It’s been a good minute since I’ve created another debate topic, however after seeing a VERY engaging-and aggressive if you ask me-YouTube comment war I’d like to pose a question to those reading…who would win? The United States Navy and their F/A-18E/F Super Hornet? Or maybe the United States Air Forces very own F-16C “Viper” Block 50/52?
For those of you are concerned, I’ll list some performance information of each aircraft below.
The F-16C Block 50/52
Currently in use with: The USAF and a majority of NATO
Thrust to weight ratio: greater than 1 when in a clean configuration (engine puts out more thrust per pound than the aircraft weighs)
Maximum speed at sea level: Mach 1.2
Maximum speed at altitude: Mach 2 flat with a clean configuration (no weapon stores on wings)
Maximum G-load: +9Gs, assumed -3Gs
Radar type: Pulse Doppler; AN/APG-68(V)9
Armament: 1xM61 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon with 511 rounds and 11 hardpoints (2 used for sensors in a multimission combat scenario) for up to 17,000 pounds of ordinance
Load-out for this fight: 4xAIM-9X Sidewinders and 5xAIM-120D AMRAAMs
and in the blue corner (for this scenario it’ll be the Rhino)…
The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet
Currently in use with: The United States Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force
Thrust to weight ratio: 0.76
Maximum speed at sea level: assumed Mach 0.86
Maximum speed at altitude: Mach 1.8 flat with a clean configuration
Maximum G-load: +7.6Gs, assumed -2.6Gs
Radar type: AESA; APG-79 (latest Rhino block)
Armament: 1xM61 20mm Vulcan rotary cannon with 412 rounds and 11 hardpoints for up to 17,750 pounds of ordinance
Load-out for this fight: 4xAIM-9X Sidewinders, and 6xAIM-120D AMRAAMs
So if it were a fight where both aircraft started at 15,000 feet exactly, 3/4ths of their fuel remaining, and cruising at 500 MPH, who do you think would win? Of course pilot skill will be a great asset here, but each aircraft has some design bonuses to them. The Rhino has marvelous slow speed handling, able to go nearly 60 degrees up at close to landing speeds, while the Viper is built from the ground up as an aggressive, high speed, close-in fighter jet through and through.
I really want this debate to be between those of you who comment below, I’ll pop in every once in a while however :)