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

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posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 03:58 PM

Originally posted by JIMC5499
I have a pretty good source that says that it all came down to looks. The Air Force chose pretty over functionality.
Sounds like the Air Force had their beer goggles on if that's the case. I think the F-23 is a much sexier, sleek looking aircraft.

posted on Oct, 27 2011 @ 12:03 AM
My personal view in relation to YF-22/YF-23 and why the Lockheed jet won is that in order to understand Donald Rice's decision one must have an appreciation of American politics and realize that very few DoD acquisition decisions are made in isolation, or purely on technical grounds. Anyone wanting a definitive reason as to why Lockheed won would have to have access to inside info and have to have been present at some selected AIAA presentations. A couple of oral presentations at AIAA were made by people directly involved in the ATF programme. The final decision process was deliberately set up to permit Donald to make a decision based on more than just technical merit. There was a system of 'red/yellow/green' lights used to rate various aspects of each proposal. The AF evaluation team was restrained from being able to recommend any particular team. Even though there was a very high level of technical emphasis placed on the ATF contract up to Dem/Val and decision time, I think Donald spent more time thinking about economic risk and management issues rather than technical competence. I suspect that Lockheed's track record of superior 'diplomacy' in regards to courting and lobbying government officials allowed it to gain far more attention than other companies who played the same game. I believe that Lockheed was better 'connected'.

I have updated my YF-23 site. Details can be found here: (cutnpaste)!/yf23net

edit on 27/10/11 by supacruze because: URL not translating correctly

edit on 27/10/11 by supacruze because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 11:10 AM
New F-23 info from just released. Details here:!/yf23net

posted on May, 26 2012 @ 11:20 PM

Originally posted by Shadowraven

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

Who, exactly, is the enemy for whom we need a plane that costs 10 times as much as a latest generation F-16?

posted on May, 28 2012 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by Bruce78

Who, exactly, is the enemy for whom we need a plane that costs 10 times as much as a latest generation F-16?

Aircraft cost is a funny thing. It's not quite like a car. Most cars are lucky to last ten years before ultimately falling out of resale circulation. Aircraft will see about 40 years these days, and endure forces hundreds of times greater than a car.

Aircraft outlive their engines, waveguides, and computer components. Further, aircraft costs are very frame specific. They wear and tear differently - their fuel consumptions are different and vary depending upon the missions.

Your initial investment may be higher with some aircraft - while the long-term costs of cheaper alternatives may add up in the end. Especially if you start factoring attrition in a war - survivable aircraft that return to fly another day are a better investment than the ones you send in under cover of their own debris.

Consider, for example: A single F-23A can strike directly at targets that would require several sorties from a wing of F-16s to systematically clear out Anti-Air. For some targets - such an approach isn't even possible without the LO and low-drag supercruise offered by the F-23A (even a B-2 wouldn't be able to touch the target that a F-23 equipped with terrain following radar could).

The function of aviation warfare has shifted in a time where the army is, effectively, a police force and the enemy is faceless.

We don't need battalions of aircraft ready to stave off a Zerg-Rush of Chinese proportions. We don't need a hammer to crush a fly. Today's politically charged atmosphere is not conducive to such methods.

We need highly capable airframes that can deliver on target, on time, and without warning.

At least - when you're talking about that role of an aircraft.

If you want something to replace the F-15/14 for Nation/Fleet defense - you're looking at some different standards. The 23 would work for Fleet Defense, where you're concerned about defending a few hundred billion dollars worth of equipment and training with four aircraft (two aircraft on CAP and the two on Alert 5 ... forget the Alert 15 and 30 aircraft - they won't make it off the deck in a bad scenario).- but nation defense has a lot of airspace to cover - and operating hundreds of airframes gets very expensive compared to the plausibility of an areal assault on our nation (not impossible - but hard for satellite intelligence to miss carriers or masses of intercontinental bombers and their bases... and us not appropriate our defenses accordingly).

In which case - the argument for F-16s, 18s, or something else is much more sensible as a "work horse" aircraft.

At the same time - you don't shave with a steak knife.

posted on Oct, 6 2013 @ 03:35 PM
Just wanted to bring everyone's attention to the fact the domain registration for the site has expired. At this point, debating 22 vs. 23 is an academic exercise -- the bottom line is that engineers and enthusiasts alike have a lot to admire about the 23.

This is way too tremendous a resource to let vanish -- are there any complete mirrors of the site available anywhere?

Can anyone get a hold of supacruze ? Hope he's OK!

posted on Oct, 6 2013 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by Ghost01

Yes absolutely they did. It is ALL political. The United States military and government are completely and utterly corrupt. There is no fairness, they don't care about you, your family or whatever... they only vote to what will continue to give them power and hold what ever power they currently yield. Your family, friends, neighbors all are living in a false reality. The US is set up to fail now. There are no champions or honorable men to lead us. It is over. Your children and maybe even you are doomed to suffer a chaotic world soon to come. Prepare or be consumed.

edit on 6-10-2013 by Xeven because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 11:34 AM
I'm just a "fan"...missed my calling...But, I was playing some Texas Hold-em at an L.A. casino back in the day and was visiting with a technical NCO from Edwards who was playing at the same table-poker being up there with golf and the Brandy and cigar crowd for inside skinny- who was very much part/witness to the testing of both platforms.

From what I got was it was CLOSE. Both met or exceeded USAF requirements and as pointed out each had the edge in different areas.

It was so close that neither distinguished as clear cut winners.

The Air Force apparently threw in a test that wasn't required at the time having to do with missile (deployment?).

The YF-22 was ready for that particular test and the YF-23 was not. The Black Widow people protested that it wasn't a required test. To no avail.

Was that a deliberate move by the USAF to trump the YF-23? Who knows?? BUT, it did show the LM people were more on top of it and the logic seemed to be that LM might have less cost overruns as a result?

Now toss in the huge sums spent by both parties and the intense scrutiny either selection would suffer.

The YF-22 being a more traditional design and therefore less likely to run into unexpected teething problems and careers being on the line of those that had the final choice...the safest choice was the YF-22.

Both amazing example of U.S. technology, neither would have been a "bad choice".

As both were "Y"s, it is impossible to know, ultimately which would have been the better today.

The more "advanced/radical YF-23 higher potential, therefore, higher developmental costs = not enough money to achieve that potential. One only has to look how many upgrades for the F-22 are sitting on the back burner due to lack of funds to see that the "23" may have suffered even more than the "22" from the empty coffer syndrome.

Bottom line, which was/is/could have been better? We'll never know.

It was close enough that both sides agreed to hire the other's test pilots when the final decision was made.

Just a fan...what do I know.LOL

posted on Feb, 1 2014 @ 02:13 AM
reply to post by Ghost01

I was working for Northrop during this program. I actually participated on this particular project. It is true that the YF-23 was an all around better plane but the Air Force stated at the time that they chose the Lockheed plane because of the company's management. What they mean is that some AF general was hired by Lockheed when he retired and used his connections to get the AF to buy their plane over the Northrop plane. It is not true that the computers on the YF-22 were more proven. In fact the flight control and weapons systems created by Northrop were far better that Lockheed's. Northrop's plane was faster, cheaper,more reliable, and easier to maintain. In fact the trial had to be extended several times because Lockheed was not prepared when the original due date came up. Northrop was ready in advance but still lost to Lockheed because of politics. That was not the first time the Air Force chose not to go with a superior plane from Northrop. Most of the Northrop planes actually go to the Navy and Marine corps except in the case of the B-2. The F18 is built by Northrop in Hawthorne, CA and final assembly is done by Mc Donnel Douglas/Boeing because they are the prime.

posted on Jan, 29 2015 @ 11:12 PM
For those who are interested in scale modelling, I have created some petitions at the site, please take a moment to register your interest....
1/72 YF-23:
1/32 YF-23:
1/144: YF-23:

1/72 F-23A:

posted on Feb, 4 2015 @ 02:56 PM
Sorry to drag a thread back from the dead, but I was wondering if anyone has looked into the origins of the YF-23 design itself, and more specifically, whether it was actually designed for the ATF competition in the first place?

I only say this because looking at the early proposals for the ATF, it was clear that maneuverability was the primary goal for the program. USAF generals were scared of what the Flanker could do, and they wanted a highly-maneuverable "flanker-killer", which is why all of the early ATF concepts prioritized maneuverability over everything else and looked much more like the Eurofighter Typhoon than the F-22. Low-observable technology only became a priority in the late 80's as the success of stealthy black projects became apparent.

So fast-forward to the ATF proposals, and what does Lockheed put forth? They submit the YF-22, which design-wise is basically a "stealth-ified" F-15 with better engines and thrust vectoring. The perfect stealthy dogfighter. If you were to ask someone what the perfect high-performance low-observable air superiority fighter would look like, you get something strikingly similar to the F-22 (just look at the PAK-FA, the J-31, and the ATD-X if you want to see convergent evolution in action)

Now what does Northrop propose? This weird looking, stealth-optimized supercruising beast that wrecks the YF-22 in a straight line and on the RCS pole, but fails miserably in terms of weapon load and dogfighting ability. It looked like nothing else out there, except for another certain Northrop product with hard fuselage chines, a V-tail, trapezoidal wings, and engines that exhausted over the top of the rear fuselage. The only thing is though, that that certain other aircraft was something very, very different from a fighter.

And my hunch is that whatever the YF-23 was based off of (or became) was something different as well. The fact that the YF-23 design carried its weapons in a centrally-mounted bay behind and underneath the cockpit, one that prioritized volume over the ability to actually fire anything (*cough* Q-bay *cough*) seems to back up my hunch.

Thoughts, anyone?

posted on May, 7 2015 @ 06:02 AM
Guys, I now have a range of YF-23 themed gifts for sale, the proceeds of which will help to keep my site running...

posted on Jun, 21 2015 @ 01:58 PM
a reply to: WestPoint23that might be true but if the 23 had been selected i am sure it probably would have been improved upon to and out perform the current 22 stats. they just wanted to give lockheed the contract because of lobbing. maybe somebody else will by the design and improve upon it like the yf 17 that northrop designed that eventually became f18 hornet

posted on Jun, 21 2015 @ 10:51 PM
I can see lessons learned by the 23 being put to use in the Gen 6 airframe.

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