Saying that higher attitude gives lower consumption by definition is plane wrong.
Flying at higher altitude greatly reduces drag and increases flight speed, which means you can fly on a lower power setting and yet also fly rather faster than you would lower down in the thicker air.
In fact the SR-71 can't fly at mach 3.5 at sea level even on full power... it would fly at perhaps 1,500km per hour or mach 1.2 assuming it isn't damaged. This alone means that at full throttle an SR-71 can fly at mach 1.2 at low level or mach 3.5 at the same throttle setting at high altitude over a period of an hour that means more than twice the distance travelled, but it is actually more than that because the lower drag means it could probably fly at mach 2.8-3.0 at a much lower power setting using much less fuel.
Lower drag is a plus but lower lift is a negative so is a net result here.
Lift is generated by the wings aerofoil section as it moves forward through the air.
You can have thick subsonic wings that generate a lot of lift but would create too much drag at any altitude to fly supersonically. A Mig-31 has a thin high speed wing profile designed to generate lift efficiently at high speed. That means it needs a long runway to take off and land from, but it also means it can fly efficiently at very high speed for very long periods... like the Mig-25 and the SR-71.
The F-15 is a fighter with a huge wing area and lots of lift. It can fly fast but requires a lot of energy to fly fast.
eg In maximum ceiling by definition you have maximum consumption... you spend all your engines power to create the maximum possible speed just to create enough lift....
Engine speed determines horizontal speed and is opposed by drag. going higher means more speed and less drag. Lift is determined by the air density and the shape of the aircraft... a brick has poor lift characteristics... in a very high drag environment like underwater wings are high drag items that reduce performance... subs use fins and internal ballast for control rather than wings and tails because the high density means very high drag.
A submarine also shows drag is not related to mass... in fact an inflated balloon is so light that you can't throw it any where near as far as say a golf ball because of its low density which makes it inefficient to move through the air.
We discuss whether a certain missile eg R-33 can be said that it has a different range when launched from a mig29 compare to a mig31 and the answer is not!!
Ignoring the fact that Mig-29s don't carry R-33s, if both Migs were carrying the same R-33 type missile and launched them at the same speed and the same altitude they would have the same kinematic range. Obviously only the one fired from the Mig-31 would have a chance of a kill as its radar can guide the missile to the target to 120km - 150km depending on the model R-33.
I am not suggesting the platform that launches the missile can bestow extra range by magic.
No, but I believe it can still technically cross Mach 2 with four AIM-120s carried on the intake corners.
Technically it probably could, but would it? It would take a while at full AB thrust... we are talking about 5-10 minutes to accelerate towards the target... getting closer and closer to the target all the time just to give your missiles extra reach.
I would suggest it would be more likely that it might accelerate to mach 1.4 or 1.5 and 12,000m or so and launch and then turn and reduce speed to stop closing on the target.
In real combat most fighter pilots rarely break the speed of sound except very briefly... the some times could be to launch a missile.
Of course lift counteracts drag.
Lift counteracts gravity.
In order to create more lift in situations with much less air density aka in higher attitude you need more wing and more speed so you end up using all your power to generate enough lift to counter yyour weight. This is the maximum ceiling BY DEFINITION.
Only in a zoom climb to reach max altitude.
Despite having the least air resistance you end up with the highest consumption because you work full throttle.
The lower air resistance means higher speeds, and you can reduce your throttle setting and reduce fuel consumption and greatly extend your range.
With missiles is even worse because you don't have enough wing. You need as less drag as possible to maintain maximum speed and range. OK?
With long range missiles there is usually no throttle setting capability... often just a two stage rocket fuel motor. First fuel burn is high energy to accelerate the missile off the rail to the missiles top speed which is greatly effected by altitude (ie drag) and launch speed. The faster the launch platform is moving at launch the more energy the missile receives and the higher it is launched the higher its top speed can be due to lower air resistance. the second stage fuel burns at a lower energy but for a much longer period and helps the missile retain speed overcoming drag which greatly improves long range performance and at higher altitudes means higher flight speed to target... so it gets there faster and the target has less time to move or react.
For a long range missile they use lofted trajectories because they can cruise faster and further at higher altitude and all the extra energy needed to climb to high altitude can be regained on the glide down to the target resulting in a high terminal speed.
This is one of the benefits of scramjet powered AAMs... they can adjust their fuel consumption to make efficient use of their fuel to maximise speed and range.
So if you launch one of this missiles with tiny wings from 60.000ft most probably it will fall like a stone until regain enough air.
A missile designed to operate at that height should be fine. Remember moving through the air at mach 6 even very thin air directed by a small fin will create a turning force on the missile and help it steer.
Concord burning less in mach 0.2 than in mach 2? Yeah boy, you just managed to create energy from nowhere. Nobel literate on the making
My car sitting on the side of the road out of gear with the engine running and my foot flat on the go pedal burns (7,000rpm) more fuel than my car zipping along the motorway at 100km/h in top gear at 2,000 rpm. Fuel consumption is not related to speed only.
In terms of energy the Concord is a big heavy aircraft and those big heavy engines it has use all their power to move it around on the ground and for take off. Once in the air and already moving the engines only have to overcome drag to increase the speed of the aircraft. The wing shape is generating lift which holds the aircraft up in the air.... the engines don't need to hold the aircraft up.... they just need to move it forward and it is drag that is stopping it from moving forward. Flying at low altitude means maximum drag... medium and high altitude means less drag and more speed per engine setting.
If your car's top speed is 200km there you have the maximum RPMs of your maximum gear, you have the maximum consumption.
Different engines are different and if you have ever driven a car you will know the car will accelerate best over a fairly specific RPM band. My car happens to cruise well at between 2,000 and 2,500rpm... no matter which gear I am in. If I am in the wrong gear it wont accelerate very well no matter what my engine revs are. On a motorway in first gear at 5,000 rpm and I still wont be going 100km/h. Fuel consumption is RPM. Fuel efficiency is fuel consumed divided by speed I am moving at.
Ideally for best fuel consumption I want highest speed and lowest RPM... in a plane you can't get that at low level because drag is at its highest you always need a higher throttle setting to maintain a particular speed... which means more fuel burned and lower top speed.
[quote]You have the maximum frictions/resistances so you need maximum power to counter those forces and maintain the speed.
Maximum resistance occurs at sea level and you do need maximum power.... for take off. Climbing also requires extra power but as you climb resistance is lowered and less power is needed to maintain horizontal speed... which means that when you get to your flight altitude and level out... not only are you travelling much faster than if you were travelling lower, but you can do so on a much lower power setting saving even more fuel and maximising range.
Let's assume that two planes fly 10 km away to each other at an altitude of 5km each.
If they are flying in opposite directions... how can either one fire a missile at the other?
Now you tell us that your thing after launch gonna move straight up for 20km when your target is straight ahead at 10km and departing already with mach 2.
Don't be silly.
What we are talking about is giving launch energy to our missiles.
two aircraft 200km apart flying towards each other, both at 5km altitude with a closing speed of 1,000km per hour with each aircraft flying at 500km/h. Both planes detect the other at the same time (say both get target data from an AWACS). Plane one gets a lock and fires their RVV-BD missile which accelerates and climbs under its own rocket power. Plane 2 however climbs to 12,000m and accelerates to mach 2.4 and then launches its R-37M.
Plane 2 takes 5 minutes to fire its missile so by the time the enemy missile arrives he has already turned and left the area very rapidly, but the missile he fires also arrives on his target at a similar time because his missile did not have to climb nearly so far so more of its energy was used accelerating the missile to a much higher average speed and when it got to its enemies position it had much more kinetic energy to manouver and kill the enemy plane.
this is what I am trying to say... it is an energy thing...
The USN doesn't really bother with arresting strips on land anymore, apart from the test complexes at Pax River and Lakehurst.
No real surprise as they have plenty of real carriers to practise on...
And for some blatant self-promotion on something actually related to Russian aircraft carriers:
Any side views showing details of the electronics used on the main tower?