F-20 vs F-18

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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rowbeartoe

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Unread post03 Sep 2019, 00:26

Hi Everyone. I noticed most comparisons with the F-20 was with the export F-16 J79 idea and in some cases the F-16A/B.

The part that interests me is it seems in a some cases the F-20 may have been better than the F-18A/B which was also being sold from the same company.

How do you think the F-20 would compare with the F-18A/B in the following.

Sustained turning (low and high alt)
Instant turning (low and high alt)
Acceleration
Speed (Cruise and Top)
Climb
Radar
Range (with and without drop tanks)
As a Bomber
As an Air to Air
As a Multirole
Low speed agility (Mach 0.3 to 0.5)
High speed agility (Mach 0.7 to 1+)
Maintenance
Cost to purchase
Cost while flying

Finally, what changes do you think would have been needed to make it Navy operational? Would it's design needed to be changed much, and if so, would that take away any advantage the F-20 may have had?

Pretend politics would not have been a factor. Would the F-20 have been the better buy for the Navy/Marines?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BDgQwlfHII

My feeling is that the F-18 was the better airframe beyond just multirole, but in dog fighting as well. I'm thinking this because I see little difference from the F-20 when compared to the F-5E.
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rowbeartoe

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Unread post03 Sep 2019, 04:24

This video posted some stats that were interesting. Turn rate at 11 degrees a second etc.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_LK-Gv6iCw
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basher54321

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Unread post03 Sep 2019, 23:35

rowbeartoe wrote:
Finally, what changes do you think would have been needed to make it Navy operational? Would it's design needed to be changed much, and if so, would that take away any advantage the F-20 may have had?
--
My feeling is that the F-18 was the better airframe beyond just multirole, but in dog fighting as well. I'm thinking this because I see little difference from the F-20 when compared to the F-5E.





Several things are required to navalise an aircraft - some major changes would be first ensuring it can last say 6000 hours of crash landing into a flight deck. So this means stronger heavier structure with larger landing gear.
It might have needed larger wings say for the low speed handling to land it on a carrier.

All of this adds weight for one thing.

The empty weight change from YF-16 to F-16A Block 1 was apparently negligible.
The empty weight change from YF-17 (land based) to Naval FA-18A was possibly around 6000 lbs heavier.

So the Naval F-20 would be far heavier with a far lower T/W etc drastically reducing its performance and endurance/range assuming the same engine. Don't see anyway this could have ever happened considering a Naval F-16 was proposed and the Navy seemed to have fought tooth and nail for the FA-18 over that.
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huggy

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Unread post12 Nov 2019, 05:57

rowbeartoe wrote:
Finally, what changes do you think would have been needed to make it Navy operational? Would it's design needed to be changed much, and if so, would that take away any advantage the F-20 may have had?


Tons.

rowbeartoe wrote:
Would it's design needed to be changed much, and if so, would that take away any advantage the F-20 may have had?


Yes, and yes.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post12 Nov 2019, 06:24

The US Government had no reason to pursue the F-20 further. As it would just compete with the F-16 Fighting Falcon (Viper) and F/A-18 Hornet. (clearly not it their interest) Nor, did the former really offer any performance advantage either.


This combined with Taiwan being blocked from buying it as not to up-set China. Put the last nail in the coffin of the F-20 Program.

:|
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Unread post12 Nov 2019, 14:18

The F-20 was never going to be a Navy bird, heavily modified or not. One engine (though quite reliable), short legs and minimal external loads, small radar etc.. "Navalising" it would have negated its primary advantages over the Hornet: Much better thrust to weight ratio, leading to much faster acceleration. I believe the "stock" F-20 would beat an F-18A in air to air almost any day, especially WVR. BVR the Hornet would likely have the advantage owing to a bigger/better radar and ability to carry more AIM-7 or AMRAAM's.

I honestly believe if the F-20 had been marketed solely to nations currently flying the F-5, it would have been a smashing success. For it's time, it was an excellent fighter. Could handle the air to air, air to ground and even air to sea missions with remarkable scramble time, maintainability and high sortie generation rate. It gave a nearly 1:1 thrust to weight ratio in certain configurations, and 3rd world air arms would have been well served by procuring multiple F-20 squadrons.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 03:14

mixelflick wrote:The F-20 was never going to be a Navy bird, heavily modified or not. One engine (though quite reliable), short legs and minimal external loads, small radar etc.. "Navalising" it would have negated its primary advantages over the Hornet: Much better thrust to weight ratio, leading to much faster acceleration. I believe the "stock" F-20 would beat an F-18A in air to air almost any day, especially WVR. BVR the Hornet would likely have the advantage owing to a bigger/better radar and ability to carry more AIM-7 or AMRAAM's.

I honestly believe if the F-20 had been marketed solely to nations currently flying the F-5, it would have been a smashing success. For it's time, it was an excellent fighter. Could handle the air to air, air to ground and even air to sea missions with remarkable scramble time, maintainability and high sortie generation rate. It gave a nearly 1:1 thrust to weight ratio in certain configurations, and 3rd world air arms would have been well served by procuring multiple F-20 squadrons.


Honestly, to fully exploit the power of the F404. The F-20 was going to need a "bigger wing". Which, would have turned the F-20 into just another F-16.....In short little point and no benefit.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 05:26

Quite frankly the Gripen encompassed the market that would have been the target of F-20A... a miniscule market. There just was no excitement for the thing. Even Brazil, which ultimately went Gripen and operated F-5E, had no stomach to foot the bill. JF-17 literally is the Chinese counterpart to F-20A and it had little export value outside of Pakistan. It seems there just isn't a lot of market between jet trainers and medium fighters. Countless countries have simply passed on the notion.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 19:56

The Korean F/A-50 has mode some progress in that area.
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ricnunes

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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 14:58

johnwill wrote:The Korean F/A-50 has mode some progress in that area.


But even the F/A-50 isn't having much of a success. At least so far it has only been accepted by South Korea and exported to the Philippines.

The T-50 trainer aircraft (which the F/A-50 is based on) is having a better success and it is also being used by South Korea and exported to the Philippines plus Indonesia, Iraq and Thailand.

So, while this may look strange (at least to me it looks that way, at first glance) the fact is there doesn't seem to be much of a market for light fighter aircraft.
And even if the F/A-50 ends up being a success in the future then I'm pretty sure that this would have more to do with the fact that it's based on a trainer aircraft. IMO, if the F/A-50 was to be a completely new light fighter aircraft design then it probably wouldn't have any success at all. (my 2 cents here)
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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 16:14

Salute!

As the only guy on these forums who has ever sat in the cockpit of an F-20, and have about 40 - 50 sim hours......... I feel qualified to comment.

The death of the plane was not straightforward, but one poster has nailed a biggie - trying to sell the plane to folks that didn't want a "super" F-5, but not making it easy for the existing F-5 folks to pay for it. So the failed Korean sale was the second to last nail in the coffin. And it didn't help that they lost one of the three FSD birds there due to gee-loc.

Northrop was trying to get the Air Guard to buy it as an airspace sovereignty asset. If USAF had some, the thot was small countries would have bought it. By then, the Viper was getting Slammers for the air defense mission and had much better range and multirole capability. When GD lowered the price for a stripped down Viper, the Koreans jumped on.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==
- No way that beast could have ever been navalized .
- The radar and main computer was about as good as the Hornet except for the map, which it did not have. I flew the Hornet sim as part of my evaluation of the two planes and the map was just like the one I had in the Sluf, but digital
- The human interface for both the F-20 and Hornet was way better than the Block 15 Viper I had just gotten out of and I don't think even the Bk25 was equal. Seems that Bk 30 and 40 were close, but still no projected map.
- My flight was cancelled hours before scheduled, so I only have sim time to compare. It seemed like a Viper with two bags and light loadout.
- The avionics were super, and it had a better radar than the pre-Bk 40 Vipers. Took me about 5 minutes to be real comfortable, and data entry/mode selection was in a class by itself. Hornet was almost the same ( and that was part of the lawsuit I was part of as an expert witness).

In cllosing, I feel the plane would have been ideal for all countries that had the F-5 and even some others. Perfect air defense plane with that 2 minute inertial alignment time and the A2A radar modes. Limited loadout and range, but it wasn't intended to fly 400 miles then CAP or bomb and come home unrefueled. It was too pricey, and Vipers were getting cheaper everyday.

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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 16:35

F-CK-1 was pretty much considered a 'dud' although it leveraged the same engineering as FA-50. The F-CK-1 was slightly more expensive due to the run around that Taiwanese government got. But the design easily could have been superior than FA-50 with cheaper engines as a pair than the single F404. Then there is the offshoot AT-5 Yung Yin (Brave Eagle) program. Could AIDC actually end up producing more combat airframes from their design than KAI? It already has a big lead over FA-50, but falls behind when you compare to all of the T-50 family production. AIDC might get a substantial lead once AT-5 deliveries get momentum.

Interesting enough, both won't get near as many orders as Boeing's Red Hawk.

FA-50 has an edge on range and export support. F-CK-1 has overall better total capabilities now, and has it's own unique BVR options. F-CK-1 has a bigger gun, more power available, and goes faster with a load. FA-50 carries slightly more and is on track for serious expansion of precision weapons support. It's a shame AIDC and KAI cannot cooperate considering the similarities. Both use very similar wing sizes and designs. F-CK-1 could use the FA-50's gun to save space. They both chose similar sources for internal components. Maybe they could bulk buy together.
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johnwill

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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 18:52

Very difficult for KAI and AIDC to cooperate due to ROK switching recognition from Taiwan ROC to PRC in 1992.
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saberrider

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Unread post16 Nov 2019, 20:38

Is there any chance to be true that the F 20 don't have AOA limit ? How is possible that?
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Unread post17 Nov 2019, 00:32

Salute!

I did not see any AoA limit function on the flight control system. And it was not a pure FBW system like the Viper or a hybrid system like the Hornet.

The thing was a F-5E on steroids, with cosmic avionics and radar. And that was all.

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