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AMSA Program & B-1 Bomber projects

Abraham Gubler

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Not quite a “secret project” but rather a “secret paintjob”. I’ve being trying to track this down after reading about it online a few years ago. The proposed B-1B Two Tone or ‘Killer Whale’ camouflage pattern. Combines dark and pale grey for camouflage effect while retaining protection against flash and heat from a nuclear explosion. The pale grey segments covered heat sensitive areas of the aircraft and would work like an all-white ‘anti-flash’ coating common in nuclear bombers of the 50s and 60s.
 

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ouroboros

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Abraham Gubler said:
Here are some colour pictures of the B-1B fitted with ACM pylons discussed earlier in this thread.
Is it just me, or are the bomb bay doors not able to fully open because the ACM is in the way? And I wonder what those protrusions on the starboard engine pod are? Covers for cameras or test sensors, or some other kind of secondary equipment?
 

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Wouldn't of been a problem, external ACM were fired first at some distance, Racks then ejected, before descending to low Alt for its SRAM run (or more ACM from distance)
 

Abraham Gubler

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ouroboros said:
Is it just me, or are the bomb bay doors not able to fully open because the ACM is in the way? And I wonder what those protrusions on the starboard engine pod are? Covers for cameras or test sensors, or some other kind of secondary equipment?
The bomb bay doors are opened wide enough to drop stores from the rotary launchers. They could not use the bomb rack launchers for dumb bombs with the pylons fitted. But it is very unlikely that a mission would mix cruise missiles and dumb bombs so this wouldn't be a problem. Not that the B-B ever carried the pylons after testing anyway. The engine bay pods are camera pods for recording weapon release.
 
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Overkiller

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Referring back to post # 79, and the B-1B Two Tone "Killer Whale" scheme, are there any details as to the precise colours used (ie FS numbers perhaps) other than the drawing's "Pale Gray" and "Dark Gray"?

Duncan
 

Abraham Gubler

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Overkiller said:
Referring back to post # 79, and the B-1B Two Tone "Killer Whale" scheme, are there any details as to the precise colours used (ie FS numbers perhaps) other than the drawing's "Pale Gray" and "Dark Gray"?
Nope and the same source mentions the FS numbers for the actual three tone paint scheme used on the B-1B. So I guess the two tone scheme was never developed far enough for precise shade allocation.
 
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Overkiller

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Abraham Gubler said:
Overkiller said:
Referring back to post # 79, and the B-1B Two Tone "Killer Whale" scheme, are there any details as to the precise colours used (ie FS numbers perhaps) other than the drawing's "Pale Gray" and "Dark Gray"?
Nope and the same source mentions the FS numbers for the actual three tone paint scheme used on the B-1B. So I guess the two tone scheme was never developed far enough for precise shade allocation.
Thank you.
 

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While that color scheme did not make it onto the aircraft, it was the default scheme for the first Airfix 1/72nd scale model release of the B-1B. I *think* that the specified colors were Light and Dark Ghost Gray - but the light gray on the boxtop looks to be lighter. Perhaps you could hit up one of the modeling forums to see if anyone has the painting instructions (I don't have one in the kit stash; one look in the box convinced me that it placed third in a two-horse race.)
 

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Overkiller

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aim9xray said:
While that color scheme did not make it onto the aircraft, it was the default scheme for the first Airfix 1/72nd scale model release of the B-1B. I *think* that the specified colors were Light and Dark Ghost Gray - but the light gray on the boxtop looks to be lighter. Perhaps you could hit up one of the modeling forums to see if anyone has the painting instructions (I don't have one in the kit stash; one look in the box convinced me that it placed third in a two-horse race.)
Thank you, I'll make some enquiries on the modelling forums. I kept thinking I had seen that particular scheme on the box of a model...somewhere...I just couldn't remember where I had seen it before.

Duncan
 

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Looking around for interesting pictures of the development of B-1 I found this cardboard bi-dimensional mock-up of the B-1A (depicted together with the escape module model)
Nico
 

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Stargazer2006

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If I didn't know better, I'd say it has a definite Martin look to it... but Martin had ceased submitting aircraft designs for about over five years at the time of the AMSA competition. Doesn't really look like any of the AMSA proposals we've seen in this thread so far.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
If I didn't know better, I'd say it has a definite Martin look to it... but Martin had ceased submitting aircraft designs for about over five years at the time of the AMSA competition. Doesn't really look like any of the AMSA proposals we've seen in this thread so far.
Maybe Martin was acting as a design consultant/sub-contractor for some other company trying to enter the market?
 

Nico

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I Gents,
in the same series of negs in my archives that already gave me the sketches of LARA/COIN proposals from some ads published on 'Aviation Week' on late sixties early seventies - that I already posted in this forum - I found also that one I enclose: we can see (partially) a sketch of what seems to me a copy of a generic USAF artist's impression (but remembers also a Republic configuration) of the F-15 and, in foreground, what is simply labelled 'B-1': in your opinion it is another generic USAF impression of a 'could-be B-1' or could be inspired from a real proposal?


Nico
 

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flateric

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http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,484.msg41805.html#msg41805
 

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Here is a North American AMSA factory model, with two engines in the rear and one under each apex surface. Every time the wings pivot, each bomb rack needs to pivot in the opposite direction to stay aligned with the fight path. The F-111 had eight such pivoting hard points as well, IIRC. (Model photo © by Chad Slattery)

A 3-view drawing of this concept was posted by flateric almost 4 years ago, here.
 

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archipeppe

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Nico said:
I Gents,
in the same series of negs in my archives that already gave me the sketches of LARA/COIN proposals from some ads published on 'Aviation Week' on late sixties early seventies - that I already posted in this forum - I found also that one I enclose: we can see (partially) a sketch of what seems to me a copy of a generic USAF artist's impression (but remembers also a Republic configuration) of the F-15 and, in foreground, what is simply labelled 'B-1': in your opinion it is another generic USAF impression of a 'could-be B-1' or could be inspired from a real proposal?


Nico
Dear Nico,

the bomber represented seems to be in "convair-ish" style, could it be some B-58IM derivative from General Dynamics of mid-60's?
 

uk 75

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Aha

My favourite drawing of the B1 run up. It is in fact not a manufacturers drawing but a US
Air Force artists impression based very loosely on the F-111 (notice the F-111 style cockpit ejection system) and an indicative podded design (again possibly derived from a Convair design).
If you look closely, apart from the pods it is nothing like the North American model in the cockpit
or wing configuration. A fuller picture of the same plane is posted in an earlier thread. I will try and get the ref and post it here.

UK 75
 

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AMSA desk model (1967 vintage) from North American Aviation's Los Angeles Divison. Wearing exhaust plugs was obviously fashionable at the time.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)

A 3-view drawing of this concept was posted by flateric almost 2 years ago, here.
 

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circle-5

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AMSA desk model (1968 vintage) from North American Aviation's Los Angeles Divison.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)
 

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sferrin

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circle-5 said:
AMSA desk model (1967 vintage) from North American Aviation's Los Angeles Divison. Wearing exhaust plugs was obviously fashionable at the time.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)

A 3-view drawing of this concept was posted by flateric almost 2 years ago, here.
Plugs are still "fashionable" for non-afterburning engines when geometry permits. (See airliner engines for example.)
 

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Another view of the North American AMSA (1967 model year). Question for sferrin: does the presence of exhaust plugs indicate this was a subsonic design (no afterburners)?

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)

A 3-view drawing of this concept was posted by flateric almost 2 years ago, here.
 

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Orionblamblam

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circle-5 said:
Another view of the North American AMSA (1967 model year).
NAA D458-13D

does the presence of exhaust plugs indicate this was a subsonic design (no afterburners)?
Nope. It had four 105%-scale GE1/9F7B-34 engines, permitting a Mach 2.2 penetration range, with a total mission range (the rest being subsonic) of 2500 n.m.

Rather than the more usual "turkey feathers," this engine used a fixed plug and a retractable shroud, which deployed above Mach 1.4.
 

circle-5

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Thanks to OBB for the data on the NAA D458-13D AMSA. It's always good to know these things.

The attached model photo shows a subsonic study of AMPSS, by North American Aviation, Los Angeles Division. I know this because Subsonic AMPSS is printed in gold letters on the base (which makes it official :) ).

However, as a non-aerodynamicist, I don't understand how a subsonic airplane could benefit from such a radical wing sweep angle (95 deg., perhaps?)

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)
 

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Orionblamblam

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circle-5 said:
I don't understand how a subsonic airplane could benefit from such a radical wing sweep angle
It wouldn't. There was a mistake somewhere... either in making the ID plate, or in putting that particular model on that particular stand. This type of tucked-in wing was studied for a number of aircraft back in the mid 60's, and it was always for high supersonic cruise (Mach 2+)

PS: Don't have anything on this specific design, but it looks like an earlier vehicle. A similar design, the D436-21, was an intermediate basepoint, just prior to the D458-13D, looked much the same except the engine nozzles were all the way at the tail and had the narrow plugs... same over-swept wing, with a Mach 2.2 cruise for 1500 n.m. (2500 n.m. total).

There were a number of subsonic designs studied for AMPSS; except for some goofy Lokheed concepts, they were pretty standard subsonic-bombery-lookin', as far as I can tell.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
It wouldn't. There was a mistake somewhere... either in making the ID plate, or in putting that particular model on that particular stand.
So this model could be on the wrong stand? Gosh... this has never happened before. Attached is another view of the supersonic subsonic AMPSS by North American Aviation, with wings in mid-sweep.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)
 

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And here's another AMPSS model from North American Aviation (Los Angeles Division), with three engines and a delta wing. It's clearly marked Supersonic AMPSS, which is probably correct.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)
 

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Orionblamblam

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circle-5 said:
It's clearly marked Supersonic AMPSS, which is probably correct.
Yes. NAA proposed that the prototype for this particular configuration be built from a hacked-apart XB-70 (possibly the never-finished #3, but that's speculation)
 

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And another variant of NAA's AMPSS, from the Los Angeles Division model shop. Not to be confused with the earlier supersonic AMPSS on the subsonic stand, this one is larger, with staggered engine quartet at the rear and wider wing pivot spacing, among other differences.

(Model photos © by Chad Slattery)
 

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Orionblamblam

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A low rez version of this was posted before, but here's a higher rez. A higher-rez-yet version is at my blog:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=11430

Also attached is a blowup of the "subsonic" model. And it actually does seem to say "subsonic." A few possible explanations:
1: Circle-5 actually has this model, which was mislabeled
2: NAA made a number of mis-labeled models
3: This was actually meant to be subsonic
1& 2 look less likely now, but #3 just seems silly.
 

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CaseyKnight

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Orionblamblam said:
This type of tucked-in wing was studied for a number of aircraft back in the mid 60's, and it was always for high supersonic cruise (Mach 2+)
I remember seeing TFX proposals with wings like that.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
A low rez version of this was posted before, but here's a higher rez. A higher-rez-yet version is at my blog:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=11430

Also attached is a blowup of the "subsonic" model. And it actually does seem to say "subsonic." A few possible explanations:
1: Circle-5 actually has this model, which was mislabeled
2: NAA made a number of mis-labeled models
3: This was actually meant to be subsonic
1& 2 look less likely now, but #3 just seems silly.
The final AMSA development (the B-1B) has an impressive VG wing design, yet its mission is typically subsonic, with only marginal supersonic capability. I don't feel these characteristics need to be mutually exclusive, although the Subsonic AMPSS is indeed a bit much.

I only know of one example each of the models featured here, but if others appear with the same subsonic stand, then we'll definitely know it's subsonic. Even if initially mis-labeled, such models would have never made it into NAA PR and historical photographs without correction.

Attached is a rarely seen rear view of the big NAA AMPSS VG model, showing its unusual engine arrangement and gullwing appearance.

(Model photo © by Chad Slattery)
 

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Orionblamblam

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circle-5 said:
The final AMSA development (the B-1B) has an impressive VG wing design, yet its mission is typically subsonic, with only marginal supersonic capability.
Yes, but the B-1*A* was designed to go balls-out. The design the B-1B inheirited was a fast mover that had been governed down by stealth requirements.


I don't feel these characteristics need to be mutually exclusive, although the Subsonic AMPSS is indeed a bit much.
The extreme sweepback is only useful for multi-Mach speeds. So the best I can figure for this being a "subsonic" design was that it was intended to sneak in subsonically, then fold up and dash over the target, then wander on out again. otherwise the design really doesn't seem to make sense.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
The extreme sweepback is only useful for multi-Mach speeds. So the best I can figure for this being a "subsonic" design was that it was intended to sneak in subsonically, then fold up and dash over the target, then wander on out again. otherwise the design really doesn't seem to make sense.
What about for high speed NOE flight? Ride quality would definitely be a consideration for the crew and sensor systems. Granted, wing loading remains the same, but the load distribution changes, since the area is now down the fuselage, instead of laterally where I think it would be more sensitive to gust loading. Although, I haven't seen much with regard to differing wing configurations and their stability repsonses to gust loading, etc., this could be a reason for VG of a subsonic aircraft. It was obviously a serious consideration for the program, gust response, as witnessed by the load alleviating canards on the B-1.
 

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Is it just me, or are the bomb bay doors not able to fully open because the ACM is in the way? And I wonder what those protrusions on the starboard engine pod are? Covers for cameras or test sensors, or some other kind of secondary equipment?
Hello all, I worked B-1Bs at Dyess AFB, TX from 2002 to 2008. I saw this topic and had to chime in. Good info on the very early B-1 program.

Anyway, about those pylons and the door position...

When they were installed, the electrical connection from the pylon to the aircraft generated a "PYLON INSTALLED" signal in the Offensive Avionics System (OAS), and the jet "knew" not to open the doors past the PART OPEN position. An arrangement of 12 magnetic sensors installed on the doors' hinges would "sense" the doors' position and relay it to the OAS as well. The instant the doors got to PART OPEN an electrically controlled valve would shut off hydraulic power to the bay door drive motor.

Judging by the width of the AGM-129, there can't be much room to open the bay doors once the missiles are on pylons. Perhaps it was planned to shoot-off your external cruise missiles first, then drop the internal cruise missiles off the CSRL.

Additionally, in early days, the aircraft's OAS could only be programmed to accommodate Rotary Launcher (Nuclear) or Bomb Module(Conventional) in its software. With NUCLEAR programmed into the OAS, the bay doors were limited to PART OPEN, pylons or no. This is because I guess the PART OPEN position provides for a "cleaner" bomb separation out of the bay wind turbulence-wise. CONVENTIONAL software only allowed the doors to open to the FULL position.

Yes these pylons were jettisonable, but I'm not aware of any tests (airborne of ground) of this capability, but I do know this feature wound-up being deleted since I guess they could not trust a jettisoned pylon not to smack the nacelles or the fuselage as it fell away. From what I've read a B-1B with 12 AGM-129s hanging off of it would have abysmal range, and jettisoning the pylons in the name of reducing drag would not make much of a difference.
 

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Some AMSA concept art from North American Aviation, in high resolution. Ridiculously-high resolution files available upon request.

[scanned from original NAA large-format transparencies]
 

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