Friday, February 15, 2013

Iranian Stealth Fighter

One of the news stories you've seen making the rounds this week is that Iran claims to have built a stealth fighter. I say "claims to have" because...

... that's about fifteen different kinds of wrong, for an airplane where you expect the number of landings to be approximately equal to the number of takeoffs.

First, no way in Hell are those supersonic inlets. They're too small, for a start, and very badly placed. There's no evidence of ramps for compressing the inbound supersonic airflow. And sitting up there? That's a guarantee that you'll stall the engine at a high angle of attack. At which point, the pilot will have to pull the loud handle, and get the heck out of Dodge.

Second, where's the nozzle? Inside the fuselage? Holy crap, that's a really stupid place to put it. If this beast allegedly has an afterburner, you'll only get to use it once. Because, just like after he would after stalling the engine after pulling a high-pitch turn, he'll have to pull the loud handle, and...

Third, where's the radar? That nose is nowhere near big enough to carry anything like a useful military radar. If you go up against an adversary who really does have a proper go-to-war radar, you're going to have a very bad day, because he's going to see you before you see him. Which means that he's going to get the first shot. At which point, you'll have to pull ... well, you get the idea.

And the instrument panel ... no, that doesn't look real either.

Now the wings, I'm fairly sure those wings could keep it airborne. Nice to see they got something right.

No, this isn't a stealth fighter. It's not even a mockup of a stealth fighter. It's an elaborate hoax. To what end, I can't imagine, because exactly no one in our defense establishment is taking this seriously. I mean, people were worried about the Chinese stealth fighter a few years ago. More worried than it deserved, true enough, but at least they're flying an actual prototype.

Nobody should be worrying about this stupid thing. Except, that is, for Iranian test pilots.


Green Eagle said...

It should be noted, but not only is this thing a fake, it is a fake created by people that don't even know much about modern fighter technology.

As a motion picture art director, over the years I have been involved in the creation of many airplane mockups of one kind and another. This thing would never be acceptable to us.

Tim McGaha said...

That's a good point. Which adds another question: why so amateurish? It's not their first hoax of this nature, but the others have been far more believable. Why is this one so bad?

Green Eagle said...

I'd say that the people they are trying to convince are their own population, most of whom (like people anywhere) will buy into their government's claims. Remember that only a minuscule fraction of people could tell, for example, that the location and shape of the canards on this plane makes them almost nonfunctional. So, they can afford to lose them without a problem.