F-104 with FBW

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.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

eloise

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1894
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2015, 16:05

Unread post01 Jan 2016, 17:05

basher54321 wrote:
What you say is true - and you might be able to get away with 2-4 missiles - however was there any requirement for this in the 70s? - not really . Nuclear bombers had to go low level due to SAMs (bye bye XB-71) . Have a book of RAF F-4M Phantoms (Turbofan powered) doing nothing but low level interception practise over Germany in the 70s/80s.
t)

AFAIK , SR-71 was practically immune to fighter and SAM (even SA-5gammon )of that time , flying high also give a lot more range to your missiles and bomb , why did they change to low flying through?
And why do fighter need to stay low to hunt bomber ? Can't they just pick up bomber on radar and launch missiles from high altit
ude ?
Offline

basher54321

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2073
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post01 Jan 2016, 18:26

eloise wrote:
And why do fighter need to stay low to hunt bomber ? Can't they just pick up bomber on radar and launch missiles from high altitude ?


Although that sounds simple enough in theory and you “might” be able to do that today – I am fairly certain that was not realistic at all in the 70s. You have to appreciate the tech you were dealing with to even detect, identify and lock a target on the deck from upon very high.
The ability for a radar to look down was in its infancy in the early 70s – and very few fighters had pulse Doppler modes.

The F-4M was one of the first with the AWG-12 to have a Pulse Doppler mode – and it was rated as very good for the time. As an example, in 1979 the mode couldn’t measure range, only closing speed. So if a target was not closing or going away from the fighter it would not actually appear on radar.

IIRC The Sea Harrier had no PD mode in the 82 Falklands War even though the radar was considered “cutting edge” thus FAA A-4s etc could sneak past at low level. The F-15A/C did have a PD mode (Israel claimed kills in 82 – they were at very low level and tail chasing the MiGs also at low level but were surprised the AIM-7Fs actually hit due to the altitude).

The SR-71 is already on various other threads on this forum so worth looking.
Offline

charlielima223

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1235
  • Joined: 12 Jan 2014, 19:26

Unread post02 Jan 2016, 07:03

Other than some minor off topic conversations about F-86/Mig-15 as well as others. I get the notion that an F-104 with FBW would improve flight control at various speeds and that it would improve yaw and roll rates to more manageable rates thus being safer. What about at low speeds? One thing I always read and heard was that the F-104 was notorious at slower speeds (control and handling wise).
Offline

basher54321

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2073
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post02 Jan 2016, 13:00

charlielima223 wrote:What about at low speeds? One thing I always read and heard was that the F-104 was notorious at slower speeds (control and handling wise).



The manual makes out the F-104 has good handling at low speeds - AlfaKilo does state he didn't find it difficult to fly if you observed the limits - so I would guess not so bad.
Offline
User avatar

alfakilo

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2011, 19:01

Unread post02 Jan 2016, 16:20

charlielima223 wrote: I get the notion that an F-104 with FBW would improve flight control at various speeds and that it would improve yaw and roll rates to more manageable rates thus being safer. What about at low speeds? One thing I always read and heard was that the F-104 was notorious at slower speeds (control and handling wise).


FBW can be used for various reasons...modern airliners use this system and obviously not for increased maneuverability.

What aspect of the F-104's flight characteristics are you trying to improve?

As for yaw and roll rates...yaw wasn't normally an issue. Unlike the F-4, for example, the F-104 didn't suffer from adverse yaw when using aileron at high AOA. While the roll rate was high, I don't recall it being a problem in normal flying...similar to the T-38 that also was capable of high roll rates. Inertia coupling was a possibility but I don't recall ever experiencing it.

One thing that FBW may have been able to improve was the heaviness if the stick at slow speeds. In initial training, we practiced multiple landings, and I remember how tiring it was to hold back pressure when turning final on repeated overhead patterns.

As for the jet's notoriety for anything, my advice is to take such talk with a huge grain of salt. My opinion is that most bartalk about the F-104 is just that. Bartalk...by people who don't know what they are talking about. Sure...the jet was a very high performance machine, capable of some serious things in capable hands. I knew folks who could get that performance...and I knew F-104 pilots who were "little old ladies" who never dared fly the jet like that. That said, one could say pretty much the same thing about any fighter...there were those who dared, and those who didn't.

Here is a nice pic of 269, the other 104 that was kept in nice condition for display. It is also the F-104 that was used in the Right Stuff movie.

Image
Previous

Return to Military Aircraft of the Cold War

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests