F-35 internal fuel, range

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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steve2267

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Unread post17 Jun 2022, 23:21

Might I suggest a "Doge Dump" sub-forum? Doge can dump all his finds there. Then a forum librarian (Spaz? Spaz? Buehler? Buehler?) can filter through the Doge Dump and move posts to the appropriate thread...

:2c: :crazypilot: :poke: :cheers:
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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charlielima223

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Unread post17 Jun 2022, 23:39

doge wrote:From the official F-35 account. 8)
https://twitter.com/thef35/status/1534559921387278338
F-35 Lightning II @thef35
June 9, 2022
Filling Up
The F-35A can carry over 18,000 lbs of fuel internally and refuel in mid-air, ensuring the jet can stay in the sky for hours on end.

How many hours is that ? :devil: 1,,, 2,,, 3,,, 4,,, (The Devil's CountUp.)


No doubt the F-35 has long legs. It has a surprisingly efficient engine at subsonic and it only has one . Add to that with a low drag profile (all internal) and lots of internal gas. Then again any aircraft that can do mid air refueling can stay in the air for hours. I remember at the start of OEF hearing how Hornets had to fly for hours on end from the ship into Afghanistan to strike targets and back. Pilots would come out of their rides with cramps because they were cooped up for so long.
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Unread post18 Jun 2022, 00:42

Long rides are as long as a piece of string because other consumable/restriction issues may become relevant. One would have to look up NATOPS/Dash Onesies to glean particular aircraft info. Example ENGINE OIL use may become a restriction?

Like I have to do here, I cannot post ENTIRE ARTICLES. The moderators restricted me to 'no more than 50%' but of course it can depend sometimes. DOGE posts great walls of text, often a lot is just FLUFF, talking points repeated over and over. One would have to contact the absent moderators to get them to speak to DOGE. Perhaps he is involved in effort below?
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mixelflick

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Unread post21 Jun 2022, 14:53

I'm curious as to why the design spec was for so much internal fuel/long(er) legs than the legacy birds?

On the one hand, preserving stealth dictated a significant amount of internal fuel. It carries so much more than comparable airframes though, especially single engine types like the F-16. I'm guessing that thrust to weight ratio wasn't as important when designing the F-35, at least compared to the F-15/16?

Don't get me wrong, I know it has the most powerful fighter engine flying and outstanding T2W/acceleration after just a bit of fuel is burned off. I doubt the pentagon had the Pacific in mind when developing specs, but unclear whether or not Europe was still the presumed battlespace?
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steve2267

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 00:23

At what point during a mission do you require a killer T/W ratio?

Just after takeoff?

What is the T/W ratio of Vipers and Eagles when they are loaded with gas for a long (for them) mission?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Gums

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 03:56

Salute!

For one more time......

The Viper had one of the best fuel fractions for its original mission of A2A or limited A2G of anything since the P-51, or maybe F-86. The Riccione and Boyd "road show" promoting the Tigershark talked about the fuel fraction aspects of the existing planes minus the Viper. We were given high grades.

The SLUF had great range and was an outstanding bomb truck and I have posted our real world combat range circles over and over. But its fuel fraction was not as high as the Viper. We had about 9,000 pounds internal and 22,000 pounds empty, but the Viper had 7K internal and was 16.5K empty. Then remember the 14K thrust versus the 24K thrust for those weights and drag and ......

For A2A mission, Viper weighed about 24K loaded with fuel and some Limas. SLUF was about 37K with 8 Mk-82's and 2 Winders. You do the math!

The new kid on the block has an obcene amount of internal fuel, and is cleaner than the SLUF. I do not know any fighter/attack pilot that does not want those numbers.

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steve2267

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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 04:51

It seems to me someone wanted the Lightning to have Viper-like T/W numbers over the target with enough gas left to actually do stuff and not be sucking on fumes -- and the target was a lot further away than what the 4th genners were doing at the time the specs were written.

Fat Amy arriving over the target area with four Slammers, having burned, say, 8k gas, will have a T/W on the order of 1.08. Nothing to sneaze about. Plus you get a disappear switch, orgazmic helmet + God's eye SA. So the F-35 appears to have T/W ratios approaching the Viper for when the pilot gets to the playground.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post22 Jun 2022, 05:00

As gums is saying, it's not complicated. When you load the other planes the same as a F-35. The F-35 is ahead.

None can go in a supersonic flight with these external stores and are limited to subsonic.
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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 04:45

Salute!

To be honest, Optimist, the Viper and Eagle and others could enter the fight with many missiles and be supersonic. The Viper with wing tip Slammers or Limas and one for station 8 and 2, could easily enter the merge supersonic. BFD!!! First turn or going vertical and you are in the heart of the envelope of the Viper - 0.85M or maybe slower.

I am puzzled by the supersonic requirements ( ditto for the hype over "hypersonic' stuff), but unnerstan why going fast to intercept an incoming raid is a good thing. The thing that counts is not 30 seconds to get there, but what can you do when you merge.

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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 06:31

It's what fanboys do when we don't have the real data on the F-35. We can only talk wiki specs. With current IR sensors, I think the last thing you want to do is heat up the frame with supersonic air friction. Wiki specs and CONOPS are different.
So I should have been more specific. I was referring to air to ground with 2x 2k lb 2 missiles and equivalent fuel fraction. The F-35 can go M1.6. the others cant go supersonic with that load.
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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 18:15

While some are quibbling about stuff that we’ve gone over many times before, F-35s of each type show up to LFEs doing this kind of thing —

“I was leading a four ship of F-35s on a strike against 4th Gen adversaries, F-16s and F/A-18s. We fought our way in, we mapped the target, found the target, dropped JDAMs on the target and turned around and fought our way out. All the targets got hit, nobody got detected, and all the adversaries died. I thought, yes, this works, very, very, very well. Never detected, nobody had any idea we were out there.”. (Quote from Col Mo Vaughn USMC in ‘The Aviationist’ interview circa 2016. Some might recall that Mo is a former TOPGUN instructor, and now, CO MAG-13 at Yuma. For those unfamiliar, a MAG is the rough equivalent of a Wing in the USAF).

Are they perfect all the time? No, and it would be unrealistic to expect so. But, the lesson is, ‘listen to the guys who fly it.’
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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 19:18

Salute!

Thanks, Quick. out.

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Unread post23 Jun 2022, 20:16

Article with 'QS' "Mo" quote here: https://theaviationist.com/2016/12/08/f ... ceptional/
Four of the most experienced USMC F-35B pilots speak about their aircraft. And they say it’s exceptional.
08 Dec 2016 TODD MILLER [4 page PDF of article without pictures attached below]

Which article was born earlier at SLDinfo:
https://sldinfo.com/2016/12/the-moment- ... aordinary/
The Moment Pilots First Realized the F-35 was Something Extraordinary
06 Dec 2016 Todd Miller [10 page PDF of this article attached below - ONE LINE PARAGRAPHS ROOOL - not]
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Unread post24 Jun 2022, 14:38

quicksilver wrote:While some are quibbling about stuff that we’ve gone over many times before, F-35s of each type show up to LFEs doing this kind of thing —

“I was leading a four ship of F-35s on a strike against 4th Gen adversaries, F-16s and F/A-18s. We fought our way in, we mapped the target, found the target, dropped JDAMs on the target and turned around and fought our way out. All the targets got hit, nobody got detected, and all the adversaries died. I thought, yes, this works, very, very, very well. Never detected, nobody had any idea we were out there.”. (Quote from Col Mo Vaughn USMC in ‘The Aviationist’ interview circa 2016. Some might recall that Mo is a former TOPGUN instructor, and now, CO MAG-13 at Yuma. For those unfamiliar, a MAG is the rough equivalent of a Wing in the USAF).

Are they perfect all the time? No, and it would be unrealistic to expect so. But, the lesson is, ‘listen to the guys who fly it.’


"We fought our way in" and "we fought are way out" don't square up with "Never detected, nobody had any idea we were out there.” If you weren't detected, you wouldn't have to fight either on the way in or way out, no? Get in undetected, drop bombs/destroy target and then egress undetected. Or is he referring to "non-kinetic" fighting?

What am I missing?
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Unread post24 Jun 2022, 14:57

steve2267 wrote:At what point during a mission do you require a killer T/W ratio?

Just after takeoff?

What is the T/W ratio of Vipers and Eagles when they are loaded with gas for a long (for them) mission?


The F-35 specs/story have been written. More interesting I think, is how USAF answers these questions in the context of NGAD/PCA. Which is another plane/subject for another time, yes. Your take on the F-35 (spec was to have high T2W when over the target/later in the mission) seems quite correct, IMO. At least, that's what they arrived at.

It will be interesting to see not if, but how far to the right this capability gets moved in the NGAD specs. I don't see them abandoning a high T2W altogether. Especially given the fighter community in USAF and elsewhere seems slow to make wholesale deviations from "what's worked" in the past, and a high T2W was certainly part of "what's worked". Primarily, looking the large number of Israeli kills flying F-15's/16's, along with what happened in DS and Bosnia.

A "fuel first" LOW T2W mothership with massive internal fuel/weapons paired with very high T2W capable drones could be under consideration. That would leapfrog even the F-35's massive internal fuel/long legs, but without its high T2W/agility /acceleration over the battlefield. Nevertheless, its tough to see USAF going to something like this in one, gigantic step (philosophically and from a physical, airframe(s) perspective) IMO.
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