fighter airplane


When you are in the combat zone, agility of a fighter jet is of utmost importance. But as an engineer, if you have already fiddled around with the wing structure your next option would be to fiddle around with the direction of the thrust.

Thrust Vectoring

Thrust vectoring is primarily used for directional control in rockets and jets. And one achieves this by manipulating the direction of thrust .

This generates the necessary moments (and forces) that enable the directional control of the aircraft. 

An aircraft traditionally has three “degrees of freedom” in aerodynamic maneuverability; pitch, yaw and roll. **

The number of “dimensions” of thrust vectoring relates directly to how many degrees of freedom can be manipulated using only the vectored engine thrust.

Therefore, 2D vectoring allows control over two degrees of freedom (typically pitch plus either roll or yaw) while 3D controls all three.

Lockheed Martin F35B

The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft.

It achieves STOVL by swiveling its engine 90 degrees and directing its thrust downward during take off/lvertical landing mode.

In the following gif you can witness the transition from a 90 degree tilted engine towards a forward thrust engine during flying.

Unlike other variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 the F-35B has no landing hook. And as a result, witnessing its landing is rather pretty special.

But nevertheless, this is one of those posts which addresses a topic that has been a gold mine for research. If this sort of thing fascinated you, there have been a lot of research conducted by NASA do check them out.

Have a great day!

*Rockets - How to turn during flight ?

** Aviation 101 : Pitch Roll and Yaw

This is the only picture ever taken of Concorde flying at Mach 2 at 2,172 km/h (1,350 mph). This unique picture was taken in April 1985 by Adrian Meredith from a Tornado fighter jet, which only rendezvoused with Concorde for just 4 minutes over the Irish Sea. The RAF Tornado rapidly running out of fuel, and was struggling to keep up with Concorde.

The Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04, with seating for 92 to 128 passengers. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years.


Photo series #7

This photo series will bring a well known fighter jet, the fifth generation, twin engine, air superiority, stealth fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.

Developed from the YF-22, the USAFs ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) program winner, the Raptor is one of the most modern fighter jets in the world, although it was primarily designed for air superiority and as a replacement for the F-15, it also has ground attack, eletronic warfare and SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) capabilities.

Because of a series of high costs and lack of missions for it’s intended role, production has ended in 2011 and the last F-22 was delivered in 2012.

The first combat sortie of this fighter jet happened in September 22nd, 2014 when F-22s dropped 1000lb GPS guided bombs on Islamic State targets, in June 2015, it performed the first CAS (Close Air Support) of the aircraft. Although combat sorties are still somewhat slim, the F-22 has had an increase number of missions for ISR ( intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) gathering during it deployment to the Middle East.

Here are some of it’s specifications:

Engines: Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofans with thrust vectoring in the pitch axis (up and down)


 1 x 20mm  M61A2 Vulcan

For AA (Air to Air) missions:

6 x AIM-120 AMRAAM

2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder

For AG (Air to Ground) missions:

2 x 1000lb JDAM or 8 x 250lb GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs

2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder

2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM

It also has 4 under-wing pylons for drop tanks or weapons with a capacity of 5000lb.

Now of all of this is controlled by an AN/APG-77 radar with an AN/AAR-56 Missile Launch Detector, AN/ALR-94 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and a MJU-39/40 flare countermeasures.

And that’s it for this photo series, don’t forget to like, reblog and follow, there is a new photo series every wednesday and sunday.

If you have any suggestions, contributions or want to send a complete photo series, don’t be shy, send them to me and i’ll upload them!