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Question About 2 Engine Fighters

Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:35 am

I've wondered this for a long time, and it was recently brought up in a thread in MilAv about Canada getting the F-35 but wasn't really addressed. The USNavy and Canada have often chose (not always, I know) twin engine aircraft for 'redundancy' over large hostile terrain. My question is how often does a twin engine fighter that loses one engine actually get down safe on the other? The recent CF-18 crash is an example, but a bad one, because he was at the back corner of the flight envelope. But I've got video from an F-4 at Miramar just on a flyby that, imo, only lost one engine and it lawn darted pretty quick (it was in formation with another F-4 and 2 F-14's fyi). It just may never be reported that much but I spend a lot of time reading up on aviation and never quite heard statiscally if that 2nd engine comes thru very often in a pinch.
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RE: Question About 2 Engine Fighters

Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:53 pm

Single engine landings happen often. Most of the time it's a non event. Where it becomes an issue is the scenarios you've pointed out. Edge of the envelope, low altitude, low speed etc.
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RE: Question About 2 Engine Fighters

Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:50 pm

Its more of an issue for Navy aircraft... they can be flying hours away (by rescue helicopter) so being able to limp home by 1 engine (often landing with 1 also) is advantageous! Not to mention that Navy aircraft are often more expensive (not just because of the 2nd engine) as they are toughened for carrier ops etc so a 2nd engine is a bit of insurance.
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RE: Question About 2 Engine Fighters

Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:25 am

The Royal Danish Air Force has since the Gloster Meteor only used single engined jet fighters. F-84, RF-84, F-86, F-100, F-104, F-16, Hawker Hunter, Saab Draken. Many planes were lost due to engine failure and could have survived if twin engined.

A few survived. One F-104 was deadsticked back to base, quite an accomplishment! One Hunter lost engine on final approach, but before lowering landing gear. The pilot jumped, but the plane landed beautifully on its belly on the runway and was repaired. The pilot bragged: "When I trim a plane, then it is TRIMMED".

I don't think that we lost an F-16 due to engine failure. Engines have become a lot more reliable. But at one time our F-100s were falling from the sky like a hailstorm because of engine failures.

The Saab Draken proved to have an "advantage" with its twin intakes on the fuselage sides. When eating a goose, then the intake duct walls were too weak to direct the goose into the engine. Instead the goose continued straight backwards through the duct wall and destroyed the landing gear mechanism instead. With engine still running it could then be landed on its two drop tanks.
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RE: Question About 2 Engine Fighters

Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:51 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 4):

Well, I think the twin-engined NF-5 (F-5) had by far the best attrition ration of any Dutch jet fighter. And I'd be surprised if not a quite a few Dutch F-16s were lost due to engine failure. Fighters are not flown like airliners after all.

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