PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 11:19
  #1086 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PLanet Earth
Posts: 821
Originally Posted by ICBM View Post
Out of a choice of every platform that the west will have in the next 20-30 years, not counting Raptor, I would go to war in F-35 every time.
But if you gave pilots a choice I doubt a single one would opt for the 'B' voluntarily.

Ironically, for your statement, F-35C has the worst transonic acceleration of all three variants.
Yes, but....
The C should be the version with the best turn rates of all three. Especially at high altitudes. It has a pretty low wing loading and span loading and a quite moderate sweep. Despite being limited at 7,5g it should have excellent STR and ITR. I expect it to be a good rate and an excellent radius fighter.
At lower altitudes it should be a quite capable low speed performer with relatively little energy bleed in turns thus mitigating the probably less than stellar transonic acceleration in straight and level flight.

I expect the 'A' to have acceptable but not terribly good turn rates, due to 9g capability and relatively high wing loading best turn performance being at rather high speeds (probably even higher than F-16). Fits at least to USAF 'speed is life' paradigm. Will bleed energy significantly in hard turns.
The 'B' combines worst of both worlds: Even higher wing loading than the 'A' (starfighter like wing loading ) and lowest g limit of all three being detrimental in high speed energy fight. Neither rate nor radius fighter.
I see virtually no part in the envelope where I expect it to be competiive against a capable oppenent wrt kinematic performance.

I still have difficulties to understand why not a medium size wing (between 'A' and 'C' size) with a little more sweep to improve acceleration has been chosen for the conventional main version (aka the 'A').
I'm afraid that is part of the price ithe F-35 pays for the modular approach to implement a conventional and a carrier borne version with the same basic wing structure.
For my personal tatse maybe a bit too much compromise.

Last edited by henra; 17th Jun 2012 at 11:22.
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