F-35C use for land operations

Variants for different customers or mission profiles
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battleshipagincourt

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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 03:01

During the development phase it seemed likely that the F-35C was going to come out ahead of the other variants in some respects, such as range and sustained turn abilities. However as the final products eventually came out, it fell short of expectations. Due to the added weight for carrier landings and the added drag of larger wings, F-35C ended up having only slightly better range despite having much more fuel.

I was wondering if a land-based F-35 with larger wings was ever considered. I could also see them omitting the internal cannon on the A variant to save weight and cost. Just about the only thing shared amongst all the variants is probe and drogue refueling for foreign customers. Have any other options like this been seriously explored or were such modifications just too extreme and never considered?
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 03:39

Not sure what you are referring to when you say this for example: "...Just about the only thing shared amongst all the variants is probe and drogue refueling for foreign customers...." ONLY Space retained on the A model for probe/drogue.

Meanwhile this old thread may be useful and of course I reckon this topic has been discussed before in various ways.

F-35A vs B vs C 21 Oct 2015 viewtopic.php?f=55&t=28236
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madrat

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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 14:05

I have a hard time believing F-35C has barely any range advantage over F-35A. When you relax the average speed of the mission that big wing and its larger fuel reservoir should be a major bonus. And it should be anything but a handicap when it comes to BFM. The F-35A may be better in the scissors, but missile technology makes up for any gap there.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 14:20

'madrat' said: "I have a hard time believing F-35C has barely any range advantage over F-35A...." I have a hard time believing that you don't believe what has been said over and over officially for years in SARs and in old LM F-35 Fast Facts. SAR below with RANGE internal fuel being 1,200 NM for both in the fast facts for years and years but now discontinued.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 14:39

It should be noted, however, that each variant uses a different profile. In other words, a classic apples to oranges comparison.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 15:15

madrat wrote:I have a hard time believing F-35C has barely any range advantage over F-35A. When you relax the average speed of the mission that big wing and its larger fuel reservoir should be a major bonus. And it should be anything but a handicap when it comes to BFM. The F-35A may be better in the scissors, but missile technology makes up for any gap there.


The F-35C has larger wings which likely means bigger drag compared to the F-35A. This likely means that the F-35C bigger drag "offsets" its fuel advantage over the F-35A.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 16:00

quicksilver wrote:It should be noted, however, that each variant uses a different profile. In other words, a classic apples to oranges comparison.

I will guess that the 'different profiles' get the maximum for each variant? Otherwise why bother if there are different profiles OR do the numbers reach the same for the A & C because that's the way 'THEY' like it? Knowing the profiles helps.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 20:21

IIRC they are not public info.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 20:43

I understand that so any 'variant comparison' numbers are meaningless. They are ballpark numbers only. No quibbling.
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Unread post23 Nov 2022, 20:50

Over the years we’ve read various numbers quoted, most of which are likely accurate for a given set of assumptions. Of course, they may or may not reflect an operational reality.

I think we’ve been down this road before.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 00:11

Agree. Why down same road? At least it is NOT "F-35 can't dogfight rabbit hole". :-) IF some posters would care to look at military jet NATOPS/flight manual range/endurance charts they can see how there are myriad ways of doing things.
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 05:03

“F-35C ended up having only slightly better range despite having much more fuel.“

Battleship, ‘additional fuel capacity’ (in this case ~1200#) can be used many ways in the course of any given mission — e.g. fly faster; fly farther; preserve more combat reserve; set-aside for multiple recoveries/approaches and/or bingo/divert assumptions, and so on.

Wrt a big-wing variant of the ‘A’, that essentially would have been a fourth variant — with its own variant-specific flight and structural test requirements. To my knowledge, such a thing was never seriously considered.
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 07:26

ricnunes wrote:
madrat wrote:I have a hard time believing F-35C has barely any range advantage over F-35A. When you relax the average speed of the mission that big wing and its larger fuel reservoir should be a major bonus. And it should be anything but a handicap when it comes to BFM. The F-35A may be better in the scissors, but missile technology makes up for any gap there.


The F-35C has larger wings which likely means bigger drag compared to the F-35A. This likely means that the F-35C bigger drag "offsets" its fuel advantage over the F-35A.


It's also about 20% heavier empty. I bet larger weight and drag will noticeably increase fuel consumption when accelerating and climbing. I think C-model likely has slightly lower fuel consumption at optimum speed and altitude but it will burn more fuel to get there. Internal fuel load is only about 8% larger in C-model, so the difference is actually quite small there and other factors (weight and drag) are likely more important.
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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 14:15

Here ya go, from 10 years ago —

viewtopic.php?t=20286

Of particular note, this link from spaz’ offering —

viewtopic.php?p=226329What

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ricnunes

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Unread post24 Nov 2022, 15:42

Guys,

About the supposed "larger wing and land based F-35 variant", don't you think that if such variant had any significant advantage over the current "shorter wing" F-35A that the same F-35A would have been designed with the larger wing instead of the current "shorter wing"?

Well, my 2 cents anyway...
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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