Re: comments

Message posted by Magoo on July 07, 2001 at 18:02:36 PST:

Two comments.

1) Forgetting the fact that it may or may not be a 1.5 scale F-117, certainly an aircraft of that weight and class would make sense as a viable F-111 and F-15E successor. It would require a large internal weapons bay capable of carrying up to eight JDAM/GBU-12 class weapons, twelve to sixteen SSBs, or four to six JSOW/JASSMs. It would probably weigh in the region of 80-100,000 lbs in order to have the internal fuel to carry out 1000+nm radius strike missions, and would use engines in the 35-40,000 lbs thrust class (about 10% higher than the F119s used in the F-22). It should be able to supercruise (go and maintain supersonic speed without afterburner), and be able to go 'downtown' like the F-117 and B-2 without the need for SEAD or ECM escorts.

2) The aerodynamic and LO shaping of the F-117 (or a larger but similarly shaped version) would not be capable of supersonic flight. Other concepts such as the 'Switchblade' or similar would be a more likely candidate for such a mission. The F-117 was always going to be a rushed stop-gap aircraft until stealth design and efficiency could be developed for mass produced aircraft, and the YF-23 and F-22 were the result of a decade of research following the F-117's debut. Straight panel faceting liberally coated with RAM as on the F-117 is fine to defeat single receiver ground based radars, but it can be defeated by multiple receivers and various airborne radars at the right angles. Curved blending combined with RAM and high speed/altitude flight as in the B-2 and F-22/23 is much harder to defeat. Personally, I believe a larger F-117 style concept would be a sideways step. There's later and greater stealth technology flying now, so that is the more logical step.

3) The YF-113 designation has always been associated with the MiG-23 operated out of Groom/Nellis/TTR/North base/?, however it may well have been applied elsewhere. An example of multiple use of designations is the Y/F-110. The original USAF version of the Phantom was initially called the F-110 before the F-4C designation was adopted. YF-110 was later applied to the MiG-21s that operated at Groom under the 'Have Doughnut' program in 1968. It's been done before...

4) The only speculation surrounding the possible aircraft release last year before the election was based on historical precedent. Johnson did it in 1964 with the SR-71, and Carter did it in 79 (I think?) by revealing only that they were actively pursuing the develoment of a stealth aircraft program (i.e. early F-117). In order to reveal a program, you first have to have one ready to be revealed.


In Reply to: guess.... posted by Paul Reinman on July 07, 2001 at 17:06:58 PST:


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