Fighter jets with vector thurst not worth it?

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post26 Dec 2019, 22:36

Hi everyone

I'm interested in knowing why the US seems less interested in having vector thrust for its fighters? I've seen some amazing videos with the F-16 using it. Shown below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj8OJs6E3JM

Outside of the F-22, why hasn't the US military (or other NATO countries for that matter) pushed for vector thrust with its fighters? Surely the F-16 could have had it installed, and I'm thinking it would have been possible to put them in the F-15, F-18, and F-35. I'm sure some sacrifice would have to be made with them (weight and fuel perhaps?). But Russia has been able to install them on the Mig-29 and SU-27 etc. for it's fighters.

My guess is leaning heavy on the US not thinking one on one dogfighting is as important as other factors, and even in dogfighting, I'm thinking tactics exists that would still not require vector thrust? For example, stay fast and climb or dive vs a slow turn fight? I'm not sure which is why I'm asking the question because it sure seems like we could have installed them on our fighters.

Thank you everyone. :)
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milosh

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Unread post26 Dec 2019, 22:53

F-16 VISTA nozzle was very complex:
download/file.php?id=18404&mode=view

F-22 and Flanker TVC (excluding Su-35 and Su-57) are mechanical simple designs.

Here is AL-31F nozzle:
http://avia-simply.ru/wp-content/upload ... AL31FP.jpg

As you can see couple of pistons, so you don't lose almost nothing adding such nozzle to fighter.

Vector thrusting is achieved by pushing ring on which nozzle is mounted.


F-22 engine F119 also have simple mechanism (nozzle itself is very complex but tvc is simple):
download/file.php?id=873&mode=view

So probable complex mechanism and price of upgrade was what killed F-15 and F-16 tvc projects.

What is strange I don't think F-15 nor F-16 had 2d tvc round nozzles, just 3d. 2d thrust is lot easier to be done.

Su-57 have complex tvc nozzle similar to VISTA nozzle:
https://defence-blog.com/wp-content/upl ... ab5208.jpg

and it look like Su-35 have similar nozzle mechanism (it showed real 3d tvc during demos).
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zhangmdev

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Unread post26 Dec 2019, 23:13

Thrust vectoring with 3-D nozzles has been studies extentively by the West. Its main advantage is in the very low speed, very high AOA, and Post-Stall regime. I'd say it is not worth the cost incurred.

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/pdf ... etp_d6.pdf

http://www.icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS20 ... CA0534.PDF
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wrightwing

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Unread post26 Dec 2019, 23:23

rowbeartoe wrote:Hi everyone

I'm interested in knowing why the US seems less interested in having vector thrust for its fighters? I've seen some amazing videos with the F-16 using it. Shown below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj8OJs6E3JM

Outside of the F-22, why hasn't the US military (or other NATO countries for that matter) pushed for vector thrust with its fighters? Surely the F-16 could have had it installed, and I'm thinking it would have been possible to put them in the F-15, F-18, and F-35. I'm sure some sacrifice would have to be made with them (weight and fuel perhaps?). But Russia has been able to install them on the Mig-29 and SU-27 etc. for it's fighters.

My guess is leaning heavy on the US not thinking one on one dogfighting is as important as other factors, and even in dogfighting, I'm thinking tactics exists that would still not require vector thrust? For example, stay fast and climb or dive vs a slow turn fight? I'm not sure which is why I'm asking the question because it sure seems like we could have installed them on our fighters.

Thank you everyone. :)

The performance gains weren't worth the trade offs in weight, cost, complexity, maintenance, etc.....
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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 00:00

rowbeartoe wrote: Surely the F-16 could have had it installed, and I'm thinking it would have been possible to put them in the F-15, F-18, and F-35.


It is not simply a matter of bolting on a moveable nozzle. Vectoring of thrust changes all of the handling and performance characteristics of the aircraft. Thrust vectoring needs to be fully integrated with the flight control system. Adding vectored thrust to the F-16 would require an entire rewrite of the entire flight control program, along with the associated flight testing, training of pilots, etc.
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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 00:02

Extra weight also can mean loss of range, endurance and performance where you actually need it 99% of the time. Weight and cost definitely given as a reason why it never made it onto F-35 - that and also its large A-G focus.

For the F-16 reasons given were advent of HOBS missiles and deemed to be of limited value in an actual fight.
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h-bomb

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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 00:19

basher54321 wrote:Extra weight also can mean loss of range, endurance and performance where you actually need it 99% of the time. Weight and cost definitely given as a reason why it never made it onto F-35 - that and also its large A-G focus.

For the F-16 reasons given were advent of HOBS missiles and deemed to be of limited value in an actual fight.


Isn't the F-35B Nozzle capable of vectoring?? In the demo videos it appears to have at least a limited TVC. As it provides the the left/right rotation in a hover.
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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 00:32

I guess it would do in a hover - any video in particular?
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 02:05

Thank you everyone. :)[/quote]
The performance gains weren't worth the trade offs in weight, cost, complexity, maintenance, etc.....[/quote]

Is there any breakdown in performance comparison to a thrust vector MIG/SU vs non thrust vectoring?

Thank you
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wrightwing

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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 16:13

rowbeartoe wrote:Thank you everyone. :)

The performance gains weren't worth the trade offs in weight, cost, complexity, maintenance, etc.....

Is there any breakdown in performance comparison to a thrust vector MIG/SU vs non thrust vectoring?

Thank you

The bottom line is that thrust vectoring isn't going to be the determining factor, on who wins an aerial engagement. We looked at it, and decided it wasn't worth the trouble retrofitting it on legacy jets (or F-35s.) It was an option for Typhoons, too, yet nobody has been considering it.
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wrightwing

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Unread post27 Dec 2019, 16:15

h-bomb wrote:
basher54321 wrote:Extra weight also can mean loss of range, endurance and performance where you actually need it 99% of the time. Weight and cost definitely given as a reason why it never made it onto F-35 - that and also its large A-G focus.

For the F-16 reasons given were advent of HOBS missiles and deemed to be of limited value in an actual fight.


Isn't the F-35B Nozzle capable of vectoring?? In the demo videos it appears to have at least a limited TVC. As it provides the the left/right rotation in a hover.

No, the B nozzle function isn't considered thrust vectoring in the common understanding of the term.
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krieger22

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Unread post28 Dec 2019, 16:06

With the advent of all-aspect imaging-infrared close range missiles and significantly improved BVR missiles, as well as the likelihood that peer competitors will catch up on that front eventually, it was decided that the agility gain in WVR combat was not worth the expense. You are not going to out-turn a smaller and (critically) non-G-limited missile in a fight, despite the chest thumping from credulous Rogoway groupies.

An F-35B does the job of a hypothetical productionized F-15 S/MTD better nowadays. Granted, Patlabor II sure as hell made that look great...
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Unread post29 Dec 2019, 13:23

If you go into other forums and even on Social media discussions there seems to be an over arching narrative that the West, the US in particular believes that since dogfights will not happen, equipping aircraft for dogfights is a useless investment.

The fact that when kinematic performance is discussed most of the F-22/35 crowd responds with, "you'll be dead before you know we're there" doesn't help. Everyone else simply brings up Vietnam and the mentality of that era that led to the atrocious kill/loss ratios.

I'll say it again, the F-22/35 is not repeating the mistakes of Vietnam. Why choose between WVR or BVR prowess when you can have both.

Though WVR is expected to decrease in future conflicts, all Western fighters are required from the beginning to dominate their Russian/Chinese counterparts in that area also when that circumstance arises.

However the philosophy on how to dominate a dogfight is different between Russia and the West. Western ACM doctrines are centered around the E-M theory which emphasizes, high speed and high G maneuvering where TVC is not useful.

So while Western fighters seem to lack TVC compared to their Russian counterparts, they generally have higher Thrust to weight ratios and more powerful engines compared to their Russian counterparts.

Whenever I'm presented with the apparent lack of TVC as "evidence" that the west is not prepared for dogfights, I tell them that the apparent lack of powerful motors is similarly "evidence" that Russia is not prepared for dogfights. (just to troll)

Realistically, TVC isn't very important in the Western ACM philosophy and thats the reason why they'd rather put money on bigger motors
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vilters

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Unread post29 Dec 2019, 14:11

While TVC is great for airshows? Just ask any combat pilot what he prefers for actual future combat.

TVC is for WVR. => If you get there ? => You did not do your job in the first place. (or you did not have the tools to avoid it.)

Many a "real" combat pilot would prefer better SA, better avionix, better weapons, more reliability and more fuel.

If you get a fixed budget to R&D a new combat aircraft?
Do you prefer that money and weight spend on better avionix and more fuel or on TVC?

Just like swing-wings before them, TVC is not worth the weight, cost, maintenance, reliability.

But please Russia? Don't stop building them. I like a good airshow. :devil:
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Unread post29 Dec 2019, 14:18

TVC is about “pointing” — for weapons employment or positional advantage in very very tight fights. The ability in more recent times to “point” a wvr weapon with far less need to point the jet has made tvc less relevant and therefore more vulnerable to cost vs capability trades. It’s not about bvr vs wvr.
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