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Northrop Grumman's Secret X-Bomber

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posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:49 PM

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?

I think the idea is a larger airframe modeled (at least in part) on the X-47B.

Without going too far off topic, I was always in favour of acquiring the YF-23 platform over the F-22 precisely because it was so easily capable of the long-range strike mission. It was much more adaptable platform than the F-22. If I buy 200 a/c for the air sup version and 200 for a LR strike version with different avionics I save money over buying/developing two completely different platforms. Both were vital holes to be plugged. The AF could have a highly capable F-15E replacement/supplement already fielded.

An unmanned version of the -23 would be interesting -- I'm not sure the AF isn't looking for a larger a/c for the NGB's role, however. It's certainly possible the NGB would resemble a blend of the technologies used in the X-47B program and YF-23 as Northrop is/was a key player in both.

EDIT: added quote tags, as Fred snuck one in there between my reply and the post I was replying to!

[edit on 29-5-2008 by _Del_]

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 02:35 PM
reply to post by FredT

Exactly my thoughts. With both still gone and the rumors I heard is that they had been shipped back to NG they have not only the research but the airframes and avionics that was used for that program as well.

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....

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by Canada_EH

Also the other prototype has been MIA from Edwards AFB for even longer.

posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 12:00 PM
The FB-23 would be awesome to behold. Ever since it lost out in th ATF contest (did it lose out or was the superior aircraft 'held back' for a strike project ?)

Couple the FB-23 with a cargo of guided SDB and you have a hefty strike package over down town [insert your bad guys city here].

Heres the E-bay model and a flight international composition.

Oh and of interest here is in my opinion the most beautiful gate guard for any air museum ever.

From here.


One thing that always caught my eye was the way that every thing in the YF-23 seemed to be so organic and flowing, where as the f-22 raptor retained alot of the early F-117 stealth work in it - I know but just look at an early YF-22 and you see its all facets with a few curves, where as the YF-23 was smooth from every angle you looked at it...

Oh and a great article with google earth image of the full scale RCS model.

YF23 blog

[edit on 5-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 11:04 AM
update with links

USAF Wants a New Bomber By 2018 (updated)

link with links


posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 11:59 AM
The more I read about northrop the more they amaze me.

RCS 1/10th of a mosquito and all aspect stealth. I really hope they do use the X47B air frame design as its a beauty.

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.

Its going to be awesome seeing that and a B-2 parked side by side.

Dark Government

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 12:10 PM

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.

Air Force Times

As some one who thinks UCAVs are the mutts, its great to see that having both manned and unmanned versions in the sytem being confirmed by the Air Force Secetary.

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