It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

Musings about the F-117 companion

page: 4
<< 1  2  3    5  6  7 >>

log in


posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:38 AM
a reply to: spaceman42

It does seem pretty amazing that a supposedly highly unusual looking aircraft could be serving out of foreign bases for a few decades and not get spotted. I mean it didn't take long or the -170 to get papped. But that does seem to be the case if all he information people are putting together is correct.

That article also mentions the role I always assumed the companion would take; rather than a laser designator for the F-117 it could be stealthily circling in position at high altitudes providing situational awareness and post-attack intelligence. A 1980's pre-UAV RQ-170 if you will :-)

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:53 AM
a reply to: gfad

good point.

this might finally get declassified once the f-35 takes over it's role.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:05 AM
a reply to: gfad

It did get spotted at least twice. Steps were taken to ensure the pictures didn't get out.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:18 AM
This is the first time I've seen these. They're interesting, if nothing else.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:20 AM

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: gfad

It did get spotted at least twice. Steps were taken to ensure the pictures didn't get out.

What timeframe are we talking about here? '90's, early 2000's? If it was in recent years I would guess that there would be little point going through all the effort to keep the pictures from getting out in the open since there are probably multiple platforms nowadays that can do the same job (unmanned). There is probably little reason left to keep it highly classified to this day. But I understand why they are not going public themselves, nothing to be gained by doing so.

On a related note, on it not becoming public knowledge, or at least some snippets getting out. Could it be that the production run was just very small? A couple of airframes build by some special projects division are way easier to hide/disguise than, lets say 10, 20, 30 or even more! Any ideas as to the amount of airframes build?

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:27 AM

originally posted by: LeviB
This is the first time I've seen these. They're interesting, if nothing else.

Interesting shapes! Also interesting to note that Teledyne Ryan became part of Northrop in 1999.
Could be they collaborated on a THAP offshoot 15 years earlier?!

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:28 AM
a reply to: spaceman42

Around the late 80s, early 90s.


posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:51 AM
a reply to: LeviB

I wonder if that Teledyne Ryan patent is the one.

It looks neat.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:53 AM
I'm guessing one of two things:

1. It looks radially different from anything we've seen

2. It looks very similar to other aircraft we've seen, and only people really into aviation would be impressed by its appearance

Wow, I sound like a politician. I managed to say something without saying something.

The fact Zaph said 94% of people would dismiss it makes me think it looks a lot like something we already have seen. It's more believable to think it looks exotic since we know so little about it.

To someone like me, a triangle is a triangle and a delta wing is a delta wing...the A-12 and the flying doritio shapes all look pretty much the same to me, I'm not overly impressed by one diagram over another. To someone like Zaph, with his knowledge -- the small details mean quite a bit, so a fin here or a certain angle there makes all the difference.

It's probably a 737 with a RAM coating lol

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:03 PM
Im guess ing tht THAp offshoot will look like a cross between the tr-3a(not a B since the B dont exist) and the northrop ax-12 was it? Or a yf-23 fuselage with its engine bumbs near the tail.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:04 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Yeah it's probably a flying dorito shape that we've seen before.

But after reading that pdf.

Zaph. What's with that diamond shape craft? page 31

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:23 PM
a reply to: grey580

Looks like Pumpkin Seed.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:27 PM
What if it's just a modified F-117?

Think about it, a modified F-117 would have similar flight characteristics, it would be easier to deploy two planes with similar range and speed. It would also be easier to maintain two similar planes instead of having to source parts for another expensive stealth aircraft.

One F-117 has the boom-sticks and fire, the other has the EW suite and laser painting abilities.

*shrug* just using my imagination. It's something I would consider doing if I had an air-force.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:29 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

I don't think so.

Apparently it has a different design all to gether.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:31 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

I wonder what the heat management headaches on THAT craft were like...

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:41 PM
a reply to: Barnalby

Never found out. It was more unstable than an F-117 without a flight control computer.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:54 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Those subscale demonstrator tests must have been a hoot

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:02 PM
a reply to: Barnalby

Oh from what I heard, there were a few "Uhm....where's it going" moments.

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:12 PM

Obviously this is a Lockheed design, but I think it is relevant to this conversation considering that the proposed variant for the F-117 fulfills many of the aforementioned requirements of the companion craft. It is also easier to preserve the confidentiality of an aircraft from the same family than a radically different platform. I may be way off, but this aircraft proposal received very serious consideration before disappearing.

I also think that the F-15 SE or a modified variant could be the companion craft if it could do the job well enough.

The Teledyne photos and boeing XX proposals are quite interesting as well. It would be amazing if it turned out to be the f-19 all along. This topic of the companion craft has fascinated me for quite some time.

The following info on the SeaHawk is from I know that the timeline on this info doesn't quite match up with the gulf war, but it could have already been in the works, with the proposal being a ploy to garner more funding and bring it out of the black.


Shorty after Desert Storm offered the US Navy a minimally changed F-117A as the F-117N. (Reported in the September 13, 1993 Aviation Week, pg. 96) Inherent structural features of the F-117A fuselage enable it to be effectivly modified specifically for Navy use. The F-117A possesses three primary Navy characteristics not normally found in Air Force aircraft. These are: a full-depth center keel from nose gear to tail hook; three full-depth fuselage frames for wing carry through; and the main landing gear being attached directly to a major bulkhead.
Lockheed thought the Navy could use it like the Air Force uses it's F-117As-have a small strike force that's routinely deployed on board carriers that would be able to help beat down air defenses and leverage the conventional airplanes that are on the ship. Originally the plan was for 40 to 70 aircraft.
The Navy criticized that the F-117N was for a single mission aircraft for night operations. After the Pentagon rejected the F-117N in mid 1993, Lockheed went back to the drawing boards to modify the F-117N so that it met the requirements for the canceled A/F-X program and presented the A/F-117X in mid 1994.


For the A/F-117X Lockheed added an afterburning General Electric F414 engine, the same one that powers the F/A-18E/F. An elongated platypus section was added to accommodate the larger engines. The A/F-117X also had an advanced radar/infrared suite, which would have provided an all-weather air-to-ground and air-to-air-missile capability. The latter, with the added maneuvering capability provided by the afterburning engines, would turn the F-117 into more of a multi mission aircraft according to Lockheed officials. The A/F-117X met all of the A/F-X requirements except for the "carrier deck spotting factor".
The internal payload capacity was doubled-from the current 5,000 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. by enlarging the bomb bay. The keel was dropped 19 in. and the doors replaced creating a shallow, elongated bulge underneath the fuselage. The bulge added some drag, but did not adversely effect aerodynamics or stealthiness according to Lockheed. Two stores pylons were also added under each wing to allow for external carriage of an additional 8,000 lbs. of fuel or ordinance. Other features included a "very high resolution ground targeting radar, navigational forward looking infrared (FLIR) system, and an infrared search and track capability". (See World Air Power Journal #19, Winter 1994).

The fuselage and landing gear were further modified and strengthened for shipboard operations. The A/F-117X had a much-revised trapezoidal horizontal tail (to control the landing pattern approach angle and descent rate), with the horizontal stabilizers resembling those of the F-22. The A/F-117X included all the Navy standards-a carrier qualified arrestor hook, folding wings for deck storage, F-14 undercarriage, and twin nosewheels (possible F-18) with catapult tie bar.
The wing sweep was lessened to 42 degrees while the span was increased by 21.45 ft. The wing also featured double-slotted trailing edge flaps and three-section spoilers forward of flaps for improved low-speed approach handling characteristics.
The A/F-117X would feature access to equipment bays with "tail over water" and/or one engine running. Lockheed documents credit the A/F-117X with AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile capability. The pictures/diagrams show the AIM-9/AIM-120 rails on the interior sides of the A/F-117X's (fully bulged) bomb bay doors. Flyaway cost was estimated at 70 million per aircraft in 1994, based on a 250 aircraft production run.
In a push for modular production and alleged cost savings, Lockheed proposed that the US Navy and Air Force execute a joint program to build both the F-117B and A/F-117X.
The Senate Armed Services Committee earmarked $175 million to initiate a program definition phase and flying demonstrator of the new production aircraft.

A/F-117X (reconfigured F-117N) "Seahawk"

Similar to F-117B
Max. T.O. wt.: 73,200 lbs. (vs. F-117A's 52,500 lbs.)
Unrefueled combat radius: 980 miles (vs. F-117A's 570 miles)
Internal payload: 10,000 lbs. (vs. F-117A's 5,000 lbs.)
Payload: AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9, LGB
Engines: afterburning GE F414 (2)
Wing sweep: 42 degrees (vs. F-117A's 67.3 degrees)
Wing Span: 64 ft.9.4 in (vs. F-117A's 43 ft 4 in)
Folding outer wing panels
F-22 style clear canopy
All-moving tailerons for roll control
Strengthened undercarriage
F-14 Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS)
edit on 2-9-2015 by PwnisaurusRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:36 PM
a reply to: soulpowertothendegree

Okay, I think they are a complete waste of money.

new topics

top topics

<< 1  2  3    5  6  7 >>

log in