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Fighter Take-off Question  
User currently offlineSprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1852 posts, RR: 2
Posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

Why do fighters use afterburner when they take off? Even when lightly loaded, every pic, movie, and in-person ones I have seen they use afterburner. Seems like a waste of fuel.

I guess to answer my own question if I was the pilot I would use it too.

Dan in Jupiter

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4235 times:

All depends dude. The A model F-14s had to use ABs on damn near every flight. Their engines were so anemic that a MIL power takeoff was mostly out of the question. As far as AF fighters I know that in the aircraft's 11-2XXX AFIs (Air Force Instruction 11-2XXX series covers the AF rules for flying and employing every jet in the inventory. 11-2H53's rules will be alot different than the 11-2SR71) there are guidelines for when the AB must be used and when it doesn't have to be. For example, numbers are just for shits and giggles:

F-15E with a T/O weight of 65,000 pounds will take up 7,000 feet of the 10,000 feet runway. Since the takeoff will need more than 1/2 of the available runway surface in MIL power the ABs must be used. That's how a beagle driver explained it to me cause I had the same question


User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4229 times:

Afterburner will help the aircraft get to the V1 (takeoff decision speed) quicker so that there will be more runway available for an aborted takeoff. I know of F-16s doing reduced thrust takeoffs when configured for air-air training sorties. It was from a long runway on a cool autumn day.

Gary,
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4195 times:

I would rather know what I have to deal with sooner then later. If the engine is going to die @ a knot shy of V1, I'd rather have more time/runway then less.

User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4183 times:

After having about 3500 hours in the F-4, F-15 and F-16 it's not a given you will use AB on every takeoff. In the F-4, yes you will, but on the -15 and -16 it really depends. For normal ops, on those aircraft you don't really have to use it on TO. Unless there is an operational requirement, ie., takeoff performance, alert TO you would usually use just Mil power.

User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4126 times:

When a jet takeoff on an aircraft carrier, they use max. burner to gain enough speed and altitude in case the engine flames out after rotation...landing is the same on the carrier...once touchdown, they'll go full burner in case the pilot misses the arresting cable, they'll have sufficient speed to do a touch and go but once the tailhook has caught the cable, the plane will forcefully be in a hault in seconds even with the full A/B is still applied....On shore base facilities, I don't understand why using it since the majority of the runways at AFB and/or NAS are 12,000ft + long....

Kevin

[Edited 2005-04-09 11:15:20]

User currently offlineUSAFMXOfficer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4040 times:

Go to Kadena AB, Okinawa...you will NOT see any afterburner takeoffs due to noise restrictions. I spent 3 years there....


44th Fighter Squadron Vampire Bats - 63 years of history
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3471 posts, RR: 47
Reply 7, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4001 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 5):
landing is the same on the carrier...once touchdown, they'll go full burner

Nope, not true.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 5):
When a jet takeoff on an aircraft carrier, they use max. burner to gain enough speed and altitude in case the engine flames out after rotation...landing is the same on the carrier...once touchdown, they'll go full burner in case the pilot misses the arresting cable, they'll have sufficient speed to do a touch and go but once the tailhook has caught the cable, the plane will forcefully be in a hault in seconds even with the full A/B is still applied

The F-14A used AB everytime time taking off from a carrier, the B/D and F-18s don't use it all the time. For a bolter they'll go MIL power, but not AB. You'd be using up serious fuel when you don't need to; you only need to gain a few knots to get back in the air, not 100 knots or so.

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 5):
On shore base facilities, I don't understand why using it since the majority of the runways at AFB and/or NAS are 12,000ft + long....

Dude, what bases are you talking about? Maybe at old SAC bases like Seymour Johnson, but the vast majority are between 8K and 10K feet.


User currently offlineSprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3871 times:

Thanks for the replies. I was just wondering about it.

On a side note, the coolest T/O I seen was at NAS Mayport, we were mooring just after sunset when an F/A 18 took off, the sky was a dark red, and all you could see was a dark silhouette of an aircraft and two blue exhaust jets with the orange diamonds in it, he went straight up when he got to the end of the runway, which was about 1000 yards from us, everybody just stopped and watched. That was BAD ASS.

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 7):
Nope, not true.

OK, AAR90, You used to fly in the Navy, what's your input? When I was on deployment on an aircraft carrier, the sqaudron pilots were doing this all the time on landing.

Quoting Duce50boom (Reply 8):
Dude, what bases are you talking about? Maybe at old SAC bases like Seymour Johnson, but the vast majority are between 8K and 10K feet.

You're in the Air Force, dude...Naval Air Station's runways are 10,000ft - 12,000ft. Check Airnav.com..

Kevin


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 11, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3836 times:

Quoting Duce50boom (Reply 8):
The F-14A used AB everytime time taking off from a carrier, the B/D and F-18s don't use it all the time. For a bolter they'll go MIL power, but not AB. You'd be using up serious fuel when you don't need to; you only need to gain a few knots to get back in the air, not 100 knots or so.

I've yet never seen an F-14B/D go A/B on an aircraft carrier, not even here at NAS Oceana....yes, they go military power for takeoff. Mostly I'll see are the F/A-18 Hornets and the Super Hornets use A/B takeoff either at sea or on shore based facilties...

Don't assume by watching a video clip of an F-14A launching from an aircraft carrier....have you ever witness the real thing?

AAR90, this is what I mean.

http://www.navy.mil/management/photo...ebphoto/web_040926-N-7732W-065.jpg

[Edited 2005-04-10 05:20:39]

User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3822 times:

Damn, I can't edit my post anymore...

Here is a photo I found on my deployment of an F/A-18 performing a "bolter"

http://www.navy.mil/management/photo...ebphoto/web_040921-N-7732W-151.jpg

" Sparks fly from the tailhook of an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the "Fist of the Fleet" of Strike Fighter Squadron Two Five (VFA-25) as full power is applied after making a "bolter" aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). A bolter is when the aircraft's tailhook fails to catch an arresting wire, causing the aircraft to apply full power and go back around for another try at landing."


Hmm, doesn't look like they're going MIL power.

Kevin

[Edited 2005-04-10 05:29:10]

User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3799 times:

AAR90,
instead of a quick one liner, why not substantiate why he is wrong?


GOCAPS is partially correct. In my experiences, it seems to depend on a couple things. Experience of the pilot seems to be the big one. I notice during CQ periods, we see much more of this sort of thing. I noticed seeing it a lot when we were in the Persian Gulf as well, especially at night. I think that had to do with the veteran pilots fatigue level more than anything.


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Photo © Chad Thomas



User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3471 posts, RR: 47
Reply 14, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 10):
OK, AAR90, You used to fly in the Navy, what's your input?

Using your own words...

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 5):
...landing is the same on the carrier...once touchdown, they'll go full burner in case the pilot misses the arresting cable...

Then later you wrote...

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 11):
I've yet never seen an F-14B/D go A/B on an aircraft carrier,

So which of your statements is true? USN aircraft use "full burner" on touchdown or not?

The answer is: procedurally, upon touchdown full military (non-afterburner) power is applied until the plane stops or goes airborn. AB use is for emergencies only during CV landings. That's not to say you won't see their use on a trap, but you should not normally see their use.

In order to carry its large fuel & weapons loads the -A had to use AB for cat shots. The only time you saw AB on landings was emergencies or pilot error (left hand slips past the detent). In normal ops the F-14A+/D does not use AB for cat shots. That is a tactical decision (and the reason the Tomcat was designed for the more powerful engines in the first place) as less fuel used = more fuel available in the fighter to fight with and/or more fuel in the tanker(s) for others to use. The same holds true for the F/A-18 at most of its operational weights (very heavy = AB use). You'll often see "AB shots" on flyoffs or for special occasions as its use has truly become "special."

Ashore (NAS Miramar) F-14/18 use of AB was normally used for maintenance reasons --to exercise the AB equipment on regularly scheduled intervals.

Your first photo link shows F/A-18 in stage-1 AB. Most likely a mistake by the pilot [left hand slipped past the detent]. Not that uncommon, but not procedurally correct.
Your second photo link shows F/A-18 in stage-3 AB (possibly stage-4, but definitely not stage-5). Most likely not a mistake by the pilot in going past the detent, but rather a pilot getting a bit nervous about being so far down "the angle" without feeling "the stop" and knowing he's too slow to go flying. Perhaps he/she was slow to apply mil power on touchdown? Not an uncommon error by "experienced" CV pilots (yes, I've done that myself a time or two), but also not procedurally correct.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

Thanks for the very detail information, AAR90.

One thing I don't get. If it was pilot error, won't the pilot learn from his or her mistakes? I see this day after day, all thru day and night when I worked on the carrier for my deployment. Seems to me the pilots are doing this intentional. Also, do they get poor ratings from the LSOs?

Kevin


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Quoting Duce50boom (Reply 8):
Dude, what bases are you talking about? Maybe at old SAC bases like Seymour Johnson, but the vast majority are between 8K and 10K feet.



Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 10):
You're in the Air Force, dude...Naval Air Station's runways are 10,000ft - 12,000ft. Check Airnav.com..

You're both right...being bored, and also slightly curious, I looked up most of the NAS's out there, and its an almost even split between the 8000' range (a little bit more common) and the 10,000+ range, with a few oddballs as well...

Longest runway length, courtesy of airnav.com

Whiting Field: 6000 ft.
North Island: 8000 ft.
Whidbey Island: 8000 ft.
Kingsville: 8000 ft.
New Orleans: 8000 ft.
Jacksonville: 8000 ft.
Mayport: 8000 ft.
Brunswick: 8000 ft.
Meridian: 8002 ft.
Pensacola: 8002 ft.
Corpus Christi: 8003 ft.
Willow Grove: 8002 ft.
NS Norfolk: 8369 ft.
NAWS China Lake: 9991 ft.
Key West: 10000 ft.
Atlanta: 10000 ft.
Point Mugu: 11100 ft.
Pax River: 11809 ft.
Oceana: 11977 ft.
Fort Worth: 12002 ft.
Lemoore: 13502 ft.
Fallon: 14003 ft.

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3758 times:

Thanks Greg. I was going to post that before when Kevin stated (in the past) something along the lines of all NAS's have 10,000-12,000 ft runways, which clearly isnt the case.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3471 posts, RR: 47
Reply 18, posted (9 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3754 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 15):
One thing I don't get. If it was pilot error, won't the pilot learn from his or her mistakes? I see this day after day, all thru day and night when I worked on the carrier for my deployment. Seems to me the pilots are doing this intentional. Also, do they get poor ratings from the LSOs?

Learn from mistakes? Yes. Understand that CV traps are not gentile landings and unintended throttle movements can/do happen. But even unintended movement is "pilot error" from the CV piloting perspective. IOW, there should be no unintended movements even if unintended.  boggled 

Get poor ratings (landing grades) from LSO? Yes, well probably yes. That's up to individual LSO's. They're human beings afterall, but they're grading on a "perfect approach/landing" scale.

If you saw AB use on landing "day after day" then I suspect what you were seeing is the throttle potentiometer reading rapid foward throttle movement and starting stage-1 AB in anticipation of continued forward movement past the detent...even if the pilot never intended to or actually did move the throttles past the detent. We saw this on every F/A-18 landing when they first hit the fleet for the first 6 months or so, then it just disappeared. When I asked the VFA-125 CO (west coast RAG) about it he said the engine manufacturer reprogrammed the FADEC to reduce the potentiometer's sensitivity.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 11):
Quoting Duce50boom (Reply 8):
The F-14A used AB everytime time taking off from a carrier, the B/D and F-18s don't use it all the time. For a bolter they'll go MIL power, but not AB. You'd be using up serious fuel when you don't need to; you only need to gain a few knots to get back in the air, not 100 knots or so.

I've yet never seen an F-14B/D go A/B on an aircraft carrier, not even here at NAS Oceana....yes, they go military power for takeoff. Mostly I'll see are the F/A-18 Hornets and the Super Hornets use A/B takeoff either at sea or on shore based facilties...

Don't assume by watching a video clip of an F-14A launching from an aircraft carrier....have you ever witness the real thing?



Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 10):
You're in the Air Force, dude...Naval Air Station's runways are 10,000ft - 12,000ft. Check Airnav.com..

First off, my mistake regarding the B/D. A pilot from my old squadron (who was a prior squid pilot) told me the B/D don't use AB for carrier takeoffs, ever. I forgot to write "don't" after B/D. My error.

Second, no I've never been on a carrier, and definitely haven't seen an A takeoff from said carrier. On the other hand I can guarantee I've been to many more mil airfields than you: I know for a fact that most AFB/NAS runways are not 12,000+ feet long. You're in the navy, dude.....You should've known that one yourself before diming me out and having USAFHummer put the smack down. We both were right on certain points, and we both were wrong with certain points.


User currently offlineNbgskygod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 811 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3645 times:

USAF Hummer: A bit of a correction to your list. New Orleans is now 10,000' for what ever reason, the pubs haven't been updated yet. And all our jets use afterburner on takeoff F15s, F18s, and what ever fighter is transiting the base.


"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Quoting Duce50boom (Reply 1):
All depends dude. The A model F-14s had to use ABs on damn near every flight. Their engines were so anemic that a MIL power takeoff was mostly out of the question.

The F-14A can take off with military power. With a little flap thrown in and long enough runway.  Wink


User currently offlineDuce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

Touche,

Course with a long enough runway even the Concorde wouldn't need burners  Smile


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