Author Topic: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968  (Read 20329 times)

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2018, 01:59:24 AM »
Very interesting and probably belongs in another thread but I would love to find out more about the FJ-4/F-86K combo concept.

There were CAC plans for a four ADEN evolved Avon Sabre
What I know about it I got from a former co-worker who was at NAA-Columbus from the early 1950's to when they closed.

That CAC four ADEN concept sounds nice.  Got any drawings?

Would that have been a FJ-4 fuselage with F-86K wings or the other way around Evan.  I had a plan to put the FJ-4 wings on an F-86D/K for a project something like this below. I was going to change the wings from what you can see here.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2018, 02:55:47 AM »
Probably a modified F-86K nose mated to an FJ-4 fuselage and wings.  The intake would need to be modified to match the airflow of the J65 instead of the airflow required by the J47.  The nose probably would have been positioned so as to give adequate over-the-nose visibility for carrier landings, too.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2018, 05:38:24 AM »
Actually, taking my last post a little further, one could conceivably have the Saab J-35F improved version be selected under this scenario.  In the real world, this first flew flight in Dec 1961 and entered operational service with the Flygvapnet  in Jun 1964.  Therefore, maybe have an interim use of J-35Ds followed by the definitive J-35F.  This improved version still had the cannon (albeit down to one) and had improved electronics etc.though one could possibly return the second cannon just as Denmark did for their real world Saab 35XD variants which were based upon the J-35F.

On the missile side, one might as well go with a mix of AIM-9 and even GAR-11A/Rb.27 in the SARH/BVR role just as the Swedes did.
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Offline M.A.D

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2019, 04:10:50 AM »
So Logan, can I ask what conclusion you end up with in regards to the Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968?
Very keen to know your conclusion!! :P


M.A.D

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2019, 09:40:39 AM »
Hey there, M.A.D, I don't know that I'd say I came to a "conclusion" per se. That's partially why I never posted a follow-up.

I think the cheapest, deadliest, no fuss, no muss option is the F8U Crusader. The guns weren't as good as the 30mm DEFAs of its competitors, but the Sidewinder is king during this period and it gets it out of the box on day 1. If you don't care about what happens after the debut of the F-4E in 1968, then it's probably what I'd go with. Also, while I obviously have no empirical evidence to support this, months of reading along these lines lead me to believe that it was probably the most maneuverable of any of the supersonic fighters on this list. Also, it has great endurance for its size and an air to air refueling probe, something most contemporaries lacked, certainly in this timeframe (again, we're talking about out-of-the-box configurations).



The most proven option has got to be the Mirage III. This is the one you pick if you don't want to hear any criticism. It won the skies in '67 and continues to give a good account of itself in Pakistani service today. The guns are great and it eventually can pack a pair of Sidewinders, too. I don't think its limitations are properly appreciated, however. The R.530 in any of its forms is totally useless and should be left in the box it came in. The Atar engine was tough, but guzzled gas horribly when afterburner was on, so range could be limited in practical configurations. Sidewinder integration came later (with the Swiss and Australians, I believe), the Shafrir-1 was awful, and no matter what you're only packing two. The Mirage III is reliable, effective, and proven. I think the same can be said of the MiG-21 in the same period, though it has its own issues.

My secret favorite is the Draken. I love it. I love the looks and the capabilities. I think it may be the best of the three, too. It's just such a wildcard, though. It isn't combat-proven like the others and the early radars had many problems. Still, it can carry 4 Sidewinders with the fewest issues, probably has the best range and endurance, and the highest speed in practical conditions. It should be able to control the fight. It has the good 30mm DEFA cannons, too. It's mostly pluses, but there are a worrying number of question marks, too. I still suspect the F8U could beat it in a knife fight, though, because even a cranked delta is still a delta wing. And, in the early days of radar and AAMs that we're talking about, things are likely to be a knife fight, so once you're in a merge, I'm not convinced it would beat the F8U most of the time.



If you told me you had a squadron of F8Us, a squadron of Mirage IIIs, and a squadron of Drakens that we time-traveled to a winner-takes-all fight and I had to bet my life savings on who I thought would be the winner, I'd pick the F8U. As a weapon system (which was the point of this), I trust it the most.

So, with all this discussion and the benefit of hindsight, that's the one to go with, right? Well, no. Despite my misgivings about AAMs, I have really come to respect early AIM-9B Sidewinders, despite their serious issues. You can hang the Shafrir-1, the Sparrow III, the R.530, and the whole Falcon family as far as I'm concerned, but the AIM-9B was a game-changer. If you wanted a squadron of the best air superiority fighters from 1956-1968, I think the US Navy has the right answers. Go with the most advanced F8U Crusaders you can get your hands on until the F-4B Phantom makes its debut, then just load it up with as many AIM-9Bs as it can carry and send it out to dominate the skies.



I think Kelmola has it right. Do you need guns? Yes. Is it worth giving up a radar, an RIO, a J79, 600 miles of range, 300 mph, and four AAMs to get those guns? Hard to say, but probably not.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2019, 08:24:20 AM »
Yeah nice work Logan , and thanks for your informative and indepth response!!

I must admit, my money was on either the Crusader or the Draken, so I comforted by your analogy and conclusion! (Ironically, as a kid, I ignorantly use to overlook and simply skim past the Vought-Chance F8U entries in my vast collection of military books, so much so and to my detriment, so as to overlooked it's exceptional Vietnam War combat record  :-[ 😞)

I asked for your conclusion for two reason - firstly Id appriciate your analogy and your conclusion; secondly, this topics findings I saw as important and influential on the Air Superiority Fighter I would include in my own Alternative ADF ORBAT backstory for the given time frame; but then CiTrus90 did/is doing me some amazing profiles of Dassault/GAF Avon Mirage IIIO's which I can't reject, and am looking forward in sharing with everyone!! :P


M.A.D

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2019, 04:12:34 AM »
Now, the F8U has its own issues compared to the Mirage III and Draken. The biggest one, I think, is the ammunition feed problems that the 20mm Colts could encounter, something the Mirage and Draken don't suffer from with their 30mm DEFAs. The second is that it could be theoretically the slowest of the three. Now, the F8U beat the other two into service, so it was faster then, obviously, and some models of the F8U were faster than the Draken until it got the RM6C in 1963-64. I think in practical use, it would be no slower given fuel & afterburner concerns, especially with the Mirage III.

It's important to remember that the F8U only got 4 kills in Vietnam with guns. The rest were with the AIM-9, which shows the importance of that equipment to the weapon system. Speaking of, while the F8U could carry four AIM-9s—something the Mirage could not boast—there were issues with that setup and it was situational. I've not read of any such issues for the Draken.



Another potential issue is the radar. The USN never thought much of the F8U's radar, especially not before the F-8E model. Fortunately, I don't think much of the Cyrano radar or the early Draken radars, either. I think by the time the Draken radar is superior and ready for prime time, the USN has moved on from the Crusader and is all-in on the Phantom II, which has a radar better than anything else on the list by a wide margin.

Finally, for use in outside scenarios, I think the Crusader has the least growth potential. If you still want to be using these into the '80s and '90s, the F-8 will take you there, but you're probably going to wish you had Mirages or Drakens, instead. That conversation returns to the Phantom II, though. If we're talking about the long-term, the F-4B is still the one you want.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2019, 01:17:57 PM »
I don't know how it would affect upgrades, but how about replacing the F-8's J57 with the smaller and lighter j79?

Offline finsrin

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2019, 01:38:33 PM »
I don't know how it would affect upgrades, but how about replacing the F-8's J57 with the smaller and lighter j79?
F-104, F-4 afterburner vanes in back and bit larger intake otta do it.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2019, 02:07:56 PM »
Not even sure you'd need the larger intake.

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2019, 04:19:31 PM »
Speaking of, while the F8U could carry four AIM-9s—something the Mirage could not boast

I've been wondering about that.  What was stopping the Mirage III from carrying more than two Sidewinders?   I'd have thought it was relatively easy to put a double Sidewinder rail on the centre hard point...

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2019, 10:36:24 PM »
What was stopping the Mirage III from carrying more than two Sidewinders?

Nothing technical that I'm aware of. I've often wondered the same thing.

I wonder, though, if the Mirage III's short endurance in afterburner made it a moot point not worth attempting. Sidewinders implies ACM. ACM implies afterburner. Afterburner implies bingo fuel. Adding two more AIM-9s worth of drag wouldn't help that situation. Just a guess on my part, though.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2019, 02:41:55 AM »
I think it was about the endurance.  If you think about it, the Mirage III was really an interceptor that had a secondary role as a fighter.  Its primary intercept would have gone something like:  race to enemy (burning fuel like crazy) - upon identification maybe fire a R.530 in the face with the idea being to either bring down a bomber or make the other guys at least go on the defensive - merge and dogfight (using up even more fuel) - maybe get 1 or 2 shots in - bingo fuel lift goes off - hope one can extricate from fur ball - head home and fight another day.
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2019, 03:28:06 AM »
That was my thought as well, Greg.

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2019, 12:30:57 PM »
I don't know how it would affect upgrades, but how about replacing the F-8's J57 with the smaller and lighter j79?

Hence my mention in Reply #12 elmayerle regarding the Vought V-1000, powered[/i] by J79-GE-17 turbojet; and because it land-based, add a couple of the under-wing weapons pylons, as originally proposed by Vought-Chance.


M.A.D

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2019, 02:27:00 PM »
Actually, according to the Specialty Press book on the F-8, LTV offered the second wing pylons to the US Navy but it was not taken up.

Side thought on the F-8E(FN), what if the French had been willing to pay for a bit more French equipment and replaced the 20mm cannons with two DEFA 30mm cannons?

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2019, 09:57:06 PM »
I'm going to be replacing the Colts on my RAN F-8E & RAM SLUF's with 30mm ADEN cannon ... we did it to the F-86F ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2019, 11:22:23 PM »
Side thought on the F-8E(FN), what if the French had been willing to pay for a bit more French equipment and replaced the 20mm cannons with two DEFA 30mm cannons?


I thought of that, too. The Israelis had Douglas do just that with the A-4N (and did it themselves to the A-4H). I can't imagine France couldn't have done so if they'd really tried. It mustn't have been that much of a priority for them.

The USN did use pylons on the F-8, just not as commonly as the USMC.



U.S. Navy Aircraft History: A Brief History of F8U Crusader Armament

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2019, 06:05:37 AM »
I'm going to be replacing the Colts on my RAN F-8E & RAM SLUF's with 30mm ADEN cannon ... we did it to the F-86F ;)


Somewhat like my 'What If' RAN Vought/Short V-384 (profiled by Jonesthetank:-* :-* :-*



M.A.D
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 06:08:28 AM by M.A.D »

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2019, 07:37:22 AM »
I'm going to be replacing the Colts on my RAN F-8E & RAM SLUF's with 30mm ADEN cannon ... we did it to the F-86F ;)


Somewhat like my 'What If' RAN Vought/Short V-384 (profiled by Jonesthetank:-* :-* :-*



M.A.D

Very! :smiley: :smiley:
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2019, 11:27:24 AM »
When I created my F-8K for the RN FAA, I posited that they would have substituted twin 30mm ADENS for the 20mm cannons.  I used "scabbed" on gun pods, from a Sea Harrier:




Offline tankmodeler

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2019, 01:34:11 AM »
I'm going to be replacing the Colts on my RAN F-8E & RAM SLUF's with 30mm ADEN cannon ... we did it to the F-86F ;)
Mind, the SLUFs do use the M-61 Vulcan, not the 20mm Colts, so the interior space, etc., may not lend itself to changing over to the Adens. Not sure why you'd want to if you have the Vulcan in place. It's a lot better gun than the 20mm Colt.

Paul

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2019, 02:41:57 AM »
Actually, Paul, that depends on the A-7. The A-7A, A-7B, and converted A-7P all used the old twin Colts, so I see no reason they wouldn't be entirely suitable for ADENs.

Cheers,

Logan

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #73 on: January 12, 2019, 04:11:03 AM »
Actually, Paul, that depends on the A-7. The A-7A, A-7B, and converted A-7P all used the old twin Colts, so I see no reason they wouldn't be entirely suitable for ADENs.



As seen here - with guns on both sides and different appearance:




Vs one with M61:



Mind you, there were proposals/studies of A-7s with 30mm cannon, such as these:



All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Kelmola

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Re: Best Air Superiority Fighter, 1956-1968
« Reply #74 on: January 12, 2019, 05:27:34 AM »
They were considering fitting the SLUF with the BRRRRRRTTTT? :-*

Though in a pinch, the Oerlikon KCA will do (uses the same catridge, only with different priming).