zero-one wrote:I always thought a stripped down Hornet would be the best Flanker mirror.

There's not even a need to strip it. A fully-fueled F/A-18A with no stores already has better T:W than an Su27 with the same. Put three 330 gal bags and 6 AAMs on the Hornet and you have just about the same T:W everywhere

F/A-18A CleanFuel Load lb 10,860

Empty Weight lb 23,050

Weapon Weight lb 0

Full fuel Weight lb 33,910

Under MTOW lb 17,990

Dry Thrust lb 22,000

A/B Thrust lb 35,500

Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.649

HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel

1.047 Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.772

HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel

1.246 Su27SM CleanFuel Load lb 20,724

Empty Weight lb 40,045

Weapon Weight lb 0

Full fuel Weight lb 60,769

Under MTOW lb 6,331

Dry Thrust lb 33,820

A/B Thrust lb 55,120

Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.557

HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel

0.907 Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.755

HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel

1.237 The clean F/A-18A always had the better T:W than a clean Su27SM, And when you put 3 bags and 6 AAMs on the Hornet and Su the Hornet

still comes out evenly matched.

F/A-18C (3 x 330 US Gal)Fuel lb

18,167 Empty Weight lb 23,050

Weapon Weight lb 1,795

(4 x AIM-120C7 + 2 x AIM-9X)Full fuel Weight lb 43,011

Under MTOW lb 8,889

Dry Thrust lb 22,550

A/B Thrust lb 35,500

Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.524

HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel

0.825 Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.665

HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel

1.046 Su27SMFuel Load lb

20,724 Empty Weight lb 40,045

Weapon Weight lb 3,094

(9A1-4071K (GSh-301) 150x30mm, 2 x R-73, 4 x R-27)Full fuel Weight lb 63,863

Under MTOW lb 3,237

Dry Thrust lb 33,820

A/B Thrust lb 55,120

Dry Thrust 100% fuel 0.530

HP: lb Ratio 100% fuel

0.863 Dry Thrust 50% fuel 0.632

HP: lb Ratio 50% fuel

1.030 That’s a very even match already, and the

Hornet has only 2,537 lb less fuel than the Su27SM, and the drag of the extra three bags on the Hornet will take away the Hornet’s slight AB T:W advantage. No weight stripping required - both jets have 4 BVR, and 2 WVR missiles.

Unfortunately the likes of Carlo Kopp (in particular) provided everyone a fairly bent perception of the relative performance potential between the Hornet and Flanker, because the Hornet was generally the better jet in almost every area, except total fuel load.