Originally posted by Zaphod58
The canards and the intake location are the two biggest things that pretty much everyone that has looked at it has brought up. Fixed canards just
don't make sense anymore.
The more I look at these pictures, the more I feel that those intakes will move between this stage and the full-size prototype. If we assume that the
intakes are exactly where they are expected to be on the full size aircraft, then I could see it opening up a sizeable portion of the fuselage for
internal weapons carriage. That said, I'm not convinced that this airframe has enough lifting power to carry a typical armament, let alone a larger,
heavier payload. It seems likely that if this is the case (ie if I'm not totally wrong on that, it happens from time to time) that those intakes will
move to get more air to the engine.
I've also been thinking on the canards. I've noticed that they do have some sizeable control surfaces on the trailing edges that at least rival the
ailerons in area. That said, I do agree that fully-movable canards are definitely the preferred flavour for established design companies. What is
important, though, is that this is not necessarily a huge, experienced, and well-outfitted operation. This aircraft will almost definitely depend on
vortices to create that low pressure area on top of the aircraft, and doing so can get very tricky. A fully-movable canard in this configuration would
probably infringe onto the surface responsible for generating the very tip of those vortices, and any change at the head of the airflow is only going
to get messier as it propagates downstream. They simply may not have the calculation expertise or power to keep the vortex stable under those
conditions. I suspect that a properly done full-movement canard would be superior in performance, but far more difficult to apply without risking
totally screwing the aircraft's main lift generation method. I would expect that the designers of the a/c came to a similar conclusion, though I
wonder if they might plan to change that on the full-size.
Especially with those tiny control surfaces. And while the J85 can operate quite nicely with those tiny intakes, like you said, if they have
to maneuver, they are in danger of starving the engine of air.
I do not envy the guy they put in charge of figuring out what those intakes will do in a 9G pitch. He is going to be a very sad man.
2/5/2013 by Darkpr0 because: Derp.