“No way an F-35 will ever match a Typhoon fighter jet in aerial combat” Eurofighter test pilot says

F-35A of the RNlAF (Image credit: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin claims F-35 kinematics are “better than or equal to” Eurofighter Typhoon. A Eurofighter test pilot disagrees.

In an interesting piece by Flight’s Dave Majumdar, Billie Flynn, Lockheed test pilot responsible for flight envelope expansion activities for the F-35 claimed that all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter will have better kinematic performance than any fourth-generation fighter plane with combat payload, including the Eurofighter Typhoon (that during last year’s Red Flag Alaska achieved several simulated kills against the F-22 Raptor) and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

“In terms of instantaneous and sustained turn rates and just about every other performance metric, the F-35 variants match or considerably exceed the capabilities of every fourth-generation fighter,” Flynn said.

According to the Lockheed pilot, (besides its stealthiness) the F-35 features better transonic acceleration and high AOA (angle-of-attack) flight performance than an armed Typhoon or Super Hornet.

 

As Majumdar says in his article, such claims are strongly disputed by other sources. Among them an experienced Eurofighter Typhoon industry test pilot, who tried to debunk all Flynn’s “theories” about the alleged superior F-35 performance.

Here’s what he wrote to The Aviationist:

No doubt the F-35 will be, when available, a very capable aircraft: its stealth design, extended range, internal carriage of stores and a variety of integrated sensors are definitely the ingredients for success in modern air-to-ground operations.

However, when time comes for air dominance, some other ingredients like thrust to weight ratio and wing loading tend to regulate the sky. And in that nothing comes close to a Typhoon, except an F-22 which has very similar values. The F-35 thrust to weight ratio is way lower and its energy-manoeuvrability diagrams match those of the F/A-18, which is an excellent result for a single engine aircraft loaded with several thousand pounds of fuel and significant armament.

But it also means that starting from medium altitude and above, there is no story with a similarly loaded Typhoon.

Dealing with the transonic acceleration:

Transonic acceleration is excellent in the F-35, as it is for the Typhoon and better than in an F/A-18 or F-16, but mainly due to its low drag characteristics than to its powerplant. That means that immediately after the transonic regime, the F-35 would stop accelerating and struggle forever to reach a non operationally suitable Mach 1.6.

The Typhoon will continue to accelerate supersonic with an impressive steady pull, giving more range to its BVR (Beyond Visual Range) armament.

For what concerns AOA:

Angle-of-attack is remarkably high in the F-35, as it is for all the twin tailed aircraft, but of course it can not be exploited in the supersonic regime, where the limiting load factor is achieved at low values of AoA.

Also in the subsonic regime, the angle-of-attack itself doesn’t mean that much, especially if past a modest 12° AoA you are literally going to fall of the sky! Excessive energy bleeding rates would operationally limit the F-35 well before its ultimate AoA is reached.

Eurofighter superb engine-airframe matching, in combination with its High Off-Bore-Sight armament supported by Helmet Cueing, has already and consistently proven winning against any agile fighter.

Last, the F-35 is capable of supersonic carriage of bombs in the bomb bay, but the fuel penalty becomes almost unaffordable, while delivery is limited to subsonic speeds by the armament itself as is for the Typhoon.

Concluding (highlight mine):

[…] it is in the facts that while the Typhoon can do most of the F-35 air-to-ground mission, vice versa the F-35 remains way far from a true swing role capability, and not even talking of regulating the skies.

Provided that the F-35 will be able to solve all its problems, and that the raising costs will not lead to a death spiral of order cuts, both the British RAF and the Italian Air Force will be equipped with both the JSF and the Typhoon.

Mock aerial combat training will tell us who’s better in aerial combat.

MM7274_Typhoon

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.

68 Comments

  1. Billie has flown all the modern western high performance fighters . . . he is one of a couple of pilots alive who has flown the 16, 18, EF 2000, Tornado . . .

    You can listen to someone who has flown all the aircraft in question or someone who hasn’t.

      • He was the coolest dude in DA1,DA5 or GS062 at Manching.
        The last two years he was president of the SETP and therefore can’t just wildly wrong stuff. LM has other people for that.

      • Flying for the manufacturer doesnt mean ur a liar, LM and Billy can lie all they want but sooner or later the truth will come out. F-35s wont simply be bought in bunches just because the sales man said all this neat stuff about it.

        Customers will and are already buying evaluation aircraft in one or 2 units, if they dont like what they see then they will scrub the order, LM and Billy will loose all credibility and can even be jailed for thieir statements.

        • I agree! Anyway, we will get a chance to see the F-35 fly this summer in UK and everything will be much clearer…I guess it will be pretty embarrassing if MiG-35 or the Su-35 flies right after…it will be embarrassing even if the F-18E flies after it…

          However, even if I believe in kinematics (maneuverability, super cruise, high speed) more than electrons (EW, STEALTH etc.) constantly asking myself how much kinematics is good enough?

        • No it just means you are trying to sell something by telling people how good your product is and how bad the competition is.

  2. Actually the F-35 isn’t even good in the transonic regime. Acceleration from Mach 0.8 to 1.2 is stated to be around 60 seconds for the F-35A and more than 100 seconds for the F-35C.

    A Eurofighter, Rafale or Gripen with an A2A load is going to do the same is less than 30 s. To reach F-35 performance the Eurofighters would have to carry far more than the F-35s meagre internal load.

    • It’s doubtful the Typhoon could out accelerate the Lightning with 2 x drop tanks, 2 x 2000lbs bombs and 2 amraams and a targeting pod hanging off the wing for good measure.

      • It is even more doubtful that anyone would consider 2 x 2000lbs bombs as an A2A load.

        We do however know that a Gripen with 6 A2A missiles (2 Meteor, 4 IRIS-T) and an external fuel tank is able to reach Mach 1.2. We also know that the Eurofighter Typhoon can reach Mach 1.4-1.5 with an A2A load.

        Given the fact that the F-35 is unable to do so we can also conclude that both fighters got a superior acceleration through the transonic region in an A2A configuration.

            • Considering that you can easily replace those two GBU31 JDAMs with a couple more AIM120 AMRAAM, giving it 4 (or possibly more, as DRA pair adapters might be possible; AMRAAM is much smaller than a JDAM) medium-range radar guided missiles, *all internal carry* (emphasis added!), yes, the F-35 can surpass the Gripen or Typhoon performance, because it will still be flying a clean M1.6

              • For how long will that fat pig chug along at mach 1.6? Come on now, tell me! You make it sound like other adversaries have no tricks up their sleeves. That is foolish thinking.

        • I dont remember the Airforce releasing performance rating for a plane still in testing. Dont make up stuff.

        • The Typhoon is capable of supersonic cruise without using afterburners (referred to as supercruise). Air Forces Monthly gives a maximum supercruise speed of Mach 1.1 for the RAF FGR4 multirole version.[130] The Eurofighter Company states that the Typhoon can supercruise at Mach 1.5 in clean configuration and Mach 1.2 with typical air-to-air configuration.[citation needed

  3. Its just as well these planes have such good acceleration because they wont see it coming.

  4. pointless waste of time. No one really expects a typhoon pilot to say “yes my plane is inferior to the Lightning” or the other way round. Everybody will defend their own plane.
    As for me I don’t know how Lightning will perform but I know that the Typhoon is a 4 gen plane trying to remain competitive on a market where 5 gen planes are being developed by many countries.

    • And let’s say it was “5th generation.” You would have a lovely sales pitch but your sustained turn rate would be like an F-4 phantom built in 1959, you would be the slowest bird in the sky, with a mediocre payload, short range, poor acceleration, and only limited frontal area stealth that does nothing against surveillance radars…plus it would be the most expensive plane on the market. Now if that’s what you actually mean by 5th Generation, then I want nothing to do with it.

      • Actually no really, according to Testers and Evaluators of the 59th test squadron
        http://www.8newsnow.com/story/24245766/nellis-afb-f-35-lightening
        “Borrowing some of the best features of the F-16, F-18, A-10, and the hovering Marine Corps Harrier, the F-35 is fast, stealthy, and packs a punch.

        “Fantastic to fly, very powerful, very maneuverable, easy to handle,” Lt. Col O’Malley said.”

        If you remember correctly, the F-16 is still one of the best tight turning platforms in the 4th generation world. It can even turn as tight as the Typhoon below 10,000ft.

        The F/A-18 on the other hand is the bench mark in high AOA nose snaping agility.

        so if the F-35 can mimick that, then its safe,

        No its not an F-22 nor is it a PAK-FA, but can certainly hold its own against Su-35s and other fighters

        • PR. I have no idea how an aircraft with Mach 0,9 cruise speed can be considered “fast”. Meanwhile, statement that it is very maneuverable may be true if you compare it to Harrier, but otherwise it is load of bull, F-35 is simply too heavy, too draggy and has too high wing loading and too low TWR, plus its aerodynamic configuration is inferior to the likes of the F-16, Rafale and Gripen.

          BTW, both Rafale and Gripen can achieve >100* AoA aerodynamically.

          • So by your argumant the B-17 should be the most maneuverable aircraft ever.

            The wing loading on that thing is awsome!!

            Now the F-35 doesnt rely on just its wings to produce lift.

            It has a massive blended body wing design and a highly unstable airframe that produces lift from the Body and the tail.

            The Rafale has close coupled canards which on unstable designs produce a downforce. which is why modern canard designs need very large wings.
            The opposite is true for Tailed delta desings like the F-35, the tail produces lift which is why they can afford to have smaller wings.

            Read here: http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9780

            The F-35 in a heavy configuration can have high wing loading and low TW ratio because it can carry up to 18,500 lbs of fuel and another 18,000 lbs of weapons.

            Something the Rafale can only dream off.
            But in an A-A configuration the F-35 will be just like an F-16 with F/A-18 like AOA capabilities.
            It will outclass the Rafale in some flight regeimes.

            The Rafale was able to reach 100 degrees AOA but only in testing
            The FCS limit is 30 degrees,
            the only way a Rafale can keep up is if it drops all its weapons, Drop tanks, jamming pods, etc and then it may have a slight superiority over the F-35.
            The F-35 on the otherhand is still armed and fuled for a mission

            • “So by your argumant the B-17 should be the most maneuverable aircraft ever.”

              Have you missed the points about “too heavy and too draggy”, or you are simply trolling? I’d say it is the second part.

              About F-35:
              Yes, I know about body lift, thank you. But even so, Rafale, Gripen, F-16 and all Flanker and Fulcrum variants have massive amounts of body lift in both level flight and at high angle of attack. And wing area, as calculated, actually takes into account most of the body lift.

              I’d also like to see actual figures on the “massive instability”. As for your talk about close coupled canards and tail, you are (again) wrong. In level flight, yes, what you wrote is true. But when turning, tail will have to produce downforce in order to pitch aircraft up, while canards will provide upforce. Further, close coupled canards create an area of low pressure on the wing, moving center of lift forward and significantly improving both subsonic and supersonic maneuverability.

              F-35 has high wing loading even with 50% fuel and 4 missiles. Hell, F-35As wing loading when empty is almost as high as Rafale’s is at combat takeoff weight.

              “It will outclass the Rafale in some flight regeimes.”

              In low-level strike it definetly will, because it is designed for it. But that’s it.

              “The Rafale was able to reach 100 degrees AOA but only in testing
              The FCS limit is 30 degrees,”

              It showcases aerodynamic configuration. Rafale is limited to 32 degrees operationally because there is no need for more. Anything above that would fall under post-stall maneuverability, and post-stall maneuvers in combat are simply fancier name for “suicide through stupidity”. But Rafale delays stall through vortex lift, and vortex lift also allows it to remain controllable in the post-stall regime.

              “the only way a Rafale can keep up is if it drops all its weapons, Drop
              tanks, jamming pods, etc and then it may have a slight superiority over
              the F-35.”

              Aerodynamically clean Rafale still has 2 wingtip missiles, and there are four more body stations (two centerline, two side) which produce negligible drag, especially centerline stations. Rafale doesn’t need jamming pods, and drop tanks are always dropped prior to start of aerial combat.

              Basically, you have only said that F-35 can match Rafale when it comes to ground attack. Which is not that unrealistic considering that Rafale was always primarly an air superiority fighter and F-35 was always primarly a ground attack aircraft.

              • the B-17 comparison was to make you realise that wing laoding is not the determining factor anymore.

                Not if you dont include body lifting surfaces.

                Body lift is not calculated in wing loading,

                because when you calculate wing loading, you only take the
                F-35A’s 460 sq feet, of wing area as the sole lifting surface.

                What you don’t know is that it only produce around 55% of the F-35’s total lift.
                The total lifting area of the F-35A is 828 sq feet. Calculate wing loading with that figure.

                The 45% is produced outside of the wings which includes the tail.

                Notice that when the F-35 turns, the Tail retracts back to its idle position once the desired Angle is acheived, the aircraft keeps turning even when the tail is back to idle, the same is true for the F-22

                This is the signature of “massively unstable” airframes. The f-16 is also unstable but notice the tail at turns.

                it is not on the same level.

                as soon as the tail retracts to idle, it starts to produce lift again while the aircraft continues to turn

                And as for the low pressure vortecies. The F-35’s Engine Cowls which are Chined are disigned to do that just as well if not better than canards.

                Canards produce the upforce you mentioned. to pitch the nose up, the reverse is true for horizontal stabs.

                And lets not forget the Rafale’s heavy load of EFTs which are REQUIRED in combat operations.

                Massive drag, Now add weapons, and pylons, jamming pods, basically everything the Rafale needs to survive.

                All of this is carried internally in the sleek airframe of the F-35, it’s box volume is only slightly larger than a clean F-16.

                The Grippen is the same way, looks good in an airshow, but not in the same class as an F-35.
                -extreamly low internal fuel,
                -samll payload
                less than 7,000 lbs of margin before reaching a TW ratio of 1:1

                Now when you mentioned that high AOA is suicidal.
                Clearly you don’t know the significance of high AOA in an instantainious turning fight?

                Sustaining energy is important when you want to get to the bandits tail,
                but with all asspect IR and Rf guided missiles, the game has changed from tail chase to point and shoot.

                The F-35 will always outpoint the heavy and dragy Rafale in any type of dogfight.

                Remember the F-35 is built for super maneuverability, the Rafale, not so much

                • “the B-17 comparison was to make you realise that wing laoding is not the determining factor anymore.”

                  Lift-to-weight, lift to drag, thrust to weight and thrust to drag ratios, combained with structural strength, are. For similar aircraft (and fighter aircraft are inherently similar), lift to weight ratio can be approximated through wing loading.

                  “Body lift is not calculated in wing loading,”

                  Not entirety of it, but a major portion. You can see in links below that wing reference area includes body as well:
                  http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/aerodynamics/q0015b.shtml
                  http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/9932/wingareahw5.jpg
                  https://dfzljdn9uc3pi.cloudfront.net/2014/234/1/fig-11-2x.jpg

                  “What you don’t know is that it only produce around 55% of the F-35’s total lift.”

                  And 60% for the F-16. Now consider that Gripen and Rafale are aerodynamically similar to the F-16, but with far better high AoA characteristics.

                  “Notice that when the F-35 turns, the Tail retracts back to its idle
                  position once the desired Angle is acheived, the aircraft keeps turning
                  even when the tail is back to idle, the same is true for the F-22”

                  And for any unstable aircraft. But it only happnes once desired AoA is reached, which means that it is mostly relevant for sustained turning. Canards help instantaneous turn rate as well.

                  “And as for the low pressure vortecies. The F-35’s Engine Cowls which are Chined are disigned to do that just as well if not better than canards.”

                  Physical impossibility.

                  “And lets not forget the Rafale’s heavy load of EFTs which are REQUIRED in combat operations.”

                  For air-to-ground, sure. In AtA configuration, Rafale’s combat radius is 925 km, compared to 1.037 km for the F-35A.

                  “Massive drag, Now add weapons, and pylons, jamming pods, basically everything the Rafale needs to survive.”

                  Rafale doesn’t need jamming pods to survive, SPECTRA is enough by itself.

                  “All of this is carried internally in the sleek airframe of the F-35, it’s box volume is only slightly larger than a clean F-16.”

                  Huh? No way, unless “box volume” is measured by extreme dimensions, in which way it is utterly irrelevant.

                  “The Grippen is the same way, looks good in an airshow, but not in the same class as an F-35.
                  -extreamly low internal fuel,
                  -samll payload
                  less than 7,000 lbs of margin before reaching a TW ratio of 1:1”

                  F-35 is primarly a bomber while Gripen is primarly a short-range point-defense interceptor. Of course it is not going to have as much fuel or payload as the F-35. Besides, F-35As empty weight is 41,5% of its MTOW, while Gripen Cs empty weight is 48,6% of its MTOW. Rafale Cs empty weight is 39% of its MTOW, and it has only 100 km shorter combat radius on the internal fuel despite carrying less fuel (4.720 vs 8.280 kg) and having lower fuel fraction (0,33 vs 0,38).

                  “Clearly you don’t know the significance of high AOA in an instantainious turning fight?”

                  Clearly you don’t. Maximum turn rate is achieved at angle of attack just before the major separation (stall) occurs. That angle of attack is 32* for the F-16, and likely around 32* for Rafale C and 33* for Su-27. You won’t need angles of attack in excess of 35* in dogfight, and for your information, “high” angle of attack is anything over 20*.

                  “Sustaining energy is important when you want to get to the bandits tail,
                  but with all asspect IR and Rf guided missiles, the game has changed from tail chase to point and shoot.”

                  Which means instantaneous turn rate, but you need to be able to recover the energy after that else you’re mincemeat. Which F-35, with its terrible acceleration, can’t do.

                  “The F-35 will always outpoint the heavy and dragy Rafale in any type of dogfight.”

                  F-35 is far heavier (18.270 vs 12.580 kg) and far draggier than air-to-air configured Rafale.

                  • Here is someone with far more knowledge then me explain the maneuverability of an F-35A

                    part 1
                    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-f-35-and-infamous-sustained-g-spec.html

                    part 2
                    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-f-35-and-infamous-sustained-g-spec.html

                    part 3
                    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-f-35-and-infamous-sustained-g-spec_26.html

                    part 4
                    http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/search?q=F-35+turn

                    Oh yeah and here is one of the test pilots of the F-35 program Ret. Jon Beesley, himself having flown the F-4, F-117, F-16, YF-22, and the later F-22. Here is what he has to say about the F-35.

                    In short though the F-35 is NOT an F-15, F-22 Su-35, or what ever pure air to air thoroughbred hot-rod. Interestingly enough though if it were to be compared to aircraft of the similar flight performance and payload ( F-16, F-18, Mig-29, Gripen ) The F-35 is no slouch. Also note that because the F-35 has an incredibly powerful engine in the dry thrust regime, the F-35 may well actually have better performance at higher altitudes then its predecessors.

                    Here is another fun little fact few always seem to dismiss of the F-35. The F-35C being described by a USN pilot, himself a former F-14 pilot and Super Bug pilot. If you want to hear what I am talking about skip to time index 8:45

                    • “himself a former F-14 pilot and Super Bug pilot”

                      Being better than pigs doesn’t mean you can race against a horse. In fact, it actually does your argument a disservice since he outright says that the F-35 has performance comparable to the clean Super Hornet. Super Hornet is a pig – all F-18 variants have very bad roll onset performance, and the F-18E has very sluggish acceleration and roll onset, plus instantaneous turn rate that is inferior to Rafale Cs sustained turn rate (F-18E: 24 deg/s ITR, 18 deg/s STR; Rafale: >32 deg/s ITR, 28 deg/s STR).

                    • Wonder what was the load, and altitude of your turn rate calculations? I see we have resorted to making up figures haven’t we,

                      The F/A-18E is by no means a pig.

                      It will wax most planes in Inst. turn rates, pitch rates, high AOA performance and departure resistance.

                      The only thing a bit lacking about the Rhino is its acceleration.

                      the F-35 is like a Rhino with viper like acceleration.

                      And the Rhino’s acceleration isn’t really bad to begin with, its not as impressive as a Viper but can out accelerate any Mirage, and down low can even accelerate as well as F-15s.

                      The F-35 will have all of the Rhino’s strengths and none of its weaknesses due to its low drag profile (as stated by the Typhoon pilot above “the F-35’s transonic acceleration is excellent……due to its low drag characteristics, )

                      So whenever you say that the F-35’s base drag is bad, everyone starts to roll their eyes.

                    • I see you levels of comprehension is severely lacking. The point that LCDR was trying to put across is that even with a full load of fuel, his F-35C has performances “equal” to that of a clean slicked off F/A-18E ( i pretty much said what he said, there is really no other better way to put it ). Perhaps if it were explained in crayon you would understand it better. Anyone who has the most rudimentary understanding about military aviation ( like my self ) knows that combat aircraft have the best performance when they are in a “clean configuration” and are lightly loaded. More over the F-35 has shown to have a maximum High AoA of 50degrees before departure of controlled flight. The handling qualities of the F-35 from pilots is said to be second to none. This is mainly because its flight control software is written from the F-22.

                      Jon Beesley was also trying to make a point of the F-35 power. Again where all combat capable aircraft perform their best is at lower altitudes and flying clean. This is not how they would fly into combat. Its acceleration is often quoted to be comparable to a clean F-16 block 50. Its superior dry thrust capability will also come in an advantage at higher altitudes when compared to an F-18 or F-16.

                      hmmm… acceleration like a clean F-16 ( in reference to an F-35A ) but with maneuvering of an F/A-18E/F ( F-35B has characteristics closer to an F/A-18C/D ). Very departure resistant and great handling qualities. I would conclude after hearing testimonies from ACTUAL pilots that this aircraft shouldn’t be described to be anything related to a species of the swine family.
                      Though despite hearing this you insist on not believing them and just turning your nose up just to say the contrary. Here let me dig you a whole in the ground large enough for your head to fit inside so you can put your head in there. Also your numbers on the Rafale C, I haven’t been able to find those numbers ANYWHERE. The proposed 28deg/s sustained turn rate that you gave is what I often find on the F-22. Are you trying to tell me that the Rafale C can maneuver just as good as an F-22? ( performances specs on the F-22 is hard to come by as its capabilities are mostly classified. Its often said and believed that its physical capabilities exceed that of any aircraft in current service; Typhoon, Rafale, F-15, Su-27 and 35 ). I have come to the conclusion that those words and “facts” in question is coming a part of your body that you sit on.

                    • I think you ment this link:

                      http://www.f-16.net/f-35-news-article3837.html

                      “From a design point of view Lockheed Martin has taken numerous preemptive steps based on the experience gained from previous programs. For instance the F-35s twin vertical tails are designed to deal effectively with the excessive vibrations which occurs from strong air vortices generated at high G’s and angles of attack.

                      These vortices have a very good — and quite deliberate – function; to increase lift and reduce drag which greatly assists maneuverability.

                      The F-35 lacks the distinctive leading edge extensions (LEX) found on the F-16 and F-18 jets. On the F-35 this important function is provided by the carefully shaped engine cowls and — to a lesser degree — the chinned forward fuselage, and is a good example of how aerodynamic design tools have come a very long way since the days of the venerable YF-16.

                      These vortices are usually not a problem for single tail designs, like the F-16, as they split on either side of the tail, but twin tails puts them right in the airflow’s path causing vibration. “This can severely reduce the tail’s structural life span, as seen in some legacy programs”, Burbage explains. “We have prepared for that”.

                      So Picard’s statements that the vorticies generated by the F-35 are weak, are just wrong, the vorticies are so strong that it actually became a problem for the vertical stabilizers, something that they had to “prepare for”. due to the damage it can inflict on the tail.

                      By the way, I tried to search for Picard’s 32* degree Rafale AOA limit, but couldn’t find any,
                      closest I found was this:

                      “with +9.0g/29° angle of attack (AoA) limit in air-to-air mode and +5.5g/20° AoA limit in both of the two air-to-ground/heavy stores modes”

                      http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/flight-test-dassault-rafale-rampant-rafale-334383/

                    • Vortices are a problem for vertical stabilizers because they break down too soon and stabilizers end up in erratic flow:
                      http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/sampaix/f35vortexuv4-1.jpg

                      That is not behavior of strong, stable vortices.

                      “By the way, I tried to search for Picard’s 32* degree Rafale AOA limit, but couldn’t find any, ”

                      Just search this:
                      “Dassault Rafale” 32 degree angle of attack
                      and you should find one right at the first page.

                    • Googled it, nope no results. 1st result was the Wikipedia Mirage 2000 page.

                      Oh but the 5th result was this one
                      https://defenseissues.wordpress.com/tag/dassault-rafale/

                      writen by no less than Picard578. Looks like you’re the only one claiming these numbers.

                      And comapring an F-35 water tunnel aerodynamic model to the final F-35 production model are 2 very different things.

                      Minute changes in the design can vastly improve the the vortex charactaristics on the final design.

                      Bottomline is, the votecies are reaching the tail and LM needs to compensate for it.

                      The F-35 is a performance aircraft despite how hard the critics want to believe otherwise. The combination of the F-16’s high G capabilities and acceleration with the F/A-18’s high AOA and slow speed maneuvering not to mention instantanous turn performance makes it super maneuverable.

                      The Rafale on the other hand performs well on airshows, but loaded for combat is just not one of it’s strong suits.

                      the Gripen is far less spectacular as its tiny engine can bearly lift it’s own weight in a pure vertical climb when fully loaded with fuel.

                      add dragy weapons and EFTs will just degrade it further.

                    • Wait did I just read that right? This guy is putting up his own stuff as a way to point as fact ( having taking time out due to morbid curiosity to read two entries on this individuals posts, I have personally come to the conclusion that these are personally biased, not well written, thought out, and weakly analyzed, if at all. To be honest I ended up getting a headache at all the “facts” given ). Guess what “buddy” if you’re trying to use your own post as a way as a way to reinforce your argument you are actually doing quite the opposite. Though this may give people a perspective from a contrary point of view of their own, you cannot try and label it as fact as it will sink your argument faster then a rock tied to a lead weight. Here is a good example to follow in my personal opinion. This person uses his personal and professional knowledge as well as experience to dissect and analyze.

                      http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2008/01/extreme-dust-test-m4-and-others.html

                      http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-backgrounder-on-energy-maneuverability.html

                      Well I agree with the some of the critics that the F-35 isn’t going to win a trophy for the most highspeed super-maneuverable aircraft out there, when looked at more closely though; the F-35 isn’t something that should be completely disrespected and discounted.

                    • “Googled it, nope no results”

                      Looks like you failed a spot check. Third result from the top should be a PDF document called “Assessing the Next-Generation European Fighters”, which clearly states:
                      >Rafale is cleared to 32 degrees angle of attack and has a relatively slow 115-knot approach speed.<

                      "And comapring an F-35 water tunnel aerodynamic model to the final F-35 production model are 2 very different things."

                      How so? It is still the same configuration.

                      "Bottomline is, the votecies are reaching the tail and LM needs to compensate for it."

                      Because they are not vortices anymore, but erratic uncontrolled air flow.

                      "The F-35 is a performance aircraft despite how hard the critics want to believe otherwise."

                      Despite the facts you mean?

                      "The combination of the F-16's high G capabilities and acceleration with the F/A-18's high AOA and slow speed maneuvering not to mention instantanous turn performance makes it super maneuverable."

                      F-35 can pull 9 g (just like the F-16) and has very sluggish acceleration except in the transonic (unlike the F-16), with maximum angle of attack being 73*.
                      Gripen can pull 9 g, has a-OK acceleration and maximum angle of attack being over 100*, with maximum sustained angle of attack being in 70-80 degree range. It also has some other very nice characteristics, courtesy of a canard-delta layout:
                      http://www.mach-flyg.com/utg80/80jas_uc.html
                      Rafale can pull 9/11 g, has very good acceleration and maximum angle of attack of over 100*, plus other advantages of close-coupled canard delta, such as unmatched slow speed maneuvering ability (yes, better than the F-18) and very high lift-to-weight and lift-to-drag ratios.

                      "The Rafale on the other hand performs well on airshows, but loaded for combat is just not one of it's strong suits."

                      Depends on what the loadout is. It is designed to perform optimally with two wingtip missiles, and has very good performance with 6 missiles as well (in fact, it can pull 11 g with wingtip missiles and 9 g with typical air-to-air loadout).

                      "add dragy weapons and EFTs will just degrade it further."

                      EFTs aren't carried in dogfight, as for draggy weapons… missiles drag less than you think, and wingtip missiles are almost irrelevant when it comes to drag.

                    • “I don’t think you are correct, Picard…”

                      I am, canards are used because
                      a) that way, vortices can have optimum effects on the wing
                      b) canards can adapt to different flight conditions

                      LERX does not allow for either of these, and neither do the F-35s chines.

                    • Maybe, but Canards do not provide the lift enhancing capabilities of the tail.

                      Rather, they provide a maneuverability degrading downforce when on neutral position, which they automaticaly revert back to once the desired AOA is acheived.
                      Thats why tailed canard designes have extra lare wings in order to compensate.

                      a Tail on the otherhand produces extra lift which aids maneuverability.
                      thats why they can afford to have smaller wings but still enjoy lower wing loading

                    • “Maybe, but Canards do not provide the lift enhancing capabilities of the tail.”

                      Dassault would like to hear that. Close coupled canards are used for explicit purpose of lift enhancement, and in fact are proven to significantly enhance lift, and also improve lift/drag ratio:
                      http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a245152.pdf

                      Tail does not have any effect on lift other than its own surface, if horizontal tail adds 8% of wing area, it will improve maximum lift by 8%. If close-coupled canard adds 8% of the wing area, it will improve maximum lift by 16-24%.

                      Further, horizontal tail has to degrade lift in order to initiate a pitch up, whereas canards add to lift when initiating a pitch up. Therefore, even if sustained turn rate is the same, canard-wing configuration will have higher instantaneous turn rate.

                      “Rather, they provide a maneuverability degrading downforce when on neutral position, which they automaticaly revert back to once the desired AOA is acheived.”

                      Depends on the design, Rafale’s canards are at 0* AoA during sustained turn rate in order to minimize drag – they provide no lift in that condition, but no downforce either, and have very little drag. Gripen (and maybe Rafale) does use canards to provide downforce in order to prevent pitch-up during the level flight, but you can hardly call that “maneuverability degrading”.

                    • The “Lift enhancement” of Canards only occurs when the canards deflect air in order to turn. thats the only way it can turn.

                      But after desired AOA is reached, canards go back to their Idle down force producing position.

                      This is the reason why canard delta designs require very large wings
                      in order to compensate for the down force produced by Canards.

                      This is also why Canard-delta designs are not as popular as wing and tail designs.

                      The F-35’s trapezoidal wing design provides excellent maneuverability by decreasing drag and the tail increases lift once in idle position which is achieved even in a turn

                    • “The “Lift enhancement” of Canards only occurs when the canards deflect air in order to turn. thats the only way it can turn.”

                      Wrong. When aircraft with close-coupled canards flies at high AoA (as in, during a hard turn), canards create strong vortices which delay stall (air flow separation). This delays stall onset to higher AoA than it would normally occur at, which in turn improves lift coefficient and increases maximum lift.

                      “But after desired AOA is reached, canards go back to their Idle down force producing position.”

                      Again wrong, Gripen’s and Rafale’s canards are at 0* AoA during sustained turn. They only produce downforce during level flight.

                      “This is also why Canard-delta designs are not as popular as wing and tail designs.”

                      Wrong yet again. Canard deltas are used for maximizing maneuverability, but canard sizing and position is very sensitive, if it is done wrong it is actually harmful. FCS development process is also more complex.

                      “The F-35’s trapezoidal wing design provides excellent maneuverability by decreasing drag and the tail increases lift once in idle position which is achieved even in a turn ”

                      During sustained turn, yes.

          • .9 cruise for a combat configured aircraft isn’t “fast”?? What are we comparing it to? If you think an F-16 with a couple of 2,000 lb bombs, External fuel, jamming and targeting pods along with AAMs is anywhere near .9 Then I have some bad news for you. Same with Gripen, I would love to see the little engine that could with 5,000 lbs of ordnance let alone the EFTs it would need, cruise at .9

            Are schools in Croatia this bad? Are you do you just need a lot of special attention?

            Also just declaring something “too heavy” or too draggy or too small or too big is does not work. “too” is not a unit of measurement What is the drag? what is the weight? what is the TWR? What about drag with external weapons and pods and tanks.

            Numbers please

            • “.9 cruise for a combat configured aircraft isn’t “fast”??”

              F-16 can cruise at Mach 1,1 with 2 wingtip missiles, Gripen C can cruise at Mach 1,08 with 6 missiles, Rafale can cruise at Mach 1,4 with 6 missiles, Typhoon can cruise at Mach 1,5 with 6 missiles, F-22 can cruise at Mach 1,7 with 6 missiles… so yes, it is quite slow compared to other modern Western fighters.

              “Are schools in Croatia this bad? Are you do you just need a lot of special attention?”

              They are not bad, it is just that unlike you I do not take PRopaganda BS at the face value but prefer to do my homework. Which means *not* taking random figures from Internet but actually studying aerodynamic studies, documents, historical background etc.

              • When is the last time an F-16 went anywhere with just a pair of missiles?

                Where are the sources/numbers to back you up Mr “I do not take propoganda BS at face value” ??

                Why don’t any of your examples include bombs? or the drop tanks they would need to get the range? Its a serious use of the imagination to say a combat loadout is a pair of missiles on an F-16.

                The Rafale and the Typhoon sure are awesome, I bet they win contracts with a dozen countries and sell in the thousands. Picard is just another mincing eurocanard phaggot

                • “When is the last time an F-16 went anywhere with just a pair of missiles?”

                  It was typically used as a bomber, which is not what it was designed for. And original F-16 design requirements were specified with two wingtip missiles. No more, no less.

                  “Why don’t any of your examples include bombs? or the drop tanks they would need to get the range?”

                  F-35 is a bomber, F-16 isn’t, but we are comparing air-to-air combat ability of aircraft.

                  “Picard is just another mincing eurocanard phaggot”

                  Great way to make people take you seriously.

                  • Yes… this time you are correct. The original design INTENT of the F-16 was supposed to be a pure day time air-to-air dog fighter. Though this was never the intent of the USAF despite Peirre Sprey’s ( himself a total self righteous fossil that tries to stand on the shoulders of individuals far smarter then him and tries to take credit ) vision or idea ( from what I hear he didn’t even want the Viper to have a radar ). The F-16 was designed and conceived for the “high – low” mix idea. Knowing that the F-15 would never be able to be built or deployed in the numbers necessary to fight off all of the Soviet aircraft, the F-16 was supposed to fill the numerical void between the two. The F-16 has evolved through concurrency ( uh oh there is that dreaded word again ) to become a solid multi-role platform.

                    your comments…
                    “It was typically used as a bomber, which is not what it was designed for. And original F-16 design requirements were specified with two wingtip missiles. No more, no less.”

                    “F-35 is a bomber, F-16 isn’t, but we are comparing air-to-air combat ability of aircraft.”

                    Your first and second remarks do not really hold well. In the military you use what you are given and how you utilize it is dictated to the mission and needs. With F-15s flying CAP and escort why use additional resources like the F-16 to do what the F-15 is already doing it when there are targets and threats on the ground? Hence this is why the F-16 usually flies attack and strike type mission profiles. Yes the F-16 was originally conceived as a light weight bare bone basic WVR fighter aircraft but it didn’t turn out that way now did it? Yes the F-16 can dog fight if it had too but it doesn’t really do it often or ever. The F-15 was originally a pure air superiority aircraft but then they came out with the F-15E strike eagle. Hmmmm…. makes you think doesn’t it?

                    Also to your second comment what do you base that on? If I were to load up an Eagle with SDBs and irons, does it cease to be a fighter aircraft? What you are forgetting and seem to be ignoring is that both the F-16 and F-35 have the attributes for both a fighter aircraft and strike aircraft. The only difference is that the F-35 has strike capability inherently built and conceived into it.

                    • “The original design INTENT of the F-16 was supposed to be a pure day time air-to-air dog fighter.”

                      Indeed. Fact that it was also a very capable bomber was a lucky accident (from USAFs viewpoint, US Army would have liked more A-10s).

                      ” The F-16 was designed and conceived for the “high – low” mix idea.”

                      Actually, no, that was just a BS pushed to sell the F-16 to the USAF and US Congress. F-15 and F-16 have different design roles – long range BVR interception and visual range dogfighting – and each outperforms another in their own design missions.

                      “Hence this is why the F-16 usually flies attack and strike type mission profiles.”

                      And that despite the fact that the F-15 would have been better suited for that (two engines = better survivability vs ground fire, plus it has greater payload capacity – 23.000 lbs F-15E vs 17.000 lbs F-16C).

                      “What you are forgetting and seem to be ignoring is that both the F-16 and F-35 have the attributes for both a fighter aircraft and strike aircraft. The only difference is that the F-35 has strike capability inherently built and conceived into it.”

                      And was the design focus, just like the F-16s dogfighting capability. F-35 being designed primarly for the ground attack is the whole reason for its high wing loading (reduces gust sensitivity in low-altitude flight) and fat, unaerodynamic body (it had to be capable of carrying bombs internally). Granted, there were other reasons such as STOVL capability which dictated a single engine and small wing plus no rearward visibility, but then again you can design an aircraft for either STOVL or air superiority, not both at the same time.

                    • You said it yourself the F-16 was designed for WVR combat.
                      The Block 50 which is around 2,000 lbs heavier than the original F-16A but has around 6,000lbs more thrust is an even better WVR combatant than the F-16A.

                      Instead of looking at just the primary requirement, why not look at the specific requirements.

                      The F-35’s maneuvering performance requirement was to match the Block 50’s which is more than enough to win a dogfight.and have the F/A-18’s superb high AOA performance which is a WVR game changer.

                      Luftwaffe Mig-29 pilots can out accelerate Hornets and sustain tighter turns at high speed but no matter how hard they try, the Hornet’s nose seems to be always pointed at them.

                      to do this the F-35’s Wing loading even without accounting for body and tail lift, matches the Block 50’s, both are 63 lbs/sq feet when empty.

                      But the F-35 is less weight sensitive.

                      The aerodynamic design is tailored for excellent maneuverability and acceleration.

                      High AOA performance exceeds what the Hornet can do.

                      The F-35 actually exceeds both plane’s maneuvering performance
                      as seen by actual evaluations, not the ones you find on “defectissues blog spots”
                      http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=18001&mode=view

                      A testament to the F-35’s excellent aerodynamic design

                      The same cannot be said for the Rafale, which is mediocre by all standards
                      its poor acceleration is caused by all the Drag it has when loaded
                      Maneuverability is also reduced by this.

                    • “The F-35’s maneuvering performance requirement was to match the Block 50’s which is more than enough to win a dogfight.and have the F/A-18’s superb high AOA performance which is a WVR game changer.”

                      Requirements which were not met.

                      “Luftwaffe Mig-29 pilots can out accelerate Hornets and sustain tighter turns at high speed but no matter how hard they try, the Hornet’s nose seems to be always pointed at them.”

                      Leaving Hornet vulnerable to another attacker.

                      “The aerodynamic design is tailored for excellent maneuverability and acceleration.”

                      Nope, it is very draggy with low lift-to-weight ratio. It is actually tailored for STOVL performance and payload.

                      “High AOA performance exceeds what the Hornet can do.”

                      73* AoA achieved in tests, right? Good, but still inferior to Rafale and Gripen.

                      “The same cannot be said for the Rafale, which is mediocre by all standards its poor acceleration is caused by all the Drag it has when loaded Maneuverability is also reduced by this.”

                      Mediocre? Don’t make me laugh. 100* aerodynamic AoA limit (operational limit 32* with wingtip missiles, 29* with 6 missiles), 28,1* sustained turn rate at 15.000 ft, 305 m/s climb rate (250 m/s in air policing configuration, which IIRC includes external tanks), are all showcases of mediocre configuration, right?

                    • Leaving the Hornet open to another attacker…..Im sorry when do US pilots fly solo? Do you realize how big our Navy is? A carrier alone carries a huge number of planes. The excuse of leaving the hornet or any plane open to another enemy is a ridiculous excuse.

                    • interestingly in this video of a underside view of a transparent F-35 ( time index 1:11 ), they show six ( most likely ) AIM-120s. Does this mean that there are already plans to increase its internal AAM payload capacity later in its service life?

                      Though not truly representative of its physical capabilities ( obviously heavily cut up and edited not a full version of its demo flight. Also flight envelope restrictions until JPO green lights for service use. Also note this demo was done at MCAS Yuma Arizona in March before the incident at Eglin AFB )

              • O dear Lord, the F-16 can cruise at M1.1 with 2 missiles?
                for what?
                an F-35 can cruise at Mach 1.2 with full internal weapons, 4 missiles (6 in the future, all thats needed is an internal dual adapter)
                Gripen and Rafales as stated many times by everyone, needs external fuel tanks for combat.
                Fine they will drop them when needed, but that also means that they will have more internal fuel by percentage than the F-35.
                So you can’t compare fuel weights by percentage like most F-35 critics do.
                Come on Picard, you critics must realize by now that your fighting an increasingly loosing battle here

                • “an F-35 can cruise at Mach 1.2 with full internal weapons, 4 missiles (6
                  in the future, all thats needed is an internal dual adapter)”

                  No, it can’t. Its cruise speed is ~Mach 0,9.

                  “Gripen and Rafales as stated many times by everyone, needs external fuel tanks for combat.
                  Fine they will drop them when needed, but that also means that they will have more internal fuel by percentage than the F-35.”

                  Not necessarily. Rafale has 100 km lower combat radius on the internal fuel than the F-35 does (925 vs 1.037 km) so it only needs a small centerline tank. So where the F-35 might be at 60% fuel at beginning of combat, Rafale would be at maybe 65-70%. But let’s take a look at the best possible (and, frankly, insane) scenario for the F-35, one where the F-35 has 4 missiles with 50% internal fuel and horizontal tail counted into wing area, while Rafale and Gripen have 6 missiles with 100% internal fuel, with canards not counted into wing area:

                  Weight:
                  F-35: 18.270 kg
                  Rafale: 12.582 kg
                  Gripen: 8.783 kg

                  Wing loading:
                  F-35: 335 kg/m2
                  Rafale: 275 kg/m2
                  Gripen: 293 kg/m2

                  Thrust-to-weight:
                  F-35: 1,07
                  Rafale: 1,20
                  Gripen: 0,82

                  And keep in mind that canard surfaces add lift during instantaneous turn, so Rafale’s wing loading would be 255 kg/m2 (no idea about Gripen’s canard area), or 76% of the F-35s, whereas not counting either tail or canards would have made its wing loading 64% of the F-35s.

                  “Come on Picard, you critics must realize by now that your fighting an increasingly loosing battle here”

                  I’m not, its just that you are a master of self-delusion.

                  • Nope, the F-35 has limited Super cruise for 150 miles at Mach 1.2 w/o AB.

                    “Rafale has 100 km lower combat radius on the internal fuel than the F-35 does (925 vs 1.037 km)”

                    What was the load for the Rafale on those figures? F-35’s range hardly changes when clean or fully loaded internally. The Rafale’s range changes drastically with all that external Drag.

                    So this is where your calculations fall apart, the Rafale will not have 65% fuel against the F-35’s 60%

                    More likely the Rafale needs more fuel to haul it’s Draggy load around

                    The Rafale’s Canards only produce lift on the few seconds that it is not in idle mode.

                    the 1st few seconds in the turn is the only time when it will produce lift. once desired AOA is achieved those canards become a down force producing wing load increasing parasite again.

                    So the wing loading of the Rafale and the F-35 may not be very far of at all

                    Now for the T/W ratio:
                    Rafale
                    Empty: 22,000 lbs
                    Fuel: 7,252 lbs(70%)
                    Weapons: 2,120 lbs (4 Meteor and 2 Mica, all externally loaded)
                    Total weight: 31,372 lbs

                    F-35A
                    Empty: 29,300 lbs
                    Fuel: 9,125 lbs (50%)
                    Weapons: 1,718lbs (4 Aim120 internal, 2 Aim-9 externally loaded)
                    Total: 40,143 lbs

                    Thrust to weight:
                    Rafale: 1.08
                    F-35: 1.07

                    And before we celebrate on the Rafale’s 0.01 thrust-weight advantage. Lets not forget that the Rafale is being dragged by 6 missiles against the 2 small Sidewinders near the F-35’s wing tips.

                    so in retrospect

                    the F-35 has superior acceleration to the Rafale.
                    due to the Rafale’s Drag problems.

                    Norwegian airforce graphs show that at 15,000 feet, the F-35 accelerates from Mach 0.6-0.95 in 17.9 seconds in a combat configuration.
                    A clean, airshow configured F-16s does it in 17.7 seconds.
                    http://www.f-16.net/forum/download/file.php?id=18001&mode=view

                    Not sure where you are getting this “poor acceleration” claim.

                    • “Nope, the F-35 has limited Super cruise for 150 miles at Mach 1.2 w/o AB.”

                      No, that is with low afterburner. Its cruise speed is Mach 0,95.

                      >>>>>>>>
                      http://www.defensenews.com/pri

                      The F-35 can’t supercruise like the F-22 Raptor, but the test pilots have found that once they break the sound barrier, supersonic speeds are easy to sustain.

                      “What we can do in our airplane is get above the Mach with afterburner, and once you get it going … you can definitely pull the throttle back quite a bit and still maintain supersonic, so technically you’re pretty much at very, very min[imum] afterburner while you’re cruising,” Griffiths said. “So it really does have very good acceleration capabilities up in the air.”
                      <<<<<<<<

                      "What was the load for the Rafale on those figures? "

                      6 AAM.

                      "So this is where your calculations fall apart, the Rafale will not have 65% fuel against the F-35's 60%"

                      Rafale has better lift-to-weight and lift-to-drag ratios with full internal fuel than the F-35 has with 50% internal fuel.

                      "The Rafale's Canards only produce lift on the few seconds that it is not in idle mode."

                      And improve wing lift and reduce drag entire time Rafale is turning.

                      " the 1st few seconds in the turn is the only time when it will produce lift. once desired AOA is achieved those canards become a down force producing wing load increasing parasite again."

                      Wrong, once sustained turn is achieved, canards move to 0* AoA in order to miminize drag while still enhancing wing lift.

                      "the F-35 has superior acceleration to the Rafale.
                      due to the Rafale's Drag problems."

                      Wrong, F-35 is far draggier. First, it has very fat and undaerodynamic body. Second, it needs higher AoA even in level flight in order to compensate for its higher wing loading.

                    • Well on that link it also says

                      “.Most of the envelope will be rated to 9 G, Griffiths said……F-35 is barely affected by carrying 18,000 pounds of internal fuel and 5,000 of internal weaponry….”.

                      I wonder if the Rafale can still Super cruise and pull +8Gs with enough fuel to travel 1,200 miles and 5,000 lbs of weapons.
                      With its 34,000 class engine?

                      because according to this one:

                      http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/flight-test-dassault-rafale-rampant-rafale-334383/

                      “Later in the sortie at the lower fuel weight of 2t and 500kt, with the DFCS Stores Position set to air-to-air, the aircraft was pulled rapidly and effortlessly through to +9g and could be held there over a significant speed range”

                      They had to wait for the Rafale’s fuel state to reach 4,400 lbs before they pulled 9Gs.

                      Well ok it was effortless so lets say the Rafale can pull 9Gs with 5,000 or 6,000, or even 8,000 pound load.

                      Its still a far cry from an F-35 which is “barely affected” with a 23,000 pound load.

                      “Wrong, F-35 is far draggier. First, it has very fat and undaerodynamic body. Second, it needs higher AoA even in level flight in order to compensate for its higher wing loading.”

                      Well according to your link:

                      “The F-35’s ability to carry weapons and a large fuel load inside its own skin makes the plane far less draggy on a combat mission than the F-16 or F/A-18”

                      So if an F-35 has a very “fat and undaerodynamic body” as you say then adding weapons will make any airplane so unbelievably draggy
                      that it makes the F-35’s fat and undaerodynamic body, “far less draggy” than that.

                      Not so good for the Rafale I see

                    • “I wonder if the Rafale can still Super cruise and pull +8Gs with enough fuel to travel 1,200 miles and 5,000 lbs of weapons.”

                      It can supericruise in air-to-air configuration which includes external tank (Mach 1,3 with centerline tank). As for pulling 8 g, it can pull 9/11 g in air-to-air configuration and 5,5 g in air-to-ground configuration. But drop tanks are dropped, that is why they are *called* >drop< tanks.

                      "They had to wait for the Rafale's fuel state to reach 4,400 lbs before they pulled 9Gs."

                      While carrying a centerline tank. With 2 missiles it can pull well over 9 g:
                      http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r279/sampaix/10G.jpg

                      And in the case you missed, earlier on DFCS stores position was set on air-to-ground, and that was another limiting factor. All modern fighters are designed to pull their design maximum number of g's with 50% of fuel + standard air-to-air loadout (6 missiles in Rafale's case), and most of them can pull far more than that in certain conditions.

                      "Well ok it was effortless so lets say the Rafale can pull 9Gs with 5,000 or 6,000, or even 8,000 pound load.

                      Its still a far cry from an F-35 which is "barely affected" with a 23,000 pound load."

                      Rafale's maximum AtA loadout of 10 missiles would weight 1120 kg if all of them were MICAs or 1.412 kg with 6 MICA and 4 Meteor. That is 3.113 lbs at most. Anything more than that is irrelevant for air-to-air combat, as either bombs or drop tanks will get dropped prior to it.

                      "Well according to your link:"

                      Which only holds true for air-to-ground missions.

                    • since when does a Rafale go to combat with 2 missiles and 1 center line tank?

                      And also the link clearly states.

                      “Later in the sortie at the lower fuel weight of 2t and 500kt, with the DFCS Stores Position set to air-to-air,”

                      DFCS was set in A-A not A-G, and they had to wait for the Fuel weight to go down significantly, 4,400 lbs, good thing they were doing a test, probably close to base

                      Like I said, still a far cry from the F-35A which is “BARLEY AFFECTED” while carrying 23,000 lbs internally

                      When the Rafale drops its drop tanks it will have greater fuel per percentage than the F-35 which flies clean.

                      This is why using 50% internal fuel figures in combat scenarios are only applicable for aircraft with large internal fuel loads like the F-35.

                      Rafale’s on the other hand will be at almost “binggo fuel” upon reaching 50% internal.

                      And the way I see it, no Rafale operator has a large air refueling fleet.

                      All the more reason for Rafale pilots to conserve fuel

                    • Hey mike I have a question. Why are you still trying to contend with that basement dwelling “defense expert” troll? Its the same as trying to educate ELP, Soloman, Gary Church, and Don Bacon. Trying to make your point and have them understand it is like trying to explain colors to a dog that somehow and miraculously started to speak english… its impossible. If they want to wallow away in their own self righteous ignorance, let them. Let them believe what they want and read their slop just to have a good laugh. Seriously they’re “facts” are some of the funniest things I have ever read on some of these sites.

                      To sum up, the more you try to contend with them the more they will bring you down. You have better things to do then to respond to their uneducated ignorance. Eat a sand which, have a beer, and watch some porn; all of those are far more gratifying then arguing with interwebs defense trolls.

                • Percentage and amount are two different things per plane. The F-35 will always have more fuel internally. On top of that, the F-35 can carry external tanks if need be. Most importantly, those external goodies just let an F-35 know where you are at long before you know he is there. In fact you wont know the F-35 was there till the last few seconds when the radar screen lights up with a missile that is about ready to impact because it doesnt turn on its radar till near the last second. Enjoy…

              • How many of those planes fly with missiles only? Dont forget those fuel tanks there bud. non of those planes will be flying without them because of the short ranges.
                The fuel tanks will had a bunch more weight and eat that aerodynamics quite alot.

                • Depends on the mission. And supersonic fuel tank typically reduces cruise speed by Mach 0,1, for Rafale and Typhoon at least.

              • Your point is valid, although the F-22 can actually cruise at Mach 1.7 with 8 air-to-air missiles–6 BVR + 2 WVR, all internal. It can also carry bombs–GBU-32 1000-lb JDAM and/or GBU-39 SDB–internally in place of 2 or 4 of the BVR missiles, and drop them at this speed as well.

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