After some thoughts, i can't get my mind on how the weapon release in the F-23A would work. Let me explain:
- On the YF-23 PAV-1, there was a complicated plater+launcher system. The Utility manual says that the palet was outward angled by 17 degrees. In Paul Metz book, the YF-23 drawing indeed depicts two amraams in the weapon bay being angled at approx 17° outward.
-The problem is that, IMHO, this system can't work on the F-23A. The two missiles on the YF-23 were located at the center of the bay, while on the F-23A you had 4 of them with two outward and on top of two other(see aldo spadoni illustration above). The weapon bays on the F-23A were shallower and more importantly there was wing bulkhead that basically prevented the lower missiles to be rotated.
The two files attached show the 4 missiles arrangement on the F-23A and the YF-23A arrangement as put into an F-23A weapon bay.
-Since you can't rotate the lower missiles, then, only four hypothesis:
1/ The weapon palet tilts down to fire the upper missiles. This seems impossible for two reasons: the bulkhead will prevent the lower missile to rotate unless lowered outside of the weapon bay (see point 3) and even though, the upper missiles can't be fired without being extended (their wings would collide with lower missiles fins).
2/ You can't select the munition and lower missiles are first launched. This would seem plausible because the plane has one weapon bay for amraams and one for sidewinder. Except that in technical drawings, in the specifications table, you have an alternative weapon load offered. And this is still has only amraam and aim-9 as possibility. At the time of the proposal, the aim-120c program wasn't officially launched and as confirmed by Aldo spadoni, aim-120c fitting in the F-23A was only remotely researched so the proposal didn't feature those. I think one probable loadout was a 4 aim-9 and two aim-120 missiles. In that case, not being able to select the munition is clearly impossible.
3/ The whole loadout is exposed to the air. This would be pretty strange for a plane that put so much attention to stealth that the whole pylons+missiles would be in the stream!
4/ The rest of all solutions!
Anyone has some idea, info?