To many veritable missing to come to any conclusion. The information you gave is basic promotional information given by the manufacturer to sell their product
“17,700 lbs of static thrust at sea level on a standard day while being tested on an engine stand”
No other performance data given for the engine.
how much proformance does it loose with altitude. What performance hit does it take when having to draw air through the F-18s intakes. What about aircraft AoA does that reduce the performance? I would assume it does depending on the angle and speed as some intakes move to help reduce this performance cost.
McDonald Douglas spent years doing all kinds of performance test with the F-18. DCS paid a good bit of money to have access to that information. I’m not saying DCS has it right after all this is a $70 flight sim but, I do think they have access to more information then what can be found on the internet.
As for real life pilots saying it does not have the thrust it should well that reminds me of the Spitfire - Bf109 debate as to which ones turns tighter. Some RAF and Luftwaffe pilots are record as saying they believe the Spitfire can outrun the Bf109 and then there are some RAF and Luftwaffe pilots on recorded as saying the Bf109 was better. There are even some pilots that had the opertunity to fly both that disagree.
All things being equal on paper the Spitfire could outrun the Bf109 at most altitudes and slower speeds. But, at higher altitudes and higher speeds the Bf109 has the advantage.
where the pilots wrong in there accounts? No, because life is not equal most of the time. Pilot skill plays a big role as does variables like weight, altitude and speed along with shit ton more. Without knowing this you are left with only an opinion and not fact. I wonder how much not having the seat of your pants feeling as the jet excellerates might play into them thinking it does not have the right thrust.
anyways like Highway says I would not worry about it and just have fun with what we have.