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Guest JEL

F104 starfighter, how it 'feels' during turning

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Hi all :)I was wondering if anyone could say a little about how the F104 feels during turns (specificaly during low speeds at low altitude. How it handles, if it's heavy or light, stable or jittery, and whether it tends to roll level or upside-down when the stick is centered. Anything informative really :) )My understanding is that aircraft with wings that have positive dihedral, always tend to roll themselves level when no control-input is given.And that aircraft with anhedral wings (negative dihedral) always tend to roll over on their sides (sort of like when you fall over while riding on a bike, or something similar to that)Is that a general rule? (assuming the center-of-gravity is located close to the same vertical height as the wings)I hope someone can elaborate a bit on this :)

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>Hi all :)>>I was wondering if anyone could say a little about how the>F104 feels during turns (specificaly during low speeds at low>altitude. How it handles, if it's heavy or light, stable or>jittery, and whether it tends to roll level or upside-down>when the stick is centered. Anything informative really :) )>>My understanding is that aircraft with wings that have>positive dihedral, always tend to roll themselves level when>no control-input is given.>>And that aircraft with anhedral wings (negative dihedral)>always tend to roll over on their sides (sort of like when you>fall over while riding on a bike, or something similar to>that)>>Is that a general rule? (assuming the center-of-gravity is>located close to the same vertical height as the wings)>>I hope someone can elaborate a bit on this :)Hi,yes it's quite a general rule. The tendency to roll back to level when banking is called "dihedral effect", because having wings with dihedral is one of the most effective ways of achieving that. Actually, there are other factors that play a role on dihedral effect. For example, sweep wings increase dihedral effect (whereas forward sweep wings decrease it), high wings increase it as well (whereas low wings decrease it). If you look at a/c's with high and swept wings (B52, C17), they usually have negative dihedral (anhedral) to diminish the dihedral effect caused by the high and swept wings that would be otherwise too much (making the aircraft not much maneuverable on the rolling axis).Regarding the F104, I read it had anhedral because the fin/rudder was so big compared to the tiny wings, that the anhedral off set the adverse roll force due to the vertical tail.Marco

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I would imagine (the only experiance I have is CapSim's version) that she was a jittery beast, it wasn't called the 'widowmaker' for nothing. Most 104 accidents occurred at low speeds through stalling, though her high speed performance was pretty nifty for the era. What you have to remember though is that the 'Starfighter' was designed purely to get up there fast, put a couple of missiles into an enemy bomber and go back to base, she was no dogfighter. Because of the stubby wings landing speeds were very high, up around 200 KIAS, and if CapSim's model is anything to go by she's quite a handful when that slow. Centralised controls on that version don't seem to have much effect, she stays put at wherever you leave her, whether that's right or wrong I wouldn't like to say. Somehow though you know how a plane feels right, and that 'feels' to me pretty close to how it should given it's looks and envelope.

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Thanks :)I was pretty sure about the dihedral/anhedral effect in general, but it's always nice to get affirming opinions on things :)About the captainsim-version of the F104; I've been thinking about getting it, but it say's on their site that the system-req's are win2000 or higher, and since I'm on win98 so far I've hesitated (mostly because I'm not sure the installer would run on my system)I've tried various other versions of the aircraft, but, like you say, you can usually sense if an FDE feels right or wrong, and so far I haven't found one that feels like what I've been reading the aicraft feels like.Currently I'm trying to model my own FDE for the F104, hence my questions about it's flight-dynamics, but that's not an easy task I've found out :)I've searched the internet high and low for information on the aircraft, but getting the FDE to behave accordingly, and 'correct', is a challenge indeed.

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>Thanks :)>>I was pretty sure about the dihedral/anhedral effect in>general, but it's always nice to get affirming opinions on>things :)>>About the captainsim-version of the F104; I've been thinking>about getting it, but it say's on their site that the>system-req's are win2000 or higher, and since I'm on win98 so>far I've hesitated (mostly because I'm not sure the installer>would run on my system)>>I've tried various other versions of the aircraft, but, like>you say, you can usually sense if an FDE feels right or wrong,>and so far I haven't found one that feels like what I've been>reading the aicraft feels like.>>Currently I'm trying to model my own FDE for the F104, hence>my questions about it's flight-dynamics, but that's not an>easy task I've found out :)>I've searched the internet high and low for information on the>aircraft, but getting the FDE to behave accordingly, and>'correct', is a challenge indeed.>JEL,My recommendation would be to go with the Cloud9 F-104 offering over CS. It is miles ahead in the FDE department and has some great options and great support.Cheers,JohnBoeing 727/737 & Lockheed C-130/L-100 Mechanichttp://www.sstsim.com/images/team/JR.jpg

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I've often wondered about the Cloud9 one, quite fancy it myself but seem to always have something else to buy instead.

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>My recommendation would be to go with the Cloud9 F-104>offering over CS. It is miles ahead in the FDE department and>has some great options and great support.>>Cheers,>>JohnThanks :)I'll take a look at that.

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