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It is a sad fact of military operations that combat aircraft crash, thus it has ever been. The statistic that more F-16's have been lost to accidents than enemy action applies to every major combat aircraft of the last half century so, whilst not untrue, it is more than a little unfair to single out the F-16.
Having said that you vitriol against the USAF, or any other air force, in the way these incidents are dealt with is fair enough, just look at the difficulty the UK has had in investigating certain friendly fire incidents recently, not just from the US military, but from our own MoD too. This is a separate issue however and cannot be blamed on the aircraft used in these attacks or any percieved design flaw. I believe in these sort of incidences ranting about the F-16 being inherently unsound is not only wrong, but a red herring too.
The number of fins or engines in an aerodynamically unstable FBW airframe is not questionable, it is completely irrelevant, if you lose your digital control, you are going to crash, even if you have six engines and four fins. This is why all such planes have quadruplex redundancy and in this respect the F-16 is no more dangerous to fly than any other such fighter, be it F-18, Typhoon, Flanker or whatever.
In addition, the version you recall had dual de-stabilising fins under the nose, this was an exercise in further destabilising the plane in support of the ATF programme and so served the opposite purpose than you appear to imagine.
Finally, confusing Rotary for radial is not a spelling mistake, these are two utterly different forms of aircraft engine and so a correction is justified is it not?
After all you write Wankel as wenkel and nobody pulls you up on that because that clearly is nothing more than a spelling error and so unimportant to the discussion,
but when you try to say that an F4U had a rotary engine, that is quite a different sort of error.
After all if facts are unimportant what is the point of having discussions at all?
Finally regarding your point on the F-5, Northrop themselves changed the F-5 from twin engines to a single F404 in an effort to bring its performance up to scratch for the 1980's,
they then renamed the F-5G into the F-20 to further modernise its image so no, without the F-16 the F-5 would not be a dominant twin jet fighter today, the situation would be no different.
Not the point.........I’ve seen the gun video and I have to say it really did look like it worked, why it was not implemented I simply didn’t want to know.
I beg your pardon! I did not say that it was a spelling mistake!
Specifically because of the Air Force requirements. The word was simple, single engine, end of story.
Aerodynamically F-5 is more sound then the F-16,
and with further development it would have outperformed the F-16
OK, you hate everything about F-16, so I'll just engage only a couple of points.
Firstly, do you imagine that those responsible for military aircraft acquisitions are absolute idiots (including the very professional Israelis) ? If the F-16 as flawed as you say, then, pray tell, is it still such a salable item on the international market?
The F-5G / F-20 was NEVER intended to be purchased by American forces, but was developed, using Federal funding for FMS when other nations totally rejected downgraded F-16s (specifically older engines). The F-20 was also rejected by foreign customers on two grounds, firstly that it was not to be in US domestic service (a situation that means there is little likelihood of ongoing upgrades), and secondly that it was inferior to the F-16. They held out for F-16 and got them!
Why not? You made the connection between a FBW unstable fighter with only a single fin and engine, not me.
The exercise you describe was an example of Relaxed Static Stability, allowing the plane to sideslip in a controlled manner. As I said, this was a move to deliberately destabilise the aircraft (in the lateral axis in this case)
but were control experiments aimed at the next generation of fighters then in the planning stages and the results of these trials are used today on the F-22 and Typhoon amongst others.
Lets go back, in this discussion on single engined *jets*, Jezza mentioned the Corsair. You, for some reason interpreted this as being the F4U but why?
No but you dismissed it as an irrelevance, if something you say leads to a misunderstanding then it is fair enough to correct it, no?
'the pipper on the target' was an abject failure when it came to practical usefulness.
I might be a little thick, but since YOU started the thread concerning (in part) single v twin engined JETS, how do you explain confusing the radial engined WWII Corsair with the turbofan powered Corsair (with or without the 'II') as a preoccupation with a Wankel engined car. Or am I confusing that with a Wanker powered car? But I do sometimes get 'Wanker and Wankel' mixed!
Henry Ford gave the American people the ability to attain an automobile..yet how many people have died horrible deaths due to automobiles in the world??? Due we blame him, one could if you really wanted to I suppose, but no! Of course not, he gave the people an amazing gift, and unfortunatley that gift does have its drawbacks.. Similarly, the Viper (F 16, of course) does as well. I don't think that it was ever toted as being the world's safest aircraft, then again....statistics can always be skewed.
In my perception, and equally compelling thread on the failures of the MiG-21 can be constructed, but it serves no real purpose. The MiG 21 had certain strict flight envelope restrictions that were very very unforgiving if broken. Does that make it inherently safer than an F-16?
One thing's for sure: Since the MiG21 predates the F-16 by a whole generation;and so it is safe to assume that a lot of effort would have been made to give the pilot a better chance of saving the a/c(and himself) in teh case of the F-16.
Originally posted by iskander
MiG-21 is a simple, rugged, tough aircraft. F-16 is not. It’s touchy, delicate, demanding. It’s a fact.
“Walk of shame” is for F-16, not MiG-21.
I was looking for an easy laymans way to describe the meaning of relaxed static stability but as much as I am loathe to use it I think wikipedia's description is as good as any. And as you are obviously not an aircraft engineer and therefore familiar with much of the terminology this may help understand the concept. But bare in mind that relaxed static stability has nothing to do with the F-16 specifically but is a general term as the idea can be applied to any aircraft design, even a civilian airliner if the need was there.
Does anybody else see a contradiction in that statement?
Relaxed Static Stability in order to “deliberately destabilize”?
In that case, ALL control surfaces on the aircraft are there to “destabilize”, kind of like a steering wheel in the car, it’s there to destabilize.
An aircraft with negative static stability will, in the absence of control input, depart from level and controlled flight. Most aircraft are designed with positive static stability, where an aircraft tends to return to its original attitude following a disturbance. However, positive static stability hampers maneuverability, as the tendency to remain in its current attitude opposes the pilot's effort to maneuver; therefore, an aircraft with negative static stability will be more maneuverable. With a fly-by-wire system, such an aircraft can be kept in stable flight, its instability kept in check by the flight computers.
The YF-16 was the world's first aircraft to be slightly aerodynamically unstable by design. This feature is officially called "relaxed static stability." At subsonic speeds, the fighter is constantly on the verge of going out of control. This tendency is constantly caught and corrected by the FLCC (Flight Control Computer) and later the DFLCC (Digital Flight Control Computer), allowing for stable flight. When supersonic, the aircraft exhibits positive static stability due to aerodynamic forces shifting aft between subsonic and supersonic flight.
How are they used? I’m not aware of any fighter that uses front mounted vertical fins.
I didn’t make the connection, engineers that built it did.
Because Corsair II is usually referred to as A-7, just as the Intruder is an A-6. Corsair is the original F4U, as jezza later clarified.
As I clearly pointed out before, the Corsair is a “radial” piston powered carrier operated fighter/bomber, while Corsair II (2), which is knows as A-7, is in fact a turbofan powered jet.