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Lockheed unveils KC-Z concept

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posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:26 PM
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Lockheed has unveiled their KC-Z entry. The Air Force is talking about skipping ahead, and developing a low observable tanker, possibly armed for a limited strike A2AD role. Lockheed took their Hybrid Wing Body aircraft, and modified it into a tanker, including blended drogue pods on the wings. The Air Force is currently studying the possible requirements for the KC-Z program, and is expected to decide this year whether to go ahead with the KC-Y, or skip to the KC-Z.

Lockheed is already doing wind tunnel testing of a 4% scale model, and is conducting tests with a 45 pound HWB model, which would then transfer to the KC-Z program.


Lockheed Martin has unveiled its concept of next-generation wing-body tanker aircraft for refuel fighters like the F-22 and F-35. That was reported by Graham Warwick.

The concept of new stealth tanker aircraft was displayed for the first time at AIAA SciTech Forum. Lockheed has already begun wind-tunnel testing on a four percent scale model of a new Hybrid Wing Body (HWB) airlifter designed for maximized aerodynamic efficiency. As Lockheed’s aerospace engineers conduct flight tests on the 45-pound HWB model, they could use the data not only to develop the HWB but also to jumpstart a tanker program with a similar blended wing-body design.

The U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command recently announced the “KC-Z” program intended to develop a next-generation tanker aircraft—one that could fly into dangerous airspace to support stealth strike fighters like the F-22 and F-35—by 2035.

defence-blog.com...




posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:31 PM
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Looks amazing. I cant tell in the photo but is it fixed wing? Could be the glare but it looks like it could sweep the wings like the F14.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:33 PM
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I would assume the boom would be harder to hide then drogue pods. I would also guess they didn't show the rear or lower sections?



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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Looks very 60s-70s.
...Thunderbirds are go!



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:36 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant

It's fixed wing. It's the glare, and the angle of the wing. It's swept back just a little bit more than usual for an aircraft that size.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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a reply to: Pyle

The boom has always been the tricky part. They've tried a couple of times with a LO tanker, and have had problems with the boom every time. It's fairly easy to get it LO, but not so much when they stick it down into the slipstream. They've had flutter, controlability, and RCS issues with it extended over the years.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:48 PM
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FINALLY something SEXY!



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

I see $$$$$. And so does Boeing.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 07:57 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

What does Boeing have to do with the Lockheed concept?



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Sorry, just read a story about the last 747 retiring in the US.

But LockHeed will get their bid then the contract. Then their 20% cost overruns and 1-3 year behind schedule.

But look at the B-52, Abrams Tank- both were expensive--but long lived and cheaper once the long lives are considered.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

We have no idea what will happen. It may be fixed price, they may require extensive risk reduction before awarding the contract



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 08:16 PM
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WOW! She's a beauty. I cannot wait to see her fly.
If she does.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 08:52 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I like the skunk logo on the base, and the pretty bird.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 09:20 PM
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Reminds me a bit of the unknown caught flying over KS last year... This wouldn't be related to KS or the TX bird would it?

WInter



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: Winterpain

No. That was a flying wing.



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Purdy concept, makes me wonder what ever happened to the speed agile program, was it really cancelled or did it just go black. Looks to be effectively an updated LO version of said design, with some differences in design for example the intakes etc.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 03:04 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

What kind of a performance package are they looking at for this thing? It looks fast...is it? Or, rather, will it be?

I can see why they'd want it to have a fairly low RCS, none if possible...but, man, how much additional cost is that going to add to something they needed yesterday??



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 03:42 AM
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a reply to: seagull

Costs will fall somewhere between the KC-46 and B-21 per unit costs. The stealth is going to be the big factor, which is why they won't buy as many as either.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 04:17 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

That right there is something of a problem for me. Maybe you can clear this up, at least a little bit...

They need an entire fleet of tankers as the current fleet are not exactly what you can call new, or even newish, at least the majority.

Generally speaking, tankers are kept out of harms way, as it is considered bad to have 'em shot down by the bad guys...why is stealth so seemingly necessary, especially as it cuts down dramatically on how many you can buy...?

Seems to me that stealth isn't the highest of prerequisites for a tanker fleet...

I stand ready to be educated



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 04:40 AM
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I just say WOAW !! Star wars looking
B-21 + Stealth Tanker and futur PCA + F-22 + F-35 what a amazing USAF

edit on 12-1-2017 by darksidius because: (no reason given)




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