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Faro
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Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:04 pm

IIRC, the Mig-21 and A4 Skyhawk were the first supersonic fighter to use the tailed delta layout which became hugely popular with other fighter designs. In one form or another, and in varying degrees of fidelity, this design has been implemented on the F-15, F-16, F-22, F-35, and many others. The main variation seems to be cropping of the wing so that the wing planform tends from the deltaic to the trapezoidal. Even the F4 has, to a certain degree, adopted a certain tailed delta layout.

My question is what is it with the tailed delta and related variations that make it so attractive for a supersonic fighter? Can we safely say that the Mig-21 & A4 are the most influential supersonic fighter designs ever?

Faro
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Spacepope
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
Can we safely say that the Mig-21 & A4 are the most influential supersonic fighter designs ever?

I'm not sure what kind of rocket you'd have to strap to an A-4 to get it to go supersonic.

I'd go out on a limb and say that the F-16 is more of an influential supersonic fighter than the A-4. It's spawned 2 different trainers (T/A 50 and IDF), the Lavi (which lives on in the J-10) and the shoulda-been F-16XL.
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Faro
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:14 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
Quoting faro (Thread starter):
Can we safely say that the Mig-21 & A4 are the most influential supersonic fighter designs ever?

I'm not sure what kind of rocket you'd have to strap to an A-4 to get it to go supersonic.

My bad. Remains the question of the design.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
I'd go out on a limb and say that the F-16 is more of an influential supersonic fighter than the A-4. It's spawned 2 different trainers (T/A 50 and IDF), the Lavi (which lives on in the J-10) and the shoulda-been F-16XL.

True but IMO the Mig-21 & A4 spawned many many more. It's the basic design I'm talking about, although derivatives also matter.

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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:08 pm

I'm going to take an easy pot shot here and say that the ME 262 was by far the most influential fighter in bringing swept wing into existance.

But as regards the tailed delta, there a few, and particularly British, fighters that preceded the Mig 21 and A4. The Gloster Javelin first flew several years before either and is a true tailed delta. The DH Sea Vixen is all but a delta.

There were several very early Avro experimental deltas which must have had a strong influence on future designs too.

But with regard to your OP, I suppose yes is the answer to the design influence. Only Dassault really persisted with a true delta, everyone else went to tailed to get over the take off penalties associated with a delta and the only other wing design that came through the 70's was the swing wing. Virtually everything else I can think of is as close to cropped delta as makes no difference, with just a little sweep to the trailing edge like the SU27.

I think if stealth hadn't happened we'd see the canard delta taking over from the tailed delta and we'd be saying that SAAB were the true trend setters in design.
 
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting faro (Thread starter):
Can we safely say that the Mig-21 & A4 are the most influential supersonic fighter designs ever?

If you're talking about any supersonic 2nd/3rd gen fighters I would put the F-4 Phantom on that pinnacle, though it's not really fair to say that a 3rd gen was more influential than a 2nd gen... the line is kinda blurred, but here at some factoids;

F-4 Phatom: 5,195 aircraft produced - america's most numerous supersonic military aircraft, flying since 1958 - 53 years, air-air & air-to-ground all-weather capability. Operated from land or ship, operated by 12 different airforces. 107 air-air victories in the vietnam war alone.
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HaveBlue
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:25 am

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 4):
F-4 Phatom: 5,195 aircraft produced - america's most numerous supersonic military aircraft, flying since 1958 - 53 years, air-air & air-to-ground all-weather capability. Operated from land or ship, operated by 12 different airforces. 107 air-air victories in the vietnam war alone.

And add to that its the only jet fighter used by the USAF, USN and USMC and the only aircraft used by both the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels.

I wouldn't call it the most influential in future designs, but it was a bad a** bird that did its job and looked menacing.
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:16 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 5):
I wouldn't call it the most influential in future designs, but it was a bad a** bird that did its job and looked menacing.

Much as I love the phantom I have to agree with HaveBlue here. Awesome fighter that it was, I'm struggling to think of any fighters that were infuenced by its design, the closest I can come up with it is the Jaguar and its Japanese spinoff. The Phantom was hugely influential in its performance, i.e. opponents had to come up with a design to counter it, but as regards a design influence, I don't agree that it was one of the more influential.

Its low set cropped delta wing had many predecessors. No one I can think of has followed its dihedral outer wing panels (which were there to fix a problem).
I'm trying to think if its air intakes were trend setters, They are certainly seen on the Su-15, Mig 23/27 but I don't think they graced many more US aircraft (F5 possibly) afterwards, certainly not in the way the Vigilante intakes influenced future designs.
As said above the tail arrangement is seen on the Jaguar but bar the tail anhedral the arrangement is seen on the older Voodoo.

Actually, mid post I'm going to nominate the A-5 Vigilante as a hugely influential design. The Mig 25 could have been a direct copy. Stick a twin tail on it and you're looking at an F14, F15, mig 29, Su27 desgin trend.
Now thats design influence  
 
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:50 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 6):
Actually, mid post I'm going to nominate the A-5 Vigilante as a hugely influential design. The Mig 25 could have been a direct copy. Stick a twin tail on it and you're looking at an F14, F15, mig 29, Su27 desgin trend.
Now thats design influence

Good point well made.
 
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Ok... I'll concede the A-5 had some strong airframe design influence, but my point with the Phantom was that it set the bar in terms of capability and performance, so while you don't see too many di-hedral tip extensions and anhedral tailplanes, the influence is still there but it's not on the airplane - it's in the numbers, and possibly also to a great extent the weapons.

I'm going to go ahead and throw the 1950's Delta Dagger/Dart & Saab Draken into the hat which may have inspired the current family of euro-delta jets; Mirage/Rafale, Typhoon, Saab Viggen/Gripen, plus China's J-10 and India's Tejas...?
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spudh
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:43 am

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 8):
the influence is still there but it's not on the airplane - it's in the numbers, and possibly also to a great extent the weapons.

Agreed 100%

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 8):
I'm going to go ahead and throw the 1950's Delta Dagger/Dart & Saab Draken into the hat which may have inspired the current family of euro-delta jets; Mirage/Rafale, Typhoon, Saab Viggen/Gripen, plus China's J-10 and India's Tejas...?

To my mind the Draken was one of the most advanced fighter designs ever to enter service. Remember that thing flew in 1955, so must have been conceived several years before that. Unbelievable.
And the Draken, where do you start? First flew 1967 with Canards, vortex wing scrubbing, reverse thrusters, integrated air defence, advanced radar, 12G design limits, multi role (don't know about swing role but a distinct possibility), STOL, field deployment, high sink rate landing. Just about everyhing the F35C is supposed to do save for stealth. Put a hook on it and it would have been capable of carrier ops relatively easily.
 
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:20 pm

Quoting spudh (Reply 9):
And the Draken, where do you start? First flew 1967 with Canards, vortex wing scrubbing, reverse thrusters, integrated air defence, advanced radar, 12G design limits, multi role (don't know about swing role but a distinct possibility), STOL, field deployment, high sink rate landing. Just about everyhing the F35C is supposed to do save for stealth. Put a hook on it and it would have been capable of carrier ops relatively easily.

Think you meant "and the Viggen, where do you start..".

 
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spudh
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RE: Mig-21 & A4 Most Influential Fighter Designs?

Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:37 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 10):

oops  yeah, meant viggen, brilliant fighter  

I'd love to hear any stories from dissimilar combat ops. They must have flown against USN tomcats and hornets as well as F4's and F16's

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