F-16. Why it was and still is a great fighter

Agreed, it will never be a fair fight but how would the F-16 match up against the ... ?
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Unread post18 Jul 2021, 20:49

Hi Everyone. I wanted to put together a place everyone can read the great things that have been said about the F-16.

Code One. July 1995. Vol 10 No 3. Page 10-19.
https://www.codeonemagazine.com/images/ ... 8_9859.pdf

May 1995

As told by Capt. Mike McCoy one of the 510th FS F-16 pilots that flew against JG 73 MiG-29s, the most impressive aspect of the Fulcrum’s performance for the American pilots was its low-speed maneuverability combined with its helmet mounted sight system. “In a low-speed fight, fighting the Fulcrum is similar to fighting an F-18 Hornet, but the Fulcrum has a thrust advantage over the Hornet. An F-18 can really crank its nose around if you get into a slow-speed fight, but it has to lose altitude to regain the energy, which allows us to get on top of them. The MiG has about the same nose authority at slow speeds, but it can regain energy much faster. Plus the MiG pilots have that forty five-degree cone in front of them into which they can fire an Archer and eat you up.”

…Below 200 knots, the MiG-29 has incredible nose-pointing capability down to below 100 knots. The F-16, however, enjoys an advantage in the 200 knot-plus regime. At higher speeds, we can power above them to go to the vertical. And our turn rate is significantly better. By being patient and by keeping airspeed up around 325 knots, an F-16 can bring the MiG-29 to its nose.

McCoy and other two USAF pilots had the chance to fly in German Fulcrums and they explained some of the several limitations of the MiG-29. “Their visibility is not that good, their disadvantage is a real advantage for us. F-16 pilots sit high in the cockpit. All the MiG-29 pilots who sat in our cockpit wanted to look around with the canopy closed. They were impressed that they could turn around and look at the tail and even see the engine can. Besides visibility, I expected better turning performance, the MiG-29 is not a continuous nine-g machine like the F-16.”

A claim confirmed also by Capt. Michael Raubbach, then Fulcrum pilot of the JG 73. “Our visibility is not as good as an F-16 or even an F-15. We can’t see directly behind us. We have to look out the side slightly to see behind us, which doesn’t allow us to maintain a visual contact and an optimum lift vector at the same time. This shortcoming can be a real problem, especially when flying against an aircraft as small as the F-16.”

Other limitations were experienced when the centerline fuel tank was carried by the aircraft, such as the inability of the fighter to fly supersonic with the tank attached, an operational scenario that also limited the MiG-29 to four g’s when the tank had fuel remaining.

McCoy “The Mig29 is not a continuous nine-g machine like the F-16. I tried to do some things I normally do in an F-16. For example, I tried a high-AOA gun jink. I got the Fulcum down to about 180 knots and pulled ninety degrees off bank and pulling heavy g’s I then went to idle and added a little rudder to get the jet to roll with ailerons. The pilot took control away from me in the middle of these maneuvers because the airplane was about to: snap. I use the F-16’s quick roll rate like this all the time with no problem. “I also tried to do a 250-knot loop”, McCoy recalled. “I went to mil power and stabilized. As I went nose high, I asked for afterburner. I had to hamfist the airplane a little as I approached the top of the loop. I was still in afterburner at about 15,000 feet and the jet lost control. The nose started slicing left and right. I let go of the stick and the airplane righted itself and went down. It couldn’t finish the loop. In the F-16, we can complete an entire loop at 250knots.

Attached is a spreadsheet/picture I made with information from the great book of modern warplanes.
F-16c vs support picture.PNG
F16 vs rev c.xlsx
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