In reading further seems unclear as to whether this is actually a production aircraft or some propaganda PR stunt.
Probably just a stunt. I see lots of criticisms about it; it’s too small, the cockpit is too small, you couldn’t fit much of a radar in the nose, and so on.
Here’s a short article.
Edit: To quote someone on another board, "My aviation mind is screaming NOOOO when looking at it… "
I suspect it’s a technology demonstrator rather than a prototype, never mind a production model.
Yeah, I saw a lot of the same speculation from people that think it just doesn’t look legit. Everything from the size of the intakes being too small to the way the canopy appears to be made.
A dozen western countries working with one of the world’s most advanced aircraft manufacturers still can’t get the F-35 working right.
I really have trouble believing Iran’s come up with a sixth generation fighter on its own. It flies, great. That’s about 2% of the process.
I’m no engineer but thanks to my Army intel background have spent more time studying picures of fighter jets than a human really should have to, and I agree with the general consensus; there’s something about the aircraft that makes it just not look legit. It’s not one thing, it’s everything. It doesn’t LOOK real. If you look at aircraft of dfferent provenances - American jets versus Soviet jets versus Swedish jets versus French jets - they all look different, but there’s something about the Iranian jet that doesn’t look as authentic as they do.
I guess if I could put it into a single idea, it’s that it looks too damn small. It looks like it was built large enough to fly around really fast, but it just doesn’t look like the sizable, weighty thing than an F-18 or a Rafale or a JAS-39. The cockpit is huge compared to the rest of the aircraft. I can’t understand how you could fit weapons onto it, or for that matter very much fuel inside it. The point about the nose being really small is a good one, too; radar is a necessarily big thing. I made a point of looking up photos of half a dozen other modern jets (JAS-39, Rafale, F-22, Sukhoi T-50, Eurofighter Typhoon, and F-18) and in every case the part of the nose extending past the most forward part of the canopy was essentially the same length as the canopy itself. In the Qaher F313 it clearly is not. But the electronics suite can’t be recessed back under the cockpit because the landing gear’s there. I find it unlikely in the extreme that Iran has stubled acrosss radar and electronics miniaturization methods unknown to the rest of the world.
What’s the supposed advantage of down turned wing tips? Modern airliners have upturned tips so that wing length can be reduced by controlling the vortices that occur at conventional horizontal tips and reduce lift efficiency (as I understand things - IANAeEng).
Do the downturned tips actually do anything beyond add that cool “Bird of Prey” look?
Here’s my take on it:
[li]The thickness of the wing is nuts. It’s not an airfoil for supersonic flight.[/li][li]The air intakes are tiny.[/li][li]As others have noted: it’s just too small up front, there’s no room up there for radar, and I don;t see any thing like passive FLIR and other sensors poking out up there.[/li][li]There’s little room for any sort of meaningful fuel or weapon load-out.[/li][li]If you look at tail end of the thing, it’s designed to give the look of a thrust vectoring solution, but clearly is not.[/li][li]And why the all the English signage on it? “Warning,” etc. That makes no sense.[/li][/ul]
It reminds me a lot of the “Have Blue” prototype in terms of scale. If anything, that’s what this is, a sub scale demonstrator.
The down turned wing tips are novel. The XB70 had them.
Iran caught faking image of the plane in flight.
Here’s another article on the bad design.
Look through the canopy at the 20-second mark. It is wavy and lumpy, as if it had been vacuum-formed over a crappy mold. OTOH, there seems to be enough room for a pilot and a golf bag in the cockpit.
Ahmadinejad may be crazy, but he sure is fun.
Damn, dem Iranians suck at Photoshop.
Blimey, it’s Captain Scarlet’s Angel Interceptor.