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Thread: Vietnam war era fighter: MiG-19 versus F-8U versus F-5E versus F-104

  1. #1
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    Vietnam war era fighter: MiG-19 versus F-8U versus F-5E versus F-104

    So which one make the best/worst dogfighter/interceptor? how will you rank them ?and why




  2. #2
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    I'd say the F-5 from those four.

    The MiG-19 is awesome but needs new engines after about 250 to 300 hours.

    The F-8 is a great plane but big, smoky and complicated.

    The F-104 also is small and fast and has the roll rate of a sidewinder but it does not want a sustained turn of any kind.

    The F-5 on the other hand has LERXes, sweet little engines that kept on going, good visibility and is also agile as a cat in a corner. Being small is a quality all of its own. Makes you hard to acquire and track visually. F-5 wins this little contest hands-down.
    Last edited by schurem; 4th July 2018 at 17:07.

  3. #3
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    I have some charts from F-5E manual, could be useful?
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  4. #4
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    I vote for Crusader over F-5E, more range to do air supremacy.

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no E-M diagram for F-8U or F-104 but they did a series of test for those aircraft against Mig-21F13 in HAVE DOUGHNUT program, and these comments seem telling
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    https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/N.../area51_50.PDF

  6. #6
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    Excellent post. Have a cookie

    I still stand by my assessment of the F-5 as the superior of the mentioned planes. While the F-104 might be great at boom & zoom, there are too many situations where that just won't work.
    Last edited by schurem; 4th July 2018 at 17:07.

  7. #7
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    Since you said " Vietnam war era" I wonder have saab draken would have done it if fielded in the year 1960 :-)

  8. #8
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    For this semi-retired defence analyst, a zipper is the fastening on the front of my trousers or on the 'Farnborough 84' windcheater that I scrounged from Boeing some three decades ago. In a lifetime mostly spent in the aerospace industry or in associated fields, I have never heard these weird nicknames being used by defence professionals, so it is hard to see what purpose they serve on this forum. It would be most useful if posters who wish to indulge in these nicknames would take the time to provide translations for the rest of us.
    Mercurius Cantabrigiensis

  9. #9
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    oh i'm quite sorry sir if my futile attempt at fighter jock cool fell utterly flat for you. I have edited my posts right away.

  10. #10
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    It was not a case of something falling flat - I simply did not understand what you meant. Thanks for making it clear to this uncool former engineer.

    Aviation slang has its pitfalls. Back in the days when the A-10 was entering service, one of the UK's best-known aviation writers heard a USAF pilot describe the aircraft's GAU-8/A cannon as the "Big Mother", and duly added this interesting bit of colour to his copy. If my memory is right, the printing presses were rolling and committing these words to paper before a 'street-smart' sub-editor spotted the phrase...
    Mercurius Cantabrigiensis

  11. #11
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    Vietnam is where the Mig made a name for itself.

  12. #12
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    Which is why I avoid using most of the "cool" pilot slang when discussing aircraft types.

    Simply put, unless you've earned the right to use flight line slang (as a crew member or maintainer) especially by saying anything remotely derogatory about a type, it marks the speaker as more of a "wanna be" or fanboy.

    In my experience, pilots don't use many of the common nicknames as much as the people who want to look like pilots.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 4th July 2018 at 20:19.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  13. #13
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    As far as these go, the Mig19 could do with better engines...

    F5 is simple, agile, and cheap.. but facing an F-8 or, even more, an F-104 properly flown, it will have difficulties touching any of them. It will be able to turn on a dime, but the other guys, especially the F-104, will simply remain at speed and use their massive power advantage to remain out of range

  14. #14
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    That is not the task of a fighter. It has to go for the bomb-carriers, which do inflict the harm to the own forces. When the Russians evaluated the F-5, they found out, it has an egde over the MiG-21 where the action is.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garryA
    Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no E-M diagram for F-8U or F-104 but they did a series of test for those aircraft against Mig-21F13 in HAVE DOUGHNUT program, and these comments seem telling
    So
    F-104
    _ F-104 is superior to Mig-21 in accelerate until 30K feet
    _ Mig-21 turn rate is superior to F-104 at all speed and altitude.
    F-8U
    _ subsonic acceleration is comparable to Mig-21, with Mig-21 able to gain only 200 feet.
    _ supersonic acceleration is noticeably inferior to Mig-21
    _ Mig-21 has more instantaneous G available through the speed range (until 400 KIAS)
    _ Below 400 KIAS, 16K feet F-8 can sustain 1 G higher, above 450 KIAS, Mig-21 can sustain 0.5 more G
    _ Comparable Zoom performer until 36K feet, the maximum separation is 1000 feet, Mig-21 has slight advantage if the zoom doesn't excess 30k feet
    F-5N
    _F-5E has superior MIL/AB acceleration until 15K feet.
    _ Mig-21 has superior unloaded acceleration until F-5 top speed
    _Mig-21 can zoom slightly better.
    _Mig-21 has slightly better Instataneous G below Mach 0.9
    _F-5 has slightly better sustained G

    On topic of Mig-21 and F-5, I found this
    http://www.checksix-fr.com/wp-conten...21-vs-F-5E.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f
    As far as these go, the Mig19 could do with better engines...

    F5 is simple, agile, and cheap.. but facing an F-8 or, even more, an F-104 properly flown, it will have difficulties touching any of them. It will be able to turn on a dime, but the other guys, especially the F-104, will simply remain at speed and use their massive power advantage to remain out of range
    If i understandit correctly, F-5E can accelerate better
    Last edited by moon_light; 6th July 2018 at 07:36.

  16. #16
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    I don't have anything about MiG-19, but HAVE FERRY/HAVE DRILL series of test can give us a rough estimation of their comparative capability
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    https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NS.../area51_51.PDF

  17. #17
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    BTW, HAVE FERRY/HAVE DRILL used F-5A to test instead of F-5E, F-5E has better instantaneous turn rate but worse sustain turn rate
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  18. #18
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    I once read an account by an F-8 pilot who had experience fighting against F-104s. He wrote that the F-104 had a one trick zoom advantage over his F-8, but he definitely preferred his F-8.

  19. #19
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    This come as such a surprise for me, I didn't expect Mirage iii to be such a dog

  20. #20
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    Low power and drag of a delta wing in sustained turn.
    Now you see how the Harrier made it in the Malvinas/Falklands
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 8th July 2018 at 14:17.

  21. #21
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    in the Falklands the Harriers success was due to a combination of factors. As long as Argentinian pilots flew the Mirage fast and high, they weren't bothered, but the Harrier pilots had no business going up to mix it with them there.. When the Mirages got lower to play on Harrier's terms, it was their doom.. combined with the latest AIM-9 missile the Harrier had, which allowed them better engagement envelope.. Not to speak of the fact that the Mirages were at the extreme limit of their range, having little fuel left little fuel to play with...

    In the end, it is always the same thing, if you don't fly your aircraft to its strong points, you get in trouble

  22. #22
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    That would be interesting to know at which occasion they did flew fast and high.

  23. #23
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    AV-8B Harrier EM diagram
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    http://jyito.com/Master_FSG.pdf

  24. #24
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    That would be interesting to know at which occasion they did flew fast and high.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...y_gRmE0xaxER0w

    page 24

  25. #25
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    The MiG-19 does seem rather unknown, and under-discussed, especially in western circles. There does not seem to be the same amount of openly available analysis that was done from the other "Have" type evaluations by the United States such as for the MiG-17/19/21/23/29/27 or the SU series. Believe the US did evaluate a Pakistani example (Chinese J-6 version).

    While perhaps not a world beater, it did seem quite capable as a daylight dogfighter, and as with the MiG-17 a good dog fighter on the lower end of the speed scale. Does seem range/fuel limited (which may be OK for a point based interceptor).

    As always these "best" debates depends tremendously on what capabilities you need, and what you can afford. Dog Fighter an Interceptor are really two different things, If you just wanted an interceptor the value of the MiG-19, F-104 (and MiG21) goes up, but if you want a better all around aircraft the F-8 and F-5 are the choice. The F-8 did very well at both intercepting and dogfighting, the F-5 and MiG-19 did reasonably well at both, the F-104 was really an interceptor only in the "fighter' role.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f
    page 24
    and two pages below...
    since the ranges were extreme, the Mirages and Daggers were unable to exploit their tactical advantage of speed.
    High and fast is theoretical. Never were the Mirages able to exploit this tactic IRL on the theatre.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 9th July 2018 at 20:31.

  27. #27
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    as I said, they were safe, not they dominated.. mirages and harriers remaining in their respective domains, they were out of reach of the opposing side.. except it was up to argentinian fighters to go after the brits who had th emission to protect their forces on the ground/sea..

    once the mirages left their "safe" domain, they ran into troubles

  28. #28
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    I once read an account by an F-8 pilot who had experience fighting against F-104s. He wrote that the F-104 had a one trick zoom advantage over his F-8, but he definitely preferred his F-8.
    IIRC the one time F-104s fought MiG-21s (Pakistan vs India), they got into a turning fight. 2-0 to the MiGs.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
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