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#3939924 - 04/15/14 09:09 PM Vietnam era dogfight F4 vs mig21, 1v1  
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Laurwin Offline
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Laurwin  Offline
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Premises is the following. American pilot's wingman has been shot down, American F4 pilot is rtb after missile engagement. He is still within enemy territory though and is going the straight path into friendly lines.

Mig21 pilot's wingman has been shot down, he is also rtb into north Vietnam, the straight path into friendly lines.

F4 pilot flies into some cloud cover at low altitude. After coming out of the cloud though, he sees a glimpse of co-alt mig21 on his right side, in about 02:30 oclock aspect angle.

F4 is equipped with gunpod.

F4 turns into unwitting mig21. F4 manages to barrel into quite close - but not at good gun range yet- against the mig21, from about 30 degrees angle off tail position

Suddenly, the mig21 seemingly spots the F4 and breaks hard right. The fight is on.

place your bets, who would win in such a case?

a) both are guns only
b) F4 has 4x sidewinder and guns, mig21 has 2x atoll2 (possible loadout?) and guns

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#3939958 - 04/15/14 10:51 PM Re: Vietnam era dogfight F4 vs mig21, 1v1 [Re: Laurwin]  
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GrayGhost Offline
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F4 is starting with advantage, bets are on F4.


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#3940116 - 04/16/14 07:42 AM Re: Vietnam era dogfight F4 vs mig21, 1v1 [Re: Laurwin]  
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Laurwin Offline
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Laurwin  Offline
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yes, F-4 in this case has:

-angular advantage 3-9 line

-presumably slight speed advantage. F-4 is faster (?), and he had been trying to fly to the elbow, in order to get the gunshot, however, surprise was lost, and Mig-21 is turning hard

-gunshot opportunity, though a difficult one


Is the Mig-21 really a better energy fighter though, according to Boyd's energy manouverability theory?

Which fighter is stronger under energy manouverability theory, F-4 Phantom with gunpod, or Mig-21 with guns only?

#3940121 - 04/16/14 08:55 AM Re: Vietnam era dogfight F4 vs mig21, 1v1 [Re: Laurwin]  
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Lieste Offline
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Pre-"Top Gun" schooling, I'd go with the Mig21, after the US learnt that training in ACM was still useful, and assuming the crew had been through this training ~ The F4.

If there is a strong disparity in crew quality (either way) then in favour of the better pilot.

If the fight isn't decisive in the early stage, then whoever has greater remaining time on station at the high power of a close in fight ~ the MiG is over friendly territory, which may help, while the US jet has to return to a distant landing.

With a gunpod, the F4 probably has the earlier 'hard-wing' Later it has slats which help with high alpha control.

#3940435 - 04/16/14 09:57 PM Re: Vietnam era dogfight F4 vs mig21, 1v1 [Re: Laurwin]  
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SUBS_17 Offline
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The advantage goes to the F4 in this scenario but anything can happen in a dogfight and it only takes a simple mistake such as an overshoot to reverse such a situation into the other pilots advantage. So speculating on the outcome is a waste of time but as far as performance goes the F4 is quite awesome and the missiles may/may not work but having the gun there is a big advantage.

Heres some examples of real F4 dogfights:


Last edited by SUBS_17; 04/16/14 09:58 PM.


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