posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:02 AM
I doubt the F-23 has gone to waste. There are more than a few airplanes that were passed up for political reasons or what-not and have come back to
the scene later.
Back when the ATF competition was decided, the old stones of the Soviet Union were still crumbling to the ground - the need of the ATF was even
brought into question (and in deed, it seems the F-22 will likely never see much combat action - the F-15s and 18s are far more suited to the
diversified loads and missions demanded of today's squadrons). By the time a need arises for an aircraft filling the mission of the F-22 - it will
already be obsolete (even the B-2 is living on borrowed time - China is closing the technology gap pretty fast and even showing the Soviet and Russian
designs a thing or two).
Low Observable ("Stealth") technologies are extremely maintenance intensive. Their advantages are priceless - but they require constant updates and
upgrades to stay ahead of enemy detection and counter technologies. Upgrades can do wonders for a design, but eventually the entire design becomes
obsolete. The F-22 reflects this - in the 12+ years it took to put the plane into production and fill the first of the orders - the design had to be
continually updated. Some of it was necessary - and other parts of it were to make it more appealing as a multi-role aircraft (which, ironically
failed and prompted the design of the F-35 JSF... which, last I heard, was being passed up by every branch except the Marines who can appreciate the
At present, our electronic warfare systems, strategies, and aircraft are more than capable of completely dominating any force out there. Our branches
will invest in the continued development of various technologies, but actually bring very few to the field until there becomes a need to field the
expensive advantages of Low-Observable designs.
As much as I love the F-23, and as much as I could see it being adapted as a replacement for the F-14.... it, too, was a thoroughbred fighter - not a
bomb truck. It could have been a damned quick and effective bomb truck... but with a limited payload (perhaps not as limited as the 22s, but limited,
none the less). Furthermore, even its design advantages would have begun waning.
The Navy is quite content with the F-18s, and the Chair Force doesn't do much more than fly circles in bombers these days......
Isn't there still one of the two PAVs on display somewhere? I'm not sure if they would let me take measurements (they probably wouldn't care
unless I asked them, like most things...) - but I've wanted to build a flying scale model based off of the YF-23 (and concept designs available for
I don't have the money for it, now... but one of these days..... and being an avionics technician - I have all kinds of plans on the electronics
suite this thing is going to have...
I've actually wanted to build a UAV version of it (completely automated) that could be used for weather research using a network of small facilities
across a region that could provide rapid response to various weather conditions and deliver monitoring equipment just about anywhere (and it, itself,
being a piece of monitoring equipment).
But forget funding for that.... I don't even have the facilities to handle prototyping such a thing.