Boeing Bird of Prey Demonstrator

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If someone can help with BoP 3-view, I'd be very obliged. Seems to have been in Flight International. Thanks!
 
Thanks, Scott. I always wanna to look at these little gremlins from PR Dept. who're retouching drawings to make them as little common with actual engineering drawings as possible))) I have this factsheet...no one happy to have this FI article?
 

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Another one from L+K 25-26/2002, but I am not sure about its accuracy. It contains also small vertical stabilisator under the fuselage that was soon after beginning of flight tests removed.
 

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...
 

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Greetings All -

The BoP is hanging in the Air Force Museum - I took a few pics of it back on 12-17-03 (100th Anniversary of the Wright Brother's 1st powered flight!) and though that a few of them might help visualize the shape. A tough place to shoot photos, especially if you are looking upwards :)

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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One more... Mark
 

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I'm trying to find out the exact dates of the Bird of Prey's first and last flights...
 
maiden flight Sept. 11, 1996
last flight 1999 exact date unknown
 
XB-70 Guy said:
I'm trying to find out the exact dates of the Bird of Prey's first and last flights...

I've asked around for the final flight's date, but no luck so far, sorry.
 
Demon Lord Razgriz said:
Question, has there been any word on it's stealth in comparison to say the F-117 or F-22?

There has been nothing definitive published, of course.
But it can be reasonably inferred that the signature is significantly lower. According to people familiar with the program, the visual signature became dominant - it could be seen with the eyeball before it could be seen using radar. The visual signature was then reduced by several means, and this was one of the primary goals of the project.
 

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Hi All,
Anybody have any info on a fully operational version of the BOP. Looking for pictures or statistics. I know Boeing used the data from the BOP on the X-45 program. They must have had a paper study done on a operatonal version for the DOD in case they ordered some.
thanks,
Empire
 
Was there any military operational consideration incorporated into the configuration design? Was it solely an academic exercise to fly the least observable platform, or was some actual military role envisoned?
 
Fact Sheet from National Museum of the USAF:

The Bird of Prey is a single-seat stealth technology demonstrator used to test "low-observable" stealth techniques and new methods of aircraft design and construction. The secret Bird of Prey project ran from 1992 to 1999, and the aircraft first flew in the fall of 1996. The Bird of Prey was named for its resemblance to the Klingon spacecraft from the science fiction series Star Trek.

In its 38 flights, the Bird of Prey tested ways to make aircraft less observable to the eye and to radar. It also validated new ways to design and build aircraft using large single-piece composite structures, "virtual reality" computerized design and assembly, and disposable tooling. The Bird of Prey was revealed in 2002 because its design techniques had become standard practice -- Boeing used them in its X-32 Joint Strike Fighter demonstrators and later in its X-45A Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle prototype.

The aircraft demonstrates advanced stealth concepts, notably its "gapless" control surfaces that blend smoothly into the wings to reduce radar visibility, and an engine intake completely shielded from the front. The Bird of Prey, however, used some "off the shelf" technology to reduce costs and speed production. Its control system is all-manual with no computer assists, and the landing gear is adapted from Beech King Air and Queen Air aircraft.

Boeing donated the Bird of Prey to the museum in 2002.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan of 3,190 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 300 mph
Ceiling: 20,000 ft.

Source:
 
chuck4 said:
Was there any military operational consideration incorporated into the configuration design? Was it solely an academic exercise to fly the least observable platform, or was some actual military role envisoned?

It was purely a technology demonstrator. Some of the things it demonstrated are public knowledge, some not so much. But there was never to be an operational derivative.
 
Hi All,
A little though experiment!! I know we have a ton of aviation and air frame experts in this forum. Its 1999 the BOP's flight test program has just ended and the DOD wants a manned F-117 replacement. What would need to be done to the BOP design to make a operational fighter bomber. I'm talking air frame changes, engine used, radar, etc.
thanks
Empire
 
Simple -- start from scratch.

Read the links; the BoP configuration made for a nasty aircraft to fly. Any attempt to "operationalize" it would probably have started with an entirely new aerodynamic arrangement. At that point, you're developing an entirely new aircraft.
 
aliensporebomb said:
Yeah, what a beautiful and unusual bird but I hear she was really a handful to actually fly.

That is an understatement. The primary test pilot Fred Madenwald, resigned because he didn't want to die.... :)
 
Ya but the flight control system was manual add a fly by wire system and it becomes more stable. Remember they built it this way to save money. I think the design would have become more like a X-45 wing and body plan form. what do you all think?
 
Empire said:
Ya but the flight control system was manual add a fly by wire system and it becomes more stable. Remember they built it this way to save money. I think the design would have become more like a X-45 wing and body plan form. what do you all think?


X-45 was a direct application of lessons learned from Bird of Prey, so that would be a reasonable conclusion.
 
Empire said:
Hi All,
A little though experiment!! I know we have a ton of aviation and air frame experts in this forum. Its 1999 the BOP's flight test program has just ended and the DOD wants a manned F-117 replacement. What would need to be done to the BOP design to make a operational fighter bomber. I'm talking air frame changes, engine used, radar, etc.
thanks
Empire

I suppose you could use the design without major changes as the basis for a light battlefield interdiction/rear area harassment type. A 21st Century 'Bedcheck Charlie' in other words. With regards as to weaponry, you could, for example, design a conformal dispenser especially for the BOP that could deploy weapons such as the BLU-108/B or even ERAM (BLU-101/B & BLU-102/B(?)) and other airdroppable mines. Other possibilities could have included a HAVE SLICK derived weapon such as Rockwell's LOCATM.
 
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I find it strange that no pictures or plans of a manned full fledged fighter bomber design of BOP ever leaked out from McAir or Boeing. For gods sack they where trying to prove their stealth building abilities to the Government you'd think they would have all kinds of pictures or plans ready for government viewing. Some of them should have leaked.
 
Boeing Lifts the Veil on Stealthy Bird of Prey (From 2002)
 

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sold at ePay in Feb

Small scale model of the McDonnell Douglas Bird of Prey. The predecessor of the UCAV combat drone. 1st flown by Rudy Haug. (That took some balls). This was not a Boeing plane . They just took over the company. I worked Phantom Works and this is the real deal, not something made in the Phillipines. These were a limited edition and handed out to the few that had their hands on this project. Made from 3-D printer, hand finished and painted in Phantom Works by the ppl that built this craft. Comes on a Koa wood stand. It has a very small chip on the tip of the wing and a paint scratch on the bottom. I did not want to take away the original paint that was a two part mix, to keep it original. I have had my fill with the aircraft industry and am ready to part with it.Small scale model of the McDonnell Douglas Bird of Prey. The predecessor of the UCAV combat drone. 1st flown by Rudy Haug. (That took some balls). This was not a Boeing plane . They just took over the company. I worked Phantom Works and this is the real deal, not something made in the Phillipines. These were a limited edition and handed out to the few that had their hands on this project. Made from 3-D printer, hand finished and painted in Phantom Works by the ppl that built this craft. Comes on a Koa wood stand. It has a very small chip on the tip of the wing and a paint scratch on the bottom. I did not want to take away the original paint that was a two part mix, to keep it original. I have had my fill with the aircraft industry and am ready to part with it.
 

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Few pics from an article about BoP in 'Aviation Design (Magazine)' N° 20, januari 2003
Nothing special but I thought I might add them here anyway...
 

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Are there any cockpit photos that include the instrument panel? I've yet to see one despite its declassified nature and it hanging in the US Air Force Museum.
 

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