posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 05:53 PM
Nice Looking Jet.
Be interested to see what the inlet depth looks like. Those nozzles look to be F404 class at least but the fuselage depth is much more symmetrical
than on the Raptor which means the the inlets are going to be somewhat short (unless they are, as with the Super Hornet, depressed well below the
bottom of the fuselage).
The inlet chines are also a bit of a puzzle as either they are flat in-line with the wing LE or bend down to it. The former will create all kinds of
downstream effects blanking the roots. The latter will further compress the inlet trunk line.
The canopy is interesting. Most new designs appear to favor a return to a frameline, both to help achieve birdstrike hardening and give the pilot a
canopy bow reference point. This one does not, either fore or aft and is further more quite huge. Indeed, given the absence of direct hingepoints, I
have to assume it is at least as long as the F-15 canopy with buried actuators somewhere just ahead of the rear breakline. That makes for a VERY
large opening factor in terms of how high the rear must push to get the front up enough to clear the pilot. Almost makes me wonder if it's a
The nose also is...interesting. Lacking the traditional rounddown just ahead of the canopy, it looks like it has an enormous radome for an 'A' type
airframe but is, IMO, too long for good vortice control off the tip and over the canopy top. View ahead during tracking may also be compromised. I
would probably shrink this by about 20-30 percent and/or move (a smaller) canopy further forward. It is also surprising not to be able to see a
targeting FLIR anywhere.
The outboard missile is not a sparrow, IMO. Wingspan is too short for anything but a RIM-7E type and the fin:nose and radome lines are also off. It
is equally unusual that the inboard weapon seems to have AMRAAM-like tails but is so very long (maybe it's a HARM representative?). I'm chalking it
up to inexperienced ordnance modellers. Inboard of that appears to be a Harpoon or similar class weapon and inboard of that, a Storm Shadow or JASSM.
Together, that's about 400+800+1,300+2,500 lbs or 5,000lbs per wing which suggests that either they expect an /enormous/ amount of reserve thrust
with an attack load or those engines are in fact closer to being the F404 of the T-50 than the F414 or even F110.
If, as the ventral tiprail suggests (a very tall stance for a midwing airframe inhibiting lateral loading ala F-16) that faceted piece is a further
weapons bay door enclosure, inboard, the resulting total weapons load (similar to the JSF say 4X400lb AAM or 2X 2,500lb JDAM) will be nothing short of
tremendous, for class. Around 16,000lbs.
Unfortunately, a little free scaling off the pilot suggests a mere 42-45ft airframe length and together with the internal fuselage volumetric design
compromises on the weapons bay and the short coupled canards, this suggests that fuel may be rather light for a twin. Possibly as little as
10,000lbs. Particularly if the ROKs want an exportable 'attack' airframe and one which can hostage the DPRKs behavior to Bejing's survival (what
effective organic stealth on the peninsula is really all about), they need more gas.
The aft fuselage frankly bothers me. You've got two fairly chunky nozzles with minimal vertical ruling or 'nacellization' tapering to control
boattail factors and the vertical stabilizer mounts don't speak to really good structural carrythrough on what looks to be simple fuselage ringframes
with little vertical compression/torque loading support structure inside the tight volume. The nozzle design (stepped petal:fuselage fairing) speaks
to a possible TVC mode but frankly the clearance planes between the pair and the total endbody/tail interactions just doesn't look well thought out
or integrated, especially for a potential LO application implicit to the rest of the airframe's planform alignment and fuselage separation. I'm
reminded of the backend of a Foxbat for some reason.
Overall? It looks like a Rafale gone to LO finishing school. And flunking.