Questions tagged [fighter]

A fighter is an aircraft designed primarily for aerial combat.

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106
votes
4answers
31k views

Why is the maximum speed of current fighter aircraft lower than those from the 1960's and 1970's?

While reading about the characteristics of the newest fighter aircraft, I observed that their maximum speed is lower than of the aircraft in the same roles half a century ago. For example, the iconic ...
85
votes
11answers
50k views

Why do fighter jets still have guns/cannons?

I noticed that the "new" F-35 still has a GAU-22/A cannon installed in it -- albeit with only 182 rounds (more with ammo pods). Why do fighters still have cannons? The day of dogfighting is long ...
21
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2answers
9k views

How do fighter jets communicate with an intercepted plane that's lost comms?

RAF Typhoons were scrambled today to intercept an Antonov 26 that lost comms, triggering a sonic boom over London. The flight was escorted to Stansted airport, and the answer at What's the point ...
7
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2answers
4k views

Which supersonic airplanes use Pitot Air intakes?

Which supersonic (fighter) airplanes use the simple Pitot Air Intakes / Normal Shock Inlets? Two examples already seen here on Aviation.SE (one and two) are Dassasult Rafale ($Ma \leq 1.8$) Image ...
41
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6answers
16k views

If all fighter jets become stealthy, how will they fight each other in the future? In dogfights?

I came across this question on dogfight-capable fighter jets still being made. If all aircraft become so stealthy, how will they fight each other? Only in dogfights, I presume. Or am I wrong?
17
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2answers
10k views

Why do all new European fighter jets have delta wings?

Why do all new European fighter jets - Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale have delta wings? As I know, they were all designed separately. And they are not new either. Is there any particular advantage that ...
48
votes
2answers
25k views

What are these wavy lines on fighters' canopy?

As shown in the images below, what are these wavy lines on the canopy of the aircraft? Do these lines have any utility? These are mostly captured in videos of cockpit views of carrier-based aircraft.
12
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2answers
1k views

How was flutter mitigated in jets such as the F-15 and F-16?

As I understand it flutter was a serious problem for early jets, like the XF-104. Flutter can affect any of the extended members of an aircraft during high-speed flight, including the wings and the ...
116
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9answers
31k views

How do jet fighters get to war?

Currently Australia is deploying F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to the UAE to fight in Iraq. Obviously the UAE (and Iraq) is a very long way from Australia and well beyond the typical range of one of these ...
51
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7answers
14k views

Why do fighter aircraft manufacturers still focus on making their planes more dogfight-worthy?

In today's age, when dogfights are simply a relic from the past, why do manufacturers keep on increasing their aircraft maneuverability, in order to make them better dogfighters. It is more ...
9
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2answers
6k views

Do fighter jets have a traditional inverted fuel system?

Common solutions for aerobatic piston singles is to have either header tanks (for wing tanks, as I understand it) or flop tubes (for fuselage tanks). Do fuel systems in a fighter jet work on the same ...
30
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5answers
5k views

Can a fighter jet land on a modified airliner?

Imagine this scenario: A modified military 747 is flying at a constant speed and altitude. On the top of the fuselage there is a device like a helipad but with three holes to accommodate the fighter ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Do fighter jets have forward-looking radar warnings for missiles, and when was this first implemented?

Let's imagine a swarm of fighter jets intercepting another swarm. Both groups are moving head-on towards each other. Once they get in range, they will probably lock on and fire missiles. Do fighter ...
27
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9answers
85k views

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots while others have only one?

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots, while some have only one? For example the newer fighter jets such as Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter typhoon etc. are mostly with single-seat, but two-seat ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Do fighter jets use elevators as ailerons?

I saw jets in game using elevators to roll right and left, but I never saw them doing in real life. I was wondering if fighter jets actually use elevator to roll like they do in game.
2
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2answers
3k views

Is the SEPECAT Jaguar's design aerodynamically inferior to more modern jets?

If we compare the SEPECAT Jaguar's design with the latest jet fighters, what aerodynamic shortcomings do we find in its design? (I'm only asking about aerodynamics, not AESA radars, electronics suites ...
25
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5answers
41k views

What is an afterburner and how long can a jet fly on afterburner?

I heard this word so many time in military documentary about jets, especially fighter jets, but I don't fully understand what it is or how it works. In a documentary from the Discovery Channel, all ...
26
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2answers
7k views

Why does NASA have F/A-18s?

I always remember playing FSX as a kid and using the NASA F/A-18, and never thought much about it. And then I saw the picture of the Space Shuttle on top of the 747 being escorted by these planes. ...
18
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2answers
2k views

When does the use of afterburners save fuel?

An afterburner uses a lot more fuel for a little more thrust (rule of thumb: 50% more thrust for 5 times the fuel flow with full dry power). Is a flight maneuver possible where using the afterburner ...
15
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3answers
11k views

Which hand do fighter pilots use for the control stick?

Here is a question that has been bothering me for a while. Do right-handed fighter pilots use their right hand to hold the control stick? And do left-handed fighter pilots use their left hand? Or is ...
13
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3answers
11k views

How can an aircraft hover almost vertically?

(Source: https://fat.gfycat.com/) The aircraft in this GIF (although being an RC plane) seems to be flying vertically, just meters above the ground. How is this possible? How is it possible to ...
11
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2answers
11k views

Why do the F-22 and F-35 look similar to each other and different from previous designs?

Is there a reason the F-22 and F-35 look very similar other than style, they look very different to F-16s so is there a conscious effort to make them look cool?
10
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2answers
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Advantages of square over circular engine nozzle?

The F-22 has square nozzles, while the Russian Sukhoi PAK FA has circular nozzles. There are both 5th generation planes, but with different nozzles, why?
7
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2answers
4k views

What is the average speed used by modern jet fighters when in dogfight?

I am asking this question pertaining to a game I'm designing. It is well known that many modern jet fighter aircraft can fly at supersonic velocities however I read that this top speed is hardly ever ...
19
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4answers
5k views

Why don't most fighters have thrust reversers?

With the exception of the Panavia Tornado, fighters do not have thrust reversers. Why is this? Why does the Panavia Tornado have them?
16
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5answers
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Can a UAV defend itself?

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down by Turkish aircraft, which made me wonder, whether the Turkish pilots faced any defending moves from the UAV, or once they found it, taking down was a ...
26
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7answers
17k views

Can fighter aircraft glide?

In case of engine failure, do the fighter jets have such a stable airframe so that they can glide their way through to the nearest landing strip (As it happened in the case of Gimli glider)?
16
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3answers
3k views

Why isn't the F-15E called F/A-15?

In my understanding, "F" stands for "fighter" (air-to-air) and "A" for "attack" (air-to-ground). E.g., the F/A-18 Hornet can attack air and ground targets, which is why it's called F/A-18. the A-10 ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Why don't single-engine jets suffer severe gyroscopic effects?

I was reading up on World War I fighter aircraft, and saw that rotary piston engines, which powered many of those planes, produced extreme gyroscopic effects due to the large, heavy chunk of metal ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Why is the front section of the Su-30 not aligned with the longitudinal axis of the body?

Please take a look at the picture of the Su-30 below. You will notice that the front section of the Su-30, from the nose to the canopy, is not in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the body. The ...
11
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1answer
9k views

Do military pilots have flight & rest hours regulation?

I have read that civil pilots have stringent regulations regarding flight hours and hours of rest between flights. What about military pilots? Does it change between wartime and peacetime? Between ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Unarmed F-16 — why would it happen? [closed]

As is documented here among other places, a couple of the interceptors sent after United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 were scrambled so hastily they did not have time for the ordies to visit and ...
5
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2answers
4k views

If the EPU (Emergency Power Unit) on a modern fighter jet fails, will the aircraft drop out of the sky?

If the EPU (Emergency Power Unit) and batteries plus engines fail on a modern fighter aircraft, basically they will fall out of the sky, there is no dead stick landing - is this correct?
107
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13answers
33k views

Why does it take so long to develop modern military jets?

In the 1960's, it took three years to produce a flying prototype of an aircraft that flew faster than anything before, was built out of a novel construction material, used a new type of fuel, and was ...
55
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5answers
28k views

How is a missile lock detected?

How can a fighter aircraft involved in a face-off detect a missile lock from a trailing aircraft so that it can make evasive maneuvers?
57
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6answers
87k views

How do fighter pilots manage food, drink & toilet?

There doesn't seem to be any place to bring food or drink. And what about WC? And for single seat combat planes?
31
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2answers
10k views

What is the purpose of the “Mirror-Thing” over the Mig-29 Cockpit?

I noticed that some Mig-29 Fighter Jets have a little mirror-like-thing over the cockpit. I can't imagine a possible usage from it (If it's really a mirror). Here's a picture from Wikipedia: As ...
23
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10answers
9k views

Would it be feasible to build a jet fighter plane based on a wooden construction?

I read about the de Havilland Mosquito recently and that it was a quite successful British bomber in WW2 due its lightweight wooden construction. As far as I understand it, usual planes at that time ...
15
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8answers
4k views

Why do Air Forces still use bombers?

Something I have wondered about recently, since the advent of ICBM's what is the point of long range bombers like the B2? I understand they have longer range and can carry more payload but wouldn't ...
40
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5answers
13k views

Is it possible for an SU-25 to fly high enough to shoot down a Boeing 777?

A common theory from pro-Russian netizens surrounding the MH-17 tragedy is that it was a Ukrainian SU-25 ground attack fighter plane which shot down the civilian airliner. However, MH-17 was flying at ...
25
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5answers
7k views

Was the intended purpose of the F-117 Nighthawk originally a stealth-fighter?

Based on this question, I learned that the F and A-Letters in the naming of (military) aircraft reflects what their intended purpose is. A: Attack (Air-to-ground) F: Fighter (Air-to-air) their ...
42
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3answers
22k views

Why do many fighter jets have double vertical stabilizers?

Many fighter jets have double vertical stabilizers, e.g. F-14, F-15, F/A-18, F-22: On the contrary, most general aviation planes and commercial airliners do not. While there are certainly exceptions ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Would a stationary WWII fighter fall on its nose with full throttle and brakes on?

Would a stationary WWII fighter fall on its nose with full throttle and brakes on? It's a general question, but I am interested in the Republic P-47.
9
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4answers
5k views

Are strategic bombers still useful, or are fighters taking over this role?

During the mid 20th century and cold war, armies were having clear distinction between those aircraft designed as strategic bombers and those designed to be fighters for aerial combat. My ...
6
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4answers
3k views

Where do all the bullets end up? [closed]

When planes engage with guns, many of the shots are misses... what happens to the bullets? Do they kill people on the ground and damage facilities? Do we have any records of this happening?
37
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3answers
22k views

Do jet fighters have air conditioning systems?

In most jet fighters, the cockpit is a glass dome and the pilots are exposed directly to the sun. In addition, they are wearing flight suits and full face helmets (most of the time). I can only ...
34
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4answers
16k views

Do fighter jet pilots ever use autopilot?

I know that military jets have autopilot, but do the pilots actually prefer to use it? I ask this question because, unlike civilian airplanes, military jets are more likely to come in a situation ...
30
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3answers
4k views

Why does Martin-Baker use a Gloster Meteor as a testbed for ejection seats?

Martin-Baker uses a Gloster Meteor for testing ejection seats, according to their website. While it's a stylish plane, and a true delight that there are still airworthy fuselages of this plane left, ...
29
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5answers
6k views

How do aircraft refueling in-air deal with wake turbulence?

Many fighter planes have the capability to refuel in air. When a plane moves in air, turbulence is generated at its back. To refuel, the fighter plane must come near to the parent plane (which has ...
20
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3answers
7k views

How do combat jets know when to launch flares to counter IR missiles?

From my related question, it seems fighter jets do not usually track missiles by radar. Instead, they have a system that warns of radar lock. So what about infrared missiles (heat-seeking missiles)? ...