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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basher54321

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 13:39

zero-one wrote:.


35 flew the big engine Hornets I would gather and commented they were impressive slick but also commented he thought the F-16A Block 15 he flew would beat it every time in a drag race.
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zero-one

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 13:49

basher54321 wrote:
35 flew the big engine Hornets I would gather and commented they were impressive slick but also commented he thought the F-16A Block 15 he flew would beat it every time in a drag race.


No surprise there, an F/A-18's ACM strength is in it's high AOA, slow speed handles and deceleration rates. No use trying to fight like an energy fighter.

It's weakness has always been it's E-M, but if you can minimize that weakness to a degree, then it might make the platform better at ACM overall. The Rhino was able to do that, but from what I hear, the big motor legacy had the best E-M among all Hornets.

Question is, how does it stack up? is it still meat on the table against F-16's in an energy fight, or does it give Vipers a challenge now?
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 14:22

A big motor Hornet is fairly comparable to a HAF block 52, which is several tons heavier than a Blk30, to say nothing of the little Blk 15.
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 14:57

zero-one wrote:
tailgate wrote:I never had a problem "beating" hornets. Legacy hornets just didn't have the "umph" to keep up with the 16 especially after bleeding energy after hard maneuvering. Better engines and the super solved allot of issues, but the advantage still went to the 16. There are some great articles written out there from some naval aviators stating how they owned the skies still flyin the 16 Nancy.


Greetings Tailgate, just want to ask, did you go up against big motor (GE 404-402) Hornets? Because here's an interesting article from a Hornet/Rhino pilot. He says the big motor legacy is the best 18 for phonebooth scenarios.

In summary, if I had to choose which aircraft to dogfight in, I’d pick a “big motor” legacy Hornet, with it’s crisper maneuverability and enhanced thrust. However, both aircraft utilize the AIM-9X Sidewinder and Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), so as I usually say, it comes down to the “man in the box.”


https://fightersweep.com/5334/ask-fight ... er-hornet/



Maybe 35_AoA can help out here.......from my experience the "big motor" did add power and control. I think even though the block 50 gained "weight", the additional power was more offset (GE-129) than the Super Hornet. The hornet, all variants, had outstanding nose authority and had the unusual tendency to bring its nose "round' on you if you weren't careful. Had to really stay away from his front quarter. And with off boresight, it got worse....lol

My feeling in the block 50 F-16, is that i always had the power advantage. And that is big. Compared, The 16 just has that acceleration factor especially in ACM. It's a rocket. I felt that even when I got myself into a sit, maybe low or slow, that i could always "power' out of it quickly. Energy regain and retention was amazing.

Of course I've never been in a hornet, but I would have to say that it did possess outstanding low speed capability, Im just not sure how many aviators would want to catch themselves there. Maybe 35_AoA can shed some light on the "acceleration" factor between the different engine types in the hornet. I only spent a few years in the Viper, but some veterans of the jet said that the motor upgrades drastically improved the performance rates in the Viper, I'll take their word for it..........
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 15:22

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:A big motor Hornet is fairly comparable to a HAF block 52, which is several tons heavier than a Blk30, to say nothing of the little Blk 15.


For late 80s Block 15 OCUs think more Block 32 airframe - assuming the Navy didn't lighten those.
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basher54321

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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 16:03

zero-one wrote:
Question is, how does it stack up? is it still meat on the table against F-16's in an energy fight, or does it give Vipers a challenge now?



Considering the 402 engines were going in from the early 1990s(?) I didn't think this extra power was such a new revelation thus was not surprised when 35_aoa stated what he did (ties up with other pilot comments).
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 16:21

basher54321 wrote:Considering the 402 engines were going in from the early 1990s(?) I didn't think this extra power was such a new revelation thus was not surprised when 35_aoa stated what he did (ties up with other pilot comments).


Got me thinking for a bit, the Hornet seemed like the perfect multi role platform if they just slapped on bigger motors on it. Why didn't they just do that. nose pointing goodness with all the smash the Viper has....why not

Oh but they did, its called the F-35
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 17:06

Adding thrust usually means degradation in range/endurance (with same fuel/airframe) - and if so what is more important or what is even acceptable at the end of the day.
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Unread post31 Jan 2018, 22:25

zero-one wrote:So we always hear that a Hornet pilot fighting an energy fighter like a Viper, an Eagle or a Fulcrum should force the fight into a slow speed, high AOA fight. Vise versa for Viper who should force the fight into a high speed, high G maneuvers.

So if its not classified I'd like to ask?

1. How do you force someone to go fast? I mean I can see how the Hornet could force someone to go slow by forcing the other guy to overshoot. But how does someone force another to stay fast or go faster.



2. What happens when you go on a neutral merge with a super maneuverable plane (i.e Raptor, Flanker) that can fight both fast and slow? Do you wait for him to move first?


Gentlemen, while reading the thread, I noticed that the two great questions of "zero-one" were left without answers. The second question may be a bit complicated, I don't know. But I also wonder the answer of the first question.
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rheonomic

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 02:05

Engineer, not a pilot, but I feel like specific ACM tactics and techniques are best left for the vault.
"You could do that, but it would be wrong."
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 02:06

The fighter pilots on here can answer this one the best.


However, I actually asked CDR Chesire an almost identical question a few years back. He, being an F-14A Tomcat pilot, said that "I don't ever recall going into a fight less than 450 or 500kts indicated. However, we did not want to get any faster, unless we just wanted to blow through and disengage."

Keeping the speed up at the merge to start turning into your opponent, is what I believe was the underlying meaning here. Obviously, hard turning equates into bleeding airspeed and going downhill (losing altitude).

Also, In the 1981 Su-22 Fitter incident, Lt. Larry "Music" Muczynski said that he and his Commander (CDR. Kleemann) had to "go to zone five afterburner to get our speed up to about 500 knots." he further added: "At this time I was coming 'down the hill' (he was initially at 26-28,000ft) and was doing a hard turn closing in behind the leader." Lt. Muczynski then fired an Aim-9L and destroyed the Su-22 at 20,000ft.

But remember we are dealing with F-14's here, not other "teen series" jets. However the 500KIAS number said by the 2 pilots seems to give an important clue here.




I guess as the old saying goes.... "speed is life."






Lt.(now CDR.) Muczynski has an interview here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjDTGS4BDmU
Last edited by f-16adf on 01 Feb 2018, 04:31, edited 6 times in total.
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tailgate

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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 02:25

mtrman wrote:
zero-one wrote:So we always hear that a Hornet pilot fighting an energy fighter like a Viper, an Eagle or a Fulcrum should force the fight into a slow speed, high AOA fight. Vise versa for Viper who should force the fight into a high speed, high G maneuvers.

So if its not classified I'd like to ask?

1. How do you force someone to go fast? I mean I can see how the Hornet could force someone to go slow by forcing the other guy to overshoot. But how does someone force another to stay fast or go faster.



2. What happens when you go on a neutral merge with a super maneuverable plane (i.e Raptor, Flanker) that can fight both fast and slow? Do you wait for him to move first?


Gentlemen, while reading the thread, I noticed that the two great questions of "zero-one" were left without answers. The second question may be a bit complicated, I don't know. But I also wonder the answer of the first question.


Getting someone to go fast is not the issue, at the merge, everybody is already there. You are not gonna slow down. Energy retention is vital in acm. If you are anything other than 1v1, it’ll be quick fight. Even then, 1v1, I don’t know a pilot out there that’s slow ....on purpose....jmho

Again speed and energy are key here, it’s first maneuver against first maneuver. Me.....15/16, I’m pulling you vertical to take advantage of power and off boresight.....in the 22, I’m taking you vertical with speed and power, where I have tons extra to burn.
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 07:49

tailgate wrote: I don’t know a pilot out there that’s slow ....on purpose....jmho



But I always thought Hornet pilots deliberately wanted to go slow.

A good Hornet pilot will take the fight downhill, try to get slow, and use his superior maneuverability to bleed the Viper down into his wheelhouse – a close-in knife fight at slow speed. If he tries to take the fight uphill or flat, the F-16’s superior rate and thrust to weight ratio will prevail.


https://fightersweep.com/2378/hornet-vs ... part-four/

By the way,i just wanted to say, We really appreciate all your insights tailgate, thanks for taking the time.
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 15:37

Thanks for the answers.

By the way, I think this is the key answer for the first question:

tailgate wrote:... Getting someone to go fast is not the issue, at the merge, everybody is already there. You are not gonna slow down.
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Unread post01 Feb 2018, 16:45

zero-one wrote:But I always thought Hornet pilots deliberately wanted to go slow.



That is describing a situation where he is trying to force mistakes out of the F-16 pilot - a good pilot shouldn't get into that situation.
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