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To further push my theory of "politics and the JSF killed the YF-24/NATF and that's why we won't see any of it"
DARPA competitively awarded two contracts in March 1993 to conduct critical technology validation of two CALF concepts. Lockheed was awarded a $32.9M contract to conduct risk reduction of a shaft driven lift fan and McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $27.7M contract to conduct risk reduction of a gas driven lift fan.
Boeing later approached DARPA and offered to meet DARPA's financial contribution if they were allowed onto the program.
In March 1994, Congress appropriated an additional $6M to fund a direct lift STOVL concept. Following a procurement competition, Boeing was selected to conduct this effort, offering to cost share an additional $6M to enable a similar level of risk reduction as the Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas and put them in a competitive position to vie for a follow-on demonstration program. Further provisions included a $10M contribution each from Congress and Boeing for the following year, bringing Boeing's total contract up to $32M.
For all three contractors, the Critical Technology Validation Phase included continued design work on both operational and associated low cost demonstrator aircraft, affordability analyses, and small scale and component testing culminating in large scale powered model testing to validate not only propulsion system performance but to ensure no adverse performance effects from operation in ground effect such as stability and control problems, lift losses and hot gas ingestion.
The government imposed only a single requirement - that the aircraft weight empty be less than 24,000 lbs. This weight target was set for two reasons. First, this weight was consistent with the thrust available for vertical landing from an F-119 class engine. Second, since parametric cost estimating relationships show strong correlation with weight, this also ensured that a low cost design would be achieved. The demonstrator aircraft would be based on this design, employing a common outer moldline, to validate performance predictions and demonstrate manufacturing affordability initiatives. However signature reduction materials and treatments would be left off the demonstrator to reduce cost. The demonstrator aircraft would also demonstrate the commonality between the Air Force and Marine Corps variants by using common tooling and producing both configurations.
The picture of the upside down RCS test model is codenamed 'Replica' and was one of the concepts developed to meet the UK MOD FOAS requirement. FOAS was cancelled and superseded by DPOC which was then cancelled as part of the strategic defence review. Replica did not fly, but other platforms and demonstrators may have.
originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: penroc3
I believe Replica was just a design study before the UK officially went with the F-35. I think they are using it now for testing of BAE's UAV craft.