a reply to: grey580
I think so, but notice a couple things compared to the Northrop design in the image that intelgurl quoted.
1: The fuselage is longer, wider, and with a more pronounced sweep.
2: The winglets are smaller and positioned farther back.
¡¡¡¡BASELESS SPECULATION ALERT!!!!
There are a couple things that this design difference could indicate. The obvious one is that it likely gets more of it's lift from it's fuselage
than say, an X-47B. The slightly less obvious one is that such a sweep angle makes it much more likely that this design might be transonic
Northrop sees its cranked kite planform as a fundamentally new way of designing an aircraft, a way in which the flying wing can truly come into it's
own as a family of designs that are infinitely scalable and versatile.
In a way, Northrop sees the cranked kite design as being as fundamental and integral to designing effective composite-bodied stealth aircraft as the
"tube and wing" design was to aluminum aircraft. Just as the tube and wing design was adaptable enough that from the 247 and DC-3 onward, it produced
aircraft as varied as the 707, the F-104, Concorde, the C-5, the B-1, and the U-2, Northrop sees the cranked kite as having the same sort of
Look at the X-47B, which is basically a cranked kite meant to mimic the flight envelope of an A-6. Like the A-6, it's wider than it is long, with
wide, thick wings and a squat fuselage to maximize low-speed lift in order to maximize payload and controllability during CTOL ops. The "kite" still
produces the majority of the lift, but the relatively large winglets are still crucial to supplement that lift, and provide large control
surfaces/split flaps for fine control, especially with regards to yaw, at the low speeds seen during carrier landings.
Now the mistake that the artist made was in taking the X-47B shape and scaling it up, when the LRS-B will never see anything approaching carrier
ops-type takeoff/landing conditions. The key term here is "long range strike", and the closest thing these aircraft will see to an aircraft carrier
are the 10,000+ foot runways at Diego Garcia, Kadena, or Guam.
So now Northrop doesn't have to worry as much about low-speed lift and controllability, and is free to make the "kite" proportionally larger, with
more room for engines/fuel/bombs/ECM or DEW toys. The winglets are now also able to be sized for efficiency at the higher speeds that the LRS-B will
actually be operating at, and are proportionately smaller to help reduce drag and RCS.
Finally, there appears to have been some sort of a desire for transonic performance, which would necessitate a certain sweep angle to manage the shock
cone at transonic speeds and keep the wingtips within it so the craft doesn't do a DeHavilland Swallow impression. At the same time, however, it is
not a true supersonic design, and so that effective sweep angle (measured between the nose and the wingtips) needs to be nowhere near as aggressive as
on, say, a B-1, so it will resemble more the angle of an early 1950s fighter than it does that of a Concorde.
Now look at that Amarillo image, and overlay it with an F-100, a fighter designed with a top speed of Mach 1.3 or so, and you'll see that the
effective sweep angles are nearly identical.
edit on 20-1-2016 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)