I think you are mixing few things here. The only Flanker problem with full internal fuel tanks and weapon loads is with Su-33 to take of from carrier ski jump. It was made as air defense fighter and it could take of with full tanks and some AAMs for air patrols. Problem become, when Su-33 take heavy bomb load and then it have to have less fuel in internal tanks that the total weight is not to big to take of. Operating from ground air base, Su-33 doesn't have a problem with full internal fuel tanks and full weapon load.
I think you are mixing things up. Like most aircraft with folding wings the Su-33 is limited to 8g no matter what the internal or external load, but Flankers, and I assume it is the same for the Su-33 were g limited when operating with full internal fuel tanks... it had nothing to do with take off or landing weights and it was nothing to do with folding wings.
The Su-33 would never have a heavy bomb load... ever.... it was a fighter/inteceptor and would carry R-27E and R-73 AAMs... that was its weapon load which is a fraction of the max payload it could carry, but with full fuel and full AAM weapon load out it could not use external fuel tanks and honestly the 500kg dumb bombs are not that much heavier than the 350kg R-27E model AAMs anyway...
AFAIK it could take off with full fuel and full AA weapons load (ie AAM or sorbitzer jamming pods on every pylon) from the waist launch position... that was its main purpose. The smaller lighter MiGs could do the same but also from the front launch positions because they normally carried lighter R-77s and R-73s, which are 175kgs and 105kg or 120kgs in the later models...
When we are talking about agility in the air, Su-27 is the same fully agile with full internal fuel tanks as MiG-29 is with full internal fuel tanks. This si the way, they are designed.
No it is not. The Flanker is the long range fighter and escort fighter and was never intended as a point defence fighter. With quarter tanks it could do the job though.
Do you think Sukhoi enginers design Flankers combat capabilities with half of fuel in internal fuel tanks? No, they are all designed with full internal fuel tanks and basic weapon load.
Half the fuel in the tanks is to get them where they need to be... if they don't need to go great distances they don't carry that fuel... the other half is for doing their job and if they launch with that they can do their job over the air field they are operating from... if they have to fly 1,000km to get to their area of operation then they carry more fuel, but can't tango till they get there.
They have high off boresight missiles and helmet mounted sights so not being able to pull 9 g is not actually that big a deal... down graded export MiG-29Bs used by the East German pilots fitted with the old belly mounted fuel tanks that meant the main cannon could not be fired and limited flight performance to 5 g or less didn't stop them killing F-16s and F-15s in close combat tests in the 1990s...
External fuel tans are additional mass and drag on the plane. MiG-29 with 3 external fuel tanks, which bring 3 tons of additiona mass on the plane for sure can not be as agile as Su-27 with internal fuel only.
You can drop those external fuel tanks if you need to be agile... burn that fuel first... Su-27 can't dump internal fuel so easily.... and trailing fuel you are trying to dump while manouvering in full AB is going to lead to a spectacular display... the sort of thing the Aussie F111s were famous for... saw them at an airshow here in Wanaka a few years back where they dumped fuel and ignited it with their AB... impressive...
That is why MiG-29 have to drop external fuel tanks, while Su-27 doesn't have problems.
The MiG-29 has the capacity to use three drop tanks... if it is using them all the time then you are not using them right.
When returning, MiG-29 have to refuel in the air, if it have IFR, while Su-27 doesn't need it.
Most Russian in service MiG-29s don't have inflight refuelling probes....
The best example was seen in Syria, when MiG-29KR crash in the sea as it run out of fuel, when he could not land on the carrier because of the problems with breaking wires. Su-33 have no problem to turn around and land in Hmeimim. One Su-33 was lost, because breaking wire broke, when Su-33 catch it and fall from the deck, but none have problems to be too low on fuel.
That showed lack of experience.... they should have had an inflight refuelling aircraft nearby to support operations... AFAIK they both tried to land but because the actual arrester gear was faulty or broken then there was no give so the cables will break... any cables will break in that situation... it has nothing to do with whether the cables are faulty or not because even brand new cables in perfect condition would break.
There is no excuse for either aircraft to have crashed, but even the cables breaking neither plane should have ended up in the drink... the planes should come in a low speed and as they touch down should apply full AB so if they miss the cable or it breaks... because they do sometimes, then you have the momentum to continue through and accelerate up and away and can come around for another go.
The MiG likely didn't start to try to land until it was low on fuel and so each time it tried to land it would come in and then full AB power try to catch the cable.... after the third break it becomes obvious it is not the cables because cables don't break that often... it is clearly something wrong with the mechanism.
The fact that they didn't get an inflight refuelling aircraft from a land base flown out to offer assistance just shows how green they were... I doubt they expected the arrester gear was at fault because you can't fix that at sea.
Arrester gear is like the tranmision in your car, but in this case it is designed to control the feed release of the cables so when 20-25 tons of plane starts yanking on it that it gives enough cable so that the cable doesn't immediately snap, but also feeds it out slowly enough to slow the plane down so it doesn't just drag all the cable out and drop off the end of the deck into the sea.
The arrester gear wasn't feeding the cable out so no matter which cable was attached it just snapped just like any cable directly attached to a fixed point on the carrier deck would.
The fact that the Su-33 crashed to is more sinister... by now the MiG has ditched into the sea so when the Su-33 comes in it knows there is something wrong... the fact that it is trying to land rather than just divert to a land base suggests he had been low on fuel and had been waiting for all the MiG pilots landing attempts and now no longer could make a land base either.
I don't know what the actual details were... all the cables breaking makes it obvious it was an arrester gear system failure.... or that company in the US that makes special steel for US Submarines perhaps made them and faked test passes perhaps?
If the Su-33 tried to land and when the cable snapped went into the water suggests to me a much more serious problem... it should have been able to carry on through the landing attempt and turn on AB and when the cable snapped continue on and up and fly around again for either another go or be diverted to another landing option or inflight refuelling.
You saying it went into the sea because the cable snapped suggests it was either overloaded with too much fuel and or weapons... it might have been on its way out for a mission and the mission was scrubbed... but these guys know this... for goodness sake I know this and I have never even been on an aircraft carrier.
The Su-33 is a bigger heaver aircraft and if they can't recover from a snapped cable landing then I can see why they want to put them on land bases for the Russian Navy...
Snapped cables under normal situations is a very rare event... if you have two snap in a row then there is something else wrong.... but if you are going to lose an Su-33 with every snapped cable then that is going to get very very expensive...
War in syria was actually easy for Flankers. Fuel only in body tanks, wing tanks were empty, low weapon load and no high G turns as there were no air battles.
I agree, it wasn't a good hard test for them, but they were certainly useful, and if there were problems with the neighbours then I agree they were the right aircraft to have there.
In that case MiG-29 could just protect the base and wish them luck.
The fact that you think the MiG-29s are wives at home doing nothing but worrying about their heroes off fighting the war is amusing... if those MiG-29s fuck up those big heroic Foxhounds and Flankers will have nothing to come home to.
In order to defend the short legs of your beloved MiGs, you are starting to troll us with NATO-fanboy anti-Flanker arguments, do you realize that?
You are the one saying the Flanker is the only fighter they need... if anything you are being the fanboy... because war is all about dollars and cents... because those idiot Russians don't know... how... to... save... money... like ... us... guys... in ... the... west...
One air plane for everything... and lets make it cheaper by just giving it one engine... and we will change the designation from Su-35 to generic fighter number thirty five... the F-35 is borne... now we can jack up the price 1,000% and force all our allies and slave countries to buy them in numbers that will make us rich.... Mwahhh hahahahahaahahah....
The Flanker pilot would control the engagement until the MiG pilot had to refuel like the F-18 in the example before, and then it would either hunt it down or simply make it run.
That is the solution when you have both types working together, but in your ideal world the MiG should be eliminated and only Flankers used... so that means it wouldn't work, the flanker would have to use its excess fuel to turn around and go full AB and run away and burn up a few tons of fuel, before being able to turn around and engage the enemy aircraft on better than equal terms... to bad if those aircraft just obliterated the airfield he was operating from...
Calculate how many times per sortie a combat plane can engage in full AB mode to make a push or to outrun some missiles, with given mission range / profile and payload plus safety fuel requirements... you will see the -29 is badly below par, the -35 carries the minimum acceptable and the Flanker is head and shoulders above them.
But how can I make such calculations without actual figures and information... are we comparing using the same types of missions or are the Flankers missions long range ones and the Fulcrums shorter range ones the way they were designed to be used. The fact that you say the MiG-35 is OK with fuel fraction means the MiG-29M2 is also acceptable... and they are the only two MiGs the Russian Air Force is likely to put into service now, so doesn't that mean they are good enough?
They don't need better range... that is what the Flankers are for.
[qutoe] A MiG-35 with three big bags has 3000 km range and 6 stations left, of which only two are valid for A2G ordnance, while the Su-35S clean has 600 km range more and still 14 stations free... one of the MiG's worst "mistakes" is how good the Flanker is, I meant it... with other companion in the VKS, it would definitely look much better. [/quote]
The Tu-22M3 pisses all over both aircraft in terms of flight range and payload but WTF difference does it make... the MiG-35 is an interceptor fighter and most of the time wont be operating with wing tanks installed, and likely half the time not with centreline tanks either... it is a fighter plane that is used in a defensive role... the bad guys come to it, so carrying enough fuel to fly to Vienna is not really a critical thing... they also have inflight refuelling options too.
When was the last time you saw an operational Flanker with a full air to air missile load... and I mean real missiles... not dummy missiles for show.
Most probably Eritrean MiG-29 pilots think in similar way, when they went in dogfight with Ethiopian Su-27 fighters and lost 6:0. They were all shot down in doghfight with R-73 AAMs. Don't underestimate Flankers. They are incredibly agile and excelent dogfighters.
R-73 is a high offboresight agile air to air missile... a cessna 172 could have launched the missiles to shoot down any plane...
I rather suspect that in addition to spending more money on their aircraft (Flankers are more expensive than Fulcrums you know...) they probably also spent more on their mercenary pilots too... which perhaps showed. It is also likely the Eritreans didn't keep their planes or their missiles in good nick... I would rather have more information before writing off the MiG-29.