F-35 with drop tanks question

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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uclass

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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 15:38

Can it drop the pylons as well as the tanks for stealth reasons?
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Dragon029

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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 16:14

As far as I'm aware, the current pylons for the F-35 can't be detached - because it uses an airframe-internal pneumatic ejection system though, it would arguably be easier to develop ejectable pylons for the F-35. The biggest issue however would be the ability to successfully clear them from the aircraft, without damaging the mounting points themselves via excessive ejection forces. At least with a drop-tank however, you can drop the tanks and pylons at the same time, with easier release dynamics.
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 17:16

The pneumatics are in the pylon, not the airframe.

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uclass

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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 18:04

Dragon029 wrote:As far as I'm aware, the current pylons for the F-35 can't be detached - because it uses an airframe-internal pneumatic ejection system though, it would arguably be easier to develop ejectable pylons for the F-35. The biggest issue however would be the ability to successfully clear them from the aircraft, without damaging the mounting points themselves via excessive ejection forces. At least with a drop-tank however, you can drop the tanks and pylons at the same time, with easier release dynamics.

So you're saying the pylons and tanks are dropped? Sorry, bit confused with your response because of the first part.
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 18:20

The pylons are bolt on, they cannot be dropped.
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 21:16

What Cantaz said; I was just stating that:

1. If you're going to create ejecting pylons in the future, pneumatic ones would be the ones to use, as you can tailor the ejection force to be very specific, which in turn, because of their aerodynamic instability, would otherwise be prone to tumbling and failing to properly separate from the aircraft.

2. You wouldn't want to drop a pylon with a bomb or missile still attached (a bomb or large enough missile may ballast and balance the pylon for separation enough to make it significantly safer), but a drop tank doesn't have any target other than the ground, so you could integrate a separating pylon into one (or make it an optional system).
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 21:39

It seems the question is ahead of any drop tank developments - that we know - for now. Vaguely I recall (would be on this forum somewhere) that Israel - when intending to develop drop tanks for their F-35i variant - was going to have the pylons drop with the tanks etc. Searching the forum will probably find reference to this idea. As mentioned now several times recently, for several years there has been no official news about any drop tank development whilst Israel was the only recent party interested as noted. Below is a thread from wayback. Later there is another thread which mentions 'potential for Israel drop tanks to also include pylons and CFTs (not yet found again though).

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=11564&hilit=Israel+tanks+pylon

And here we go - on another Bob Rodgers Show (old Oz Joke) from 'eskodas' bless his cotton socks and I mean it! :mrgreen:
"13 Sep 2014 06:13
The Israelis are going to pay for it i believe with the F-22 having done the ground breaking work. http://aviationweek.com/defense/israel- ... r-fly-f-35
"To further extend the F-35’s range, Lockheed Martin is exploring an innovative concept from Israel, of using unique drop tanks, developed by Elbit Systems Cyclone. Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. An additional 900 gal. of fuel will significantly extend the F-35I range, enabling the IAF to operate its new stealth fighter at the “outer ring” of operation without mandatory aerial refueling."

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=26236&p=278417&hilit=Israel+tanks#p278417

For the record again:
Israel Will Be First Non-U.S. Customer To Fly F-35
26 Jun 2013 David Eshel

"...“Israel will become the first non-U.S. operator of the F-35 in the world,” said Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for F-35 program integration and business development in an interview at the Paris air show. The first F-35I combat squadron is expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2018.

Eight other countries have already committed to the program with firm contracts.

“The F-35 fighters going into service with these users will use different initial versions that will be upgraded later into the latest version, as it becomes available,” O’Bryan said. That mean F-35s will be tailored to individual nations, he says.

“Specific capabilities developed for certain users will remain exclusive, and open to other users only with the original user’s consent. For example, the software blocks pertaining to the Norwegian anti-ship missile will not be available to other F-35 operators except Norway, unless it decides to sell those missiles to one of the F-35 users. The same goes to the Rafael Spice 1000. Similarly, the advanced electronic warfare, data links and specific software modes developed for the Israeli air force will remain unique to Israel and not delivered to any other user. These capabilities will also be fully integrated with the aircraft capabilities, adhering to the stealth characteristics of the aircraft, particularly, at specific apertures cleared for the Israeli systems integration in the lower fuselage and leading edge,” he said....

...“With the F-35 Israel is expected to receive the AIM-9X short-range air/air missile (AAM) and the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM Beyond Visual Range (BVR) AAM,” O’Bryan added. The F-35 currently carries the Raytheon AIM-9X Block at the outboard under-wing stations, in non-stealth configuration, as the current Block I missiles cannot be carried internally. This shortcoming will be corrected in Block II, which is to follow soon....

...In August 2012 Lockheed Martin received a $206 million award from the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command, covering the development and integration of Israeli systems in the F-35A. Part of a larger package, the integration support agreement with Lockheed Martin covers a $450 million program to enhance Electronic Warfare (EW) equipment on the F-35, and integrate Israeli-unique systems beginning in 2016.

“The advantage of this F-35 for the Israel air force is not about higher performance or a specific weapon capacity, but the ability to understand the battlespace, identify, locate targets from standoff range and neutralize them before being engaged,” Brig. Gen. Hagi Topolanski, Chief of Air Staff and Deputy Israeli Air Force Commander, told Aviation Week in a recent interview.

“These capabilities are meaningful in dealing with modern fighter aircraft and advanced SAMs. While the F-35 has its limitations, it can take on and win against any threat currently available in-theater. Its ability to independently collect, assess and process a battlespace situational picture, and strike those targets by itself, from standoff range, is providing a qualitative edge over anything the enemy can confront with, in the foreseeable future.”

Israel insisted upon a number of requirements throughout the procurement negotiations on the F-35I. Those included the adaptation of the baseline F-35A including all its systems, to the Israeli air force’s operational environment, which will require some necessary additions.

“Our F-35I will be equipped with our specific networks, armament and electronic warfare, among them the Spice autonomous EO guided weapon. It will also carry the AIM-9X2 air-to-air missile, which will become the first platform in the IAF to employ this advanced air-to-air missile. We also plan to continue and pursue the development of future air-to-air missiles; we are still evaluating the cost/performance trade-off between a common air-to-air and air-to-ground missile and a dedicated AAM design,” Topolanski explained. “Assuming the F-35 will offer the capabilities it is planned to deliver, it will bring a new dimension to air battles as we know today.”

One of the advantages of the F-35 is the aircraft’s ability to fly long-range missions with internal weapons, accelerate faster and maintain higher speed, compared to current F16s or F-15s or any of the opposing force combat aircraft (flying with internal fuel).

To further extend the F-35’s range, Lockheed Martin is exploring an innovative concept from Israel, of using unique drop tanks, developed by Elbit Systems Cyclone. Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. An additional 900 gal. of fuel will significantly extend the F-35I range, enabling the IAF to operate its new stealth fighter at the “outer ring” of operation without mandatory aerial refueling."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/israel- ... r-fly-f-35
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KamenRiderBlade

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Unread post29 Jul 2015, 22:36

Leave it to the Israeli's to come up with new ways of innovating on fuel tanks.

Aren't they the only ones to put the most number of fuel tanks on a F-16?
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sferrin

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Unread post29 Jul 2015, 22:43

KamenRiderBlade wrote:Leave it to the Israeli's to come up with new ways of innovating on fuel tanks.

Aren't they the only ones to put the most number of fuel tanks on a F-16?


The only carry 3 tanks BUT they can carry 600 gallon tanks on the wings.
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geforcerfx

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Unread post30 Jul 2015, 22:30

sferrin wrote:
KamenRiderBlade wrote:Leave it to the Israeli's to come up with new ways of innovating on fuel tanks.

Aren't they the only ones to put the most number of fuel tanks on a F-16?


The only carry 3 tanks BUT they can carry 600 gallon tanks on the wings.

Plus CFTs
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bring_it_on

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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 20:36

Computational Optimization of the F-35 External Fuel
Tank for Store Separation
Eric F. Charltony and M. Bruce Davisz
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, 76101


https://www.scribd.com/doc/275509975/F- ... WUL6nPZXtd
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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 20:39

:applause: 'brung_IT_back' I've only had the first page of that screed. Many thanks. Authors are 'Charlton' & 'Davis' BTW. :mrgreen:
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Unread post21 Aug 2015, 21:47

Israel will search for solutions until they get where they wanna get.

If IRAN becomes an issue, they"ll get there.

Even if they have to pump the radome full of fuel, but they"ll get there.
For the missions Israel could have in mind? Coming back is optional.
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archeman

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Unread post22 Aug 2015, 01:34

spazsinbad wrote:

For the record again:
Israel Will Be First Non-U.S. Customer To Fly F-35
26 Jun 2013 David Eshel


Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. "

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/israel- ... r-fly-f-35


I don't have the screenshot handy, but didn't we see earlier that there are small 'fillers spots' under the wing when the pylon is freshly removed that are 'plugged' by maintenance personnel. If yes, then an ejected pylon would not exactly put you back to 'full stealth' but probably far better than with the empty pylon hanging there.
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Unread post22 Aug 2015, 18:44

archeman wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:

For the record again:
Israel Will Be First Non-U.S. Customer To Fly F-35
26 Jun 2013 David Eshel


Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. "

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/israel- ... r-fly-f-35


I don't have the screenshot handy, but didn't we see earlier that there are small 'fillers spots' under the wing when the pylon is freshly removed that are 'plugged' by maintenance personnel. If yes, then an ejected pylon would not exactly put you back to 'full stealth' but probably far better than with the empty pylon hanging there.



A recent article quoted on another thread on this forum mentions in passing that one of the things experimented by the F-22 test force in the last while is a sliding stealth "panel" of sorts which covers the point of attachment when the pylon is jettisoned. I guess the F-35 could (and probably should, since it is more likely that it will use pylons in combat than the F-22) go in the same direction, eventually.
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