4th vs 5th gen differences

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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charlielima223

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 01:48

This isn't a pissing contest. I stumbled upon this pod cast interviewing a current USAF pilot speaking of his opinions comparing 4th gen fighters to 5th gen fighters. I don't know when they recorded this interview but be warned... at time index 38:30 he speaks of the F-35's maneuverability.

At any rate. Hope ya'll enjoy
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firebase99

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 04:29

Interesting about the maneuverability, or there lack of it, confusing to me especially after seeing the 35 perform over the past year. He basically states, not basically, he says flat out "the F35 is NOT more maneuverable than your average 4th gen fighter " He mentions recently getting the AIM9X operational and SBDII testing...maybe this is a year old? No mention of the F35 crash at Beaufort though....
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hornetfinn

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 10:39

Saying that F-35 is not more maneuverable than 4th gen fighters does not necessarily mean it's less maneuverable either. As it is supposed to have the best qualities of F-16 and F/A-18 when it comes to maneuverability, it was designed to really match 4th gens when it comes to maneuvering. I think what makes F-35 special is that it can do that while having VLO stealth, huge array of sensors, great sensor fusion, incredible EA/EW capabilities and carries good weapons load and huge fuel load internally. In combat, 4th gen fighters would need to carry 2-3 EFTs, external weapons and targeting pod which would make them significalty less maneuverable and slower. In light air-to-air configurations there is likely not big differences between F-35 and 4th gen fighters.
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zero-one

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 10:44

firebase99 wrote:"the F35 is NOT more maneuverable than your average 4th gen fighter "


I don't see anything wrong from what he said.
Basically he just acknowledged that unlike the F-22 which has a substantial and obvious advantage in maneuverability compared to all aircraft (host annoyingly had to add "in the US inventory") while the F-35 is not like that.

From the beginning, the F-35's kinematic performance was always said to be as maneuverable as the best 4th gens, not average 4th gens.

Lets examine his narrative, he was comparing it to F-15s, F-16s and F-22s.
F-15: Most maneuverable 4th gen at high speed and high altitude (above 30k) you can argue Typhoon
F-16: Most maneuverable 4th gen at high speed and medium altitude (around 10 -20k) again you can argue Typhoon.
So the F-35 is in the same class as those guys, which is pretty much at the pinnacle of 4th gen performance.
Sure the F-35 is bit better in some areas, a bit worse in others and basically on par in most areas. Bottomline is that its not more maneuverable, it's simply on the same ball park.

The F-22 is where he draws the line, he says conscious decisions were made that allowed engineers to know from the onset that they wouldn't achieve Raptor like performance.
But thats okay he says, the mission of the F-35 isn't specifically focused on air dominance but is simply to "compliment the Raptor" in it's air dominance role. Detractors call these decisions compromises but if your so called compromise simply gives you Viper like maneuverability with Hornet like high Alpha, then I can sleep with that
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Corsair1963

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 11:24

After all of this time we're still comparing "Apples and Oranges". :?

Honestly, any debate WVR comparing a "clean" 4th Generation Fighter with a "clean" 5th Generation Fighter (F-35) is immaterial and doesn't reflex the real world of Aerial Combat. As no F-15, F-16, or whatever is going into combat clean. As a matter of fact in all cases they would have external weapons and most likely external fuel too... :shock:


So, for some to waste everybody's time. While, arguing "X" has a slight advantage in this or that aspect of the flight envelope is moot. As in the ""Final Analysis" it means squat....


Of course that doesn't even touch on the F-22's and F-35's advantages in Stealth and Sensor Fusion. Which, also play a role WVR. Which, makes this debate even more absurd. If, that is possible.....

:doh:
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zero-one

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 13:45

Agree with you there Corsair1963. 2 thumbs up.

The replies we had were simply to go in depth to the comments made by the F-35 pilot when he just flat out said "No" when asked if the F-35 was more maneuverable than 4th gens.

Detractors could very well spin this into....."O ya see, F-35 pilots admit the F-35 is a brick..Pierre Spray, Vietnam, blah blah blah" We just jumped the gun.

I'd also like to add that equating maneuverability with WVR is just part of the picture. As we learned in the F-35A vs B vs C thread. Maneuverability encompasses so much more than just ACM. Its also very useful in BVR combat and even aids in carrier approaches.
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f-16adf

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 14:42

Jello said basically the same thing in his Q&A on AI. But I think he meant F-35C.
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swiss

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 14:56

hornetfinn wrote: I think what makes F-35 special is that it can do that while having VLO stealth, huge array of sensors, great sensor fusion, incredible EA/EW capabilities and carries good weapons load and huge fuel load internally. In combat, 4th gen fighters would need to carry 2-3 EFTs, external weapons and targeting pod which would make them significalty less maneuverable and slower. In light air-to-air configurations there is likely not big differences between F-35 and 4th gen fighters.


I see this the same way. And even the F-35 would be inferior in a light A to A configuration, so what? Today, EW, Sensors, Sensor fusion and Stealth seems more imported then maneuverability, top speed and climb rate.
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mixelflick

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 15:11

I think the F-35's maneuverability is on a level above the F-16's and 18's, and I'll tell you why. We know it can accelerate like a CLEAN Viper. The sustained turn might not be that good but the instantaneous turns are on another level altogether. It's also said it can point it's nose like a Super Hornet. I actually disagree there.. In high alpha, it appears even better than a SH. And of course, the SH's nose pointing authority gets compromised with external loads so...

You wind up with something that's capable of the best of the best of 4th gen jets (and then some). Now add in all the sensor fusion, stealth etc. and you get an aircraft that performs much more effectively than any F-16/18 hybrid it's compared to, coming in just below the level of an F-22. And it is here, where I think it's much closer to an F-22 vs. an F-16 or 18.

If the Russians, Chinese or whoever want to beat this thing air to air, or air to ground (especially at the same price point), they're going to have to get up real early and bring their A plus game. And that's what we know about. God (and LM, LOL) only knows what other surprises it has in store for opposing aircraft and IADS's.

The F-35 is the Bo Jackson of combat aircraft :)
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zero-one

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 16:54

I think one reason why the F-35 maneuverability fiasco will never go away is because the Kinematics side of the F-35, impressive as it is, is probably it's weakest attribute in combat. Its still impressive, but not head and shoulders above the rest compared to all the other attributes like, Stealth, SA, payload and even range. Its a 5th gen plane with 4th gen kinematics.

mixelflick wrote: I think it's much closer to an F-22 vs. an F-16 or 18.


From this particular interview the narrative that the pilot seemed to be going for was that there was a substantial gap between the F-35 and F-22s aero performance. Or rather, there was a substantial gap between the F-22 and everything else.
He did say that the Raptor was far and away superior to any fighter by far. To which the host annoyingly added "In the US inventory" No, this guy knows the Flanker and Fulcrum's EM charts since the USAF has been flying those 2 air-frames for years now.

By the way, did they replace the AL-31 engines on those birds with PW-F100s or GE F110s? Hard to believe they're still using the original engines since the early 90s

Jon Beesley was the test pilot who said that it was close to the Raptor.
However he flew early models of both. I'm not sure if he was already able to explore the max envelopes of both planes.
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wrightwing

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 19:39

If you can rate like a clean Viper, and radius like a clean Hornet, and add superior acceleration and high AoA, you're more maneuverable than 4th generation aircraft in combat. They aren't flying in airshow configurations. That's the kinematic niche the F-35 fills. It's got more tricks, aside from the stealth and sensor fusion.
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charlielima223

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 20:50

Regardless this was a good listen.

He did say however that he hasn't had a chance to go out and "really rage" in the aircraft. It seems like his main focus is developmental and operational testing of sensors and weapons. In this interview it seems like flight envelope isn't his main focus.
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popcorn

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Unread post16 Jan 2019, 23:11

Seems to parallel the comments from that pilot who would choose a clean hornet to fly for fun...but bottom line the F-35 is the plane they would take to war.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Corsair1963

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Unread post17 Jan 2019, 02:07

zero-one wrote:Agree with you there Corsair1963. 2 thumbs up.

The replies we had were simply to go in depth to the comments made by the F-35 pilot when he just flat out said "No" when asked if the F-35 was more maneuverable than 4th gens.

Detractors could very well spin this into....."O ya see, F-35 pilots admit the F-35 is a brick..Pierre Spray, Vietnam, blah blah blah" We just jumped the gun.

I'd also like to add that equating maneuverability with WVR is just part of the picture. As we learned in the F-35A vs B vs C thread. Maneuverability encompasses so much more than just ACM. Its also very useful in BVR combat and even aids in carrier approaches.



Honestly, the big question is when was this Video taken??? This is critical as the flight envelope of the F-35. Wasn't fully expanded until fairly recently.
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quicksilver

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Unread post17 Jan 2019, 02:38

charlielima223 wrote:Regardless this was a good listen.

He did say however that he hasn't had a chance to go out and "really rage" in the aircraft. It seems like his main focus is developmental and operational testing of sensors and weapons. In this interview it seems like flight envelope isn't his main focus.


Au contraire. He is/was a DT pilot, and spoke specifically about ‘flight sciences’ testing which is all about handling qualities and envelope expansion.
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