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Hi - I know that the F-15 has a kill ratio of more than 100 to nil. So it must be pretty good. But I am used to playing the F-14 and the F-18. I just started playing the F-15 for fun and damn - fast, incredible acceleration and maneuverability. Basically way more impressive than the F-14 or F-18 by far! Is it just because the modelling on this airplane is terrible and OP or is the F-15 really that good in real life?

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It was designed as an air superiority fighter, famously ''not a pound for air to ground'' (not entirely true, but the philosophy behind it). It was originally designed in response to the grossly exaggerated rumors around the MiG-25, so was overkill for anything reasonable at the time.

 

As for its kill rate, that has more to do with very favorable combat conditions as opposed to any overwhelming technological advantage. They've not really been thrown into any pitched battles against peer aircraft, as is the case with many other designs, afaik, and have not been as widely exported as the F-16 for example. Tldr, I wouldn't put much stock in the ''numbers'' alone.

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The F-18 is slow, beating it in acceleration isn't that big of an accomplishment. The F-14 currently out performs the F-15 in DCS. The 15 has a slight edge in transonic acceleration but to really see this you need both fighters to be clean. Above M1.2 or so the F-14 just walks away. The 15 is also slower than the F-16 by a fair amount until M1.4-1.5. In terms of maneuverability the rest of the teen series can keep up, or at low speed out turn the F-15. The 15 is easier to fly than the 14 though, so it might feel more agile because of that. It also doesn't have the F-18's g limiter. The Eagle isn't bad at all but it doesn't totally outperform the other DCS aircraft.

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The F-18 is slow, beating it in acceleration isn't that big of an accomplishment. The F-14 currently out performs the F-15 in DCS. The 15 has a slight edge in transonic acceleration but to really see this you need both fighters to be clean. Above M1.2 or so the F-14 just walks away. The 15 is also slower than the F-16 by a fair amount until M1.4-1.5. In terms of maneuverability the rest of the teen series can keep up, or at low speed out turn the F-15. The 15 is easier to fly than the 14 though, so it might feel more agile because of that. It also doesn't have the F-18's g limiter. The Eagle isn't bad at all but it doesn't totally outperform the other DCS aircraft.

 

Actually, from several DACM I've done in DCS, I've found the F-15C maneuvering at low speed very good.

(Between several different types, each with 2 short-range AAMs, and each with the respective fuel quantity for roughly 4 -5 minutes on full afterburner.)

 

At the least the F-15's pitch rates are more impressive than the MiG-29's (because of its AOA / G limiter), and maybe a little bit higher than the F-14's.

(It seemed to move its nose around with more freedom of movement than the MiG.)

 

So regarding low speed maneuverability, are you refering to the F-15's sustained turn rate ?

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So regarding low speed maneuverability, are you refering to the F-15's sustained turn rate ?

Kind of a combination of sustained turn rate and how the jet feels at high AoA. I haven't measured the performance directly in that regime, was going more by feel, so I could be off a little bit. The F-14 and F-18 feel more lively to me going slow, the 16 suffers a bit because of the AoA limit but it's easy to toss around.

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F-15 is very good at low speeds, you just have to get used to handling it. In fact, IIRC, Lex was doing some testing and found that in DCS anyway, the F-15 has a higher max sustained AoA (pretty sure IRL its the opposite, as our hornet FM is not fully accurate in this regard). It can pull a lot of alpha. IMHO, its just behind the hornet for the title of the best gunfighter in DCS.

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Consider too that the Tomcat didn't always have the super power turbines, the TF-31's made it a bit underpowered compared to the Viper and Eagle. The Eagle on the other hand, was built from day one to have truly superior thrust to weight ratio, a core design goal. To put it simply, the Eagle was intended to be the F-22 Raptor of the late 1970's, where the Tomcat was meant to be... well, like a mini-AWACs that could launch AMRAAMs before the AMRAAM was a thing, meant to protect the fleet from Backfire bombers and such. A bit of a different animal, with slightly different goals.

 

But for a big furball, the Eagle is pretty awesome!

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the F-15 has a higher max sustained AoA (pretty sure IRL its the opposite, as our hornet FM is not fully accurate in this regard)

how can fa-18 sustain higher aoa when it is a much draggier and lower twr design?

better authority at higher aoa is not to be conflated with the ability to maintain high aoa

Edited by probad

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...the Tomcat was meant to be... well, like a mini-AWACs...

What are you talking about?! The Tomcat was the result of VFX program for the USN which called for and delivered air superiority full-fledged fighter on par with any teens in a dogfight.

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Consider too that the Tomcat didn't always have the super power turbines, the TF-31's made it a bit underpowered compared to the Viper and Eagle. The Eagle on the other hand, was built from day one to have truly superior thrust to weight ratio, a core design goal. To put it simply, the Eagle was intended to be the F-22 Raptor of the late 1970's, where the Tomcat was meant to be... well, like a mini-AWACs that could launch AMRAAMs before the AMRAAM was a thing, meant to protect the fleet from Backfire bombers and such. A bit of a different animal, with slightly different goals.

 

But for a big furball, the Eagle is pretty awesome!

 

You mean the TF-30.

 

Besides, the Tomcat was designed as fighter also, and not just an interceptor.

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how can fa-18 sustain higher aoa when it is a much draggier and lower twr design?

better authority at higher aoa is not to be conflated with the ability to maintain high aoa

 

Thanks to its LERX structures ?

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What are you talking about?! The Tomcat was the result of VFX program for the USN which called for and delivered air superiority full-fledged fighter on par with any teens in a dogfight.

 

I was trying to make a point about why there are significant differences between the Eagle and Tomcat despite being made in the same country, both for air superiority. One focused on power and agility, the other on radar and ultra long range missiles.

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F-14 is best American fighters there is for agility, maneuverability, speed, firepower, radar, strike capabilities etc etc.

 

But you paid for that as well in time and money.

 

The "10x to 0" Ratio is questionable, but F-15 has always been in numbers advantage instead technology, more F-15's against less numbers, and less dangerous enemies. The whole "we have better tech why we win" is just propaganda, as it is like everyone else "to numbers we trust" but oddities were that enemy didn't bring the numbers to game.

 

If F-15 would go against F-14, especially latest ones from both, the eagle would be in trouble.

 

But if enemy comes in 3:1 or 5:1 ratio, it doesn't matter much what you have as you will eventually run out of space to do anything.

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Superior record comes as much from superior crews and training as much as from a superior airframe.

 

More from superior numbers. 6 vs 2 is not a change that you lose. 12 vs 4 is same. 16 vs 6 again same...

 

You go by the numbers, not by your superior tech or superior training or superior airframe.

 

If you have one enemy somewhere, you do not send one soldier one by one there, you send a squad there. If there is enemy squad, you send platoon, if enemy has platoon, you send company. You maintain 3:1-6-9:1 ratio depending terrain and enemy capabilities. You never go 1 vs 1.

 

So many war stories doesn't mention those who stood with you, supported and assisted to give you the victory by numbers.

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how can fa-18 sustain higher aoa when it is a much draggier and lower twr design?

better authority at higher aoa is not to be conflated with the ability to maintain high aoa

the hornet has the benefit of a digital fly-by-wire flight control system. It can hold higher alpha because the computer will adjust the surfaces to keep it flying. Eagle and Tomcat on the other hand, are dependent on the pilot's reactions, but a good pilot can still make 'em dance.

If F-15 would go against F-14, especially latest ones from both, the eagle would be in trouble.

Which is exactly why the Iranians fly Tomcats instead of Eagles. They did a fly off, and the Shah was more impressed by the 'cat.

Edited by 9thHunt
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on par with any teens in a dogfight.

hunh? there were no teens series before the f-14. in many ways the f-14 is something of a 3++ gen aircraft.

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More from superior numbers. 6 vs 2 is not a change that you lose. 12 vs 4 is same. 16 vs 6 again same...

 

You go by the numbers, not by your superior tech or superior training or superior airframe.

 

If you have one enemy somewhere, you do not send one soldier one by one there, you send a squad there. If there is enemy squad, you send platoon, if enemy has platoon, you send company. You maintain 3:1-6-9:1 ratio depending terrain and enemy capabilities. You never go 1 vs 1.

 

So many war stories doesn't mention those who stood with you, supported and assisted to give you the victory by numbers.

 

You think the Israelis spend a lot of time with superior numbers?

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hunh? there were no teens series before the f-14. in many ways the f-14 is something of a 3++ gen aircraft.

 

Thanks for reminder. I thought F-111 is from the future ;)

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the hornet has the benefit of a digital fly-by-wire flight control system. It can hold higher alpha because the computer will adjust the surfaces to keep it flying. Eagle and Tomcat on the other hand, are dependent on the pilot's reactions, but a good pilot can still make 'em dance.

 

Which is exactly why the Iranians fly Tomcats instead of Eagles. They did a fly off, and the Shah was more impressed by the 'cat.

People always forget that back then the F-15 only had Sparrows for "bvr". The Iranians seem to have utilised the Phoenix with great success, so it's hard to say that they picked the wrong bird.

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...

 

Which is exactly why the Iranians fly Tomcats instead of Eagles. They did a fly off, and the Shah was more impressed by the 'cat.

 

Also because at the time, there were border overflights by MiG-25's from the USSR, and the F-14 / AIM-54 combo proved the best interception system the US was offering.

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For air combat F-15 is arguably the best among F-ten serie.

 

It's even at disadvantage in DCS right now being low fidelity FC3 model so it has no decreased drag for fuselage low drag integrated pylons - just full drag penalty for each missile, it has underwhelming radar detection ranges and missing radar modes.

 

And it's modeled as late 1980/early 1990 model basic MSIP II (like F-14B, Su-27S, MiG-29) so it's missing Link16 datalink and JHMCS compared to F-16 & F/A-18 modeled as ~2005 variants.

Edited by bies
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For air combat F-15 is arguably the best among F-ten serie.

 

It's even at disadvantage in DCS right now being low fidelity FC3 model so it has no decreased drag for fuselage low drag integrated pylons - just full drag penalty, it has underwhelming radar and missing radar modes.

 

And it's modeled as late 1980/early 1990 model basic MSIP II (like F-14B, Su-27S, MiG-29) so it's missing Link16 datalink and JHMCS compared to F-16 & F/A-18 modeled as ~2005 variants.

 

... that's a debatable claim.

 

Why is it better than the F-14B, for instance ?

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... that's a debatable claim.

 

Why is it better than the F-14B, for instance ?

 

Digital radar with very stable lock, very easy to use and interpret in complicated dynamic situation with many enemy and allied planes in the air.

NCTR IFF so independent BVR RoE.

9G maneuverability.

Trained E-3 Sentry close cooperation.

Far better T/W than F-14A and there were only 70 F-14B compared to 700 F-14A.

 

That's why during Desert Storm Eagles scored nearly all air kills when Tomcats didn't. It was more complicated than that and involved USAF vs. Navy rivalry and integration with joint command, but still. Really interesting topic BTW when you go into details.

 

Long story short Eagle was crucial for USAF and Tomcat was just one of many assets for Navy that's why Eagles were constantly receiving newest digital toys and very good engines when Tomcats being neglected.

With it's analog avionics Tomcat were great to solve simple problems during Navy cover interceptions over the see but it would be very problematic to use them in BVR under any RoE.

 

Both were beautiful birds but really different roles, Tomcat for long range BVR interceptions in simple RoE, Eagle for air combat against enemy fighters of symmetrical opponent like USSR in Europe.

Edited by bies
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Digital radar with very stable lock, very easy to use and interpret in complicated dynamic situation with many enemy and allied planes in the air.

NCTR IFF so independent BVR RoE.

9G maneuverability.

Trained E-3 Sentry close cooperation.

Far better T/W than F-14A and there were only 70 F-14B compared to 700 F-14A.

 

That's why during Desert Storm Eagles scored nearly all air kills when Tomcats didn't. It was more complicated than that and involved USAF vs. Navy rivalry and integration with joint command, but still. Really interesting topic BTW when you go into details.

 

Long story short Eagle was crucial for USAF and Tomcat was just one of many assets for Navy that's why Eagles were constantly receiving newest digital toys and very good engines when Tomcats being neglected.

With it's analog avionics Tomcat were great to solve simple problems during Navy cover interceptions over the see but it would be very problematic to use them in BVR under any RoE.

 

Both were beautiful birds but really different roles, Tomcat for long range BVR interceptions in simple RoE, Eagle for air combat against enemy fighters of symmetrical opponent like USSR in Europe.

 

Very good and valid points there.

 

However one feels that because of those circumstances at Desert Storm, the Tomcat was somewhat denied the opportunity to show its full potential...

 

But could the Eagle's radar (from that era) detect and lock onto a given target, from as far as the Tomcat's AWG-9 ?

Besides, neither the Eagle's AIM-7 or AIM-120 had the reach of the Tomcat's AIM-154.

(Ok, I know the AIM-120 is more maneuverable and reliable against fighters.)

 

Regarding 9 G's and T/W, I remember reading that, Eagle pilots admited that even the F-14A could give them problems when fighting low and slow.

 

Was the F-14 and E-2 Hawkeye coordination / performance that much below the F-15 and E-3 Sentry ?

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