# Would it be possible to fly inside a city?

#### Wake Burns

##### Filing Flight Plan
Greetings!
I'm an artist/writer who's currently working on a graphic novel about future fighter pilots.
My main objective is to accurately portray how a fighter pilot may respond to the situations given in the story. I ensure you that I do my homework, as there's nothing I despise more than ignorance. However, as someone who has never been in a plane in his life, I fail to trust myself to do this story justice.
this is where you gentlemen come in. I figured, what better way to educate myself then to ask the people who are heavily informed?

First..
lets get the big one out of the way.
There's a moment when a pilot is being forced to fly between buildings and has to turn left.
Lets say- with the power of technological development -the plane is a light 16 ton fighter jet, measuring 14 meters long and 20 meters wide. The model is similar to a PAK-FA.
The road is a 40 meter wide double four lane intersection, and the pilot has an area of 1,600m^2 to work with.

_| |_
1600m^2

| < - - > |
40m

Would it be even possible to make this turn without stalling the plane?
If so, let me ask another question.
Is there a specific route a pilot can take in order to maximize the efficiency of maintaining momentum? This is rather important as what position I draw the plane in depends on its trajectory.

Side question-
If you remove the limitations of G-force, and give the aircraft the ability to turn at almost any angle, would most parameters and techniques go out the window?

I also had difficulty finding data on the amount of fuel a jet's afterburner consumes over a given amount of time. If anyone can give me a educated guess that would be appreciated.

There are many more questions I have, but those will be answered by a fighter pilot I have an appointment with later this week.
I'm asking here because I figured getting a wide variety of answers would be a wise choice.

Feel free to list information you think would be of assistance.
I have basically little to no knowledge of any field relative to aerodynamics or aerobatics.
literally anything will help.
(Also if you see anything that is incorrect or information that is necessary for me to add please inform me, I'll correct it immediately.)

I like turtles.

It's pretty easy as long as you have an AOA indicator.

If you would have titled it "can a fighter turn in a city" then one of the fighter guys (Evil / 35 AoA) could chime in. Hopefully they'll find the thread anyway.

Best place for this question would be fighter sweep, Air Warriors or Baseops. My answer, they would be in violation of service regs so it would never happen anyway.

It's pretty easy as long as you have an AOA indicator.

Damn, beat me to it.

I like turtles.
I know the abbreviation LOL gets over used but when I read your response I literally LOL'ed.

If you would have titled it "can a fighter turn in a city" then one of the fighter guys (Evil / 35 AoA) could chime in. Hopefully they'll find the thread anyway.

Or ask a resident engineer - I ran the numbers for fun. Guesstimating a 160kt airspeed, to make a turn with an 80m radius (draw a diagram - that's the largest radius turn you can make in the intersection of 2 40m roads) you would need a bank angle of 83.5 deg and would pull 8.8Gs, so structurally it might be just barely capable. However, due to the G, the stall speed has increased by a factor of 3 (our author can google for "Accelerated Stall" if he wants an explanation), so no, there is no way to make a 90º turn in the width of a 40m roadway in a tactical jet.

Or ask a resident engineer - I ran the numbers for fun. Guesstimating a 160kt airspeed, to make a turn with an 80m radius (draw a diagram - that's the largest radius turn you can make in the intersection of 2 40m roads) you would need a bank angle of 83.5 deg and would pull 8.8Gs, so structurally it might be just barely capable. However, due to the G, the stall speed has increased by a factor of 3 (our author can google for "Accelerated Stall" if he wants an explanation), so no, there is no way to make a 90º turn in the width of a 40m roadway in a tactical jet.

How many Gs before GLOC?

Wiki says *maybe* 9.

What if he lessened the G's and allowed the plane to descend? How much altitude would he have to give up to get the accelerated stall speed within a reasonable range?

It works in the movies:

How many Gs before GLOC?

Wiki says *maybe* 9.

A-huh. That's why I said it would be structurally capable... But honestly, it's only going to be in the turn for 1.5 seconds. I know that there is some capability to withstand above 9G for a short period of time without LOC, but don't feel like googling for more data.

I like turtles.

Me too!

It works in the movies:

Man, I love those real-life action movies.

A-huh. That's why I said it would be structurally capable... But honestly, it's only going to be in the turn for 1.5 seconds. I know that there is some capability to withstand above 9G for a short period of time without LOC, but don't feel like googling for more data.
Yeah, me either.

So someone who has never been in a plane in his life decides to write a book about fighter pilots.

Interesting idea.

So someone who has never been in a plane in his life decides to write a book about fighter pilots.

Interesting idea.
Do fighter pilots hang out in author's forums asking for help with spelling?

Do fighter pilots hang out in author's forums asking for help with spelling?

Of course not silly boy. They hangout in author forums for help with grammar.

Turtles? Where?

Hey don't you know you'll get killed in a city? Why fly in and chance it? They be like waiting on your arse man.

To the OP. This is a tough forum for newcomers. They **** and **** on everyone. I know your question is genuine, so because I'm the only decent human being on this board, I'll answer:

No, it's not possible to turn in 40m, not even a Cub could do that. But if you make it a VTOL fighter that can slow down, then it could be done. Another scenario is: If you have very tall buildings, it's possible theoretically to do an Immelman-turn. Say he comes in slow and low, really slow, hits afterburners/max power and pulls the stick back and rolls out of inverted at the top. If the buildings around him are high enough, it's possible that could be done. Possible.

Something to keep in mind. In tight canyon turns and mountain flying, it is possible to trade altitude to increase the turning radius by descending heavily in the steep turn. That's why experienced mountain pilots fly as high as they can and to one side of the mountain/slope, never in the center, in case they come to a dead end and need to turn back.

I write Sci Fi books for a living, and I'm a pilot. Still, I'm no where near qualified to answer your question. However, I can tell you what I do in such cases.

First, remember, it's Sci fi. It's the future. It doesn't necessarily have to conform to the current understanding of physics/aerodynamics, or be within the abilities of current technologies. Best thing to do is to create the abilities and limitations of whatever tech you are using, and stick within those parameters. Do not try to explain it, or justify it to the reader, unless it is absolutely necessary to the plot. And be vague how things work whenever possible, otherwise, some wise-ass will call you out for your errors. (Trust me, I know.)

OK... am I the only one concerned here? I understand the OP is attempting to gather facts for a book (as stated), but the cynical side of me makes me wonder about more sinister reasons for understanding this information.

No, it's not possible to turn in 40m, not even a Cub could do that.

Incorrect. First of all, as stated, the required turn radius is 80m not 40m. Second, a Cub at 60 knots in a 60º bank will easily turn in a 56m radius, without stalling. Check the math.

There isn't enough air molecules between the buildings anyway. The structures create a low pressure vacuum, and then you stall. No blue donut in the world will save your a\$\$ at that point. Leave the flying between buildings to the pros.

What's with these authors writing books on subjects that they have no knowledge of?

What's with these authors writing books on subjects that they have no knowledge of?

I consider it resume' padding so they can land a job at USAToday.

Greetings!
I'm an artist/writer who's currently working on a graphic novel about future fighter pilots.
My main objective is to accurately portray how a fighter pilot may respond to the situations given in the story. I ensure you that I do my homework, as there's nothing I despise more than ignorance. However, as someone who has never been in a plane in his life, I fail to trust myself to do this story justice.
this is where you gentlemen come in. I figured, what better way to educate myself then to ask the people who are heavily informed?

First..
lets get the big one out of the way.
There's a moment when a pilot is being forced to fly between buildings and has to turn left.
Lets say- with the power of technological development -the plane is a light 16 ton fighter jet, measuring 14 meters long and 20 meters wide. The model is similar to a PAK-FA.
The road is a 40 meter wide double four lane intersection, and the pilot has an area of 1,600m^2 to work with.

_| |_
1600m^2

| < - - > |
40m

Would it be even possible to make this turn without stalling the plane?
If so, let me ask another question.
Is there a specific route a pilot can take in order to maximize the efficiency of maintaining momentum? This is rather important as what position I draw the plane in depends on its trajectory.

Side question-
If you remove the limitations of G-force, and give the aircraft the ability to turn at almost any angle, would most parameters and techniques go out the window?

I also had difficulty finding data on the amount of fuel a jet's afterburner consumes over a given amount of time. If anyone can give me a educated guess that would be appreciated.

There are many more questions I have, but those will be answered by a fighter pilot I have an appointment with later this week.
I'm asking here because I figured getting a wide variety of answers would be a wise choice.

Feel free to list information you think would be of assistance.
I have basically little to no knowledge of any field relative to aerodynamics or aerobatics.
literally anything will help.
(Also if you see anything that is incorrect or information that is necessary for me to add please inform me, I'll correct it immediately.)
Turn radius in the F-14 was a little over 2,000 feet, if I remember correctly. Maybe it was closer to 3,000, but it was somewhere around there at corner speed so that should give you an idea. The F-18 can maneuver in less. The A-10 has a 2,200ft turn radius at corner velocity. The F-14 burned around 1500lbs per minute in full afterburner (both engines). If you want to reduce your ground track you maneuver vertically in the turn, so basically turn and climb or descend at the same time.

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With computer graphics and complete ignorance of the Laws of the Universe, you can do anything. As proof, look at what Iron Man does in the first Avengers in NYC.

What's with these authors writing books on subjects that they have no knowledge of?

Because very few of us who know things about each subject are capable writers. Just as I would have to learn to write before I could write a book on aviation, a writer has to learn about aviation to write a book on aviation.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think it would be much easier for a writer to learn about aviation than for a writer to teach me to write a good book.

Just so I don't come off as too big a jerk: My daughter is a college professor in an English department and teaches various writing classes. Any writer that comes to this forum asking for technical advice is more than welcome and I will give as much help as possible, but will also give as much ribbing as I can muster.

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1500 lbs per minute!

I know the abbreviation LOL gets over used but when I read your response I literally LOL'ed.
It's pretty easy as long as you have an AOA indicator.
I would laugh at that if I knew what that was.

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1500 lbs per minute!
It burned fuel in afterburner at about the same rate as it dumped it. So if you needed to reduce weight for landing, you could turn the dumps on or light the afterburners. You could also do both, but it would likely get you a new callsign like "Torch".

So someone who has never been in a plane in his life decides to write a book about fighter pilots.

Interesting idea.
My grandfather used to be a fighter pilot back in WW2. He was part of my inspiration. Also, we writers tend to write things we have no knowledge of. We see it as a challenge. When we gain interest in something we go for it.
Plain and simple.

Do fighter pilots hang out in author's forums asking for help with spelling?
Well our forums normally consist of questions instead of answers. So I feel like if such a thing happened, you'd come out more confused then anything.
It'd be like me coming to this website, and instead of seeing educative posts. It's just images filled with a bunch of crashed airliners.