3474. U.S. Fighter Aircraft Design, Weight And Performance Trends

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Title3474. U.S. Fighter Aircraft Design, Weight And Performance Trends
Publication TypeConference Paper
Paper Number3474
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCate, Dudley M.
Category Number10;11;21
Paper Category10. Weight Engineering - Aircraft Design; 11. Weight Engineering - Aircraft Design ; 21. Weight Engineering - Statistical Studies
Conference68th Annual Conference, Wichita, Kansas
Conference LocationWichita, Kansas
Date Published5/16/2009

Weight engineers struggle with aircraft weight because it is so critically important to aircraft performance. Nowhere is this truer than for fighter aircraft. The U.S. has been operating fighters since 1917 and designing them since almost that long ago. This paper presents three sets of information for U.S. fighters: the first set consists of quantitative trends versus time for some top-level design, weight and performance parameters for U.S. fighters. The parameters addressed include ones commonly cited in aircraft histories (max speed, combat ceiling, initial climb rate) plus others such as weight empty fraction, fuel fraction, wing loading and power- and thrust-to-weight ratios. The second set of information is the results of searches for correlations between design parameters (e.g., wing loading) and performance parameters (e.g., climb rate). The third set consists of brief descriptions and assessments of the requirements, technologies, design, performance and
operational suitability of each of the fifty-odd aircraft in the database.

Key Words10. Weight Engineering - Aircraft Design, 21. Weight Engineering - Statistical Studies
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