Is it possible to land an F-16 without the canopy?

Always wondered why the F-16 has a tailhook, or how big a bigmouth F-16's mouth really is ? Find it out here !
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Jon

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Unread post29 Jan 2011, 03:35

With it happening to the F-14, F-15, F-18 and F-117 I'm surprised we haven't seen this mishap. The F-117 would be the closest example to the F-16 as it has no seperate front wind screen. Differences are the F-117 has a deeper cockpit, no center tail rudder and a lower high speed.

It would almost seem better to punch out than to stay with the aircraft if we were talking the F-16. Thoughts?
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post29 Jan 2011, 04:03

I'd have to disagree. The Viper's HUD glass is designed to withstand subsonic wind blast and in the case of a lost canopy, act as a small wind screen. The glass's aerodynamic "shadow" is still pretty small tho. Prolly no bigger than your face. Maybe be a little bigger with a WAR HUD.

That said, if you weren't incapacitated when the lid blew and could still control the jet (albeit from a somewhat crouched position), I'd say stay with it. You could maybe even fly a fairly ugly ILS approach using the ADI needles without having to raise your cranium up for too long. Not sayin' I'd try it, just that it's possible.

Anyone know if there's a sustained speed limit for the standard flight helmet and visor?
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doogz

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Unread post29 Jan 2011, 10:06

No clue. But seen early 80' photos of MiG-25 pilot, who had to punch out at 40000ft and over 650 knots and his helmet was intact. But must add that K-36D has a special shield that protects pilot from windblast at high speeds. But nevertheless the photo showed the pilot (soon after SAR helicopter found him) alive and well.

But when it comes to helmets I know that Soviet Z-SZ 3 (from MiG-21 for instance) was designed to protect pilots head from anything it strikes with up to 60-70 g of load factor. I assume that western designed helmets have similar qualities. That's why I think that helmets can withstand relatively high speeds.

Anyone can add anything more specific?

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JoeSambor

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Unread post29 Jan 2011, 15:51

Well, maybe a helmet can be made to withstand 60-70g, but a neck sure can't.

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Joe Sambor
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exfltsafety

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Unread post29 Jan 2011, 17:10

ACES II ejection seat sled testing is typically done to 600 knots. A helmet, visor, and mask system that cannot protect the pilot at 600 knots will either not be certified for use or will have warning information in the flight manual about its limitations.

I think LinkF16SimDude said it best:
That said, if you weren't incapacitated when the lid blew and could still control the jet (albeit from a somewhat crouched position), I'd say stay with it. You could maybe even fly a fairly ugly ILS approach using the ADI needles without having to raise your cranium up for too long. Not sayin' I'd try it, just that it's possible.

Seeing the instruments to fly an ILS approach may be beyond challenging because of wind buffet and vibration; but, a pilot might be able to fly on the wing of another aircraft for landing.
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Unread post30 Jan 2011, 18:12

Flying at 200mph without a canopy isn't unheard of. You see many pictures of WW2 aircraft with the canopies slid back (especially in the pacific) while flying. Also, a vary strange variant of the B-17, which had the cockpit roof removed, and only the windscreen remaining was flown succesfully many times.
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doogz

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Unread post30 Jan 2011, 21:58

FDiron wrote:Flying at 200mph without a canopy isn't unheard of. You see many pictures of WW2 aircraft with the canopies slid back (especially in the pacific) while flying. Also, a vary strange variant of the B-17, which had the cockpit roof removed, and only the windscreen remaining was flown succesfully many times.


As I said before, it's even possible to go supersonic with no canopy (with a windshield of course)
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Unread post30 Jan 2011, 23:47

The WWII pilots in the South Pacific slid the lids back to cool down. Guess those Navy birds had no A/C. Apparently it gets hot near the Equator. Who knew? :wink:

But even at low speeds (200 or less) ya better make sure ya have things secured. I was cruisin' on the German Autobahn once at around 125 MPH (in the right hand lane, natch) and decided to open the sun roof on my BMW 325i. Nothin' happened until the glass was about halfway back and then.....WHOOOSH!! Lost my maps, newspaper, and almost the the papers for the rental car. Mr. Bernoulli was onto somethin'! :lol:
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Unread post04 May 2011, 20:04

moti wrote:Here is a pic of F-14 without canopy. Happened during incentive ride. Apparently back seater wasn't strapped in very tight and when pilot pulled negative g, he reached down to grab the nearest handle. Pilot landed safely.

Image
Image

Hahaha, didnt they tell him to not touch any buttons/handles, specially the ejection one:D? Boy i wonder he peed in hes pants when the canopy blew off & ejection seat took off.
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Unread post04 Sep 2011, 23:47

we had a F-15C get a birdstrike at Nellis in '01 or '02 it blew out the forward canopy and either the wind blast blew out or the pilot jetissioned the rear canopy and he landed it, the hud and the pilot's helmet were all bloody from the bird, and the pilot had 2 black eyes, some scraches and was throwing up when he landed, but he was otherwise ok. BTW i know it will come up, I have no clue what type of bird it was, but it had to be big, there was allot of blood
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Unread post15 Nov 2012, 09:42

With high speed it would be very difficult, but when on slower speeds (<300kts) it would be managable, the HUD is actually designed to divert the airflow a bit. Keep in mind that with lower speeds you would have a certain amount of AOA diverting airflow form the front of the Viper to more upward airflow.
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Unread post17 Nov 2012, 01:39

Any one remember the F-4 in the early 80's that had a snow goose come through the front windshield and nearly sever the pilot's left shoulder. If I remember right, it happened over Idaho. Some how the GIB flew the jet back with the front seat full of blood and feathers. What no one could figure out was how the pilot was able to reach up and pull the gear handle because his arm was almost torn off.

Also there was "Pardo's Push" with most of his windshield gone from the tail hook from the other F-4 he pushed back over the border.
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Unread post17 Nov 2012, 05:46

tbarlow wrote:Any one remember the F-4 in the early 80's that had a snow goose come through the front windshield and nearly sever the pilot's left shoulder. If I remember right, it happened over Idaho. Some how the GIB flew the jet back with the front seat full of blood and feathers. What no one could figure out was how the pilot was able to reach up and pull the gear handle because his arm was almost torn off.


From the dusty archives of the Phantom Philes:

8 April 82 ~ an Idaho Air National Guard RF-4C took a Tundra Swan thru the windshield severely injuring the pilot. The GIB assumed control to safely land at Mountain Home AFB with the assistance of a second RF-4C. While enroute, dual ejection was ruled out due to the pilot's injuries and bird impact damage to the pilot's ejection seat. GIB was 1st Lt. Fred Wilson.

9 April 83 ~ exactly one year and a day after the above incident, an Idaho Air National Guard RF-4C took a bird (type unspecified) thru the windshield inflicting minor injuries to the pilot who was able to retain control and safely return to base. GIB was newly promoted Capt. Fred Wilson.
Last edited by razamanaz on 17 Nov 2012, 15:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post17 Nov 2012, 07:29

http://www.fighterpilotuniversity.com/a ... 45-mayday/ is the same incident. Does anyone know what Capt. Wilson's commendation was?
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Unread post17 Nov 2012, 21:56

There were CAPs for this the first 15-20 years - Slow Down, Seat Down, Flaps Down...may have the last two backwards. I think they finally decided it ain't gonna happen, so pulled them from the EP section.

The only semi-related issue I remember was a bird strike in the mid-80s at one of the Gila Bend ranges. Homer had a a bird strike that bowed the canopy so much that it powdered the HUD glass and proceeded backward to whack his helmet a good one. He had his visor down, so the glass dust didn't blind him, but he made a short turn and landed at GBN within a couple of minutes and got his eyes irrigated.

The Rhino had lots of awful incidents - banana links Martin Baker/Rube Goldberg seat issues as well as crew buffoonery. The further back you go the more likely this optional flight parameter happened.
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