F-4E vs MiG-21Bis - Page 3 - ED Forums
 


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Old 08-25-2017, 01:33 AM   #21
streakeagle
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Most of the charts and stats showing how F-4s were inferior to MiGs in turn performance used hard wing F-4 data, which is fair to a point given that only the E, F, G and S variants ever had slats. The slatted F-4 traded zero lift drag and some weight to make the aircraft safer and more capable of high AoA flight including a reduction of induced drag. Top speed, level flight acceleration, and sustained climb rate all suffered a bit. The USAF felt the safety and maneuverability gains far outweighed the performance costs of the weight and drag. The USN disagreed until they finally partially slatted the F-4S.


A slatted F-4E vs a MiG-21bis is a much different fight than an F-4B/C/D vs a MiG-21F-13. The F-4E is the turn fighter and the MiG-21bis the energy fighter for their matchup. The roles are opposite in the hard wing vs MiG-21F-13 fight.


The truth is that the F-4 and MiG-21 are fairly evenly matched when comparing specific excess power and turn performance. The F-4 has a lot more endurance with better radar and generally better weapons. The MiG-21 is much smaller/harder to see. As restricted as F-4 visibility from the cockpit was compared to bubble canopy types, it was still much better than the MiG-21. If it is a 1vs1 fight starting from beyond visual range with no ground control support, I would bet on the F-4 if pilot skill was about equal.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:59 PM   #22
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Here is the quick overlay I did. F-4E source of info posted below. Data is from the F-5E manual, F-4E information from the posted diagram as well as TO 1F-4E-1, MiG-21bis data compiled from the operating instructions and the MiG-21F-13 data from an EM plot off google from what I think are one of the USAF HAVE tests.

It is an interesting note that the MiG-21MF that fought in Vietnam was essentially a MiG-21bis without special afterburner. The popular publicized anecdote is that pilots did not enjoy it since it lacked maneuverability.


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Old 08-25-2017, 04:40 PM   #23
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The drag and weight for the F-4 is fairly close to 4xAIM-9 and 4XAIM7. The MiG-21bis is clean. The F-4 will do even better with combat weight rather than takeoff weight. Its fuel weighs a lot more than its weapons. Whereas the MiG-21 doesn't shed as much of its total weight at 1/2 internal fuel.

What that turn chart doesn't show is the power-to-weight advantage of the MiG-21bis, particularly with the bonus afterburner engaged.

The sustained performance for all of the aircraft on the chart is fairly similar across the typical combat speeds of Mach 0.4 to Mach 0.9.

If it is a pure turn fight, the performance is close enough that initial position, pilot skill, and tactics should determine the outcome rather than the specific model of the aircraft, which has been true throughout almost all the history of air warfare unless one side had a huge technology advantage.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtPappy View Post
Here is the quick overlay I did. F-4E source of info posted below. Data is from the F-5E manual, F-4E information from the posted diagram as well as TO 1F-4E-1, MiG-21bis data compiled from the operating instructions and the MiG-21F-13 data from an EM plot off google from what I think are one of the USAF HAVE tests.

It is an interesting note that the MiG-21MF that fought in Vietnam was essentially a MiG-21bis without special afterburner. The popular publicized anecdote is that pilots did not enjoy it since it lacked maneuverability.


Nice post!

It seems the slatted F-4E is a pretty good turner, better than I expected. Still not what the 4th gen fighters deliver (of course), but pretty good.

-Nick
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:50 PM   #25
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Yeah I only remember that he had to count to four before firing, no specific details. I was just curious if this is what will happen in DCS or we will get other version of plane/radar/missile
It's covered in the -34-1-1, section 2, AIM-7 employment. AIM-7Es needed 4 seconds from radar lock to launch to allow for the radar speedgate info to settle; if the missile was launched immediately after lock on it would probably not acquire the target doppler ("speedgate") and not guide. AIM-7Fs only needed a 2 second delay between lock and launch.

We were trained to call "Locked, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four SHOOT" on the intercom when going for a Fox 1. In the heat of battle, it was amazing how fast you could count - but if you didn't give the missile the required settling time the shot was not valid during training (you scored each shot during the debrief via tape recorders and gun camera video).

When employed correctly, the AIM-7E and F were pretty good missiles WVR; I shot two of them during WSEP deployments and both hit the target drone (Ryan BQM-34 Firebee); first was a BVR head on shot that hit the drone dead on, all we saw was the radar break lock and some smoke where the drone had been hit. The second shot was a min range "snap shot" following a botched intercept; that AIM-7E came off the jet, did a hard turn towards the drone, and speared it dead center - nothing left but the drone's recovery chute and some fragments (no warhead during practice shots - just a telemetry pack to measure miss distance and confirm that the fuze was triggered).

The range people were a bit irritated when we destroyed the drone - the AIM-7 was supposed to miss so the drone could be re-used. Often a 4-ship would all try to shoot at the same drone; if the first guy whacked it then the rest of the flight was pissed!

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Old 08-27-2017, 05:45 PM   #26
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Why didn't the radar lock AFTER the doppler delta was acquired?

Why does the radar even speak of a lock if the elevation, azimuth and speed delta's are still not filled in?
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #27
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Why didn't the radar lock AFTER the doppler delta was acquired?

Why does the radar even speak of a lock if the elevation, azimuth and speed delta's are still not filled in?
Remember this is early 70s tech; the hamsters were slower back then.

Seriously, the radar had to establish track in azimuth and elevation, then determine range and range rate. Then pass that info to the missile so it would know what to look for and where to look for it. All that takes time.

Crude by today's standards, but it worked.

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Old 08-27-2017, 07:50 PM   #28
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But why did it give a lock tone to the pilot, before the variables were completely filled?
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:36 PM   #29
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But why did it give a lock tone to the pilot, before the variables were completely filled?
Probably so the WSO would know the radar was working on it and not continue trying to lock the target for those 4 seconds.

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Old 08-28-2017, 02:44 AM   #30
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But why did it give a lock tone to the pilot, before the variables were completely filled?
There may be some confusion here on how a radar like the APQ-120 is used air-to-air. The WSO is responsible for searching his area of responsibiity (helped by GCI if available). When a contact is seen, the WSO locks the radar on (the radar establishes Az/El and range track) and determines if the radar track is a hostile and needs to be engaged. Meanwhile, if the AIM-7s are loaded and tuned (tuned to recognize the CW freq of the ownship radar), the information on the target being tracked is passed to the missile - it needs Head Aim (where to look), English Bias (what the target is doing relative to the shooter) and accurate Vc (relative velocity) so the missile seeker can breakout the target it is supposed to track and engage from all the other clutter.

The pilot, meanwhile, may be watching the scope, and see the radar go from search to track; if the target is in parameters for a shot the LOCK/SHOOT lights on the canopy bow will flash -but the missile may not be ready yet; that is where the 4 seconds comes in; it was called "settling time" and really means the time for the radar to accurately establish the Vc of the target and pass it on to the missile. Bad (or no) Vc, and the missile is a blind ballistic rocket that can't find the intended target.

There is no "locked on" tone (unlike the later F-16 with its female "LOCKED LOCKED" annunciation), the WSO will tell the pilot what is going on and when the requirements to shoot have been met.

So the pilot maneuvers to the best position he can and calls out the bandits position, if the WSO doesn't already have a lock he goes head down and gets it, then tells the pilot when to shoot.

This all required a LOT of crew coordination and training together; a good pilot/WSO team were unbeatable; a bad team were hopeless.

One of my best fights my pilot and I were the solo bandit on a 2 v 1 (all F-4s). We defeated the shots at the merge then proceeded to sequentially defeat and shoot both of the attacking F-4s when they tried to engage us; my pilot and I had a rythm going where we pressed one of the other F4s until he was out of energy while watching his wingman trying to get into the fight, then switching to the wingman and engaging him until his leader got energy and tried to re-enter. The debrief was pretty ugly for the 2-ship...

It wasn't always that easy!

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Last edited by Kirk66; 08-28-2017 at 02:47 AM.
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