LY744
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Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:07 am

The maximum speed for fighters is often well publicised, but as we know using afterburners is only a temporary measure due to fuel consumption. What I would like to know is how different modern fighters (any airplane you have stats on automatically qualifies  Smile ) stack up against each other in terms of their maximum speed with dry thrust only.

Any help is much appreciated.


LY744.
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jcxp15
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:15 am

Don't know the exact speed, but the F-22 can exceed Mach 1 without the use of afterburners.
 
Spacepope
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:39 am

What kind of external stores are these fighters carrying at the time? After all, there is no point of having a fast moving fighter if they can't shoot at anything!
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PPGMD
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:55 am

I believe that the F-22 will be the victor at the moment because it's the only fighter capable of Supercruise capability, Mach 1+ flight without afterburners.
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LY744
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:15 am

Well I don't think the F-22 has any competition when it comes to this due to its super-cruise capability (rumoured to put it at a cruise of 1.4 mach or so). But what about other fighters? As for what kind of load they would be carrying, ideally it would be nice to compare a number of aircraft in a clean configuration but right now any relevant data would be good to get this going.


LY744.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:19 am

"I believe that the F-22 will be the victor at the moment because it's the only fighter capable of Supercruise capability, Mach 1+ flight without afterburners."

This is a popular misconception. The F-22 is the first fighter plane capable of 'high' mach numbers without afterburner. I never understood when it first was being touted as the first aircraft to go supersonic without reheat. Our first generation fighters could go supersonic in a shallow dive, with very low powered inefficient jet engines and not nearly as aerodynamic as their decades later counterparts. Hell, a 747 can get up to Mach .9, so it only seems logical that a hugely more aerodymanic aircraft with very minimal frontal area and almost 1 to 1 thrust ratio even without afterburner could go just that much faster on its own.

When that catch phrase first came out, I talked to an ex AF F-4 pilot, who actually did maintance test flights after they got worked on. He explained the whole flight profile of those tests, part of which was to go supersonic without the benefit of afterburner.


As for LY744's question... I would assume that the afterburner on the F-14/15/16/18 would add a pretty similiar punch across the board. If that is true, then perhaps they would still be ranked the same, albeit the top speeds being uniformly lower than with a/b. So it would be something like this:

F-15 2.5+
F-111 2.5
F-14 2.2
F-16 2
F-18 1.8

That's for the American fighters, so let's say without a/b you lose .8 (just throwing that out there for examples sake) then it would look something like:

F-15 1.7+
F-111 1.7
F-14 1.4
F-16 1.2
F-18 1.0


Good question, and I'd like to know the answer.
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NoUFO
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:18 am

"I believe that the F-22 will be the victor at the moment because it's the only fighter capable of Supercruise capability, Mach 1+ flight without afterburners."

The F-22 would win a competition but isn't the only fighter with supercruise capabilities. Typhoon can go Mach 1.2 with standard equipment for interception (2x AIM-9x/ASRAAM or IRIS-T + 4x AMRAAM or Meteor), some people say the Rafale does so, too. Both are already in service.
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f4wso
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 10:30 am

Somewhat related is the fuel consumption. In the RF-4, we would plan on 200 pounds of gas a minute at low level (480 kts) and 100 pounds a minute high level. I forget what the cruise mach we used. 480 was an easy number for mental math since it was 8 miles a minute. The F-4E had similar fuel burns but was closer to 420 knots due to the external stores drag. Afterburner fuel flow was four times the normal flow so it was between 800 and 1000 pounds a minute at low altitude. A slick F-4E could with the Military Operating Area off the end of the runway could takeoff, stay in afterburner for a couple of quick intercepts and be back on the ground in 20 minutes. It makes for a very short day and certainly not the way to build time for the airlines.
Gary
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Cheshire
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:38 am

The TSR-2 could supercruise before the term was even invented. According to the TSR-2's chief test pilot, Roland Beamont, the aircraft was easily able to exceed the speed of sound without augmentation. In fact, an accompanying Lightning was on 'burners just to keep up!
 
ftrguy
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Wed Sep 22, 2004 3:42 am

I've done 1.0 in an F/A-18 w/o afterburner.
 
LY744
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:49 am

Frtguy, anything on external stores at the time?

Gary, good stuff, thanks for sharing!


LY744.
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ftrguy
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:38 am

It was a long time ago, but probably just an external centerline tank. I was very high and in a slight decent. I was actually shocked to see it tick over to 1.0 and caught me by surprise.

Just a side note. The F/A-18 actually flies faster and is more aerodynamic with AIM-9's on the wingtips. That's what the plane was designed to do and is slower without them. Not by much
 
f4wso
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:12 pm

What Ftrguy makes sense. The AIM-9s give a streamlined shape vs. a flat sided rail. Perhaps it is like having the fore and aft fins of the missile be like little winglets Smile
Gary
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dl021
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RE: Fighter Jets: Max Speed Without Afterburners

Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:38 pm

I think the difference is that while these aircraft mentioned could exceed the Mach barrier for dashes, or could make minimal mach numbers without afterburning, the F-22 can do it for extended periods, and does not need afterburning to reach it. Afterburning is available and increases thrust by a good bit, but the ability to go longer distances without the fuel burn from AB was the goal. The F-35 guy at Farnborough told me that the fuel burn was still pretty strong even without AB, but then again he was selling the less expensive a/c and there seems to be some serious competition between Ft.Worth and Marietta. THere might alos be some hurt feelings as well about the fact that ALM Antillean Airlines (Netherlands Antilles)">LM is building a fighter outside of Ft.Worth that turns into a little sour grapes. I don't know why because they will be building F-35s long after the production run for the F-22 is over, a'la F-15/F-16.

All that said, the F-22 will be the king of the skies for the forseeable future. I just hope we build enough to spread them around a little.
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