It’s not all about top speed

Or thrust-to-weight ratio.

Got an interesting link today from my Internet friend of many years, a retired Air Force test pilot.

Just as we had a top secret program for many years involving captured Soviet fighters, the Soviets had a few of ours.

And the conclusions of one of the Russians top test pilots at the time, in evaluating “The Foreigner” (an F-5 that came from Vietnam after we left) vs a MiG 21, were objective, at times, funny (didn’t know that Russian fighters did not use brakes integrated with the rudder pedals), and, most of all, surprising.

In simulated dogfights, the F-5 won every time.

Lex would have loved to have read this article. He had some flight time of his own in an F-5E, with some amusing stories.

The conclusion of the Soviet experts in confronting a Tiger after their tests?

Our “experts” suggested not to engage in a close dogfight, but to use the “hit-and-run” tactics instead.

More here.


Filed under Airplanes, Flight simulation, Flying, Uncategorized, Wargaming

6 responses to “It’s not all about top speed

  1. ohengineer

    Curtis LeMay hated the F-5, classing it as a second line fighter and he would not push it. In the 70s I read an interview with Chuck Yeager and he loved the little thing. I respect LeMay for what he did with the 8th AF, the 21st Bomber Command and SAC, he was not a fighter pilot, while Yeager was. I regard Yeager’s opinion over LeMay’s on the subject.

    • I’ve had a good Internet friend for over 20 years who was quite an Air Force test pilot and head of the B1B program.

      And in regards to the F5 or more accurately its successor the F 20, he said there was two Air Force factions. The faction led by John Boyd favored many low cost maneuverable fighters like the F5

      I forget who led the opposing faction but when the F 16 came down the pipeline Lockheed sealed the fate of the F 20 Tigershark.

      I made the point that you wonder how many great weapons systems have been killed just through politics

    • ohengineer

      At the time, the 16 was a General Dynamics project. GD sold the project to Lockheed later as GD was refining itself for a smaller set of projects it was better at, and to avoid financial problems. The hard development of the AC was over and most of what was going to happen down the road was small refinements, some larding down of the airframe, and avionics upgrades. The low profit stuff.

      The Tigershark was probably the better choice, but USAF isn’t noted for making good choices anymore. They’ve worsened with the years and may have been the first woke service. My father retired from USAF back in the early 70s and would probably do the same as I do now, encourage young men to stay away. Far away.

    • ohengineer

      One of the interesting things that came out of the early 80s, and that I had forgotten, was a fly off between the F-5 and the first line fighters of the time. 1v1, the F-5 lost handily, but in a fur ball, the F-5s gave as more than they got. Both USAF and Navy think we can avoid such things, but I would not give a dime for the chances of avoiding such things.

  2. Lex wrote about the Mig-21, which he called ‘a noble adversary.’

    Would have been great if Lex and Kondaurov could have had a drink together.

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