Stall speed of F-16

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jmcdonald

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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 22:48

What is the stall speed of an F-16?
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habu2

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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 22:59

Depends on the altitude, gross weight and configuration of the aircraft, there is no fixed stall speed number.
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jmcdonald

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Unread post14 Nov 2003, 23:04

habu2 wrote:Depends on the altitude, gross weight and configuration of the aircraft, there is no fixed stall speed number.


What would the stall speed be for an F-16 for the following conditions:

1. Flying at cruising altitude (what would that be?) and not loaded with any armaments.

2. Flying at an altitude to provide close air support (what altitude would that be?) and fully load for a CAS mission.
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mizuhu

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 09:35

How do you define the "stall speed" of an F-16 ?
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Phoenix

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 13:28

The speed at which you lose control over the control surfaces of your plane (ailerons, elevators and rudder) and your plane falls out of the sky while your AOA is pegged at an unnervingly high value (I belive it's 30 degrees for the F-16). In other words, the speed at which you jet stop flying the way it should, the ground is coming at you real fast, the jet isn't responding to your inputs and you wonder what the hell is going on.
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mizuhu

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 13:34

Thanks ...

By the way do you know the function of the flaperon?
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Phoenix

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 13:57

Flaperon? Never heard if that. Are talking about flaps or ailerons by any chance?

If so, ailerons the control surfaces which control the way the airplane banks (i.e. left or right).

Flaps are used in instances where the plane has relatively little speed and lift is needed (most often takeoff and landings). What happens is they are lowered (or extended, depending what you are doing) and they provide the necessary lift to carry out the maneuvers without stalling.

The F-16 uses the tailplane for most of the controling as far as I know. The elevators are there and so is the rudder (but the the rudder's always been there )

The elevators make a point the nose up and down. The rudder makes the jet's nose slide left and right.

I think you can use the elevators and ailerons too (at least on the F-16), but I'm not sure. What the ailerons do is make the plane bank left and right. If they don't use the same surfaces as the elevators, then they gotta be on the wings.
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Phoenix

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 14:15

Wait, hot update... no ailerons on the F-16. Guess they use the elevators to bank after all. It's not that hard really. One elevator up the other one down and you're banking the plane
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habu2

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Unread post15 Nov 2003, 16:35

F-16 (and some other planes) have one combined control surface on the trailing edge of the wing that serves as both a flap and an aileron - hence the term "flaperon".
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Phoenix

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Unread post16 Nov 2003, 00:47

Oh, thanks, I didn't know that. Guess mizuhu wasn't wrong after all.

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Unread post17 Nov 2003, 12:45

Well, does the F-16 actually have a stall speed?

The sink rate just gradually increases as the forward speed decreases. It doesn't 'drop the nose' or 'drop a wing', as far as I'm told.
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DeepSpace

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Unread post17 Nov 2003, 12:54

Every plane has a stall speed. The F-16 does stalling. The only plane that doesn't stall as far as I know is the Concorde RIP (Rest In Pieces :lol:) because the shape of its' wings.
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Wildcat

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Unread post17 Nov 2003, 13:00

If you can start a spin with a plane, I guess the plane may be said to have a stall speed anyway:!: I think that the only operational fighter that has virtually no stall speed is Harrier.
By the way, Concorde does have a stall speed, which is very high because of the high-performance delta wing.
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habu2

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Unread post17 Nov 2003, 15:24

The F-16 does stall, in fact there is a condition known as "deep stall" that is fairly difficult to recover from. There is a specific technique to recover from a fully developed deep stall, it is practiced often in the simulators.

As far as specific stall speeds there are just too many variables to quote one.
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FlyingMule

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Unread post17 Nov 2003, 16:08

Folks, this is a discussion that gets repeated time and time again in aviation circles, related to just about every aircraft design out there. The problem is that the term "Stall Speed" is often quoted but is somewhat meaningless...

Any airfoil will generate lift in proportional to its airspeed and angle of attack. Increase either one and the amount of lift generated goes up. There is, however, a limit to the angle of attack, "the critical angle of attack", beyond which the airflow over the surface becomes turbulent, lift decreases dramatically and drag increases... the airfoil has been "stalled".

The important thing to note is that the critical angle of attack can be reached at <I>any airspeed</I> provided the aircraft has the control authority (and the flight control system allows it) to increase the angle of attack to this level.

In normal flight, we can increase lift by increasing airspeed, angle of attack or both. It follows, therefore, that if we want to fly slower and slower <i>without descending</i> we must increase the angle of attack. But, as mentioned above, the angle of attack can only be increased so much before the wing will stall.

So, when someone asks about "Stall speed", what they are really asking is "How slow can an airplane fly before it must be flown at the critical angle of attack in order to generate enough lift to maintain altitude". Fly it any slower and we must either accept a controlled descent or else pull the nose up higher, begin to stall the wing and enter a somewhat less controlled descent!!

As was previously pointed out, air density plays an important role in the performance of a wing, so the higher we fly, the faster we must fly (for a given angle of attack) to generate the same lift.

Finally, don't forget that intelligent flight control systems measure parameters like airspeed, angle of attack, air density etc and can restrict the control inputs given by the pilot in such a way that the airplane remains in its normal flight envelope. In the above example, this means that the onboard computers can force the pilot to accept a gradual descent at lower airspeeds rather than giving them the opportunity of putting the plane beyound the critical angle of attack.
Cheers,
Martin.

<A href="http://www.flyingmule.com/">The Flying Mule</A>
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