Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey’s ridiculous claims debunked… again


The leftist, anti-defense organization POGO is currently distributing a propaganda booklet edited by one of its anti-defense hacks, Winslow Wheeler (formerly of the George-Soros-funded CDI) and written by a number of other anti-defense hacks, such as Franklin “Chuck”  Spinney and Pierre Sprey (yes, the Pierre Sprey of Fighter Mafia fame). The authors bill themselves as “experts” with “400 years of experience”, and they claim to be revealing the DOD’s deepest secrets.

But the booklet is just another leftist propaganda rag full of false information. An example will serve to illustrate the point.

In the Preface, Wheeler claims that it is widely believed and even a “biblical” article of faith that the F-22 is the best fighter in the world, but that Pierre Sprey’s essay (the one on weapon systems) somehow offers proof to the contrary.

I read Sprey’s essay, and it’s clear that it fails to offer any proof and in fact, offers the same standard lies about the F-22 that I’ve already heard numerous times. Moreover, the essay reveals that Sprey is either completely ignorant about defense issues or, more likely, so biased against modern weapons that he’s blatantly lying to malign them while praising the F-16 fighter to the highest.

Why the F-16? Because Sprey, as a member of the Fighter Mafia, was one of the men behind that program and, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he advocated its development and production. Sprey is, in short, the godfather of the F-16 as much as Harry Hillaker and John Boyd were.

And his love for his brainchild – the F-16 – is obviously blinding him, leading him to malign better, more capable aircraft, including the F-22.

In the essay, Sprey falsely claims that the F-22 is 30 times more expensive to acquire than the F-16 while being less capable. He also claims that the F-22 is more expensive to maintain and fly.

The latter part is true, but it’s a nonsequitur. The F-22 is not, and never was, a replacement for the F-16, but rather the F-15, and more modern, more capable weapons inevitably cost more to procure, maintain, and fly than older ones – but they’re also much more capable.

The claim that the F-22 is 30, or even 20, times more expensive to buy than the F-16 is false: the F-22’s unit cost is $137-$150 mn (not the $400 mn that POGO and other F-22 enemies falsely claim; the latter figure includes development costs, which have already been paid, and thus do not represent the cost the DOD actually paid when it bought 187 F-22s). The F-16 costs $18.8 mn in FY1998 dollars, i.e. $26.42 mn in today’s money, to buy.

The F-22 is VASTLY more capable than the F-16. For starters, compare their technical specifications:

The F-22 has a much higher service ceiling (65,000 feet) and top speed (Mach 2.25) than the F-16 (50,000 ft and Mach 2), meaning it  can fly much higher and much faster and thus increase its missiles’ nominal range much more than the F-16 can. The F-22 also has a much better thrust/weight ratio (1.26:1 at full weapon load and 50% fuel) than the F-16 (1.09:1) and a much lower wing loading ratio (375 kg/square meter) than the F-16 (431 kg/square meter). Even at a full weapon AND fuel load, the F-22 still has the same 1.09:1 T/W ratio as the F-16. This makes the F-22 much more maneuverable – including in close combat – than the F-16 “dogfighter”. Given that Sprey underlines within visual range combat’s importance versus that of BVR combat, and of aircraft agility versus missiles, the F-22’s superiority in agility and turning capability is all the more important.

A 2008 RAND study by John Stillion and Scott Perdue found that when it comes to maneuverability and agility, the F-22 and the F-15C are, ex aequo, the best fighters the US currently flies, while the F-16 is inferior, not to mention the F-35 and the Super Bug.

This should not be surprising: the F-22 has two F119 PW-100 engines, each of which provides far more thrust than the F-16’s single engine: 104 kN of dry thrust each, and 156 kN of thrust each if on afterburner.

The F-22 can also carry a larger fuel payload (18,000 lb) than the F-16, giving it a better unrefueled combat radius (759 kms vs the F-16’s 550) and greater endurance.

Most importantly of all, the F-22’s APG-77 radar is far superior to that of the F-16 (partly due to its far larger size and partly due to its newer technology), and the F-22 has the ability to supercruise (i.e. fly at supersonic speeds without resorting to fuel-gulping afterburners) and is very stealthy (i.e. very low observable), while the F-16 does not and is not.

Why does this matter? Because in air-to-air combat, victory is determined first and foremost by who can enter and egress from the fight with impunity, and who can acquire and hit the enemy first (i.e. first-shot capability). If you don’t have these capabilities, you will inevitably lose.

The F-16 flies far lower and far slower than the F-22 or its foreign competitors, and at a top speed of just Mach 2 and even that on a heat-emitting afterburner (compared to the F-22’s supercruise ability and its slit, stealthy engines), it cannot egress from the fight safely if it runs out of missiles. It would be easily chased, tracked, and shot down by the F-22 or by enemy aircraft.

The F-22 can, with its AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles and its APG-77 AESA radar, have a first-look and first-shot capability, shoot down its enemies or, if it runs out of missiles, egress from the fight safely, quickly and undetected. It can engage and disengage at the pilot’s wish.

But of course, the F-16 won’t be fighting against the F-22. It will be fighting (if at all) against enemy aircraft such as the Flanker, the PAKFA, and the J-20. So let’s compare the old, 1970s’ vintage F-16 fighter to these modern Russian and Chinese aircraft:

The metric          F-16      Su-35S           J-11                       PAKFA          J-20           Su-30        Su-33
Dry thrust (kN)          76.3       86.3×2     89.17×2           N/A          74.5×2       74.5×2
Thrust w/afterburner (kN)            127        142×2     129.4×2                     157+x2 180         122.5×2     125.5×2
Max speed (Mach)               2          2.25          2.35                            2+               2                  2          2.17
Combat radius (km)           550            NA             NA                            NA          2000                NA            NA
Service ceiling (ft)        50000        59100        62523                       65600        65617            56800
Rate of climb (m/s)            254         280+           300                           350           N/A               230           246
Wing loading (kg/m2)            431           408            385                    330-470           N/A               401           483
Thrust/weight ratio      1.095:1         1.1:1       1.04:1                       1.19:1           N/A              0.98          0.83
Number of weapons carried (max)              11             12             10  4 internal, 6 external           N/A 12 12
Supercruise             No           Yes             No                           Yes           N/A                No             No
Range (mi)            N/A         3600          2070                           N/A          3418             3000          1864
Internal fuel capacity (lb)            N/A                       22711
G limit               9                              9               9             8+

As you can clearly see from the table, the newest Russian and Chinese designs (with the partial exception of the Su-30 and Su-33) outmatch the F-16 by almost every criterion, including dry thrust, thrust with afterburner, thrust/weight ratio, wing loading (a lower one is better), service ceiling, top speed, rate of climb, and, in most cases, the number of weapons carried.

For a dogfighter, the F-16 has an usually high (by modern standards) wing loading of 431 kg/sq meter, a low T/W ratio of 1.095:1 (compared to 1.19:1 for the PAKFA and 1.1:1 for the Su-35S), and a poor rate of climb (just 254 m/s).

The only advantages it has over some of these aircraft is that it can carry 1 weapon more than the J-11 or the PAKFA, and it has a better T/W ratio and a better wing loading ratio than the Su-30 and the Su-33. Still, it is inferior, by most counts, to these aircraft as well.

Furthermore, the F-16 is not stealthy, while the PAKFA and the J-20 are, and has no supercruise ability, while the Su-35 and the PAKFA do, and the J-20 likely will (especially if Russian Saturn type 117S engines are used; it has been alleged that the Russians supplied them for J-2o prototypes).

Very simply, the F-16 is no match for the F-22 – or for the adversary aircraft it would encounter today if it were to engage in WVR or BVR combat. It would be easily shot down by these aircraft. The introduction of the Flanker, in its many variants, made it obsolete and irrelevant, but the induction of the PAKFA and the J-20 into service will make them totally obsolete, irrelevant, impotent, and useless against anyone except insurgents.

The only Western aircraft capable of standing up against, and defeating, these newest Russian and Chinese designs is the F-22, the very aircraft that Sprey, Wheeler, and other POGO hacks deride and wanted to kill. The F-22’s production has already been killed, in fact, at a mere 187 aircraft, and POGO now wants the same to happen to the F-35. If that happens, the USAF will be flying obsolete, impotent, useless aircraft designed in the 1970s against modern, superior Russian aircraft designed in the 1990s and the 21st century. God forbid.

That the F-22 is the best fighter in the world is not “a biblical article of faith”. It’s a matter of fact.

27 thoughts on “Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey’s ridiculous claims debunked… again”

  1. I disagree with a lot of things written here, but last part is pure bullshit:
    “The only Western aircraft capable of standing up against, and defeating, these newest Russian and Chinese designs are the F-22 and the F-35, the very aircraft that Sprey, Wheeler, and other POGO hacks deride and want to kill. ”

    First, F-35 is a bomber and a ground attack aircraft, not a fighter. Wing loading of over 500 kg/m2 when loaded should be a tip. Second, any aircraft with good passive sensors suite can easily stand against a stealth aircraft – be it F-22, F-35, PAK FA or J-20 – by foricing stealth aircraft to fight on its terms, using stealth fighter’s own radar to cue IR missiles to stealth fighter’s location. Third, numbers matter, and stealth aircraft will be outnumbered.

    1. There is no “bullshit” here, except in your comment.

      Infrared missiles are heat-seeking munitions. You can’t shoot down an F-22 with an IR missile unless the missile’s seekers are so sensitive they can detect the F-22’s slit engine exhaust nozzles and the (relatively small, for fighter aircraft) amount of heat they emit. Furthermore, the vast majority of IR/heat-seeeking missiles in the world are short-range, so you have to get very close to the F-22 to detect it with those seekers and shoot it down. Problem is, the F-22 will detect you long before you get close ito it, as its APG-77 AESA radar can detect your plane, due to its nonstealthy planform, from very long ranges. Yur only hope of surviving against an F-22 – you can’t DEFEAT it – is to avoid all missiles that it shoots at you, and wait for it to run out of missiles. Even then, it will only be an all-nil draw, not your victory.

      The F-35 is, of course, a ground attack jet, not a fighter. But it can defend itself in A2A engagements should the need arise, due to its long-range AMRAAM missiles, good APG-81 radar, and its very low observability in the X/S/Ku-band from the front. To defeat it, you would need to send entire groups of Flankers to hunt one F-35 so that while one or two Flankers keep the F-35 busy from the front, another Flanker shoots it down from the rear.

      Numbers do matter, but it would be a sheer suicide to send large numbers of nonstealthy fighters against a smaller group of stealthy ones. It would be a turkey shooot for the stealthies.

      In any case, this post was about whether legacy aircraft such as the F-16 can stand up against the newest Russian and Chinese designs. As I have proven with empirical evidence, they cannot.

      1. In any case, this post was about whether legacy aircraft such as the F-16 can stand up against the newest Russian and Chinese designs. As I have proven with empirical evidence, they cannot.

        So a legacy fighter can’t compete with an F-22 or F-35 in a turning fight, then?

        Well then, let’s compare the F-35A’s maneuverability-governing attributes to those of the Mig-29B. It’s the earliest and lowest-tech Mig-29 variant, so it’s logically the easiest to defeat.

        First, we have their weight, shown below at empty, full internal fuel, then finally maximum take-off weight (F-35A on the left, Mig-29B on the right);
        29300lbs — 24100lbs
        47800lbs — 31400lbs
        50000lbs — 46300lbs

        The F-35A is colossally-heavier, despite being slightly smaller and having half as many engines. It’s transient maneuvering sucks balls compared to the second-rate Mig-29B.

        But what about handling? That’s determined by wing loading, which are again shown below at empty, full internal fuel, then finally maximum take-off weight;
        63.69lb/ft2 — 59lb/ft2
        103.91lb/ft2 — 76.96lbs
        108.69lb/ft2 — 113.48lb/ft

        That’s consistently better than the F-35A, except when the Mig-29B is fully-laden. Otherwise the latter benefits from substantially better handling.

        They have virtually the same initial and continuous turn rates, so there’s nothing to compare there.

        But what about maneuverability in the vertical? This is governed by thrust/weight ratios and climb rate. The climb rates for these aircraft are;
        50000ft/min — 65000ft/min

        It’s looking bad for the F-35A, but it’s hardly surprising, given that the Mig-29B is still the fastest-climbing fighter yet flown (the F-22 manages only 50000ft/min; the Typhoon and Rafale, with t/w ratios of 1.8, manage 60000ft/min).

        But then there’s thrust/weight. You’d expect the F-35 to have a good t/w ratio with 43000lbs of thrust, but there’s a problem with that — it doesn’t. It has 35000lbs of thrust, contrary to the publicity surrounding it. That is, unless you believe that the F135 engine (a 35000lb-thrust F119 with a round nozzle) magically gained an extra 8000lbs of thrust, only 3 years after the F119’s development was finally complete (2005). Had this been done, the story would have taken the world by storm — a 22% jump in power in only 3 years seems too good to be true, because it IS.

        Thus, at empty, full internal fuel, then finally maximum take-off weight, the thrust/weight ratios of these two fighters are;
        1.19 — 1.51
        0.95 — 1.16
        0.7 — 0.78

        The F-35A never stood a chance, as usual. It’s a good thing I didn’t compare it to aircraft that will actually be in service by the time the F-35 becomes operational (like the Mig-35), isn’t it? That would be totally unfair!

        Will you acknowledge these facts to be true, or will you ignore them, delete them, or try to change the subject?

        Maybe next time I can compare the F-35A’s maneuverability attributes to the Mig-19S, which is not just a rustbucket, but a POS deathtrap. So, the F-35A should win easily… right? But I digress…

      2. You really need to read what I actually write, instead of what you think I write.

        I never said that the F-16 is uncompetitive because it’s a legacy fighter. I said that the F-16 is uncompetitive and inferior to the F-22 (as well as the latest Russian and Chinese designs) because of its inferior agility – namely, T/W ratio and wing loading. That is a fact.

        I did NOT say that the F-35 is competitive. It is not, and I openly stated that in my post. Its T/W and wing loading ratios are decisively inferior to those of the MiG-29 and those of the latest Russian and Chinese fighters.

        You need to read carefully what I write and stop putting statements that I never uttered into my mouth.

      3. F-22 emits large amount of heat, with exception of exhaust, as I have already shown in other place. And while IR missiles are close-range, long-range combat between similarly capable and numerous opponents is rare and ineffective.

        Modern jammers *can* jam AESA radars, meaning that F-22 will have to come close to target to penetrate jamming. That is not going into issue of anti-radiation missiles.

        Yes, F-35 can defend itself. Wether that defense will be successful is another thing. And considering F-35s cost and likely maintenance downtime, it will find itself outnumbered more often than not. And with historical BVR missile Pk between comparable opponents, I don’t see how will stealth fighters – especially F-35, considering its lack of maneuverability and speed – facilitate turkey shoot you are talking about. And while you are correct that legacy aircraft cannot stand up to modern Flankers one-on-one, designing a better legacy fighter to complement F-22s already in service is the best option, considering maintenance and cost issues stealth fighters face.

        Regarding Sprey, impression I have got is that whenever he talks about F-16 being able to “kick ass”, he actually talks about early-block F-16A, not F-16C.

        Now, regarding my post: I have said that your post is bullshit because F-15, F-16, F-22 and F-35 are not only Western aircraft in existence. Non-VLO aircraft can easily level the playing field by going passive and using enemy’s own emissions to cue IR missiles to position from where missile’s own seeker can take over, and they will provide superior numbers. Last part is a problem due to “Lanchester square” criteria, where numerically inferior side must be qualitatively superior to a square of numerical ratio just to break even.

  2. In that case, we need to compare the F-22A and F-16C.

    I’ve already stated above what makes a maneuverable aircraft; weight (transient maneuvering, wing loading (handling), climb rate (vertical maneuverability), turn rate, and thrust-to-weight ratios (acceleration, speed retention, etc.).

    The weight of the F-22A (left) and F-16C (right) at empty weight, weight at full internal fuel, and maximum take-off weight are;
    43400lbs — 18700lbs
    61400lbs — 25800lbs
    80000lbs — 42300lbs

    So in other words, the F-22A can switch from one maneuver into another as well as the F-16C, only when the former is completely empty, and the latter is completely loaded-down. Otherwise, the F-16C makes the F-22A look like a big, clunky, neo Interceptor.

    The F-16C definitely has a larger wing loading, so it won’t handle as well…;
    51.66lb/ft2 — 62.63lb/ft2
    73lb/ft2 — 86lb/ft2
    95.23lb/ft2 — 141lb/ft2

    …but the F-16C’s ease of handling doesn’t take away the fact that it’s initial and continuous turn rates are almost the same as the F-22A, as are their 50000ft/min climb rates. (do’h!)

    That just leaves their thrust/weight ratios, which are;
    1.61 — 1.55
    1.14 — 1.12
    0.87 — 0.68

    Looks like a combat-laden F-22A and F-16C have almost the same t/w ratio! (D’OH!)

    So it’s 2 draws and a near-draw in 2 aspects of maneuverability, 1 advantage for the F-22A, and a HUGE advantage for the F-16C.

    That doesn’t do much to justify the F-22A’s $450 Million purchase cost or $66000 cost/flight hour, does it? Meanwhile, the F-16C Block 52 only costs $20 Million/unit and $3000/hour.

    Cost-ineffective, much?

    1. You are wrong on all counts.

      The F-22’s T/W ratio at 50% fuel and full combat load is 1.26:1, while for the F-16C, it’s 1.095:1. Thus, the F-22 has a HUGE edge over the F-16 (and over all Russian and Chinese competitors) in this criterion.

      The F-22 also has a MUCH lower wing loading ratio (375 kg/sq m) than the F-16C (431 kg/sq m) in the “50% fuel, full weapon load” configuration. So again,it has a HUGE edge over the F-16C.

      So the F-22 is much more agile and thus much more useful in A2A combat than the F-16. For that and many other reasons, it is far more useful for air to air combat than this obsolete, pathetic 1970s fighter.

      Your claim that the F-22 cost $450 mn per copy to purchase is also a blatant lie. It actually cost $150 mn to buy. R&D costs increased the cost per unit to $377 mn – not even close to $450 mn.

      You really need to educate yourself before spouting garbage on my website.

      1. The F-22′s T/W ratio at 50% fuel and full combat load is 1.26:1, while for the F-16C, it’s 1.095:1.
        Uh-oh, someone’s Moving the Goalpost! My figures were the empty, fully-fueled, and maximum take-off weights of the F-22A and F-16C.

        But if you want to talk combat loads, at full internal fuel with 4 AIM-120 AMRAAMs and 2 AIM-9 Sidewinders, these aircraft weigh;
        F-22A: 63700lbs (18000lbs/fuel)
        F-16C: 28100lbs (7100lbs/fuel)

        But you won’t touch the F-22’s *full* internal fuel, will you? It’s not surprising, given that it’s only a few-hundred pounds shy of the weight of an empty F-16C!

        As for t/w;
        F-22A: 70000lbs/thrust / 63700lbs/weight = 1.09
        F-16C: 29100lbs/thrust / 28100lbs/weight = 1.03

        So in short, no tangible advantage.

        The F-22A *will* be carrying 18000lbs of fuel, because it has a shorter range than the F-16C.

        How do I know this, you ask? Because of the F-35A, which uses the same engine (again, the F135 is identical to the F119, except for it’s round nozzle). The USAF recently admitted that the F-35A’s range on internal fuel alone is only 850 miles, and the F35 carries 18500lbs of fuel. That means one F135/F119 consumes 21.76lbs/mile of fuel on an average mission profile, so *two* will consume 43.52lbs/mile.

        18000lbs/fuel / 43.52lbs/mile = 413 mile range.

        The F-16C has a 500-mile range.

        The F-22 also has a MUCH lower wing loading ratio (375 kg/sq m) than the F-16C (431 kg/sq m) in the “50% fuel, full weapon load” configuration.
        …but not in the aforementioned configurations, at empty, full internal fuel, of max t/o weight.

        Moreover, you also completely ignore the 18700lb F-16C’s ability to almost seamlessly switch from one maneuver to another, thanks to it’s low weight — while the 43400lb F-22A tumbles all over the sky. Fast turns and clever maneuvers count for nothing whatsoever, if the other guy can change the entire nature of the engagement faster than you can react. That’s the very essence of air-to-air combat.

        So the F-22 is much more agile and thus much more useful in A2A combat than the F-16.
        With the same climb rate and turn rate, almost-equal t/w ratios, and a MASSIVELY-larger weight, on top of it’s 15% lower wing loading? That doesn’t make “much more agile” a possibility.

        For that and many other reasons, it is far more useful for air to air combat than this obsolete, pathetic 1970s fighter.

        By what measure? Wing loading only governs handling — not turn rate, t/w ratios, climb rate, or transient maneuvering, which the F-16C is equal or superior in. That’s 1 loss, 1 win, and the rest are all draws. There are tangible differences in their maneuverability, meaning that the only difference in their maneuverability result is the amount of money spent on them.

        I.e., pwn’ed by a 40-year-older fighter.

        Your claim that the F-22 cost $450 mn per copy to purchase is also a blatant lie.

        F-22 Project Cost: $92 Billion
        F-22 production: 187 airframes
        $92 Billion / 187 units = $491 Million

        So yeah, I was off. The F-22 costs a half-billion; enough that the cost of 2 would by an AEGIS Destroyer.

        AEGIS Destroyer > 2 airplanes

        It actually cost $150 mn to buy.
        …but what’s actually PAID-FOR is the project, which delivered 187 airframes for a cost of $92 Billion; that means that the F-22A costs $491 Million each, and to imply otherwise is brazenly dishonest.

        R&D costs increased the cost per unit to $377 mn – not even close to $450 mn.
        What the Program actually costs is in the SARs, whose tracked expenditures add-up to $92 Billion for the F-22 Project.

        You really need to educate yourself before spouting garbage on my website.
        NO U

      2. You are wrong yet again.

        I stated the T/W ratios for both the F-22 and the F-16 at 50% fuel and a full combat load in BOTH cases. And the F-16’s T/W ratio is not even close to being the same as the F-22’s – it’s much lower. The F-22 can, by the way, carry EIGHT air to air missiles internally, not six. If stealthiness is not a requirement for a particular mission, it can carry 12. The F-16 has no internal stores, and internally, it can carry 11 missiles.

        The wing loading ratios are also given for the SAME configurations in BOTH cases – for both the F-22 and the F-16. Any claim to the contrary is a blatant lie.

        Empty configurations are irrelevant, as fighters don’t take off empty, with only fuel loaded, when flying into combat. They always have to carry a weapons load. In any case, here, the F-22 is better than the F-16 as well. Missiles weight the same no matter what aircraft they’re installed on.

        Switching from one maneuver to another? The F-22 does this better as well. Despite being heavier, it has far better aerodynamic characteristics, including its T/W and wing loading ratios, and can switch from one maneuver to another far easier than the F-16. Aircraft weight is only a small part of the picture. Thrust, aerodynamic design, and other characteristics also matter.

        But as an ignorant guy, you’ll probably never understand this.

        The F-22 can also ingress into and safely egress out of a fight if need be. The F-16 cannot. The F-22 can engage and disengage enemies at will. The F-16 cannot.

        The F-35A’s range on internal fuel alone is “only” 850 miles… 350 miles (i.e. almost 50%) more than the F-16’s (500 miles). That makes a big difference – an F-16 is much more likely to be run out of gas than the F-22 or the F-35 (and remember that the F-22 can carry much more fuel internally than the F-16 or the F-35).

      3. You are wrong yet again.

        I stated the T/W ratios for both the F-22 and the F-16 at 50% fuel and a full combat load in BOTH cases. And the F-16’s T/W ratio is not even close to being the same as the F-22’s – it’s much lower. The F-22 can, by the way, carry EIGHT air to air missiles internally, not six. If stealthiness is not a requirement for a particular mission, it can carry 12. The F-16 has no internal stores, and externally, it can carry 11 missiles.

        The wing loading ratios are also given for the SAME configurations in BOTH cases – for both the F-22 and the F-16. Any claim to the contrary is a blatant lie.

        Empty configurations are irrelevant, as fighters don’t take off empty, with only fuel loaded, when flying into combat. They always have to carry a weapons load. In any case, here, the F-22 is better than the F-16 as well. Missiles weight the same no matter what aircraft they’re installed on.

        Switching from one maneuver to another? The F-22 does this better as well. Despite being heavier, it has far better aerodynamic characteristics, including its T/W and wing loading ratios, and can switch from one maneuver to another far easier than the F-16. Aircraft weight is only a small part of the picture. Thrust, aerodynamic design, and other characteristics also matter.

        But as an ignorant guy, you’ll probably never understand this.

        The F-22 can also ingress into and safely egress out of a fight if need be. The F-16 cannot. The F-22 can engage and disengage enemies at will. The F-16 cannot.

        The F-35A’s range on internal fuel alone is “only” 850 miles… 350 miles (i.e. almost 50%) more than the F-16’s (500 miles). That makes a big difference – an F-16 is much more likely to be run out of gas than the F-22 or the F-35 (and remember that the F-22 can carry much more fuel internally than the F-16 or the F-35).

  3. I stated the T/W ratios for both the F-22 and the F-16 at 50% fuel and a full combat load in BOTH cases. And the F-16′s T/W ratio is not even close to being the same as the F-22′s – it’s much lower.

    A “full combat load” is not instructive, because it doesn’t specify a fixed load of ordnance common to both airframes. This is not comparative; it is Special Pleading.

    Neither the F-16C nor F-22A will ever take-off without FULL external fuel, except in an emergency of a fuel shortage. And even then, the F-22 has a shorter range than the F-16C, so it *especially* can’t afford to — and that’s not including the complete forfeiture of all of the F-22’s stealth and supersonic cruise capability that the use of droptanks entail, which more or less erases the case for (and the usefulness of) the F-22.

    In any case, 2 Sidewinders (250lbs ea.) and 4 AMRAAMs (450lbs ea.) collectively weigh 2300llbs. The F-22A carries 18000lbs of fuel, while the F-16C carries 7100lbs of fuel. An empty F-22A weighs 43400lbs, while an empty F-16C weighs 18700lbs. The F-22A generates 70000lbs of AB thrust, while the F-16C generates 29100lbs of thrust.

    So, an F-16C with maximum fuel and as many missiles as an F-22A can carry weighs 28100lbs, and it’s t/w ratio is;
    1.03

    And an F-22 with maximum fuel and a maximum load of missiles weighs 63700lbs, so it’s t/w ratio is;
    1.09

    That’s an advantage of only 3%, in an aircraft whose very existence is justified by being overwhelmingly more capable than the previous generation of fighters.

    How can you seriously claim that this is a significant advantage?

    The F-22 can, by the way, carry EIGHT air to air missiles internally, not six.
    Let’s see…
    Internal Bay Capacity: AIM-120 x4
    Auxiliary Bay Capacity: AIM-9 x2

    But just for fun, what can an F-16C carry?
    Wingtips: 2x AIM-9/120
    Outer-most Hardpoints: 2x AIM-9
    Inner-most Hardpoints: 4x AIM-9/120

    Eight missiles, guaranteed — and that’s not even including the addition of double-hardpoint pylons (can’t do that with an internal bay!).

    So that assertion of yours isn’t true either. You would be wise to abandon that position.

    If stealthiness is not a requirement for a particular mission, it can carry 12.

    Let’s put that to the test…
    Internal Bay Capacity: AIM-120 x4
    Auxiliary Bay Capacity: AIM-9 x2
    Underwing Hardpoint: AIM-9/120 x4

    That’s 8 missiles, not 12, which is as many as the F-16 can carry. If we add double-hardpoint pylons to the equation, the F-22A can only carry 4; the F-16 can carry 6.

    So… no.

    The F-16 has no internal stores, and internally, it can carry 11 missiles.

    All an F-16 can carry internally are fuel and 20mm shells.

    I’ve already shown how many missiles the F-22 and F-16 can carry.

    The wing loading ratios are also given for the SAME configurations in BOTH cases – for both the F-22 and the F-16.

    With100%, or 50% internal fuel?

    For an F-22A and F-16C with 100% internal fuel, their wing loadings are;
    63700lbs / 840ft2 = 75.83lb/ft2
    28100lbs / 300ft2 = 93.66lb/ft2

    So with maxed-out internal fuel and 6 missiles, the F-22A has higher wing loading.

    Still, you claimed their wing loadings would be the same with a full load-out of missiles and 50% internal fuel. That’s a Biased Statistic, because it deliberately skirts the F-22’s unavoidable massive fuel capacity and smaller missile load-out. Or to put it another way, the F-22A is an Air Superiority Fighter that carries less missiles than a Tactical Fighter, but requires the weight of a Tactical Fighter worth fuel to reach a shorter range.

    But even so, I’ll *still* entertain the notion that they might have an equal wing loading with as many missiles they can carry, and 50% fuel — by comparing the actual numbers;
    F-22A + 9000lbs of fuel + 2x AIM-9 + 4x AIM-120 = 53800lbs
    F-16C + 3600lbs of fuel + 2x AIM-9 + 6x AIM-120 = 25500lbs
    53800lbs / 840ft2 = 64lb/ft2
    25500lbs / 300ft2 = 85lb/ft2

    Therefore, even your biased statistic, which you claim to give the F-22A and F-16C equal wing-loading, does not. Even if the number of missiles for either or both airframes were changed-up a little bit, a difference of 11lb/ft of wing loading guarantees that the F-22A’s advantage will NOT be drastically-altered.

    This also still doesn’t change the fact that wing loading alone only forms 15% of the equation for quantifying maximum maneuverability potential — or that the F-16C has a completely untouchable advantage in one of them, and ties with the F-22A in the other 3.

    Any claim to the contrary is a blatant lie.

    So you’re saying that the above figures are incorrect? Which ones? The weight of the two aircraft? The weight of their full internal fuel? Their weapon capacities? The weight of the missiles? These figures are all correct, as anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of both aircraft can see.

    Moreover, calling someone a liar is merely name-calling, which anyone educated in debate will instantly recognize as a symptom of a failing argument!

    Switching from one maneuver to another? The F-22 does this better as well.

    Transient maneuvering is governed by weight alone. This is part of the basis of Energy Maneuverability, which is the theory upon which every fighter since the F-15 has been developed.

    And if you knew about that fact, you would also know that Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey were associates of John Boyd, who not only CO-INVENTED Energy Maneuverability, but also the USAF’s F-X and F-XX requirements that resulted in the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18. You know, the same people who you claim to be liars and fools, despite the fact that they are the people most-responsible the USAF and USN Air Corps that flies today.

    Despite being heavier, it has far better aerodynamic characteristics, including its T/W and wing loading ratios, and can switch from one maneuver to another far easier than the F-16.

    This is not correct, as all of my figures thus far have clearly demonstrated. Simply repeating the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it true.

    Aircraft weight is only a small part of the picture. Thrust, aerodynamic design, and other characteristics also matter.

    I covered thrust in methodical detail — your failure to acknowledge this is detrimental to your position.

    Moreover, how can you claim the F-22A to have substantially better aerodynamics than the F-16C when it has a colossally-larger *projected frontal area*. That is the PRIMARY factor of drag, and the F-22A has longer wings, twice the stabilizer area, and more than THREE TIMES the fuselage area.

    You also ignored that both aircraft have the same turn rate and climb rate, and that I PROVED both aircraft to have almost the same t/w ratio in a combat configuration.

    The grounds for your assertion that the F-22A can possibly be noticeably more maneuverable than the F-16C are gone. Get over it.

    But as an ignorant guy, you’ll probably never understand this.

    There you go calling me names again!

    You might consider heeding this;
    http://mythbuster.hubpages.com/hub/Bad-Argument-Tactics-Ad-Hominem-and-More

    …but then again, if you actually *practiced* ethical debate tactics, you would have to admit that my assertions are correct, and that you were repeatedly asserting a long-defeated argument.

    The F-22 can also ingress into and safely egress out of a fight if need be. The F-16 cannot. The F-22 can engage and disengage enemies at will. The F-16 cannot.

    There you go, ignoring all the numbers again.

    Moreover, you have also omitted that this is a comparison between the F-22A and F-16C, by omitting the difference in their ability to switch-between maneuvers at the pilots’s will.

    Which is transient maneuverability.

    Which is governed solely by weight.

    Which the F-16C has less than HALF as much of.

    The F-35A’s range on internal fuel alone is “only” 850 miles… 350 miles (i.e. almost 50%) more than the F-16′s (500 miles).

    But requires THREE TIMES the fuel to achieve, pushing it’s wing loading into the triple-digits.

    In other words;
    F-35A as a Fighter = disqualified.

    That makes a big difference…

    Indeed — an F-35A requires more than double the amount of fuel to fly over a given distance!

    How’s the price and availability of oil compared to last year, again?

    …an F-16 is much more likely to be run out of gas than the F-22 or the F-35…

    In what configuration? Oh, that’s right, you didn’t provide one.

    Maximum internal fuel capacity…
    F-16C: 7100lbs
    F-35A: 18500lbs
    F-22A: 18000lbs

    Range on internal fuel…
    F-16C: 500 miles
    F-35A: 850 miles
    F-22A: 413 miles

    Resulting fuel consumption…
    F-16C: 14.2lbs/mile
    F-35A: 21.76lbs/mile
    F-22A: 43.58lbs/mile

    Maximum internal *and* external fuel capacity…
    F-16C: 18600lbs
    F-35A: 21500lbs
    F-22A: 30000lbs

    Maximum range on full internal *and* external fuel capacity…
    F-16C: 1309 miles
    F-35A: 988 miles
    F-22A: 688 miles

    And I reiterate your above claim;
    …an F-16 is much more likely to be run out of gas than the F-22 or the F-35…

    …and remember that the F-22 can carry much more fuel internally than the F-16 or the F-35

    And as you’ve seen above, that’s the F-22A actually carries slightly LESS fuel than the F-35A — and also that when EXTERNAL fuel is added to the mix, the longer range on internal fuel becomes a hollow victory.

    Shall we compare these stats to some threat fighters next? Perhaps alternatives available for production or import? Or maybe we should invite the F-15C Eagle to play?

    ‘Cause there’s sure nothing left to discuss in maneuverability or range with just *these three* aircraft…

    1. You are wrong on all counts.

      I did not call you a liar. I called your claims blatant lies. I did so because that’s what they are. If you were to make these factually-wrong claims once, then, when being disproven, retract them, that would’ve been one thing. But, despite being disproven over and over again, you keep repeating them, which leads me to conclude that they are blatant, deliberate lies.

      So why are they lies? Here’s why.

      1) “And even then, the F-22 has a shorter range than the F-16C”

      WRONG. The F-22 has a significantly LONGER range and a significantly LONGER combat radius than the F-16: 759 kms for the Raptor vs just 550 kms for the F-16. 38% longer than the F-16’s meagre combat radius. And that’s without external fuel.

      2) “and that’s not including the complete forfeiture of all of the F-22′s stealth and supersonic cruise capability that the use of droptanks entail, which more or less erases the case for (and the usefulness of) the F-22.”

      Wrong, because, as I said, the F-22 has a 38% longer unrefueled combat radius than the F-16.

      3) “In any case, 2 Sidewinders (250lbs ea.) and 4 AMRAAMs (450lbs ea.) collectively weigh 2300llbs.”

      But the F-22 can carry eight A2A missiles internally, not 6, as we shall see later.

      4) “How can you seriously claim that this is a significant advantage?”

      I said that the F-22 has a significant advantage in the 50% fuel load plus eight air to air missiles configuration. And this is true: for the F-22 it’s 1.26:1, for the F-16 it’s a paltry 1.095:1.

      Even at full fuel and full weapon load, the F-22, by your own admission, still outclasses the F-16, even though by a smaller margin.

      (For the purposes of this discussion, “full weapon load” means the full load of A2A missiles that the F-22 can carry internally.)

      5) You denied that the F-22 can carry eight A2A missiles internally. You claimed it can carry only 6. But this is clearly wrong; the F-22 can carry a full EIGHT A2A missiles (6 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-9s) internally. Proof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:F22_Raptor_info.jpg

      The photo is by the USAF itself, not by Wikipedia, which has merely cross-posted it. The same photo is available on Globalsecurity.org, AirPowerAustralia, etc.

      If stealthiness is not a requirement, the F-22 can carry an additional four eight A2A missiles AND two conformal fuel tanks on external hardpoints, for a total combat load of 12 air to air missiles and 2 CFTs, just as I said. As proven by the above-cited CFTs.

      The F-16 can carry only 11 A2A missiles, all of them externally, none of them internally.

      And when an F-22 runs out of missiles (though with a load of 12 missiles, it would have to go on a shooting spree to run out of missiles), it can either engage its opponents in close combat with a gun or safely egress out of the fight and, at supercruise, return home. The F-16 cannot safely egress out of the fight – its max speed is only Mach 1.8 (and even that on afterburner – the F-22 can fly as fast on supercruise) and if it shows its rear end to the enemy, it will be easily shot down with IR guided missiles.

      6) “For an F-22A and F-16C with 100% internal fuel, their wing loadings are;
      63700lbs / 840ft2 = 75.83lb/ft2
      28100lbs / 300ft2 = 93.66lb/ft2

      So with maxed-out internal fuel and 6 missiles, the F-22A has higher wing loading.”

      ROTFL! Now you have shown that you can’t even read your own statistics correctly. 75.83lb/ft2 (the F-22’s wing loading ratio) is a lot LOWER than 93.66lb/ft2. 75.83 will always be much lower than 93.66. Simple mathematical fact.

      In other words, you have shot yourself in the foot.

      Similarly, you claimed that

      “But even so, I’ll *still* entertain the notion that they might have an equal wing loading with as many missiles they can carry, and 50% fuel — by comparing the actual numbers;
      F-22A + 9000lbs of fuel + 2x AIM-9 + 4x AIM-120 = 53800lbs
      F-16C + 3600lbs of fuel + 2x AIM-9 + 6x AIM-120 = 25500lbs
      53800lbs / 840ft2 = 64lb/ft2
      25500lbs / 300ft2 = 85lb/ft2”

      Yet, 64 kb/ft2 is much less than 85lb/ft2, meaning that at 50% fuel and max missiles, the F-22 has a MUCH LOWER wing loading ratio – 21lb/ft2 less than an F-16. That’s 21 lbs of weight less for every square feet of the wing. That is a significant difference.

      You have shot yourself in the foot again.

      So, even by your own admission, the F-22 has significantly lower wing loading ratios than the F-16 – both at 50% fuel and at full fuel.

      7) Likewise, your claim that

      “That’s a Biased Statistic, because it deliberately skirts the F-22′s unavoidable massive fuel capacity and smaller missile load-out. Or to put it another way, the F-22A is an Air Superiority Fighter that carries less missiles than a Tactical Fighter, but requires the weight of a Tactical Fighter worth fuel to reach a shorter range.”

      is completely false, because the “50% fuel load plus missiles” statistic is the most credible one, as real world combat occurs when aircraft are at much less than the full fuel load they had when they took off. An F-22 (or an F-16, or any other fighter) would meet its enemy far from its base, at a moment when the fuel level would likely fall to ca. 50%. For that reason, it is the statistic used most frequently. The only circumstances under which an F-16 (or any other fighter) would fight enemy aircraft with its full fuel load still in its tank is if the enemy were right above the base and the F-16 were to face him immediately or shortly after takeoff. Such a scenario is not plausible.

      But even at full fuel load plus missiles, the F-22 still has a much LOWER wing loading ratio than the F-16, as your own statistics also confirm.

      And your claim that the F-22 carries less missiles than the F-16 is also completely false as proven above in #5. Internally, it carries 8; on external hardpoints, it can carry 4 extra missiles, for a total of 12.

      8) “a difference of 11lb/ft of wing loading guarantees that the F-22A’s advantage will NOT be drastically-altered”

      But the difference is NOT 11lb/ft2 in EITHER case. At full fuel plus the toys, it’s 18lb/ft2 lower; at 50% fuel plus toys, it’s 21lb/ft2 lower for the F-22. These numbers are not to be discounted as insignificant.

      9) “And if you knew about that fact, you would also know that Winslow Wheeler and Pierre Sprey were associates of John Boyd, who not only CO-INVENTED Energy Maneuverability, but also the USAF’s F-X and F-XX requirements that resulted in the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18. You know, the same people who you claim to be liars and fools, despite the fact that they are the people most-responsible the USAF and USN Air Corps that flies today.”

      False. They were associates of John Boyd indeed, but (along with John Boyd), they fought AGAINST the F-15 (F-X), and (with John Boyd now deceased; he died in 1997), Wheeler and Sprey fought against the F-22, spreading dozens of blatant lies about this excellent aircraft and stating such lies on national TV. They lied, and continue to lie, shamelessly about it, while also lying that the F-16 is somehow superior to the F-22, which it clearly isn’t.

      Both of them are also associated with the George-Soros-founded POGO, an extremely leftist anti-defense group which, for over 30 years, has fought against crucial weapon programs (including the M1 Abrams tank, cruise missiles, the B-2, the NGB, etc.) and for deep, draconian, crippling defense cuts. Both of them have written garbage propaganda for this George-Soros-funded group. Wheeler also worked for the George-Soros-funded CDI, which is doing the same thing as POGO, until he moved to POGO; Sprey still writes garbage stuff for the CDI, stuff which has been found dead WRONG by experts and fighter pilots.

      Wheeler was also a member of a Barney-Frank-convened panel consisting of extremely leftist hacks like him who recommended deep, debilitating defense cuts, including deep unilateral cuts to America’s nuclear deterrent, killing the bomber leg of the nuclear triad, “severely restricting missile defense”, scrapping two carrier battle groups. and other destructive proposals.

      So yes, they are liars, and they have been caught lying repeatedly: on the issue of the F-22, the F-16, and other crucial weapon programs. And the groups they work for are paid by George Soros to lie.

      9) “This is not correct, as all of my figures thus far have clearly demonstrated. Simply repeating the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it true.”

      Your figures have actually backed up my statement that the F-22 has much lower wing loading ratios than the F-16 at both full and 50% fuel (plus the toys). And the F-22 has a much higher T/W ratio than the F-16 at 50% fuel plus the goodies (1.26:1 vs 1.095:1), and slightly higher at 100% fuel plus the goodies. So what I said is 100% correct.

      And 100% fuel plus the goodies is not a “combat configuration”, since combat occurs almost always at a time when American fighters at ca. 50% fuel, not full fuel. In other words, neither the F-22 nor the F-16 will meet enemy fighters when still at full fuel.

      If the US fights China over Taiwan, the nearest American airbase is Kadena, 550 nm away from Taiwan. Neither the F-22 nor the F-16 would meet any Chinese fighters over Taiwan while still on a full fuel load. The same applies if the Philippines allow the USAF to use Clark AFB.

      10) “The grounds for your assertion that the F-22A can possibly be noticeably more maneuverable than the F-16C are gone. Get over it.”

      No, they’re not gone. They exist, and they stand. The F-22 is far more maneuverable than the F-16, as it has a MUCH better wing loading ratio (at both full and 50% fuel) and T/W ratio at 50% fuel – the fuel load most likely to be in the F-22’s internal tank by the time it faces an enemy fighter. The F-22’s T/W ratio advantage over the F-16 is small ONLY in the purely academic “full fuel plus full goodies” load, but even then, the F-22 is still better.

      11) “But as an ignorant guy, you’ll probably never understand this.

      There you go calling me names again!”

      Name-calling? Maybe. But you are demonstrably an ignorant guy. Had you actually taken the time to study the F-22 and the F-16 from unbiased sources, such as APA, you wouldn’t have been one. But instead, you repeat your old garbage here again and again, proving nothing but your ignorance.

      12) “…but then again, if you actually *practiced* ethical debate tactics, you would have to admit that my assertions are correct”

      Your assertions are not correct. They are wrong by a long shot.

      13) “The F-22 can also ingress into and safely egress out of a fight if need be. The F-16 cannot. The F-22 can engage and disengage enemies at will. The F-16 cannot.

      There you go, ignoring all the numbers again.”

      The numbers have been dealt with above. The information I cited is in addition to what I previously said, and it matters.

      The F-22 can carry 8 A2A missiles internally, and another 4 on external hardpoints, for a total of 12. If it runs out of missiles, it can egress safely out of the fight. The F-16 cannot.

      Today’s air to air combat results will be determined primarily by 1) survivability; and 2) the ability to engage and disengage enemies at will. The F-22 has that ability. The F-16 does not.

      If it turns back and tries to fly back home, it will be 1) outrun by the Su-35 or J-11, and 2) shot down easily with an IR guided missile launched at its hot, classic engine exhaust nozzle on its rear end. The F-22 has neither of these weaknesses.

      14) “The F-35A’s range on internal fuel alone is “only” 850 miles… 350 miles (i.e. almost 50%) more than the F-16′s (500 miles).

      But requires THREE TIMES the fuel to achieve, pushing it’s wing loading into the triple-digits.”

      True, but it doesn’t change the fact the F-35 has a significantly longly longer range on internal fuel alone. And if oil prices continue to go up, the entire USAF aircraft fleet, not just the F-35 program, will be grounded for want of fuel.

      “In other words;
      F-35A as a Fighter = disqualified.”

      The F-35 is not a fighter and was not originally intended to be. (Although today’s leadership of the DOD and the USAF is deluding itself that it can be.) The F-35 was designed as a battlefield interdictor against Soviet, and later Iraqi, tank armies and their associated short range AD systems. The F-16, and later the F-35, was supposed to attack these… but only after the F-22 eliminated enemy air defense systems and achieved air superiority.

      15) The F-16C has a much SHORTER range and a much shorter combat radius than the F-22, so your statistics are completely wrong. The F-22’s combat radius on internal fuel is 759 kms (vs only 550 for the F-16C), and its range (with external fuel) is over 1,600 nmi. One nautical mile is 1.15 US customary mile, so multiply that by 1.15. So the F-22’s range in US miles is 1840 miles, 531 mi more than for the F-16C.

      So yes, the F-22 is MUCH less likely to be run out of gas by the enemy than the F-16C.

      16) “Shall we compare these stats to some threat fighters next?”

      Sure, why not?

      In short, you (along with Wheeler and Sprey) have been utterly disproven again, and the F-22 has been proven to be decisively superior to the F-16. This is no surprise to anyone even mildly knowledgeable about military aircraft. Even people with rudimentary knowledge know that 1) the F-22 is far superior to the F-16; and 2) the F-22 is the only American fighter with any chance of defeating the latest Russian and Chinese fighters. As elaborated in many peer-reviewed articles by AirPowerAustralia.

      http://ausairpower.net/

      Starting with this article:
      http://ausairpower.net/APA-2008-04.html

  4. I did not call you a liar. I called your claims blatant lies.

    I see you *didn’t* heed the warning I linked you to, as indicated by your continuing use of unethical debate tactics.

    WRONG. The F-22 has a significantly LONGER range and a significantly LONGER combat radius than the F-16: 759 kms for the Raptor vs just 550 kms for the F-16. 38% longer than the F-16′s meagre combat radius. And that’s without external fuel.

    I’ve not only demonstrated that the F-22A’s range on internal fuel is lower than that of the F-16C, but also *why* — it consumes almost 4x the fuel-per-mile.

    Instead of refuting me, all you say is that the claim is wrong. You have no evidence.

    Wrong, because, as I said, the F-22 has a 38% longer unrefueled combat radius than the F-16.

    How, exactly, when it’s range is 15% shorter?

    I said that the F-22 has a significant advantage in the 50% fuel load plus eight air to air missiles configuration. And this is true: for the F-22 it’s 1.26:1, for the F-16 it’s a paltry 1.095:1.

    And I said, this is irrelevant, because it isn’t applicable to a real combat situation. I’ve already proven that the F-22A needs 18000lbs of fuel to reach a 77-mile-shorter range than the F-16C, which means that any comparison involving a load-out with less than 100% fuel is disingenuous.

    Moreover, the simple fact that the F-22A has a 413-mile range precludes it from *ever* carrying less than 100% internal fuel in any operational capacity.

    Thus, that you don’t compare both aircraft with the amount of fuel they WILL start their mission with is disingenuous.

    But even so, what an F-16C would lose a little bit of in thrust/weight, it will gain that much more of in weight-savings; the difference between an F-22A and F-16C to transition between maneuvers will be that much more advantageous for the F-16C, and this is already it’s biggest strong-point against the F-22A.

    Even at full fuel and full weapon load, the F-22, by your own admission, still outclasses the F-16, even though by a smaller margin.

    In only 1 of 5 maneuverability-governing attributes. As there are 3 draws, there isn’t much of a difference unless one of the aircraft has a colossal lead in both other attributes; the F-22A has better wing loading, while the F-16C weighs half as much.

    In *no way* does that give the F-22A an overwhelming advantage in maneuverability as you imply.

    Finally, as you left out these details, you Quoted Out of Context. That’s not only a logical fallacy, but also highly unethical.

    ROTFL! Now you have shown that you can’t even read your own statistics correctly. 75.83lb/ft2 (the F-22′s wing loading ratio) is a lot LOWER than 93.66lb/ft2. 75.83 will always be much lower than 93.66. Simple mathematical fact.

    It was a grammatical error. As I have stated all along, the F-22A consistently had a loser wing loading than the F-16C in any equivalent configuration.

    The photo is by the USAF itself, not by Wikipedia, which has merely cross-posted it. The same photo is available on Globalsecurity.org, AirPowerAustralia, etc.

    That’s a *Ferry Configuration*, not a combat one.

    An AMRAAM can’t be launched from an over-loaded internal bay any more than those wedged against the wings by drop-tanks in a Ferry Configuration.

    Moreover, the threat of a missile being jammed below another one was one of the main reasons the USAF rejected the YF-23. It carried AMRAAMs in a pair of 2-missile stacks, while the YF-22 carried them all side-by-side. It defies logic that the USAF would abandon this decision. If it doesn’t make any sense, it’s not true.

    If stealthiness is not a requirement…

    …then there is no case for the F-22A.

    the F-22 can carry an additional four eight A2A missiles AND two conformal fuel tanks on external hardpoints, for a total combat load of 12 air to air missiles…

    I reiterate — that’s a FERRY configuration. The missiles are attached, but not wired into the aircraft.

    Otherwise, it’s 4 in the internal bay, 2 in the auxiliary bays, and 4-8 under the wings. That’s 10-14.

    With the F-16C, it’s 8 under the wings and 2 on the wingtips — with twin-rail pylons on 6 of the under-wing hardpoints, that’s up to 16 missiles.

    Moreover, any advantage that either aircraft has in missile capacity is more or less pointless. The AMRAAM has at least a 50% pK ratio, the current-model Sidewinders have a 90%+ pK ratio, and fighters seldom engage more than 2 other aircraft an any sortie — even all the way back into the First World War.

    In fact, the only Ace-in-a-Day since World War 2 was Muhammad Mahmood Alam, who scored 4 of those 5 kills in a matter of seconds with *gunfire* — not missiles. That makes the “ton-of-missiles” advantage that mush more meaningless.

    …and 2 CFTs, just as I said.

    The F-22A isn’t compatible with Conformal Fuel Tanks.

    …the “50% fuel load plus missiles” statistic is the most credible one, as real world combat occurs when aircraft are at much less than the full fuel load they had when they took off.

    That’s a best-case scenario for maneuverability, and best-case scenarios are not instructive.

    The only circumstances under which an F-16 (or any other fighter) would fight enemy aircraft with its full fuel load still in its tank is if the enemy were right above the base and the F-16 were to face him immediately or shortly after takeoff. Such a scenario is not plausible.

    Again, a best-case scenario isn’t a useful yardstick, and there is no guarantee that this won’t happen.

    Especially given that even a quasi-Cessna with bombs can escape detection until it strikes;
    http://theboresight.blogspot.com/2011/03/spade-is-spade-for-odyssey-dawn.html

    But the difference is NOT 11lb/ft2 in EITHER case. At full fuel plus the toys, it’s 18lb/ft2 lower; at 50% fuel plus toys, it’s 21lb/ft2 lower for the F-22. These numbers are not to be discounted as insignificant.

    It doesn’t change that the F-22A still has an advantage in wing loading — or that it has a crippling, dogfight-breaking disadvantage in weight.

    Wheeler and Sprey fought against the F-22, spreading dozens of blatant lies about this excellent aircraft and stating such lies on national TV. They lied, and continue to lie, shamelessly about it, while also lying that the F-16 is somehow superior to the F-22, which it clearly isn’t.

    Calling them liars and their arguments lies is neither informative, honest, nor an ethical debate tactic; especially when you have no evidence to back-up the claim that they deliberately deceived the public.

    Claiming someone has committed an act of deception, but not proving it, is *itself* an act of deception.

    Both of them are also associated with the George-Soros-founded POGO, an extremely leftist anti-defense group…

    Guilt by Association is another logical fallacy; i.e., not an actual argument. Where an organization’s money comes from does not invariably shape it’s policies, nor does one’s associations with that organizations shape *their* policies.

    The only relevant facts are whether or not the claims you dispute are true. Everything else is a decoy or a smokescreen.

    …hich, for over 30 years, has fought against crucial weapon programs (including the M1 Abrams tank, cruise missiles, the B-2, the NGB, etc.) and for deep, draconian, crippling defense cuts.

    This is a bit out of context with whether or not the Fighter Mafia are credible experts, isn’t it?

    Funny, I could have sworn that “…M1 Abrams tank, cruise missiles, the B-2, the NGB…” have nothing to do with the F-16C, F-35A, or F-22A, but I guess I’m wrong.

    Moreover, expanding into subjects outside the topic is a Red Herring Fallacy. But then again, you knew that already, because you heeded the facts in link I gave you before… right?

    Sprey still writes garbage stuff for the CDI, stuff which has been found dead WRONG by experts and fighter pilots.

    What experts and fighter pilots? What are their experience, connections, and biases?

    Do they even exist?

    Wheeler was also a member of a Barney-Frank-convened panel consisting of extremely leftist hacks…

    There you go again, with more Guilt by Association.

    It’s not useful for making your case, but your long verbal assault against off-topic people and organizations definitely shows where you’re coming from.

    If you can’t concentrate on on the subject matter, it won’t be very good for your position.

    Wheeler was also a member of a Barney-Frank-convened panel consisting of extremely leftist hacks

    There you go again, with another long combination Red Herring Fallacy/Guilt by Association Fallacy.

    This is WAY off-topic.

    If the US fights China over Taiwan, the nearest American airbase is Kadena, 550 nm away from Taiwan.

    We’re going to fight our number-one business partner, who holds our colossal foreign debt? Not gonna happen, even if we *tried* to.

    Neither the F-22 nor the F-16 would meet any Chinese fighters over Taiwan while still on a full fuel load. The same applies if the Philippines allow the USAF to use Clark AFB.

    That sounds a lot like the planning that went into the US air forces the last time they were attacked in the Philippines, in December 1941 — more planning based on best-case-scenarios (i.e., Wishful Thinking).

    And we all know how THAT paid-off.

    No, they’re not gone. They exist, and they stand. The F-22 is far more maneuverable than the F-16, as it has a MUCH better wing loading ratio…

    You’re still talking about wing loading. The dominant advantage is the F-16C’s 50% lower weight, which you are ignoring despite now actually *knowing* why it’s a big deal.

    This is Confirmation Bias.

    Name-calling? Maybe. But you are demonstrably an ignorant guy.

    So I know the weight of the F-16C, F-35A, F-22A, their internal fuel capacity, their external fuel capacity, their weapon station capacities, their wing areas, their maximum thrust, the weight of the missiles they use, have demonstrated how all of these factors interact with each other and govern maneuverability, and demonstrated how the resulting maneuverability of each airframe compares to one another.

    You’re still name-calling, even though this debate tactic is still the most-widely-recognized as being unethical. This isn’t persuasive.

    The F-22 can carry 8 A2A missiles internally, and another 4 on external hardpoints, for a total of 12. If it runs out of missiles, it can egress safely out of the fight. The F-16 cannot.

    As stated above, it can carry the same number of missiles as it’s designation number.

    True, but it doesn’t change the fact the F-35 has a significantly longly longer range on internal fuel alone. And if oil prices continue to go up, the entire USAF aircraft fleet, not just the F-35 program, will be grounded for want of fuel.

    Instead of giving-up military aviation in such a crisis, it would be wiser to focus on using a Tactical Fighter that gets more miles for each pound of fuel burned; i.e., the F-16C.

    This is self-explanatory.

    The F-16C has a much SHORTER range and a much shorter combat radius than the F-22, so your statistics are completely wrong.

    Allow me to reiterate.

    1- The F-22A is powered by two F119 engines.
    2- The F-35A is powered by one F135 engine.
    3- The F135 and F119 are the same engine with different nozzles, and hence the same fuel consumption in an average mission.
    4- With 18500lbs of fuel, and F-35A has a range of 850 miles.
    5- 18500lbs of fuel / 850 = 21.77lbs/mile of fuel consumption.
    6- One F135/119 thus consumes 21.77lbs/mile of fuel.
    7- 2x 21.77lbs/mile = 43.54lbs/mile.
    8- The F-22A has two F119s.
    9- The F-22A thus consumes 43.54lbs/mile of fuel.
    10- The F-22A carries up to 18000lbs of internal fuel.
    11- 18000lbs / 43.54lbs/mile of fuel consumed = a 413-mile range.
    12- The F-22A thus has a 413-mile range.

    It’s common knowledge that the F-16C has a 500-mile range on internal fuel, even though it only carries 7100lbs of it.

    Sure, why not?

    Next comment…

    1. You are completely wrong on all counts.

      1) Regarding Wheeler and Sprey, they ARE liars and they HAVE deceived the public, and I HAVE provided evidence of that here on my blog.

      I cited their garbage written for POGO’s “Labyrinth” series, wherein they mislead the public about the F-16 supposedly being the best fighter in the world and superior to the F-22, and I have demonstrated the falseness of such claim here. Thus, what Wheeler and Sprey are doing is misleading the public.

      POGO, with Wheeler’s input, has also proposed destructive defense cuts in fighter and non-fighter programs, while lying blatantly about such programs. That constitutes misleading the public. Explained here:
      https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/pogos-spend-less-spend-smarter-policies-would-gut-defense-and-jeopardize-nat-sec/

      What POGO is and what it does is relevant here, as it shows what organization Wheeler works for. Who you work for shows who you really are.

      As for “guilt by association”, don’t make me laugh. Wheeler was not only a VOLUNTARY member of the Barney Frank convened panel, he actively contributed MANY destructive proposals to their “report” and proudly signed it. Among the panel’s proposals were deeply cutting the US nuclear arsenal deeply, cutting the Navy by over 50 ships (including two carrier groups), “severely restricting missile defense” (their words), and many others.

      Wheeler happily signed all of these proposals and contributed several of them.

      More on that here: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/daniel-greenfield/ron-pauls-soros-defense-plan/

      Sprey has been caught lying several times before, too. Recently, for example, he lied to make the F-22 look bad… but his lies were refuted by F-22 pilots and other experts:
      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/The-F-35s-Air-to-Air-Capability-Controversy-05089/

      The lies being spread by Sprey, Wheeler, and others have also been found dead wrong by APA experts, whose website has already been linked to here.

      Who pays them and their organizations matters a great deal. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Sponsors such as George Soros don’t give people money for nothing – they pay people to write stuff suiting their political agenda. Soros pays people to lie and to contribute destructive proposals; his stated life mission is “to cut America down to size”. Just as members of Congress answer to their campaign donors, organizations answer to their sponsors and do as they say.

      And I can tell you that no honorable person or organization, let alone a true, independent analyst (or group of analysts), would ever accept one penny from George Soros. Nor would Soros bet his money on people who aren’t already verifiable leftists.

      During the 1970s, the Fighter Mafia fought against the F-15 fighter, even though that fighter, and not the F-16, is what won America three decades of nearly uncontested air superiority.

      “The only relevant facts are whether or not the claims you dispute are true. Everything else is a decoy or a smokescreen.”

      But you’re the one who presented Wheeler and Sprey as paragons of virtue and infallible experts. I have proven, repeatedly, that they are not.

      2) “Instead of refuting me, all you say is that the claim is wrong. You have no evidence.”

      No, it’s YOU who has no evidence. Instead of providing some, you’re just repeating your ignorant claims and your lies, thus only utterly discrediting yourself.

      The F-22 has a significantly (38%) LONGER unrefueled combat radius than the F-16C: 759 kms vs a mere 550 kms. That is of utmost importance, because it tells us how far a plane can go, deliver its payload to the enemy, and return to base with some fuel still inside. See here, for example:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22#Specifications

      The F-22 does consume more fuel than the F-16, but it carries A LOT more fuel than the F-16, and thus, it has a longer range and a much longer combat radius compared to the F-16. Fuel efficiency is nice, but it does not compensate for an insufficiently large fuel tank. Large aircraft such as the F-22, the J-20, the Flanker family, and the F-15, with larger internal fuel capacity, will always be better than smaller aircraft with significantly smaller fuel capacity such as the F-16, and can run the latter out of gas. It’s a simple fact, but you clearly don’t understand it.

      3) “And I said, this is irrelevant, because it isn’t applicable to a real combat situation. I’ve already proven that the F-22A needs 18000lbs of fuel to reach a 77-mile-shorter range than the F-16C, which means that any comparison involving a load-out with less than 100% fuel is disingenuous.”

      No, it is not. It is applicable to a real combat situation – far more than your purely academic “100% fuel” assumption is. Any meeting/face-off between American and enemy fighters would almost certainly occur when American fighters have far less than 100% fuel – 50% or even less. In such scenario (50% fuel plus the goodies), the F-22 has a MUCH better T/W ratio than the F-16.

      Any such faceoff will likely occur when American fighters are far away from their bases – whether it’s with China over Taiwan and other Pacific islands, or with anyone else. In any real-world scenario, the USAF will likely be called upon to provide air superiority over Taiwan, the Senkakus, the Spratlys, the Paracel Islands, or Iran – in each of these cases except Iran (and only if Al Udeid is available), American fighters will have to operate far from home, even if Kadena (which is 550 nm away from Taiwan) or Clark (500 kms away from Taiwan) is available.

      So by the time American fighters make it from Kadena (or Clark) to Taiwan, they will have no more than ca. 50% of their fuel left. Simple, unavoidable reality, regardless of what American fighters you’re talking about (and the F-16 doesn’t even have a sufficient unrefueled combat radius to make it from Kadena to Taiwan and back).

      You wrongly claim that this is a “best case scenario”, but this is not true; this is actually a PESSIMISTIC scenario, which assumes that American aircraft will have to operate from very distant bases, far away from these bases, on low fuel loads. And so we come to #4.

      4) “The only circumstances under which an F-16 (or any other fighter) would fight enemy aircraft with its full fuel load still in its tank is if the enemy were right above the base and the F-16 were to face him immediately or shortly after takeoff. Such a scenario is not plausible.

      Again, a best-case scenario isn’t a useful yardstick, and there is no guarantee that this won’t happen.

      Especially given that even a quasi-Cessna with bombs can escape detection until it strikes;
      http://theboresight.blogspot.com/2011/03/spade-is-spade-for-odyssey-dawn.html

      No, it isn’t a best-case scenario. As for China bombing American bases with their strike aircraft – currently, they only have nonstealthy, easily detectable H-6 bombers plus JH-7 and Q-5 strike aircraft at their disposal. All of them can be easily detected and would require lots of escort fighters. Moreover, excepting the H-6, they and their escort fighters may lack the range to attack US bases in Western Japan, and they certainly lack the range to attack Guam.

      If China decides to destroy American bases preemptively, it will do so with SRBMs (DF-11, DF-15), MRBMs (DF-3, DF-21), and LACMs (e.g. the DH-10), of which it has plenty, instead of mounting such a costly, risky operation. These missiles would allow them to quickly and easily destroy American bases and aircraft on the ground.

      If the Chinese send the forementioned strike aircraft, they would be detected long before making it to these bases, and only a fool would try to intercept them right above these bases, instead of meeting them far away from these bases.

      When the J-20 enters service, and if the Chinese use it to bomb American bases in the region (as APA suspects they will), the J-20 will be able to do so undetected, as it is highly stealthy in the S, X, and Ku-bands, and to a lesser scale in the L-band.

      In any case, the scenario of American fighters meeting enemy ones over their own bases is highly unlikely. Just because it happened 71 years ago doesn’t mean it will happen tomorrow… especially not when the Chinese have far cheaper, far more effective means of destroying these bases (i.e. missiles) at far less risk (and zero risk to Chinese aircraft and their crews). Assuming that wars will be fought the same way they were fought in the past is a fallacy. It’s a fatal mistake, and it shows how ignorant you are.

      But if Chinese aircraft do make a strike on American bases, the F-22 stands a far better chance of repellling that strike than the F-16. (And the USAF will be VERY lucky if it’s given the luxury of operating at or nearby its bases, when there’s still plenty of fuel onboard the aircraft. But I wouldn’t bet on them being granted the luxury of fighting closer to home.)

      5) Most of America’s public debt is owned by American institutions and citizens. Only a minority is held by foreigners. Moreover, if China dumped US T-bonds and the dollar, that would send the value of other currencies, such as the EUR, the GBP, and the JPY through the roof, making them too high, and forcing Frankfurt, London, and Tokyo to intervene by buying… dollars and US T-bonds. If debt is a weapon, dumping it is unilateral disarmament, as Gordon G. Chang points out.

      6) “I reiterate — that’s a FERRY configuration. The missiles are attached, but not wired into the aircraft.

      Otherwise, it’s 4 in the internal bay, 2 in the auxiliary bays, and 4-8 under the wings. That’s 10-14.”

      WRONG. It’s not a ferry configuration, it’s a COMBAT configuration for missions requiring stealthiness. On those missions, the F-22 can carry EIGHT air-to-air missiles internally, as proven by the USAF picture I’ve linked to. Your claim is therefore utterly false.

      Moreover, the F-16 CANNOT carry 16 missiles – only 11. It has only 11 hardpoints: 2 wingtip ones, 3 under each wing, and 3 under the fuselage. See here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16#Specifications_.28F-16C_Block_30.29

      7) “You’re still talking about wing loading. The dominant advantage is the F-16C’s 50% lower weight, which you are ignoring despite now actually *knowing* why it’s a big deal.”

      It’s not a big deal. It is only a part of the picture. Looking only at that part and ignoring others is what is TRULY dishonest.

      The F-22 is heavier, but its engines provide much more thrust than the F-16’s sole, weak engine, thus giving the F-22 a better T/W ratio at full fuel and a MUCH bettter T/W ratio (1.26:1 vs 1.095:1) at 50% fuel.

      As for wing loading, which is a VERY important factor in agility, again, you’re looking only at weight, while I’m looking at the full picture. And that full picture indicates that, at full and half-full fuel alike, the F-22 has a much lower WL ratio than the F-16.

      8) “Moreover, the simple fact that the F-22A has a 413-mile range precludes it from *ever* carrying less than 100% internal fuel in any operational capacity.
      (…) 12- The F-22A thus has a 413-mile range.”

      Also wrong. The F-22’s range is far more than 413 miles: it’s 1,840 mi, or 1,600 nmi. Proof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22#Specifications

      And in case you didn’t know: a plane’s range is a far different thing from its combat radius.

      As for the F-22’s combat radius, it’s 471 mi, not 413, i.e. 759 kms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22#Specifications). The F-16’s combat radius is a mere, pathetic, insufficient 550 kms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16#Specifications).

      So your statistics about the F-22’s and the F-16s ranges and combat radii are completely wrong.

      “So I know (…) their weapon station capacities, their wing areas, their maximum thrust, the weight of the missiles they use, have demonstrated how all of these factors interact with each other and govern maneuverability, and demonstrated how the resulting maneuverability of each airframe compares to one another.”

      No, you don’t, as demonstrated by your ignorant comments and as refuted above.

      9) “In only 1 of 5 maneuverability-governing attributes. As there are 3 draws, there isn’t much of a difference unless one of the aircraft has a colossal lead in both other attributes; the F-22A has better wing loading, while the F-16C weighs half as much.

      In *no way* does that give the F-22A an overwhelming advantage in maneuverability as you imply.”

      Wrong again. The F-22 has a huge advantage over the F-16 in wing loading at both 100% fuel and 50% fuel load plus the goodies, and in T/W ratio when the aircraft are at 50% fuel plus the goodies. In the purely academic 100% fuel load plus the goodies criterion, the F-22’s T/W ratio advantage over the F-16 is smaller, but it still exists.

      So that gives the F-22 an overwhelming advantage in 3 categories and a small lead in 1. In none of these four categories does the F-16 outclass the F-22. NONE.

      Weight, as I said, is only a part of the picture. Many other factors determine maneuverability as well. As stated already, the F-22, despite being heavier, has much more powerful engines, larger wings, and thus, MUCH better T/W and wing loading ratios. So it DOES have an overwhelming advantage in maneuverability.

  5. Here are the maneuverability attributes of the F-16C, F-35A, and F-22A compared to some selected threat aircraft, old and new.

    Empty weight, empty, full fuel, max take-off…
    F-16C: 18700/25800/42300lbs
    F-35A: 29300/47800/50000lbs
    F-22A: 43400/61400/80000lbs
    F-5E: 9600/12700/20400lbs
    Mig-21F:10750/15550/19000lbs
    Mig-29B: 24100/31400/46300lbs
    Mig-35: 26500/38500/52500lbs
    JF-17A: 14200/19300/27500lbs
    J-10A: 21500/31400/42500lbs
    Su-27B: 36200/56900/72440lbs
    J-20A: ~40000/55000/75000lbs
    T-50: 40800/65800/81700lbs

    Wing area (ft2, in parentheses) and wing loading at empty, full fuel, max take-off weight…
    F-16C: (300) 62.63/86/141lb/ft2
    F-35A: (460) 63.69/103.91/108.69lb/ft2
    F-22A: (840) 51.66/73lb/95.23lb/ft2
    F-5E: (186) 51.61/68.27/109.67lb/ft2
    Mig-21F: (247) 43.52/54.85/76.92lb/ft2
    Mig-29B: (408) 59/76.96/113.48lb/ft
    Mig-35: (408) 64.95/94.36/160.29lb/ft2
    JF-17A: (263) 54/73.39/104.56lb/ft2
    J-10A: (420) 51.19/74.76/101.19lb/ft2
    Su-27B: (667) 54.15/85.21/109lb/ft2
    J-20A: (~800) ~50/68.75/100lb/ft2
    T-50: (848) 48.11/77.59/96.34lb/ft2

    Thrust at afterburner; t/w ratios at empty, full fuel, max take-off weight…
    F-16C: 29100lbs; 1.55/1.12/0.68
    F-35A: 35000lbs; 1.19/0.95/0.7
    F-22A: 70000lbs; 1.61/1.14/0.87
    F-5E: 10000lbs; 1.04/0.78/0.49
    Mig-21F: 12650lbs; 1.17/0.93/0.66
    Mig-29B: 36500lbs; 1.51/1.16/0.78
    Mig-35: 39600lbs; 1.49/1.02/0.6
    JF-17A: 19000lbs; 1.33/0.98/0.69
    J-10A: 29100lbs; 1.35/0.92/0.68
    Su-27B: 55120lbs; 1.52/0.96/0.75
    J-20A: 80000lbs; 2.0/1.77/1.0
    T-50: 80000lbs; 1.96/1.21/0.97

    Initial/continuous turn rate (approximate figures)…
    F-16C: 30/20 degrees/sec
    F-35A: 30/20 degrees/sec
    F-22A: 30/20 degrees/sec
    F-5E: 25/15 degrees/sec
    Mig-21F: 20/10 degrees/sec
    Mig-29B: 30/20 degrees/sec
    Mig-35: 35/20 degrees/sec
    JF-17A: 30/20 degrees/sec
    J-10A: 30/20 degrees/sec
    Su-27B: 30/20 degrees/sec
    J-20A: 20/15 degrees/sec
    T-50: 35/20 degrees/sec

    Climb rate…
    F-16C: 50000ft/min
    F-35A: 50000ft/min
    F-22A: 50000ft/min
    F-5E: 34500ft/min
    Mig-21F: 25500ft/min
    Mig-29B: 65000ft/min
    Mig-35: 65000ft/min
    JF-17A: 45000ft/min
    J-10A: 56000ft/min
    Su-27B: 45000ft/min
    J-20A: 50000ft/min
    T-50: 65000ft/min

    The top 5 performers in transient maneuvering are…
    1- F-5E
    2- Mig-21F
    3- JF-17A
    4- F-16C
    5- J-10A

    The top 5 performers in handling are…
    1- Mig-21F
    2- F-22A
    3- J-10A
    4- T-50
    5- F-5E

    The top 5 performers in acceleration are…
    1- J-20A
    2- T-50
    3- Mig-29B
    4- F-22A
    5- F-16C

    The top 5 performers in turn rate are…
    1- Mig-35
    2- T-50
    3- J-10A*
    4- F-22A*
    5- Su-27B*
    *: Wing loading was used as a tie-breaker.

    The top 5 performers in climb rate are…
    1- Mig-29B
    2- T-50
    3- Mig-29
    4- Mig-35
    5- J-10A

    Here is what can be gleaned from this lesson…

    – The T-50 is immensely powerful in a dogfight, but clumsy.

    – The Mig-21F doesn’t need to maneuver aggressively to beat the other fighters here in a dogfight; it can simply refuse to be a straight and level target, and gradually force them to lose energy faster… assuming it has the fuel, which is a marked problem in the Mig-21 series.

    – The F-5E is even more dangerous in a dogfight. It has the most transient maneuvering capability of any of these aircraft, and has more range and climbing power (despite a lower t/w ratio) than the Mig-21F. It’s no accident that it’s still widely-favored by air forces that could afford more expensive fighters (e.g., Singapore), and still used by the USAF and USN in aggressor training.

    – The maneuverability attributes of the J-20A indicate it is suited for use as an Interceptor or Striker — not an Air Superiority Fighter or Tactical Fighter.

    – Fighters in the 10000lb class have the multiple-10K fighters by the balls, if they maneuver unpredictably.

    – The F-35A is a disaster. It fails to make any of the top 5 lists, and would likely sit close to the bottom of every one if they were top 12s.

    – The F-22A fails to dominate any one of the 5 attributes that determine maneuverability, demonstrating that it’s reputation of being the dominant fighter of the Early 21st Century is more imagined than real. While it’s maneuverability is good, it’s unquestionably not worth the money all on it’s own.

    – The Su-27B also disappoints, and only made 5th place in one category.

    – The J-10A is more agile than most Western observers give it credit for. It’s more maneuverable overall than an F-16C or F-22A.

    – The equilibrium of maneuverability attributes between the Mig-29B and Mig-35 almost inverts. Overall, the latter loses almost as much as it gains.

    – The F-16C still leaves the F-22A in it’s exhaust, where transient maneuvering is concerned.

    – The tiny wing areas of the super-lightweights doesn’t prevent them from displaying excellent wing loading.

    – The J-20A and T-50 always have at least as much thrust as they weigh. Fighting them in the vertical is a death sentence.

    – Older fighter designs can still compete fiercely with newer ones in a dogfight. In some attributes, they’re almost untouchable by 4th and 5th generation fighters.

    1. By your own statistics, the F-22 has a much LOWER wing loading ratio than the F-16 C at empy, full fuel, and max takeoff weight – ESPECIALLY in the latter criterion, where its WL ratio is only 95lb/ft2, versus a high 141lb/ft2 (!).

      So the F-22 is MUCH more maneuverable than the F-16.

      1. I’ve explained this repeatedly, but you don’t seem to understand.

        Wing loading forms 15% of the equation for determining an aircraft’s full maneuverability. It governs handling.

        The other 4 are weight, turn rate, t/w ratio, and climb rate. None is superior to the others; they only quantify what a given aircraft can and can’t do, relative to another aircraft.

        Wing loading is not the sole factor in determining turn rate, as demonstrated by the fact that the F-16C (very light, no TVN), F-22A (very heavy, has TVN), and Su-27B (very heavy, no TVN) all demonstrate virtually equal turning speeds.

        It is only possible for one fighter to demonstrate a superior overall level of maneuverability over another by having having the lead in more of these 5 categories than the other fighter, or by having a more substantial lead.

        The F-22A and F-16C are shown to have a draw in t/w ratio, climb rate, and turn rate.

        That leaves wing loading, which the F-22A has an advantage of approximately 15%. The F-16C has the advantage in weight, far in excess of 100%.

        This does not give the F-22A the lead, because the counter-advantage that the F-16C has is overwhelmingly stronger.

        This doesn’t give the F-22A the lead — and even if it did, it would be a hollow victory, as the majority of the 5 attributes are solid draws.

      2. You’re contradicting yourself now. You claim that wing loading forms only 15% of the equation, but yet, you claim that none of the 5 factors is superior to the others.

        Fact is, a plane’s maneuverability is determined for the most part by wing loading and the T/W ratio. By both of these standards, as well as by turn rate, the F-16 is decisively inferior to the F-22, while their climb rate is identical and the F-16 has an advantage in weight. On balance, the F-22 is a much better aircraft for maneuverability and thus for close combat.

        And that is of course to say nothing about long-range combat, SEAD, and other missions that the F-22 can do easily but the F-16 cannot.

    2. Your T/W ratio stats for the F-22 are wrong – at 50% fuel plus the goodies, it’s 1.26:1; at MTOW, it’s 1.09:1 (full fuel and the full panoply weapons, plus the weight of the aircraft itself).

      So let’s evaluate what these stats mean for the F-22.

      1) It has a lower WL ratio than the F-16 and all competitor aircraft, except the MiG-21F and a J-20 with full fuel but no weapons.
      2) It has a higher (i.e. better) T/W ratio than the F-16 (at both full and 50% fuel plus the goodies) than the F-16 and all competitors except the J-20 and the PAKFA – aircraft that are more than a decade younger.
      3) It has a better or equally good initial and continous turning rate compared to all Russian and Chinese aircraft you cited here, except for the MiG-35 and the PAKFA which have a slightly better initial turning rate, but their continous turning rate of 20 deg/second is only as good as the F-22’s.
      4) It, along with the F-16 and the F-35, has a higher climbing rate than all but the MiG-29, MiG-35, PAKFA, and J-10, and the same as the J-20. Comparisons to the MiG-35 are purely academic, however, as no MiG-35s have been ordered by anyone. Moreover, the MiG-35 and the MiG-35 have decisively inferior T/W and WL ratios compared to the F-22, meaning they cannot compete with the Raptor in close combat, and their much lower service ceiling of 57 angels (8 angels lower than the F-22’s service ceiling) means they cannot compete with the F-22 in BVR combat, either, as the Raptor, flying higher, can send its missiles further than the MiGs can.
      5) At MTOW, the J-10, MiG-21, and F-5 have a somewhat higher, and the F-16 and the F-5 has a MUCH higher (i.e. inferior), WL ratio than the F-22, so your claim about their tiny wing areas not being a hindrance is completely false.
      6) Placing the J-20 ahead of the F-22 with the WL as a tie breaker is dishonest, because the F-22 has a LOWER WL ratio than the J-20, except when the two aircraft have full fuel but no weapons onboard (which is purely academic). Thus, the F-22 should be AHEAD of the J-20.
      7) The J-10 Sinocanard is inferior to the F-22 by all counts except climb rate and initial/continous turn rate. That’s not good enough for the J-10. Not even close.
      8) The F-22 IS the dominant fighter of the 21st century, and that is a fact, not an imagination. Not only is it more agile and maneuverable than almost all competitor aircraft (not to mention the F-16 and the F-35 Flying Hog), it is also far harder to detect while having the most powerful radar on the market (thus giving it a huge advantage over competitors) and carrying 8 air to air missiles internally (the PAKFA can carry only 4 missiles internally, so the F-22 gets 4 freebie shots at the “Raptorski”). Furthermore, unlike all other aircraft compared here, except the PAKFA and maybe the J-20 (neither of which have entered service yet), the F-22 can engage and disengage enemies at the pilot’s wish; it can ingress into the fight at any moment and egress safely out of it at any time for any reason. No other aircraft compared here, except the PAKFA and the J-20, has that option: if they try to return home, they’ll expose their hot rear ends to a supercrusing, fast-closing-in F-22 and its AIM-9X missiles and will be easily shot down. Thus, the F-22’s reputation as the best fighter in the world is fully deserved and is based on facts.

      In other words, you’ve been proven wrong yet again.

    3. So again, let’s see what we can discern from your own stats:

      1) In the wing loading category, the F-22 bests everyone except the MiG-21 (and the J-20 and the PAKFA in the purely academic empty weight wing loading category – academic since aircraft never fly empty and must always carry fuel and some ammunition). The F-16 doesn’t even come close, and with a high wing loading of 141 lbs/sq ft is the second worst performer in this category.
      2) In the T/W ratio category, only the PAKFA and the J-20 – aircraft that are a more than decade younger. Again, the F-16 doesn’t even come close.

      3) In terms of the initial turn rate, only two aircraft do better than the F-22, and only slightly. These are the PAKFA, which is over a decade younger, and the MiG-35, which has not been ordered by anyone.
      4) In terms of the continous turn rate, the F-22 does as well as or better than anyone else.
      5) In terms of climb rate, only the MiG-29, the MiG-35, the J-10, and the PAKFA do better. But, as I said, the MiG-35 has not been ordered by anyone, so comparisons with it are purely academic.

      1. 1)3) All Eurocanards have better wing loading value than F-22, as well as better maximum instanteneous turn rate.
        5) Typhoon at least has better climb rate.

      2. None of the Eurocanards were listed here by that guy. Moreover, neither the Rafale nor the Gripen NG nor the Typhoon stands any chance of competing with the F-22, the F-15, or Russian and Chinese fighters in BVR combat.

  6. Woah this site is usually amazing i like learning your content regularly. Continue the truly amazing function! You recognize, lots of individuals are generally shopping around for this data, you could assist them drastically.

  7. My feeling is that you are comparing pure numbers you have available and this could be deceiving – wing loading, acceleration, ….. but when you look e.g. at F1 cars there is so much more – I think you can not just take public figures and compare… as it was stated several times here that e.g. also aerodynamic properties are way more important – and this you can not compare with numbers against numbers… then comparing US aircraft to Russian one… yes maybe some numbers are better on the Russian one but that’s it… trust me, if any country would have enough money and possibility, they would buy always US or western aircraft.
    That is why I try not to fly Russian airliner or airlines when travelling to Russia – I do not trust quality of Russian manufacturing… (sure, I biased for I am from Slovakia, experiencing communist regime…)

  8. I wonder whose figures the protagonists are using? Manufacturers’ figures? Official Air Force? Guaranteeing correct figures is almost impossible – especially if the statistics are quoted by Lockheed, who are known to use unethical, and occasionally illegal, methods in order to sell their products.
    And as for you, Pavol, your experience of a fractured regime has clouded your judgement. Russian build quality is a match for any other country’s, when concerning aircraft. It has to be. The welding may not look pretty, and the component fit could be better, but the machines are tough – often tougher than western counterparts, because of the vast distances involved in Russian travel and the often-undeveloped runways they have to utilise. Russian aircraft are designed for their environment and fiscal circumstances. Compare Ilyushin crash figures to Boeing. You’ll get it on Wiki.
    I’m not Russian.

  9. I do agree with Pavol.
    The comparison of stats doesn’t make any sense. 20 years ago Formula one cars were about the same weight than today but had an excess of 1000 hp! Would they be faster and more successful [but also for sure more deadly for the driver] than today’s cars? Definitely not.

    That is the annoying bit of the discussion. You can’t compare apples with oranges. The Russians were always quite right with their aerodynamics and top line performance. But when it came to consistency and quality of performance, they looked pretty bad. Not to talk about their avionics systems, which are behind the west.
    Recently the PakFa prototype was tested by the Indians [which are co-funding, co-developing and will also receive the PMF as well as in future built themselves] – and the Indians weren’t really amused, as it underperformed in most key-points.
    Hence above comparison are even semantics – as they are using the prospected and not the real [or realistic] stats of the airframe.
    To the quality – in Red Flag Las Vegas, the Su-30 MKI was the only plane, which could not start in a bulk – as its engines would overheat! It had to wait for a runway cool down of minimum 6 minutes. A Western airframe would have been grounded until this problem would have been resolved. But the Russians just “put a warning into the manual” – problem solved!

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