F-16 vs F/A-18

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

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Unread post25 Dec 2017, 20:55

@ADF, Yes, pretty much agree with what he said. I always tended to drag the fight into the vertical where the Eagle will start to take advantage. Low and level the 16 was a tough customer and could really get around on you quick. Now, I have to stick a disclaimer in here, the older 15 A's with the -100 Pratts were a little trickier because you never knew what that engine would do when you put the screws to it, the -200/220 corrected allot of the issues that we encountered back then.

I think when you talk any kind of turn rates, allot of factors come into play at any given time. ITR is great, but I have gone up against allot of Hornets (and Super) and have never really dealt with any of them trying to ITR me. For one, speed and energy are your best friends, you try not to give up any during the fight. Two, Naval and Marine Aviators are going to fight to the aircrafts strength. A 2 second ITR maneuver to try and get an advantage is not high on their lists of tricks.
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f-16adf

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Unread post25 Dec 2017, 21:31

Tailgate,

Thanks for the reply. Very much appreciated.


Did the Eagle high up (say above 25,000ft.) have any advantage against the GE powered F-16's? I figured that against the weaker PW Vipers--Yes. But I am unsure about the GE Vipers?



Thanks again.
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tailgate

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Unread post25 Dec 2017, 21:45

Yes sir, once above about 25 and higher, the 15 started getting the advantage on any Viper. When I flew the Viper, especially against my old ride, I always tried to keep the fight between 9 to 20. Problem is most Eagle drivers now this and will still try and coax the fight vertical. When I was in the 15, I always tried to drag the 16 high.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.
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hummingbird

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Unread post12 Jan 2018, 01:15

eloise wrote:
hummingbird wrote:
Not quite.

Firstly the F-14 has a better ITR than the F-15 & F-16, and probably similar to the F/A-18 (would need official F-18 charts to be sure), the F-15 being last on the list.

Next the low subsonic STR goes to the F-14, then F-18, F-16 & F-15.

As for post stall nose pointability, the F-18 wins hands down, after that the F-14, F-15 and finally F-16 which is limited by its FCS.

Apart from those three points the list looks ok though.

Not true, we calculated it.
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=28783&start=90


I'll take the actual performance figures over your "calculations" thank you, and here the F-14 is the clear winner (hence it's significantly smaller turn radius of 1,500 ft @ 10,000 ft).
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eloise

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Unread post16 Jan 2018, 08:31

hummingbird wrote:I'll take the actual performance figures over your "calculations" thank you, and here the F-14 is the clear winner (hence it's significantly smaller turn radius of 1,500 ft @ 10,000 ft).

I wish it was my or Spurt calculations but it was NASA's who delivered the CLmax from real world measurement. What we did is multiply it with references wing area and speed to draw the curve.There is less room for error than you extrapolate from E-M graph.
As for turn radius, it is calculated with STR rather than ITR
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f-16adf

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Unread post17 Jan 2018, 16:30

The F-14 is not the "clear" winner anywhere. You are not adjusting the charts for various F-16 Block empty weights.

The Block 50 USAF version weighs in at 19,300lbs empty. A 700lb difference from the "HAF" Block 50, hence, turn rates go up approx .4DPS.

The Block 42 version weighs (the USAF/ANG operates 3 squadrons with the Pratt -229 IPE motor) in at 18,450lbs empty. A massive 1550lb difference from the "HAF" Block 52, hence, turn rates go up approx .8DPS.

The Block 30 Big Inlet performs better than both the above Viper versions (sorry, but every F-16 pilot I have spoken to confirms this as fact). And at .6IMN, has approx the same STR as the F-14B/D.

Also, the DI index is arbitrarily set at 50, the actual DI number is 42 for 2 Aim-9, 4 Aim-120 load out.


Additionally, the F-14's Ps are a "spike", not a horizontal "plateau". Read the below post by JB (a USAF F-16 pilot) to get an understanding between the two:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26829&p=296429#p296429



The 1500ft number on the Tomcat chart is only at "max lift". So in order to sustain the turn, the radius would consequently increase.
Last edited by f-16adf on 17 Jan 2018, 16:42, edited 2 times in total.
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f-16adf

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Unread post17 Jan 2018, 16:40

I have never seen a F-15, F-14, F-18 perform a 360 degree turn in barely 15 seconds. GE Block 30/40 Vipers can do it.

In fact, watch this RCAF CF-18A demo at Abbotsford 1986 airshow:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgO6rhyA2FA

and at 2:27:25 of this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u5IH04Qp2E

The F-18 turns faster (it's under 19 seconds) than any F-14 demo that I have ever seen. And the Canadian jet has a centerline tank on it-

If you can find a demo vid of an F-14 beating this turn, please post it.


Here is an F-14D at Abbotsford in 1991 (when the jets were basically new). There is a 360 turn and a high alpha pass:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M59JltgQ_Z4
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Unread post19 Jan 2018, 00:36

The F-16 charts are given for 26,000 lbs so you can just up the F-16 fuel percentage in the comparison. They would seem to confirm some of the advantages the F-16 pilot could utilise over the Tomcat B in those configs.

Have to assume these charts are taken from the F-14B NATOPS - to me the lift line (bolder line) comes over a bit to about 1700ft - but not that it matters really as you allude to above - the lift drops off a cliff.

The charts although as stated are estimated on 1988 Flight test data they should be pretty good. Airshow videos give very little for comparison - you can guess the state but can never know for sure, and the turns almost certainly change altitude - therefore if you want to look at individual variables (STR ,ITR etc) then you really need charts - especially after Boyd went to all that trouble 8) . If you want the big picture on BFM /ACM that these charts don't show then ask a pilot or join the airforce I suppose.


The F-14A did have what was described as a very impressive initial turn rate in the first 180-270 degrees of a turn and the F-14B should be very similar in that regards. Gums has stated several times he thought the F-102A had a better initial turn than the F-16As so in terms of Max initial turn rate and G you will find a lot of other aircraft that have higher figures on a chart - although I'm sure the Fokker Dr1 might look good too on a turn chart :D


In that leaked Video in 2008 Col Fornof described the Block 50 as still a very good dogfighter. You have to hand it to the designers and thinkers really because almost every attempt to improve the F-16 in this area was rejected over the years, yet despite the weight growth you have someone stating 30 years later that it still sits alongside the F-22 as a very good dogfighter - and those charts at least still show some of that original thinking.
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f-16adf

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Unread post19 Jan 2018, 00:48

I agree Basher.


One thing I would like to mention; I have seen many dozens of Tomcat demos, not once did it complete a 360 degree turn quicker than basically 19.8 seconds (19.8 seconds being the best time and from a mid 1980's demo, most are generally longer). I am fully aware of Density Altitude, and how it has an effect on field conditions. The F-16 on the other hand (Turkish demos, and early GE flight tests, prove the 15 seconds completion time). The other teen series jets lag well behind this.


Also, I would like to point this out:


Notice in the upper left hand corner of the chart below, there is no "GR" in T.O. line, which implies this chart is for the original "CJ" series (years before the Greeks purchased their Block 52's). Yet the funny thing is, it has the exact same metrics as the later "HAF" chart from the Hellinic supplement that everyone is in possession of. And this proves my point that this is from a USAF Block 52, which is lighter than the subsequent HAF Block 52.

F-16C  PW-229 IPE.png


So it means that at 26,000lbs and DI of 50 they both have the same turn performance. Here's the deal: the USAF version is loaded with 61% internal fuel, not the 48% fuel load of the HAF machine (19,200lb empty weight vs 20,100lb empty weight). So use the GW effect/turn rate graph on the upper left to compensate for the weight difference. Hence, you want to adjust it for 50% internal fuel to be equal with the Tomcat charts.



Notice in the upper right corner of the Tomcat supplement it states "....with 50% internal fuel"

scan 1F-14AD_.jpg






Let's do some math:

We have 3 F-16's all with the -229 motor, all weighing 26,000lbs, all with a DI of 50. Here's the thing:

1. The HAF Block 52 has 48% fuel.
2. The USAF Block 52 has 61% fuel.
3. The USAF Block 42 with the Pratt -229 has 71% fuel.

If you adjust the 2 USAF planes down to 50% internal fuel, their corresponding Ps all improve. Meaning all the lines go up and greatly reduce what advantage the F-14B/D had (in the .6 M regime) against the heavier HAF F-16 version.



At .6 Mach the Block 42 STR increases to 13.4DPS (maybe to 13.45DPS), remember the DI is at 50. 2 Aim-9 and 4 Aim-120 = a DI of only 42. While the Tomcat's STR is at 14DPS . My point is that the entire Ps=0 curve on the USAF Block 52 and 42 increase; negative Ps decrease, and positive Ps increase. Implying that the metrics on the chart move upward; due to the increase in performance from internal fuel loads decreasing down to 50%.


The same holds true for the USAF Block 50, it empty is 19,300lbs; Not the 20,000lbs as the HAF Block 50. The STR on the chart at .6 Mach increases to 13.3DPS (maybe slightly more due to the decrease in DI from 50 to 42). Hence, the lines all go up.


It is very likely the Block 42 w/PW-229 (with 50% internal fuel, and a DI of 42) would look like this:
(Tomcat's line is Blue and spikes up to .61 Mach. Revised F-16 line in Black, and above the old Ps=0 line. Both lines terminate at Mach 1.) Sorry, don't have the time to revise the other -/+ lines.

Estimated turn rates.jpg




The Tomcat advantage at .6M has now reduced considerably. And against an even better performer like the big inlet Block 30 there is no advantage-
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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 00:37

Yes weight is one variable that affects those figures but it is only one of the things you could suggest is wrong with taking a few data points from a static level turn chart in such a dynamic variable subject.

I suppose the F-14A +/B came in 1990 so there is the timeframe for F-16 version comparisons although where you compare is still subjective - e.g. ditching fuel weight increases some figures on a chart but generally fuel is probably a nice thing to have off the chart - anyway the charts look good to me regardless I guess.
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f-16adf

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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 01:07

My point is (which many other jet forum websites seem unable to comprehend) that there are many different versions (blocks of F-16). And since some are heavier than others, some are more powerful than others---..... they have different performance metrics. It's as simple as that.



When people are comparing Jet X to an F-16. Okay, what type of F-16?


If one jet is at 50% fuel, why would I want to compare it to another at 60% fuel? That is rather illogical (especially when dealing with info from an EM diagram). Hence the results become skewed-
Last edited by f-16adf on 20 Jan 2018, 01:23, edited 1 time in total.
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basher54321

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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 01:22

Your point has been very clear all along to everyone I expect but it is not really illogical - skewed results have always happened on the interwebs due to various things like a lack of knowledge, laziness or simply wanting to represent their favourite aircraft in a manner to either make it look good or to win an argument.
Very easy to fudge the figures (like any figures) to your liking and misrepresent to an audience that most likely wont question it.
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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 05:32

f-16adf wrote:If one jet is at 50% fuel, why would I want to compare it to another at 60% fuel? That is rather illogical

To be fair though, i think it could be logical depending on combat radius, load out and afterburner time involved.
Ex: F-35 with 50% fuel will last quite a bit longer than F-16
That why i love Sprstdlyscottsmn's operational comparison, every single small detail are taken into account
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f-16adf

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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 10:04

We are dealing with EM diagram comparisons, I have never seen one that compares a jet with 50% fuel to another with 60% or 70% fuel?

These diagrams prove my point:
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A-4 skyhawk F-4J  - Example E-M.jpg
F-16Blk15 at 15k (1).jpg
Mirage 2000 at 15k (1).jpg
M2K.jpg
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basher54321

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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 13:29

f-16adf wrote:We are dealing with EM diagram comparisons, I have never seen one that compares a jet with 50% fuel to another with 60% or 70% fuel?

These diagrams prove my point:


These simplistic EM comparisons at 50% internal fuel were perhaps more valid in days gone past if you are looking for a degree of fairness - however Gary A also has a valid point - to do an EM comparison between the F-35 and F-16 at 50% internal fuel would skew the results in favour of the F-16.

check PM
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