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Originally posted by Canada_EH
People are mentioning the X-47 airframe idea as a candidate for this type of role but what about the fabled FB-23?
Originally posted by racerzeke
It was taken from the Western MOF forever ago and I tried to visit them at least one year ago after they moved to Torrance and I just emailed them and they said they have no plans of getting it back from "a secure place at northrop" and they do not know why they took the plane back....
The X-47B was much more advanced, in aerodynamic terms, than it appeared (see sidebar), and the same is likely true of its low-observable (LO) qualities. The aircraft is one of the first to combine a highly blended tailless configuration with new materials developed since the 1980s. The NGB will be the same, if not more so.
Northrop Grumman has stressed the “all-aspect, broadband” stealth inherent in the X-47B. Tailless shapes don’t have the “bow-tie” RCS pattern, with the smallest RCS on the nose and tail and peaks on the beam configurations, which characterizes conventional aircraft. They are stealthier against low-frequency radars — including updated, active-array VHF radars marketed by Russia — because they do not have shape features which are so small that their RCS in the VHF band is determined by size, rather than shape or materials. It may be significant that John Cashen, leader of the B-2 signatures team, returned in 2006 after 10 years in Australia and is now a consultant for Northrop Grumman.
The Air Force is developing both manned and unmanned versions of its next-generation bomber, the service’s top civilian official said Wednesday.
Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee was one of the first public comments by a top official acknowledging that the new bomber, scheduled to debut in 2018, is well along in development. The program is currently classified, he said, but Air Force leaders think they can meet the 2018 timeline.