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Kilemall

Supercruise

6 posts in this topic

Been reading an excellent book on Fighters, and was surprised to learn that the F-22 will NOT be the first production supercruising plane (supercruise defined as maintaining Mach 1+ speed without afterburners).

The amazing one to me is the British Lightning (the jet) in 1954.

Here is the wikipedia list-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercruise

It is apparently missing two others, the SU-15 Flagon and the B-58 Hustler.

should have known the Concorde and Tupolev knock-off was.

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Its sorta hard to compare supercruise between the F-22 and the Eurofighter. The Eurofighter is the last of what can best be described as the "old guard" of fighter planes. It is a 20th century design with some 21st century avionics and systems. The F-22 is a wholly modern 21st century fighter.

The reason I bring this up is that the supercruise capabilities of the production EF is slightly misleading. On paper it looks great, it can hit Mach 1.5 without bumping the afterburner - but then you read that it is without weapons. With weapons and everything it can "supercruise" at about Mach 1.2 or 1.3... not all that its cracked up to be, whereas the F-22 reaches somewhere around Mach 1.7 in supercruise.

And that brings us back to the F-22 being a wholly modern fighter both with an advanced wing anf fuselage design, an internal weapon load and other neat little toys. Everyone more or less agrees that the F-22 is without equal in the skies right now.

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While the Hustler was a fine aircraft, I'm skeptical of it's ability to supercruise while carrying a pod.

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The Rafale is said to have supercruise capability with limited payload.

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Nice to compare the speed of these aircrafts, but at what altitude? Probabely many jet fighters are capable of "supercruising" at high altitude. However, it is far more difficult to do it at low alt, where the higher air density causes a great increase in drag.

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Nice to compare the speed of these aircrafts' date=' but at what altitude? Probabely many jet fighters are capable of "supercruising" at high altitude. However, it is far more difficult to do it at low alt, where the higher air density causes a great increase in drag.[/quote']

Air superiority fighters rarely venture low onto the deck.

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