30

Two reasons: The airplane is extremely versatile, while having adequate performance, and is a good choice when a small airforce needs a do-everything airplane to replace multiple types. Being designed for carriers, it's overbuilt for normal land operations in many key areas, which means a longer airframe structural life in its much easier life landing on ...


22

Wanting to replace the Dassault Mirage III, and after considering multiple fighters from multiple nations, it boiled down to the F-16 and F/A-18. The F-16 had engine issues, inferior radar, no long-range missiles and BVR capability, single engine, and was technologically immature at the time. Note: There were concerns that the larger more sophisticated F-...


16

Selection of the replacement of the Mirage III was of course carefully considered by the RAAF, and the most suitable airframe was considered for the mission and circumstances typical for a vast, distant and sparsely populated continent: The fact that it was designed for carrier operation actually was a plus, since it results in a more robust airframe with ...


13

former F-18 pilot here, it's my first post here so be kind :) NVG's are not for domestic use, they are entirely tactical. Here are some uses; Night formation (Defensive/Offensive counter air missions), such that formation members can fly lights off or in night mode (which we did all the time). Most fighters have external NVG lighting that can't be seen ...


9

The leading edges are roughened to improve the stall characteristics. Typically vortex generators are used for this purpose nowadays. The 5 and the 5a were used by the RAF for pilot training and the nose strakes were fitted to improve the spinning characteristics - the leading edges of the wings had a roughened paint finish to improve the stall ...


8

I believe that these are static discharge wicks. You can see similarly sized/shaped wicks on a 1/32 scale models of the SU-27, as discussed here, but, more importantly, you can find them labeled with number 53 on the cutaway drawing below. The label is written as Разрядники статического злектричества, which, according to Google Translate, is "ESD arrestor" ...


6

The appearance of being closed/open is a light trick; light reflecting off the tiny transparent window of the missile launch detector. This detector typically sees in IR and would detect the plume of a heat-seeking missile. According to Wikipedia, the model used on the F-22 is AN/AAR-56 (IR based). (There are videos available on YouTube for its output; ...


5

It's a "simulated ice shape" to simulate a heavy coating of rime ice. This aircraft was likely used in testing to explore the stall behaviour of the outboard wing forward of the aileron in icing conditions. That surface texture would, believe me, NOT improve the stall behaviour. It will not generate vortices or favourable turbulence. It will drop the ...


5

Why a carrier-capable plane over a land-based plane? Australia has a history of operating carrier craft beginning in the 1920s. At the moment there are two helicopter carriers in the Royal Australian Navy, but no full-deck carriers since the retirement of HMAS Melbourne in 1982. However, Australia is surrounded by a lot of water, and lacks land borders ...


3

Fighter jets do have a normal cockpit lighting in them. Occasionally crews do use night vision goggles, not for viewing instruments, but visual refer nice outside the jet, and cockpit lighting can be adjusted for NVS systems. But it is not recommended for all applications to use night vision goggles only, so standard carpet lighting is provided. In addition ...


3

For the "and others", the documents from Finland have become public as the secrecy period of 25 years has recently been passed. In a major military deal, there are always technological, economical and political aspects. There were five candidates: Russian MIG-29 Swedish JAS 39 Gripen French MIRAGE 2000-5 General Dynamics F-16 (USA) McDonnell Douglas F/A-...


2

There is a very limited selection of affordable 2-engined fighter aircraft (and the selection was even more limited in the time frame of these acquisitions). Some countries (Canada, Australia) have large uninhabited areas and their air forces prefer the added safety of a second engine. This limited Australia's choices to F-15 or F-18.


2

Fairey Swordfish, operated off Royal Navy carriers in WW2. Supermarine Walrus, a single engine pusher flying boat carried on cruisers. Similar vintage.


2

It’s a good question. I remember that during lectures on aircraft structures, it was stated that the horizontal tail should be mounted either at the fuselage or at the top of the vertical tail. Not in between, since that involves having to implement the downsides of both methods. The case of the Bae 125 was mentioned: this was designed as a full T-tail, but ...


2

In the USAF, it has, historically, been common for rated Navigators to be selected for pilot training, and possible, though less common, for young officers in other career tracks as well. That said, this process is competitive (so certainly not guaranteed for a particular individual), and dependent on the "needs of the service", so what is going on "now" ...


1

Navy and Air Force in the US regularly see migration between officer specialties. A friend who had a non-pilot Navy job, now flies patrol missions. A co-worker who had a logistics job (math major in college) with the Air Force, later put in for pilot training, and was accepted. He eventually was assigned to Beale and flew U-2s and became an instructor ...


1

The major issue for any combat pilot isn't to see what's going on inside the aircraft, but rather what is going on outside. Wikipedia has some more information on the effects of using red light, but the short version is that the red light preserves night vision while at the same time making it possible to read instruments and labels. For a combat pilot who ...


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