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How simple is it to build a stealth plane?

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posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:31 PM
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Hi. First time post here. I want to know how hard it would be to build a passible stealth plane.

Specifically,
1) The plane should be hard to detect with radar. (say 30 to 40 miles)
2) The plane should be cheap to build. (compared to a F22)
3) The plane should be sub-mach capable. (to make it cheap)
4) The plane should be lightly armed. (e.g. 2 AIM-9x, 1 anti-ship or anti-tank)

See, I had a dream that I built a plane (like a Japanese Zero, but not quite) using stealthy technology. It wasn't anywhere near a F22, but it occcurs to me that if you drop the mach+ speed requirements you could build one much cheaper than we do now. Also, if you give up on making it perfectly invisible and just make it really tough to detect, you get a little more engineering wiggle room.

Thought I'd throw this to the wolves and see whats left...


But, maybe a little more relavent to these threads... why don't we see something like this from other nations already. You know, a stealth by-plane or something.




posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:37 PM
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I could make one for about $1.50.

Just fold some paperboard together into the form of an airplane and attach two paperclips at either end of the bottom of the plane. Set up the paperclips so the bottoms stick out perpendicular to the wings. Attach a rather heavy duty rubber band between these two paperclips (they've been super glued to the paperboard) where the force of the rubber band being strong enough to be bending the thinner back paperclip, but very slowly. Then throw it. There will be no radar signature, it's super cheap, it's sub-mach (very sub-mach) capable, and lightly armed, as the rubber band mid-flight should fire off.

Welcome to ATS! Most people here aren't as much of a smart-alec as I am, so I'm sure you're going to get some useful information from this thread, though I can assure you, none of them will be anywhere as cheap as my stealth plane



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 04:39 PM
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The problem is that even the superexpensive F22 is only on the safe side of radar detection at over 30 miles. And the best protection it only has when rayed at from the front.

So you would still need the very expensive hull design (which requires A LOT of supercomputer time) and very sophisticated engineering equipment. Along with the low-reflection materials and the RAM coating you just cant get a cheap product. The sub-mach capability you proposed might make the job somewhat easier, because less air friction probably could lead to more freedom in hull design and interior strength.

Well, the F117 already is rather cheap at about 45 million per piece as I believe, and it would offer about the capabilities you propose. To go below that price would mean to create a stealthy attack UAV. I am not sure about the stealth capabilities of current drones.

But still, the whole stealth thing stands on a swampy ground, because detection and sensor systems are constantly upgraded. With a single new development / evolvement of current technology all the nice stealth toys could become obsolete, and a lot of companies are currently working to achieve this goal.

This and the huge costs of a stealth development might be the reason that (to my knowledge) no other western country apart from Germany (whose program was halted during the reunification) until now announced a program to achieve the "full" stealth capabilities you ask for. But many newer developments like the EF2000 incorporate hard-to-detect characteristics like up-to-date ECM, special composite materials and coatings.

[edit on 23/9/2005 by Lonestar24]



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 04:51 PM
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Despite junglejake's over-simplification of how easy it is to build a stealth plane, apparently, it is not as easy as some would have you think. There are a number of countries that have and are attempting to do so, with great difficulty. The key to building such an aircraft is expense and having or acquiring the technological know how. Again, apparently many nations do not have such, cause if they did, and it was as easy as some are making it out to be, they would be building them.

UCAVs are another matter all together though.






seekerof



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 05:00 PM
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OVER-Simplification?!


...

...

...

I just made one using a Linksys 5-port switch box, two paperclips, a wee bit of crazy glue and a nice 1/2 inch rubberband. I flew it in American airspace and shot my rubberband into someone's cube, knocking down their little plush Buttercup on the monitor. The USAF didn't shoot it outta the sky, and I recieved no requests for identification, so I can only assume it wasn't picked up on radar. Granted, it fires a little to the right, and the plane tends to curve to the left, it was not over-simplification, it was simply simplification! I made a cheap stealth aircraft, by golly!!!



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 05:10 PM
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I found this website, it's extremely simplified, but it gives the basic two principles, which seem to be either 1.) make the plane out of radar absorbant materials, and/or 2.) make the plane out of all-flat surfaces, to reflect radar signals in directions other than back to the radar itself.

people.howstuffworks.com...

I think the first option would be very expensive, as the radar-reflective materials tend to be rare and pricey.

I doubt that this is anything like the blueprints the engineers used to design the B-1 and F117A, but it's a start.


-koji K.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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Thanks for the response guys!

I guess I might be thinking about this from a different direction... OK, here goes. As I sit here, both radio and telecom signals are cutting through my house walls (in my case vinyl siding, 4 inch of fiberglass insulation, half inch of gypsum sheet rock). so... the question becomes; are these not the same as radar waves and if so why can't I build a plane out of these materials that the radar beam just goes through?

Would a balsa wood glider be seen? Could I put a kamakazi hamster in one with a hand grenade? I live near an airport and thought about making rockets out of various materials and launching them in to the radar path at night... if airport security goes nuts then they saw it on radar... try again. I can't help but feel I would spend a lot of time in a small locked room if I did that though.

I wonder if I could get Discovery Channel to fund a program where I try to build a stealth plane?



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by nonuphen
Specifically,
1) The plane should be hard to detect with radar. (say 30 to 40 miles)
2) The plane should be cheap to build. (compared to a F22)
3) The plane should be sub-mach capable. (to make it cheap)
4) The plane should be lightly armed. (e.g. 2 AIM-9x, 1 anti-ship or anti-tank)


...Of what the "plane" could be.

If you'd be willing to exand your definition to include "aircraft", the answer might be "Pretty Simple"; just build a blimp and substitute composites, such as carbon fiber, for radar reflective metals.

Lighter-Than-Air Vehicles (LAV's) can effectively be constructed of materials that are non/low-RF reflective. Commercial versions of these materials are commonly available at reasonable prices (Exotic materials are also available at incredibly expensive prices as well). Blimps are rqther simple to construct, but slow and fragile. Dirigibles are more complex but less fragile and potentially faster, though still definitely sub-sonic!


LAV's can operate in virtual silence, and although potentially radar invisible, they do suffer from a high visual signature; however, many simple and inexpensive "visual masking" technologies exist to reduce this disadvantage.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:13 AM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24
The problem is that even the superexpensive F22 is only on the safe side of radar detection at over 30 miles. And the best protection it only has when rayed at from the front.


I think it's more like 5 or 10 miles, at least thats what I've heard and read numerous times.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:16 AM
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If a simple and cheap stealth plane could be made every country would be using them. The fact that they dont is proof they are not simple or cheap.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:53 AM
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posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:58 AM
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You would have a better chance of building a stealth car. Think about it Radar guns would be useless if a car worked like a stealth plane. Scatter the return to the radar gun and no reading on your speed.

A knew a bunch of guys at Northrop that use to always joke about doing that



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 03:01 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
If a simple and cheap stealth plane could be made every country would be using them. The fact that they dont is proof they are not simple or cheap.

I dunno ... maybe they have built radar that can pick up stealth and don't care to build stealth..... stealth planes are vulnerable to a variety of countermeasures.

Doppler radar can pick up wakes of a stealth plane, and infrared radar picks up heat emissions. With little information, radar triangulation can give direction and speed ext.... my guess is... American stealth planes are flying paper targets that are ready to be shot down by foreign countries.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 03:19 AM
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Originally posted by XPhiles
my guess is... American stealth planes are flying paper targets that are ready to be shot down by foreign countries.


Stealth planes are designed to hide the IR sig. As for the Doppler radar cant say I heard that one before I would love a link.



Baghdad at the time of the Gulf war had More than 3,000 antiaircraft guns and 60 surface-to-air missile batteries protecting it.

And yet the F-117 was able to bomb targets at will within the city without a single one getting shot down. No B-2 bomber has ever been shot down after flying loads of sorties.

Alot of advanced countries prototypes are being designed with stealth features. For example Russia's SU-47 Iran also has a protype stealth plane. Kind of pointless for them to invest in that tech if they are just flying paper targets



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX


Baghdad at the time of the Gulf war had More than 3,000 antiaircraft guns and 60 surface-to-air missile batteries protecting it.

No B-2 bomber has ever been shot down after flying loads of sorties.

Alot of advanced countries prototypes are being designed with stealth features.


I would say Baghdad is a bad example lol... I think it would be a different story if flying sorties over Russia or maybe China. Stealth features does not mean true stealth, but is useful in some countermeasures. No matter of the stealth features of a plane.. I would worry more about the new features of modern Russian radars..



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by NWguy83
I think it's more like 5 or 10 miles, at least thats what I've heard and read numerous times.


Yes, within the best circumstances. However, the F22 is primarily a fighter, and only in second place a strealth plane (unlike F117 and B2) - a fact that was downplayed with a reason. The possible combinations of current sensor equipment around the world leave only a statistical percentage to be satisfyingly safe of radar high enough around the 30-40 miles mark.

At least that seems to be the consensus of numerous experts IMO. However, being vulnerable to detection below that range would not necessarily lead to effective countermeasures from the attacked forces. That is a wholly different story.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 08:41 PM
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The F-22 would not be detected by an experienced S-300 or S-400 anti-air system until within the 12-17 mile range, not 30-40.

And the F-22 is primarily a stealth fighter, not fighter then stealth aircraft. When it can fly against five F-15s, not be detected on any of their aircraft radar systems, yet be visually spotted, and then defeat them in ohhh about 3 minutes, I would most certainly say that such an aircraft is truly a stealth fighter....

Furthermore, the F-22 can penetrate air defences, for like tasking missions, as the F-117 and B2.





seekerof



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by nonuphen
Hi. First time post here. I want to know how hard it would be to build a passible stealth plane.

Specifically,
1) The plane should be hard to detect with radar. (say 30 to 40 miles)
2) The plane should be cheap to build. (compared to a F22)
3) The plane should be sub-mach capable. (to make it cheap)
4) The plane should be lightly armed. (e.g. 2 AIM-9x, 1 anti-ship or anti-tank)




So pretty much you are talking about the F-35 joint strike fighter right?



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 05:53 AM
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NO doubt that more and more nations are looking into incorporating these design features into their next generations of ships and planes.
I do however think that some peoples have a different concept of stealth such that they think the technique is impervious to radar or other methods of detection. This does not seem to be the case.
The technique of which I am familiar is that though the technology greatly reduces the radar and IR signatures the rest of the difference is made up by how the mission profiles are run. Meaning that the mission is flown in a manner that takes the best advantage of the technology to keep the plane hidden from the enemy until it is to late for them to do anything about it. This being done by altitudes flown ...taking advantage of terrain..ingress and egress..etc etc. Also no doubt knowing how the enemy radar and othe systems work and their locations. Type of weapon/weapons used...what particular flight plan is required in thier usage. I am sure the list goes on ..but I take it some of you get my point.
Many of these techniques were perfected in the days of non stealthy aircraft but have been taken to new heights with the technology.
By the way ..the F22s are begining to show up here at the base just down the road from where I live. It is going to be intresting!!

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Sep, 25 2005 @ 06:25 AM
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Greetings,

Stealth aircraft are a very different breed, they are designed from the start with the ability to reflect or absorb the radio waves in the atmosphere, that being said, some aircraft have some stealth ability totally by accident.

The AN-2 Colt is a good example of a low tech stealth aircraft. The fabric covered fuselage and its low cruise speed mean that at long range, Radar that employ the Doppler effect have difficulty picking up the aircraft. The aircraft is by no means a great stealth aircraft nor should it be compared to purpose designed aircraft, but due to its construction method it has inherited a limited stealth ability at long range. Even to the point where the Colt was the transport of choice for the spetsnaz.

[Note: EARLY Model AN-2's]

- Phil




[edit on 25-9-2005 by gooseuk]



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