that view from the other side raises more questions though; as well as a bleed air inlet above the starboard intake duct, there is a 'bump' with
what appears to be a sensor radome over the port duct:
No, you had it right. The ECS cooling system (I think) raises a fairing on the starboard side while the 25mm GAU-12 is on the port (as with the
The refueling probe being in the right side of the nose.
As a sidenote, the F-22s cooling system turned out to be a major hassle because they were expecting it to operate efficiently during supercruise at
the same time they were using fuel to supposedly cool the leading edges and so had limits as to how much of either they could dump or extract into a
local freestream airflow over the upper body without violating supersonic stealth rules.
Without /that/ problem, I can only speculate that the JSFs are particularly volume cramped if they are sticking that many lumps and bumps outside a
VLO enclosure moldline. I've heard some rather harsh words used regarding the JSF electronics densities vs. cooling systems design requirements
early in development but I thought they had things more or less fixed. As I recall the original idea was to develop some kind of super-compact
microchannel plate design that halved the installational size of conventional fin-in-fluid types. While increasing efficiency by 2-3 times. This
didn't work out quite the way they wanted it to (expensive and unreliable) be as a 'productionized' system. While the constant redesign of the
wingroot as well as requirements for the weapons bay and tunnel areas kept eating volume until the amount of reinforcement needed to the skins for a
full pass through duct just wasn't worth it. My best guess is that this scab-on is whatever came out of the CDR as an semiconformal system.
I remember Boeing having a similarly hard time getting the X-32's 'cheek' installations to work at all conditions of Mach point and AOA airflow
after the change in the foward-vice-rear swept inlet system disallowed mounting ECS systems inside the intake.
Still don't like the gun. Most especially because the USMC 'CAS' variant forgoes the internal cannon altogether and _when mounted_ includes
something like 225rds for the external pod gun.
180rds out of a rotary is one of those 'nothing flat' type conditions and if the gun is burst-limitered (which IMO, is a no-no for strafing area
targets, the only thing the gun is reasonably good for) WHY DO YOU NEED FIVE BARRELS ANYWAY?!
IMO, the weight would be better expended giving the type both boom and probe IFR hardware ala F-105. There being no excuse for running around chasing
a panty when you can motor along and 'be serviced' at twice the transfer rate and half the complexity of 'do you swing Navy?' tanker track
Heck, with 20,000lbs onboard, I would like to know where the USN thinks they're going that a few converted F/A-18Es can get them home without USAF
targeting and BMC2 'might as well tank too' support.
The way things are looking to me, they will either have to buy a LOT more Bug II's or face a triple-threat deckload of F/A-18C and E supporting the F
and F-35. Which means that the single seat Super Horrors are going to be doing an awful lot of 'combat tanking' for both the Bug-1 (500nm) to a
deep ranging F-35 strike.
Just on deck cycle times, this simply _does not_ make sense to me. Better by far to have a constant 'migration' of UCAV lumberers and then push
forward X units into Y station time at radius based conditions, solely on the expenditure of weapons or flight time on assets already at the pointy
end of the cue.