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F-16C/D Carrier Capability  
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

is the F-16C/D carrier capable? i remember a few years back (more than i'd like) when i was a kid i used to build airplane models. i built one of the F-16A which actually had a tailhook on it. was the A/B model carrier capable too?

what would limit it's ability to operate off of a carrier? is it the single engine thing?


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3139 times:

Cancidas,

The tail hooks on F-16s and F-15s are for emergency use only. They don't even have the capability to retract inthe air. Airframes and landing gear are incapable of surviving the decent rates required for carrier landings with out damage. Finally there are no launch bar provisions on the nose gear to permit a catapult launch. Single engine is no issue. The A-4 Skyhawk was a very sucessful single engine carrier aircraft.

Have fun,

CTR



Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3139 times:

No, the F-16 is not carrier capable. The F-16 has a tailhook for field arrestment in case there are issues with the brakes. Once dropped, the tailhook on the F-16 cannot be raised and has to be put back in place by maintenance.

A Navy version of the F-16 was looked at but was passed on due to the added structural weight needed to make it carrier capable. One only need to look at the issues the T-45 had to see that converting a land bassed aircraft for carrier use is easier said than done. Also the single engine was an issue at the time.


User currently offlineMigFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3111 times:

Great single engined naval fighter, F-8 Crusader.

User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3071 times:

Quoting MigFan (Reply 3):
Great single engined naval fighter, F-8 Crusader.

Probably not a good one to bring up considering it's safety record.


User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

Quoting CTR (Reply 1):
The A-4 Skyhawk was a very sucessful single engine carrier aircraft.

As was the A-7.

The Navy did use F-16s for the aggressor role but they were always shore based. On a tour I took through the McDonnell Douglas plant in the early 1980's, the guide was fond of showing the nose gear of an F/A-18 was beefier than an F-15 main gear strut.

The hook is used for situations such as hydraulic failures where nosewheel steering will be inoperative and icy runways where braking action is severly reduced.

I sat through almost a dozen engagements in Air Force F-4s. The rollout on the cable was much longer than on a carrier so it wasn't the sudden deceleration the Navy experienced. I believe the F-4 hook could be raised because I seem to recall doing some airshow flybys with the gear, flaps, and hook down. It was probably the same system on the Navy F-4s.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineMigfan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 4):
Probably not a good one to bring up considering it's safety record.

Sure, if you are comparing it today's standards. Back then, a single-engined turbojet was the thing. Compare the crusader to it's single-engined contemporaries (F-104, F-100, Mig-17, Hunter), it was a kick-assed fighter.

Mean looking, perhaps the meanest looking of all...

/M


User currently offlinePavlin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2934 times:

I think they would easily made F-16 carrier capable.
F-22 could also be deployed on carriers.
And so will F-35 be.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2909 times:

Quoting Pavlin (Reply 7):
I think they would easily made F-16 carrier capable.
F-22 could also be deployed on carriers.

Easier said than done. The Navy thought they could adapt the Hawk relatively easily for carrier use. It turned out to be much more difficult than they thought.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

You don't need carrier launch birds anymore. STOVLs, UAV's and Cruise Missles. Freakin' waste of time building a carrier launch JSF, and an even greater waste adding all that extra weight to the Raptor to make it capable.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29841 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2839 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 2):
A Navy version of the F-16 was looked at but was passed on due to the added structural weight needed to make it carrier capable

That and you look at where the air intake is on the F-16 and you just know that it surpass the A-7's reputation as a people eater.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 10):
That and you look at where the air intake is on the F-16 and you just know that it surpass the A-7's reputation as a people eater.

Not much of an issue for the Air Force. As long as you don't have your head up your ... you have nothing to worry about.


User currently offlineCTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2774 times:

Quoting Pavlin (Reply 7):
I think they would easily made F-16 carrier capable.
F-22 could also be deployed on carriers.
And so will F-35 be.

I think you are under estimating the structural loads imposed on an aircraft during carrier launches and arrestment.

Carrier aircraft typically have what is called a keel beam (no Navy pun) running from the nose gear to the tail hook. This heavy structure is best designed in from the start. The only reason it was possible to accomplish this in the T-45 was that as a carrier trainer, the aircraft carries next to zero payload. This required added structure is also easier to integrate into twin engine aircraft like the F-18 that have a center line keel beam between the engines already.

Aside from ingestion of unwary flight deck crew, the F-16 low engine inlet would also be a concern from catapult steam ingestion. This problem was some times a problem on A-7s resulting in loss of engine thrust during launch.

Have fun,

CTR



Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2752 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 9):
You don't need carrier launch birds anymore. STOVLs, UAV's and Cruise Missles. Freakin' waste of time building a carrier launch JSF, and an even greater waste adding all that extra weight to the Raptor to make it capable.

Since you seem to think that STOVL is the wave of the future then I guess the USAF is wasting their time with the F-35A. If that's the case then I guess they would be better served going with an all F-35B fleet. You were aware of the fact that the F-35C can carry a heavier payload than the F-35B and take it further right? Guess not.


User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2715 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 10):
That and you look at where the air intake is on the F-16 and you just know that it surpass the A-7's reputation as a people eater.

The 16's is alot skinner than the SLUF's, plus there's no reason for anyone to be that close to it, the nose is a good 10 feet fwd of the intake. They aren't on the boat, so they don't have personell under it hooking the nose gear up, etc etc..besides, us AF folks stand like 30 feet away with those cute mickey mouse headsets you see  Wink.

The SLUF was mean in it's day...that intake was massive, and was right frikkin there...one careless stroll by, you were gone. The nose gear was only 3-4 feet aft, and you had 1-2 people there hooking up the launchbar/holdback fittings, plus whoever happened to be around, yellow shirts, etc. I used to watch it on the boat (way back when), that thing used to try to suck up every last bit of the steam from the cats...it'd literally get 2-3 ft past the intake, then get snaked up forward then aft into the intake, like a giant hose. Beautiful machines IMHO (this coming from the son of a former SLUF driver), sure do miss em.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29841 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks ago) and read 2697 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 14):
the nose is a good 10 feet fwd of the intake

The nose is but look where the nosewheel is.


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Photo © Walter Van Bel



I don't think the navy is going back to a Bridle Catapult system anytime soon, so some poor smuck is going have to go hook the bar on the nose strut to the catapult.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2536 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 13):
Since you seem to think that STOVL is the wave of the future then I guess the USAF is wasting their time with the F-35A. If that's the case then I guess they would be better served going with an all F-35B fleet. You were aware of the fact that the F-35C can carry a heavier payload than the F-35B and take it further right? Guess not.

You're aware of the fact the Air Force is considering STOVL versions of the F-35 in lieu of the "A" version to replace the A-10's right? As for the F-35C... Useless payload. I'd imagine the benefits of jump jets on an aircraft carrier or at a small remote field in terms of space and operational flexibility would be tremendous. The Marines obviously get it.


"The requirement for carrier operations creates the largest differences between the Air Force and Navy version. The naval version has larger wing and tail control surfaces to enable low-speed approaches to aircraft carriers. Leadingedge flaps and foldable wing tip sections account for this increased wing area. The larger wing area also provides the Navy version with an increased payload capability. To support the stresses of carrier landings and catapult launches, the internal structure of this version is strengthened. In addition, the landing gear has longer stroke and higher load capacity, and of course an arresting hook is added."

This came at what cost to the program? Navy aquisition: Prime Rib dinners on a beans and franks budget.

[Edited 2006-05-15 19:30:11]

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2505 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 16):
You're aware of the fact the Air Force is considering STOVL versions of the F-35 in lieu of the "A" version to replace the A-10's right? As for the F-35C... Useless payload. I'd imagine the benefits of jump jets on an aircraft carrier or at a small remote field in terms of space and operational flexibility would be tremendous. The Marines obviously get it.

Yes I was aware of that. Now could you please tell me why the USAF decided to go with an all F-35A fleet. After all imagine all the benefits from having an aircraft that doesn't need long runways from which to deploy.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 16):
This came at what cost to the program? Navy acquisition: Prime Rib dinners on a beans and franks budget.

What about of the cost of the F-35B development? You think developing that lift fan was cheap? That fans a lot more complex than heavier structure and landing gear.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 17):
Now could you please tell me why the USAF decided to go with an all F-35A fleet.

You see any aircraft carriers in the Air Force? You see any short airfields? Futhermore, it's about air superiority with the Air Force not just something to toss money at.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 17):
What about of the cost of the F-35B development? You think developing that lift fan was cheap? That fans a lot more complex than heavier structure and landing gear.

The cost is in the airframe.

[Edited 2006-05-15 22:50:04]

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2484 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 18):
You see any aircraft carriers in the Air Force? You see any short airfields? Futhermore, it's about air superiority with the Air Force not just something to toss money at.

So bascially what you are saying is that the USAF has it's own particular needs. HHHHHMMMMM imagine that.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 18):
The cost is in the airframe.

You did'nt answer the question.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2482 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 19):
So bascially what you are saying is that the USAF has it's own particular needs. HHHHHMMMMM imagine that.

There is a need for a conventional and a STOVL. Not a carrier launch need. Not in todays military.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 19):
You did'nt answer the question.

Yeah, I did. The cost is in the airframe modifications sending designers back to the drawing boards to make the airframe work with different flying surfaces. There's no airframe design or weight difference between the conventional and STOVL. These were built into the program early.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3790 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

Quoting F4wso (Reply 5):
I believe the F-4 hook could be raised because I seem to recall doing some airshow flybys with the gear, flaps, and hook down. It was probably the same system on the Navy F-4s.

I have seen a report of German F-4F which also were able to retract the hook, so I would guess the system was the same...

Could USAF F-4s theoretically land and take off on carriers?


User currently offlineLongbowPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 577 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2469 times:
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Quoting F4wso (Reply 5):
I sat through almost a dozen engagements in Air Force F-4s. The rollout on the cable was much longer than on a carrier so it wasn't the sudden deceleration the Navy experienced. I believe the F-4 hook could be raised because I seem to recall doing some airshow flybys with the gear, flaps, and hook down. It was probably the same system on the Navy F-4s.

F-4's were originally built for the Navy, so they were spec'ed as such. The Air Force bought into the design later on and got what the Navy Spec'ed, so it was capable of doing it all except carrier launching.


User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2454 times:

There was initially a difference in the tires on the USAF and Navy F-4s. The Navy version was a thin high pressure tire. The USAF version was a wider lower pressure version necessitating a bulge in the upper wing skin. The larger tires were better longer landing rolls; the high pressure versions better able to absorb the carrier landings. Another difference I am appreciative of is the USAF versions had throttles and a stick in the back due to the Air Force initially putting a pilot back there.
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineCTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2442 times:

Since we are getting down to the minutia. The USAF kept the F-4 wing fold capability but converted them to manual to save weight.

Have fun,

CTR



Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
25 Visakow : My understanding from the 'Old Timers' during my first tour in the Navy was the A-7 was much more notorious for sucking up people on a bustling fligh
26 Post contains links LMP737 : And this opinion of yours is based on what? Your years of experince with Naval Aviation? Please make the case for the F-35A. After reading what you h
27 Boeing7E7 : With all of todays technology, you're actually concerned about inferior technology sneeking up on you? Please.
28 LMP737 : Just because the US military has a technological edge does not mean it's invincible. To say that it does is foolishness. During the first gulf war th
29 Boeing7E7 : I take it you still don't have a case for the Super Hornet. Think military wide fleet simplification and cost savings. Nothing like the same $5 Air F
30 LMP737 : You certainely have made a habit of making false statements or telling half truths. If the Dept of the Air Force is the paragon of virtue and efficen
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