Gunning the Lightning

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 20:42

For all youst real fighter pilots out there (maybe some simmer, not sure):

I understand that gun opportunities are fleeting... but when you take a gunshot... are you typically unloaded or lightly loaded? Or does it all just depend? Or is it just as likely that you are pulling max G (5g / 7g / 9g) at whatever part of the envelope in which you find yourself?

The reason I ask is... with CLmax for the F-35 occurring way up at 35º alpha... would that high nose attitude be an advantage, a hindrance, or "just depends" when trying to gun an opponent in a hard turn? If the gun solution requires such a nose high position that the bandit is below your canopy rail, even with the Sauron helmet... that would seem problematic?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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quicksilver

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 21:05

"just depends"

This.

Without writing a book... When the motion of the target is relatively stable and/or predictable, that makes a better target. The circumstances whereby that occurs are infinite.
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 21:12

Copy, thanks.

Since you'd have to pull lead on a turning target anyways, I had been a wunderin' (again) if the seemingly higher nose attitude of the Lighting to get CLmax for a hard turn, would work out better for plonkin' the bullets out front of the bandit.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 21:16

One has to lead the target. The A-4 with a fixed sight (usually added a small depression) had to lead quite a bit. My one time use of a gyro gunsight (in a test) was eye-opening and it went well. Must have been all that fixed sight practice. :mrgreen:
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 21:29

I got the leading part.

I was just wondering, cuz I have no idea and haven't tried to sacrifice the brain cells to swag it, if in a hard turning fight, say 7g or 9g, if one managed to saddle up behind the bandit, if the high angle-of-attack (35º) of the Lightning just happened to correspond with about how much lead one would typically need at range X (1000'? 1500'?)
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 22:20

steve2267 wrote:I got the leading part.

I was just wondering, cuz I have no idea and haven't tried to sacrifice the brain cells to swag it, if in a hard turning fight, say 7g or 9g, if one managed to saddle up behind the bandit, if the high angle-of-attack (35º) of the Lightning just happened to correspond with about how much lead one would typically need at range X (1000'? 1500'?)


It depends. However, generally speaking guns kills do not occur at high G. What a shooter is trying to do is to zero — or at least minimize — the apparent LOS (line of sight) rate of the target relative to the pipper, at target range. Sometimes ‘raking’ or slashing gun shots are the most effective because they allow the shooter to maintain energy a bit better and thereby reduce the likelihood of becoming a fat target himself.
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 22:33

I imagine that if one found oneself saddled up behind a bandit, in-plane, but at high-g, that your nose may be so high that the bandit disappears (bad!) under your nose? OK... re-thinking, I guess that is if you are trying to pull lead, the bandit might disappear under the nose (bad!)... so in that case you may pull lag, and wait for the bandit to unload or try something else, then go for the shot or rake when he is reversing?

I see how it "depends", it's a highly dynamic, fluid environment.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 22:41

One does not want to lose sight of the bandit in front. IF he thinks you have lost sight because of Hi AoA - seeing this in his rear vision or backward look then (unknown to you) he might just do something unexpected that you are not aware - until you unload G a bit then wonder "WHERE DID HE GO"? (into your six dummy). :shock:
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Unread post09 Feb 2020, 22:53

Or you might literally hit him....put all your rounds into him while still in the gun/aircraft.

Speaking of fixed sights, I always enjoyed the gun camera film from the F-105 (the last gunfighter) pulling off the target with the sight still in the A/G mode when the poor MiG-17 driver just happens to fly right in front of him filling the windscreen. Hard to miss when your that close.
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charlielima223

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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 00:32

quicksilver wrote:
It depends. However, generally speaking guns kills do not occur at high G. What a shooter is trying to do is to zero — or at least minimize — the apparent LOS (line of sight) rate of the target relative to the pipper, at target range. Sometimes ‘raking’ or slashing gun shots are the most effective because they allow the shooter to maintain energy a bit better and thereby reduce the likelihood of becoming a fat target himself.


I think of that infamous F-22 vs Typhoon match in 2012 in Alaska during a Red Flag exercise. You know, the one that stirred up some controversy when German pilots said they had "Raptor salad". I think of a comment in the article from flightglobal.
https://www.flightglobal.com/in-focus-g ... 18.article
While Grune does not directly say that the Eurofighters emerged as the overall victors, he strongly implies it.

"I put out some whiskey. If they come back with some good performances, and if you know what the goal is from a BFM setup, and you achieve that, then I will pay you whiskey," he says. "And I paid quite a lot of whiskey."

That account, however, is strongly disputed by USAF sources flying the F-22. "It sounds as though we have very different recollections as to the outcomes of the BFM engagements that were fought," one Raptor pilot says.

USAF sources say that the Typhoon has good energy and a pretty good first turn, but that they were able to outmanoeuvre the Germans due to the Raptor's thrust vectoring. Additionally, the Typhoon was not able to match the high angle of attack capability of the F-22. "We ended up with numerous gunshots," another USAF pilot says.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 01:15

outlaw162 wrote:Or you might literally hit him....put all your rounds into him while still in the gun/aircraft....

EXACTEMENTE - OH DEAR. Let us not forget depending upon situation the F-35 guy can rely on the 10+Nm sphere all around where the bogies/friendlies are identified in the HMDS. We speak about a DUMB F-35 pilot BTW so who knows. 8)
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 01:45

My other offering is that with diminished flight time, Fleet training sorties prioritize those skills most relevant for the most likely conflicts. While I don’t know it for a fact, my expectation would be that A-A gunnery is a low priority on the considerable list of proficiencies that a modern strike fighter pilot has to maintain.
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 15:51

outlaw162 wrote:Or you might literally hit him....put all your rounds into him while still in the gun/aircraft.

Speaking of fixed sights, I always enjoyed the gun camera film from the F-105 (the last gunfighter) pulling off the target with the sight still in the A/G mode when the poor MiG-17 driver just happens to fly right in front of him filling the windscreen. Hard to miss when your that close.


Speaking to a Thud driver way-back-when at the old Nellis Club... ‘Guns D?...push it up (above 750).’
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outlaw162

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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 17:00

The F-105 was a tired, old nostalgic piece of history when I flew it in 79-80. Not quite the 750-800 knot beast it had been.

Fastest I ever saw was 1.2 at 10,000 which is around 680 KCAS....this was with CL tank on it. Shook and wobbled like crazy. :shock:

We had a bunch of '100 over the north' Thud drivers back from the war as instructors at Del Rio when I was a 2/Lt T-37 instructor in the mid 60s. As far as I was concerned, these guys could walk on water. :salute:

One of ours (near the end):
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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 18:54

“As far as I was concerned, these guys could walk on water.”

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