F-35 Fuel Economy

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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geforcerfx

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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 05:51

From a navy standpoint they are gonna get a lot of usage from the F-35 it will reduce the amount of aircraft and people (less planes no 2 seaters) that you have to put in harms way and the guys you do are sitting on a lot of technology designed to keep them alive. I have always thought the range figures that are on the web seem low, i mean with the same sleak body and only one engine (with a larger fan and bypass) the F-35a can only do 170nmi greater range the F-22 with its two fuel hungry engines, just doesn't add up right. Wonder if they have done full range testing yet? or if its still just computer model data? Anyways...(sidetrack) the efficiency of the whole platform is a huge selling point same reason the viper sold so well and why the gripen has grabbed its last 2 contracts (imo). Carrier will get more missions on there fuel reserves then with there current hornet fleet.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 14:32

geforcerfx wrote:From a navy standpoint they are gonna get a lot of usage from the F-35 it will reduce the amount of aircraft and people (less planes no 2 seaters) that you have to put in harms way and the guys you do are sitting on a lot of technology designed to keep them alive. I have always thought the range figures that are on the web seem low, i mean with the same sleak body and only one engine (with a larger fan and bypass) the F-35a can only do 170nmi greater range the F-22 with its two fuel hungry engines, just doesn't add up right. Wonder if they have done full range testing yet? or if its still just computer model data? Anyways...(sidetrack) the efficiency of the whole platform is a huge selling point same reason the viper sold so well and why the gripen has grabbed its last 2 contracts (imo). Carrier will get more missions on there fuel reserves then with there current hornet fleet.


Meandering off topic again... You mention the efficiency of the platform, especially for the navy. What are your thoughts on its suitability in other countries' armed forces such as Canada? The way I see it, the F-35 benefits from the US's unparalleled logistical support and force-projection capabilities. Canada, on the other hand, has no carriers and very few foreign bases of its own, having to rely on its allies. Would Canada be better off going with a more primitive 4th gen plane that has greater reach? Given the increasing capabilities of foreign air defence, would a 4th gen long-range plane even cut it anymore? Just idle thoughts here.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 16:34

wingnut72 wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:From a navy standpoint they are gonna get a lot of usage from the F-35 it will reduce the amount of aircraft and people (less planes no 2 seaters) that you have to put in harms way and the guys you do are sitting on a lot of technology designed to keep them alive. I have always thought the range figures that are on the web seem low, i mean with the same sleak body and only one engine (with a larger fan and bypass) the F-35a can only do 170nmi greater range the F-22 with its two fuel hungry engines, just doesn't add up right. Wonder if they have done full range testing yet? or if its still just computer model data? Anyways...(sidetrack) the efficiency of the whole platform is a huge selling point same reason the viper sold so well and why the gripen has grabbed its last 2 contracts (imo). Carrier will get more missions on there fuel reserves then with there current hornet fleet.


Meandering off topic again... You mention the efficiency of the platform, especially for the navy. What are your thoughts on its suitability in other countries' armed forces such as Canada? The way I see it, the F-35 benefits from the US's unparalleled logistical support and force-projection capabilities. Canada, on the other hand, has no carriers and very few foreign bases of its own, having to rely on its allies. Would Canada be better off going with a more primitive 4th gen plane that has greater reach? Given the increasing capabilities of foreign air defence, would a 4th gen long-range plane even cut it anymore? Just idle thoughts here.

Well lets consider the two rumored (oh heck who am I kidding, the only planes that ever had any serious consideration) finalists for Canada's replacement fighter then, the Super Hornet and F-35A. Now the super hornet has a combat radius of 390 nmi, while the F-35 has a combat range of 630nmi, so obviously the F-35 has a significant advantage when it comes to range.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 16:36

wingnut72 wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:Meandering off topic again... You mention the efficiency of the platform, especially for the navy. What are your thoughts on its suitability in other countries' armed forces such as Canada? The way I see it, the F-35 benefits from the US's unparalleled logistical support and force-projection capabilities. Canada, on the other hand, has no carriers and very few foreign bases of its own, having to rely on its allies. Would Canada be better off going with a more primitive 4th gen plane that has greater reach? Given the increasing capabilities of foreign air defence, would a 4th gen long-range plane even cut it anymore? Just idle thoughts here.


While the F-35 benefits from the US logistics infrastructure in some ways, ALL F-35 partner nations benefit from a common program logistics support system, including a common parts pool. Considering the deployment footprint of the F-35 is by design smaller than the planes it is replacing, taking fewer C-17 loads to deploy for every specified scenario, and the global logistics footprint of 11 nation (and counting) operators I doubt there is a 4th Generation fighter that can deploy its lesser capability anywhere as easily as the F-35 will deploy its 5th Gen capability. Canada even benefits in her local operations from its proximity to the US, with major US depots, and most component suppliers often closer to Canadian operating locations than Canadian MRO operations.

I know of no other 4th Gen aircraft with 'greater reach', at least while carrying an operational warload. And if you factor in the F-35 doesn't have to fly all over the place to effectively cover the same cubic mile volume of space, with sensor fusion and a radar that sees a battlespace the size of the Gulf of Alaska anytime the pilot desires, it doesn't need to have as much 'reach' as an earlier aircraft in the first place.

Non-LO aircraft are rapidly becoming obsolete for more and more environments. They're not going to be any more survivable in the future.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 16:49

wingnut72 wrote:Would Canada be better off going with a more primitive 4th gen plane that has greater reach? Given the increasing capabilities of foreign air defence, would a 4th gen long-range plane even cut it anymore?


You answered your own question.

Given that the RCAF is looking to operate whatever replaces the Hornets for the next 30 years or so starting near 2020, picking a 4gen fight would be ludicrous.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 19:03

Apparently the F-35 has a "Combat" and "Surveillance" Configuration the former being a combat radius of 590nm and the latter 728nm http://forskning.tekna.no/wp-content/up ... v-2013.pdf

With so much more fuel then the Super Hornet while being lighter and a higher bypass it doesn't make sense that the Super Hornet would out distance it, 2,346km vs 2,200km, so i wonder what the difference between Combat and Survelliance, could 2x 2000 pound bombs make a 500km difference?
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 19:25

Thanks for the brief 'eskodas' - here is the range graphic from same. As far as range variation goes the weight and altitude along with airspeed and mission flight profile can make a large difference; however we do not have the specifications to do the sums. Have EFTs or CFTs ever been mentioned for Norway?
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 19:36

Scrap that, found much better. http://norway.usembassy.gov/root/pdfs/v ... _dista.pdf

The F-35 has a radius of 673
nautical miles on internal fuel alone and 728 nautical miles using external tanks.


If you wanted a stealthy surveillance aircraft, wouldn't it be possibly to design a fuel tank to fit inside the weapons bay?

Edit:
Surveillance Mission
Weapons Load
• AIM-120 (2)
• GBU-12 (2)
• Internal Gun
• Countermeasures
• EOTS
The resulting radius is 728 n.mi
(or total distance of 1,456 n.mi)
The range of altitudes during the cruise
is 5,000 ft to 25,000 ft
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 20:09

wow, 25,000ft is the max alt during that profile? I knew that the numbers we have been fed are not for an optimized flight profile.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 20:11

Heheh. I believe that possibility for a REMOVABLE internal fuel tank in weapons bays has been canvassed however that is a lot of engineering and replumbing and who is going to pay for that? Anyway here is a recon high profile with a PDF with many other profiles to COMPARE and CONTRAST and PONDER over. This MISSION Definition PDF has been mentioned earlier....

And thanks for the extra but older PDF (28 Mar 2008) which has been referenced a few times now on this forum. The range graphic will have been repeated a few times here during 'RANGE' discussions. I'll look for my copy or make a new one.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE STANDARD PRACTICE
GLOSSARY OF DEFINITIONS, GROUND RULES, AND MISSION PROFILES TO DEFINE AIR VEHICLE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITY
09 Sep 2008

Source: http://www.everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD+(3000+-+9999)/download.php?spec=MIL-STD-3013A.022905.PDF (1Mb)
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Reconnaissance - high-level penetration.gif
Last edited by spazsinbad on 12 Sep 2014, 20:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 20:13

The Israelis are going to pay for it i believe with the F-22 having done the ground breaking work. http://aviationweek.com/defense/israel- ... r-fly-f-35

To further extend the F-35’s range, Lockheed Martin is exploring an innovative concept from Israel, of using unique drop tanks, developed by Elbit Systems Cyclone. Designed in a similar concept to the F-22 under-wing drop tanks, these tanks, each containing 425 gal. of fuel, will use special attachment pylons that would completely separate from the wing, regaining full stealth capability after separation. An additional 900 gal. of fuel will significantly extend the F-35I range, enabling the IAF to operate its new stealth fighter at the “outer ring” of operation without mandatory aerial refueling.
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 20:22

Well we have been discussing dis range thing since whenever and here is one or four example(s):

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=25464&p=270838&hilit=Cyclone#p270838
&
viewtopic.php?f=61&t=24950&p=264972&hilit=Cyclone#p264972
&
viewtopic.php?f=61&t=24203&p=254484&hilit=Cyclone#p254484
&
Lucky Last from JoeSambor: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=24168&p=254204&hilit=Cyclone#p254204

Meanwhile given the date of that article 26 Jun 2013 we do not seem to have heard anything since. However given the secretive nature of these things perhaps development is well under way but who knows. All grist for dat mill. Recon Graphic from 2008 Norway brief below. CLICK on graphic to have it ZOOM to be more readable.
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F-35AsurveillanceMissionNorway2008.gif
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Unread post12 Sep 2014, 23:15

wingnut72 wrote:
geforcerfx wrote:From a navy standpoint they are gonna get a lot of usage from the F-35 it will reduce the amount of aircraft and people (less planes no 2 seaters) that you have to put in harms way and the guys you do are sitting on a lot of technology designed to keep them alive. I have always thought the range figures that are on the web seem low, i mean with the same sleak body and only one engine (with a larger fan and bypass) the F-35a can only do 170nmi greater range the F-22 with its two fuel hungry engines, just doesn't add up right. Wonder if they have done full range testing yet? or if its still just computer model data? Anyways...(sidetrack) the efficiency of the whole platform is a huge selling point same reason the viper sold so well and why the gripen has grabbed its last 2 contracts (imo). Carrier will get more missions on there fuel reserves then with there current hornet fleet.


Meandering off topic again... You mention the efficiency of the platform, especially for the navy. What are your thoughts on its suitability in other countries' armed forces such as Canada? The way I see it, the F-35 benefits from the US's unparalleled logistical support and force-projection capabilities. Canada, on the other hand, has no carriers and very few foreign bases of its own, having to rely on its allies. Would Canada be better off going with a more primitive 4th gen plane that has greater reach? Given the increasing capabilities of foreign air defence, would a 4th gen long-range plane even cut it anymore? Just idle thoughts here.


For Canada's needs I really don't see a better aircraft. It has more then enough fuel for the long range missions they want with the same refueling capabilities they use now on the hornets to extend even further. It can do a limited super cruise at mach 1.2 giving it a bit of a efficient dash if needed for a long range intercept. The only other aircraft I can think of that would be able to meet Canada's needs would be F-15 based but you would pay the same price for F-15E's and get no stealth, no built in IR, no super cruise, and a higher cost of maintenance. Even thought I like the super hornet its known for not being a huge accelerator and again has no super cruise and a weaker radar then F-35 while also lacking other avionics the F-35 has.

The 728 mi radius sounds more accurate for the F-35a in my mind, I would imagine a F-35c loaded with full fuel and running 4 AIM-120D's could prob push 800nm at higher altitude (higher then 25,000ft at least)
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Unread post13 Sep 2014, 01:51

Even with the same load and flight profile, I'd still expect a shorter combat radius than surveillance radius for a purely procedural/tactical reason: more reserve fuel for potential emergency use (more bringback-fuel if you don't end up in such an emergency).
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Unread post13 Sep 2014, 04:50

What 'emergencies' do you have in mind (which do not apply to the surveillance mission)?
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