M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2017, 15:41
by gta4
All online military enthusiasm made combat simulations of F-35 vs Su-35, such as the following, make one critical mistake:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-M9jA1INk8&t=3s

They assume that the military speed of F-35 is very slow and thus could not outrun Su-35, making the hit-and-run tactic useless.

Given the most updated military speed of the F-35 is Mach 1.2, Su-35(with AA loadout) needs briefly engage in A/B to catch up with F-35. Making its infrared signature more obvious. Su-35 could be easily picked up with DAS.

The lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) capability of aim-9x block2 allows it to turn 180 deg (a reversal) and shoot bandits in the rear hemisphere of F-35. There is one more thing to notice: when a missile is launched to tail-chase a bandit, its effective range is greatly reduced. Even R-77 has a range of 5 km at low altitude:

Image
(This is the case when the laucher and the target are all @ M0.9. if both are at higher speed the range will shrink more)

However, when a missile turns 180 deg and engage a chasing bandit, it actually engages the target head-on, resulting in extended range. If my memory serves, aim-9x block2 successfully engaged a target 10 miles (16 km) away and behind the launcher, in early 2013.

In this scenario, aim-9x block2 out-ranges R-77. That is a fun fact.

So when a F-35 uses the hit-and -run tactic against two Su-35s, the chasing Su-35s could be picked up easily with DAS far away, and will be engaged by aim-9x block2 well beyond the range of R-77.

With supercuise+DAS, one F-35 could solo at least two Su-35s without exposing itself to any danger.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2017, 16:21
by playloud
When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 01:24
by vanshilar
playloud wrote:When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.


Did he say the F-35 cannot "supercruise", or that it cannot "sustain a speed above Mach 1.0 straight and level under military power"? After all, some in the USAF define it as Mach 1.5 or higher to count as "supercruise".

On a side note, there's the other quote about how the F-35 can use a "teensy-weensy" amount of afterburner to sustain supersonic speeds. I wonder if it has more to do with flying at cruise (i.e. most distance per fuel consumed). For subsonic cruise, the cruise speed is based on balancing out induced drag and parasitic drag; at speeds below the cruise speed, induced drag rises rapidly, while at speeds above the cruise speed, parasitic drag rises rapidly. For supersonic speeds, the increased drag in the transonic region should mean that there's a region above it where the drag is less. So I wonder if the F-35 uses a bit of afterburner to be at that speed, i.e. so it's not necessarily that it can't stay supersonic under military power, but "why would you want to" if adding a very small amount of afterburner makes it more fuel-efficient.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 20:33
by playloud
vanshilar wrote:
playloud wrote:When I spoke to an F-35 pilot at Nellis this year, I asked him about that M1.2 supercruise stat. He said the F-35 cannot supercruise straight and level. He did tout the acceleration of the F-35 though, saying he out-accelerated an F-16 that only had a centerline tank. He said he believed if the Viper was totally clean, it would be an even match in terms of acceleration, though he has never tested that specific scenario.


Did he say the F-35 cannot "supercruise", or that it cannot "sustain a speed above Mach 1.0 straight and level under military power"? After all, some in the USAF define it as Mach 1.5 or higher to count as "supercruise".

On a side note, there's the other quote about how the F-35 can use a "teensy-weensy" amount of afterburner to sustain supersonic speeds. I wonder if it has more to do with flying at cruise (i.e. most distance per fuel consumed). For subsonic cruise, the cruise speed is based on balancing out induced drag and parasitic drag; at speeds below the cruise speed, induced drag rises rapidly, while at speeds above the cruise speed, parasitic drag rises rapidly. For supersonic speeds, the increased drag in the transonic region should mean that there's a region above it where the drag is less. So I wonder if the F-35 uses a bit of afterburner to be at that speed, i.e. so it's not necessarily that it can't stay supersonic under military power, but "why would you want to" if adding a very small amount of afterburner makes it more fuel-efficient.


I tried to be very specific when speaking to him, and he definitely was saying the F-35 could not maintain Mach 1.0 (topping out at Mach .98-.99), straight and level, in dry thrust , and said he believed the engine software could probably be modified to push it over the edge (at the expense of engine life).

Here are my notes from that night. I wrote this back at my hotel.

This F-35 pilot (formally a Viper pilot) spent a good while speaking with me.

I will bullet point some of what he said.

* He has never compared acceleration against a "clean" F-16, but has done so against an F-16 with nothing but a centerline tank. F-35 wins that. He believes a completely clean F-16 would give comparable acceleration to an F-35.

* In a pure dogfight situation, he rather be in an F-35 than an F-16. The great acceleration with the high alpha/low speed handling give it the edge in his opinion.

* If he had to go to war tomorrow, we would rather take the F-35 in its current (Block 3i) condition, than an F-16.

* I asked him about the weapon bay overheating, and the need to open the bay from time to time. He laughed and basically said that wasn't a thing. He said if a cooling fan malfunctioned, there are procedures for shutting down systems to reduce heat, but every jet has those procedures. There is no need to open the bay door.

* He said he has heard (hearsay) that some F-22 pilots would actually like the smaller (but newer) APG-81.

* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

* As for the rest of the Gripen, he has very doubts about some of their claims, as he has spoken with their engineers, and was smelling some bullshit. By that, I mean he said the simulations they ran were so obviously flawed, they can't be taken seriously, and the engineers were clearly saying what the marketing team told them to say, but it didn't hold up under scrutiny.

* I asked about the Mach 1.2 supercruise stat, which I've been reluctant to use in my arguments, given only one source had been found for it. He said the F-35 can't supercruise. He said It can hold .98 or .99 Mach flying level, without burners, but to hold supersonic, it would need to be in a slight dive (1-2 degrees) or use very light burner. He said that could probably change, if they tweaked the software for the engine, giving more thrust, but reducing engine life.

* He believes adding missiles externally is fine, and would still rather be in an F-35 with external load, than say a Super Hornet.

* I knew he wouldn't answer this, but I tried anyway. I mentioned I heard the APG-81 has great jamming capability, but was wondering if the F-35 could jam in directions other than forward. He said he couldn't talk about that. No surprise there.

* He talked about targeting through clouds, and how well the ground radar mapping works. He said it's accurate enough to easily identify a truck through cloud cover. Basically, you have an accurate ground map, you put your cursor where you want the bomb to land, and the appropriate coordinates are transferred to the bomb. The bomb hits where you pointed.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 21:21
by botsing
playloud wrote:* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

I think this a major point of interest!

How can we read this? Can we assume the F-35 is able to sense at least the same detail but not being able to "map" that for later analysis? Are we speculating here about thread libraries?

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 21:35
by playloud
botsing wrote:
playloud wrote:* He doesn't think Saab can compete, with the exception of intelligence recording, which the new jet excels at. He said a similar ability to record and download this data for further review won't be in the F-35 until Block 4.

I think this a major point of interest!

How can we read this? Can we assume the F-35 is able to sense at least the same detail but not being able to "map" that for later analysis? Are we speculating here about thread libraries?

That's how I interpreted it.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 22:17
by spazsinbad
:applause: :mrgreen: :devil: Thanks for your notes 'playloud'. :applause: :cheers: PLAY LOUDER! TURN IT UP TO 11! :roll: :doh: :mrgreen: :twisted:

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 23:11
by ricnunes
Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 23:14
by wrightwing
ricnunes wrote:Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?

The entire dash, can be done at M1.2. The F-35 doesn't slow down during the dash. It can maintain M1.2 in dry thrust. It doesn't necessarily have to use A/B to get to M1.2 either, it could accelerate from a shallow dive.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 23:39
by popcorn
wrightwing wrote:The entire dash, can be done at M1.2. The F-35 doesn't slow down during the dash. It can maintain M1.2 in dry thrust. It doesn't necessarily have to use A/B to get to M1.2 either, it could accelerate from a shallow dive.


AFAIK that maneuver is employed with AB but still consumes less fuel than if attempted in level flight.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 00:14
by spazsinbad
This is a reference: http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Magazi ... ghter.aspx [of course it does not work now so I'll post a PDF if article cannot be found otherwise]

YEP some nice batard put a PDF of the article here: download/file.php?id=21348 (PDF 409Kb)
The F-35’s Race Against Time
Nov 2012 John A. Tirpak Executive Editor; Air Force Magazine Vol. 95, No. 11

"...The F-35, while not technically a “supercruising” aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners. “Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots,” O’Bryan [Lockheed Martin Vice President Stephen O’Bryan, the company’s point man for F-35 affairs] said....

...There is a major extension of the fighter’s range if speed is kept around Mach .9, O’Bryan went on, but he asserted that F-35 transonic performance is exceptional and goes “through the [Mach 1] number fairly easily.” The transonic area is “where you really operate.”

In combat configuration, the F-35’s range exceeds that of fourth generation fighters by 25 percent. These are Air Force figures, O’Bryan noted. “We’re comparing [the F-35] to [the] ‘best of’ fourth gen” fighters. The F-35 “compares favorably in any area of the envelope,” he asserted."

Source: download/file.php?id=21348 (PDF 409Kb)

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 00:26
by count_to_10
Maybe it depends on the load and fuel state.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 02:29
by playloud
ricnunes wrote:Hi playloud,

My interpretation of the news about the F-35 "Mach 1.2 supercruising" (during 150 mile dash) is the following:
- The F-35 accelerates using afterburner to Mach 1.2.
- Once it reaches Mach 1.2 the throttle is reduced to MIL power.
- The aircraft (F-35) maintains a supersonic speed during a dash of 150 miles, likely losing speed very slowly (during the 150 mile dash) until it eventually gets to subsonic speed (in case afterburner isn't used again).

Did the pilot what you spoken with gave some indication that what I mentioned above could be possible?
If the above isn't possible than what was the origin of the "F-35 Mach 1.2 supercruising during 150 mile dash" news (which came up in the airforce-magazine)?

He didn't give any such indication. He appears to definitely contradict the magazine's claim. Unless the magazine was using a weird definition of "supercruise" anyway.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 04:24
by wrightwing
Additionally, that 150nm range is in context of a combat radius, rather than a hard limit. A pilot could likely maintain M1.2 for more than 150nm, if they were willing to trade off some range.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 10:18
by vanshilar
playloud wrote:
* I asked about the Mach 1.2 supercruise stat, which I've been reluctant to use in my arguments, given only one source had been found for it. He said the F-35 can't supercruise. He said It can hold .98 or .99 Mach flying level, without burners, but to hold supersonic, it would need to be in a slight dive (1-2 degrees) or use very light burner. He said that could probably change, if they tweaked the software for the engine, giving more thrust, but reducing engine life.


There's two problems with that though.

1. It depends on your starting condition assumptions. If you start at subsonic and stay at mil power, you might hold at a certain Mach that's subsonic. But if you start supersonic, say start at Mach 1.5, then go to mil power, and see what speed it eventually settles down to (assuming not F-22), you may hold at a supersonic speed. So it depends on if the context was settling down from supersonic or starting at subsonic.

2. A plane that's at Mach 0.98 or 0.99 should already be experiencing a lot of drag since it's in the transonic regime. I would think (but obviously may be wrong) that at a higher Mach number the drag would be less. So I don't really see why a plane could hold Mach 0.98 or 0.99 but not a Mach in the low supersonics.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 10:19
by vanshilar
wrightwing wrote:Additionally, that 150nm range is in context of a combat radius, rather than a hard limit. A pilot could likely maintain M1.2 for more than 150nm, if they were willing to trade off some range.


There are potentially other issues. One that I can think of is thermal limits, say some temperature in the engine or in the plane itself (such as the radome) getting too high if it stays at supersonic speeds for too long. It may be that the 150 mile limit is due to some other issue and not the airplane's kinetic performance.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 15:33
by wrightwing
vanshilar wrote:
wrightwing wrote:Additionally, that 150nm range is in context of a combat radius, rather than a hard limit. A pilot could likely maintain M1.2 for more than 150nm, if they were willing to trade off some range.


There are potentially other issues. One that I can think of is thermal limits, say some temperature in the engine or in the plane itself (such as the radome) getting too high if it stays at supersonic speeds for too long. It may be that the 150 mile limit is due to some other issue and not the airplane's kinetic performance.

This is true, however there was no mention that the 150nm number, was due to airframe constraints.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 15:36
by wrightwing
vanshilar wrote:
playloud wrote:
* I asked about the Mach 1.2 supercruise stat, which I've been reluctant to use in my arguments, given only one source had been found for it. He said the F-35 can't supercruise. He said It can hold .98 or .99 Mach flying level, without burners, but to hold supersonic, it would need to be in a slight dive (1-2 degrees) or use very light burner. He said that could probably change, if they tweaked the software for the engine, giving more thrust, but reducing engine life.


There's two problems with that though.

1. It depends on your starting condition assumptions. If you start at subsonic and stay at mil power, you might hold at a certain Mach that's subsonic. But if you start supersonic, say start at Mach 1.5, then go to mil power, and see what speed it eventually settles down to (assuming not F-22), you may hold at a supersonic speed. So it depends on if the context was settling down from supersonic or starting at subsonic.

2. A plane that's at Mach 0.98 or 0.99 should already be experiencing a lot of drag since it's in the transonic regime. I would think (but obviously may be wrong) that at a higher Mach number the drag would be less. So I don't really see why a plane could hold Mach 0.98 or 0.99 but not a Mach in the low supersonics.


The biggest assumption, is that LM uses M1.5 as the definition of supercruising, not M1.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 16:22
by quicksilver
"Given the most updated military speed of the F-35 is Mach 1.2..."

Really? Says who? When?

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 18:34
by ricnunes
wrightwing wrote:The biggest assumption, is that LM uses M1.5 as the definition of supercruising, not M1.


Yeap, that one crossed my mind as well.
I also remember to have read somewhere that LM's definition of supercruising is Mach 1.5 or above hence why they (LM) says that the F-22 is the "only" supercruising capable fighter aircraft in the world.
Perhaps this "supercruise definition" is also used by the USAF as well?

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 18:57
by basher54321
playloud wrote:He didn't give any such indication. He appears to definitely contradict the magazine's claim. Unless the magazine was using a weird definition of "supercruise" anyway.


Actually not the first - Lock Mart test pilot Chris Clemence also said pretty much the same thing over the last year.

To overcome the drag if clean you need more thrust - whether enough extra can be gained on a cold day to sustain the M1.2 or not who knows.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 20:03
by quicksilver
So...somebody at the front of the thread makes a statement about F-35, 1.2M mil etc... that someone else supposes is from a 4.5 yr old article (2012)...which others assume is accurately reported (in both fact and context)...and which others then fill in the blanks on with supposition and speculation.

PIL's conversation at Nellis (entirely consistent with conversations previously discussed here ad nauseum) should all but close the door on speculation about 'supercruising F-35s.' As we've said here over and over and over, the jet will not achieve supersonic speeds in level flight at any altitude in any configuration -- in mil power. It does however, go super' fairly easily at altitude with a little burner and -- because it carries lotsa JP (not because ab saves fuel...omg) -- will sustain super' speeds for significant periods of time/distance -- as long as the ab remains engaged (however slightly), or one unloads the jet (thereby giving up ones altitude). PIL's conversation, and Hemo Clemence, and Beesley and the Norwegian dude -- all say it. So, stop already with the supercruise nonsense.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 20:20
by sferrin
vanshilar wrote:
wrightwing wrote:One that I can think of is thermal limits, say some temperature in the engine or in the plane itself (such as the radome) getting too high if it stays at supersonic speeds for too long. It may be that the 150 mile limit is due to some other issue and not the airplane's kinetic performance.


I seriously doubt that. The materials are going to be similar to an F-22 and heatwise Mach 1.2 isn't going to generate all that much.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 00:40
by smsgtmac
This whole conversation seems very familiar. :wink:
Minor point, "unloading" may or may not involve a 'dive' per se. An unload in level flight could result in a short sinking, but as the plane accellerates from the unload, more lift is generated and eventually the increased lift at lower AoA/higher speed equals or exceeds the lift generated before the unload. If this is done expertly, the unload is timed to get the jet through its highest drag region and on the other side of "transonic", if there is a point where total drag is equal to or less than the drag at the fastest subsonic dry thrust airspeed, and there is still sufficient dry engine thrust avaiable to the jet in question, there is no reason why the jet can't hold that higher speed wherever the thrust/drag ratio without AB occurs (if it does occur) in the supersonic region.
If prior allusions to keeping above Mach 1 without reheat are more along the lines of blasting through mach to a higher speed, say M1.3 and backing out of AB to a 150nm 'supercruise' before the speed bleeds below M1, I really don't see any operational difference from a steady state supercruise at a speed thats an 'average' of the 'slow bleed' method. Seems like the whole issue about supercruise criteria is more academic than relevant.
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... c.html?m=0

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 02:41
by gta4
OK let's put aside the "supercuise" claim and assume F-35 could sustain M0.99 in mil, what about the rest of the analysis? Such as the "aim9x range vs R77 range" and the discussions about the DAS.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 04:11
by quicksilver
smsgtmac wrote:This whole conversation seems very familiar. :wink:
Minor point, "unloading" may or may not involve a 'dive' per se. An unload in level flight could result in a short sinking, but as the plane accellerates from the unload, more lift is generated and eventually the increased lift at lower AoA/higher speed equals or exceeds the lift generated before the unload. If this is done expertly, the unload is timed to get the jet through its highest drag region and on the other side of "transonic", if there is a point where total drag is equal to or less than the drag at the fastest subsonic dry thrust airspeed, and there is still sufficient dry engine thrust avaiable to the jet in question, there is no reason why the jet can't hold that higher speed wherever the thrust/drag ratio without AB occurs (if it does occur) in the supersonic region.
If prior allusions to keeping above Mach 1 without reheat are more along the lines of blasting through mach to a higher speed, say M1.3 and backing out of AB to a 150nm 'supercruise' before the speed bleeds below M1, I really don't see any operational difference from a steady state supercruise at a speed thats an 'average' of the 'slow bleed' method. Seems like the whole issue about supercruise criteria is more academic than relevant.
http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... c.html?m=0


No sh*t sherlock. But this isn't academic; the jet will not sustain supersonic flight in mil unless you keep it unloaded.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 13:32
by hornetfinn
IMO, the whole scenario by OP is very unrealistic. There are many things that make F-35 nearly invicible against Su-35 and I'd say supercruise is not one of them. It seems that F-35 doesn't supercruise by any definition of the word, but has tons of highly important features that Su-35 and other 4th gen fighters lack.

First, Su-35 would not be chasing F-35s because they would likely not see them with radar due to miniscule RCS of F-35. Barracuda could also tell F-35 pilots if Su-35 has any chance of seeing them in their radars and could act accordingly. Su-35 IRST is also pretty useless as it will have serious trouble finding F-35 at any reasonable range without outside help to narrow down the search area and use smallest FoV of the system to maximize range. Even F-15E and F-16s have had huge amounts of trouble finding and fighting IOC F-35s even when given every possible training advantage imaginable and having generally superior equipment to Su-35s like AESA, high definition targeting pods and AIM-9X.

Another thing is that F-35s can fight using very wide separation and still have common and highly accurate situational awareness of the surroundings while being almost undetectable by the enemy. That means chasing one F-35 would likely lead to Su-35s being engaged by other F-35s from multiple directions or by other platforms. I think that those Su-35s would try chasing F-35s just once...

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 14:59
by mikemag
I find this topic/discussion fascinating. Good points by all. As far as the debate being relevant in the real world versus purely academic, the ability to supercruise is valuable. It just is. The farther you can sling an AMRAAM, the more control you have over the battle space. If the F-35 can't supercruise, it is still immensely more lethal than the Su-35 IMO, for all the reasons listed in various posts above. AND if we really want it to supercruise, the proposed block 2 engine upgrades should do nicely I think.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 04 Apr 2017, 04:35
by smsgtmac
quicksilver wrote: No sh*t sherlock. But this isn't academic; the jet will not sustain supersonic flight in mil unless you keep it unloaded.

Well Watson, my point about unloading and getting to the high side of trans-sonic wasn't directed at those who already understood. There seemed to be some in the thread who weren't really yet grasping the concept (re: unload vs. 'dive') but had the Holmseian perspicacity to do so with just a little more data.

And while I would and have opined (since the 'news' came out: http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/201 ... -f-35.html) the F-35's claimed ability to fly 150 miles above Mach 1 when starting at Mach 1.2 and slowly bleeding off speed is NOT a real "supercruise" capability, what is NOT academic and is most relevant-- to my thinking anyway-- is the unanswerable question of the moment: Is there any real difference in military utility that arises from the difference between what the F-35 does "do" and a 'real supercruise' (whatever that means)?

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 04 Apr 2017, 07:09
by hornetfinn
mikemag wrote:I find this topic/discussion fascinating. Good points by all. As far as the debate being relevant in the real world versus purely academic, the ability to supercruise is valuable. It just is. The farther you can sling an AMRAAM, the more control you have over the battle space. If the F-35 can't supercruise, it is still immensely more lethal than the Su-35 IMO, for all the reasons listed in various posts above. AND if we really want it to supercruise, the proposed block 2 engine upgrades should do nicely I think.


Why would slinging AMRAAMs require or even benefit much from supercruise? The speed can most efficiently and effectively increased by using AB and AFAIK, even F-22s use AB to accelerate from normal subsonic cruise speeds. Of course they can use supercruise to go quicker from point A to point B or to minimize exposure time to enemy defences. I see they would not need to accelerate to sling missiles further if they already supercruised but F-35 can definitely sling missiles quite far by accelerating with AB. With F-35 stealth and SA advantage, I think the supercruise benefits are less than for even F-22. I think Eurofighter Typhoon is the aircraft that benefits most from supercruise as it increases survivability for non-VLO aircraft the most.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 04 Apr 2017, 10:24
by mikemag
I don't dispute any of that. But I can imagine an F-35 somewhere over the Pacific close to the limit of its combat radius. When that Su-35 shows up on radar and you have to chose between taking it down or being conservative with your fuel, the ability to supercruise might suddenly be pretty useful. I'm not saying it can't fight without supercruise - far from. Supercruise is just one additional ability that if it has its all the more lethal and if it doesn't have it's still awfully lethal without it.

Re: M1.2 supercruise + DAS = invincible against Su-35

Unread postPosted: 04 Apr 2017, 11:53
by quicksilver
mikemag wrote:I don't dispute any of that. But I can imagine an F-35 somewhere over the Pacific close to the limit of its combat radius. When that Su-35 shows up on radar and you have to chose between taking it down or being conservative with your fuel, the ability to supercruise might suddenly be pretty useful. I'm not saying it can't fight without supercruise - far from. Supercruise is just one additional ability that if it has its all the more lethal and if it doesn't have it's still awfully lethal without it.


Any number of hypothetical circumstances exist (similar to the one you present) for all combat aircraft regardless of top end speed. For example, "...I'm at no-shit tanker bingo overhead a TIC...I can't move the tanker track...do I stick around to deliver weapons (and run myself out of gas) or do I go to the tanker now? Hmmm...what transit speed did I assume to get there?"

As for kinematics, a weapon launched at a supersonic speed will enjoy all the kinematics of that speed regardless of whether or not the jet was in mil or ab; it doesn't matter.