Secret UK stealth plane project revealed


Message posted by JasonO on April 06, 2003 at 19:18:05 PST:

While searching rec.aviation.military, I found a post with a link to an article (w/picture of a full-scale model) that talks about a UK stealth aircraft called "Replica." Could be a late April Fool's joke, due to its date (16:18 04 July 03), or poorly dated article, confusing date notations (such as 4/6/03 or 6/4/03...).

The article (from NewScientist.com) goes on to say Replica was a jointly-funded venture between BAE and MoD for 20 million and the program ended in 1999. It is considered in the very least as a stealth testbed, though there is the question of a prototype already being flown for use in the upcoming concept to assessment phase of the UK's FOAS (Future Offensive Air System)program.

If the article is genuine, then what catches my attention from the article itself is the end date of the program- 1999- and the mention of components must join without gaps or edges to ensure low radar observability. If I remember correctly, the BoP, its concept brought over from McDonnell Douglas with its purchase by Boeing, also ended in 1999 and took precautions to cover over gaps when it used its control surfaces. The BoP was revealed due to its technologies and capabilities had become industry standards by this time. In the rec.aviation.military post mentioned, one poster remarked how it reminded them of the McDonnell Douglas JSF entry- so there may be a common heritage to both designs under McDonnell Douglas (via US-UK stealth technology exchanges) and Replica may be revealed for the same reason as the BoP was.

Source: NewScientist.Com

Link to the rec.aviation.military post: http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=20030406185407.28556.00000415%40mb-fl.aol.com&prev=/groups%3Fhl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26safe%3Doff%26group%3Drec.aviation.military

Attached link: Secret UK stealth plane project revealed

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