posted on Jul, 4 2005 @ 11:00 AM
The F-22 is actually almost as manuverable due to the variable exhaust, and the fact that it too is inherintly unstable, like the X-29 was. The costs
factor with the forward swept wing is that as of now there aren't any fighters made out of all or mostly composite materials, like a forward swept
wing design would have to be, so that the wings wouldn't twist themselves apart. They would have to buy/build all kinds of new equipment to work
with the materials, and fine out what kinds of stresses they could take during manufacturing, etc. That was the biggest cost of the SR-71 program.
Until they built the Blackbirds, they had never built a plane out of titanium, only small portions of them. When they were building them, they were
learning about how to work with titanium at the same time. They found out little things like the grease pencils they used would eat into the metal,
so they had to find other things to write on it with. You would have the same thing here with the forward swept wing planes.
But I honestly think that the BIGGEST reason we don't have any flying right now is that they're different. It's the same thing Northrop ran into
with the XB-49. We could have had a stealthy flying wing design flying but because it didn't LOOK like a "normal" airplane it ran into problems
getting pushed through.