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Fighter Aircraft Generations: A Reference...

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posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 11:57 PM
Any updates here? Any news about the MiG 1.42?

posted on May, 12 2006 @ 03:25 PM
^^^^It's been scrapped.

posted on Jun, 25 2006 @ 11:24 PM
ok . . tell me .. is there any such thing as a generation 4.75 . . ? ? ?
if soo . . whats the criteria . . ? ? what aircrafts fall in this catagory . . . ? ?

posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 01:40 PM

Originally posted by darthmarc
Any updates here? Any news about the MiG 1.42?

maybe more than you think!

Mikoyan Project 1.44

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The Mikoyan Project 1.44/1.42 is a Russian Air Force prototype fifth-generation air-superiority fighter aircraft. Apart from a number of names along the lines of "Object/Project 1.44/1.42", the aircraft is also known as the MiG-MFI. It was unofficially known as the MiG-35 although MiG is now using this designation for the export version of the MiG-29OVT. The MFI has also been referred to by some sources as the MiG-39. Despite the prototype status of the 1.44/1.42, NATO has assigned the reporting name "Flatpack" to this aircraft. The relationship between the 1.44 and 1.42 designations is unclear outside the military world, and these are generally used interchangeably. For simplicity, the 1.44 designation is used throughout this article.

1 History
2 Development
3 Description
4 Specifications (Project 1.44)
5 In fiction
6 External links
7 Related content

The 1.44 was Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau's entry to Russia's Многофункциональный Фронтовой Истребитель (Mnogofounksionalni Frontovoi Istrebitel - Multifunctional Frontline Fighter) program (a development program that originated in the 1980s, similar to the Advanced Tactical Fighter program held in the United States). It was designed to compete with the American Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. Many of its design features are similar to those found on fifth generation Western fighters, including thrust vectoring, supersonic cruise and modern avionics. Looking back upon its development history, the 1.44 served purely as a technological showcase and testbed for future aircraft designs, not as an actual air superiority fighter.

sorry not enough for the info

Mod Edit - added link

You have a U2U

[edit on 1-9-2006 by masqua]

posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 09:59 AM
I suppose the rest of the fighters in history are WW 2 - 0, post-WW I -1, and WW I -2?

posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 01:17 PM
no these were all counted after WW-II only.

posted on Apr, 21 2007 @ 05:42 PM
Speaking of fighter generations, how do they decide where the cut-off point for one generation is at? For example, the F/A-18 was developed years after the F-14, however both are considered 4th generation fighter as far as I can tell.

How do they decide when one generation ends and the next one starts?


posted on Apr, 21 2007 @ 10:07 PM

I beleive they are in the same catergory because the tomcat was the best of military technology at that time. Broke all new records, second to none. The original hornet was later indeed however certainly not a groundbreaking aircraft.

posted on May, 22 2007 @ 12:29 PM
The cut off point is an interesting argument. Aircraft producers will always tell you that THEIR particular new fighter is the starting point of the next generation, naturally, but this is clearly not the case. For me in any case, the cust off point is when the new fighter is introducing completely new to the field rather than being an extension of what went before.

In the case of the F-14 and F-18, well, the YF-17 was in full scale R&D in 1972 as the Tomcat was entering service so the gap in terms of years is not that great, and in terms of tech is non existant, this is why they are of the same generation.

The F-86 and MiG 15 may have introduced swept wings, but they are still really first gen because they are essentially the same as the Meteor and Me 262, featuring a pilot, a jet engine, some guns and a gunsight and being operationally close to the Spitfires and Messerschmitt's of 1940, only much faster.

Gen 2 effectively introduced supersonics and AAMs into the equation, the F-100 generally being the starting point for this generation, gen 3 were the first integrated weapons systems where the distinction between 'day' and 'night' fighters became redundant (Lightning, F-4, Su-15 for example)

The F-22 is gen 5 with good reason and the Typhoon and Rafale are unfortunate to have had to have the term 'gen 4.5' invented especially for them as the only thing they lack over the Raptor is stealth, which is ironically the most visible aspect, and they are 'gen 5' in every other concievable way.

Most of all remember, the generations are only a rough guide, not an official classification. For instance we just know that the F-4 is an earlier generation than the F-15, it doesn't need spelling out

posted on May, 23 2007 @ 08:52 AM
I just got an Idea on how to draw the "Generations" line. Would it make sense to say it has to do with replacement vs. compliment. For example if we say the F-15 is 4th generation, then the F-16, which was design to compliment it is also 4th generation. However, the F-22 is design to replace the F-15, which moves it to the next generation (5th Generation in this case).


posted on May, 23 2007 @ 04:10 PM
You are right Tim, but I once got ripped to bits on here for daring to mention it

Just as you are the next generation on from your father and your child would be the next generation on from you, so it was with the jet fighters, it was only in the 1970's that the reference became blurred with a technological meaning, which it now seems to be completely associated with since the F-22 came out.

To use a very silly example by way of illustrating the point, if there were a massive 'anti-tech' revolution in 2040 and all the Raptors and Typhoons etc were replaced by subsonic aircraft with cannons and gunsights instead of radars and missiles, these would still be '6th gen' fighters, as they would have taken over from the fifth gen, scholarly works would be full of how "the 6th gen saw a total rejection of high technology" etc, they would not be 'first gen again', even if their capabilities were the same, you cannot be followed in life by your gt gt gt grandfather, that would be creepy

[edit on 23-5-2007 by waynos]

posted on May, 23 2007 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by waynos
The F-22 is gen 5 with good reason and the Typhoon and Rafale are unfortunate to have had to have the term 'gen 4.5' invented especially for them as the only thing they lack over the Raptor is stealth, which is ironically the most visible aspect, and they are 'gen 5' in every other concievable way.

So why didnt they go with stealth in the Typhoon? Its well within thier technical expertiece? Cost?

I would venture that the Typhoon is a Gen 5 and the Raptor may require a whole differnt way of thinking in terms of classification IMHO. What little we know about it in open source seems to indicate that its going to be used not only as an air super. platform but also as a C2I, data link node, and electronic attack aircraft as well. So IMHO it seems to defy the traditional generation classification.

posted on May, 25 2007 @ 05:56 AM

Originally posted by FredT
So why didnt they go with stealth in the Typhoon? Its well within thier technical expertiece? Cost?


Remember, stealth is a balancing act. You are trading off one set of aircraft characteristics for another. While stealth does give you the advantage of surprise, you do pay a price. A stealth fighter tends to be larger, heavier, and more expensive than a non-stealth fighter of the same general class. Look at the F-22 Raptor, it dose the same job as the F-15, but it has to be able to be able to carry all of its fuel and weapons internally.


posted on May, 25 2007 @ 02:18 PM
Apart from that, the aircraft that became the Typhoon was in development even before the F-22 (AST403, the grass root of Typhoon dates from 1976!!) and so stealth was not a major concern at that time, also it was known to be severely performance-limiting, although the Germans were working on Lamprydae at the time it really was a case of the F-117 representing the stealth state of the art and there was no possibility of a European fighter (or any other come to that) entering service in 1994 (as they then thought) being stealthy.

It was only the massive investment by the USA into ATF that solved these issues and made a plane like the F-22 even possible. Even when it was made possible it was still unaffordable to nations unwilling to spend the vast amounts on defence that the USA does, more than the next 35 countries combined was, I think, the last estimate of US defence spending.

When the advantages of LO became apparent (and to a degree necessary) both the Eurofighter gang and Dassault embarked on programmes to reduce the detectability of their aircraft which is comparable with what Boeing did with the F/A-18E. There was never any possibility of Europe taking any other route, but of course with the greater knowledge and greater affordability of LO technologies today this will no longer be a barrier when the UCAV generation arrives.

posted on Apr, 11 2008 @ 08:16 PM
The following is based upon my own observations and speculation.

The sites and sources I've been kicking around defined 5th gen as "high survivability technologies" which include *cough* stealth, but most importantly variable geometry thrust outlets to combine with a digital flight management system. The pilot crashes less often, particularly when trying to get inventive about avoiding being hit. I can't give a quantification of the average increase in mission survivability, but apparently it is significant enough to warrant the assertion. A good 5th gen (jet) fighter should have stealth features for increased survivability against enemy weapon seeker-heads too.

Obviously the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and Saab Gripen do not fall into this category, but the Su-37 (actually now frequently referred to as the 'improved' Su-35) and the MiG-29OVT certainly do. Essentially if you're specifically engineered for high survivability features in excess of normal digital avionics and classical aeronautical technologies, you're 5th gen, simple.

That being said I in no way challenge the obvious contention that the F/A-22A is simply a more advanced aircraft than most contemporaries. For the price it ought to be.

Before this term was applied to the new Raptor/Su-37 in the 90's I remember hearing a similar term only once before, back around 1980 being used to describe Hornets as opposed to Mirages. The Hornet was 3rd gen, whilst the Mirage was 2nd gen. Part of the reasoning here is that honeycomb structures were introduced with the 3rd gen. Supersonic flight obviously with the 2nd. The Tomcat (which employs stronger, more classical construction, scrapes through on avionics such as the weapon system transferred and developed from the cancelled YF-17A).

These are the only times AFAIK a military, probably concurring aviation marketing (where the term probably originated and I'd go so far as to point a finger at Northrop in particular), has used the terms as a perfectly serious and credible descriptor.

The 4th gen and 4.5 gen were as far as I can tell, retroactive designations provided by journalists and fans of military aviation, though at least in the case of the term '4th gen' were alluded to by the very classification of a 5th gen fighter (a term which probably appeared first in a Boeing marketing brochure). A perfectly reasonable assertion for the intended 4th gen association would be simply, the digital avionics, MFT's and modern, contemporary weapons use, or in other words the F-15C upgrade, MiG-29SMT and so on.

The generations system naturally doesn't apply to piston fighters because it was always retroactive, and really spawned of academic references to the Me-262 which far fewer people seemed to know much about back then, as a 1st generation jet fighter, so nobody was talking about piston aircraft at the time at all.

But you could apply it to piston fighters easily. Biplanes/rudimentary monoplanes gen 1, early/pre war gen 2 and late/post war gen 3. It really goes to turboprops from there so that's about that.

[edit on 11-4-2008 by Vanir]

[edit on 11-4-2008 by Vanir]

posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 03:00 PM
I agree with intelgurl 100% and applaud that she is astute enough to recognize that a 4.5-generation is easily justifiable. I have a library of books on the subject as well as many hours of thought on this subject and would not change anything that was in the original post.

I see many variations and modifications based on personal preferences. You can agree until the sun sets using detailed nuisances, but intelgurl’s list is definitive and correct.

posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 09:03 PM
reply to post by eagledriver

That may be, but as a matter of opinion opinions will vary. In reality aircraft models are not so easily categorised. Compare a hydraulic control MiG-29 with a Block 50 F-16. Germany did and was quite impressed (though BVR capabilities in the old MiG left a lot to be desired).

Then what about service updates and new variants. Are we going to have 3.12786353749 generation warplanes?

I think it is a very rough guideline, really you can say first generation jet fighters, new generation but it is now old generation, newer but now slightly obsolete generation and quite new generation, along with futuristic generation but how much of their innovations are claimed revolutionary more than achieved...

I think at the 4.5 generation declaration it just got silly, a little too defined for what is nothing more than a piece of slang which can be labelled with extreme user discretion.
"5th gen" is a sales pitch. 1st gen means the first types of jets built. Nothing whatsoever is credible about any "generations" classification beyond that much, but agreed it has become a media perspective.

It doesn't mean something like "alloy parts" which describes a specific group of things. I say continue to use and interpret the terms with your own discretion and clarifications, so people know what you're actually talking about.

posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 09:43 PM
Actually, the fighter generations are used by the military, so it is far from simply a sales pitch.

I agree, though, that it is getting silly by having 4.5 (or even 4.75 as the Super Hornet has been labeled by some). I simply consider a Super Hornet to be a later model 4th generation fighter. Only the pedantic break it down more than this. But for what reason?

posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 03:15 PM
I think it is appropriate to create the label 4.5, but I do not feel the same with the other generations. Sure the lines are blurred, but this an easy way to differentiate the classes.

First, technology for aircraft moved very fast over the last 20 years and Northrop played the checked writers as the fools they were.

Case in point is the F-18A/C which was found very early on to have flaws in underpowered engines and limited AA radar capability. The C model helped in this regard, but it was still glaring at them head-on. So the F-18 was completely redesigned to overcome these deficiencies to end up with Super Hornet. Congress was duped into believing this was an upgraded and not what it really was, a new airplane that looked a little like the one it is replacing.

The sad part is it still has range issues, but the radar is much better. One additional problem just discovered is its airframe lifespan is much shorter than anticipated, hastening the F-35.

Back to the point. The Typoon/Rafale was just stop gap in between generation 4 and 5. They are clearly better than a F-16, but clearly inferior to the F-22/35. Concluding that they, along with the F-18E, should be in a 4.5 generation category.

posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 05:00 PM
reply to post by eagledriver

Well, if it works for you, that's fine. It doesn't do a whole lot for me. You're fourth gen, or you're fifth gen from my perspective. If the step change in quality is such that you need to differentiate, maybe the powers that be should group Super Hornet et al into fifth generation, and move F-35/F-22 into a sixth generation.

As for your comments regarding the Hornet's Air to Air capability, I disagree. The APG-65 was quite a good radar for its time, and the APG-73 is still a highly capable radar today. The biggest issue witht the Hornet is range, which given it is an aircraft designed for carrier use, is kind of understandable.

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