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Is taking 3 fuel tanks on a F-16 a good idea?


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3 hours ago, Frederf said:

1 fuel tank: dogfight training since empty C/L is approximately the same as clean without having to jettison the tank like you would do in combat

2 fuel tank: 99% of combat missions, AA and AG

3 fuel tank: can be used for long range ferry

 

Of course there are always exceptions and use what is needed for the mission but above is common. In AA combat it is two tanks when outside of a range and zero tanks when threatened inside that range. Taxpayer will buy more. Goal of most engagements is to win BVR with good positioning which takes 4-5G at most. Tanks stay on.

 

Three tanks means no ALQ which isn't so good. Right now we don't have it. Also drag index is quite high with this configuration. The extra range is rarely worth it especially at higher speeds.  You might have an extra 25% fuel but the drag makes it worth maybe 10% more. At lower economy speeds the extra fuel gives range and the drag increase is not such a big deal.

 

Ah, thank you. I stand corrected. I'm gonna go fix all my custom loadouts tonight.

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On 5/25/2021 at 3:24 AM, G.J.S said:


The F-16 (for myself anyway) is one aircraft that exhibits good persistence, two bags being good for a very long run.

You really don’t need to be firewalling the throttle all the time chap.

 

As for checking tank contents, look for this panel down by the HSI . . . 
 

you can turn the selector and select a tank group, and look at the fuel gauge on the right for the readout on the needle.
 

8D9A6A04-0190-426F-BE51-39592EAF493A.jpeg

 

That selector knob should be part of a pre-flight checklist anyways 😉

 

On 5/25/2021 at 4:05 AM, SCPanda said:

BTW, the Viper uses very little fuel if you cruise at 23000-35000 ft in mil power. Use your fuel flow indicator, it's very helpful. I also recommend set your DED to bingo page (list 2) so you can monitor your fuel better during air to air combat. 

 

I also had some nice experiences with just CT at 35+' in lower regime AB. Surprisingly good economy for a constant supersonic cruise.

 

3 hours ago, Kayos said:

I always go three bags and jet the centerline when I reach altitude because it doesn't last long 🙂

 

Given a pretty deterministic ascension profile, there is one poor farmer who's land now looks like this:

1920px-359th_Fighter_Group_-_External_Fu

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I cringe when I see 3 bag F-16 loadouts, same for when I see a sidewinder on the wing tip, instant red flag. 

 

The F-16 is quite fuel efficient, like everyone said get up high, I cruise at 30-35K and never have a problem. Keep an eye on your fuel when you are engaged in A2A and if low on fuel and headed home spare some of that precious fuel to climb up to altitude to consume less.

 

 

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2 hours ago, SmoglessPanic said:

I cringe when I see 3 bag F-16 loadouts, same for when I see a sidewinder on the wing tip, instant red flag. 

 

The F-16 is quite fuel efficient, like everyone said get up high, I cruise at 30-35K and never have a problem. Keep an eye on your fuel when you are engaged in A2A and if low on fuel and headed home spare some of that precious fuel to climb up to altitude to consume less.

 

 

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4 hours ago, SmoglessPanic said:

I cringe when I see 3 bag F-16 loadouts, same for when I see a sidewinder on the wing tip, instant red flag. 

caring that much about what missiles people put on the wingtips of virtual fighter jets in a video game is the real cringe here

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21 hours ago, Crptalk said:

caring that much about what missiles people put on the wingtips of virtual fighter jets in a video game is the real cringe here

Dude, you really think I care about what missiles someone has on their wings? For real? smh

 

It's something you notice and shrug off, I'm not actively correcting people on how they should load out their virtual jets, do what you want, you paid for the module. It's noticeable though which is my point. 

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On 5/29/2021 at 6:13 AM, SmoglessPanic said:

I cringe when I see 3 bag F-16 loadouts, same for when I see a sidewinder on the wing tip, instant red flag. 

 

The F-16 is quite fuel efficient, like everyone said get up high, I cruise at 30-35K and never have a problem. Keep an eye on your fuel when you are engaged in A2A and if low on fuel and headed home spare some of that precious fuel to climb up to altitude to consume less.

 

 

3 bag is fine with me, but Aim-9 on the wing tip and Aim-120 in the inner stations just make me think,"Dude you don't really know about the F-16...." 

 

 

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4 hours ago, SCPanda said:

3 bag is fine with me, but Aim-9 on the wing tip and Aim-120 in the inner stations just make me think,"Dude you don't really know about the F-16...." 

 

 

I guess no sidewinders on the wing tips is because of the "flutter"? I wonder, is this simulated in DCS and does it really make a difference in the game?

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Yes, it's related to flutter, more weight on the wingtip is good for it. Slammers are better than heaters, but if you're flying with minimum loadout, then heaters are better than nothing at all. It's a small effect, though, it's not going to be a huge difference.

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7 hours ago, SCPanda said:

3 bag is fine with me, but Aim-9 on the wing tip and Aim-120 in the inner stations just make me think,"Dude you don't really know about the F-16...." 

 

 

Exactly, that's what I think to myself as well. It's fine if you're a casual DCS gamer or what not but I can't help thinking it. At no point do I call people out on it though, it's your module, I do notice it though. 

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For RTB go high, as others have said.  I try to climb as fast as possible, as high as possible on RTB, until I slow to about 300kts IAS.
Once you're about 30nm from base, ideally A30+ I nose over to point the nose at the base, and pull the throttle back to idle or zero.  You still make good speed and use very little fuel.

And on takeoff, try to avoid AB until you're above ~15k ft. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/28/2021 at 6:13 PM, SmoglessPanic said:

I cringe when I see 3 bag F-16 loadouts, same for when I see a sidewinder on the wing tip, instant red flag. 

 

The F-16 is quite fuel efficient, like everyone said get up high, I cruise at 30-35K and never have a problem. Keep an eye on your fuel when you are engaged in A2A and if low on fuel and headed home spare some of that precious fuel to climb up to altitude to consume less.

 

 

F16s ALWAYS used to have aim9s on wingtips.  It changed sometime in the late 90s.

So idk what you mean red flag 😉 - any pic of a viper from 70s to mid 90s will have aim9s on wingtips.  I always liked that look better tbh

On 5/31/2021 at 4:41 AM, SCPanda said:

3 bag is fine with me, but Aim-9 on the wing tip and Aim-120 in the inner stations just make me think,"Dude you don't really know about the F-16...." 

 

 

But as I pointed out ... F16s carried aim9s their entire life until the late 90s.  The airframes were getting older and iirc they figured aim120s on the wingtips helped extend the service life.  (Edit: oh ya wing flutter..)Isn't that a bit of harsh judgement for just putting missiles on wingtips?  It's not like it's not possible or was never done


Edited by sublime
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12 minutes ago, sublime said:

F16s ALWAYS used to have aim9s on wingtips.  It changed sometime in the late 90s.

So idk what you mean red flag 😉 - any pic of a viper from 70s to mid 90s will have aim9s on wingtips.  I always liked that look better tbh

But as I pointed out ... F16s carried aim9s their entire life until the late 90s.  The airframes were getting older and iirc they figured aim120s on the wingtips helped extend the service life.  (Edit: oh ya wing flutter..)Isn't that a bit of harsh judgement for just putting missiles on wingtips?  It's not like it's not possible or was never done

 

Maybe for the simple fact that F-16's weren't able to carry Aim-120's before the late 90's?

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Nah because they carried aim 7s.  I think it's more traditionally heavy ordinance is more centrally mounted going light towards the ends.  If not then where's examples of sparrows on the wings? Never saw it.  They also did it when they had AMRAAMs initially I'll add.  Look at pics of desert storm

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Just now, sublime said:

Nah because they carried aim 7s.  I think it's more traditionally heavy ordinance is more centrally mounted going light towards the ends.  If not then where's examples of sparrows on the wings? Never saw it.  They also did it when they had AMRAAMs initially I'll add.  Look at pics of desert storm

Most F-16's are not even capable of firing the Sparrow.

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Posted (edited)

Hey, ya'll

 

Hate to burst everyone's bubble here regarding AIM-120s on the wingtips, but if you read the internet enough, you'll find four things:

 

1. Everyone just "knows" the F-16 carries AIM-120s on the wingtips because it reduces flutter. It's common knowledge at this point. There are even articles from credible sources published recently, like May 2021 recently, that say the same thing. Case closed! I mean, it even says "definitive answer," and there's a statement that it damps flutter from none other than Lockheed Martin itself, so that's the answer. https://www.theuth.co/the-definitive-answer-on-why-f-16s-carry-aim-120-amraams-on-their-wingtip-rails/ And here's a 10 second video showing the flutter that the AIM-120 is meant to damp:

 

 

Hah! Look at that puny AIM-9 doing a terrible job at damping the flutter. Better put an AIM-120 on there, buddy!

 

2. The drag index of missiles on stations 1 and 9 are effectively free, so putting the AIM-120 on the tips has less drag than putting it on more inboard stations.

 

3. You're likely to use your BVR missiles first, so if you've closed to sidewinder range, it's best if you had gotten rid of wingtip weight first because your roll rate will be faster.

 

...aaaand

 

4. You'll eventually come across this podcast from a Navy fighter pilot who reveals that he has a friend in the AF who flew F-16s for a living, and his answer is that the extra weight of the AIM-120 on the wingtips was causing structural stress on the wings leading to reduced service life, internal fuel tank leaks, and other problems. So while you may see plenty of pictures of F-16s with AIM-120s on the wingtips, apparently they don't do that anymore. Now this is isn't from the AF pilot directly -- we have 1 level of hearsay, so take that however you like. Here's a link to the 3:40 mark of the podcast. The key part of the answer is from the 4:50 to 5:20 mark.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION: Personally, I'm going to withhold judgment when I see people putting AIM-9s on the wingtips.

 

EDIT: There are also some counter-arguments to the above video. See https://forums.eagle.ru/topic/206291-how-come-aim-120-on-the-tips/page/2/

Apparently despite the stress the AIM-120 puts on the wing, they're still flown operationally that way "all the time". And the flutter/vibration damages the AIM-9 seeker. Looks like no matter how you slice it, the F-16 and the missiles need regular maintenance. Who knew?

 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, sublime said:

Nah because they carried aim 7s.  I think it's more traditionally heavy ordinance is more centrally mounted going light towards the ends.  If not then where's examples of sparrows on the wings? Never saw it.  They also did it when they had AMRAAMs initially I'll add.  Look at pics of desert storm

 

The AIM-7 was only mounted on stations 3 and 7. The answer I read is that it's because it's ejected, not rail launched. Disclaimer: I'm not a pilot, just a regular dude reading internet articles, so I could be wrong.

 

1 hour ago, Falconeer said:

Most F-16's are not even capable of firing the Sparrow.

 

Apparently it wasn't until block 25 that the F-16 started using the Sparrow and the F-16 didn't even have BVR capability for a number of years. But it did carry the AIM-7 through Desert Storm, right?


Edited by Xavven
Fixed video link timestamp, added more info countering said video
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Posted (edited)

My point about the aim7s is because someone replied to my above posts about aim9s.  

You should go check - the f16 very much spent it's first 15 years or so with aim9s on the wingtips in every pic I saw; and every f16 I remember seeing in west Germany / us early 90s as a USAF brat

3 hours ago, Falconeer said:

Most F-16's are not even capable of firing the Sparrow.

Idk man I'm almost certain they carried sparrows.  Why wouldn't they be capable of firing a Sparrow pray tell?

Besides my own memory a Google search contradicts you as well as another poster..

Are you basing your opinion off of dcs or something?

https://www.f-16.net/f-https://amp.reddit.com/r/hoggit/comments/bsjfzo/the_case_why_eds_f16c_viper_should_have_aim7/

However I will note there's a dissenting comment in the above thread ..

 

Edit: however it seems I may very well be misremembering. Do you have any links to settle this? Some claim only one subtype ever operationally carried them but they could for example. Others claim by 82 with block 25 introduction? Jw


Edited by sublime
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Posted (edited)

Because AMRAAM came in and there was no point in putting a sparrow on the F-16.  There are more reasons than this, but basically it would have involved radar upgrades and other actions.  The result is that while a few F-16s gained the ability to carry and launch sparrows, they did not belong to the USAF and they're more of a curiosity than anything else.

The vast majority of F-16s in any service never gained this capability, and AFAIK our F-16 Block 50 isn't capable of it.


Edited by GGTharos
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By default, the F-16 radar did not have a CW illuminator needed for AIM-7E/F, and AFAIK did not have PDI illumination capabilities for the AIM-7F/M/H (F is dual PDI/CW), which is probably just one reason most variants couldnt carry them.

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If I remember the AMRAAM was originally slated to be operational in the 80's too, in reality it was delayed but before the introduction was pushed back, the planned timing probably bolstered the idea that integrating the AIM-7 would be a waste of time.

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If you are thinking of 3 bags then you are trying to operate outside the Vipers practical combat range.  And yes, the center line is usually reserved for the ECM pod.  Standard is 2 bags on the wing stations.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, sublime said:

F16s ALWAYS used to have aim9s on wingtips.  It changed sometime in the late 90s.

So idk what you mean red flag 😉 - any pic of a viper from 70s to mid 90s will have aim9s on wingtips.  I always liked that look better tbh

But as I pointed out ... F16s carried aim9s their entire life until the late 90s.  The airframes were getting older and iirc they figured aim120s on the wingtips helped extend the service life.  (Edit: oh ya wing flutter..)Isn't that a bit of harsh judgement for just putting missiles on wingtips?  It's not like it's not possible or was never done

 

Man you didn't get my point. It was true F-16s carried aim-9s on the wingtips and aim-7s on the inboard stations, but it took place when aim-120s had not been put into service, and those F-16s were not block 50s like what we had in DCS. Block 50 does not have the capability of carrying aim-7s, this is confirmed by ED, and it is not necessary in real life since aim-120 is a superior missile in every way.

 

When 120s were introduced, the air force did first try to carry 120s on the inboard stations and aim-9s on the wingtip like they used to do when they only had sparrows available. But they soon found out carrying 120s on the wingtips is better aerodynamically. It reduces flutter, creates less overall drag, and is more practical in combat like @Xavven explained above. Therefore, 120s have always been carried on wingtips since then. 

 

So I made the "harsh judgement" on people carrying aim-9s on wingtips and aim-120s on the inboard stations in DCS flying our block 50s, because this way of carrying missiles is incorrect and not realistic. 

 


Edited by SCPanda
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, sublime said:

My point about the aim7s is because someone replied to my above posts about aim9s.  

You should go check - the f16 very much spent it's first 15 years or so with aim9s on the wingtips in every pic I saw; and every f16 I remember seeing in west Germany / us early 90s as a USAF brat

 

 

But we don't have those blocks in DCS. 


Edited by SCPanda
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Xavven said:

EDIT: There are also some counter-arguments to the above video. See https://forums.eagle.ru/topic/206291-how-come-aim-120-on-the-tips/page/2/

Apparently despite the stress the AIM-120 puts on the wing, they're still flown operationally that way "all the time". And the flutter/vibration damages the AIM-9 seeker. Looks like no matter how you slice it, the F-16 and the missiles need regular maintenance. Who knew?

 

 

We still load the AIM-120's on the tips. It's pretty much a standard to do so, because the benefits outweigh the downsides. And yes, all missiles need maintenance / inspections too. Those are time based inspections for the most part. Regular maintencance is what keeps planes in the air 😉

 

10 hours ago, Xavven said:

Apparently it wasn't until block 25 that the F-16 started using the Sparrow and the F-16 didn't even have BVR capability for a number of years. But it did carry the AIM-7 through Desert Storm, right?

 

 

Only the F16 ADF variant iirc, which is a modified Block 15

 

8 hours ago, sublime said:

My point about the aim7s is because someone replied to my above posts about aim9s.  

You should go check - the f16 very much spent it's first 15 years or so with aim9s on the wingtips in every pic I saw; and every f16 I remember seeing in west Germany / us early 90s as a USAF brat

 

Yes for the very reason i told you earlier... they didn't had anything else besides sidewinders. Aim-120's came around mid 90's, F16's were build late 70's. 


Edited by Falconeer
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