Photo of the Day: LM F-35B Goes Supersonic at Night

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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spazsinbad

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Unread post13 Feb 2017, 18:34

Photo of the Day: Lockheed Martin F-35B Goes Supersonic at Night
13 Feb 2017 FighterSweep Staff

"A Lockheed Martin F-35B produces ‘Shock Diamonds’ as it goes supersonic during twilight refueling testing."

Photo: https://i2.wp.com/fightersweep.com/wp-c ... rsonic.jpg (43Kb)

Source: https://fightersweep.com/7076/photo-day ... nic-night/

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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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indigowarrior9

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Unread post12 Mar 2017, 07:58

When seeing this massive output of exhaust flames from the F35 engine from a big round and open pipe, I still wonder why anyone calls the F35 a "stealth" aircraft, when it must light up like an X-mas tree on any InfraRed / HeatSeeker sensors out there?

Or does one only speak about the "F35-stealthyness" when referring to her radar cross-section seen head-on, the front of the plane?
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post12 Mar 2017, 08:14

The primary sensor to detect aircraft and engage them is radar, not IR.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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citanon

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Unread post12 Mar 2017, 09:38

Funny thing about an afterburner - the pilot has the choice of turning it on or not turning it on
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wrightwing

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Unread post13 Mar 2017, 03:47

indigowarrior9 wrote:When seeing this massive output of exhaust flames from the F35 engine from a big round and open pipe, I still wonder why anyone calls the F35 a "stealth" aircraft, when it must light up like an X-mas tree on any InfraRed / HeatSeeker sensors out there?

Or does one only speak about the "F35-stealthyness" when referring to her radar cross-section seen head-on, the front of the plane?

The F-35 has all aspect signature reduction. By the time an enemy would spot afterburner plumes, they'd already be in visual range. At BVR ranges, the F-35 would be judicious in any afterburner usage, keeping the IR signature low.
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ricnunes

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Unread post13 Mar 2017, 13:26

indigowarrior9 wrote:When seeing this massive output of exhaust flames from the F35 engine from a big round and open pipe, I still wonder why anyone calls the F35 a "stealth" aircraft, when it must light up like an X-mas tree on any InfraRed / HeatSeeker sensors out there?

Or does one only speak about the "F35-stealthyness" when referring to her radar cross-section seen head-on, the front of the plane?


Complementing what others already replied to you:

Afterburner is not something that a pilot will usually use. A pilot will "rarely" (or "not often" is perhaps a more accurate use of words) use his/hers aircraft afterburner (this is not only on the F-35 but in all other fighter jets) since afterburners above all have an "insane" fuel consumption which drastically reduces the aircraft's range.
This being said, afterburners are briefly used on certain parts of the flight and only when really needed (and again only briefly). Examples of this could be:
- Taking off on the shortest distance possible, specially when carrying heavy loadouts.
- Breaking the sound barrier and attaining high supersonic speeds (something that again a pilot will only do only for brief periods of time).
- During a dogfight for a fast speed recovery specially after maneuvers where the aircraft bleed too much speed/energy (something to ALWAYS avoid at all times!).

Moreover keep notice that you're looking at the rear of the aircraft. If you look at the front of the aircraft you won't likely see any "exhaust flames" of the afterburner at all even if you're looking at it (frontal arc) with an IRST since the F-35 is also said to have some substantial IR-signature reductions such as having the engine well buried inside the fuselage and the ability to carry cooled fuel on the fuselage fuel cells which surrounds the engine.


Oh and by the way (this one is for the topic's OP), excellent night photo and video of the F-35, thanks for sharing :D
Last edited by ricnunes on 13 Mar 2017, 22:09, edited 1 time in total.
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steve2267

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Unread post13 Mar 2017, 19:31

I have long taken notice of the interior of the F-135 exhaust nozzle. I am surprised it is fairly bright white in color. Even on test aircraft that have seen tens or hundreds of hours, the interior of the nozzle is white. It is also fairly thick compared to 4th gen fighter aircraft nozzles (e.g. F110, F100, F404 engines on F-15, F-16, and f-18 aircraft.) In addition, someone recently posted a patent granted to LM depicting airflow around the exterior of the nozzle. And on the rear of the F-35, there is a concentric row of "shark teeth" surrounding, and just forward of, the F-135 engine nozzle. It has been suggested internal cooling airflow is vented overboard here. I can only conclude that some really smart, innovative thermal / thermodynamic engineers took a fresh look at a fighter aircraft's signature, and have performed some nifty thermal design engineering that has resulted in a dramatically decreased thermal signature. Of course, the details are probably fairly classified.

But simply stating "the F-35 has the world's largest heat / IR signature -- just look at the size of its engine!" hardly makes it so.
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bumtish

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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 22:48

Let's take an excerpt of the many answers from the Danish minister of defence to questions from members from the Danish parliament.

Question
This note answers the following questions:
"To what extent are the military advantages of JSF (primarily / exclusively) linked to stealth characteristics, and what the risks are that there are new methods for detection of aircraft will reduce the value of stealth?"

...

The Joint Strike Fighter is doing better than the other two candidates [Super Hornet and Eurofighter] partly because of the aircraft's low radar and thermal signatures ( "stealth" properties), but also because the use of advanced systems and sensors promotes the pilot's tactical overview and ensures the aircraft's survival and a effective mission execution. Thus, it is not only "stealth" attributes that provide one plane's military advantage in task performance. The conditions concerning the F-35 aircraft survivability and mission effectiveness - including the meaning of "stealth" - is classified, but may, at request be presented settlement constituency members.

The future importance of "stealth" in line with technological development It is difficult to say whether the importance of an aircraft made with low radar and heat-characteristics ( "stealth") prospectively will diminish, since this depends on the development of new technologies where the operation and effectiveness at the moment is not known. However, there is today no knowledge of technologies which will completely be able to neglect the effect of "stealth" and this is why the property also in future can be assigned a certain value. It should be noted in this connection, that the latest Russian and Chinese aircraft, which is currently under development, also makes use of "Stealth" technology, so a low radar and thermal signatures are general properties pursued in the development of new combat aircraft.


With the help of Google translate.

http://www.ft.dk/samling/20151/almdel/f ... /index.htm
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mixelflick

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Unread post21 Apr 2017, 15:38

This latest concern about the F-35 (big thermal signature) is yet another example of it's ultimate strength IMO...

EVERYONE under-estimates it

Pilots flying Flankers, Eagles, F-16's, Super Hornets, Mig's etc that expect to jump F-35's (if they can find them) are in for a nasty surprise. I can see an SU-35 pilot believing his own hype and searching frantically with that big PESA radar, only to get lit up by an AMRAAM. Or the same SU-35 making it to the merge only to discover the over the shoulder AMRAAM shot isn't just marketing hype.

So long as they continue to under-estimate it, the F-35 is going to have a field day.

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