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Musings about the F-117 companion

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posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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I was browsing the latest LRS-B thread when I had a little bit of a EUREKA! moment about everyone's favorite enigmatic bird that we're never going to see, so I figured I'd share it here.

I have read many posts about how this craft was *not* a Lockheed product, but was more or less a contemporary of the -117 designed to compliment that aircraft. One sticking point that always comes up is how the companion allegedly looks nothing like the F-117, and that multiple people here have further and described it as possibly "star-shaped"

Well, I looked at this picture and it kinda clicked.

It's fairly obvious to me that especially in the early days of stealth, the designers had to work from the outside-in when designing an aircraft, and that once they found a basic stealthy shape that worked, they'd adapt it by scaling it up or down to meet the specific needs of a given craft. Look at the F-117/Senior Prom/ATA-B/Senior Peg family of designs, or the different concepts that coalesced into the B-2, and you'll see what I mean.

Now, another pair of aircraft with these similarities, to me, is the Tacit Blue and the YF-23. Both designs feature strong fuselage chines, mid-mounted trapezoidal wings, buried engines exhausting over the tail, and butterfly ruddervator control surfaces. It's also fairly well-documented elsewhere that the Tacit Blue's continuous controur-type design was due to trial and error using clay models as much if not more than it was due to computer modeling, as in the early 80's, the best programs still had difficulty modeling anything more complex than facets (e.g. the Lockheed designs). So it's pretty clear to me that Northrop found two design families early on, two basic shapes, that worked on the RCS pole. The THAP/B-2 flying wing, which worked for large aircraft, and the trapezoidal-winged, chined, and V-tailed design, which worked for smaller craft.

So IF the companion wasn't a Lockheed product, that more or less means that it HAS to have been a Northrop design, if only because the General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas stealth designs were much more primitive at the time. So what did Northrop have at the time for F-117-sized designs? The Tacit Blue/YF-23 shape, a shape that got very pointy with the YF-23. Now, picture a top-down view of the Tacit Blue and the YF-23 and extrapolate what the "missing link" between them might have looked like if it didn't have to carry the big radar systems of the Tacit Blue and didn't have to supercruise like the YF-23, and you get a shorter, squatter shape that could have very easily ended up looking like a 5-pointed star, at least from the top down.

Now as to it's role, has anyone here ever thought that the idea of a separate target-designation aircraft seems a little silly given the F-117's ability to do so on it's own? Could it be just as likely that the companion was there not just as an ECM or Wild Weasel aircraft, but as an A2A platform to act as an escort and protect the F(B)-117 while it took out it's targets? If that's the case, then the YF-23's well-known design quirks (at least, for a fighter) would make much more sense, if they were already based on an existing sub/transonic stealth A2A platform.

It's all baseless speculation, but it should be some good food for thought...




posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Very interesting thoughts.

Wrong, but very interesting.


Well on the shape it's wrong. Not bad on the rest.
edit on 9/1/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

hi barnalby.

interesting position. the tacit blue was designed, I believe, to test two things. rounded instead of faceted stealth technology and I think seamless fuselage. i dunno exactly since I didn't read up on it too well back in the day. sone one smarter will come along and correct me I'm sure.

the other was to test jstar like technology to look for armor formations so a wrecking crew could come in and bomb them away.

so that's interesting and kinda lines up with your theory.

the f23 in my opinion did go on to greater things. but that's just my opinion.

wouldn't be surprised if the xcompanion had something to do with it.

never heard of it being star shaped. i always figured star shaped in that thread was a reference to a "quite bird" they were speculating about. there are proposed drawings of star shaped boomless aircraft designs so that probably why I connected them that way.

one thing could the companion be a radically different design that wasn't conceived by northrup? the way the bird looks/ed is a closely guarded secret. would they really reveal its shape by letting other aircraft , successors to the desugn, be publically visible . like they did with the f23 and tacit?

it could have been sone genius design by some lesser known firm?

i dunno, but you give food for though. and you're a pretty deep thinker so your theory warrants at least exploring.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So you're saying the companion was/is a stealth A2A/Wild Weasel/ECM craft NOT built by Lockheed, and there was a "missing link" between the Tacit Blue and the YF-23, but they weren't the same aircraft?


Maybe it *was* a Boeing-built evolution of the Quiet Bird



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

i have a question. if the companion had ecm/a2a/wildweasle/and whatever else crammed in her would the quiet bird or the tacit blue be the best shape to fit it all in?

sometimes I wished the f19 really did exist cause it looked like it could head off incoming fighters and launch a few missiles their way before they realized it.

if the airplane had to patrol in enemy territory to keep aggressors off the f117 wouldn't it need to vve more dynamic than the tacit? quiet bird and tacit look like they would be abke to keep up. but I'd imagine youd want something able to get around quickly and dynamically.

i always wondered if the peopke that thought they got the f117 right and came up with the f19 model instead had actually gotten wind and descriptions I'd the companion and miss identified it as the stealth fighter.
edit on 1-9-2015 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:06 AM
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Give pictures I'm an artist damn it!



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: Barnalby

I have said what I said and that's what I said.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

If an accurate rendering was posted, 95% of the forum would call BS, 4% would talk themselves out of believing it, and 1% would sit and watch laughing because they know what it looks like.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

That's it? You're one of our resident experts in this field. I would expect more from you...



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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a reply to: Wide-Eyes

You do realize that we're discussing a still very classified aircraft right? That means that if I spill what I know I'm leaking classified information, which means I get to sit down with the DIA, and if I don't give up my sources I go to jail. And if I do, we both go to jail.

So yes. That's it.
edit on 9/1/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

edit on 9/1/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Damn so tantalizing. BTW anyone have a link for the quiet bird. I'd like to read more on that one.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I would STILL like the opportunity...Scout's eyes DO THAT you know...
I am glad we have irons in the fire of course but I LOVE pics of stuff,it helps my imagination.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

Once upon a time there was a surprisingly accurate rendering. It disappeared though.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

One other detail combed from one of the previous threads.....the planform is very unique and has yet to be replicated on any other aircraft.

Goes with Zaph's comment below "If an accurate rendering was posted, 95% of the forum would call BS, 4% would talk themselves out of believing it, and 1% would sit and watch laughing because they know what it looks like."



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Don't worry, I got this.

I think I found our bird in question:



And no, that's not duct tape -- that's highly classified radar absorbing material. She doesn't look like much, but as Zaph said 95% of the forum would call BS, another 4% of you will talk yourselves out of it -- and the 1% of us are laughing because we know what it looks like.



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:38 PM
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Interesting Call Signs.

monitoringtimes.com...



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Very interesting thoughts.

Here's the picture so it can be seen in the thread without clicking.



a reply to: MystikMushroom

That's the old model. The current one uses active stealth.




posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:45 PM
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IS this close?


edit on 15000000pppm by yuppa because: forgot one



posted on Sep, 1 2015 @ 12:59 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
Interesting Call Signs.

monitoringtimes.com...


YES! Someone up here that flies an F-22 has "Cylon" as their call sign!

Anyone else notice that "Maverick" is just "?"

edit on 1-9-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



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