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HUD (Heads Up Display) from TXX, 1993

Eurofighter 2000
CONFIGURATION

The Eurofighter 2000 has a canard configuration, meaning that the 'tail' is mounted forward of the main wings. This is inherently unstable, for the following reason:

In a normal fighter, the all-moving tail is used to pitch the aircraft up and down. Deflecting the tail down gives it a negative angle of attack, and thus a downward force, which turns the whole aircraft nose-up. As this happens, the initial deflection of the tail is offset by the overall motion of the aircraft, and so the pitching force is reduced, as the aircraft moves to a higher, stable angle of attack. If the tail is at the front, it is turned upwards to create a nose-up pitch, and the resulting motion increases the force on the canard, so then in order to stabilize the higher AoA, the canards must be deflected entirely the other way, or the whole aircraft will pitch up into a stall.

The advantages of the canard are that it is never in the wake of the wing, and so retains its effectiveness at high angles of attack. A canard configured airplane can have less afterbody (tail-end) drag than an equivalent aft-tailed version. The canard can be smaller than a tail would need to be, as demonstrated in the 2000's tiny 25.9 sq. ft. canard area.

Only now, with the advent of digital flight control systems (DFCS) can the canard be used as a means of control. Even so, a spokesman for the company which pioneered unstable, computer controlled fighters is reported to have said: "In the view of General Dynamics, the optimum location of a canard is on somebody else's airplane."

In spite of this obvious difference, detractors have described the Eurofighter 2000 as 'F-16 Plus'. In the same weight class as General Dynamics' (now Lockheed Fort Worth) successful fighter, the Eurofighter has a much larger wing, at 165 ft., and with two 90 kN (kilo Newton) engines, compared to F-16's single 122 kN, the Eurofighter has more power for maneuvering.

The Eurofighter will have a variable shape mission adaptive wing (MAW), using slats and flaps.

The fighter will have a 'glass cockpit' of modern design, with three MFDs. Most versions will have a helmet mounted targeting system, and direct voice input (DVI) for non-critical functions."

From the manual