Talk:Fighter aircraft

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HAL Tejas[edit]

I’ve removed the HAL Tejas for essentially the same reason I’ve removed the TD section: a full production version has not achieved initial operational capability (IOC) and only in-service aircraft can be counted as belonging to a “generation.” It should not be readded until a full production version has achieved IOC with a combat squadron, which is an event that will follow induction. This should also help alleviate the dispute over its proper generation.Askari Mark (Talk) 03:36, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

For reference, the Tejas is a 4th-Gen – not a 4.5-Gen – design. The fact that it has suffered a prolonged development timespan does not “promote” it to a 4.5 Gen. This does not mean it’s antiquated or obsolete; most air forces will be flying 4th-Gen fighters for at least a couple more decades (and, of course, more advanced technologies can be retrofitted as desire and funding allow). I am very familiar with the capabilities of the Tejas – in fact, I wrote most of what currently stands in its WP article, removing fanboy and disparaging POVs – and I’ve yet to see anyone provide clear evidence of it being Gen 4.5. When the airplane becomes eligible for insertion here, then this should be reassessed, but please keep in mind that simply upgrading/retrofitting an aircraft with more modern equipment does not necessarily translate to a generational promotion; there has to be significant redesign as well. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:36, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Since an editor attempted to re-add the Tejas (as a 4.5 Gen fighter), saying that two squadrons are in service, let me point out that this is not true. The current plan is to stand up the first squadron in 2009-10 and a second squadron a year later. (See “Air Force To Deploy First LCA Tejas Squadron in Tamil Nadu By 2010” and “Tejas will join IAF by 2011: Antony”.)

As for the Tejas’ generation, I’ve yet to see reliable, independent aerospace source assert that it is 4.5. However, I can find numerous examples that say it is 4.0, among which are the following examples (emphasis added):

The Indian air force has approached the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which designed and developed India's fourth-generation Tejas light combat aircraft, to prepare a detailed project report on the development of 20t medium combat aircraft (MCA) with stealth features.
Dr Subramanyam is also hopeful of joint efforts by private companies across the globe to market this fourth generation fighter aircraft.
In a major breakthrough for the Indian aeronautical sector, the first aircraft in the Limited Series Production (LSP) of India’s home grown, multi role, fourth generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, has cleared the decks for the state owned aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to take up the production of eight Tejas aircraft as part of LSP.

Let's please avoid further fanboyism here. Askari Mark (Talk) 20:00, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Hey, Whoever is deleting the HAL Tejas from the 4.5 generation list, Don't do that if you are really well informed about aircraft. It is now officially classified into 4.5 generation criteria. Yeah earlier it was supposed to be a 4th generation fighter when the program was launched in 1980's but the program being taking a long term. It has been re-designed according to 4.5 generation criteria with State-of-the-art avionics and other gears E.g:-fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system (FCS), multi-mode pulse-doppler radar, and afterburning turbofan engine and even AESA radar. Hence i request to the person who is deleting it from the page, to not to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 117.200.96.79 (talk) 22:54, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

The Tejas is not (yet) eligible for inclusion since a production-standard version has not entered squadron service (IOC, not “induction”). Please see the earlier discussion. Whether Tejas belongs in the Gen 4.0 or 4.5 section can be debated at that time. At the current time, the great majority of sources call it 4.0, which is what WP must then call it. By the time Tejas achieves IOC, the popular consensus may have changed, but that’s not for us to forecast. Askari Mark (Talk) 22:31, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Currently the Tejas does not have AESA radar, future variants probably will, but currently the Tejas is not even in service! So whoever is bumping the Tejas up to 4.5, please... well stop. Besides, most people do still consider the Tejas 4th gen. (````) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.57.50.156 (talk) 03:15, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

No, the yet-to-be-IOCed-Tejas is not 4.5th gen. It's not even a full-fledged multirole fighter; it's more like an intercepter as it has nearly zero ground-striking capacity. Furthermore, Tejas's propulsion system ISN'T EVEN DECIDED ON YET. It's a hardcore 4th gen, and is better than the Mirage but by no means comparable to the 15/16/18E, Typhoon, Rafale or J-10B/11B which are somewhat STEALTHY, FAST, LOW ON MAINTENANCE, AND CAN ACTUALLY DELIVER ENOUGH PAYLOAD TO BE LABLED AS A MULTIROLE. "Light Combat Aircraft with carbon composites" = "We can't make Medium or Heavy Combat Aircrafts with higher-grade fibre composites." Being able to build one of world's lightest fighters is NOT SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF. Most here would agree that a J-10 can even take out a Tejas, no problem. Having a radar which can lock on 10 targets when you can't even engage 5 is OVERKILL. The Tejas does have some fancy gadgets but its design is solid 4th gen and its propulsion system ISN'T EVEN fully 4th. Drop it. If it makes you guys who always bump it to 4.5th feel any better, think of Tejas as a 4.24th gen fighter.--Ao333 (talk) 21:58, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Remember WP:CIVIL, please. And regardless of whether Tejas is 4.0 or 4.5 generation, it still isn't in production or service, per the whole discussion above, so the tempest in a teapot is, it seems, rather moot anyway... - The Bushranger (talk) 22:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Speaking from no authority whatsoever, the "generations" nonsense only really applies to cold war American and Soviet aircraft where there were clear equivalents for almost every plane. If we cannot agree on the classification of the Tejas, we should ignore it and use other examples in the article and avoid this urinating competition altogether. Assigning generations to new Chinese aircraft will have exactly the same problem, and there's a fair argument for scrapping the generations altogether as a US-centric bias to the article's coverage. SDY (talk) 01:29, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you in the sense that there is such a wide abundancy of fancy radar, avionic, and stealth technologies out there, it's nearly impossible to categorize them into generations. However, it is noteworthy that propulsion systems are still highly monopolized by the permanent security council members as they are the only ones capable of producing modern indigenous turbofans. US>RF>UK>FR>PRC will be the ranked order of aero and naval technologies for this decade. So please, do not present aircrafts that can't even fly without imported engines into a debate.

TO PEOPLES OF INDIA: AESA is the first and foremost important requirement demanded of 4.5th gen fighters as defined by the United States government: http://opencrs.com/document/RL33543/ As of 2010, plans and progress of the Israeli AESA upgrades for Tejas are still unclear. Please refrain from assigning Tejas to 4.5th gen UNTIL it is equiped with AESA. Only the US has AESA-equipped fighters in service.--Ao333 (talk) 05:19, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

WP:CIVIL, please, remember it, you should. - The Bushranger (talk) 00:48, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Fighter aircraft cost/effectiveness[edit]

Having been thinking about fighter aircrafts trough the centuries, I am amazed on the types of fighter aircrafts that are used today. To me, it seems that fighter aircrafts have become allot less cost/effective and allot less able to stay airborne (today they mostly simply rely on brute force, ie using their jet engines). I'm guessing that putting together the specifics of several fighter aircraft trough the centuries will confirm this.

For the graph-image (or table), I would propose the including of these aircraft:

  • P51 Mustang
  • F4 Phantom (or CF101 Voodoo)
  • Joint Strike Fighter

Perhaps a similar image can also be made for bombers (ie B17, B52 and B2) and perhaps

Data they I wish to show is:

  • Purchasing cost
  • Operating cost (fuel, maintenance, ...)
  • Flight range
  • Attack range (machine guns/rockets)~
  • Payload (guns + rockets + bombs)
  • Weight
  • Energy requirements/km

Note that for equal comparing, prices probably need to be recalculated; ie 1$ was worth more in the past, as opposed to now.

I'm hoping that the results will confirm my suspicions, and making + placing the graph/table here will perhaps put some pressure on returning to more "cost/effective" models (these could btw perhaps also be jet-propelled ones, ie Me 262-type aircraft, or similar models). Increasing the cost-effectiveness would also save us some tax.

PS Note that for reason of providing an honest comparisment, I'm not including the most cost-effective fighters in every category (ie the most cost-effective fighters/bombers would be eg foreign/less used aircraft as Spitfires, B24's, ...
Update

the graph would be best made by showing the airplane price in the vertical axis, and the fuel consumption, maximum speed and armement on the horizontal axis; the fighters can thus be lined up at the horizontal axis with 3 function graphs. This graph would thus be a bit simplified, but it the most info we can show in a single graph. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.182.144.189 (talk) 07:59, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

81.245.91.8 (talk) 13:11, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

That would be WP:OR in terms of an addition to this article or its own article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
However that does sound like a nice topic for a book. So why don't you write that instead? Hcobb (talk) 17:38, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, this is the argument of the Fighter Mafia, i.e. it has been done before. The original F-16 was in fact the product of that precise same line of thinking. - The Bushranger (talk) 18:16, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Not exactly, my line of thinking also incorporates comparing the method of propelling; ie jet-powered vs propeller-driven (the first one uses allot more energy, but as I see it, allot energy is wasted here in the form of heat); I thus think that an image or a seperate article seems useful.

KVDP (talk) 06:12, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Speeds are a nearly pointless comparison because they plateaued in the 70's from g forces limitations on the pilot and an aircraft may have an excellent maximum speed but still be a poor fighter though too large a gap will leave the slower fighter at a disadvantage nothing can overcome. Higher speeds result in more drag, and more power is needed to attain or maintain the extra speed. As long as they are in the same ballpark, effectiveness depends as much on the capabilities of aircraft as on the relative skills of the pilots. To give an idea of what I mean, the Brewster Buffalo fighter, flown by inexperienced US or British pilots against experienced Japanese pilots got thrashed, but the same aircraft in the hands of the experienced Finns were able to take on much better Russian aircraft (including lend-lease Spitfires) and win so often the Finns made plans to build more. That isn't to say we should spend all our money on training though.

The last generation of piston aero engines were vastly more complex than any jet engine, and required more man hours to make, and to get to work properly hence the reason they are no longer used. Compare the R-4360 or R-3350 with a PW100 of similar power. Aircraft are subject to far greater stresses than they were during WW2, and as a result cost more to design and to build. Structural techniques that worked using rivetted sheet metal were forced aside by large milled components (horrendously expensive in comparison) because it was the only alternative. Honeycombing structures added still more to the cost and even that has been replaced by the still more expensive and complex task of manufacturing large carbon fiber components embedded or coated with RAM. Numerous attempts were made to limit the size and costs of new aircraft but none of the results was ever usable except the Harrier - and that was entirely by accident as it was intended as a technology demonstrator for a fighter that never got built. It is undeniably an arms race - and one much harder to control than battleships or nukes ever was.

Price is a minefield as program costs cover far more than the aircraft - initial training, spares, simulators, buy ins for customer mods, and more that make comparing even similar programs difficult and these individual costs are rarely broken out for the public. Many items are fixed for the whole program regardless of the number of aircraft bought. Small production runs result in high per unit costs since fixed costs such as tooling up are spread out over fewer aircraft. We may never again (hopefully) see the sheer numbers of aircraft built as were during WW2, but those numbers provided a huge savings in the price of individual aircraft, while hiding the costs of all the failed programs that were run concurrently. For every aircraft type the US got into service during WW2, more than a dozen failed types were designed and built at taxpayer expense. Some entered large scale production before it was realized they represented a wasted effort. By ordering from 3, 4 5 or more companies and choosing the best, it makes the choice seem cheaper than it was - the program costs for the failures needs to be factored in as well.

Operational costs for current types are tracked but I've rarely seen them outside of correspondence about the replacement, and good luck on finding statistics for 1940's airplanes - maintenance costs may require a huge effort to unravel and are not negligible.

Keep in mind also that inflation rates are not precise - they are based on the average price of a number of domestic commodities such as milk and flour but those prices haven't kept up to the inflation in the prices of many other items, such as cars or houses.

A final factor to consider is that many WW2 aircraft were not built to last - no more than 100 missions was expected of a heavy bomber while modern aircraft are expected to remain in service for 30 or more years so construction has to be to a much higher standard. After the war was over, the RCAF surveyed its stocks of engines, and despite still needing them, disposed of large numbers because they failed to meet post-war tolerances and quality control minimums. What was allowable during one of the hardest fought wars in history was no longer adequate in peacetime. We place a much higher value on life and limb now than we did during either of the two wars (perhaps their greatest legacy) and safety costs money. Armour and ejection seats are no longer optional and are not free.

FWIW the CF-101 was to use nuclear tipped missiles against Russian bombers but had such poor maneuverability that it would have been unable to escape the blast from even one of its own missiles - perhaps an all time nadir in cost effectiveness. NiD.29 (talk) 15:44, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Images[edit]

I've trimmed things down in the jet "generations" sections to just three to a generation (with one exception, four for fourth generation, as the section was so long). Hopefully it's a bit less of a "vertical gallery" now. - The Bushranger (talk) 04:34, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I think images of aircraft which are in use should take priority over images of aircraft which are still in development. Yattum (talk) 22:07, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Protection[edit]

As we have a bit of an edit war about images I have protected the page, can editors please come to a consensus about changing images or not, thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 19:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Long Range at the expense of Armor Protection[edit]

The "cup is half empty" capitalizes on the lack of armor protection for the pilot. The "cup is half full" emphasizes the reason why the A6M lacked armor: It was designed for long range. From about 1940 thru 1943 the A6M had nearly double the flying range of an ME109 or British Spitfire. And more than any other single engine fighter until the advent of the P47s and P51s. Additionally, no pilot armor could withstand the impact of an American .50 Browning machine gun bullet! So long range was far more important than adding armor that would not stop a .50 caliber bullet anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.102.9.150 (talk) 00:54, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

When the A6M was designed none of its contemporaries carried armour either - the difference ultimately was that the Japanese took longer to add armour as well as self sealing fuel tanks - both of which were fitted to late model Zeros and all of the intended replacements. The Spitfire could have had its range increased to match the P-51 but this put the c of g dangerously past the aft limit, and so wasn't done but even the P-51 was near its aft limit when fully loaded. The A6M wasn't similarly handicapped. "No Pilot Armour..." seems doubtful to me (do you have a source other than derived from ww2 propagandha?). The armour didn't need to stop a direct hit from a .50 anyway - deflecting a ricochet, an angled shot or shrapnel could just as easily save the pilots life, and in many cases it wasn't the death of the pilot that won the fight but damage to the aircraft's controls, structure or its engine. In any case by 1945 German armour was heavy enough that 20mm cannons were still a better option.NiD.29 (talk) 16:00, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

What's with The Military/History Channel Anyway?[edit]

Recently I watched a program about the A6M Zero on the "military" (or History) channel. I was really looking forward to learning more about that airplane. But was extremely let down by the program when they demonstrated a standard .30 caliber cartridge (.303, 30-06, 308, 7mm or 8mm, they are all generally .30 caliber bullets) penetrating (or not penetrating) WWII pilot protective armor. Nearly all American warplanes from the P40 Warhawks, Dauntless dive bombers, P38 Lightnings, Wildcats, Hellcats, even the B17 bombers all were armed with Browning .50 caliber machine guns, the Mustang was equipped with six of them, the Thunderbolt carried 8 fifties! Fifty calibers were even mounted on the Korean War F86 jets. Why didn't the History (or Military Channel) test the .50 caliber bullet against WWII pilot armor? That is what Americans used. Leave it to TV to broadcast mis-leading information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.93.21.110 (talk) 19:43, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps because the Japanese used .30 cal machine guns and the producers wanted to show how well protected our guys were? Your question isn't relevant to this page which is about problems regarding the wiki "fighter" page - there are forums for that sort of thing - I recommend http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/. NiD.29 (talk) 22:25, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Dedicated Ground attack aircraft[edit]

I have a problem with including dedicated ground attack aircraft in the fighter category. "Colloquially" means to me people with no knowledge of the subject and their opinions are not relevant to an encyclopedia article unless explicitly mentioned as such. The general press wouldn't know an A-10 from a 747 but I am sure that because the A-10 has one seat they have described it as a fighter at some point but that should not be the basis for including it on this page, which is supposed to dispel confusion - not create more. From dictionary.com = Military. an aircraft designed to seek out and destroy enemy aircraft in the air and to protect bomber aircraft. From The Free dictionary.com = A fast, maneuverable combat aircraft used to engage enemy aircraft. From Mirriam Webster = b : an airplane of high speed and maneuverability with armament designed to destroy enemy aircraft No mention of aircraft that are not used for this, or even capable of carrying out this task.

Numerous times aircraft that were not fighters have been designated as such - some like the F-117 for national security reasons, others like the F-111 for political/funding purposes (and this should be mentioned). I have no problem with types designated by the operator as fighters, but the opinions of people not in a position to make judgements are not relevant. Sounds like a fanboi made a bar bet and tried to support a failing argument by posting the claim. Perhaps someone has a reference supporting this (mis)use? (and prove me wrong) I would be willing accept the manufacturer (excepting sales hyperbole) or the purchasing or operating entity (who are qualified to describe it however they want). On a related note - there must be a better first picture - a formation shot is great, but using one having a non-fighter is a poor choice. NiD.29 (talk) 22:25, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

WWII Pacific theater[edit]

I've been thinking about how to improve this article, which at times seems to go all over the place, and decided to be bold and try my hand at reworking a section of it. I've tried to focus it by making the account strictly chronological, and by clearly explaining why Japanese fighters initially had the upper hand and how the Allies took it from them. I know that I haven't given many cites - sorry I just moved and a lot of my books are still in boxes. I will try to improve that. Let me know what you think, and if it looks good I may try my hand at improving other sections. 21:52, 14 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spinner145 (talkcontribs)

I've now given similar treatment to the introduction and the discussion on fighters in the European theater for WWII. Particularly, I thought a discussion of fighter combat on the Western Front was needed. Spinner145 (talk) 18:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I've tried to clean up the 'technological developments' section of the fighter article. The main goal was to make it more focused by cutting some of the less essential details. I also added a brief discussion of advances in airframe design (Monocoque construction, swept wings, etc.) that were important evolutionary steps in fighter design during WWII. Next I plan to do an overall edit of the WWII section and the section on first generation jet fighters to try to improve the flow of these sections and to eliminate repetitions. Let me know if you have any suggestions. 21:09, 28 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spinner145 (talkcontribs)

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Remotely piloted fighter aircraft[edit]

Do any remotely piloted fighter aircraft allready exist ? Remotely piloted ground attack aircraft allready exist (ie General Atomics MQ-1 Predator) yet fighter and fighter/ground-attack aircraft do not. I think a remotely operated version of the Dornier_Do_335 or even Yakovlev_Yak-3, Supermarine Spitfire or Mitsubishi A6M Zero would be beneficial and allow greater reductions in military spending (ie a Joint Strike Fighter costs 60,4 million dollar). RO-versions of these WW2 fighters might not be as good in dogfights, but for 60 million dollar, one can make a lot of RO WW2 fighters, and I'm not sure whether a huge group of these won't win against a single JSF. 91.182.37.177 (talk) 11:58, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

General Discussion Fighter Generation[edit]

Having read Modern Air Combat and some other good books, and some inherited old books I have to say this all is a bit wrong. For one the classification fixation of fighter generations only appeared since Lockheed promoted the fifth generation terms. In no literature before are there definitive classification definitions. Certainly there are references to (technological) generations but not in a definitive form. There are also some problems with the criterias. A doctrine does not define a fighter generation. Production fighters are not necessarily definers either as some of the tech evolved within one generation (F-86: 8 times). What defines a generation is technological innovation and capabilities that are combined into a design. As fighters are used, practical combat experience are collected, lessons are learned, and weaknesses discovered or revealed new tactical doctrines and the requirement for the next generation are drafted. But not all comes to fruition in a new generation....

A short rundown and summary. There's a lot to cover. It appears that the P-80 Shooting Star is viewed as the true 1st jet fighter generation (from an American/Western point of view)(1947?). Followed by the Swept wing F-86 Sabre(1949:2 years later), afterburning supersonic North American F-100 Super Sabre 2nd fighter generation (1954:7 years later). Then followed by the variable geometry intake of a 3rd generation Mach 2 F-4 Phantom II (1958:11 years later). The 1st and 2nd generation are generally disregarded due to the numerous innovations of the 3rd generation that makes everything before insignificant (IR/radar & missile, avionics, ECM/ECCM, EW, leading flaps, moveable stabilizers, refueling etc.).

In WWII where max speed equals combat speed, and high altitude flying makes it safe from flak created the high altitude and high speed flying doctrine. Infrared and radar guided missiles were created to shoot down bombers but the Vietnam War saw them mostly used against fighters. SAMs began to shoot down high flyers like the U-2 and other lessons learned created the low altitude flying doctrine. Also the strategic Massive retaliation doctrine changed to Flexible response doctrine. This led to the creation of the Panavia Tornado. STOL and new flying/agility control capabilities were introduced by fly-by-wire in the F-16 (4th generation). Cost and Vietnam experience led to the dual fighter pairing (F-16/F-15). E-M theory, Supercruise (last remaining Vietnam lesson not fulfilled yet), stealth, integrated sensors etc. making up the 5th generation. Doctrine wise it appears to be a regression to WWII and Vietnam: stealth ambushes (Mig21) and passive fighting (WWII visual).

Long-range capability and hypersonic UAV are probably part of the next generation requirements. Mightyname (talk) 01:14, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

As to the eastern side, things are different and don't follow western PR classification. The first generation being the Swept wing MIG-15 (1947), and the supersonic MIG-19 (1952). The MIG-15 introduced nose intake, spelled the end of machine gun and straight-wings (western response: F-86). The MIG-19 the first Mach 1 fighter, introduced twin engines with afterburners (western response: F-100, F-1xx series, F-8). The second generation is presented by the Mach 2 MIG-21 (1955). The MIG-21 introduced variable nose intake (western response: F-4E, Top Gun, F-16). Western plans for Mach 3 bombers and fighters prompted the development of the MIG-25 (1965) and long range missiles (western response: F-15). Experience from the Vietnam War resulted in the first true anti-fighter (off-bore-sight) missiles AA-11, R-77, and MIG-29, SU-27 (western response: Phyton 5, F-22, F-35, AMRAAM, ASRAAM). In response to the F-22 the Sukhoi T-50 and J-20 were created (western response: 6th generation plans). Catching up includes fly-by-wire in the SU-35.

Land-based radar guided interceptor & SAM combination doctrine changed to independent fighters due to anti-radar warfare. Mightyname (talk) 10:24, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

The question regarding the F-16/F-15 generation seems rather based on opinion. The innovations upon their introduction were basically composites, turbofan (first being F-111), and analog fly-by-wire. Compared to the other innovations made in to the 3rd generation they aren't that significant in changing the game. Then there is the claim of the Gripen being the first 4th generation. This is based on the change from analog to digital systems e.g. fly-by-wire to fly-by-light. The move to "regular compatible" computer systems allows full software based centralization, processing and control. It's cheaper, more flexible and (software) configurable than the integration of incompatible analog systems, that require special control development each time. With digital systems software based interfaces are all that's needed similar to plug&play. Needless to say, modern aircrafts get updated components during their life time and hence get promoted in their classification. In a historical view, updating their classification accordingly makes no sense e.g. outfitting a 2nd generation with modern components and calling a 4th generation aircraft. It's just PR. Mightyname (talk) 17:59, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

4th gens wax 3rd gens in agility. That's the main point of that generation. You will note the quick push of the F-4 from combat fighter to support platform once those arrived. Hcobb (talk) 18:12, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the literature says there is virtually no improvement in agility performance since the 3rd gen., and that it actually got less regarding max speed requirements. Certainly, fly-by-wire offered new control options but then again it says maneuverability is in 5th place of importance in winning. The F-15/F-16 are optimized for maneuvering but it was not something a 3rd gen. couldn't be designed to be. Further, the literature says the F-16's continuous ability to turn is only good for escaping (a lock), but not for actual weapons use as well as straining the pilot. Regarding the F-4 it's the other way around. Since WWII, there was a move of having dual-mission fighter-bombers instead of pure fighters. The Korean war proved that requirement again, although it started out with specialized fighters. The F-4 was always meant to be a fighter-bomber, hence, the final decision to go for a tandem cockpit, while the F-8 being the true fighter of the time. It was designed for the Marines to begin with. Only later did the Air Force jump on the bang wagon of users. Its multi-role actually increased as the war went on (anti-radar SEAD, laser precision bombing etc.). But due to its sheer (engine) power, large (missile) fighting endurance, and better tactics & pilot training it became a MIG hunter. Also note many 3rd gen. innovations came to be during the Vietnam War over time. They did not appear at once, but went into the F-4 as upgrades and add-on. The war showed the importance of electronic warfare, radar & missile & SAM. Btw. if you wondered about the harriers and variable-sweep wings they are viewed as special ability designs. Mightyname (talk) 13:19, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
The Mig-29/SU-27 are comparatively 3rd gen. technology. The Mig-29 controls were archaic pre-fly-by-wire. Even though, the Su-27 was designed with soviet fly-by-wire in mind it was barely analog. Both put a lot more workload on the pilot and more difficult to fly than the F-16/F-18 and yet they were able to outperform in terms of agility. The testing of east German Mig-29 & missiles was a wake up call for the western military leading to the string of new development of recent times. The Gulf War seemed to have triggered the development of drones. Mightyname (talk) 15:43, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

What do your guys think about 5.5 generation jet fighter?[edit]

Like F-22 is upgrading.....125.82.253.133 (talk) 05:16, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, but the F-22 upgrades are to get it up to 5th generation level. Go read the F-22 upgrades section on the needed fixes. In other un-news the F-35 is sub-4th generation in performance and everybody else doesn't even have stealth coatings yet. Hcobb (talk) 07:11, 1 February 2013 (UTC)