Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
raptorman

Do fighters really need afterburners to take-off?

Recommended Posts

Hi folks: Been showing my wee lads videos showing fighters taking off, etc. Noticed that all vids show afterburner. I imagine the engine puts out enough thrust without the extra kick of the afterburner. Apart form a need for a quick departure when needed, is there any reason why afterburner is used when you are not heading out to intercept?

 

Just curious

 

Raptorman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that the Russian fighters when not in an exercise or at war take off with 100% military thrust.

No afterburneruse for them when in peacetime, they still do it at airshows for show ofcourse.

 

My best regards, Kodiak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You only have until the end of the runway to gain enough speed to get away from the ground and stay airborne. Less thrust = longer run. Longer run = less margin for error and less concrete for a safe stop in emergency.

Now, helicopters do measure the power output according to the load, conditions and maybe even pilot preferences. Fixed wing... they have to go as fast as they can as quickly as they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As soon as the pilots get their assignments, they are at war." That's what a guy from the U.S.N told me when I only was a kid during their short stop with the JFK off Philipsburg (SXM).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The answer is...it depends.

 

I know of some fighters when lightly loaded will do mil power takeoffs.

 

FC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As soon as the pilots get their assignments, they are at war." That's what a guy from the U.S.N told me when I only was a kid during their short stop with the JFK off Philipsburg (SXM).

 

:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rolleyes:

 

If it can help to understand the "why and how" this guy was a "Tomcat" pilot... :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they need to get airborne heavily loaded, on a "real life" operational runway that is short or not paved, or needing to get into local action *fast* like here...

 

There were some later missions flown, especially in Mayday emergencies when the 102's were the fastest response available in the South (2 1/2 minutes over the fence, far faster than the F-4).

 

Or for air show, or impress congress, members.

 

b52::

"Tomcat" pilot

One of the Few, with Original Knees after hi~school football. Best method of weeding out candidate Tomcat pilots ever devised. I had so many friends tell me "I was going to join the NAVY and fly tomcats but I messed up my knees in football." :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Lexx_Luthor': haha nice, I imagine the sight of your friends return from the registration office, limping from sore knees :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You(pilots) are taught to use max power available for take-off. Once SAFELY airborne you can throttle back. There are a few situations where you would not use it. They are mostly maintenance related.

Full AB can get you out of some 'sticky' situations if they come up.

If you are doing a 'section go' you can go to full AB and then quickly throttle back to a less powerful AB selection to allow your wingman enough power to keep up.

In the F-4 there were 5 stages of AB(called a soft light burner). They were individually selectable by moving the throttles.

It was not as hard(maintenance wise)on the burner section as the old hard light burners(all stages lit at once making a very loud BOOM with the immediate thrust increase) as on the older fighters(F-100,F-101,etc)

If you watch a fighter take off,you will see the burner go through the stages of burner in just a few seconds. The burner fire will change color or shape and the 'turkey feathers'(burner nozzles)will adjust to the necessary thrust position.

 

I didn't mean to be so long winded,but I figured an explanation was needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ezlead::

didn't mean to be so long winded

May your breath of information always exhale.

 

Thanks for the soft/hard info. Very, very interesting indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Lex:

I didn't know you had to go down on your knees to fly 'TomCats'. :dntknw:

I just thought you had to be Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer look alikes. :rofl:

 

Trivia: At 'TopGun' today if you use a quote from the movie they fine you 5 bucks.

To be spent by all at 'happy hour'. :drinks: They got really tired of hearing them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol thanks!!

 

This is neat. Scroll down to the bottom of this Amazon link. Down there is a short review of Gathering of Eagles movie by a maint guy. hjehe :rofl:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/AB1SCR2UNHOBQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

 

There's always neat stuff to read at Amazon movie comments. Gathering is packed with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that the Russian fighters when not in an exercise or at war take off with 100% military thrust.

No afterburneruse for them when in peacetime, they still do it at airshows for show ofcourse.

 

My best regards, Kodiak.

 

 

During my military time i have never seen a MiG take off without afterburner.

Of course it was possible but not usual.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also might depend on the model of the plane. USN A-model Tomcats used to have the option of using burner or not (you can see them launching on their inaugural cruise in '74 without lighting the cans), but as I understand it, as early as the late 1970's the requirement was to bring the jet to Zone 5 on the catapult. B and D model Tomcats were prohibited from using afterburner on the deck (GE engines burned hotter, might have been able to damage the JBD's).

 

I also know that when British F-4's visited American carriers in the mid 1960's, they wound up being prohibited from using afterburner when their engines began burning the flight deck (this was largely due to the cant of the jet made by the longer nose landing gear compared to American F-4's, but also because they were using a more powerful, hotter engine) - ref: Roger Ball!.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B and D model Tomcats were prohibited from using afterburner on the deck (GE engines burned hotter, might have been able to damage the JBD's).

 

Numerous sources state that with the B and D it was very easy to exceed the maxumum gear-down speed after a full afterburner launch, adding another reason why it was not often used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Trivia:

I knew several Naval Aviators(Navy or Marine) that flipped the gear handle up after they pulled the cat ahead to tighten up the bridle. The F-4 had a scissors switch on the main mount that would not let the gear retract until the main mount shock fully extended. With the bridle tight and the holdback cable attached the shock would not extend. It would extend about 3/4 through the cat shot. This happened so fast that the gear wouldn't start to retract until they left the deck. However;Somewhere someone has a photo of an F-4 at the very end of the cat stroke with the gear retracting while it is still hooked up to the cat bridle.

Gear speed on most jet aircraft is 250 kts or greater. Not for the gear,but for the gear doors. You could drop the gear at 450 kts if needed,but you would lose the gear doors.

Not using AB on cat launch was probably for some of the older carriers.

Sorry,I hijacked the thread,but I'm full of F-4 info lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Trivia:

I knew several Naval Aviators(Navy or Marine) that flipped the gear handle up after they pulled the cat ahead to tighten up the bridle. The F-4 had a scissors switch on the main mount that would not let the gear retract until the main mount shock fully extended. With the bridle tight and the holdback cable attached the shock would not extend. It would extend about 3/4 through the cat shot. This happened so fast that the gear wouldn't start to retract until they left the deck. However;Somewhere someone has a photo of an F-4 at the very end of the cat stroke with the gear retracting while it is still hooked up to the cat bridle.

Gear speed on most jet aircraft is 250 kts or greater. Not for the gear,but for the gear doors. You could drop the gear at 450 kts if needed,but you would lose the gear doors.

Not using AB on cat launch was probably for some of the older carriers.

Sorry,I hijacked the thread,but I'm full of F-4 info lately.

 

 

Once a phantom phan always a phantom phan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the comments on this video will help:

 

Having spoken to the pilot on several occasions (he'd stop into my airport for the weekend every now and then with an a/c from NAS Oceana), for that t/o (and for most of them), they are required to use AB for safety considerations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually, methinks the question should not be 'do fighters need afterburners', but...

 

"Do afterburners need fighters?"

 

:lol::rofl:

 

ducks and runs..............................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Surely not all fighter are even equipped with an afterburner?

 

 

Of course not, many like the A-4, Jaguar, F-117, and others didn't have one. And, don't call me Shirley.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends how you define Fighter - I was going to say the only thing I could think of in service was the AR-4 Fightinghawk - but I still dont regard that as a fighter.

 

 

Britanica:

fighter aircraft, aircraft designed primarily to secure control of essential airspace by destroying enemy aircraft in combat.

 

Wikipedia:

A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..