PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 16:13
  #1092 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PLanet Earth
Posts: 821
Originally Posted by ICBM View Post
This aircraft isn't a high-g, high SEP dogfighter - I say again, this isn't a high-g, high SEP dogfighter. It was never touted as such, wasn't designed as such, wasn't required as such and won't end up as such. You want that then get LM to re-open the production line and make the F-22 (Air Supremacy Fighter) carrier capable, somehow finding the inordinate amount of money and American 'will to sell' along the way.
No disagreement here.
Unfortunately apart from USAF the F-35 will have to do these missions as well for a lot of countries. So it is required to be capable at least to some extent in classic air combat. Or you put all your money on stealth and hope that in the next 50 years no one finds a way around that. Good luck with that...

Additionally, the huge quantity of internal fuel that -C carries (with the same sized donk as -B and -A) means, simply, that yes it's ITR will be fantastic however at mid-high fuel weights it will quickly bleed energy and the STR will be inferior. Light-weight is a different matter.
I wouldn't completely underrate the C version.

Just to give some perspective:
Thrust: ~195kN.
Empty Weight: ~15.000 kg (?).
Wing area: 62,02m^2.
=> T/W: ~1,30 (airframe w/o fuel)
wing loading empty: 242kg m^2
span loading empty: 1145 kg/m
wing sweep: 35
internal fuel: 9.100kg

For comparison: Su30:
Thrust: 246kN
Empty weight: ~18.500kg
Wing Area: 63,20 m^2
=> T/W: 1,33 (airframe w/o fuel)
wing loading empty: 293 kg/m^2.
span loading empty: 1258 kg/m
wing sweep: 42
Internal fuel 10185kg

As you see also the SU-30 has a massive fuel capacity (even higher compared to the wing area than F-35C). Undoubdtedly with full internal fuel both take quite a hit wrt performance. But in a comparable configuration the C shouldn't be that far from the undoubtedly very good Air superiority fighter the SU-30 is.
That said a specific problem of the F-35 compared to the SU appears to be zero-lift drag/transonic drag. That seems to be quite high and will negatively impact SEP and thus acceleration, climb and to some extent STR.

The point I'm trying to make is that the C might be closer to other very good A2A fighters in some important key parameters than one might think at first glance. Closer than the other versions at least.

That said, the F-22 is in a league completely of its own and it is a pity they did not make more of these fabulous (albeit EXPENSIVE) birds.

Last edited by henra; 17th Jun 2012 at 16:56.
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