NEWS ALERT – Amazing video – Canadian F-18 pilot survives crash

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RAFALE vs Typhoon/Eurofighter, F-16s, and even F-22Raptor! Guess which gives the others a rough ride?

French Navy RAFALE fighter aircraft takeoff from a carrier aircraft deck
RAFALE to defeat any other fighter aircraft? Photo:©  Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes

Strange as it may seem, the French have not managed to export Rafale fighter aircraft so far… However, the Rafale has been deemed to be an excellent fighter aircraft so many times – formidable in dogfighting, awesome when it strikes, and its superb CATIA-designed streamlining turns it into a feline grace nonetheless redoubtable whenever it is to be challenged in the skies.

There have already been rumours such as:

Rafales – thanks to its RCS (Radar Cross Section) –  would have beaten F/A-18s Hornet.

– After several dogfights reported between the Rafale and the Raptor, ( Rafale vs F-22 Raptor:  1 – 1 , according to the rumours ) BVR engagement exercises would have been cancelled. Another version deems that F-22s never took part in such exercises, so what did they do there at that time? Sightseeing? Not to mention the F-22’s withdrawal at the Paris Air Show 2009…

– The Rafale was onboard American CVs (aircraft carriers) in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The rumour in forums spread about American fighter aircraft that could not stand the Rafales’ level of performance during exercises.

But who knows, actually? However, some other elements have also been reported. They do not come from forums or blogs. So, can they be called « rumours »?

For instance, I still remember an article from The New York Times dated July 16th 2006. It was reported that the Rafales could outfly F-15, F-16 and F-18 opponents in dogfights. They also won against F-15s and Eurofighter Typhoons in technical and performance evaluations . The American media paid tribute to the French jet but almost nobody knew that in France at that time. How bizarre… Well, it must be admitted that there is a curious fad in France that consists in criticizing everything that works.

Remember, according to French TF1 channel in 2008… This was the balance sheet:

FAF Rafales vs USAF F-16s :  6 – 2

Moreover, the former Red Arrows team leader – Peter Collins – stated last month that it should be done justice to this aircraft for the Rafale would be according to him – as he had just flown a standard F3 Rafale – a « war-fighter par excellence ». He added that he deemed the Rafale to be the best and most complete combat aircraft that he had ever flown. He concluded in saying that if he had to go into combat, on any mission, against anyone, he would, without question, choose the Rafale.

Last but not least, the French Rafales would have slammed – if I may put it this way – the other aircraft in an exercise in the UAE – United Arab Emirates. Even the F-22 Raptor – though 5th generation fighter – could hardly do anything to « tame » this tough challenger. According to Jean-Marc Tanguy’s information, defence journalist, the balance sheet lies in the figures hereafter:

Dogfighting (with Rafale weapons system’s performance lowered on purpose):

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  4 – 0

Dogfighting with further Rafale weapons system reduction:

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  3 – 1

Final balance sheet (in both scenarii the Rafales did not have full weapons systems…):

FAF Rafales vs RAF Typhoons :  7 – 1

Not to mention Rafales outperform F-16CJs in targeting while in air-to-air and ground attacks thanks to the Rafale’s FSO – Front Sector Optronic.

I read from a remarkable Swiss aviation specialist’s website: AVIA NEWS. Pascal – AVIA NEWS webmaster – let me quote his analysis according to which the Rafale obtained the best score (95%) among the fighter aircraft evaluated for choosing which will replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5 Tiger. The other two competitors were the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, and the Eurofighter / Typhoon.

Furthermore, the Dutch did compare various fighter aircraft in 2002. Who remembers? The RNLAF – the Royal Netherlands Air Force – carried out this study and the balance sheet came out in the Dutch press:

Here are the ratings reported:

F-35 = 6.97

RAFALE = 6.95

Eurofighter = 5.83

F-16 Block 60 = 5.80

Well, we must admit that the JSF / F-35 Lightning II is the best fighter among those that were assessed. However it was a close shave, wasn’t it?

You will find an excerpt below of Jean-Marc Tanguy’s post from his blog « Le Mamouth« :

French Navy's Rafale multirole fighter aircraft on deck with shooter
Rafale on deck – U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo J. Reyes

La première confrontation engageant quatre Rafale contre quatre Typhoon s’est terminée par un 4-0 en faveur des Français. Malgré, explique-t-on, l’emport d’un armement air-air fictivement dégradé. Après avoir un peu dégradé encore l’armement, le Rafale l’a encore emporté, 3-1.
Le Rafale a été confronté au F22 lors d’un vol, mais dans un cadre limité au combat air-air à vue. Il n’aurait été dans le collimateur du chasseur américain qu’ à une reprise, explique t-on aussi. CLIQUEZ ICI pour lire L’ARTICLE ENTIER en français

Citation du Mamouth – Le Mamouth courtesy

Photos: U.S. Air Force Link

Rafales on movie below:

You can read more recent information here: http://airforces.fr/2010/02/14/french-fighter-aircraft-performance/

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BLUE ANGELS & MAGIC OF FLIGHT

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PARIS AIR SHOW 2009 – Wonderful !

Patrouille de France aerobatics, PAF Blue white red smokes
© SIRPA AIR

 

 

 

Thanks to Nicolas (www.frogetech-blog.com webmaster) who invited me, I went to the Paris Air Show on Saturday June 20th 2009.

I had already attended many meetings, aircraft and blimp presentations, air shows, and exhibitions but it was the first time I had visited the famous Paris Air Show. It was not scheduled, and on the one hand, a little time before the opening, I hesitated a bit for it was a pretty long trip. On the other hand, I thought it was a very good idea to join a few members of the Aero Frogetech social network but it was a little late at that time, therefore there were only two of us.

I learnt only three days before that the aircraft list looked a bit poor since there weren’t any 5th generation fighters announced since the F-22 Raptor presentation – a highlight – was cancelled. As a matter of fact, I was a bit disappointed, actually. At least, frogE-TECH and Prepa PLS Anglais could meet there, which was a highlight indeed!

SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft static display
Jaguar

We entered the Salon du Bourget just after enjoying meeting with each other for the first time. I realised that I shouldn’t be listless by the aircraft list for I discovered – though it wasn’t expected – a 7th-wing Jaguar on the spot as soon as we were about to walk into the halls. Then, everything turned out to be wonderful, and as interesting as ever.

I have been quite impressed by Nicolas’s experience about structures, engines, struts, shock absorbers, Souriau connectors and wirings as well as blisk (or IBR -Integrally Blade Rotor) moulding, and especially about investment castings. The LEISTRITZ GROUP exhibitors kindly explained us the way the fans and blades were cast and made. They told us that the term « blisk » obviously came

Crowd and commercial aircraft, Paris Airshow 2009 Le Bourget
SIAE

from « blade » and « disk ». We learnt interesting information from various exhibitors however flocks of crowd sometimes jammed the paths to the stands, and we got a bit reluctant to remain in front of the brand new engines exhibited at times.

We attended amazing aerobatics carried out by an Italian C-27, a

C-27J Spartan transport aircraft
C-27

medium/small-sized cargo aircraft that well showed how maneuverable it was, really. We then enjoyed the new US DoD fighters’ aerobatics. The F-18 performed magic tricks at low speed and the F-16 turned out to be swifter than usual but it might just be the impression we had.

It might sound jingoistic but the Rafale came up as a climax in this air show as it seemed to be overwhelming any other performance though the crowd followed with more excitement and attention the Patrouille de France, and finally we discovered that the almost-brand-new-plenty-of-clout

Airbus A380 Tail Unit
A380 Tail Unit

Airbus A380 took off along a quite steep path. One might wonder how a so heavy cargo manages to lift this way. Its low speed passages let everybody dumbfounded, and it undoubtedly deserves its airworthiness certification considering the tight turns it performed. Watching this huge cargo – a freak far bigger than a whale – flying so slow, then so swift was unbelievable.

F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft
F-35 Lightning II

We appreciated visiting many stands and taking snapshots of the new Piaggio, a Dakota, rockets, and the F-35 LIGHTNING II !!! Then, we were told that it only was a full-scale model. We couldn’t approach the French Air Force stand for cameramen and people gathered on the spot as the head of the French Air Force, general Abrial was about to welcome the French president.

Everywhere we noticed that « low-consumption and environment-respectful » came as a motto. Nowadays, many aircraft are designed with winglets even on the tail units. 3D-woven fan structures save weight, and enhancements allow airlines to save long-term money as well even if some investments seem quite considerable. Reducing noise looked like an obsession as we could see many jagged exhaust nozzles. Upon assessing the streamlining we guessed that most aircraft are not dedicated to supersonic use anymore as if lowering kerosene consumption was crucial… and that is!

At the end of the show, it was easy to buy the rest of the magazines or souvenirs as they were sold cheaper. We couldn’t regret our coming and the light showers didn’t bother us at all because we were fascinated by the show all the time. Far and large, this Paris Air Show will remain in our memories as a must where we could discover and learn as much as we liked.

Douglas DC-3 aircraft, and Ariane rocket, Paris Airshow 2009 Le Bourget
SIAE

By the way, I do think that this show, dedicated to its 100th anniversary was made on this purpose: aeronautics passion, and I dare say « as usual ».

I think I will write an article later about an amazing engine we found there and a French ambitious team willing to use it in order to win the Reno race in 2010.

Dear readers, I wish you a very good night, thank you very much Nicolas for your invitation, thank you very much indeed.

Photo credits: 1st one (top left corner): SIRPA AIR/Service photo BA 701, other photos: Recce 233 Savoie

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