Even though experts all around the world have already explained why the Qaher 313 stealth fighter jet will never fly unless it is extensively modified and improved, Iran is desperately defending what they consider “one of the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world.”
First, MEHR News Agency published an article that listed the aircraft’s top features, then Iranian site Khouz News published an image pupotedly showing the F-313 flying over a snowy mountain that was clearly altered using Photoshop.
Despite all the criticism surrounding the F-313, Iran’s Defence Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, is still claiming their radar-evading planes can fly and carry weapons.
During a recent interview, he said:
“The western media policy is to tell you that the Qaher is a moke-up. This is a cheap talk and shows that enemies are worried about Iran’s advancements in several fields, including defense industries.
This is not the first time that our country has built a domestic advanced warfare there was several times before and its pointless for our enemies to deny our abilities. It is unlikely that the wise would believe such sayings.”
These claims are as laughable as the photoshopped images been used by Tehran to prove its technological achievements.
Last year the Koker 1, presented as the first tilt-wing vertical takeoff drone of the world that was actually built and launched by a team from Chiba University, Japan, in 2008.
More recently, Iran was also accused of faking the first launch of a mokey into space after pictures taken before and after the launch seemed to show different monkeys.
On Feb. 2, Iran unveiled a new stealth plane dubbed Qaher 313 or F-313.
Even if its shape is quite peculiar and its design shows inputs from past and current radar-evading projects (including the X-32, the X-36, the Boeing Bird of Prey, the F-22 and the F-35 Lightning II), the indigenous plane showcased during the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies held in Tehran features a number of oddities that clearly prove the F-313 can’t fly.
Actually, as a reader of The Aviationist pointed out in a comment left to a previous article on the Qaher prototype, according to Webster’s dictionary, one of the many definitions of the word “fly” is “to move in or pass through the air with wings”.
Therefore, using that definition very loosely, if you lifted the F-313 mock up with a crane and drop it, technically it would “fly”.
Someone believes the new Iranian plane can’t take to the air just because it has an weird shape with tiny wings unable to generate the required lift and air intakes located where they can only get turbulent air at certain angles-of-attack.
Shape aside, the Qaher on display at Tehran last week will never fly for several more reasons, despite the (photoshopped) images appearing on Iranian media allegedly showing it flying somewhere above the clouds (see below).
Anyway, it is interesting to notice that not always unlikely appearances imply inability to fly.
This is what the Italian Flying Rooster aircraft seems to prove. Designed by Italian aircraft designer and builder Ottone Baggio, the “Aerogallo” made its first flight on Dec. 26, 2011. Since then, the Rooster plane, in the hands of test pilot Daniele Beltrame, has become one of the highlights of last airshow season in Italy.
Image credit: Daniele Beltrame
The aircraft features a Rooster head and neck jutting out of the high wing’s leading edge which house the engine, wooden wings, steel tube fuselage covered in fabric, and a proper paint job.
Image credit: Daniele Beltrame
The control systems is as weird as the aircraft itself: the control sticks comes down from the cockpit’s roof and is counter-instictive – you have to pull it back to dive and to push it forward to climb. Hard to believe, still, working, as the above images and following video prove.
On Feb. 4, a couple of days after the entire world highlighted the oddities of the first prototype of its Qaher 313 stealth fighter jet and the reasons why the F-313 will never get off the ground, the Iranian MEHR News Agency published an article to explain the aircraft’s top features.
The F-313’s top 10 features piece addresses some of the doubts surrounding the Qaher and its ability to fly and are aimed to persuade skeptics that Tehran’s new aircraft is not only airworthy, but it is also “one of the most sophisticated fighter jet in the world,” as Ahmadinejad said.
Here below you’ll find a long excerpt of the MEHR article:
The top 10 technical characteristics of the F-313 fighter jet and some of the related data on its features and appearance:
1- Using Two inlets and inlet ducts make up the air induction system to deliver air to the engine. Due to an indirect angle of the engine to the air inlets, the radar reflectivity is reduced, and it makes angled design of inlet ducts to the surface to get radar energy wave, just like in F35.
2- The hot exhaust gas mixes with cold air through the inlet ducts, and gets cooler before it gets out of the exhaust system, to reduce heat effects on the surface of the aircraft.
3- Use of radar-absorbent materials in the body, to absorb wave energy and reduce radar reflection, for greater stealth effect of Qaher F-313 fighter.
4- Considering the estimated length and height of the aircraft is less than 16 and 4 meter, the two compartments with payload capacity of carrying two 2000 pound bombs, or greater number of smaller smart guided missiles, or at least 6 air-to-air missiles in the category of R-17 or PL-12.
5- Relatively large vertical tail surface has created favorable directional stability and with canted vertical tails create aerodynamic benefits as well specific appropriate lateral maneuvering capabilities.
6- The very large canopy gives a 360 degree visibility, which is essential for low altitude fly-by flights, especially helps ground mission attacks, and it is also very useful in close dog-fights.
7- The angled wings is perfect example of indigenous design for aircrafts, which gives a side profile like M, and similar to a W profile, is the best form to use in aircrafts.
8- Single-cycle landing gear is another proof that F-313 is a light weight aircraft, with minimum flying weight of 12 to 14 ton, and maximum flying weight of 20 ton.
9- There are 8 analog displays in the cockpit, which shows Multi-Function Display (MFD) technology has more room to improve in F-313, Qaher fighter jet.
10- Considering F-313 normal steering lever, the control systems, with the wing movable surfaces, rudder, and vertical stabilizer are hydraulics, and not fly-by-wire (FBW) system, since many today’s aircraft use “side-steering lever” control.
The advance computer designing software (CATIA) were used for designing F-313, and aerodynamic analysis methods such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) also were used, with the help of numerical grid generation software (GAMBIT), flow analysis software (FLUENT) and other design computation software, which shows a complete scientific work in various areas of indigenous scientific and technology was used for F-313.
These 10 features don’t change what already written about this odd plane. I still believe it can’t fly as it is today.
Image credit: MEHR
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
On Feb. 1, 2013, Iran unveiled its indigenous fighter jet named “Qaher 313”.
The prototype of the Q-313 (or F-313 according to the stencils applied to the aircraft), was presented to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and publicly displayed as part of the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies held in Iran to celebrate the 1979’s victory of the Islamic Revolution.
In the previous days, the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi had said, “The aircraft will be different from the other fighter jets Iran has already made.”
Indeed, based on the first photographs released by the FARS News Agency, the new stealthy jet has a really peculiar design. It features hard edges and those distinctive edges and angle of the U.S. F-22 and the twin tail shape much similar to that of the F-35 Lightning II.
The Q-313 has large, seemingly fixed canards, and little wings whose external section is canted downward.
The canopy material is at least odd (based on its transparency, it looks like plexiglass or something like that).
The cockpit seems to be basic (a bit too much for a modern plane – note the lack of wirings behind the front panel and the presence of few instruments, some of those similar to those equipping small private planes…).
The nose section is so small almost no radar could fit in it.
The air intakes are extremely small (they remind those of current drones/unmanned combat aerial vehicles) whereas the engine section lacks any kind of nozzle: engine afterburners could melt the entire jet.
And, above all, the aircraft is way to small.
Look at the following image showing an Iranian officer sitting on the ejection seat in the cockpit.
It looks like this pilot is in a miniature plane.
Summing up: the shape is interesting with some innovative features but the Q-313 displayed on Feb. 1, 2013, seems to be nothing more than a large mock up model (not properly sized to accomodate a real pilot….).
There is a video allegedly showing the Q-313 in the air. Here it is.
Even if it is not the first flight of the aircraft as some of The Aviationist readers say, the way the depicted plane flies is suspect. It seems a radio-controlled scale model more than a modern fighter jet.
Furthermore, as someone pointed out: if the Qaher 313 actually flew, most probably Tehran would release footage of its takeoff and landing.
Click here to read the article on Business Insider about this and other (more realistic) Iran’s military projects and the risk they pose to the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.
Image credit: FARS, Mashreghnews