F-35 viper agility

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Elite 5K

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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 01:38

hb_pencil said: "...Exactly. The drag with five bags [F-18E] is so high that the added fuel has a negligible effect on range."

Agree, principle the same with A4G Skyhawk for example (two drop tanks rather than three) but could depend on flight profile and any other stores carried (not relevant in this instance however). The F-35 will have optimum flight profiles well sorted out by now I imagine.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber


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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 02:06

hb_pencil wrote:^^Bumtish: I can't agree that a conservative estimate for the F-35 is 2100+. I'd say 2,000 is pushing it. Again, that is if they are able to bring the range back up to original specifications.

Basing this on range.

Currently it should do a few nm short of the 590 nm combat radius KPP, but with 5% additional reserve fuel currently excluded due to testing. That is with some ingress/egress and a tiny bit of turn & burn and lugging 2 x 2k lbs GBUs one-way and 2 x aim-120.

Thus 1400 nm ferry range clean is not totally unreasonable. 2 x 426G, 6300 lb, 35% extra fuel total but fractionally more to the cruising leg. Drag is unaccounted for, however they're punched quite early.

I'll bite on the 2000 nm, so I can test that TWR from my earlier post.

Fuel F-35 24,300 pounds
Fuel F-16 12,000 pounds

2000 nm ferry.

TWR at 50% of initial fuel
F-35 dry 0.65 : wet 1.00 (!)
F-16 dry 0.63 : wet 1.04

Awesomely similar.

Just spotted that the USAF fact sheet says 1,740 nm ferry range for the F-16 and not the 2,100 nm.

http://www.af.mil/information/factsheet ... asp?id=103
Last edited by bumtish on 04 Oct 2011, 02:38, edited 1 time in total.


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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 02:19

If one considers "Ferry" range to be the most possible, then you would have to say that it includes 600 gallon tanks, which btw are not able to be removed in flight. What does that do to the accel charts when you have to have those huge beasts on the wings?
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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 02:25

If USAF fact sheet says 1,740 nm ferry range for the F-16. 2,100 nm must be with three tanks on the F-16 (14,000 pounds total).

They use 370G and 300G tanks on the fact sheet.


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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 11:03

Hi guys,

Energo wrote this on the Ares Blog. Is it of any help? Or perhaps if Energo tuned in on the thread? :D

"According to Col. Rob Simms at the US embassy in Oslo the F-35s optimal cruise is around 32000 feet and 0.75 mach where it burns about 4600 pph. Simplified this gives about 4 hours of fuel or 1600+ nm effective range (3000+ km) on internal fuel -- still with a 2500 pound internal tactical loadout."

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... 234d227276


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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 15:29

2500 lb or kg? 2500 kg is more in line with the internal load.

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Unread post04 Oct 2011, 16:19

outlaw162 wrote:COLA: I have never flown a bench. :D

Neither have I, but they say she kicks. :D
Anyway, I've already made my point one the previous page and just wanted to double check your comment on range, since I think you missed the order of magnitude (happens sometimes), with original one...that's all.

bumtish wrote:Can we at least agree that the F-35 should make a 2,100 ferry range with 2 x 426G tanks as a conservative minimum estimate?

Seriously, no and speculating on range was never my intention.
Just used it to prove my point, until, all of a sudden it became a topic.
Cheers, Cola


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Unread post02 Dec 2011, 01:03

Thought I'd add that Crowley has said in more than one interveiw that from the start the F-35 was build to equal or better the Viper in every way. I question the 43,000 lbs thrust more than the agillity. The F-119-PW-100 is close to 40,000 lbs, so Think the F-135 will be closer to the lastest P&W numbers of 50,000 lbs. The F-16 has a lower wing loading but the F-35 is flying with clean wings and has 30+ years newer aerodynamics. I think It's going to be the next F-16 and those are big shoes to fill.

Edited to add this link. Crowley says the F-35 Fully loaded is as agile as a clean F-16.
The F-35 was designed with an entire air campaign in mind. For “first day of the war” operations when stealth is of supreme importance, the F-35 can carry two 2,000-pound bombs (two 1,000-pound bombs for the F-35B) and two radar guided dogfight missiles internally. Critics of the F-35 have complained that this loadout is far too light for sustained combat. However, in stealth configuration, all F-35 fuel is internal, as are all sensor and targeting systems. On legacy aircraft such as the F-16, fuel, weapons, targeting pods, etc., are carried externally and their weight and drag severely hamper performance. With a full internal load of fuel and weapons, the F-35 is as agile as a “clean” F-16 carrying no weapons. In other words, in stealth mode, the F-35 gives up nothing in range or weaponry, but adds considerable ability to penetrate enemy air defenses.

After enemy defenses have been beaten down, however—Week 2 of an air campaign—the F-35 becomes a weapon-hauling champ, with seven external hardpoints able to carry up to about 18,000 pounds of ordnance (15,000 on the STOVL model), including weapons too large to fit in its internal weapon bays. The F-35 can also be fitted with wingtip missile launch rails, to expand its ability to conduct air superiority missions.
Stealth, so the bad guys don't know your there till they start blowing up. Have a nice day!

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