A Comparison F-14 Versus F-15E In The Fighter Role

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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basher54321

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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 22:59

johnwill wrote:
The answer is yes, because the basic geometry of both airplanes is very similar. As the wings are swept, the CG moves aft, but the center of lift moves aft much more, thus more stable. And more importantly, huge down loads on the tails to trim, which means more lift required from wings/fuselage and of course more drag. How huge? It's been about 50 years since I worked with F-111, and many of the specific numbers have fled my brain cells, but one number stands out. Tail load in a 7.33g turn at high mach number was 50,000 lb down on each tail.


Wow blimey so actually increased tail downloads!
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Unread post20 Mar 2017, 23:03

f-16adf wrote:Here is another:


"On 27 November 1978 during the Barcelona in-port visit, CDR Tim Wright sent four VF-14 crews along with a VF-32 unit to Zaragoza for one-on-one- DACT against Bitburg based F-15s.


That could link nicely to 4 Bitburg F-15s getting waxed by 4 Sea Harriers - but to remain impartial and not derail a V's thread with information, I will post part of the Isreali F-14A evaluation :D



Despite our preparations, we were simply amazed when we flew the F-15 against the F-4. The Eagle maintained its T/W advantage and turned much quicker than the F-4. Here we had a superior fighter that was also more manoeuvrable than the inferior (older) jet.

When we evaluated the F-14, the US Navy pilots at NAS Miramar told us that the Tomcat could perform equally as well in a dogfight with the A-4. This did not prove to be the case, however for when I flew the TA-4 against the F-14, the end result of the engagement was embarrassment for the Tomcat. No only could the TA-4 out turn the F-14, but during the turn itself, the tomcats energy state dropped so low that I was able to fly the TA-4 in the vertical as though the Skyhawk was the superior (newer) fighter and the F-14 the inferior! (older)

Assaf Ben -Nun also flew a 2 hour sortie in a TA-4F that included DACT against the F-14, and he to was disappointed to discover the Skyhawk was superior to the F-14 in the WVR air combat scenario - he then flew a 1 hour Tomcat mission - Ben-Nun remembered:
The F-14 lacked thrust, was complex and not user friendly and was not aerodynamically clean - indeed the jet shuddered every time I pulled high G or high AoA. During my sortie I flew DACT against Amnon Arad in a Skyhawk, and although we finished with honours even at the end of the session, I found it hard to believe that the F-14 had no edge over the A-4 in WVR combat


( Israeli F-15 Eagle Units in Combat )
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 12:37

basher54321 wrote:
johnwill wrote:
The answer is yes, because the basic geometry of both airplanes is very similar. As the wings are swept, the CG moves aft, but the center of lift moves aft much more, thus more stable. And more importantly, huge down loads on the tails to trim, which means more lift required from wings/fuselage and of course more drag. How huge? It's been about 50 years since I worked with F-111, and many of the specific numbers have fled my brain cells, but one number stands out. Tail load in a 7.33g turn at high mach number was 50,000 lb down on each tail.


Wow blimey so actually increased tail downloads!


To put that in perspective, total lift at 7.33g would be about 450,000 lb. So with a trim load of -100,000 lb, wing/fuselage lift must be 550,000 lb or about 20% higher. Increased structural weight and increased drag are the unhappy result.
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 14:53

basher54321 wrote:
f-16adf wrote:Here is another:


"On 27 November 1978 during the Barcelona in-port visit, CDR Tim Wright sent four VF-14 crews along with a VF-32 unit to Zaragoza for one-on-one- DACT against Bitburg based F-15s.


That could link nicely to 4 Bitburg F-15s getting waxed by 4 Sea Harriers - but to remain impartial and not derail a V's thread with information, I will post part of the Isreali F-14A evaluation :D



Despite our preparations, we were simply amazed when we flew the F-15 against the F-4. The Eagle maintained its T/W advantage and turned much quicker than the F-4. Here we had a superior fighter that was also more manoeuvrable than the inferior (older) jet.

When we evaluated the F-14, the US Navy pilots at NAS Miramar told us that the Tomcat could perform equally as well in a dogfight with the A-4. This did not prove to be the case, however for when I flew the TA-4 against the F-14, the end result of the engagement was embarrassment for the Tomcat. No only could the TA-4 out turn the F-14, but during the turn itself, the tomcats energy state dropped so low that I was able to fly the TA-4 in the vertical as though the Skyhawk was the superior (newer) fighter and the F-14 the inferior! (older)

Assaf Ben -Nun also flew a 2 hour sortie in a TA-4F that included DACT against the F-14, and he to was disappointed to discover the Skyhawk was superior to the F-14 in the WVR air combat scenario - he then flew a 1 hour Tomcat mission - Ben-Nun remembered:
The F-14 lacked thrust, was complex and not user friendly and was not aerodynamically clean - indeed the jet shuddered every time I pulled high G or high AoA. During my sortie I flew DACT against Amnon Arad in a Skyhawk, and although we finished with honours even at the end of the session, I found it hard to believe that the F-14 had no edge over the A-4 in WVR combat


( Israeli F-15 Eagle Units in Combat )


Does anyone know of this DACT exercise being performed by F-14's with the GE F-110 motors? Would be real interesting to find out what would happen then..
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 15:03

Basher54321,

You are right. I am not a Grumman fanboy. All that I am saying is that at certain areas within the F-15's flight envelope (low speeds) it was out turned (smaller turn radius) by the Tomcat. In fact, the Navy A-4 could also out turn the Eagle at slow speeds.

The Tomcat also had trouble in the phone booth vs A-4:
Read, Roger Ball!, on pg. 366-372, HAWK Smith in a Skyhawk (with functioning slats) beat up on a Block 90 F-14A flown by Mauler. The Skyhawk with its LE slats could generally out turn both Tomcat and Eagle at slow speeds. The A-4 is also much, much smaller; while the F-15 and F-14 are huge.


The Eagle is a great jet, has high energy, but it lacks any sort of LEF or LES for improved slow speed maneuverability. The Tomcat is also a great jet, but it's VG wings only shine around a small area within its flight envelope. It has a very small Corner Velocity Spike. After that spike, its maneuverability starts to degrade.


The Iranians evaluated both jets and went with the CAT (Iranian F-14 units in Combat). It probably suited their needs more appropriately. They could use the CAT's radar and Phoenix system to great advantage. Conversely, Israel is a very small country and the AWG-9/Phoenix system probably would be of limited use. And with Israel's long experience with Mirage III/Nesher they probably preferred a "higher energy" fighter aka F-15 Eagle....




Finally, they just don't make VG jets anymore; and they don't make hard wing jets anymore. The whole "F-14 is better......" or "F-15 is better....." is nonsensical. I do not understand why people cannot appreciate both jets.
Last edited by f-16adf on 21 Mar 2017, 16:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 15:25

I was told by a F-14D aviator that in a 1v1 the jets "generally" were equal. But, the D model with its F110s finally had the ability to chase Eagles in the vertical. In a 2v2 or many v many he said that the extra eyes of the RIO really helped with SA in DACT.


Here is another perspective:
http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/an-eli ... 1610043625



Although some books do say the D Tomcat supposedly beat up on the F-15 (and there are a few that give the prize to the Eagle). However, we do not know the specific ROE? Were both jets slick? Who started offensive? Who was defensive?


Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to speak with an Eagle driver (non Strike Eagle) about it.


There is an article somewhere out there that says the Eagle bested the X-31 (kept speed high, used the vertical, didn't slow down) while the F-14D slowed (where its VG wings exhibited best performance) and the X-31 used its TVC to kill him.



Ultimately, it probably would come down to the quality of the pilot.



But we must remember that the Tomcat was fortunate enough to receive a MAJOR thrust increase during its lifespan. Conversely, the F-15A/C has existed with the same thrust (or even slightly degraded) since 1972. If the Air Superiority Eagles were to receive F100-229's the advantage probably goes to F-15. However, without any sort of LEF/LES high lift devices, I imagine the F-15 pilot would still have to be very, very careful at slower speeds vs the F-14D Tomcat?



Spurts can probably explain this more concisely than me-
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 17:56

f-16adf wrote:Spurts can probably explain this more concisely than me-

Concisely? No. I'm too long winded most of the time.

I did speak with a pilot who did a simulated DACT against the X-31 back when it was hailed as the end-all be-all. At the merge he rolled horizontal and started to pull gently to keep his energy. Once he saw the X-31 commit to a TVC turn he went up, waited for the X-31 to start falling, rolled back down and hosed it.

I have been LONG studying the F-14 v F-15 argument, as in before the Raptor was operational. The same pilot I mentioned above was originally F-4E and did a brief F-15 stint before retiring. He has been in a 4v4 F-4E v F-16 that ended with the F-16s falling out of the skies, out of energy, due to weapons and tactics available at the time. He has been in an F-15 doing DACT with F-14As and saying that all you had to do was look at the wings to determine the energy state and plan the fight from there.

In the end, they are both well loved planes that excelled in actual combat. They had their design choices that are seen today as limitations. One is long since retired, the other is flying along side its replacement that completely outclasses it.
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 20:50

Yes, very well said.

I just don't understand why F-15 fans HATE the Tomcat with a passion, and F-14 guys HATE the Eagle with a passion.
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 20:55

f-16adf wrote:Basher54321,

You are right. I am not a Grumman fanboy. All that I am saying is that at certain areas within the F-15's flight envelope (low speeds) it was out turned (smaller turn radius) by the Tomcat. In fact, the Navy A-4 could also out turn the Eagle at slow speeds.


Sorry never thought you were.

I could give you a list of 50s jets that would have no problems out turning an F-15 here or there - however this would be missing the point - swap the F-14A for F-15A in the evaluations and doubtful the Israelis would have been sat there moaning about a lack of edge - because there would be no excuse for not wiping the floor every time. I can of course put faith in pilots who had spent the last 10 years flying all types of A-A (Training / combat) in Mirages against Jets that could "out turn" them!



f-16adf wrote:The Iranians evaluated both jets and went with the CAT (Iranian F-14 units in Combat). It probably suited their needs more appropriately. They could use the CAT's radar and Phoenix system to great advantage. Conversely, Israel is a very small country and the AWG-9/Phoenix system probably would be of limited use. And with Israel's long experience with Mirage III/Nesher they probably preferred a "higher energy" fighter aka F-15 Eagle....


Israel did think the AWG-9/AIM-54 system wouldn't be much use in Middle East combat - which in their experience was all close in at the time. When Irans eval was taking place I think MiG-25Rs were already coming over (F-4s couldn't get them) so that was a requirement for them. I also know what they thought of the F-15A but am also aware of Irans experience compared to Israel at that time.

When MiG-25Rs started flying over Israel and the F-15s couldn't intercept them the Israelis might have had second thoughts but overall the F-15 has lasted a lot longer and was perhaps a bit cheaper to operate so not a bad choice.
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Unread post21 Mar 2017, 21:04

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I did speak with a pilot who did a simulated DACT against the X-31 back when it was hailed as the end-all be-all. At the merge he rolled horizontal and started to pull gently to keep his energy. Once he saw the X-31 commit to a TVC turn he went up, waited for the X-31 to start falling, rolled back down and hosed it.



The slight caveat never mentioned with X-31 was that it only did well in exercises where both aircraft started close in at very slow speeds.
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Unread post22 Mar 2017, 02:55

basher54321 wrote:
johnwill wrote:
The answer is yes, because the basic geometry of both airplanes is very similar. As the wings are swept, the CG moves aft, but the center of lift moves aft much more, thus more stable. And more importantly, huge down loads on the tails to trim, which means more lift required from wings/fuselage and of course more drag. How huge? It's been about 50 years since I worked with F-111, and many of the specific numbers have fled my brain cells, but one number stands out. Tail load in a 7.33g turn at high mach number was 50,000 lb down on each tail.


Wow blimey so actually increased tail downloads!

Wow. I wouldn't have guessed that. I guess that must be the margin demanded by the VG.
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Unread post24 Mar 2017, 08:15

count_to_10 wrote:
basher54321 wrote:
johnwill wrote:
The answer is yes, because the basic geometry of both airplanes is very similar. As the wings are swept, the CG moves aft, but the center of lift moves aft much more, thus more stable. And more importantly, huge down loads on the tails to trim, which means more lift required from wings/fuselage and of course more drag. How huge? It's been about 50 years since I worked with F-111, and many of the specific numbers have fled my brain cells, but one number stands out. Tail load in a 7.33g turn at high mach number was 50,000 lb down on each tail.


Wow blimey so actually increased tail downloads!

Wow. I wouldn't have guessed that. I guess that must be the margin demanded by the VG.


The F-14 would have had less of a problem with tail trim downloads than the F-111. It was actually a problem that Grumman took very seriously. Say what you will about the Tomcat, but the engineers who designed it did not lack ambition.

There were two design features which reduced trim stiffness in the Tomcat compared to the F-111. The first was the well-known glove vanes. The way these worked was pretty straight forwards; the little canard-y things would pop out forward at supersonic speed to help counteract pitch stiffness by adding lifting area well forward of the CoG.

The second feature is the pancake. Compared to an F-111, the F-14's wing pivots sit further out. A large part of the F-14's lift is of course generated by the big, flat fuselage. Since this doesn't move it means that the center of lift also moves less when the wings swing back.

There are trade-offs, of course. The glove vanes add weight and take up volume inside the pancake that could otherwise have been used for fuel storage. In service they weren't really used, and you really have to look around to find pictures of F-14s with the vanes deployed.

Moving the wing pivots further out is a pretty common design solution in swing-wing aircraft. In fact, it was really only experimental aircraft like the the X-5 that lacked a fixed wing glove. The SU-22 has gigantic wing gloves.

The problem with the wing glove in a fighter is that it murders roll rate. Those wing pivot mechanisms are heavy, and they live inside a giant, welded titanium box. Moving them further out will help mitigate the pitch stiffness trim problem, but it will significantly increase the aircraft's moment of inertia about its roll axis. No free lunches.

If the F-14 had been designed a few years later with FBW technology, it would be interesting to see how much making it unstable with the wings forward would have helped.
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Unread post24 Mar 2017, 14:53

In the end, I'd call it a tie between an F-14D and F-15C. Both aircraft are big so will be easy to see, but both had superior thrust to weight ratios, could play in the vertical and held advantages in certain edges of the envelope.

The one feature working against an F-14 would have been if it didn't use its Phoenix missiles prior to entering the merge. Even assuming just 2, that's what... 3,000 extra lbs plus drag it'd have to contend with? I can understand why the F-14's which shot down those Fitters and Mig-23's were NOT carrying the Phoenix. Given those ROE's, I'd opt for sparrows and sidewinders too...
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Unread post25 Mar 2017, 13:05

garrya wrote:Nope, it isn't.Once again, you tried to explain something that you don't actually understand . A sustained turn is a turn where velocity, altitude and G value are constant ( or sustainable ) in others word the Ps in a sustained turn is zero . An aircraft can make a turn with constant G, yet with decelerate in velocity or decrease in altitude. that turn will not be considered a sustained turn.


Except you fail to understand that Nz = G=load and NzW is G-load x Weight. He said CONSTANT NZW product. That means the plane was constantly at 40,000lbs x 7.5 (the g-forces)

If the plane in fact were not able to sustain the mach number, it would be due to poor thrust to weight ratio for some reason. HOWEVER, he said CONSTANT NZW, this means it WAS capable of sustaining it, provided you have enough thrust. F-14 has less drag and less parasitic drag when the wings are completely at 68 degrees, which is what they would all be certainly at Mach 2.

Certainly though, this is the number for the F-14A airframe, as all models that went in service should have the same exact frame. He did not mention specifically A, B or D during the whole "constant NZW" part. And we know this anyways, as that F-14A demo for Iran with wings @ 40 degrees pulled 8.5gs and ACCELERATED.

7.5gs when wings are at 68 degrees is no stretch of the imagination. Even if it's mach 2.


[FYI, directly from NATOPS manual F-14 with F-110 GE 400 engine can sustain about 2G at Mach 1.8 and 1.1 G at Mach 1.9


That's peacetime limitations. That's not what Mike was talking about. He worked with the plane, he knows what he's talking about. Period.



Nope, given its rather bad STR performer at high velocity, it really does have alot of drag


It can sustain 7.5gs with 80-85lbs PSF of wing loading @ 68 degrees of wing sweep @ mach 2. Period.


Drag will also interfere with STR performance


Except effective wet drag is very little with the wings back. Wet drag is always vertically planar to incoming wind. When the wings are back, there is less surface hitting that wind head on. When the wings are out, thus giving the tomcat more lift, you also increase the effective wet drag.

Now you are not even trying anymore, spoiler/ ailerons are not fixed otherwise they would be useless in pitching the aircraft


More gas lighting. That's is NOT what i said. I said the Eagles ailerons and flaps are FIXED in their POSITION. I didn't say they were FIXED as in STATICALLY UNABLE TO BE USED TO TURN THE AIRCRAFT. If the wings on the tomcat move, then the spoilers also move their POSITION or ANGLE as those wings move, providing more aerodynamic advantage. Use your brain.

Irelevance, even the Mirage will not sustain 7.5G at Mach 2


That's because that's a 1950's design. The tomcat has basically the same percentage of titanium by WEIGHT of aircraft as the eagle does. However the tomcat is about 50% HEAVIER than the eagle. That means more titanium. And that means your 1950's Mirage is obsolete going up against either one of them. Of course they could have just used even more aluminum, which would have resulted in more volume of aluminum to counter the the thinner and less volume yet strong titanium. But they didn't do that. Planes back then weren't designed with 9gs in mind.

It is also much heavier and generate loads of drag to produce those lift


Wet drag and "drag" are two different things. Drag is sh*t that hits wind head on like missiles and pylons, wet drag is smooth drag that does not break the wind. However, when the wings are back to some degree the tomcat is more aerodynamic. At about 40 - 50 degrees of wing sweep is where your 9g sustainability is on the F-14. Again, this takes into account that you have at least F-110 engines installed on the tomcat.

which is pointless due to the fact that the only example you got of F-14 allegedly "sustain" 8.5G is when it carry merely 12% fuel


If a navy plane that weighs 40,000 lbs + 3-4,000 lbs of fuel can pull 8.5gs and ACCELERATE and still have lower wing loading than the even the (what would have been at that time the *FUTURE*) f-15C at that point, then adding extra weight with more fuel, but at the same time LOWERING SOME weight with the LIGHTER WEIGHT F-110 engines... it will not impede on the F-14's high g sustainability. Remember the F-14 can sustain 7.5gs with lots of fuel at mach 2. That's at 80-85 PSF of wing loading vs the wings positioned at a 40 degree sweep which is mid 60's wing loading... You still forget the tomcat was very low to ground when pulling those Gs, which means more variable, bumpy and violent winds, yet the tomcat still pulled 8.5gs and ACCELERATED *DURING* the sustained turn (meaning there was still just enough thrust for higher Gs).

7.5gs SUSTAINED for tomcat @ mach 2 w/68 degrees of wing sweep. 9gs sustainability at 40-50 degrees of wing sweep. Of course, 9gs sustainability takes into account that you have at least F-110 engines installed on the tomcat.
Simple. Period.

Nope, sustain turn mean constant Ps or in other words constant altitude and velocity


Nope, Gs means Gs. Ps don't mean anything! See? I can do the same stupid childish crap you do. It doesn't change the fact that NZW is G-load x Weight.

Irrelevance , that doesn't change the fact that it has alot more moving parts than either F-15 or F-16


And that doesn't change the fact that the tomcat is in reality, a 10g sustainable aircraft with wings somewhere near 20 degrees of sweep w/44-48 PSF of wing loading and powerful enough engines. Again, this takes into account that you have at least F-110 engines installed on the tomcat.


gbigly wrote:The f-14 tomact does have the lowest wing loading.

No it doesn't, i have explained it before.


Yes it does. The F-14 Tomcat's maximum 44-48psf of wing loading is significantly lower than raptor, flanker, eagle and even MiG-21.

F-14 is a carrier interceptor, basically a Navy Mig-31. It main role is to shoot down Tu-95 bomber by AIM-54


It is an air superiority aircraft. Interception was one of it's most important roles, that's correct. But it was designed to dogfight. That makes it an air superiority aircraft. But of course, long range radars and long range flying are also required in a plane for it to be considered air superiority. The tomcat has all of those. It's a navy air superiority aircraft that can also intercept and strike targets with bombs. That is literally the official mission of the tomcat.

Nope, F-16 is mostly aluminium by weight, it got much thinner wing than all of these above, it got worst wing loading. By your logic , it should have the worst ultimate G limit and worst STR. Yet in reality none of them can beat F-16 STR at low altitude.


All dog-fighter jets are mostly aluminum by weight.

It's just that the f-4 phantom has actually about 9% titanium by weight, whereas the tomcat and eagle both have about 25% of titanium by weight. That's why those 2 planes can turn 9gs, and the f-4 phantom cannot. The f-4 phantom does not have a strong enough frame because of the low percentage of titanium to sustain higher than 6 or 6.5gs

And of course, f-22 raptors aren't really dogfighters. The f-35 isn't either. They're just kinda useless crap.

And btw, the low percentage of titanium in the f-16 doesn't really hurt it so much. It's a tiny, light little plane. When comparing it to the f-4 phantom, we see that the very large and twin engined phantom is quite disproportinoately light at about 25,000 lbs empty when compared to the f-16 of over 18,000 lbs empty. Add to the fact that the the phantom is a navy plane which had to be strengthened for carrier landings yet it still is disproportionately (size wise) lighter than the f-16. It was clearly not designed for high g sustainability. The f-16 has more strength in it's wingbox for higher sustainable gs and lower amounts of fuel as well. ALSO take into effect that the f-4 phantom has TWO GUYS flying inside of it, which means a longer and heavier armor around the RIO seat, and hundreds of pounds of extra avionics for the RIO to use. This seriously limits it's G sustainability by a huge margin, as the plane is STILL only 25,000 lbs empty.

2 different planes from 2 different eras.
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Unread post25 Mar 2017, 14:33

There is a general misconception about F-16 wing loading.

1. What F-16 is being referred to? A very light Block 1, mid weight Block 30, or a heavy bloated Block 50 or 52?

2. The original F-16A Block 1 empty was about 14,900-15,100lbs. The area of Its wing "alone" is 300sq ft.

3. BUT......The F-16 also gets lift from its large LERX, tail booms, and unstable tail. That lift is around 30%. Even JohnWill, a General Dynamics engineer (he helped create the Viper) who posts on this site has attested to this.

So that 300sq ft. figure is actually more like 390-400sq ft.


That is why the original F-16A could out radius a Mig-17. No other US jet could even come close-





Now, the Block 50/52 F-16C is FAR, FAR, FAR heavier than a Block 1 A model and even a Block 30.....

So when people are referring to "an F-16", we must remember that there are many various Blocks with differing weight.
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