posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 09:24 AM
The Lightning's initial rate of climb was 50,000 ft per minute.
Depends on the variant. By the time they made them useful (pull guns, add gas, add IFR probe) around the F.4/F.6 it was actually a bit of a tank
according to Aggressors flying out of Alconbury.
Compare that to the Mirage 111 which could climb at 30,000 ft per minute.
Better actually, with the SEPR rocket pack. Mind you, at the time the USAF was still flying B-57s in the low altitude intruder role from French bases
and the Russians were practicing the same in their Beagles so what the hell exactly they thought they were proving...
The F-4 Phantom did 32,000 ft per minute
More like 24-27,000fpm. Nekkid. Of course the F-4 was aboult as useless as pig on roller blades above 20,000ft anyway and had this peculiar habit of
crippling itself with centerline tank jettisons above 300 knots.
The MiG-21 managed to go 36,090 ft per minute
Not operationally. The early models didn't have the thrust or the inlet scheduling to hold the Mach point with the R-11. The later Bis/N with it's
R-25 sucked gas like a drunk in a brewery to gain back the T/Wr that the added avionics and fuel weight in the bigger spines required to compensate
for the initial CG problem. The MiG-19 is a better fast-rise interceptor than the MiG-21, simply because it is an honest one which doesn't pay the
price of a snapup from an initial acceleration sprint to get the weight down for a topout that is going to be fuel critical.
The rate of the F-16 was 40,000 ft per minute
The YF-16 maybe or a clean IPE/EFE bird. While the LGPOS has more fraction than most in it's class, it frankly doesn't accelerate well through the
Mach thanks to the design of the LERX and this makes it suffer a lot in a non Rutowski profile.
And the Tornado can climb at 43,000 ft per minute
The RB199 suffers _a lot_ above about 15,000ft as the tri-spool configuration just wheezes out on compression. The Fin's got good coefficients but
between fuel tank issues and wingloading...
The Lightning held that record for a long time and initially beat out the F-15 - although supposedly the F-15 and Mig -25 were finally able to beat
the Lightning's world record.
And the Lightning was good for CAPing the outer marker. If you had a tanker and SAR handy. The Bloodhound had a greater combat radius. As I recall,
we ran the numbers and came to the conclusion that the E-266 was probably rocket augmented and while the Streak Eagle would beat a Saturn V to about
30-32K if I remember right, it was another nekkid-is-as-hands-over-crotch-does platform.
Seeing how the F-22 Raptor is known to climb from the deck in the supersonic regime, I doubt that the Lightning has it beat. I am certainly open to
enlightenment on the subject, I sure don't want anyone to think I am a Raptor "fanboy".. or girl as it were...
I've seen the 'up, up and away!' climbout video of the Lightning and it is indeed impressive for the (early 70's) timeframe as you see the
double-dots of the engines go lumbering down the runway for a goodly distance before the airframe goes planform with that arrowhead shape and then
ramps away upwards. That said, it is not terribly energetic in subsequent acceleration and I doubt /seriously/ the attitude is held to more than a
10-15,000ft topout as a function of typical Viking Profile showmanship launch.
After which, the aircraft will promptly glide back. Whether the pilot is still attached or swinging beneath the silk escalator depends on how drunk
From what I've heard from a couple of Eagle drivers (obviously not all F-15 jocks would do it this way), in order to climb supersonic, they take off
in the F-15, climb to around 20,000 ft and then go into a slight dive to achieve Mach 1+ and then go back into the climb in the supersonic regime.
This is apparently quicker than staying on the deck and hitting Mach 1, then climbing.
This is the profile used for the Streak Eagle on some of the higher record attempts.
Lower down (15-25,000ft class), they had to use a giant alligator clip and a tank as a hold back device just to let the pilot run up to Stage 1 and
once he was off to the races, the bird was off the ground in only about 500-700ft, faster than they could get the gear retracted in full burner, even
with the nose going pure vertical. With that kind of smash; I doubt if excess stick wiggling does anything but hurt you before you pass through the
For the higher runs I believe there is also a ramp recovery variable involved and at least on the early -100 engined birds, once you hit a given Mach
point a secondary 'War Emergency' (VMAX) type button on the left console gave the jet a number of minutes at higher pressure/temp/rpm
Supposedly it really made the Eagle scoot. When Nekkid. As an indication of how much wear and tear it involved, it was also strictly forbidden to
use in peace time as they had to pull and inspect plus retune the mechanicals on the engines afterwards.
I understand the 220E mod removes the feature in turn for a general flat rating under a DEEC so whether this means the current C-Eagle is better or
worse I don't know for sure. My understanding is that an Albino with uprated engines is about the equal of a 229 Mudhen with CFT but no LANTIRN or
Also I understand from both Eagle and Falcon pilots who have run chase for Raptors, that the Raptor walks away from them whether in a climb, level
flight or whatever.
Hauling 2-3 tanks to have adequate chase time? I'm not surprised. Put a pair of EFE engines into an F-15 in particular and it would likely stay in
the game quite handily _at equivalent fuel weight_.
They really shouldn't lie about the Raptor like they do in comparison with tired red and white teeny jets filled with instrumentation from a dozen
other programs. It's not the sprint, it's the lope, where the F-22 really steps out.
It must be hell for a pilot to retire and go from flying a fighter to flying an Airbus for Federal Express.
Yeah wasting all that gas. Losing all those wars. And then they get a guaranteed cushy 60 grande a year golden parachute into the
mailtube-with-wings meal ticket industry. Just absolutely sucks to do an outdated job at union rates.
Note that whenever you sacrifice the ability to go futhest with the mostest, you automatically pick up quite a bit of 'fustest' performance.
Kind've like a cafe racer next to a tractor trailer rig. Except the Tractor Trailer still gets four Sparrows and twelve Mk.82 to shoot your ass down
from 10 miles out before bombing your runway.
Mind you, there is not an Airbust or 'Boing' on the planet which will not out climb, out ceiling and out accelerate any armed fighter on the planet
/other than/ the F-22. In military thrust.
Fighters are one-shot worthless.
There's a book you might want to pick up by Bill Gunston I think it was. _Fighters Of The Fifties_. Covered the Draken, Mirage, Ford and Lightning
among others. Gives some interesting insight into what made a hotrod in those days and a few of the quirks that went with it (F4Ds with engines
backfiring 'blue flames' out through the inlets on startcarting on a wet deck. Being stuck in the clag at the top of a failed attempt to climb out
of the weather with ice on the wings and bingo fuel light blazing away like Rudolph, 40,000ft over the Sea of Japan with a Bear 'somewhere near
enough', as to make the cockpit shake with turboprop noise and utterly invisible for all that. Fogged over canopies leaking mist that lead to
/internal/ icing of the cockpit due to sudden altitude changes not being within the range of the pressurization system as you came back down looking
for the boat. Oh yeah, that's Riley for you. Him, his sainted widow and their four Irish Catholic brats.).