Yf-23 vs F-22: Did the Air Force take 2nd best?

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posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 03:45 PM
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Yes it's an oppinion, but I think there is truth in it. I believe that in order to save money, the USAF took the 2nd place design in the Advanced Tactical Fighter compition. When mached in the Air Superiority Mission, the F-23 design was not only all around MORE Capable than the F-22, but had better upgrade and growth potential, which means that it would have lasted longer as a fromt line aircraft before a replacement will be needed in the future. So what do I base it on?

* Stealth - The YF-23 had better all aspect stealth qualities which makes it More survivable!

* Speed- The YF-23 could attack the enemy faster

* Computer Technology- The Air Force stated that the F-22 had more throughly tested computer technology, which suggest the F-22's computers may be based on older technology (Useing older, but more proven technology is a trademark of the Skunk Works)

Now look at this clame:


Once again the USAF released a design requirement for the Advanced Technology Fighter (ATF) program. Competing bids by Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell-Douglas were awarded and a fly-off would determine the winner. Once again Lockheed came out on top and was awarded the ATF contract for the F-22 Raptor. Sources state that Northrop’s entry, the YF-23, was clearly a superior aircraft and the reason it as not awarded to them was that Northrop held the B-2 bomber contract.


Source: www.whatifmodelers.com...

Did the USAF except 2nd best just to spread the contracts out?

Tim




posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 04:02 PM
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Any hard sources on where and why the YF-23 was better?


Or is it more of the YF-23 was too good, so they chose the cheap-skate YF-22... I was told this from a mate of mine's whose cousin was in a bar and was talking to a fella whose dad knew one of the engineers's sisters who told him that....


whatifmodellers doesn't exactly strike me as a qualified source, sorry



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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While the YF-23 was faster and stealthier (Lockheed even admitted to that) the USAF opted for the more maneuverable YF-22.
The reasoning behind this was that although the ATF was intended to be a BVR killer, they didn't want to be caught with their pants down like they were with the F-4 without a gun, just in case the ATF wound up in a dogfight. Hence, vectored thrust won out against a more stealthy and faster design.

I know you can dig up any number of web page links that say that the instability of the YF-23 airframe made it just as maneuverable as the F-22 with vectored thrust but no one saying that is actually qualified with the in flight data.

I actually liked the YF-23 better than the YF-22 if for no other reason, then it was a truly exotic airframe, but I can't see the YF-23 doing cobras or helicoptering like the 22... not without vectored thrust.

Chances are without vectored thrust it would have been cheaper too. I do wish it would make it in the intermediate bomber competition though.



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 05:46 PM
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Unfortunately, the nature of government contracting is that as long as all proposals meet the minimum requirements the lowest bidder will win regardless of overall capability. I also felt that the USAF chose the less capable aircraft, and it actually (somewhat) influenced my decision to choose USMA over USAFA (wrongly thinking that I would fly the Comanche instead). Hopefully a derivative will live to fly some day (if it isn't already...)



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 06:01 PM
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The Raptor has already exceeded mach 2.42 with burner and mach 1.7 in supercruise. Source - Wikipedia by Lockheed test pilot.

The top speed is still classified.

Come on, how much faster do you think the yf-23 really was?

Plus, the 22 has evolved a ton since when the two planes went head to head.

Train



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
The Raptor has already exceeded mach 2.42 with burner and mach 1.7 in supercruise. Source - Wikipedia by Lockheed test pilot.

The top speed is still classified.

Come on, how much faster do you think the yf-23 really was?

Plus, the 22 has evolved a ton since when the two planes went head to head.

Train

Quite true Big Train...

Ya know, I go back and think about all the "qualified" naysayers here on ATS in posts past, spouting off about how the Raptor's top end was something like Mach 1.7 and you couldn't get anything more out of it that that because it was a "lifting body" and all that, this one particular guy even said the Raptor was not stealthy and he was some kind of aerospace engineering student.
I'm thinking of this guy; "so the max speed isnt sooo big, and is M1.8 not M2 or 2.2......"
Many of you guys will recognize his name and smile... remembering all the lack of reason he frustrated us with.

[edit on 12-1-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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The YF-23 exhaust outlets look quite remarkable




posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
I actually liked the YF-23 better than the YF-22 if for no other reason, then it was a truly exotic airframe, but I can't see the YF-23 doing cobras or helicoptering like the 22... not without vectored thrust.


Well, I would have to disagree with you there! I see No logical reason why the YF-23 can't do cobras. The cobra was demonstarted by the Russians on an SU-27 Flanker. I can't find Any source that states that the SU-27 has thrust vectoring. Why should US airframe technology be unable to copy the Russians on that?

Also, what is helicoptering? I know you aren't claiming the F-22 has VTOL capibility, because we all know that's not true!

Tim



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 10:31 PM
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I think Big Train hit a key point, the F-22A is not the YF-22, it is a modified airframe and it has undergone significant changes. I dare say because of those changes it top speed (now) on burner and super cruise are just as good as what the YF-23 had. Could the YF-23 super cruise faster than Mach 1.8 and fly faster than Mach 2.4

Also, anyone know if the redesign of the F-22A made it any stealthier than the YF-22?



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by Ghost01
Well, I would have to disagree with you there! I see No logical reason why the YF-23 can't do cobras. The cobra was demonstarted by the Russians on an SU-27 Flanker. I can't find Any source that states that the SU-27 has thrust vectoring. Why should US airframe technology be unable to copy the Russians on that?

To be able to achieve the extreme AoA the vectored thrust airframes demonstrate in their cobra maneuvers, I would say the YF-23 would have needed similar thrust manipulation.



Also, what is helicoptering? I know you aren't claiming the F-22 has VTOL capibility, because we all know that's not true!

Tim

No to the VTOL, I'm talking about the ability to do a straight up climb, and slow down to 0 movement forward or falling back to earth. I don't know the term but one of the air force guys in here (ATS) referred to it as "helicoptering", I'm sure there is a more acurate term.
The video link provided should help explain.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:30 AM
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I can not see why F-23 using F-120 won't fly beyond M2.6 and do supercruise at M2.0?
We may say the dogfight canpability of F-23 will be not as good as F-22, but in terms of rule of First arriving, First looking, First shooting in futrue a2a fighting, YF-23 will be a better fighter at least the best intercepter than F-22 by longer time modification.
In my sight, USAF choose YF-22 because it is cheaper to modified to be an ideal fighter not only for intercepting enemy also for shoting down enemy by dogfight. But some designtional ideals on YF-23 such as V-tail, sperated inlets piper leading to wide fuselage still are advanced compare with F-22.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 12:47 AM
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Well, for one thing the materials and design of the YF-23 have to be taken into account when talking about it's max speed. Also, it takes a lot of power to break through the sound barrier in mil power. For an aircraft to break and sustain mach and above speeds in mil power is an accomplishment but to break and sustain mach 2 (and above) in mil power requires much more power than sustain a speed of Mach 1.8 for example. I don't believe either the YF-23 or the current F-22 could/can super cruise at or above mach 2.0



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by emile
I can not see why F-23 using F-120 won't fly beyond M2.6 and do supercruise at M2.0?


Its because of the fixed inlets



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
While the YF-23 was faster and stealthier (Lockheed even admitted to that) the USAF opted for the more maneuverable YF-22.


True, some sources note that the YF-23A outperformed the YF-22A in all arenas with the exception of maneuverability but the YF-23A did exceed the requirement for combat maneuverability). Additionally, the YF-23 was found to have a larger weapons capacity, lighter wing loading, and a planform that was more readily adaptable to the proposed deep-stike/interdiction mission.

My source is Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor written by Jay Miller of Aerofax

The Question is why didn't the US take the YF-23



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 01:59 AM
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I suppose that in addition to the YF-22 being far more manueverable than the YF-23 politics no doubt played a role in the decision making process along with the manufacturing record of the companies involved.

Both the Lockheed YF-22 & Northrop/McDonnell Douglas' YF-23 met most of the U.S. Air Force requirements, but industrial performance certainly mattered as well.
The two main partners involved in the F-23 development had a not-so-good manufacturing performance record.

At the same time the F-22/F-23 decision was made, Northrop's B-2 bomber was delayed and suffering extreme cost over-runs, and McDonnell Douglas was having even greater problems with the eventually canceled A-12 naval bomber, (eventually getting sued by the DoD over the A-12 affair).

Lockheed, by contrast, had developed the F-117 Stealth Fighter on time and under budget, which I understand helped greatly in the Pentagon's choice.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 02:37 AM
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"and McDonnell Douglas was having even greater problems with the eventually canceled A-12 naval bomber, (eventually getting sued by the DoD over the A-12 affair)." == intelgurl

Yet the legal descriptions seem to focus on Boeing and General Dynamics,
rather than McDonnell Douglas.

Sample reference
www.fas.org...



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 02:44 AM
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As I see it yes, but that's not what it's about. The F-22 is good enough.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 02:49 AM
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Yes, but could they have chosen the least capable aircraft of the two



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 04:21 AM
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I don't have any first hand info, but from what I heard, the YF-22 guys really wowed them during the flight test portion of the evaluation. Something like 60 flights in a 3 month window vs 10 or something for the YF-23... I don't know the actual number of flights, but it showed the Air Force brass that the wonder plane was ready for the big time.



posted on Dec, 2 2006 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by emile
I can not see why F-23 using F-120 won't fly beyond M2.6 and do supercruise at M2.0?


Using this picture



And basic planform aerodynamic rule M = 1/sin(beta)

Where beta is the "sweep" angle from aircraft nose to wingtip.

Beta is 32 degrees approx, giving a planform speed of Mach 1.88 or so.

Here is the YF-22:



Using the same ruling gives an aerodynamic design mach number of 2.2 approx.


In the absence of verified hard evidence, I'm not going against the basic rules of aerodynamic design. Therefore, I'll happy presume the YF-23 did not go faster than the YF-22. Also, the nozzles on the YF-23 are fixed, and therefore will not use afterburners as efficiently as the F-22 [whose nozzles do vary in size].


edit: Went searching for some info, it kinda backs up my position:


Two YF-23 prototypes were designed and built by the contractor team of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the US Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter selection program, which concluded in 1990. During the ATF program, one YF-23 was powered by twin Pratt and Whitney YF119 turbofan engines, while two General Electric YF120 turbofan engines were installed in the other prototype. Featuring a diamond-shaped planform, two large, sharply-canted ruddervators, and a serrated aft profile, the high performance aircraft was larger than the F-15 it was designed to replace. The YF-23 prototypes are 67.4 feet in length and have wingspans of 43.6 ft. The YF-23 employed stealth characteristics and was capable of supersonic cruise flight without afterburner. The aircraft achieved a speed of Mach 1.8 during the program.


Note that doesn't say supercruised at, as is made clear below:



There was no official USAF "nickname" for the YF-23A. The Northrop YF-23A team personnel chose the name "Black Widow II" -- commemorating the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, the first American aircraft specifically designed as a night-fighter.

The YF-22 and YF-23 were different in many ways. The YF-23 was designed for speed and maneuverability. The YF-22, however, was designed more for maneuverability. Both aircraft, were designed for a type of flight called supercruise. Supercruise is when an aircraft is designed to be flown at Mach 1 or above in cruise, that is without afterburners. For this reason, both aircraft had to be more aerodynamic. The YF-23 was slightly more aerodynamic as it's cruising speed was Mach 1.25, Mach 0.08 faster than the YF-22 (roughly).


Source:
www.globalsecurity.org...



The YF-23 prototypes are 67.4 feet in length and have wingspans of 43.6 ft. During the Advanced Tactical Fighter program, one YF-23 was powered by twin Pratt and Whitney YF119 turbofan engines, while the other had two General Electric YF120 turbofan engines installed. The aircraft achieved a speed of around Mach 1.8 throughout the program.


www.globalaircraft.org...

same at:

www1.dfrc.nasa.gov...



I think people have assumed the aircraft never attained it's maximum speed during the test program... then invented cruise speeds of Mach 2+ and dash speeds of near Mach 3. Reality may be somewhat different, as the evidence hints towards Mach 1.8 being its approximate top end speed.



[edit on 2-12-2006 by kilcoo316]

[edit on 2-12-2006 by kilcoo316]





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