F-35 has longger leg than Su-35

The F-35 compared with other modern jets.
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wrightwing

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Unread post01 Dec 2016, 15:50

vanshilar wrote:I posted a comparison of the range of current Western multirole fighters (Super Hornet, Rafale, Typhoon, F-35, Gripen E) on Reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/F35Lightning/c ... _fighters/

I basically just compiled all the official publicly stated range information I could find about them, mostly assuming optimum cruise conditions. It's basically an "Internet-level" analysis, so please don't plan your deep strike missions around it. The key takeaways I think are:

1. The Rafale can go somewhat farther than the others on an air-to-air mission. It can reach around 900 nm while the others can all reach around 750-800 nm.
2. Everybody but the F-35 is using their max external fuel tanks to do so. For the Rafale, that means 3 2000 L tanks, which means it's not going supersonic. If it used 3 1250 L supersonic tanks instead, it would probably have a range of around 750-800 nm in line with the others, but that's just speculation on my part. I didn't find any information on that. The F-35 is reaching that range on internal fuel.
3. Everybody's performance suffers, except the F-35. Only the Typhoon beats the F-35 on thrust-to-weight ratio. The Rafale and Typhoon still have significantly lower wing loading than the others though. It really kind of puts the lie to the "everybody at 50% internal fuel" type of comparisons when you account for the external fuel tanks and base your fuel left around them instead.
4. The Gripen E only has a bit over 1000 lb left over for weapons if it goes on its "max fuel" missions (2 450 gal tanks and 1 300 gal tank). So yeah it's not going to do much if it wants that range. The Super Hornet has around 6000 lb for weapons (3 480 gal tanks). The Rafale has around 8000 lb left (3 2000 L tanks) or around 13000 lb left (3 supersonic 1250 L tanks) depending if it uses "big" or "regular" tanks. If it uses "big" tanks it ain't going supersonic. The Typhoon has around 13300 lb left (3 1000 L tanks). And the F-35 is still on internal only, so it still has its >18000 lb payload capacity. Presumably someday part of that may include external tanks as well, but it shows how the F-35 can really carry a lot of stuff a long way when it goes just as far on its internal fuel as the other planes when they're carrying 3 external fuel tanks.

The guy said training missions which he used to do with an F-15C with 2 tanks, he now can do two using the F-35. I'm sure he doesn't mean that the F-35 has twice the range, since he can just stay in the area and loiter until the next training mission starts, but it does sort of set the range of the F-15C with 2 tanks as a lower boundary on the F-35's range. Anyone know what that would be offhand?

Edit: The F-15C (no CFT) manual gives the ferry range with 3 external fuel tanks as 1933 nm (2144 nm if you decide to drop them when empty). It gives the combat radius for a counter air mission as 424 nm on internal fuel or 551 nm using a centerline tank (610 gal). I guess so it sort of brackets the possible combat radius of the F-35 but...well, not a particularly tight bracket.


For a true apples to apples comparison, we'd need to know the assumptions applied to the range statements (i.e. what altitude, what speed, does the range include flying around threats, station time, how much AB/combat time, how much reserve fuel, etc...). They aren't just flying out to a set distance, and then returning to base.
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sferrin

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Unread post01 Dec 2016, 17:27

vanshilar wrote:The guy said training missions which he used to do with an F-15C with 2 tanks, he now can do two using the F-35. I'm sure he doesn't mean that the F-35 has twice the range, since he can just stay in the area and loiter until the next training mission starts, but it does sort of set the range of the F-15C with 2 tanks as a lower boundary on the F-35's range.


Well no, he didn't say it was the same as an F-15 with two tanks. He said it was much MORE than an F-15 with two tanks.
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vanshilar

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Unread post01 Dec 2016, 23:58

wrightwing wrote:For a true apples to apples comparison, we'd need to know the assumptions applied to the range statements (i.e. what altitude, what speed, does the range include flying around threats, station time, how much AB/combat time, how much reserve fuel, etc...). They aren't just flying out to a set distance, and then returning to base.


A good number of them are manufacturer brochure claims. So I take them as optimum cruise all the way there, optimum cruise all the way back, very little (if any) combat over the target. Some of them eventually explicitly state this. So yes, 750-800 nm for these planes (900 nm for the Rafale) assumes the "best" or most long-range profile. Obviously in operational conditions they won't be able to reach that maximum due to having to fly around enemy radars, allotting for combat, etc.

sferrin wrote:Well no, he didn't say it was the same as an F-15 with two tanks. He said it was much MORE than an F-15 with two tanks.


Yeah and that's what I meant by using the F-15C's range with 2 external fuel tanks as a lower bound. All you'd really be able to say, without knowing how much fuel is burned during a training mission versus getting to/from the training area, is that the F-35's range is somewhat higher when using a similar combat profile as these training missions.
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Unread post02 Dec 2016, 00:08

Speaking of 'training missions' somewhere a few years ago on this forum there is a text excerpt from a USMC EIS Environmental Impact Statement (by 'quicksilver'?) outlining time to training area fuel burn from main airfield and return and stuff like that. Like everything else F-35 though there are details lacking however the text does provide context a bit.
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Unread post02 Dec 2016, 00:21

vanshilar wrote:
wrightwing wrote:For a true apples to apples comparison, we'd need to know the assumptions applied to the range statements (i.e. what altitude, what speed, does the range include flying around threats, station time, how much AB/combat time, how much reserve fuel, etc...). They aren't just flying out to a set distance, and then returning to base.


A good number of them are manufacturer brochure claims. So I take them as optimum cruise all the way there, optimum cruise all the way back, very little (if any) combat over the target. Some of them eventually explicitly state this. So yes, 750-800 nm for these planes (900 nm for the Rafale) assumes the "best" or most long-range profile. Obviously in operational conditions they won't be able to reach that maximum due to having to fly around enemy radars, allotting for combat, etc.

sferrin wrote:Well no, he didn't say it was the same as an F-15 with two tanks. He said it was much MORE than an F-15 with two tanks.


Yeah and that's what I meant by using the F-15C's range with 2 external fuel tanks as a lower bound. All you'd really be able to say, without knowing how much fuel is burned during a training mission versus getting to/from the training area, is that the F-35's range is somewhat higher when using a similar combat profile as these training missions.


You're inserting your own assumptions in those guesstimates. What we don't know, is the assumptions used in the claims.
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Unread post02 Dec 2016, 00:51

wrightwing wrote:You're inserting your own assumptions in those guesstimates. What we don't know, is the assumptions used in the claims.


To the right of each figure I listed the known assumptions that the manufacturers used to establish those ranges. I even listed the fuel load (i.e. external fuel tanks used) and weapons loadout, if given. Granted I don't know if they considered routing factors and such, but when a manufacturer is saying this is the "maximum combat radius" do you think they consider those into specs for their planes? You're basically inserting your own assumptions into it at that point, i.e. "maybe they were assuming some routing factors, maybe they were assuming tailwinds in both directions" etc.

At any rate since the assumptions given by the manufacturer are listed as well, you're free to evaluate just how trustworthy you consider those numbers.
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Unread post02 Dec 2016, 02:08

vanshilar wrote:
wrightwing wrote:You're inserting your own assumptions in those guesstimates. What we don't know, is the assumptions used in the claims.


To the right of each figure I listed the known assumptions that the manufacturers used to establish those ranges. I even listed the fuel load (i.e. external fuel tanks used) and weapons loadout, if given. Granted I don't know if they considered routing factors and such, but when a manufacturer is saying this is the "maximum combat radius" do you think they consider those into specs for their planes? You're basically inserting your own assumptions into it at that point, i.e. "maybe they were assuming some routing factors, maybe they were assuming tailwinds in both directions" etc.

At any rate since the assumptions given by the manufacturer are listed as well, you're free to evaluate just how trustworthy you consider those numbers.


What we don't know is how much time on station, time in afterburner, reserve fuel, or threat avoidance was included in the estimates.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 15:56

I found a New range and radius.
https://www.f35.com/about/carrytheload/weaponry
Range >2,800km
Radius 1,390km
FG17-04512_004_InfographicWeb2.jpg

It seems to be...

Every time because numerical value(range and radius) change, I'm confused ...
Where is the truth !?@@
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count_to_10

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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 16:12

Doge, there is no one single value for range or radius. The numbers depend on weight, drag, flight profile, and allowances for combat, time on station, and reserve fuel.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 16:16

Sweet baby Jesus, f-35 beast mode should be labeled nsfw. :drool: That's another thing the detractors miss: the fact that it can carry a huge amount of ordnance if need be. They assume that it can only carry two missiles while their plane can carry 12 or whatever so clearly theirs is better, while the case is that the f-35 has the luxury of either carrying that much, or if it feels like it, being VLO, 9G, and with no drag from external carriage.
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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 23:19

doge wrote:I found a New range and radius.
https://www.f35.com/about/carrytheload/weaponry
Range >2,800km
Radius 1,390km
It seems to be...

Every time because numerical value(range and radius) change, I'm confused ...
Where is the truth !?@@

It would appear that number is from the figure presented to the Israelis by LM. 760nmi combat radius for an internal A2A configuration.

By my math, a round trip would be 1520nmi, or 2815km.
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wrightwing

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Unread post17 Jun 2017, 23:58

doge wrote:I found a New range and radius.
https://www.f35.com/about/carrytheload/weaponry
Range >2,800km
Radius 1,390km
FG17-04512_004_InfographicWeb2.jpg

It seems to be...

Every time because numerical value(range and radius) change, I'm confused ...
Where is the truth !?@@

What's interesting here, is the internal payload increasing from 5,000lbs to 5,700lbs, and the max payload increasing from 18,000lbs to 22,000lbs, and the combat radius of 862 miles (statute or nautical?)
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 03:23

wrightwing wrote:What's interesting here, is the internal payload increasing from 5,000lbs to 5,700lbs

Internal load is pylons and weapons bay dimension limited rather than weight limited so may be no different between the two value?
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 04:19

wrightwing wrote:What's interesting here, is the internal payload increasing from 5,000lbs to 5,700lbs, and the max payload increasing from 18,000lbs to 22,000lbs, and the combat radius of 862 miles (statute or nautical?)


That's just from actually adding up the weight limits on each of the pylons. For example, the internal pylons are rated for 2500 lb each. Add the AMRAAMs and it's around 5700 lb. But the current planned weapon load is 2 2000 lb bombs and 2 AMRAAMs, which is why they previously said 5000 lb internal.

Similarly, IIRC if you add up the weight limits on the external plus internal pylons you end up with 22,300 lb. But previously they've always just said "18,000+ lb", probably because the program was still testing out the payloads and didn't know if they'd actually want to fly with max weights on all pylons (for example, if it would unacceptably fatigue the wings or reduce maneuverability too much). They probably now feel that they can put max weights on all pylons safely so now they're upping it to 22,000 lb.
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Unread post18 Jun 2017, 07:19

4 missiles still in stealth mode? Really LM, you're killing me here. I thought there was room and they were going to configure 6 in there. Otherwise great range and reach, to deliver 4 freaking missiles in counter air?

Unreal.
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