archeman wrote:So just doing some quick calculations from your table numbers shows what a high price the Navy paid to get that greater control at lower speeds.
* C version gets only 1.66% greater range than the A. That low of a % puts it in the 'statistically insignificant' category. That has always been one of the quotes that attends the C version "has greater range", well not really enough to talk about.
* C version stores 7.6% more fuel than the A. Those big wings sure chew up that 7.6% fuel bonus in a hurry don't they???
* C version weighs 15.8% more than the A. Is this where the max G is going?
Given the above stats I would have thunk that the Navy would have looked into a more complex/larger flaps and leading edge solutions to get their control and landing speed solution. If they succeeded then the other partners may have been able to adopt those solutions instead of having the the one-off C version.
Some of the weight on the C probably comes from strengthening the frame to handle carrier landings and not just the wing. And as already mentioned, if the plane can't land on a carrier it's useless. LM probably did what needed to be done to get the most performance out of the F-35C.
Also, those ranges are requirements I think, and not the actual ranges, which could be higher. There is also payload to consider, which could be nearly 20,000 lbs. That would significantly cut range compared to a lighter payload that is more likely to be carried most of the time.
Using the Breguet range equation on the F-35A carrying 18,000 lbs at Mach .75 at 30,000 ft (standard temp), .886 1/hr TSFC, and L/D = 8; I get a range of 1318 nm. Change the payload to 2500 lbs and it comes out to 1830 nm. Of course, I don't have the info to do an accurate calculation on the F-35, and the equation I'm using is only so accurate, but it should give an idea of how much performance parameters can vary.
For comparison I get 1265/1693 out of the F-35C, assuming it has the same L/D and cruise Mach.