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Posted: 10/7/2005 6:49:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 6:57:11 AM EDT by chuckhammer]
The aircraft should be chosen based on its achievements in the following areas (in no particular order):

1) Political / Strategic Influence
2) Technological Advancements
3) Performance (Speed / Maneuverability / Range / Payload / Radar / ECM / Targeting System)
4) Versatility
5) Reliability (Maintenance Man-Hours per Flight Hour)
6) Combat Record
8) Aesthetics


As you can see, I made no allowance for cost per aircraft or number produced.

Any and all variations of each model are to be considered.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:52:49 AM EDT
Eagle all the way............
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:53:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cyclone:
Eagle all the way............


+15
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:54:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CSM:

Originally Posted By cyclone:
Eagle all the way............


+15



Cute.......

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:55:04 AM EDT
F-15C or F-15E?
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:55:16 AM EDT
I voted for the F-16, but you really need the A-10 in there as well.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:55:17 AM EDT
F-4 Phantom?
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:55:36 AM EDT
F-117.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:56:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
F-15C or F-15E?



Any and all variations of each model are to be considered.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:57:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 6:57:58 AM EDT by Benjamin0002]
Uh, I know you are wanting me to say F-22. It will be when you post this thread 15 years from now.

But I right now... Hmm, that is a hard question.

Lets Look.
F-14A Tomcat
1] Strategic Influence? Anytime, Anywhere Baby!
2] The Ability to track and Engage 6 Targets at the same time (AIM-54 Pheonix)
3] For the size of this bird I am in AWE of what the thing will do in the Vertical.
4] Current F-14D Fighter and Bomber
5] Very Very Reliable
6] 1 I think has been lost in Combat
7] Beautiful

Hmm
F-15E Strike Eagle

Granted the F-16 Block 52's will out turn anything in the sky, and Granted the F-22 outdoes all of them handsdown , WHAM BAM THANK YA MAM. The F-22's flight envilope is something like
2.5 times larger then the F-15's.. The F-22 has totally advanced avionics, stealth, and SuperCruise. The F-22, because of Thrust Vectoring has a POST STALL flight potential, like 60 degree AOA rolls and spins. Amazing aircraft. But if you add the F-22 in you just don't have any other type that can match it.

So In the end , I still can't make up my mind. There all awesome.

Sorry

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:58:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 6:59:10 AM EDT by VTHOKIESHOOTER]
Tomcat For my it was the symbol of US carrier strength. Just ask Lybia
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:59:03 AM EDT
F-14, just because it was out on the carriers patrolling the oceans and other nation's borders.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 6:59:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
F-117.



Aside from its designation, no one considers this aircraft to be a fighter, Ed.

Stop being difficult and make your choice from one of the above selections.

[Vader] Don't make me destory you. [/Vader]
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:01:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
I voted for the F-16, but you really need the A-10 in there as well.



The Warthog is not a fighter. It is a ground strike / CAS / attack aircraft.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:06:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chuckhammer:

Originally Posted By SHIVAN:
F-117.



Aside from its designation, no one considers this aircraft to be a fighter, Ed.

Stop being difficult and make your choice from one of the above selections.

[Vader] Don't make me destory you. [/Vader]



Oh, I see....

You mean Red Baron type shit...

Silly me....


Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:06:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Tomcat For my it was the symbol of US carrier strength. Just ask Lybia



Agree with you. IIRC, there were two major incidents where two 14's took out Su-17s and Su-22s over the Gulf of Sidra. The Tomcat was the airdraft to deal with when the SHTF in high profile/high tension situations over foreign or international territory, add the Phoenix and the AWG-9 radar, the swept wings technology, and you had a Mo-chine.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:06:37 AM EDT
I vote F-16, though it's a toss up with the F-15.

Then F/A-18, F-14 last.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:09:58 AM EDT
F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet Isn't everything going to be replaced by it anyway?

Seriously though its gotta be...

The F-15 without a doubt, with second place going to the F-14. What is the F-15 air to air kill record now? 100+BGs to no Eagles lost by any nation flying them, can't argue with that statistic.

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:13:45 AM EDT
Brewster Buffalo
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:15:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:16:54 AM EDT
F-14.................Anytime
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:21:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 7:22:38 AM EDT by jimtash9]
F-16. It's the most significant because of the numbers built and also the number of countries that were able to afford it and most importantly build it (NATO comes to mind). Would have probably been the first fighter to see combat in a Warsaw Pact/NATO confrontation and as it is today, would have been the workhorse of that conflict. It is what all other jets are compared to in terms of manueverability and in basic dogfighting ability. And most importantly, it will be around long after the last F-15's and F/A-18's have been retired to the boneyard though probably not in US service (think F-4 Phantom).
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:22:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
The F-16 would be the winner in no small part because it's proven to also be the most popular fighter
in service with our allies. And it holds the record for being RE-selected when those allies have
chosen to purchas more fighters.

CJ



I was thinking of you, CJ, when I stated, "...no allowance for cost per aircraft or number produced."

I would say it is the amazing value of the F-16 that makes it attractive to these other nations. When cost is ignored, though, its advantages over the other aircraft listed above are not as obvious.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:23:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jimtash9:
F-16. It's the most significant because of the numbers built and also the number of countries that were able to afford it and most importantly build it (NATO comes to mind). Would have probably been the first fighter to see combat in a Warsaw Pact/NATO confrontation and as it is today, would have been the workhorse of that conflict. It is what all other jets are compared to in terms of manueverability and in basic dogfighting ability. And most importantly, it will be around long after the last F-15's and F/A-18's have been retired to the boneyard though probably not in US service (think F-4 Phantom).



See my above response to CJ.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:24:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
F-14.................Anytime



Baby
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:27:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:27:52 AM EDT
I love the F-14, but its impact is limited to the US Navy, and to a very small degree Iran.

The F-15 has served with Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the US. It has a perfect combat record, not only in US service, but in foreign service as well. Can't say that about the F-14 since Iranian F-14s have been lost.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:29:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 82ndAbn:

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
F-4 Phantom?



lol - that was the first thing that came to my mind as well.



Well, it did significantly influence the designs of aircraft from 1975 on... They wanted to make sure they didn't make the same mistakes again
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:41:35 AM EDT
The Tomcat gets my somewhat ambiguous nod. My reason is not because I believe it to be the best all around fighter...rather because of the strategic force multiplier that it brought to the carrier battle force. Charged with Fleet Air Defense, the Turkeys were a major force to be reckoned with for decades. Lacking the ability to adequately negate our mobile, nuclear-capable battle fleet must have given Ivan a serious ulcer and caused him to spend extraordinary amounts of rubles in defense of the Rodina.

I also think that the Turkey is the most esthetically beautiful plane ever built. Just sitting on the deck with her wings tucked in, she looks like a raptor in stoop.

That said...I still think the Eagle is the most capable fighter bomber in the US inventory. From my pilot amigos I have learned that the Tomcat D is probably the fastest now (at about M2.5+ if she don't rattle apart! )...and the F-16 is still the best mano-a-mano furball dogfighter with incredible engery numbers, but the Eagle is likely the finest all around fighter. Its closest counterpart would have been the P-51D Mustang.

Anyway...my humble opinion.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:43:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LWilde:


I also think that the Turkey is the most esthetically beautiful plane ever built. Just sitting on the deck with her wings tucked in, she looks like a raptor in stoop.


Damn straight!
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:45:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SkyCatII:

Originally Posted By 82ndAbn:

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
F-4 Phantom?



lol - that was the first thing that came to my mind as well.



Well, it did significantly influence the designs of aircraft from 1975 on... They wanted to make sure they didn't make the same mistakes again



LOL, I once saw a picture of the original prototype F-4- it was sleek with a very small pointy nose. Once they got a couple of upgrades in it ended up with that mounstrous bulbous nose with protusions sticking out all over.

I remeber a quote from an F-4 pilot that sums it up: "It uses its looks and brute force to scare the air into letting it fly!"
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:46:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chuckhammer:

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
I voted for the F-16, but you really need the A-10 in there as well.



The Warthog is not a fighter. It is a ground strike / CAS / attack aircraft.



True, but if you look at the combat record of all the other aircraft, you will find it's almost ALL CAS except for the F-14. I don't think any of the other aircraft are going to approach it for reliability/survivability either.

If you want to look strictly at air combat roles, you need to stick the F-4 in there as well
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:48:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:48:45 AM EDT
If we are talking strictly air superiority, the F-15C wins, hands down.

However, if you are talking about a broader mission, involving both air to air and air to ground, I'd have to take the F-16 as the best multi-role fighter of the group listed.

The F-15 has owned the skies for 30 years. But the F-16 is far more versatile.

So the answer depends on what you want to do with it. Sweep the skies of enemy fighters alone? F-15. Fight air to air, perform CAS, interdiction, etc? Then gimme an F-16.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:50:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I also note that in air-to-air combat, the F-16 has a perfect 71 to zero kill record.

The F-15 also shares a perfect kill record, with about 110 kills to its credit.

The F-16 is arguably the most valuable fighter to its users in terms of its general utility and effectiveness. It has grown to do so many more things than its original tasking as a pure fighter,
and it does them all very well.

CJ

Jack of all trades, master of none.

The F-14 was the master of keeping Ivan's and any other countries planes at bay on the high seas.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:50:52 AM EDT
Eagle
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:52:11 AM EDT
Ive always been a tomcat fan !!!!



Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:59:12 AM EDT
Definitely the F-16. Proven battle record over ALL the others, WAY more than the F-15. More A/A, A/G kills, the MOST versatile fighter ever. Sold to more nations, serves numerous roles. Took over the weasel role, air superiority, close air support, maintenance friendly, fuel-efficient. The F-14 and F-15 are air superiority fighters, even though they have modified for A/G (bomb cat and "E" model. Vipers have seen more combat than all the others combined and have proven their worth
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:00:29 AM EDT
I dismiss the F-16 and F-18 immediately. Why?

They were designed from the get-go to have less capable avionics, ie more affordable, than the F-15 and F-14. The F-16/18 were also designed to be multi-role. No wonder they excel at it. The F-14 and F-15 were able to be adapted for the multi-role. Their original design teams never envisioned it, but they created airframes that were more then capable for any role DoD decided to give them. To me that's the definition of versitility. The ability to fill roles never envisioned.

It was the F-14 and F-15 that drove the Russians to develop advanced fighters to counter them. If you can't see their designs in the Mig-29 and Su-27, I would submit you're blind.

The F-14 and F-15 shaped the end of the Cold War. The F-16 and F-18 were just fillers.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:07:52 AM EDT
To be correct we designed the F-15 to counter the Russian MIG, we had to play catch up. The F-15 was over kill IMHO. The F-16 took the best that the F-4 and some of the the F-15 had to offer in to one package. It is better to make multi role fighters than to dedicate one for a single purpose.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:11:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By lowdrag82:
To be correct we designed the F-15 to counter the Russian MIG, we had to play catch up. The F-15 was over kill IMHO. The F-16 took the best that the F-4 and some of the the F-15 had to offer in to one package. It is better to make multi role fighters than to dedicate one for a single purpose.


We made the F-15 to counter the Mig-25 which was built to counter the XB-70. We overestimated the Mig-25's capabilities. The Russians then saw the F-14 and F-15 and developed their own fighters off of them.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:13:46 AM EDT
So we designed the F-15 around the Mig-25.....Look at the similarities
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:16:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By lowdrag82:
So we designed the F-15 around the Mig-25.....Look at the similarities


Not nearly as similar as the F-15 and the Su-27. You can't just look at the cosmetic features; you also have to look at the performance. However, if we were to include the influence of Soviet jets, the Mig-25 would have to be up there because of the burr it put under our saddle.

Oh and the Mig-31's radar was built to compete with which aircraft? Oh yeah, the AWG-9 and the F-14.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:17:13 AM EDT
Eagle, but I dont think it will out last the B52
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:22:58 AM EDT
The poll question is "Most significant", not "Best", "Coolest", or "Most effective"

For that, the F-16 has to be the hands-down winner. It's the modern day version of the F-4 or F-5: it's a political stick which has been used to help US aviation arms sales all around the world. Its lines are absolutely distinctive, only the non-produced Lavi looks anything close. The first image conjured up by "NATO Fighter" is the single-tailed, chin-vented F-16. The twin-tailed, twin-engined F-15 is just too similar to the Sukhois and MiGs flying around, and the Fighting Falcon would be the aircraft most likely to be seen over German airspace in WWIII.

F-16XL made advances in the delta-wing sphere for the US, and the ACI version was a major test bed in the concept of non-longitudinal flight. All the Eagle did was fly really high and really fast.

Hornet is making some good export sales though, it must be admitted, just that the countries they're being sold to don't really qualify as a 'bloc' in the same way that most of NATO picked the Falcon.

NTM
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:27:49 AM EDT
F-16!
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:32:31 AM EDT
I'd have to say either the F-15 or the F-16.
The F-14 isn't even close.

1. A-A kills, the F-15 and F-16 rule. A few kills in its entire lifespan does not make the F-14 even a contender.

2. Export: The F-16 is the most successful export fighter (to date) and continues to be so. It's on the front-lines everywhere. And the F-15 is very close.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:34:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I also note that in air-to-air combat, the F-16 has a perfect 71 to zero kill record.

The F-15 also shares a perfect kill record, with about 110 kills to its credit.

The F-16 is arguably the most valuable fighter to its users in terms of its general utility and effectiveness. It has grown to do so many more things than its original tasking as a pure fighter,
and it does them all very well.

CJ

Jack of all trades, master of none.

The F-14 was the master of keeping Ivan's and any other countries planes at bay on the high seas.



The F-14 defended ships.

The F-15 and F-16 defended continents.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:35:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2005 8:35:41 AM EDT by lowdrag82]
I have worked on ALL of our fighters for the past 14 years and have been to combat with most. Configured with 4 X GBU-12, 2 X AIM-9 L/M, 2 X AIM 120, and a full load of 20mm the F-16 can handle almost everything thrown on the plate. If needed it can go to A/A only config with a push of a button.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:35:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE:
I'd have to say either the F-15 or the F-16.
The F-14 isn't even close.

1. A-A kills, the F-15 and F-16 rule. A few kills in its entire lifespan does not make the F-14 even a contender.

2. Export: The F-16 is the most successful export fighter (to date) and continues to be so. It's on the front-lines everywhere. And the F-15 is very close.

The reason the F-14 doesn't have more kills is that the enemy was 'SKEERED of them.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 8:35:48 AM EDT
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