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F-16C vs German F-4F

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2006, 12:13
by HunterKiller
Latest block F-16C with AMRAAM's and winders, no HMS, no AESA
German Air Defence F-4F, ICE upgraded, AMRAAMs, APG-65 radar, winders

USAF crew vs German crew, no pilot mistakes, typical tactics (no turn-flight in F-4)

Guidance same level (both AWACS or ground radar).

Who has the edge?

RE: F-16C vs German F-4F

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2006, 13:27
by Raptor_One
Well, there are a bunch of F-16C blocks from 25 to 50/52 in the USAF inventory, each with different flight performance. That being said, I doubt even the worst performing F-16C (block 42 I believe) would be at a disadvantage at any time with regard to the F-4F. The F-16C is faster, more maneuverable, and more powerful. It's got less drag, more lift, and a better T/W ratio. There's just no competition there. The F-4 could try to fight in the vertical and it would get beat there just as easily as if it tried to fight in the horizontal. It could try zoom and boom tactics, but the F-16C's pilot could zoom faster and boom from further away as a result. (i.e. launch missiles with higher velocity due to better acceleration). The F-16 could also do a better job evading an F-4F's AMRAAMs.

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2006, 14:00
by HunterKiller
I agree with opinion above, but outcome will depend on tactics. In Vietnam, Mig-21 was supposed to be superior, but somehow guys like Olds outmaneuvered them and beat them really bad.

I looked at the numbers (note sure 100%) but F-4E is a bit different beast than Vietnam F-4C, in horizontal, the E-model has a better turning ability than the tightest-turning Mig-21F-13, not to mention 30% heavier PDS or MF.

When F-14 entered service, in was far inferior to F-4's in service and in mock dogfights F-4 usually had the edge. Only excuse for F-14 was Phoenix.

In Top Gun and Red Flag instuctors have beaten F-18s and F-16's repeatedly, flying aircraft that are far inferior to 4 gen jets - F-5, F-21 and A-4.

Once I was told that F-16 is inferior to larger jets above M 1.5, because it does not have variable geometry intake that larger planes (and Mig-s) have.

I also disagree, that F-16 is faster. It is NOT. Put 4 winders and 4 Amraams like F-4 and IT IS NOT. F-16 is rather M 1.8 airplane, not M 2.2 airplane like F-4

In tailchase, I dont think that F-16 wins. F-4E climb rate ise 240 m/sec, F-16 is 240, F-18 only 228. I dont see the overwhelming superiority.

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2006, 14:51
by Raptor_One
I don't know what F-16 you're talking about or what F-4 you're talking about, but I know for a fact you're mistaken about the F-16C's lack of total superiority. Will it do top end as fast as an F-4? No. That's all though. An F-4E isn't going to be that fast with 4x4 AIM-120 and AIM-9M. How fast do you think an F-15 is in that config at a nominal gross weight? It's nowhere close to Mach 2.5. Neither is an F-4. You're talking about clean performance. A block 50 F-16C would eat an F-4E for lunch. Put a top gun instructor in that puppy if you want to bring pilot skill into this. See how Top Gun pilot in F-16C block 50 does against a top German F-4F pilot. He will dog that pilot without even having to do anything fancy. Your numbers for climb rate are not accurate for a late model F-16C either. The Block 50's performance is sick! The acceleration is outstanding and way better than an F-4E's.

Just looked at some F-4E charts... no way is the performance as good as you say. The thing barely does Mach 2 with a light A-A combat load. Very similar to the F-16C block 50, but nowhere near the excess power throughout the entire flight envelope. The block 50 will easily break through the 800 KCAS speed limit when clean (not with underwing missiles though... wintip missiles... yes). The F-4E will only do about Mach 1.1 at sea level for example. The F-16 needs to stop at 800 KCAS/Mach 1.2 according to the tech orders, but it will go much faster if allowed (late models).

Anyway... the F-4E is not a Mach 2.2 airplane... not even clean. I just looked at its 1G Ps charts. I'm sure you could find them on the Internet yourself. Load it up with a 4x4 loadout and it won't even do Mach 2. Then again, neither will the F-16C. But its loaded performance is still better than the F-4E's... by about the same amount that its clean performance is.

Also, the F-14 is superior in performance to the F-4E. It's easily faster, a better turner, etc. Can a skilled pilot in an inferior jet beat a lesser-skilled pilot in a superior jet? Sure can. But what's the point in debating those things? Assume you're putting the best fighter pilot in the world up against his clone.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 08:16
by HunterKiller
Every time I read this subforum (F-16 vs whoknows) that makes me feel happy, because in any topic conclusion is that, F-16 ourmaneuvers,outguns, outranges, outclimbs everything exept another F-16 :lol:

F-16C initial climb rate is 50 000 ft/min (254 m/sek)

F-4E initial climb rate is 49 000 ft/min (248 m/sek) ... -specs.htm

Where you can see the vertical superiority? Difference is not that big to make F-16 superior in vertical.

F-4F is basically F-4E airframe with some fuel tanks and AIM-7 related equipment removed (German F-4F-s were initally unable to carry Sparrow). So that vertical performance may be even better than original F-4E. Why- it carries less fuel and light F-18 avionics set.

I think that in high speed vertical maneuvers they are pretty close. In horizontal, Phantom does not stand a chance of course.

We are not talking about Vietnam-age gunless F-4B/C-s with heavy avionics and clilmb rates about 150 m/sek

F-4E got serious upgrade by Agile Eagle programm and it is TOTALLY different machine. IAF proved that. An F-4E will outmaneuver ANY Mig-21 both in horizontal and in vertical. And Mig-21 was premier Mach 2 dogfighter of this age.

If we add to both Joint Helmet and AIM-9X (just for justification) I dont think
that F-16 is greatly superior.

As far as I know, Germans are practising group tactiks, where more maneuverable enemy is subjected to 2-3 coordinated slash attacs from different directions. Yes, they can do it, because they have WSO who coordinates the game.

I thing that German Phantom is still dangerous oponent.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 10:23
by Raptor_One
First off, those internet sites are not authorities in any way. I have actual performance data on both the F-4E and various different blocks of F-16. I'm not going off of an internet site that just lists a few interesting figures for some unknown block of F-16C and the F-4E. Just hang around and I'll post some of the F-16 and F-4 data I've found in the public domain through a variety of sources... most notably technical journal articles.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:04
by HunterKiller
Not depending on block, F-16 initial climb rate is not more than 270 m/sek.

F-4E climbrates I checked from various aviation books and F-4E numbers are allways between 228-240 m/sek

Even later generation Mig-21bis has initial climb rate of 240 m/sek

F/A-18C climb rate is 228 m/sek

Mig-29 climb rate is about 330 m/sek

F-4 climb rate is low only for earlier models that have no maneuvering slats and older "smokey" engines - about 150 m/sek

Just only example how climb rate can be improved - early Mig-21 climb rate was about 130 m/sek, later models all over 200 m/sek

Mr Raptor wake up - even F-104 can climb at 240 m/sek

All climb rates are measured at sea level, clean, with nominal internal fuel.

Israeli modified F-4-2000 Kurnass had even supercruise in clean.

F-4 maneuverability was greatly improved during Vietnam in 1972 and later F-4E machines are potent machines for air defence even today.

I will not agree, that in vertical F-16's performance is so greatly better that it can eat F-4 later models.

Plus I noted, that German machines are about 750 kg lighter because of less fuel and lesser heavy garbage electronics (avionics basically come from F/A-18A).

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:14
by Raptor_One
Okay... here come some attachments. All of this data is in the public domain as far as I know. I can source most of it, although some of the EM diagrams posted were given to me by one of the Falcon 4 community developers. He stated they were all unclassified and given to him by someone who worked in a defense-type position (if I remember correctly). The 1G Ps charts you could find on the internet. That's where I found them. I can source them all.

Next post will have the F-4 data.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:22
by Raptor_One
Here are the F-4E diagrams. I was looking at a combat load before when I stated the F-4E couldn't do Mach 2.2. When I say combat load, I mean something like you see in the EM diagram charts. Clean, you see it can do Mach 2.2 exactly.

And just everyone understands, initial climb rate at sea level doesn't necessarly mean that much and depends on a bunch of factors and will vary greatly depending on which F-16 block you're talking about. A block 50 will have a much higher climb rate than a block 42, for example. It will have a slightly higher climb rate than even a block 52. You MUST quote F-16 block number when talking performance. The performance of the F-16 has changed a great deal from the initial C models to the late C models. I am clearly awake.

And I can post Ps plots for the F-104 if you'd like too. What's your point?

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:29
by Raptor_One
Here's another F-4 EM diagram someone sent me a while ago. It's hard to make out... I think it's from the -1. Can anyone tell what missiles it has loaded for this config based on the obscure writing?

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:46
by boff180
Every time I read this subforum (F-16 vs whoknows) that makes me feel happy, because in any topic conclusion is that, F-16 ourmaneuvers,outguns, outranges, outclimbs everything exept another F-16

Unless its a Typhoon or a Raptor

Seriously though, I have seen an F-16C and an upgraded F-4F put through their paces in the same airspace, and the F-16 just runs rings around it I'm afraid.

Andy :lol:

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:53
by Raptor_One
So... let's talk low level acceleration. The F-16C shown in the chart is much faster with higher excess power at lower airspeeds reaching a maximum of 800+ Ps in the transonic region. The F-4 only manages 700+ Ps. And it can't even break the 800 KCAS limit the F-16C passes right through. I must admit that the clean F-4E 1G Ps chart is a bit confusing at the maximum speed limit. Does the F-4E have a sub 800 KCAS limit? Anyway... the charts clearly show that until you get the F-4E well supersonic, it doesn't perform or accelerate anywhere near the F-16C. The F-16C has optimized transonic performance while the F-4E has optimized supersonic performance. I can guarantee people here that the numbers for a Block 50 would be better than the "F-16C" chart you see above.

Anyway... this clean performance WILL go down quite rapidly once you load weapons. Maybe I will look into purchasing an F-4E flight manual with all the performance charts so I can see exactly what things are like. So what does this all prove. At transonic airspeeds, the F-16C (any block really), has more excess power all the way through the envelope. If you understand how to read a Ps plot, you'll see that vertical maneuvering in the transonic region would go to the F-16C. By the way... I have a block 30 EM diagram that I found on the internet (an air force academy course website actually) and it shows its clean performance for 30,000 ft. I have similar EM diagrams for the F-4E not already posted. The block 30 outperforms a lightly loaded F-4E flying 10,000 ft. lower!!! Hahaha. The F-4E cannot maintain turns well at all. And its max turn rates are nowhere near as high as the F-16's. I don't care if you add leading edge slats and whatnot... the F-16 will whup it all day long at high altitude and low altitude.

The only thing going for an F-4E is top end and that's just straight and level. And it will have a hard time getting there with an F-16 in chase as the F-16 accelerates much better through the subsonic and transonic regime. The latest blocks reach their top speed of around Mach 2.05 rather fast even at 40,000 ft.

Time to stop basing performance analysis on internet websites and start using data that you can actually analyze in detail.

Who needs to wake up now? LOL...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:55
by Raptor_One
boff180 wrote:
Every time I read this subforum (F-16 vs whoknows) that makes me feel happy, because in any topic conclusion is that, F-16 ourmaneuvers,outguns, outranges, outclimbs everything exept another F-16

Unless its a Typhoon or a Raptor

Seriously though, I have seen an F-16C and an upgraded F-4F put through their paces in the same airspace, and the F-16 just runs rings around it I'm afraid.

Andy :lol:

Unless of course the F-4F is at Mach 2+!! :) Wait... nobody flies rings around anything at Mach 2. :D

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 13:04
by HunterKiller
If F-4 driver starts to turn on subsonic speed with F-16, I think he should be insane. :lol:

I would throttle up, make high-speed pass, pop some missiles and head for the deck.

In group fight I would concentrate 2-3 aircraft from different directions against in same time one F-16 and I doubt whether it can evade 4-6 missiles.

When you look at the share climb numbers, I still cant see F-16s big advantage.

4 AMRAAMs wont hurt F-4 peformance hard, because they are recessed and dont pose a big drag (unlike underwing missilles). And they are not heavy compared to aircraft overall weight.

But Raptor, you sent only turn graphs - but what about climb performance . what are the actual numbers? You said that F-16 will outclimb, but how - when momentary and continous turn rates are almost same?

Instant climb rates are allmost same? Or am I wrong? Share subsonic climb rate from sealevel is not very impressing on F-16 - I think newer Floggers can even do it, not to mention Fulcrum and Flanker.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 16:05
by Raptor_One
HunterKiller... I don't have the time or inclination to give a lesson in flight mechanics (I only have a BS in aerospace engineering so I'm no professor). I do know my stuff in this area though, and you need to understand that those charts I just posted are indirect indications of both aircraft's ability to climb, turn, or accelerate in level flight. From the 1G Ps chart, you can graphically determine the minimum time to climb profile. You can also see that since the F-16 has a good deal more excess power at significantly lower airspeeds than the F-4, it has higher inititial climb rate.

Also, your statements about the F-16 losing lots of its performance with a full A-A missile load are just incorrect. The drag index for an F-16 with 4 AIM-120C, 2 AIM-9M (or even better... AIM-9X), and a jammer pod on the centerline station is quite low. Not even drag index 50 which still yields impressive performance. More like drag index 30. I'd have to check. Also, as you can see from the charts I posted that when the F-4 isn't in a clean config, it's maximum speeds go down quite a bit. An F-16C Block 50 or 52 can still do about Mach 1.9 at altitude with a drag index of 50.

You act as though those recessed missile stations on the belly are magic and lead to no additional drag. Wrong. The F-4 also has pylons for AIM-9s under the wing which reduce performance like the F-16's underwing pylons. If you want to get technical, AIM-120s carried on the wintips actually help aerodynamic performance and incur ZERO drag penalty. They have a drag index of zero when carried on the wingtips.

By the way, how fast do you think an F-15C will go with only 4 AIM-7s carried under the belly? Bet you it's not as fast as you think.

Anyway, stop obsessing over silly statistics you find on internet sites. They mean very little and don't tell you anything about overall performance. You need to analyze charts like I posted very carefully which you obviously have not otherwise you wouldn't still be touting how great the F-4E or F is vs. early model F-16Cs and late model F-16As. Give me a break, would you? LOL? Look at the F-4's energy bleed rate and low max turn rate at all altitudes compared to the F-16A Block 15. It's terrible. So is its acceleration which is a direct function of excess power. You need to know how to read these charts. If you don't, don't bother going on about climb rates you read off some website. Those are the most generic pieces of technical data you can get. What does it say about max altitude? 50,000 ft.+, right? LOL... I rest my case.