Friday, April 29, 2011

A question for the aviation experts...

A question for the aviation experts...

I've been playing catch-up on my reading and I keep running into conflicting, confusing and what I believe is misleading information.

Exhibit #1 is this post by Winslow Wheeler from Huffinton Post back in 2009.

If the latest iteration of "beyond visual range" turns out to be yet another chimera, the F-35 will have to operate as a close-in dogfighter, but in that regime it is a disaster. If one accepts every aerodynamic promise Lockheed currently makes for it, the F-35 will be overweight and underpowered. At 49,500 pounds in air-to-air take-off weight with an engine rated at 42,000 pounds of thrust, it will be a significant step backward in thrust-to-weight and acceleration for a new fighter. In fact, at that weight and with just 460 square feet of wing area for the Air Force and Marine Corps versions, the F-35's small wings will be loaded with 108 pounds for every square foot, one third worse than the F-16A. (Wings that are large relative to weight are crucial for maneuvering and surviving in combat.) The F-35 is, in fact, considerably less maneuverable than the appallingly vulnerable F-105 "Lead Sled," a fighter that proved helpless in dogfights against MiGs over North Vietnam. (A chilling note: most of the Air Force's fleet of F-105s was lost in four years of bombing; one hundred pilots were lost in just six months.)
Nor is the F-35 a first class bomber for all that cost: in its stealthy mode it carries only a 4,000 pound payload, one third the 12,000 pounds carried by the "Lead Sled."
The question I have is this...
If bigger wings confer greater agility then why isn't the F-35C more agile than the F-35A.
Yes its a simple question.

But this type of thing has gained traction and is repeated by many...its even a pronouncement that I've seen on a site where the authors claim to be aviation experts and when challenged on any of the claims that they make "insist on comparing  resumes"...the comparison to the F-105 is also a much repeated phrase that I see popping up all over the internet.

So I'm asking the guys that might fly by this blog to give me the real it that cut and dry or am I being deceived?

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