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. Planes travelling from point to point on the back of a trailer will definitely not be detected by radar. Perhaps that is their tactic?

  2. What would be the point of making such an elaborate hoax, if that is what it really is? Are they interested in making fools of themselves before the world, knowing well that aeronautical engineers will be scrutinizing it closely? It seems like almost everyone is in denial, refusing the believe that Iranians are smart people quite capable of designing, developing and producing their own sophisticated technologies. If Germany and England and France can do so, why doubt that Iran can too?

    • Iran’s point is to create a perception, domestically and internationally, that it has superior military technology. This was the same purpose for the Photoshopped “super-drone” hoax from last year. The Iranian government’s misplaced hope is that such a perception might give it negotiating power against the efforts to keep it from developing nuclear weapons.

      But having flown in US fighter jets, I can assure you that this is clearly another fake. This has nothing to do with “refusing to believe that Iranians are smart people,” and everything to do with Iran’s lack of the necessary experience, advanced research, and infrastructure of manufacturers and networked suppliers that are necessary for producing a high-speed stealth fighter with the required avionics.

    • This has nothing to do with whether or not Iranians are smart! The criticism has one easy rebuttal by the Iranians! Film this thing taking off, landing, or moving on the ground. Why show it in a building on a platform looking rediculously fake?

    • England, Germany and France have been producing sophisticated aviation technology since the advent of powered flight! In fact, British aircraft design was at the forefront of the industry before a political stranglehold forced it to cancel programmes and destroy prototypes in favour of (inferior) imported American models.

    • You say France can do it? How do you know?

      Look at Dassault Rafale. A very good aircraft, but not radar stealthy : too costly to design, too complicated, too costly to fly. Compare classic and stealth designs: stealth is a HUGE thing. It influences every part of the design. F.ex. you need to hide you bomb and missile payload inside the shell.

      And Dassault had a huge experience with fighter design before doing the Rafale.

      And look at the cost of the F-22 program! Too much even for USAF. Smaller countries couldn’t afford such programs.

      Do you seriously believe that Iran, a country that cannot import military technology from many countries, with no experience in stealth design, fighter design, or really any modern plane design at all, would design a stealth fighter, at FIRST?

      It takes decades to achieve this level of technological mastery. So, France could do it, if we wanted to spend a least tenth of billions and a decade designing it; and maybe a decade more fixing the design.

  3. Just look at history, there were many other cases of bluffing specially from weak totalitarian regimes. But let’s face it the Iranian took the mediocrity to a new level. They got no shame!

  4. I wouldn’t say that is an aircraft suitable to be flown by an individual; but has anyone considered this could be a drone! They are probably using the stunt to mislead people. I think it is a prototype for a new drone which could be fitted with laser weapons and other missile components secluded within the aircraft. Might be no aircraft expert, but it seems the only logical answer

Comments are closed.