Rickb From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Posted (11 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 7478 times:
Something I have been wondering for a while, especially since the retirement a number of years ago of Kelly Johnson's SR71, is there a military (cant think of any civilian) aircraft that could actually chase down and catch Concorde?
I know aircraft like the F15 and Mig 25/31 have higher top speeds but it is well known that they can only sustain that kind of speed for a few minutes given that they have to run on afterburners the whole time, so my question is this, unless they where patrolling, waiting for it, is there any aircraft out there that can catch Concorde?
Timz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6634 posts, RR: 7 Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 7409 times:
Ha! Good question. So you mean, if the F-15 is sitting on the runway as the Concorde passes at FL570 Mach 2, can the F-15 fly formation with it? Getting off a shot at it with a missile doesn't count as "catching", right?
Sounds unlikely, but I'm no expert. Can a heavy-with-fuel F-15 get past Mach 2 at all?
Rickb From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 3 days ago) and read 7384 times:
Yup thats the question, although to be fair - if we say the same flight level but a couple of hundred miles away - could anything catch it ?
But you raise an interesting point - I know missiles fly fast, but how close would an F15 have to be to Concorde (flying at Mach2) to get a valid shot off? (i.e. close enough for the missile to make up the distance before running out of fuel?
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7287 times:
Depends on the missile, no real long range ones around since the US Navy has pretty much retired the AIM-54 Phoenix on the F-14.
Apparently in the 1970's USN F-14's on carriers in the N.Atlantic would use Concorde as a high-altitude/high-speed interception target, but often the F-14's would come back with red-faced crews!
A few years ago some UK-based USAF F-15 pilots and engineers paid BA Concorde Engineering a visit, when they were told of the sustained mach 2 performance they were shocked! And the F-15 is a very high performance fighter.
In the late 1980's, BA had some photos done of G-BOAG taken at 'mach 2', impressive shots with the dark sky and curve of the earth taken from a stripped down RAF Tornado F3.
But the pics were really taken at mach 1.6/1.7 apparently, as the F3 really could not keep up, granted the F3 isn't the most sparkling performer at altitude, but it is a mach 2 combat aircraft.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 20 Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7125 times:
It all depends on geometry...
If the situation is a tailchase, it's very hard as overtake speed is low (relatively).
If on the other hand the two are head to head, the hard part is not overshooting because of the very high closure speed.
Positive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6811 times:
There is no fighter jet out there that can sustain Mach 2 over a long period of time as Concorde does. The F-14/F-15/F-16/F-18 are all good for "temporary" Mach 1.5-2 bursts but they can't sustain it longer than about 10-15 mins at a time so they probably could not keep up with Concorde. SR-71 Blackbird and XB-70 Valkyerie could though and maybe MiG 25 too.
Rickb From United Kingdom, joined May 2003, 243 posts, RR: 10 Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 months 4 hours ago) and read 6642 times:
I read somewhere that the F22 can supercruise (supersonic without afterburners) but only to a speed of around Mach 1.4 - now how accurate this is, is anyones guess. Any faster and it needs normal afterburners so burns fuel at a similar rate to contemporary fighters.
Even so I would imagine that its range would be considerably less than Concordes at such speeds. Whether or not it has a speed advantage required to catch Concorde is another matter !!
I wonder if anyone ever considered Concorde to have any military potential ?
Covert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1443 posts, RR: 2 Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6612 times:
Hmm, Concorde and nothing being able to catch it....That is very intriguing...I guess we better watch the Concorde more closely RickB. It could be a very dangerous military weapon, or even soemthing I don't want to mention....I can see that a big light bulb just popped up in some peoples heads. I honestly can't think of any aircraft that could hot chase Concorde down, unless they take a Blackbird out of retirement. The best bet right now is a Mig-25, which is a true Mach 3 intercepter, after all it was designed to counter high-flying supersonic American bombers. But the conditions would have to be very favorable, as the foxbat only carries so much fuel. Concorde is capale of Mach 2 flight of about 4000 nautical miles. After thinking about this, I think a closer eye should be on Concorde.
Of course, a radar guided missle such as phoenix shouldn't have any problem tackling it, as it carries no ecm, and its size presents a very large signature. Heat seekers generally have lesser range and are meant for close engagement. Since most missles have rocket motors, they are effective to 70,000+