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Why Use Afterburner On Takeoff?  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6142 times:

Yesterday I was spotting in CGN which is both a civilian and military airport. Sometimes figher planes are visiting CGN, this was the case yesterday. A Tornado took off on rwy 14L. This runway is 3800metres long, so there is plenty of runway to use.

I was happy to see that the Tornado used full afterburner, it was great to hear such a loud airplane, I guess it was even three times as loud as the IL76 that visited CGN yesterday.

But still I ask myself, why did it take off with afterburner? Is this standard procedure for military airplanes? It consumes a lot of fuel and makes a lot of noise, and while I like it, why is it done on such a long runway?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6137 times:

Was the Tornado carrying external stores? The footage of F-16s taking off for Desert Storm heavily loaded with bombs indicates that full thrust is needed when heavy.

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6129 times:

It seemed to carry some fuel tanks, but nothing else... I also guess it was on its way to another German base, so it would not have to fly too long...

User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6119 times:

The answer is....

Because they CAN!!!


User currently offlineHamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6105 times:

Not sure what the "official" reason would be, but seems to me, the faster (and shorter distance) you get to rotation, the more runway you have available should you need to abort. In my AF ATC days, I've seen a few fighter-types abort that used damn near all the runway to stop.

User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6081 times:

Quoting Hamfist (Reply 4):

This could be the case, as there has been a Tornado that went off the runway in CGN some years ago, although nothing happened that time. Anyway, I really don't complain, as the noise was great! F-16 and Tornados sound totally fantastic with the burner on... Although I was surprised how quiet it was while taxiing...


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6036 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 5):
F-16 and Tornados sound totally fantastic with the burner on...

And what about the Eurofighter Typhoon on ´burners ?

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
But still I ask myself, why did it take off with afterburner?

Was other traffic inbound and the runway had to be cleared fast ?

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Is this standard procedure for military airplanes?

In July 2005 I watched 27 (IIRC) F-15´s taking off in pairs (and higher numbers) from RAF Lakenheath departing for a day routine lasting about 60 minutes. Some of them used afterburners, others didn´t. While some carried external tanks others didn´t, but there was no combination of "external tanks" = "use of afterburners".
Side note: While some F-15´s landed directly upon return, some others performed touch-and-go as well as aborted approach-procedures (some again with ´burners chipping in) - What a sound !
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

Quoting HT (Reply 6):

And what about the Eurofighter Typhoon on �burners ?

Didn't hear those yet, unfortunately. So far I have only heard Mig29s, Tornados, F-16s, F-104s, F-4s, Gripen and G-91s... So I have yet to hear the Eurofighter...

There was not that much other traffic on CGNs 14L at that time, but my general impression was also that the Tornado seemed to fly the regular SID, just a little bit faster...


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

3. A bit better than a prang?

2. Something to do with getting a DC-9 aloft on Metroliner wings?

1. Might actually reduce the off-airport noise levels by getting it pointed skyward sooner?



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5951 times:

The higher you are sooner, the more time you have to deal with any failures. I dunno about RTO, I think your going to not hit V1 before something goes boom if you hold the brakes a little longer past full throttle, but once you scream past v1 and vr, the more inertia the better, get up as much as posible (unless your at EDW), and pick a spot to plant it. Once you are airborne, there is no such thing as too much speed and altitude during the takeoff phase.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 9):
I dunno about RTO, I think your going to not hit V1 before something goes boom if you hold the brakes a little longer past full throttle, but once you scream past v1 and vr, the more inertia the better, get up as much as posible

One might also consider the ejection seat envelope. Low speed and low altitude requirements seem to get modified with each successful ejection.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5905 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 10):
One might also consider the ejection seat envelope. Low speed and low altitude requirements seem to get modified with each successful ejection.

I might be mis-reading you but: Unless you loose control: you can always pitch up and trade extra altitude for a speed loss.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5887 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 11):
I might be mis-reading you but: Unless you loose control: you can always pitch up and trade extra altitude for a speed loss.

Not with a dual engine flameout (or FODout) before rotation. More blast gets you through the questionable zone quicker.

I recall reading an ad for McDonnell Douglas ACES II ejection seat and I think it said "inverted ejection from 151 feet" and I wondered who the poor bastard was that learned it wasn't 150 feet.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5880 times:

Once again thank you all for your replies, especially SlamClick, its always nice to have comments from people that really share their knowledge.

About the Tornado: It seemed to fly the regular SID and rotated after 1500metres, so it was not that different from other airplanes taking off, just louder  Wink. Maybe he used the burner to greet the spotters  Smile It was a nice alternative to the A320s and 737s...


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5756 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
ACES II

I always thought that was Martin-Baker....I looked it up, and you are quite correct  Wink


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7957 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 5728 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 7):
Didn't hear those yet, unfortunately. So far I have only heard Mig29s, Tornados, F-16s, F-104s, F-4s, Gripen and G-91s... So I have yet to hear the Eurofighter...

I did and I was a bit disappointed. Maybe that was because two Mig-29 took off immediately before, and as you probably know, they really make the earth shake like pudding.

Somewhere I read Typhoon pilots often don't use the afterburners, because they have plenty of thrust without.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

It all depends on fuel calculations when you use the burners. If its outside of a wartime environment, which in this case it was, then there is no necessity to use them. So, it all depends on the fuel on board. Because you use the most fuel during taxi and takeoff, its up to the pilot to determine whether or not burning them will be such an additional fuel loss that he can't spare it. This rarely happens, as most military aircraft have plenty of reserves outside of wartime......you see the big kicker here is OUTSIDE OF WARTIME. During war, they use them to get out of trouble. Otherwise, if you have the fuel and you don't have any other pressing reason, like wing SOP or military regs., then why not! Burn the bastards!  Big grin


Crye me a river
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