F-35A vs B vs C

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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quicksilver

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 12:23

Zero, are you a pilot? Have you flown multiple aircraft types? Billy was talking about how the jets ‘feel’ — or in other words, ‘handling qualities.’

Why? Because all jets ‘feel’ different; they respond differently to pilot inputs, and one can feel those differences. If one is a test pilot, one is trained to notice those differences formally, and to describe those differences in technical terms that engineers understand and use to adjust the handling qualities if necessary.

However, in this case, Billy wasn’t being technical; he wasn’t using test pilot vernacular (alpha, beta, beta-dot, theta, Cooper-Harper ratings etc etc). He was answering a reporter’s question and was describing some simple joys in flying one of the F-35 variants — in this case the ‘C’. I am told — by those who have flown all three — that roll rate of the ‘C’ is slightly higher, and the G onset rate is a bit more ‘crisp’ (not a test pilot term).

In other words, Billy liked how it ‘felt.’ Doesn’t mean it ‘had higher performance’ in quantifiable terms; it means he liked how it felt. In short it was a joy to fly. That’s it. Nothing more... no one ‘changing their tune...’.
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zero-one

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 13:25

quicksilver wrote:Zero, are you a pilot? Have you flown multiple aircraft types? Billy was talking about how the jets ‘feel’ — or in other words, ‘handling qualities.’

I mean no offense by this but to be fair, even if you are a pilot your opinion holds just a bit more water than mine if you have not flown all 3.
We are all trying to interpret their statements in the first place

Remember Major Hanche talked about pilots who tried to dogfight with him in his F-35. As he said, they were surprised at how maneuverable the aircraft was. at first they engaged him even with their full complement of bombs and EFTs, the next day they were slick with just A-A missiles and finally the next day they were flying clean.

It was hard to believe but it looks like there were actually pilots who still believed that the F-35 can't turn, can't run, can't climb.

I've even exchanged emails with a pilot, former aggressor. He couldn't believe it when I said that F-35s were beating F-15s in WVR DACT. He said that even F-35 pilots at Nelis he talked to call the F-35 "the fat kid"
I showed him links and statements from other pilots to prove it.

My point is, being a pilot doesn't automatically mean your assessment is right. Yes you have the experience and credentials to back it up but a pilot's opinion is still debatable unless he has flown the aircraft in question itself.

quicksilver wrote:In other words, Billy liked how it ‘felt.’

Thats your interpretation of his statement and yes you may be right, But you may also be wrong. Thats the reason why we are having this discussion, so we can get more evidence from people who have actually flown all 3.

quicksilver wrote:I am told — by those who have flown all three — that roll rate of the ‘C’ is slightly higher, and the G onset rate is a bit more ‘crisp’ (not a test pilot term).


Now this is what I'm talking about, So if I'm reading this correctly the C can get to max G faster than the A but the A has a higher limit.
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quicksilver

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 14:06

It’s not interpretation zero; I know these guys...have known them for years. Some a couple decades. I speak to them regularly.

Move on.
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zero-one

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 15:31

quicksilver wrote:It’s not interpretation zero; I know these guys...have known them for years. Some a couple decades. I speak to them regularly.

Move on.

Well yes, with the guys that you know who have flown all 3 and have said things, I'll take it as gospel even if you don't show me proof. I think you've earned your credibility in this forum many times over already so I wouldn't dare accuse you of lying.

But when you say that Billie Flynn was referring to handling characteristics, the "feel" of the aircraft and not necessarily performance parameters, then thats your interpretation of his statements, because Billie didn't say that.

He could have been referring to performance parameters but was being extra careful not to throw any shade against any other F-35 variants.
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steve2267

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 18:33

Z1, no offense intended, but are you even a pilot? I am guessing not. Even though I am but a GA piston-popper private pilot, I agree with QS that Billie Flynn is describing flying qualities. Hell, he may even like the performance of the Cee Monster better in certain areas. (There is more ways than one to skin the air-to-air BFM proverbial cat.)

I'm also an aero engineer by education and experience. The more I learn, the more I know that I don't know sheeitt. So I take Billie's statement at face value. I may wonder a bit why. But at the same time, if the Cee was such a sh*t hot performer, the Air Force would have ordered the big wing on an Aye. But they didn't. So there is something to that as well. Take Billie Flynn's statement for what it's worth (he likes the way the Cee flies the best), and move on. Don't try to read to much into it.

The F-35 is a great performer, by all those who fly it. Smile. Be happy. Wonder at the magical aero mysteries the LM engineers hath wrought with a smile on your face.
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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zero-one

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 18:51

^^ Yeah. I'm just a fanboy, nothing more, and compared to most folks here I'd have the least credibility.
I'm not saying QS is wrong.

If anything, all I'm trying to convey is. Don't be too sure. You guys may be right, but lets look deeper, we may find something out there that can give us more detail into this.

The common consensus in this forum is, the A is the best performer, the C may have a small niche where it is superior like sustained turn, or roll rate but the A is generally the best performer. And that makes sense even to me, it is the most powerful in terms of power to weight ratio.

But we 2 pilots, as far as I know who have glowing remarks with regards to the C's flight characteristics. 2 pilots who have flown all models and specifically mentioned the C as a "stand out". So that tells me that, maybe its not just a small niche where the C is better.

And yes I agree that all F-35's are superb aero performers. The RN's Bee model did a sustained turn limited to 7Gs and it was one of the best crisp turns I have ever seen. And I consider the B model to be the worst of the 3 in aero performance.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 19:29

zero-one wrote: So that tells me that, maybe its not just a small niche where the C is better.

Let's summarize with "Anything that involves needing to make a lot of lift, the C does better. Anything that involves high speed/acceleration the A does better. Anything that involves flight under 100kt the B does better."
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 19:37

Anything that involves flight under 100kt or going backwards, the B does better.


FIFY :mrgreen:
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 19:43

quicksilver wrote:In other words, Billy liked how it ‘felt.’ Doesn’t mean it ‘had higher performance’ in quantifiable terms; it means he liked how it felt. In short it was a joy to fly. That’s it. Nothing more... no one ‘changing their tune...’.


I felt that the comments were akin to what you hear from old British Sports Car (or Miata guys as well) enthusiasts. They generally love the feel of their cars. That doesn't mean they had better performance or would take it over something else in a race, just that they liked the feel.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 19:43

SpudmanWP wrote:
Anything that involves flight under 100kt or going backwards, the B does better.


FIFY :mrgreen:

:doh: :thumb:
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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 19:48

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Let's summarize with "Anything that involves needing to make a lot of lift, the C does better. Anything that involves high speed/acceleration the A does better.


Okay, so if I remember the physics of turning correctly. It involves both. But if I'm correct, at the same G. the A will have a lower turn rate but a higher air speed, while the C will be at slower speed with a higher turn rate.
I'm not sure how the C would maintain the better sustained G since it has more drag and weight, but apparently it does.
I also think it will climb better except if its a straight to vertical power climb.
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Unread post07 Nov 2018, 20:11

zero-one wrote:Okay, so if I remember the physics of turning correctly. It involves both. But if I'm correct, at the same G. the A will have a lower turn rate but a higher air speed, while the C will be at slower speed with a higher turn rate.


Not exactly, but on the right path. Because the C has vastly greater lifting ability it CAN fly at any given G at a lower speed than the A. Once they are at a speed where the A can also turn 7.5G then they will have the same ITR performance at any matched G and speed while the A still has another 1.5G of pull available. The fact that the max lift line of the C would be further back on a turn rate plot is why the C has the better radius and can have the better rate at a slower speed.

zero-one wrote:I'm not sure how the C would maintain the better sustained G since it has more drag and weight, but apparently it does.


At any given speed and G loading the C is using a lower lift coefficient as the difference in wing size is much much greater than the difference in weight. Since this is squared in determining drag due to lift, the C is much more efficient in lift generation. Under the 0.8M condition for the sustained G spec, drag due to lift is the dominant drag type. Since the C is better at this than the A, it also has a better STR when subsonic.

zero-one wrote:I also think it will climb better except if its a straight to vertical power climb.

The C will always weigh more than the A. It will always have more form drag than the A. Since best rate of climb occurs at speeds above L/D max, form drag is the dominant drag for climb. The A will always win. At very low speeds, where the A can barely stay aloft in the first place, is the only place where the C would have an advantage. The C will always be inferior in the vertical climb because the only factors there are thrust (the same), weight (advantage A) and form drag (advantage A).

Hence my summary statement. Any time the wing is producing 50% or greater of it's maximum ability (low speed or high lift turn) while subsonic and below corner velocity, the C will out do the A. Anytime the wing is at low angle of attack, where form/wave drag or weight dominate, the A will be the better performer.
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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 00:15

usnvo wrote:
quicksilver wrote:In other words, Billy liked how it ‘felt.’ Doesn’t mean it ‘had higher performance’ in quantifiable terms; it means he liked how it felt. In short it was a joy to fly. That’s it. Nothing more... no one ‘changing their tune...’.


I felt that the comments were akin to what you hear from old British Sports Car (or Miata guys as well) enthusiasts. They generally love the feel of their cars. That doesn't mean they had better performance or would take it over something else in a race, just that they liked the feel.


This ^.

But, as stated by the USG in the public domain, the C has better sustained turn performance than the other two variants. Sometimes that ‘feel’ also directly translates to quantifiable performance.
Last edited by quicksilver on 08 Nov 2018, 00:32, edited 1 time in total.
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quicksilver

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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 00:31

“You guys may be right, but lets look deeper, we may find something out there that can give us more detail into this.”

This isn’t about being right; it’s about conveying knowledge born of experience and conveyed in a fashion that is conducive to building understanding in those who haven’t had the benefit of such experience.
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Unread post08 Nov 2018, 00:37

zero-one wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:Let's summarize with "Anything that involves needing to make a lot of lift, the C does better. Anything that involves high speed/acceleration the A does better.


Okay, so if I remember the physics of turning correctly. It involves both. But if I'm correct, at the same G. the A will have a lower turn rate but a higher air speed, while the C will be at slower speed with a higher turn rate.
I'm not sure how the C would maintain the better sustained G since it has more drag and weight, but apparently it does.
I also think it will climb better except if its a straight to vertical power climb.

The C doesn't have a better STR than the A. It has a better ITR/turn radius. The A has the better rate.
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