AFRL Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) Program

seruriermarshal

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WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory successfully completed the XQ-58A Valkyrie’s sixth flight test and first release from its internal weapons bay, March 26, 2021 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.

This test, conducted in partnership with Kratos UAS and Area-I, demonstrated the ability to launch an ALTIUS-600 small, unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) from the internal weapons bay of the XQ-58A. Kratos, Area-I and AFRL designed and fabricated the SUAS carriage and developed software to enable release. After successful release of the SUAS, the XQ-58A completed additional test points to expand its demonstrated operating envelope.

“This is the sixth flight of the Valkyrie and the first time the payload bay doors have been opened in flight,” said Alyson Turri, demonstration program manager. “In addition to this first SUAS separation demonstration, the XQ-58A flew higher and faster than previous flights.”

This test further demonstrates the utility of affordable, high performance unmanned air vehicles.

 

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bring_it_on

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Yes that is the case though interestingly, these antennas don't appear to be on the aircraft for test #5 (other prototype) which was to be the Gateway One test.
 

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Continuous Composites (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, U.S.) announced on April 7 the successful completion of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) two-year Wing Structure Design for Manufacturing (WiSDM) contract through Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, M.D., U.S.) to manufacture a Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft (LCAA) wing. The project focused on a new structural design paradigm, when coupled with commensurate materials and manufacturing, to substantially reduce costs and lead times for attritable airframe structures. Continuous Composites says its patented Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D) technology successfully printed the structural carbon fiber spars of the wing assembly. Structural performance was demonstrated when the completed wing box was statically tested and achieved 160% design limit load (DLL) before the compression skin buckled. The spars did not fail.

“The successful work with Continuous Composites and AFRL’s focus on CF3D for this project not only advances new 3D printing technology but also offers the potential for aerospace-grade composite printing in high-performance industries,” says John Scarcello, senior manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. “We recognize this process is paving the way for broader applications within both defense and commercial applications, and Lockheed Martin plans to be part of that future of advanced manufacturing.”


How it works:

CF3D

“We are combining the power of composite materials with a 3D printing process using advanced robotics,” says Continuous Composites CEO Tyler Alvarado. The company has trademarked its Continuous Fiber 3D Printing as CF3D. “CF3D impregnates the fiber within the head and cures immediately after material deposition,” he explains. “We are not limited to printing via 2D slices so we can take full advantage of the anisotropic properties of composite materials by discretely orienting fibers in every direction.”

 

Fluss

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I'm looking into it from Japan.
I recently found a slide from reater Oklahoma City Chamber Economic Development
website that I'd like to share!!!
https://www.greateroklahomacity.com/clientuploads/ppt/Kratos_Overview_OKC.pdf?_t=1604441514
I've never heard of 2nd Full up Production Line (XQ-58A Valkyrie) before!

Container Sytem?
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight...ping-containers-to-fight-china/136591.article
Have models been shown at exhibitions in the past?

E1bc3xCVIAUDfsx.jpg
XQ-58 RailLauncher
Not a launcher published on the 5D systems website??
laucher.png

1621099783198.png
and Timeline!!!
 

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25% of F-35 operational cost per hour for the new stealthy low cost attritable red air trainer (around 8000$/h).

“Right now, … we cannot generate enough adversary air to really … stress” the Air Force’s fifth-generation combat aviators [, Air Combat Command chief Gen. Mark D. Kelly said at an industry conference Aug. 3], because the cost per flying hour is prohibitive. What would be a “low-cost” alternative? Anything that costs “a dollar less than what I’d be putting up” of a manned nature, he added.

But “there are some solutions and promising technologies out there where I could essentially put up a low-observable and jamming platform with a significant amount of endurance,” at “roughly 25 percent of what it would cost me for a manned” adversary, he said. “That, to me, is ‘low cost.’”

 
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TomcatViP

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Raytheon develops a light weight, low cost, air cooled AESA for attritable aircraft:

Raytheon’s yet-to-be-named compact AESA radar weighs about 59kg (130lb), about one third as much as radars on sale currently, says Dick Sandfier, strategic pursuits and business creation capture executive at Raytheon Intelligence and Space. The radar is roughly 71cm (28in) by 37cm and is air cooled.
[...]
Radars that use gallium nitride transistors – the subcomponent upon which Raytheon’s compact AESA is based – are able to operate at higher temperatures than those using conventional gallium arsenide components. That allows the amount of electric power pumped into the AESA’s radio transmitters to be increased.

Gallium nitride enables AESA radars to “emit five times the radio frequency power of previous technologies”, says Raytheon. “For radars, that means better search capability and less power consumption, all at a smaller size.”

 

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That part that you have circled is not a lashing point but what earlier appeared to be an antenna is indeed a tie down point. I realized earlier when I tweeted the photo. These two are different things and neither is an antenna.
 

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P&W thinks it can consolidate the TJ-150’s number of parts from 400 to about half a dozen. It figures the process will cut the engine’s cost in half.

Using a 3D printer – instead of subcontracting to an outside machine shop – also saves time. “Right now, if we want to do an iteration, we’ve got hard tooling that’s about a 12-month lead time,” Stagney says. “If we can do additive, we can eliminate that lead time and print new configurations in a couple of weeks.”

3D-printed rotating parts for the TJ-150 “really push the boundaries of our additive technology”, says Stagney. “Rotating parts are [the] most difficult because of the high stresses and dynamics those parts experience.”

GatorWorks hopes to fire up the 3D-printed TJ-150 by the end of the year.

“If it doesn’t work, well, we’ll do another sprint,” Stagney says.

 

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