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Old 08-07-2020, 08:45 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Eurofighter double vertical stabilizers

What was the reason behind resignation from double vertical stabilizers on Eurofighter?

Some EF prototypes had double stabilizers. And final EF has somewhat restricted high AoA regime due to having single vertical stab.
Plus double canted stabs will give smaller radar reflection from the side.
Even drag of one bigger and wider stabilizer could be bigger.

It was due to financial reasons or there was some aerodynamics behind this decision?
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:01 AM   #2
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It would be interesting to know why the final version went with the single stabilizer but for aesthetic reasons, I prefer the form and shape it is currently.
Prettiest design of modern jet fighter from my perspective.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bies View Post
And final EF has somewhat restricted high AoA regime due to having single vertical stab.
Interesting, haven't heard that so far. How exactly is the EF limited in AoA?
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:54 AM   #4
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Interesting, haven't heard that so far. How exactly is the EF limited in AoA?

As far as I understand it, the location of the canards is far enough forward compared to the wing that they don't generate your typical delta wing vortexes all that efficiently, unlike e.g. the Rafale. That means that at high AoA the wing isn't as efficient as other designs in generating lift, making the aircraft AoA-limited kind of like the Viper (but probably better than that).
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:59 AM   #5
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All F-16, EF, Rafale, Gripen are somewhat limited in max AoA available due to single vertical stabilizer which is in fuselage shadow when AoA is greater than some 25-35°.
(Unlike i.e. Hornet, F-15, Su-27, F-22, F-35 with wide double vertical stabilizers remaining controllable at much greater AoAs.)


EF - unlike the others - at the initial stage of development has double stabilizers, idk what was the reason of abandoning that solution later on, except for financial reasons.

Last edited by bies; 08-07-2020 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:31 AM   #6
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/-----------------------/-----------------------------/--------------------------/
Ok, I've received the answer somewhere else.
It was due to financial reasons. Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm developed tail section with double vertical stabilizers allowing extreme AoA capabilities but due to financial cuts modified Tornado tail section had been used.

Other than that Germans wanted pure air to air platform when the British wanted multirole and they were less interested in extreme agility.
/-----------------/-----------------/------------------/

Quote:
This decision was first explored on the ACA / EAP.

Warton (BAE) did extensive trade studies on one versus two tails in 1982 and felt the performance benefit to the ACA configuration was minimal and outweighed by additional weight and compexity. High alpha capability was an MBB obsession and not a major concern for BAE or the RAF.

For EAP the initial plan was MBB doing centre fuselage and vertical tails, and AIT the rear fuselage, but then BAE had to take these over when the other partner nations cut funding and went with largely Tornado rear fuselage including a single Tornado fin. It worked well enough on EAP.

When EFA design was finalised, two versus one tails was re-examined again, but the same conclusion was reached as before. For the given requirements, low drag and weight and adequate stability was the right solution.

Last edited by bies; 08-07-2020 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Eaglewings View Post
Prettiest design of modern jet fighter from my perspective.
couldn't say it any better.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bies View Post
/-----------------------/-----------------------------/--------------------------/
Ok, I've received the answer somewhere else.
It was due to financial reasons. Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm developed tail section with double vertical stabilizers allowing extreme AoA capabilities but due to financial cuts modified Tornado tail section had been used.

Other than that Germans wanted pure air to air platform when the British wanted multirole and they were less interested in extreme agility.
/-----------------/-----------------/------------------/
Interesting, thanks
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:24 PM   #9
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I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general more wings mean more drag. I.e. two small stabilizers are more draggy than a big one.
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:56 PM   #10
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There would also be a slight weight penalty too, as the double stabs would not be half the length of the single, but a bit more. Also, instead of a single mounting point, you'd have two mounting points, requiring two areas of the airframe with extra strength and reinforcement.

As beneficial as high angle of attack flight would be to a fighter, I think the stealth benefits would be of greater interest... but then maybe it's not that big a difference in RCS to be a big consideration. Especially since the RCS isn't the same from all aspects.
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