Why Iran's New Indigenous Stealth Fighter Will Never Get Off The Ground

On February 1, 2013, Iran unveiled its indigenous fighter jet named "Qaher 313". The prototype of the Q-313 (or F-313 according to the stencils applied to the aircraft), was presented to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and publicly displayed as part of the Ten-Day Dawn ceremonies held in Iran to celebrate the 1979 victory of the Islamic Revolution.

In the previous days, the Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi had said: "The aircraft will be different from the other fighter jets Iran has already made."

Iran's new fighter jet doesn't look like any we've ever seen before. Turns out, as The Aviationist explains, that's because it maybe possibly almost definitely can't fly.

Indeed, based on the first photographs released by the FARS News Agency, the new stealthy jet has a really peculiar design. It features hard edges and those distinctive edges and angle of the US F-22 and the twin tail shape much similar to that of the F-35 Lightning II.

The Q-313 has large, seemingly fixed canards, and little wings whose external section is canted downward.

The canopy material is at least odd (based on its transparency, it looks like plexiglass or something like that).

The cockpit seems to be basic (a bit too much for a modern plane — note the lack of wiring behind the front panel and the presence of few instruments, some of those similar to those equipping small private planes…)

The nose section is so small almost no radar could fit in it.

The air intakes are extremely small (they remind those of current drones/unmanned combat aerial vehicles) whereas the engine section lacks any kind of nozzle: engine afterburners could melt the entire jet.

And, above all, the aircraft is way to small.

Look at the following image showing an Iranian officer sitting on the ejection seat in the cockpit.

It looks like this pilot is in a miniature plane.

Summing up: the shape is interesting with some innovative features but the Q-313 displayed on February 1, 2013, seems to be nothing more than a large mock up model (not properly sized to accommodate a real pilot).

Update: There is a video allegedly showing the Q-313 in the air:

Even if it is not the first flight of the aircraft as some of The Aviationist readers say, the way the depicted plane flies is suspect. It seems a radio-controlled scale model more than a modern fighter jet.

Furthermore, as someone pointed out: if the Qaher 313 actually flew, most probably Tehran would release footage of its takeoff and landing.

Picture: FARS, Mashreghnews


    It does fly, didn't you just see it.

      Because video can in no way be faked....
      Wouldn't surprise me if Iran made the video and released it so it seemed to the world it had a flying stealth fighter, but in reality all it is is a prop in a warehouse somewhere.

        You don't understand the difference between true power and true power.

        An example of what I'm referring to, is the way they faked the Moon Landing, I mean Come on, go watch the documentary that was made about it.

    Before reading the story, I thought the photo must have been of a half size model..
    The proportions are all wrong. Even though the cockpit looks tiny when the pilot sits in it, it looks massive compared to the plane.

    It's like an outtake of The Dictator.

      LOL. That's some crazy shit. Love the 1990's style CD player sticking out of the dash. I almost pee'd my pants.

      Apparently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be going to space next. Queue the fake rocket and bad helmet .. can't wait.

    Bwahahaha look at it! Look at the leading edges and the light reflections on the body and the canopy.
    Did they go into a High School and ask the metal work class to throw together something that looks like a plane?

    Kill it with fire.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.... I know right, I mean really


      I love you Iran... NEVER change!!!

    So what? It's a life size mockup and the vid is off a small radio controlled model-doesn't mean they're not making a working prototype. Small countries with limited resources do this sort of stuff all the time, not everyone has the massive military industrial complex of the US where they can blow 1000s of billions on dud prototypes they'll never follow up on. It's probably mainly to impress their own population while they're still working on making the real thing, which will probably take years.

      Are you serious? Can you name one other country that does "this sort of stuff all the time"? There are very few countries in the world capable of building a modern fighter jet. It is something Australia certainly couldn't do wihtout a lot of outside help (and Iran has no outside help).

        We could so make our own jet, however we pretty much choose not to ... probably because of costs and political reasons.

          Which means we can't.

          The only reason we could is because of all the overseas companies with offices/facilities here, which would be classed as outside help. Iran doesn't have any of that, as they are international pariahs.

        Even China does this and they can afford better. But it's certainly not atypical for smaller highly nationalistic countries to brag about mockups of missiles, tanks and other technology devices as if they have the real thing ready to go. Even the USSR and the USA did this during the cold war now that I recall. Anyone remember all those 'Star Wars" propaganda vids showing lasers destroying rocket boosters, etc. The USSR trotted out mobile missile launchers for May Day parades carrying fake missiles.
        Of course it's common, and people usually do have the tech to produce the real devices themselves, but the propaganda boost from a fake is more immediate, direct, and cheap.

    Lol those crazy Iranians. I notice in the video they showed plenty of shots of 3D models of the external fuselage, but nothing at all of internal components, you know, like engines and stuff. Also the rear exhaust (is that what you call it) is blocked off, probably so you can't see there's absolutely no internals. I guess it's a step up from using top gun footage: http://gizmodo.com/5745307/did-china-try-to-pass-off-top-gun-as-air-force-footage

    Why is all the stuff on the plane written in English - i.e. "Danger" "Remove before flight" etc?

      Because that's what it says on the planes in Top Gun

      Because English is the international language of flight.

    I Just checked snopes, no listing so it must be real.

    Well if irans like any other military on this planet do you really think, (even if this was an actual jet) they would ever let anyone just take photos of the components like the cockpit? Or anything? Everytime military tech is on display censors comb all over that shit ensuring nothing classified or could compromise tech. I mean honestly. Just think abit first people. Just because you dont know how the world works, doesnt mean you can call bullshit. Please people look up the f117 and you'll learn that it cannot fly without its onboard computer because its design was so unconventional.

      This isn't "censored", it's "built out of civilian parts". Amateur pilots have already picked this apart, it uses off the shelf gear that would go in a piston engine aircraft. The airspeed indicator only goes up to 300 knots (555km/h), it's built out of fibreglass, the cockpit bubble isn't even glass... at BEST it's a mockup of a real plane, but they claim that it's the real thing, showing it flying etc.

    Didn't President Imadinnerjacket just send a monkey to space too? and then when it came down it was a completely different monkey?

      No, that's how Iran got Dinnerjacket in the first place

    Does theaviationist website work for anyone else? I've tried reading their article a few times over the last few days and the site never loads.
    Are they just down or is something blocking it?

    its like they tried to make a new plane purely from looking at pictures (not blueprints, just pictures) of existing ones without any context as to what specific aspects of each plane did.

    My favourite part was when they used Google Sketch Up to prove how advanced it was

    Suddenly the theme music to macross is in my head.

      Funny you should mention Macross; in the "Macross Plus" sequel, the AI antagonist uses an autonomous drone (the X-1 Ghost) to counter the human piloted YF-19 and YF-21 variable fighters... If Iran is trying to defend themselves, they may want to skip straight to where the development of "air superiority" is currently heading towards: unmanned and (partially) automated weapon platforms like the U.S. X-47B .

      Last edited 06/02/13 3:08 pm

    Sure, if China can't make a high performance Jet engine, there is no way Iran can....

    The mock-up looks a bit weird.. PR Stunt....

    Easy to make an RC Jet to prototype the concept, but making the real thing work as advertised, not so easy (Then again Iran is a fairly resourceful country....) (Those canards are very close to the main wing, and the main wing does appear a very low-speed wing....)

    The statement that the F117 can't fly without computers could be said of ALL modern high performance (unstable) fly-by-wire aircraft.... In fully manual operation they are only designed to be stabilised enough to allow the pilot to punch-out.

    However, the Instability (of any fixed wing sub-sonic plane) can only be "so-much" (ie. it is limited)... They are all controllable manually for a short time, but the pilot workload is so great that they can't sustain it for long periods (that is what makes unstable fixed wing aircraft "unflyable"..... Even in an RC plane, a highly unconventional, unstable aircraft can be controlled enough to get the plane on the ground if everything goes well.. But throwing in a set of heading-hold gyro's, or attitude controller helps thing a lot....

    Remember a fighter pilot's Job isn't to fly the plane it is to complete a mission, if he/she is too busy wrestling with the plane they can't concentrate on the job-at-hand.

      That is why I am sceptical on Chinese gen 5 fighter. They have to stop buying Russian engines for their 4th gen fighters first.

    Why do they have the decals in English?
    Shouldn't they be in Iranian if they want their personnel to understand them?

    Oh, they just got them from ebay.

    "NO PUSH" on the vertical stabiliser control surface
    "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" on the exhaust bung
    "DANGER" on the explosive canopy warning placard

    hahahahaha look at it at 1.28 when it stops rotating and watch how it reacts. It looks like there's no weight to it.

    I am not sure how stupid you have to be to announce a joke like this? But after learning that president will go to space, it is all falling to its places. Stupid madman. Not supervillan :)

    To claim it's the real deal really stuffs their believability.
    Don't forget though that scale models are a normal part of the development process. i.e. have blue

    It may not fly, but I'm certain that Iran is being pointed at the right direction after posting a few photos and a video, and criticised by everyone on the internet on why it would not fly. We are helping them LOL.

    Surely with air intakes that small and mounted on top of the wing it wouldn't be able to turn fast/operate at a high angle of attack?

    They couldn't get the F-14's off the ground when the US bailed in 79. How are we to expect this to be anything more then it is. Crap

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