course in fighter aircraft, none of the Advanced stuff you'll learn from Gums and other guys over here, but its preatty good in my oppinion.

Anyway, The episode about the F/A-18 was surprising as the narator labled it as the most maneuverable aircraft in the World, At first I thought it was just the typical exageration that you would here from such documentaries, considering that the episode focused on the Hornet and Rhino.

So I watched the Viper episode and was surprised when the
Narrator blurted

“The Viper is a very agile aircraft, only the Navy’s F-18 Hornet can turn tighter and has more energy on a dogfight”

I could accept the “Turn tighter” part but that would be at slow speeds, but is there any part of the envelope where the Rhino or Hornet would have more energy than a Viper?

It was also mentioned that the Hornet uses a Stable airframe unlike the Viper that uses an unstable airframe, is this true?
I thought all planes after the Viper used Unstable airframes?

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2013, 00:01
by neurotech
Describing an F-16 or F/A-18 as "unstable" is a misnomer. I think the F-117 was the only production jet that could be considered aerodynamically unstable without FBW. The Hornet (& F-16) has Relaxed Static Stability, compared to earlier jets. The YF-17 Cobra was stable and flew without FBW. The YF-16 could have been modified for static stability if they couldn't develop the FBW as planned.

The F/A-18 will bleed significant energy when turning tighter than the Viper. The Viper can maintain energy in a tight turn better than the Hornet.

If that documentary came out in 1998, it probably doesn't cover the Super Hornet properly since it was still in flight testing then. The older Hornets didn't have the upgraded FBW software back then that provided the improved AoA performance.

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2013, 02:42
by exfltsafety
neurotech wrote:Describing an F-16 or F/A-18 as "unstable" is a misnomer.
The F-16 is unstable in the pitch axis when subsonic as mentioned in See FlightTestJim's post that contains following quote from a Joe Bill Dryden article: "This (the F-16) is the first operational aircraft intentionally designed to have a negative static margin. In subsonic flight, the F-16 is negatively stable (read, unstable) in pitch. "

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2013, 05:43
by neurotech
exfltsafety wrote:
neurotech wrote:Describing an F-16 or F/A-18 as "unstable" is a misnomer.
The F-16 is unstable in the pitch axis when subsonic as mentioned in See FlightTestJim's post that contains following quote from a Joe Bill Dryden article: "This (the F-16) is the first operational aircraft intentionally designed to have a negative static margin. In subsonic flight, the F-16 is negatively stable (read, unstable) in pitch. "

There are several Books that describe reference "Relaxed Static Stability" for the F-16 so I'm not the only one who thought that. The F/A-18 is also described as Relaxed Static Stability, and there is manual reversion (pitch axis) in case of failure.
One refer below; ... ty&f=false

As for the Joe Bill Dryden article, the links seem to be down. ... /f16_aero/