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Originally posted by Seekerof
Furthermore, I do think that the FB-23 would make a fine replacement for the B-1's. Hell, we are not even taking into account UCAVs and thier rapid evolution....
Originally posted by TSR2005
But here's a question. The requirement called for using some unique systems, like the thrust vectoring. Why didn't the F-23 have that in it's design?
The exhausts of the two aircraft differed radically. Lockheed chose a layout aimed at maximising lower speed manoeuvrability via the use of thrust vectoring, even though this was not a mandatory USAF requirement. Two dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles provide vectoring to enhance response in pitch. Northrop on the other hand rated stealth and drag so important they employed a serrated planform beavertail with B-2-like submerged ventral exhaust troughs. This approach reduced both depressed tail aspect infrared emissions and tail aspect radar cross-section, but precludes any vectoring.
The YF-23 took a very radical departure from the conventional design of aircraft. By using a very unusual shape the aircraft became very maneuverable and had a high top speed. By using the same angle on all flying surfaces (i.e. the nose, wing fronts, wing backs, ruddervator [rudder/elevator] fronts, ruddervator backs, and engine exhausts), the stealthiness is increased. Another advantage of using such unusualy shaped flying surfaces, is that the uncontrolability of the aircraft is increased so that when fly-by-wire is used, the manueverablity of the aircraft is increased greatly.
The Northrop/MDC YF-23 employed planform shaping with extensive blending, the latter technique used to advantage with the large B-2A. Blending has the major strength of not compromising high speed aerodynamics, the blended airframe offering very low drag by avoiding vortices which may be produced by a faceted geometry. In addition to RCS reduction through shaping, the YF-23 also employed carefully shaped exhausts to conceal the engine hot end, yet another technique developed during the B-2A program. The unusual 'diamond' planform of the YF-23 is a 2 major lobe design, as all major edges fall into groups of two parallels. The result of the low observables techniques was a major reduction in aircraft detectability by radar, and in the YF-23, also detectability by Infra-Red Search & Track (IRS&T) systems. This will radically shrink the usable envelope of hostile radar guided weapons and in the instance of the YF-23, also heatseeking weapons.
A move like that instantly kills any chance of being picked. A framed canopy. A big radar reflector and killer of stealth. Something the F-23 had. Another deal killer? And despite using a main landing gear based on the F-18, the cost was actually higher. So, why were they given the money? To compete? I highly doubt it.
F-23 had another purpose and it wasn't as a fighter. It uses compression lift to get an extra boost of high speed for it's thrust, something I have not happening to the F-22. It is a simple and effective demontrator aircraft for Aurora. If that doesn't sound plausible because of the time line between the two, well, if you worked with such a project, wouldn't YOU want to confuse people? And besides, anyone hear of Copper Canyon? All that money wasted for the cancelled X-30 NASP. Dead, right? Up pops X-43 HyperX. Just like the X-30, just smaller. So where did all that money go? I think Copper Canyon may have actually flown already, and sometime in the future we'll see it emerge as a 'New' design 'Based' on the X-43, instead of the other way around. I think Aurora/F-23 got the same treatment. The F-23 has too strange of history to simply rule it out as just a good, but not good enough design. Something else is going on with it. The story out of Boscome Down brings the Aurora and F-23 a lot closer together.
Originally posted by American Mad Man
The difference in the planes was mostly due to the vision the designers went for. The Raptor was designed as \"the best of all worlds\" - a very versatile design based on proven concepts. The BWII was based on what designers felt would be the future of air warfare - high speed and low observability. In many ways, the BWII design was superior and better reflects growing trends in air warfare. However, many believe the contractors ability to deliver the airframes without going over budget was the REAL deciding factor.
Originally posted by waynos
Tim, does all that stuff really matter? It all seems to be pretty peripheral equipment and stuff like that is shared by quite a few different types of aircraft, to me it takes nothing away from what makes the F-117 what it is.
Originally posted by Zaphod58
I'm sorry but that pic of the engine sitting on the mattresses kills me. All this great technology, and all this money spent on specialized engine stands, and equipment, and they put it on a bed.
Originally posted by ghost
So, Cost over Quality? Figures, they never get it right. Also, I think that Lockheed get WAY TOO MUCH credit for the F-117. The reason it was so cheep, is because Everything on that plane was literly built from spare parts. In all honesty the F-117 didn't really bring ANY new technology to our forces. Anyone could have done that...
Now the US Air Force is going to have to Hide the F-23's secrets for decades, or anyone will be able to build a fighter that can Beat the F-22 Hands Down!
BTW: How was the F-22 the best of both worlds?
Originally posted by American Mad Man
Keep in mind though that these factors are all very small. In the end, I think the USAF took a look at the B-2 bomber program and got scared of what might happen if they picked the F-23. That was Northropes last big high priced and highly technical program, and frankly they blew it. With the lack of percieved need by many for a brand new 100+ million dollar fighter, the USAF wanted to make sure that cost over runs didn't get their brand new love child canceled.
Originally posted by just_a_pilot
You need to understand how stealth works. Its not just exhaust. The F-117 is 25 years old. Lloyd Newton whom I know was the commander of the first 117 commander ( and the first black thunderbird ) will be the first to stand up and tell you that the radar return from the F22 is smaller than the 117. There is NO aircraft that compete with the Raptor right now. Fire and forget............