F-16 vs the F-104

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delta2014

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Unread post09 Jan 2021, 07:18

Here is a page from the F-104 flight manual. It shows the flight envelope for the F-104 Starfighter with the powerful -19 turbojet engine:

Image

Do you think it would be possible for the F-104A with the -19 engine to defeat the F-16A or F-16C in an aerial engagement? Could the F-104 with the -19 climb faster and accelerate faster than the F-16?

And, I have a question regarding the shape of the afterburner envelope.

In Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators, published in 1965, the author, Hugh Harrison Hurt, Jr., states:

"The thrust added by the afterburner of a turbojet engine is not affected so greatly by altitude as the basic engine thrust. The use of afterburner may provide a thrust increase of 50 percent at low altitude or as much as 100 percent at high altitude."

Why is military thrust (basic engine thrust) greatly impacted by altitude, and afterburner thrust is not?

Thanks very much,

Delta
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post09 Jan 2021, 15:01

delta2014 wrote:
Do you think it would be possible for the F-104A with the -19 engine to defeat the F-16A or F-16C in an aerial engagement? Could the F-104 with the -19 climb faster and accelerate faster than the F-16?

Delta

Without a doubt, a J79-GE-19 powered F-104A in supersonic would walk away from any Viper.
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basher54321

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Unread post09 Jan 2021, 16:44

delta2014 wrote:Do you think it would be possible for the F-104A with the -19 engine to defeat the F-16A or F-16C in an aerial engagement? Could the F-104 with the -19 climb faster and accelerate faster than the F-16?

And, I have a question regarding the shape of the afterburner envelope.

Why is military thrust (basic engine thrust) greatly impacted by altitude, and afterburner thrust is not?




Aerial engagements involve tactics, SA and weapons usually so an F-16AC with Data Link, AMRAAM and JHCMS might have a slight advantage over a 1969 F-104 - regardless of engine type. :wink:

If say both merged in a 1v1 BFM training situation at typical speeds / altitudes where a merge might occur then I doubt the F-104 would have any relevant performance advantage in climb/acceleration but be interested to see any data that suggests otherwise.
The F-104 was optimized for higher and faster (M2+) seen relevant in the 1950s where as the F-16 is performance optimized for the flight envelope deemed relevant after Vietnam - but even so the flight data for the high alt charts in the manual for the F-104A-19 don't mark it out as being spectacular in acceleration to M2 - very good for 1969 but an area where the F-16 is thrust limited by design.

Looking at a few speed points for a TurboFan that statement may not always be true at certain speeds - which of course assumes I am looking at good data. Presumably he was looking at turbojet data from multiple aircraft was he?
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f-16adf

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Unread post12 Jan 2021, 23:05

Anyone have the link to the F-104A w/J79-GE-19 flight manual?
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 11:56

Avialogs has it but you cannot download it without a paid membership. You can view it online with a free membership.

https://www.avialogs.com/aircraft-l/loc ... ght-manual
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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 12:17

quick comparison of 40,00ft level accelerations, tip missiles only, ~50% fuel (not a lot of time right now) 24klb Viper (GE129) and 17Klb 104A-19. Viper accelerates harder from 1.0-1.6M, they are roughly the same from 1.6-1.8M, and the 104 screams away above 1.8M.
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f-16adf

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Unread post13 Jan 2021, 16:42

Thanks for the link Spurts!
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Unread post15 Jan 2021, 15:13

Huh, my second review didn't post? Long post short, the 129 Viper has a climb rate of roughly 1500fpm at 40kft and Mach 2. The 19 Zipper has a climb rate of roughly 25000fpm under the same condition.
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