Here’s why Iran’s new stealth fighter jet can’t fly

Although the oddities of the Qaher 313 or Q-313 or F-313 have been already listed in the article “Iran unveils new indigenous stealth fighter “Qaher 313″. And here’s a detailed analysis” many of the readers of The Aviationist have requested to recap them in a new post.

Hence, here below you can find all the reasons why we can affirm that Iran’s new stealth plane, at least in the form that was showcased on Feb. 2 during the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies held in Tehran, is nothing more than a mock-up.

The size of the plane is weird. The cockpit seems to be too small, to such an extent a normal pilot doesn’t properly fit in the ejection seat. Have you ever seen a pilot with his knees above the side borders of the cockpit and his helmet well beyond the ejection seat’s head pad?

The general shape of the plane is interesting, probably the result of many inputs including the X-32, the X-36, the Boeing Bird of Prey. Still, wings with outern section canted downward seem to be a bit too little to sustain the weight of the aircraft, especially the “adveniristic plane” is intended to carry a powerful engine and internal payload

Overall, the plane seems to lack the characteristic rivets, bolts all aircraft, including stealthy ones, feature. Images released so far show it as a plastic-made aircraft

The engine exhaust misses any kind of nozzle. The use of afterburner (or, simply, the engine temperature) would possibly melt the entire structure of the jet

The aircraft sports fixed canards and air intakes a bit too small to feed a modern jet plane’s engine; air intakes resemble those used by modern UCAV designs. They are located above the wing meaning that at high AOA (Angle Of Attack) the intakes would  get turbulent or no air at all for the engine.

The cockpit is too simple: the front panel lacks the typical wiring while it features few instruments of a type you expect to find on small private planes. Some readers have noticed the airspeed indicator is limited to 300 MPH.

The canopy lacks transparency and looks like it is made of plexiglass

The nose and main landing gear seem not to be retractable (although the hinge mechanism could be hidden by the door bay). Someone has pointed out the landing gear bays dimensions are such to be unable to accommodate the stowed gear but I found no way to verify this theory

The flying aircraft shown in the video released yesterday is a radio controlled model (but, it looks like Iranian media outlets have already confirmed this).

Some Iranian readers have said the F-313 is not intended to be an actual plane but a drone. Maybe.

Still the aircraft, manned or unmanned, as displayed on Feb. 2 will hardly take to the air unless extensive modifications are made.


Image credit: MEHR

Enhanced by Zemanta


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The “thing” shown is definitely a mock-up, but the design shouts out that it is a “Volksjaeger” destined to fly low (very low) at high subsonic speed, refrain from any kind of agile maneovers and air combat, do its best to avoid radar and EO sensors and hit:

    1. anything civil or mil at the Persian Gulf (no sensors needed for target acquisition in such a target-rich environment)

    2. Predefined, huge static targets, like… uhm… US military bases, energy lines, infrastructure at the region.

    I think Iran will not find any difficulty finding pilots fur such a “kamikaze” mission..

  2. Another point that was raised elsewhere is the stage the plane is standing on. It seems that there is no way to position the plane on the stage without somehow lifting it.

    I am no specialist, but lifting a fighter jet weighting several tons seems like an impossible task to me, unless it is a hollow fiberglass mockup.

    • It’s not altogether difficult to lift a plane, as it’s done even with commercial planes several times the size and weight of a military aircraft. The process is a little complex but in essence you use hydraulic jacks and reinforced cords to lift it depending on what you need. The fact that it’s necessary for movement onto a stage does reduce the possibility of it being a potential risk as you typically want fighter aircraft to have the ability to lift off at a moment’s notice. You also have to consider the fact that unless they’ve managed to completely destroy all concepts of aviation, a plane of its size would most likely not be able to sustain itself. It also has no possibility of Afterburners if it has no true nozzles for the exhaust (heat generated would destroy the plane) and it can’t carry radar or any sort of anti-radar technology. All in all…if this isn’t a sick joke it’s really depressing how these people could even claim to belong to the field of aviation.

  3. Part of me wants to say, “If the Iranians put half the effort they place on these propaganda stunts, into real projects, they might actually accomplish something besides generating snickers.” Realistically, one wonders whose career in Iran is advanced by devising and promulgating this sort of flimsy propaganda. Some say it is for domestic consumption. But many ordinary Iranians are pretty well educated and tech savvy – at least the ones I’ve met – so you have to ask yourself what is the reason all these ridiculous projects and photos are made public? The more I thought about it, the more I came to believe that this stuff is deliberately generated to make the West and its intelligence and military feel a false sense of superiority over Iran, that can be exploited at the right time via the asymmetrical warfare that Iran is actually pretty good at. In any event, they are a people that should never be under-estimated.

Comments are closed.