Saab Draken

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posted on Jul, 13 2006 @ 04:08 PM
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One of the least know but most capable fighters of the cold war era and a personal favorite of mine. The Dracken has the distinction of being the only Saab fighter that required an X variant(due to its double delta wing configuration). It wasn't as fast as the Mirage III or Mig-21 but was superior in low speed handling and dogfighting. Saab is IMO probably the best european aerospace defense contractor. They've done amazing things with not alot to work with financially(compared to the US and USSR). Its a shame that the USAF didn't pick up a few for use in Vietnam or that the Pakistan didn't buy some for use against Indian Migs.


Saab Draken




posted on Jul, 14 2006 @ 11:06 PM
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The Draken is a personal favorite of mine, as well. From what I understand, it was one of the first production aircraft to use the double-delta planform. It was on par with the EE Lightning, despite having one less engine. It was actually more capable since it could carry more than two missiles
.
That was a plane that should have seen more world wide service. It would have been interesting to see it in US service, though. In retrospect, the UK should have built it under license instead of the Lightning.
Given it's fast looks, I wonder if SAAB ever considered creating a Mach 3 version. It seems like they wouldn't have much trouble.
With SAAB's successes, Sweden is an excellent example of where the UK air industry could have been, and as you rightly pointed out, Sweden has less money to play with. The Swedish aircraft industry, with the Draken, Tunnan, and Gripen, is a perfect model for creating world class aircraft on a tight budget. And the 35 Draken is a tough act to follow. Kudos to it's designers.



posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 03:18 AM
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Originally posted by danwild6


It wasn't as fast as the Mirage III or Mig-21 but was superior in low speed handling and dogfighting.


Saab Draken


Although I like Swedish designs the above is not true. It was almost as fast as the 21 and Mirage III but inferior to both in dogfighting. Which is OK because it wasn't meant to dogfight. It was a pure interceptor meant to intercept Tu-16s and for it's time it was probably the best one for this job. But dogfighting wasn't one of it's strong points, unlike the above two planes which excel in exactly that.



posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 10:01 AM
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Yes the Swedes are superior when it comes to small budgets, and still their planes are very good. The Gripen is almost equal to the F/A-18. And I'am proud of being neighbours with them.



posted on Jul, 15 2006 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by Pazo
Although I like Swedish designs the above is not true. It was almost as fast as the 21 and Mirage III but inferior to both in dogfighting. Which is OK because it wasn't meant to dogfight. It was a pure interceptor meant to intercept Tu-16s and for it's time it was probably the best one for this job. But dogfighting wasn't one of it's strong points, unlike the above two planes which excel in exactly that.


Well if you read the article it was stated that the original concept was that the Draken be able to take on fighters as well as bombers.


As the jet era started, Sweden saw the need for a jet fighter that could intercept bombers at high altitude, but also take on fighters.


Which in concept is similar to the requirements issued to Soviet design bureaus which resulted in the Mig-21.

The article also states


Although not designed to be a dogfighter, Draken proved to have good instantaneous turn capability and was a very capable fighter.



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 03:52 AM
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And from which one of these quotes did you conclude that it was a better dogfighter than the MiG-21 and Mirage III

Being able to do something doesn't necessarily mean it is better than others. I can run 100 metres pretty fast, doesn't mean I can compete in the Olimpics.
Yes you can get in a dogfight with a Draken against a 21 but the overwhelming chances are you will take a lot of 23 mm rounds up the tail until you realize that although Volvos can go round a track, it is not a good idea to race them against Ferraris, built specifically for that.

BTW, Finland had Mig-21s, Swedes had Drakens. Have they made any joint excersises. It would have been interesting to know if there was ever a staged dogfight between the Draken & 21. I won't be surprized if there was.



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 04:11 AM
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Pazo
Finland had Both Drakens and both Mig-21F and Mig-21Bis' In operative use, so i assume our airforce has a pretty decent idea on their cababilities


I've heard that Mig-21 better in higher altitudes and Draken was better at lolo environment. But it came to pilot skills to determinate the winner.

ps. Both planes had their avionics and electronics heavily modified in Finnish service, so i don't know if this applies to all services (For example Cell phone technology was developed from our airforce datalink
)



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 05:02 AM
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Originally posted by Pazo
And from which one of these quotes did you conclude that it was a better dogfighter than the MiG-21 and Mirage III
Being able to do something doesn't necessarily mean it is better than others. I can run 100 metres pretty fast, doesn't mean I can compete in the Olimpics.


Well I was merely taking issue with you staements that the draken was a pure interceptor which it clearly was not. And that the Draken wasn't strong suited to dogfighting which I disagree with given the aircraft's low-speed performance which the Mig-21 and Mirage III were notoriously lacking in. I also base my assumptions from the fact that all aircraft were designed primarily as interceptors with the tactical fighter role as secondary. And given the Draken's double delta which gave it quite a good instantaneous turn(immediate turning ability)coupled with the fact that the Draken's has a far better wing load than either the Mig-21 or the Mirage III giving the Draken greater ability to sustain its turn(which means the Draken could easily out turn either the Mig-21 or the Mirage III).


Originally posted by Pazo
Yes you can get in a dogfight with a Draken against a 21 but the overwhelming chances are you will take a lot of 23 mm rounds up the tail until you realize that although Volvos can go round a track, it is not a good idea to race them against Ferraris, built specifically for that.


Well due to the Draken's all-round superior manuverability to the Mig I'd have to say it probably be the 21 that will be taking it up the tail. The Draken had much better turning ability and even a significantly better climb rate making superior to the Mig as an interceptor in that regard.


Originally posted by Pazo
BTW, Finland had Mig-21s, Swedes had Drakens. Have they made any joint excersises. It would have been interesting to know if there was ever a staged dogfight between the Draken & 21. I won't be surprized if there was.


That would be an interesting event to watch.



[edit on 17-7-2006 by danwild6]



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 05:20 AM
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Mig-21Fs usd in 'Nam vere pure day fighters and clearly inferior to draken Cs, but Mig 21Bis is a versatile all weather fighter, able to put up a fight against draken. As i said it depends on the pilots skill.



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 06:14 AM
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The Drakens that were sold to Finland were old SK-35Cs which were originally two-seat trainers(not exactly optimized for dogfighting). Finland also bought some J 35B and J 35D variants which would have been far more suitable for close A2A combat. And the Mig-21Bis was the variant that I got the info for the 21 from. Hum that was the updated version huh. Wow I now really wish we had gotten some Drakens


The Mig-21Bis had just about the same wing load as the F-4E.



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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Northwolf, thanks for the info, didn't know Fins had J-35s


Now, ever since WWII it was established that it is far better to have superiority in vertical maneuvres in a dogfight rather than turning horizontally. any MiG-21 pilot knows that he shouldn't engage in energy bleeding maneuvres (same goes for Mirage). The MiG just asks for a particular style of piloting, if you stick to that, no J-35 can mess with it (and very little other things, none until the late 70's). Low wing loading means nothing by itself, if it did, the best WWII fighters would have been the Yak-1, Spit MkI and A6M Zero. Instead the best were Me-109G, FW-190D, La-7 , Spit MkIX and P-51 which had much greater wing loading.
A stupid MiG-21 pilot will lose a fight against MiG-17 (like stupid F-4 pilots), because the 17 can turn on a dime. A smart 21 pilot can take out 4 17's without them getting a chance. You have to exploit your advantages, not fight like the opponent. An A-10 can turn better than F-15, so what, is it a better dogfighter?
The MiG-21 bis has better climb rate and roll rate than J-35. So, that's what you use. I believe Northwolf that the J-35 would be better at low speed, lo altitude, hard turning fight, but that's an experiment, done to check the envelope of both planes, no MiG-21 pilot would fight that way unless he's poorly trained or has a death wish.
The same way, Greeks have Mirage 2000 and F-16C. They say the F-16 is better at lo altitude, lo speed, hard turn, and Mirage 2000 is superior at hi-hi. But most say that if you are at war, the Mirage is the one to have. You can always counter a turning target by keeping your energy state higher. But you can never out-turn a fighter that doesn't play by your rules. The MIG-21 has long been established as the best dogfighter of it's time. For the J-35, you're only speculating. It's exotic, interesting, but if it was that good, there would be more planes that looked like it.
Good designs are always copied to some extent (Chinese still exploit the 21 airframe, French are still making Mirages), ever seen another fighter to look like a J-35?



posted on Jul, 17 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by Pazo
A stupid MiG-21 pilot will lose a fight against MiG-17 (like stupid F-4 pilots), because the 17 can turn on a dime. A smart 21 pilot can take out 4 17's without them getting a chance. You have to exploit your advantages, not fight like the opponent. An A-10 can turn better than F-15, so what, is it a better dogfighter?


Well being smarter could work both ways. Their actually was a similar match up during the falklands between RN and RAF Harriers against much faster adversaries (which including Mirage III, A-4 Skyhawk and the Nesh which is an Israeli derivative of the Mirage V) all could easily outrun or out climb the Harriers but we know how it turned out.

So it would also depend on the situation. Believe me the RN and the RAF pilots were fine with them stay'in high but eventually they had to come down and play. And they had to play the Harriers game.


Originally posted by Pazo
The MiG-21 bis has better climb rate and roll rate than J-35.


I've read on wikipedia that the Mig-21 had a rate of climb at 120 m/s while it states that the J-35 could climb 175 m/s. Thats one of the positive aspects of low wing loading you've got more lift generating surface and comparably less weight therefore greater lift.

The J-35 also had a higher service ceiling 20,000m against the Mig-21's 19,000m. So say'th the wiki.


Originally posted by Pazo
So, that's what you use. I believe Northwolf that the J-35 would be better at low speed, lo altitude, hard turning fight, but that's an experiment, done to check the envelope of both planes, no MiG-21 pilot would fight that way unless he's poorly trained or has a death wish.


Or unless he tries that facing a J-35:p


Originally posted by Pazo
The same way, Greeks have Mirage 2000 and F-16C. They say the F-16 is better at lo altitude, lo speed, hard turn, and Mirage 2000 is superior at hi-hi. But most say that if you are at war, the Mirage is the one to have.


I suppose they bought the Falcon for show then.


Originally posted by Pazo
You can always counter a turning target by keeping your energy state higher. But you can never out-turn a fighter that doesn't play by your rules. The MIG-21 has long been established as the best dogfighter of it's time. For the J-35, you're only speculating. It's exotic, interesting, but if it was that good, there would be more planes that looked like it.


Unless you have to come down and play their game. In certain situations I'd be perfectly fine with you staying high. Lets say I'm on a strike mission I'd be perfectly content with you remaining high and out of sight. Just like the Falklands. But you can't stay high your going to have to come down and play with me. Thats how it happened in Vietnam and in the Falklands. You may not want to play my ggame but you may not have a choice if the situation commands it.


Originally posted by Pazo
Good designs are always copied to some extent (Chinese still exploit the 21 airframe, French are still making Mirages), ever seen another fighter to look like a J-35?


Yeah I've also seen a Chinese imitation of the F-16(I think they call it the J-10). I guess they need a show piece too huh



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 06:58 AM
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Hey Dan,
You made so many mistakes that I may not be able to correct them all in one post


First about Harriers, although they are sub-sonic, they have very high thrust to weight ratio. So in a dogfight they can easily outaccelerate and outclimb Mirage III's, let alone A-4's. Adding the better RAF pilots, I'd bet on a Harier anytime, in any type of dogfight, even against MiG-21 & Draken.

Stayin high has nothing to do here, I said 'high energy state' which is a completely different and much more complex thing, you can be 100 mtrs off the ground and stil maintain HES, which allows you to climb faster, thus loosing speed for altitude and you still have HES.


120m/s sounds like the climb rate of the earliest MIG-21's. Even MiG-19 climbs faster than that. MiG-21bis has close to 200 m/s climb rate at sea level and it can keep that rate for much longer than Draken because of better T/W ratio. Lift has nothing to do with climb rates on a fighter. An S-300 SAM generates no lift at all but has much better climb rate than any fighter.

The Greeks bought the F-16 before they bought Mirages. They bought it for political reasons, and keep buying them for political reasons, although they produce them under licence they still bought Mirages which are employed as air defence fighters mainly, while the F-16 are 'multy role' (read bomb truck), that's gotta tell you something. You can ask the Turkish pilots (which have F-16s) what they fear more, the Mirage 2000 or F-16.

You obviously haven't seen a J-10 if you say it looks anything like an F-16. It uses some ideas from the Lavi which uses some ideas from F-16 but it looks much more like the Typhoon than the F-16. Are you saying the Typhon is a copy of the F-16



posted on Jul, 18 2006 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by Pazo
First about Harriers, although they are sub-sonic, they have very high thrust to weight ratio. So in a dogfight they can easily outaccelerate and outclimb Mirage III's, let alone A-4's. Adding the better RAF pilots, I'd bet on a Harier anytime, in any type of dogfight, even against MiG-21 & Draken.


Okay thanks for the info.


Originally posted by Pazo
Stayin high has nothing to do here, I said 'high energy state' which is a completely different and much more complex thing, you can be 100 mtrs off the ground and stil maintain HES, which allows you to climb faster, thus loosing speed for altitude and you still have HES.


Sorry for the misinterpretation.


Originally posted by Pazo
120m/s sounds like the climb rate of the earliest MIG-21's. Even MiG-19 climbs faster than that. MiG-21bis has close to 200 m/s climb rate at sea level and it can keep that rate for much longer than Draken because of better T/W ratio. Lift has nothing to do with climb rates on a fighter. An S-300 SAM generates no lift at all but has much better climb rate than any fighter.


Wikipedia claims this info is from the Mig-21bis powewred by a Tumansky R-25-300 engine.


Originally posted by Pazo
The Greeks bought the F-16 before they bought Mirages. They bought it for political reasons, and keep buying them for political reasons, although they produce them under licence they still bought Mirages which are employed as air defence fighters mainly, while the F-16 are 'multy role' (read bomb truck), that's gotta tell you something. You can ask the Turkish pilots (which have F-16s) what they fear more, the Mirage 2000 or F-16.


Well thats what the F-16 was desugned for. It is a strike fighter. Fight your way to the target then bomb it. It's had pretty good success at that(just ask Saddam Hussein).


Originally posted by Pazo
You obviously haven't seen a J-10 if you say it looks anything like an F-16. It uses some ideas from the Lavi which uses some ideas from F-16 but it looks much more like the Typhoon than the F-16. Are you saying the Typhon is a copy of the F-16


I stand corrected.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by danwild6
Wikipedia claims this info is from the Mig-21bis powewred by a Tumansky R-25-300 engine.


Hi Dan,
Although I don't think much of Wiki, I will use their data to show you how biased they are (or just mistaken). Everyone knows that climb rate is a function of Thrust to Weight. Fighters with similar T/W have similar climbrate (CR).
OK, Wiki claims 0.82 (actually 0.86 but nevermind) T/W for MiG-21 bis and 120 m/s CR
Draken-0.7 T/W (8000 kgf thrust/11400 kg normal take-off) but 175 m/s CR
F-16 has T/W 0.9-1.1 depending on engine, 255 m/s CR (this I can dispute but nevermind)
So according to Wiki MiG-21 bis has T/W ratio just in between Draken and F-16 but it's CR is less than half that of F-16 and 30% less than Draken ?!? You get my point, right.
Now, I have witnessed a MiG-21bis and MiG-23MLD pull up side by side, the 21 kept very close to the 23. (BTW Wiki gives 0.88 TW for MiG-23MLD and 240 m/s CR which sounds about right)
In Conclusion, my 'close to 200 m/s' CR for the 21bis sounds more accurate than WIKI's 120 m/s , doesn't it?



Originally posted by danwild6
Well thats what the F-16 was desugned for. It is a strike fighter. Fight your way to the target then bomb it. It's had pretty good success at that (just ask Saddam Hussein).


No objection here. Yes the F-16 is an excellent strike fighter, I just said that the Mirage 2000 is a better air superiority fighter. BTW, Greeks are buying 2000-5's now, which match the F-16 bl.50+ in strike missions too.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 05:23 AM
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Something everyone on ATS should bear in mind if they are using wikipedia to back up their arguments is that it is NOT a reliable source. All its information is user submitted, pretty much like this or any other forum is. For instance if you wanted to prove the moon was made of cheese, you could, as long as somebody submitted an article to wikipedia saying it was. OK, well maybe not that blatant a lie or mistake, but in terms of aircraft specs they just put up whatever someone writes. If someone claimed the F-22 could fly at mach 3 wiki would publish the claim.

It is much better to use proper sources such as Janes or AWST for specs.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 05:56 AM
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Yeah, that's what I was saying, but apart from the claim of the climb rate of the Bis, which puzzles me, the rest of the data was pretty close (on the four planes that I quote), and since danwild was using Wiki as a source, I decided to use it too to make my point, otherwise it would be Wiki's word against mine, and I've noticed that that my word is not as popular as Wiki's around here



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 06:07 AM
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Well the info on the Draken has a supporting notation claiming the data is from the The Great Book of Fighters by a Green W Schwanborough, G(thats got to be a pen name) published in 2001. But I will keep Wiki's less than enviable reputation in mind before using them as a support for my arguement from now on.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 06:17 AM
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Dan, that'll be two different authors, namely William Green and Gordon Swanborough. I have many of their books myself.

I am not saying that everything on wiki is lies, far from it, but only that the stuff on there is submitted by joe public (ie the sources you used being copied from a book) and who is to say how accurately the data has been inputted, or even read, by the person who sent it in?

That is why I say it is better to use professional sources.



posted on Jul, 19 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Okay since my evidence reagrding the Mig's performance has been successfully impeached I will yield on the issue.





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