F-35 test flight shows impressive climb performance

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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energo

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Unread post22 Sep 2008, 16:39

Comments on the september 15. AA-1 test flight by LMs chief test pilot, Jon Beesley. The flight was conducted to test performance and handling with full internal weapon stores of 5000 pounds:


I had the opportunity yesterday to fly the F-35 for the first time with the INTERDICTION COMBAT load of 2-GBU 31 (2000# bombs) and 2 AIM -120 missiles. In current fighters there is an expectation of performance degradation when carrying 5000# of ordinance but the internal carriage made any degradation hard to discern.

The acceleration in MAX AB takeoff was very quick and interestingly there is an increase in the acceleration rate above 120 KCAS. The takeoff roll was very near to the 3500’ prediction. Once airborne I came out of AB relatively soon after lift off and continued to climb and accelerate in MIL power in a 10 deg to 15 deg climb attitude. There was plenty of performance. The climb out with full internal weapons carriage was particularly impressive to me.

The climb rate seemed to be only slightly hindered by the stores carriage with climb angles near 15 deg in MIL power while in a 30 deg bank turn back over the field. Very pleasant to see clean fighter climb rates and angles while carrying a combat load. The chase aircraft still required brief inputs into AB to keep up with me. This is especially impressive because the 325 KCAS climb speed is well below the optimum climb speed profile for the aircraft.

We only did a brief handling qualities test point on this mission but the handling qualities with this combat loading were indistinguishable from the aircraft with no stores.

Landing occurred with 4500# of fuel and was easily stopped inside of an 8000 ft. runway length with brake temperatures cool enough to taxi straight back to the hangar.


Note that 8000 ft. refers to the runway length, not the stopping distance.
Chase was an F-16 with "most powerful engine" and no weapon stores.
Take off fuel was 13000 pounds.


Regards,
B. Bolsøy
Oslo
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Unread post22 Sep 2008, 20:13

Yeah but have you seen what Sweetman has stated recetly about the F-35? Say what you will about the civilians who bash the F-35, but Sweetman is someone who has a tremendous amount of knowledge, respect, and know-how.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... 428ec6f9ca

I especially caught the point that the Australian(s) made about the F-35 being clubbed like baby seals. Goes back to whats-his-name and his famous comment about the F-22 clubbing the bad guys in simulated engagements like "baby seals."

When you get beyond the sales pitches and commercials about the F-35 then you've really got to wonder about it. What is that saying about the Generals always want weapons to fight the last war than what may be the next war?

In situations like Desert Storm I & II, and now Afganistan, the bulk of our air forces have been nothing more than bomb trucks. But if there should ever be a shooting war with someone who actually has an air force and with modern surface to air missiles and ground/air radar, then.... I don't know...

In the last 3 campaigns above the F-35 would have been perfect for darting in, dropping its bombs, and getting out of Dodge City safe and sound. Its frontal emphasized RCS would have enjoyed great success against the "minor" threats encountered and against the poorly trained bad guy pilots that came up to fight.

In a real war if there ever is one again I'd rather have the 381 Raptors the USAF says is its minimum requirement and 1200 or whatever the number is of Lightning IIs we're allegedly going to purchase. Knock downn the bad guys air forces and no longer need a stealthy JSF for the bomb truck mission. Well, you no longer need nearly 1500 or whatever the number is of F-35s. You could settle with Strike Eagles and Super Hornets while letting the 22s take out the mobile radars/sams/command and control stuff.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 02:09

darkhorse wrote:Yeah but have you seen what Sweetman has stated recetly about the F-35? Say what you will about the civilians who bash the F-35, but Sweetman is someone who has a tremendous amount of knowledge, respect, and know-how.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... 428ec6f9ca

I especially caught the point that the Australian(s) made about the F-35 being clubbed like baby seals. Goes back to whats-his-name and his famous comment about the F-22 clubbing the bad guys in simulated engagements like "baby seals."

When you get beyond the sales pitches and commercials about the F-35 then you've really got to wonder about it. What is that saying about the Generals always want weapons to fight the last war than what may be the next war?

In situations like Desert Storm I & II, and now Afganistan, the bulk of our air forces have been nothing more than bomb trucks. But if there should ever be a shooting war with someone who actually has an air force and with modern surface to air missiles and ground/air radar, then.... I don't know...

In the last 3 campaigns above the F-35 would have been perfect for darting in, dropping its bombs, and getting out of Dodge City safe and sound. Its frontal emphasized RCS would have enjoyed great success against the "minor" threats encountered and against the poorly trained bad guy pilots that came up to fight.

In a real war if there ever is one again I'd rather have the 381 Raptors the USAF says is its minimum requirement and 1200 or whatever the number is of Lightning IIs we're allegedly going to purchase. Knock downn the bad guys air forces and no longer need a stealthy JSF for the bomb truck mission. Well, you no longer need nearly 1500 or whatever the number is of F-35s. You could settle with Strike Eagles and Super Hornets while letting the 22s take out the mobile radars/sams/command and control stuff.


What he doesn't know, or has chosen to overlook is that Block 3 F-35's will have the ability to carry 4x internal AMRAAM's from day dot. The 2x 2000lbs bomb load and 2x AMRAAM load is the "interdiction" (or DCA/OCA role in Australian terminology).

In a "high" A2A threat area the F-35 would be carrying more than 2x AMRAAM, so his criticism of the aircraft based on this is sheer nonsense.

Internal carriage of 6x AMRAAM missiles is a growth path for the F-35A/C aircraft and has been confirmed by Lockheed Martin as "doable". It just isn't a priority yet because there is SO much to do to get the aircraft operational in it's basic form.

As General Davis points out, flexibility is the key to this aircraft. It CAN perform "day 1" VLO missions. The F-22 is the ONLY other aircraft in the world that can at present.

This does not detract from the F-35's ability to employ stores from it's 7x external hardpoints, just like any other aircraft.

I get the strong feeling, as articles like the one which started this thread verify, that as the program develop, the strengths of the F-35 will become more and more apparent and most of the criticisms will die away...
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 04:31

energo wrote:Comments on the september 15. AA-1 test flight by LMs chief test pilot, Jon Beesley. The flight was conducted to test performance and handling with full internal weapon stores of 5000 pounds:


I had the opportunity yesterday to fly the F-35 for the first time with the INTERDICTION COMBAT load of 2-GBU 31 (2000# bombs) and 2 AIM -120 missiles. In current fighters there is an expectation of performance degradation when carrying 5000# of ordinance but the internal carriage made any degradation hard to discern.

The acceleration in MAX AB takeoff was very quick and interestingly there is an increase in the acceleration rate above 120 KCAS. The takeoff roll was very near to the 3500’ prediction. Once airborne I came out of AB relatively soon after lift off and continued to climb and accelerate in MIL power in a 10 deg to 15 deg climb attitude. There was plenty of performance. The climb out with full internal weapons carriage was particularly impressive to me.

The climb rate seemed to be only slightly hindered by the stores carriage with climb angles near 15 deg in MIL power while in a 30 deg bank turn back over the field. Very pleasant to see clean fighter climb rates and angles while carrying a combat load. The chase aircraft still required brief inputs into AB to keep up with me. This is especially impressive because the 325 KCAS climb speed is well below the optimum climb speed profile for the aircraft.

We only did a brief handling qualities test point on this mission but the handling qualities with this combat loading were indistinguishable from the aircraft with no stores.

Landing occurred with 4500# of fuel and was easily stopped inside of an 8000 ft. runway length with brake temperatures cool enough to taxi straight back to the hangar.


Note that 8000 ft. refers to the runway length, not the stopping distance.
Chase was an F-16 with "most powerful engine" and no weapon stores.
Take off fuel was 13000 pounds.


Regards,
B. Bolsøy
Oslo


Would you mind linking to the source material please?
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 05:17

What better source than the Chief Test pilot, Whom I happen to know.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 13:53

Mil power with 5K lbs warload and a clean Viper needs AB to keep up...Nice. Even that it likely only needed the occasional "Zone 1" while the Lightning climbed in Mil is impressive given the sheer size difference between the two. F-35 bone dry weighs more than a fully fueled Viper and we know it had AT LEAST 10K of fuel and weapons in it, which would give similar T/W ratios. Good news. I cant wait till they start hitting the airshow circuit.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 17:58

Sorry double post.
Last edited by f-15eagle on 23 Sep 2008, 18:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 17:59

Conan wrote:
darkhorse wrote:Yeah but have you seen what Sweetman has stated recetly about the F-35? Say what you will about the civilians who bash the F-35, but Sweetman is someone who has a tremendous amount of knowledge, respect, and know-how.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... 428ec6f9ca

I especially caught the point that the Australian(s) made about the F-35 being clubbed like baby seals. Goes back to whats-his-name and his famous comment about the F-22 clubbing the bad guys in simulated engagements like "baby seals."

When you get beyond the sales pitches and commercials about the F-35 then you've really got to wonder about it. What is that saying about the Generals always want weapons to fight the last war than what may be the next war?

In situations like Desert Storm I & II, and now Afganistan, the bulk of our air forces have been nothing more than bomb trucks. But if there should ever be a shooting war with someone who actually has an air force and with modern surface to air missiles and ground/air radar, then.... I don't know...

In the last 3 campaigns above the F-35 would have been perfect for darting in, dropping its bombs, and getting out of Dodge City safe and sound. Its frontal emphasized RCS would have enjoyed great success against the "minor" threats encountered and against the poorly trained bad guy pilots that came up to fight.

In a real war if there ever is one again I'd rather have the 381 Raptors the USAF says is its minimum requirement and 1200 or whatever the number is of Lightning IIs we're allegedly going to purchase. Knock downn the bad guys air forces and no longer need a stealthy JSF for the bomb truck mission. Well, you no longer need nearly 1500 or whatever the number is of F-35s. You could settle with Strike Eagles and Super Hornets while letting the 22s take out the mobile radars/sams/command and control stuff.


What he doesn't know, or has chosen to overlook is that Block 3 F-35's will have the ability to carry 4x internal AMRAAM's from day dot. The 2x 2000lbs bomb load and 2x AMRAAM load is the "interdiction" (or DCA/OCA role in Australian terminology).

In a "high" A2A threat area the F-35 would be carrying more than 2x AMRAAM, so his criticism of the aircraft based on this is sheer nonsense.

Internal carriage of 6x AMRAAM missiles is a growth path for the F-35A/C aircraft and has been confirmed by Lockheed Martin as "doable". It just isn't a priority yet because there is SO much to do to get the aircraft operational in it's basic form.

As General Davis points out, flexibility is the key to this aircraft. It CAN perform "day 1" VLO missions. The F-22 is the ONLY other aircraft in the world that can at present.

This does not detract from the F-35's ability to employ stores from it's 7x external hardpoints, just like any other aircraft.

I get the strong feeling, as articles like the one which started this thread verify, that as the program develop, the strengths of the F-35 will become more and more apparent and most of the criticisms will die away...


I think the 6 internal AMRAAM is set for Block 4 or 5 by 2016. Plus not only is there 4-6 internal AAMs but they are 2 missile stations externally. The F-35 will have the same A2A load as the F-15, F-16 and the Eurofighter and what not.

Another thing is do you know why the Russian fighters carry 12 AAMs? Can you guess? Well its because their missiles are so shitty they have to fire 3 or 4 missiles at one target in order to get a hit. So 12 missiles equals out to 3 or 4 kills with the SU-35....in theory that is but the SU-35 can't target the F-22 or F-35. So the F-35 with 6-8 AAMs with the one shot one kill AMRAAM wins. It says a lot about Russian AAMs and their fighters.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 20:01

f-15eagle wrote:I think the 6 internal AMRAAM is set for Block 4 or 5 by 2016. Plus not only is there 4-6 internal AAMs but they are 2 missile stations externally. The F-35 will have the same A2A load as the F-15, F-16 and the Eurofighter and what not.


And for the extreme configuration, add 2 missiles to each pylon station.
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Unread post23 Sep 2008, 23:25

F16NDI wrote:What better source than the Chief Test pilot, Whom I happen to know.


Huh? Yeah, the next time I'm shopping cars then I'm going to believe everything the salesman says to me without fact checking.

And while I do not know if this pilot in question is either Lockmart or USAF, it does not matter. The USAF is joined at the hip to this whore-ugly airplane and Lockmart is relying on its sales to make their bonus's, payroll, and pension plans.

Unfortunately there truly are no 3rd parties in-the-know. Well, other than Australia and why should we believe anything the Aussies say since they are a bunch of backwoods idiots. So, yeah, then the 35 getting clubbed like baby seals was just muttered by an idiot as he is an Australian. Also Sweetman, another idiot too. Let's all just believe what the "salesman" has to say about everything.
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Unread post24 Sep 2008, 00:15

Smithsguy wrote:
f-15eagle wrote:I think the 6 internal AMRAAM is set for Block 4 or 5 by 2016. Plus not only is there 4-6 internal AAMs but they are 2 missile stations externally. The F-35 will have the same A2A load as the F-15, F-16 and the Eurofighter and what not.


And for the extreme configuration, add 2 missiles to each pylon station.


14 AAMs is possible as the JSF program office has pointed out but I doubt the F-35 will need to carry that many.
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Unread post24 Sep 2008, 01:13

Hey how many AAMs does an A-10 carry? How many does an F-16 carry when it's tasked to bomb targets? Or an F-18 when it's doing a strike mission? How many did the F-117 carry? Anybody seeing a pattern here yet? The F-35 is today's F-16, why is anybody surprised that it's not going to be hauling around 14 AAMs? Would anybody be surprised if an F-16 didn't carry as many as a Flanker? So why the surprise that the F-35 doesn't? Or, how many AAMs have ever been fired in one mission in actual combat? Has an F-15 ever used all eight missiles in one mission? Has an F-16 ever used six? It's hilarious (or pathetic, I guess it depends how you look at it) that so many seem to forget about S-T-E-A-L-T-H.
Last edited by sferrin on 24 Sep 2008, 12:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post24 Sep 2008, 05:22

sferrin wrote:Hey how many AAMs does an A-10 carry? How many does an F-16 carry when it's tasked to bomb targets? Or an F-18 when it's doing a strike mission? How many did the F-117 carry? Anybody seeing a pattern here yet? The F-35 is today's F-16, why is anybody surprised that it's not going to be hauling around 14 AAMs? Would anybody be surprised if an F-16 didn't carry as many as a Flanker? So why the surprise that the F-35 doesn't? Or, how many AAMs have ever been fired in one mission a actual combat? Has an F-15 ever used all eight missiles in one mission? Has an F-16 ever used six? It's hilarious (or pathetic, I guess it depends how you look at it) that so many seem to forget about S-T-E-A-L-T-H.


Hey, let's not have facts get in the way of a good F-35 bashing...
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Unread post24 Sep 2008, 13:19

darkhorse wrote:
F16NDI wrote:What better source than the Chief Test pilot, Whom I happen to know.


Huh? Yeah, the next time I'm shopping cars then I'm going to believe everything the salesman says to me without fact checking.

And while I do not know if this pilot in question is either Lockmart or USAF, it does not matter. The USAF is joined at the hip to this whore-ugly airplane and Lockmart is relying on its sales to make their bonus's, payroll, and pension plans.

Unfortunately there truly are no 3rd parties in-the-know. Well, other than Australia and why should we believe anything the Aussies say since they are a bunch of backwoods idiots. So, yeah, then the 35 getting clubbed like baby seals was just muttered by an idiot as he is an Australian. Also Sweetman, another idiot too. Let's all just believe what the "salesman" has to say about everything.


At least our grammar is correct...
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Unread post24 Sep 2008, 13:25

f-15eagle wrote:I think the 6 internal AMRAAM is set for Block 4 or 5 by 2016. Plus not only is there 4-6 internal AAMs but they are 2 missile stations externally. The F-35 will have the same A2A load as the F-15, F-16 and the Eurofighter and what not.


Indeed. I wonder when the "bogey" SU-35 variant will be operational?

Not much before 2016, IF it manages to actually find a buyer...

Another thing is do you know why the Russian fighters carry 12 AAMs? Can you guess? Well its because their missiles are so shitty they have to fire 3 or 4 missiles at one target in order to get a hit. So 12 missiles equals out to 3 or 4 kills with the SU-35....in theory that is but the SU-35 can't target the F-22 or F-35. So the F-35 with 6-8 AAMs with the one shot one kill AMRAAM wins. It says a lot about Russian AAMs and their fighters.


Ah, but what about the mighty PK factor that Eric for instance, likes to trot out on certain other websites?

According to which website you read and how generous Eric is apparently feeling, AMRAAM only has a "combat" PK of 50% or sometimes less than 0.75...

Of course he doesn't support either of these claims with any sort of source, but it doesn't matter. Some know where he gets these values from... :)

I suggest he might even be right. If airforce's continue to fight with AIM-120A model missiles...

Cause that's what the F-35 will use, isn't it? :)
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