F-16A vs F-16C Maneuverability

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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zero-one

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Unread post04 Dec 2013, 07:22

I’ve been trying to look for a post regarding the maneuvering characteristics of the F-16C block 50\52 against its earlier Block 15 A models.

Unfortunately I could’nt find one on F-16 vs XYZ. But if this has been created than please help me out.

I have been in a friendly discussion with a certain blogger who claims that the F-16C is compromised because of all the weight added to it.

In a turning fight against an F-4E, it would end up on the losing side.

He cites wing loading for this, he claims that the F-16A would be more agile than the F-4 but not the C because of all the weight added to it and the emphasis on ground attack.

This seems to go in line with Pierre Spray’s argument that the original Viper would whip the newer ones in a dogfight.

Is this true? And if anyone can post some links that can help me support my claims that the C is not inferior to the A then please help me out.

If I’m wrong then I would accept
Thank you all.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post04 Dec 2013, 14:57

The wing loading argument is laughable at best. The C has vastly improved thrust to help with sustained turns. Oh, and then there is the whole unstable thing. The F-4 Phantom has an effectively higher wing loading than stated due to it's stable design. using arbitrary numbers, if both planes are in a 6 G turn the Phantom has to fight the induced drag of effectively 8G of lift. 6G for turning, 1G negative tail load to balance the plane (i doubt it would be as low as a 1/6 ratio, 1/4 is more likely), and an additional 1G wing lift to counter the negative 1 G of tail force. When the viper pulls 6G, it faces 6G of drag. Then there is the fact that the Viper is a 9G plane with full internal fuel while the Phantom (E model) is a 7G plane with full fuel if I remember the n-W diagram correctly. The Phantom will also go through its fuel more quickly than the Viper. Then there is the whole argument of Thrust. A 26,000lb aircraft with a nominal 29,000 lb of thrust against a 42,000lb aircraft with a nominal 34,000 lb of thrust. Sorry, but the only hope the Phabulous Phantom has it to not turn at the break, use that 15 seconds the viper is turning to unload and accelerate and let the J79s carry it off beyond M2.
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zero-one

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Unread post05 Dec 2013, 06:10

Thankyou Spurts

By any chance would you hapen to have any links for this. I would take your word for it but I'm not sure he will. Also how does the block 50\52 compare with the older block 15 in a turn?

I understand the phenomenal increase in thrust given by the GE F110s or the PW 229s, but what about the additional weight? Could that play a factor?
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post05 Dec 2013, 15:14

I do not have any links for my results. As an aero-engineer I take data and perform an analysis and my results often surprise me. As for the F-16A to F-16C comparison, as they are the same plane I will simplify things as the stability issue is a wash.

Weight:
F-16A 17,000 empty (blk 5 was lighter, but you asked for blk 15) plus 7,000 (i honestly see inconsistent data here, between 6,000 and 7,100) fuel for 24,000lbs
F-16C 19,000 empty and 7,000 fuels for 26,000 lbs

as they both have the exact same wing the conclusion can be draw that the F-16A will have faster tighter turns on the AOA-limited side of things, but not by much, less than 2 deg/sec. under any condition they both can meet (same speed and G load) the F-16C will have 17% more drag due to lift, which is fairly dominant in a high speed turn but vastly less so than when cruising.

Thrust:
F-16A 24,000
F-16C 29,000

The F-16C has 20% more thrust than the F-16A meaning that while the F-16A has a slight edge in a thin slice of the envelope the F-16C will always have the edge in sustained turn performance (20% more thrust is better than 17% more drag) and roughly 11% better climb rates. This is all assuming the weights above. If you wanted to take out some fuel or add weapons then that changes things, but I could still get the data.

So, in short, Both F-16s can stomp the F-4 if flown right. The A will out turn the C slightly but will lose more speed in doing so and maintaining speed is what the Viper was designed to do.
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Unread post07 Jul 2016, 23:51

There are very few things on this earth (very few!) more capable in a turning fight than a Block 50 Viper. At higher altitudes I'd obviously take a Raptor. But if we're talking 10,000 feet or less, and if we are talking strictly a turning fight (no BVR), then I think I'd rather be in a Block 50 F-16 over anything currently flying. Hell, even the Block 52 is nothing to sneeze at.

Have your buddy sit down and watch this video of a Block 52 Polish Viper performing a demo down in Fort Worth. Then challenge him to provide video of a Phantom....ANY MODEL PHANTOM....being able to deliver just 75% of the performance witnessed in the Viper video. He won't be able to do so.

[YouTube]https://youtu.be/HNIcuLGC5eE[/YouTube]

That video should be sufficient to end this argument once and for all. And keep in mind that this is a Block 52. The Block 50 is an even more incredible performer.

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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 14:18

Long time ago, for our local airshows, we fueled the F-16A models to 4.500 pounds of fuel.

For shows "away from home base" they were topped up to 6.800 6.900 pounds. = FULL- FULL internal.

I think the "air" is still trying to figure out what happend even after those 20-30 years now.

But? Sometimes we had to pull the pilot from the airfame after landing.
They gave it all they had at the time.....
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Unread post08 Jul 2016, 22:57

Fox1 wrote:At higher altitudes I'd obviously take a Raptor. But if we're talking 10,000 feet or less, and if we are talking strictly a turning fight (no BVR), then I think I'd rather be in a Block 50 F-16 over anything currently flying.


Oooh...that sounds like a challenge.

I like to use the quote from Lt. Col. "Rico" Malebranche, a very experienced F-16 guy and had an exchange tour flying F-18s with the Navy, on fighting F-22s:

Our toughest BFM fight is against the Raptor. When we fight the F-22, it's not a matter of trying to kill him, but to see how long you can survive!"


On the F-16, yes, the Blk 50 is all about power. But if I had to choose which Viper to BFM in, then it's the Blk 30.
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 05:48

Scorpion1alpha wrote:I like to use the quote from Lt. Col. "Rico" Malebranche, a very experienced F-16 guy and had an exchange tour flying F-18s with the Navy, on fighting F-22s:


Wow, so that's where Rico ended up. I flew in T-38's with him at Kelly AFB before he flew Vipers (and before he had the callsign...). Good dude.
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 13:15

Scorpion1alpha wrote:
Oooh...that sounds like a challenge.

I like to use the quote from Lt. Col. "Rico" Malebranche, a very experienced F-16 guy and had an exchange tour flying F-18s with the Navy, on fighting F-22s:



Interesting that in the same paragraph he describes it as being still very capable against the F-15 and F-22 - maybe he needs more practise. :P

Cant find any ref to Hard Deck altitude at Luke though in the same book :D



Scorpion1alpha wrote:On the F-16, yes, the Blk 50 is all about power. But if I had to choose which Viper to BFM in, then it's the Blk 30.


Rico agrees with this.
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Unread post09 Jul 2016, 22:23

Roscoe wrote:
Scorpion1alpha wrote:I like to use the quote from Lt. Col. "Rico" Malebranche, a very experienced F-16 guy and had an exchange tour flying F-18s with the Navy, on fighting F-22s:


Wow, so that's where Rico ended up. I flew in T-38's with him at Kelly AFB before he flew Vipers (and before he had the callsign...). Good dude.


I think Rico is currently flying with the 177th FW, NJ ANG.

basher54321 wrote:
Scorpion1alpha wrote:
Oooh...that sounds like a challenge.

I like to use the quote from Lt. Col. "Rico" Malebranche, a very experienced F-16 guy and had an exchange tour flying F-18s with the Navy, on fighting F-22s:



Interesting that in the same paragraph he describes it as being still very capable against the F-15 and F-22 - maybe he needs more practise. :P

Cant find any ref to Hard Deck altitude at Luke though in the same book :D


:cheers:
I'm watching...

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