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F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2021, 15:53
by hotpogger
What I was wondering was, how good is the acceleration on the F-35A, compared to jets like the F-16, Su-35, Rafale, F-15, F-18 and other comparable jets.

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2021, 16:12
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Pretty sure this has been described in many past threads, use of the Search tool will get you to them for the full discussions. The short story is this, in airshow configs it can be out accelerated by things like Vipers and Eagles while out doing things like Hornets, etc. When all planes are in their warfighting configurations for A-G work the F-35A sees change due to increased weight from the weapons, while everyone else gets weight AND drag from weapons, tanks, and pods.

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 03:14
by alloycowboy
hotpogger wrote:What I was wondering was, how good is the acceleration on the F-35A, compared to jets like the F-16, Su-35, Rafale, F-15, F-18 and other comparable jets.


Actually that is more a fuel fraction and weapons load out question because it depends how heavy the relative jets are when you fire wall the throttle. Based on Newton's Second Law the equation for Accerlation is:

Accelation= (Thrust-Drag)/Mass

Since the F-35 has a minimum amount of parasitic drag because it typically carries it weapons internally it will win most drag races to the sound barrier.

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 03:55
by charlielima223
An oldie but a goldie
https://youtu.be/kyC13RlXus4

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 04:30
by Corsair1963
alloycowboy wrote:
hotpogger wrote:What I was wondering was, how good is the acceleration on the F-35A, compared to jets like the F-16, Su-35, Rafale, F-15, F-18 and other comparable jets.


Actually that is more a fuel fraction and weapons load out question because it depends how heavy the relative jets are when you fire wall the throttle. Based on Newton's Second Law the equation for Acceleration is:

Acceleration= (Thrust-Drag)/Mass

Since the F-35 has a minimum amount of parasitic drag because it typically carries it weapons internally it will win most drag races to the sound barrier.


Yes, take a combat loaded a F-15EX with external CFT's, pylons, weapons, etc. etc. vs clean F-35A and it isn't even a contest.

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 07:25
by hornetfinn
charlielima223 wrote:An oldie but a goldie
https://youtu.be/kyC13RlXus4


Thanks. That lead me to this another oldie but goldie:


Just to put on some perspective on things. F-35A carries so much fuel internally that all 4th gen fighters have to carry at least 3 EFTs and usually even CFTs. Add to that internal carriage of weapons and targeting pod in F-35 vs all external on 4th gens. In clean or light air-to-air configuration in all aircraft, F-35A has very good acceleration but not the greatest. But due to massive internal fuel volume, it could fly a lot longer than almost any other fighter. In air-to-ground combat configurations with weapons and enough fuel to complete a mission, it will easily out-accelerate pretty much anything. F-22 might be an exception, but only within narrow mission set due to not having targeting pod and only being able to use JDAM and SDB.

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 08:26
by Corsair1963
According to Beesley even the AIM-120 (Amraam) would have a big impact on performance. If, it was carried externally.....

Re: F-35A acceleration vs 4.5th gen fighters

Unread postPosted: 18 Feb 2021, 08:31
by element1loop
Just look visually at recent mass-launches of different types including F-35A for exercise, and it's clear even from a standing start that a fully fueled and presumably full-internal weapon load F-35A is a jet which uses afterburner more, accelerates faster, and climbs much steeper than the others, even when drag is not a significant factor below 200 knots.

Also, all the other jets make minimum use of burner to conserve fuel, but F-35A launch doesn't conserve fuel, they usually burn and zoom-climb out while the others seem to be below 10,000 ft per minute in more typical lower power climbs, to conserve fuel. So it's not just that F-35A can accelerate faster from the roll, but they also have both the fuel and drag advantage, to do it routinely. Even F-22As typically avoid unnecessary AB use during these fully loaded exercise mass-launches.

Very impressive loaded raw acceleration, and the ability to burn fuel at will, because these pilots are apparently confident they won't need the fuel they have to complete the planned exercise with fuel to spare.

Could this be a part of the elevated CPFH story? If I were flying it, yes, it would be. :mrgreen:

(don't try that in a J31 or J20 kids)