Super Hornet performance question

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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weez

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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 17:05

I'm somewhat skeptical on the claims of agility advantages of the legacy Hornets vs Super Hornets, in terms of practical real world conditions. The Super Hornet has superior care free handling qualities, and better post stall agility. This allows the Super Hornet pilot to fly much more aggressively.


That is an interesting point, wrightwing. My understanding was that the legacy Hornet had the Super Hornet beat in terms of acceleration (and, thus, kinematic performance) but I had forgotten that the SH has a more advanced FBW system and is a more forgiving airplane to fly.
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weez

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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 17:41

haavarla wrote:No just an advanced pig, it was Geogen whom refered it to a Pig(allthough not his words, yours), not me.
I didn't see the compairison was only between F-18 and SH, my bad.
Fine, sorry about the OT.
Weez, u need to step down from your high horse there.. u are way too Personly in your posting style.

Moving on.
Will the SH++ International Roadmap ever see daylight after it was out of the MMRCA? I guess there is the Brasil Tender left?


You're right. I kind of jumped all over you there in an over zealous effort to garner your understanding. I apologize for being a little too rough.

That is a good question regarding the SH International Roadmap and Boeing's lost bid in the Indian competition. I really don't know. I believe Brazil's president favors French equipment so maybe the Rafale will win out there. For some reason I just don't see them choosing SH. Has the International version been offered to Brazil? The advantages the International SH brings to the table seem like a, "no brainer," decision for any foreign potential customer. Japan is another country considering the SH though I strongly suspect they will choose the F-35 not wanting to be out of the fifth gen game in the region.

Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(
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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 18:42

weez wrote:
I'm somewhat skeptical on the claims of agility advantages of the legacy Hornets vs Super Hornets, in terms of practical real world conditions. The Super Hornet has superior care free handling qualities, and better post stall agility. This allows the Super Hornet pilot to fly much more aggressively.


That is an interesting point, wrightwing. My understanding was that the legacy Hornet had the Super Hornet beat in terms of acceleration (and, thus, kinematic performance) but I had forgotten that the SH has a more advanced FBW system and is a more forgiving airplane to fly.


And I've never seen a legacy Hornet do some of the feats, that I've seen Super Hornets perform. Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be at certain airspeeds- aircraft A has advantages, and at other airspeeds- aircraft B has advantages. This is the case when trying to compare F-15/16s with Fulcrums/Flankers, etc... The Russian planes tend to have better low speed qualities, whereas the F-15/16 tend to have better transonic performance.
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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 18:51

weez wrote: Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(


I suspect it'll be 5-10yrs before we hear of another major upgrade to the Super Hornets, just due to budgetary constraints. The international standard would certainly bring a lot of new capability, should it be needed.
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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 20:21

wrightwing wrote:
weez wrote:
I'm somewhat skeptical on the claims of agility advantages of the legacy Hornets vs Super Hornets, in terms of practical real world conditions. The Super Hornet has superior care free handling qualities, and better post stall agility. This allows the Super Hornet pilot to fly much more aggressively.


That is an interesting point, wrightwing. My understanding was that the legacy Hornet had the Super Hornet beat in terms of acceleration (and, thus, kinematic performance) but I had forgotten that the SH has a more advanced FBW system and is a more forgiving airplane to fly.


And I've never seen a legacy Hornet do some of the feats, that I've seen Super Hornets perform. Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be at certain airspeeds- aircraft A has advantages, and at other airspeeds- aircraft B has advantages. This is the case when trying to compare F-15/16s with Fulcrums/Flankers, etc... The Russian planes tend to have better low speed qualities, whereas the F-15/16 tend to have better transonic performance.



The SH has the best high AoA capabilities of any plane we've got, especially at lower speeds, except for the F-22. At airshows and in low speed contest this can be used to skid the plane around to point the nose radically. Also, since the SH is the Future, the demo teams are going to play that a/c up. There are some PR reasons for that. The legacy Hornet, though, is more agile overall (and also enjoys carefree handling). This is acknowledged by the Navy and MDD/NG, and I would wager that crews would flew both would say that as well, but would argue that the SH seems agile "enough" for the roles and missions for which it is intended (strike first and foremost) and has the more advanced strike electronics.
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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 20:34

wrightwing wrote:
weez wrote: Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(


I suspect it'll be 5-10yrs before we hear of another major upgrade to the Super Hornets, just due to budgetary constraints. The international standard would certainly bring a lot of new capability, should it be needed.


If the F-35C comes to fruition, there's no need for the International Standard Hornet in the USN. Even if it doesn't, are the improvements worth the R&D cost, or would it be better to do something smaller and go to the next generation would be the question.

Part of the reason for the proposed International SH is that except for Australia, who basically did a paper analysis rather than full competition of what would be the most cost effective alternative to bridge between their Hornets and the F-35, the SH has never won a competition, and usually doesn't even make the finals. Clearly something major had to be done, especially with the availability of the Eurocanards, if they ever want to get export sales. Thus the "International Standard" Super Hornet. Now all they have to do is find someone who will pay for its development.
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Unread post04 Nov 2011, 20:58

aaam wrote:
The SH has the best high AoA capabilities of any plane we've got, especially at lower speeds, except for the F-22. At airshows and in low speed contest this can be used to skid the plane around to point the nose radically. Also, since the SH is the Future, the demo teams are going to play that a/c up. There are some PR reasons for that. The legacy Hornet, though, is more agile overall (and also enjoys carefree handling). This is acknowledged by the Navy and MDD/NG, and I would wager that crews would flew both would say that as well, but would argue that the SH seems agile "enough" for the roles and missions for which it is intended (strike first and foremost) and has the more advanced strike electronics.


http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/d ... Hornet.htm

Myth #2 – "Bigger means faster." Fact – "Bigger means more ordnance, flying farther, staying airborne longer." The F/A-18E/F moldline changes that provide for improved range, payload, and carrier suitability also, however, contribute to a steeper drag rise at transonic speeds, resulting in slightly slower level accelerations to supersonic speeds. A clean (no external stores) Lot XIX C/D will nose out a clean E/F in a drag race from 0.85 to 1.2 at 35,000 ft. But F/A-18E/F subsonic performance in both MIL and MAX power is significantly superior to that of a C/D, and manifests itself in shorter takeoff distances, better climb rates, and faster accelerations. In unloaded, tactically representative accelerations, the two aircraft are indistinguishable. "Apples-to-apples" comparison of the two aircraft must be done cautiously, however. One must remember that the E/F moves the C/D’s ever-present external wing tank fuel into the fuselage and wings. Deploying with a single centerline tank (its projected typical carrier configuration), the E/F’s acceleration performance will be a substantial improvement over a cruise-configured (two fuel tanks on wing stations) C/D everywhere in the flight envelope.

Myth #3 – "Then, bigger means less maneuverable." Fact – "In the subsonic regime, the E/F performs as good as or better than a C/D in almost every respect." The challenge posed to the contractor was not to compromise the Hornet’s superb capabilities as a dogfighter. "As good as, or better than..." was the standard to meet. The result is that the turning performance charts overlay one another. At high angles of attack, the E/F’s agility truly shines, with superior roll performance and much more carefree handling.

The heritage Hornet was already the stand-out, high angle-of-attack (alpha) machine in the U.S. inventory. The E/F is "hands-down" superior in that environment. As of the end of July, the test program had completed the high-alpha and spin programs on the E-models for all symmetric loads, and on the F-model for fighter and centerline loadings. Lateral asymmetries and F-model stores testing are in progress.

There will be no angle-of-attack restrictions for the symmetrically loaded E or F models. Spin characteristics are benign, with a simplified recovery compared with that of the C/D, and no sustained falling-leaf departure exists in any stores loading tested.

My last flight in the E/F was in aircraft E4, loaded with three 480-gallon tanks and 4 Mk 83 bombs, and with the center of gravity ballasted to the aft limit of 31.8 percent. In that configuration, the airplane maneuvered without restriction from -30 to +50 degrees AOA, performed zero airspeed tailslides and spins to 120 degrees per second of yaw rate, and unsuccessfully attempted to generate a stable falling-leaf departure. We’ve engineered out all the known departure modes for rolls up to 360 degrees.


here were a few other reasons for my skepticism. It looks to me like the areas where the legacy Hornets were superior was in the M.85 to M1.2 race. The FCS on the Supers, is far more sophisticated too, as I'd alluded to, and it appears that in combat configurations, the legacy Hornets won't outmaneuver or outclimb a Super Hornet.
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Unread post05 Nov 2011, 09:34

Some information on possible upgrades.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... nal%20F-18
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Unread post05 Nov 2011, 11:56

wrightwing wrote:
weez wrote: Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(


I suspect it'll be 5-10yrs before we hear of another major upgrade to the Super Hornets, just due to budgetary constraints. The international standard would certainly bring a lot of new capability, should it be needed.


That was one of the most forward-looking analysis and sound assessments made on the subject of realistic future US recapitalization strategy and planning. :shock:
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Unread post05 Nov 2011, 23:12

wrightwing wrote:
aaam wrote:
The SH has the best high AoA capabilities of any plane we've got, especially at lower speeds, except for the F-22. At airshows and in low speed contest this can be used to skid the plane around to point the nose radically. Also, since the SH is the Future, the demo teams are going to play that a/c up. There are some PR reasons for that. The legacy Hornet, though, is more agile overall (and also enjoys carefree handling). This is acknowledged by the Navy and MDD/NG, and I would wager that crews would flew both would say that as well, but would argue that the SH seems agile "enough" for the roles and missions for which it is intended (strike first and foremost) and has the more advanced strike electronics.


http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/d ... Hornet.htm



here were a few other reasons for my skepticism. It looks to me like the areas where the legacy Hornets were superior was in the M.85 to M1.2 race. The FCS on the Supers, is far more sophisticated too, as I'd alluded to, and it appears that in combat configurations, the legacy Hornets won't outmaneuver or outclimb a Super Hornet.


Keep in mind that CDR Niewoeher was part of the SH test team and does have to use the official position. While not questioning his integrity in any way, that has to be kept in mind. His story of how the SH came to be has been shaded in a few places, i.e. Hornet 2000 was a MDD study series of proposals designed for export growth versions of the Bug, not for a new naval version. A new enhanced strike naval version had been proposed a few years earlier, but had been rejected as inadequate for the Navy's needs (the A-6F was chosen instead).

Also, whenever you read about proclamations about the SH in the early days you've got to watch how carefully parsed they tended to be. We've already noted how before the toeout of the pylons, the Navy was very careful to say SH had tow new pylons that could carry weapons. Most assumed this naturally meant they could fire weapons, but the Navy never actually said that.

In your myth #3 quote there was more to that paragraph, one of the later statements says, "...adding the Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) and a highly maneuverable off-boresight missile (AIM-9X) generates E/F total-system lethality that exceeds that available from a much more agile airplane with current missiles". This is absolutely true, but begs the question of why that's emphasized. Nobody except the Raptor beats theE/F in low speed high AoA, but that statement is true for any two a/c combinations you care to name. Originally the C/Ds were to get that system first because they were the real air-to-air birds. It was decided to reverse the order because the E/F would benefit more. Until it was canceled, USN made much of the fact that it was the AIM-152 that would compensate for any A2A concerns of the E/F (there was even an article about this in Aviation Week).

Remember, E/F is really a strike aircraft first and a fighter second. It wouldn't be surprising that the C/D would be somewhat more agile overall in the fighter role. Does it mean that the SH is a pig? Again, no.
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Unread post06 Nov 2011, 20:21

aaam -

Curious what exactly is the "Transonic Flight Quality Improvement wing package" component of the proposed Super Hornet International Roadmap?

And fwiw... imho, Boeing should seriously consider an actual preliminary designation for naming this 'International Roadmap' fighter. Even for raw marketing sense, the 'International Roadmap' tag is fairly convoluted and broad and here and there and maybe later on and hoping to get this and we'll have wait and see, pending the possibilities, etc, etc... I'd personally feel they should sit down and put a more concrete and formulated 'Roadmap' proposal together with prioritized developments of interest and even rough timelines (given a joint-development partnership). But perhaps in the interim, just kick start the dang thing already with a single upgraded component to be fast-tracked and in-house developed (eg the CFT) and give it a recognizable name on record: eg F-18E+ increment 1. I mean, no offense but in a blink of an eye it could be 2013 with still little to go by but a brochure. Really wanting to be a Super Hornet fanboy on this... I'd have an 'F-18E+' with CFT flying at Paris Air show in 2012 with announced plans for an upgraded engine flight test by a determined date. :thumb:
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Unread post07 Nov 2011, 00:57

aaam wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
weez wrote: Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(


I suspect it'll be 5-10yrs before we hear of another major upgrade to the Super Hornets, just due to budgetary constraints. The international standard would certainly bring a lot of new capability, should it be needed.


If the F-35C comes to fruition, there's no need for the International Standard Hornet in the USN. Even if it doesn't, are the improvements worth the R&D cost, or would it be better to do something smaller and go to the next generation would be the question


With the current budget environment, IF might be the question.
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 18:03

geogen wrote:
That was one of the most forward-looking analysis and sound assessments made on the subject of realistic future US recapitalization strategy and planning. :shock:


Well with the priority being F-16XLs with CFTs, large aperture IRSTs, AESA, advanced decoy/jammers, thrust vectoring, and uprated motors, there simply isn't enough money for more Super Hornet upgrades in the near term. :P
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 02:45

LOL
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 05:47

geogen wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
weez wrote: Here's a big one.... Will the US Navy ever upgrade their Super Hornets to International standard? With budget issues and the F-35 on the horizon I just don't see it happening any time soon. :(


I suspect it'll be 5-10yrs before we hear of another major upgrade to the Super Hornets, just due to budgetary constraints. The international standard would certainly bring a lot of new capability, should it be needed.


That was one of the most forward-looking analysis and sound assessments made on the subject of realistic future US recapitalization strategy and planning. :shock:


I'm not saying it's a bad idea, but does geogen have to look like such a Boeing stooge?
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