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A rough guide to lesser known faceted-Stealth aircraft

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posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 12:15 PM
Basically all of them except the F-117 Nighthawk…

Lockheed “Hopeless diamond”
Role: Concept model to demonstrate faceted stealth theory
Date: 1975
Country: USA
Description: aka ”Echo”. Conceived by Denys Overholser as Lockheed’s entry into the XST competition, which Lockheed later won, the design is so named because the aerodynamic configuration had little hope of ever flying. It did however demonstrate the huge potential of Lockheed Skunk Works to design and build credible stealth aircraft.

Lockheed “Have Blue”
Role: Sub-scale development aircraft
Date: 1976
Country: USA
Description: Having won the XST competition against Northrop, Lockheed begun to build two manned demonstrator aircraft. The design differs from later F-117 in that the ‘vertical’ tail surfaces are mounted far apart and slope inwards rather than the “v” tail of the Nighthawk. There are many other subtle differences in configuration, particularly in the nose/cockpit area.

Lockheed “Senior Prom”
Role: stealth cruise missile (prototype/development program)
Date: ~1978
Country: USA
Description: Alongside the have Blue program, Lockheed’s Skunk Works developed a stealth cruise missile using the faceted stealth concept. There is also conjecture that the design could also be used as the basis of a stealth reconnaissance drone. Although the stealth aspects of the program are believed to have been successful, development was cancelled, possibly due to the size of the configuration not fitting the USAF’s bomber’s weapons bay – although possibly also due to unit price which would probably have been far higher than other cruise missiles.

MBB “Lampyridae”
Role: Development airframes for stealth interceptor program
Date: 1981 (sub-scale airframes built by 1985)
Country: Germany (/Netherlands?)
Description: Not revealed publicly until 1995, the MBB Lampyridea is compelling evidence that America was not alone in developing stealth aircraft. The Lampyridea program was cut short by the end of the cold war, but was otherwise promising. Like the Lockheed designs the lift is generated by the extremely sharp angle of the leading edge as opposed to conventional airfoil design, allowing the generally crude aerodynamics of the sharp-edged facets to fly, though almost certainly unstable and requiring of fly-by-wire conttrol. The Lampyridea is known to have existed in at least two configurations – one with a faceted cockpit the other with a more conventional bubble canopy.

Lockheed “Senior Peg”
Role: Advanced Tactical bomber (ATB) concept proposal
Year: 1981+
Country: USA
Description: Lockheed’s unsuccessful proposal to meet the ATB requirement, which led to the B2, was a partially faceted stealth design bearing some similarities to the F117 Nighthawk but much larger with the V tail mounted on a boom extending behind the wings.

[edit on 20-3-2006 by planeman]

[edit on 20-3-2006 by planeman]

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 01:46 PM
Nice pics... You made them yourslef...??

About that Senior Peg... was that an early concept of the B-2...??

The have Blue on the otherhand looks very much like the F-117...

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 01:48 PM
Yep, my pics.

The Have Blue is the development aircraft that led to the F-117 and the "senior Peg" was lockheeds contender for the ATB program - the B2 was Northrop's. They look alike in some respects but were rivals.

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 03:08 PM
Don't forget the Northrop XST.

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 04:56 PM
Heres a piccie of the bubble cockpit Lampryidae.

Sounds like a very interesting concept! Bet old lockheed sh#t bricks when they heard about this!

Oh and heres the Northrop XST demonstrator. Looks sweet...

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:10 PM
Thanks for the links.

Re the Lampryidae, does anyone know why there were two versions and which version was the one actually proposed?

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:22 PM
the angular cockpit was favoured, but it all ground to a halt after a group of US Generals were invited to see the craft. Horrified, they reported back to the US and the pressure was dropped from a great hight onto the German authorities to scrap the plane full stop.

A real damn shame as I think that if it had of gone ahead, the billions wasted on the JSF would of been put to use upgrading this craft instead. ( If only hey?!)

Oh one thing... Have you ever looked at just how similar to the hopeless diamond the Lamp is? spooky.

[edit on 20/3/06 by MadGreebo]

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:32 PM

Originally posted by MadGreebo
it all ground to a halt after a group of US Generals were invited to see the craft. Horrified, they reported back to the US and the pressure was dropped from a great hight onto the German authorities to scrap the plane full stop.
That inturpretation of history has been challenged. Personally I don't know either way, but I think money is more likely the real reason it was cancelled.

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 05:49 PM
I´d rather say the project was already stopped when the US delegation was introduced to the concept. It was nothing more than a hull demonstrator. Nevertheless it certainly would have needed at least 10 more years to completion - a time when the F-22 already was in the make. I think the F-117 shows very clear that the angular type is anything, but NOT a good shape for a flying object

In the end I believe the participation in the vector thrust experiments that was offered to us by the americans as substitution was a more rewarding bucket to waste our develomental budget on ...

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 07:13 PM
Oh didn't the Germans get screwed over badly on that project??
The plane was super manouverable, but it went into a dead end and perished.. along with most other 'collaborations' with the uSA... JSF any one??

I used to be the USA's NO1 fan, but now, two wars and a JSF later, sod them, get europe under a banner, build our own kit and let the USA go it alone. Better this than total financial meltdown in some backwater project.

posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 09:12 PM
Well the JSF never was a "collaboration" in the common sense. It was more like like a customer-retailer relation ("you give the money, we develop"). From the known accounts surrounding the Lampyridae I cannot say wether it really needed "encouragement" by the americans for MBB and the Bundeswehr to stop the development.

What I do know is that the X-31 MBB-Rockwell program that allegedly was the promised "reward" if Germany stopped the Lampyridae development went exceptionally well and produced desirable results. So I dont think that we "got screwed over". With the extremely tightened defense budget following the reunification the Lampyridae would most probably have been shelved anyway.

The funny thing is that, of all multinational projects Germany has been involved in, an unlikely one like the the X-31 came to fruition. Then again we are pretty used to getting "screwed" by our partners any way... The Leopard 1 was built because a franco-italo-german project failed, the Leo 2 was built after the Kpz/MBT-70 program failed (in-between there was a british-German MBT project that failed too IIRC), the Eurofighter consortium "failed" with the French going for the Rafale and creating a domestic contender, the GTK Boxer cooperation failed with first the Brits pulling out and now apparently the Dutch too because they see it as too expensive... [/rant off]

[edit on 20/3/2006 by Lonestar24]

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 07:21 AM

Originally posted by Lonestar24
Well the JSF never was a "collaboration" in the common sense. It was more like like a customer-retailer relation ("you give the money, we develop").

Thats not true, a lot of JSF development has gone on in the UK by various firms as well as BAE and some in the USA by BAE as well. Of course the vast majority of the work is American but it was still collaborative. Not in the sense of pan European ventures, by any means but much more than simply handing over some cash.

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 07:50 AM
Hey guys i havent been here for a while.
Found this site hope its usefull......

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 11:47 AM
Every photo I have of the MBB Lampyridae:

Wind tunel model?


Unofficial line-draw:
external image

Unofficial CGI:

Pick of airframe (mock-up?) in museum:

Another museum pic:

Unofficial diagram:

Test airframe with faceted cockpit:

Finally, here is a video which includes the Lampyridae at the begining:

[edit on 21-3-2006 by planeman]

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