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F-16 wingtip AAM question...

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F-16 wingtip AAM question...

Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:54
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F-16 wingtip AAM question...

This has puzzled me for a while, and I figured someone here may know the answer. Why is it, whenever you see an F-16 carrying either live or acquisition/drill AAMs on the wingtip rails, they are always AIM-120, with the much smaller, lighter AIM-9 on the outboard underwing pylons?
Surely it makes more sense to carry the larger and heavier AIM-120 underwing and the smaller, lighter AIM-9 on the wingtip rails? I can't remember seeing the F-16 ADF's carrying the AIM-7/AIM-9 combo in the same way as the, AIM-120/AIM-9 combo, surely carrying the larger and heavier missile on the wingtip rail causes more stress to the wing? So can someone enlighten me please?

-RP
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 12:59
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wing damping.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 13:06
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Believe it or not, it reduces fatigue on the aircraft. Many aircraft maintain fuel in the wings as long as possible for the same reason.
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Old 3rd Nov 2015, 13:12
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Thanks for the answers, chaps, much appreciated!

-RP
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 10:20
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Strangely enough it may also produce less drag with the larger missile acting as a better winglet. I don't think it was possible to use the wingtip rail on the F-16 could take the AIM-7 since it is a fair bit larger than the AIM-120.
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 11:08
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AIM-7 and AIM-120 are roughly the same size, but the AIM-7 is quite a bit heavier iirc, maybe that's why the AIM-7 wasn't carried on the wingtip rails?

-RP
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 12:11
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My guess would be that it's more likely to be a 1760-type wiring issue for the legacy AIM-7 given that the ADF was a sub-block of the A/B for the Guard. Why bother running it all the way when you could (I think) still use AIM-120 on the outers?

Must be a Viper guy around here who knows...
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 12:14
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I know the F-18 had some problems with target acquisition with tip mounted AiM9s. The Mx flops around all over the place, no-idea how they solved it.
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 12:30
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Makes it look meaner
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 13:14
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AIM-7 and AIM-120 are roughly the same size, but the AIM-7 is quite a bit heavier iirc, maybe that's why the AIM-7 wasn't carried on the wingtip rails?
If memory serves, F-16 never flew with Sparrows because the radar required to illuminate the target for the Sparrow would not fit in the F-16. AIM-120 can be used with radars that fit in F-16.
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 14:36
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Originally Posted by KenV View Post
If memory serves, F-16 never flew with Sparrows because the radar required to illuminate the target for the Sparrow would not fit in the F-16. AIM-120 can be used with radars that fit in F-16.
These pictures seem to suggest otherwise, Ken, In fact the ADF test jet even has a Sparrow image on the tail! The whole point of the F-16 ADF was to give the F-16 a BVR capability, so it would seem rather pointless if it couldn't actually carry and fire the AIM-7, the APG-66 was modded to provide CW illumination...




-RP
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 16:12
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AIM 7 Mountings

I seem to remember seeing a picture way back showing an AIM 7 mounting on the undercarriage door of an F16, as part of the F16 ADF trials.
Does anyone else recall this, or am I overdue for todays medication?
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 17:16
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Might it have something to do with AIM - 7 being dropped before the motor ignites whereas AIM - 120 launches 'off the rail'?

And yes, later blocks were perfectly capable of carrying and launching the Sparrow.

Regards,

Frank
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 18:01
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AIM-7 Sparrow could be rail launched and this feature was used on the Phantom when AIM-7s were carried on the inboard wing pylon. Indeed, the rail was built into the pylon itself, rather than requiring an adapter.

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Old 5th Nov 2015, 18:03
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Example:

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Old 5th Nov 2015, 18:52
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Thanks, J.T.O. - nice pic.

Perhaps I should make my language clearer: All the Sparrow launches I've seen, there is a clear delay from weapon release to motor ignition regardless of the station used for carriage. With AMRAAM, ignition and release seem co - incident, much as with the 'winder and other wingtip mounted AAMs.

Still no guarantee that my thinking's correct, though!

Regards,

Frank
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 18:54
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These pictures seem to suggest otherwise, Ken, In fact the ADF test jet even has a Sparrow image on the tail! The whole point of the F-16 ADF was to give the F-16 a BVR capability
You are of course correct. The F-16 ADF role and attendant mods completely slipped my mind. Mea culpa and thanks for the correction.
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Old 5th Nov 2015, 18:56
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All understood. To leave the rail the motor has to ignite first so in this regard the AIM-7 is identical to the AIM-120 when it is rail launched.

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Old 5th Nov 2015, 19:30
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Shall we now discuss 100 way connectors, prc and optional swarf filling direct from the penitentiary????

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Old 5th Nov 2015, 20:15
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RAAF F-4E and a youthful Bren Roberts [pilot] and "assistant"
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