Boeing "MicroFighter" (Bud Nelson)

overscan (PaulMM)

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Boeing Microfighter concepts
 

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Matej

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Some other Boeing pictures (not the best quality, but at least something).
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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985 series started around 1973

... in the beginning was the Boeing Microfighter. 985-1, 985-20, 985-30, 985-40, 985-121

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD529372&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
 

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Triton

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The document can also be found on the Defense Technology Information Center (DTIC) web site:

Nelson, Bud D. et al. Investigation of a Micro-Fighter/Airborne Aircraft Carrier Concept. Volume 1
Aeronautical and Information Systems Division
Boeing Aerospace Company Seattle WA
September 1973

Abstract:
The report presents the results of an exploratory investigation to determine the size, performance and feasibility of a Micro-fighter design such that a number of vehicles could be transported or air launched and recovered by a C-5 class carrier aircraft. Emphasis was placed on; identification of potential applications and requirements for a Micro-fighter airborne aircraft carrier system, determination of technology requirements for airborne launch and recovery and the technology requirements for airborne launch and recovery and the technology requirements for the Micro-fighter. The scope of investigation included evaluation of five fighter concepts and two carrier aircraft. Trade studies were performed to assess launch and recovery schemes and technology applications. Evaluation led to the definition of 1980 IOC and 1985 IOC concepts for Micro-fighter Airborne Aircraft Carrier Systems.

Handle / proxy Url: http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD529372

Though, I don't understand why we have yet another topic about Boeing Microfighters:

"Airborne Aircraft Carriers"
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,595.0/highlight,ad529372.html
 

BillRo

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FYI After he left Boeing, Bud Nelson continued his studies of small fighters at Northrop under the Compact Efficient Fighter name.

BillRo
 

flateric

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BillRo said:
FYI After he left Boeing, Bud Nelson continued his studies of small fighters at Northrop under the Compact Efficient Fighter name.
BillRo
wasn't 'Future Compact Fighter' designation used also?
 

BillRo

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That's true flateric. In that thread you can see a previous post of mine on the subject. Sometimes designs were tweaked and used on different (usually funded) IRAD studies. These were not always actual fighter design studies but sometimes as illustations for operational usage concepts etc.

BillRo
 
A

aerodog

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Regarding Hesham's micro-fighter jpg(the bottom four versions): Has there ever been a flight vehicle (fighter or otherwise) built and flown anywhere in the world - that has used the delta-type configuration with the twin outboard vertical stabilizers? And if not why not? Seems like a "killer" design - only one I could think of is HiMAT (but that not a delta) and XB-70 is, of course, not a fighter, nor are the stabs fully outboard. The configuration appears to be "not successful" for fighter designers but why would that be?
 

AeroFranz

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I suspect structures are to blame. It's easier (read: lighter) to transfer the tail loads when they're inboard. My two cents.
Oh, you might also have problems landing on a runway in crosswinds. You might end up scraping a tip.
 
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aerodog

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Aerofranz - sounds plausible to me - damn shame whatever the reasons - althought esthetics doesn't drive design, I like that configuration. Anyone have a picture of a desk model of one of those micro-fighters? The closest thing I could imagine would be chopping the vertical stab from an F-16XL and sticking twin stabs outboard... just a silly thought... but that ain't never gonna happen.
 

Retrofit

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aerodog said:
Regarding Hesham's micro-fighter jpg(the bottom four versions): Has there ever been a flight vehicle (fighter or otherwise) built and flown anywhere in the world - that has used the delta-type configuration with the twin outboard vertical stabilizers? And if not why not? Seems like a "killer" design - only one I could think of is HiMAT (but that not a delta) and XB-70 is, of course, not a fighter, nor are the stabs fully outboard. The configuration appears to be "not successful" for fighter designers but why would that be?

The Lockheed SR-71 / YF-12... but not fully outboard.
 

shedofdread

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As others have mentioned, the mass increase of the wing structure required to take the loads imposed by tip mounted fins during high-G would be the main drawback (others may include issues relating to folding wings and tip carriage of munitions). However if correctly designed, such fins would act as endplates and thus give improved cruise performance, enhanced aileron effectiveness and quite probably short field performance.
 
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aerodog

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The wing/outboard or wing/midspan duel-stab configuration seems to require some substantial structure - eg.nacelle (SR-71/YF-12), landing gear housing (XFV-12A, HiMAT), or the super-thick wide-chord wing of a spaceplane (X-20 Dynasoar).... for fighters, cons seem to outweigh pros for this configuration.
 

Jos Heyman

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Picked the enclosed picture up from Alain Pelletier's 'Boeing The Complete Story'. Would anybody have a picture of the type 908-625 that is mentioned?
 

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BAROBA

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Hi Jos,

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8711.msg133864.html#msg133864
There are links to other pages that also deal with microfighters.
It is quite a popular topic here :)

Cheers,

Rob
 

Jemiba

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;) Quite right, thank you !
 

Lauge

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aerodog said:
Regarding Hesham's micro-fighter jpg(the bottom four versions): Has there ever been a flight vehicle (fighter or otherwise) built and flown anywhere in the world - that has used the delta-type configuration with the twin outboard vertical stabilizers? And if not why not? Seems like a "killer" design - only one I could think of is HiMAT (but that not a delta) and XB-70 is, of course, not a fighter, nor are the stabs fully outboard. The configuration appears to be "not successful" for fighter designers but why would that be?

The closest thing I can think of is the Vought F7U Cutlass. An operational, even if mind-numbingly unsuccessful, carrier-based fighter, but again not a true delta, and the vertical stabilizers are approx. mid-span rather than at the wingtips.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

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Stargazer2006

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Here is a beautiful 3-view arrangement of the Boeing Model 985 Microfighter by Alain Ratineau adapted from Le Fana de l'Aviation N°509 (April 2012). That issue contains a nice four-page article on the project with three photos of wind-tunnel models and another exclusive diagram by Ratineau showing the inside arrangement of the Boeing 747 when loaded (side and top view).

images
 

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Avimimus

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What I find hardest to imagine is the armament variation which include the AIM-7 Sparrow...
 

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Avimimus said:
What I find hardest to imagine is the armament variation which include the AIM-7 Sparrow...

The report previously posted by Triton has some drawings of Sparrows on microfighters:

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/AD529372

In the drawing of the four different 1975 designs, posted earlier in this topic, it looks to me like two are carrying Sparrows. More importantly, there's a three-view of the "advanced" 1985 Boeing Model 985-121 that shows an AIM-7 on one wing and a hypothetical 1750-lb smart bomb on the other (illustrating two alternate stores, not a single loadout!). It's on page 50 of the PDF.
 

Stargazer2006

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Justo Miranda said:
Poison dÁvril? :-\

Why would it be? Of course that's what the magazine's team would have us believe... Like every year, they wait until April to offer the most offbeat and bizarre projects, so that we wonder where the "fish" is... Only here the Microfighter program is already well-known on this forum, so it's no prank! Only the artwork of course was created especially for the magazine, and enhanced by yours truly.
 

Justo Miranda

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I was doubtful.
It looked to me as if the storage system within the fuselage of the Jumbo was too extreme... :-\
 

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Having worked on a few DARPA competitions, i would have gladly traded things like "flying submarine" or "roadable aircraft" for something less reality-defying like stuffing microfighters in a jumbo! ;)
 

hesham

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A wing tunnel Microfighter model.
 

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Anderman

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It looks like a non stealthy ancestor of Boeing´s X32/JSF design :eek:
 

Stargazer2006

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No problem! The source document is lousy so it's best not to expect any miracles, but at least it's in one piece now.

Here's the next two plans reconstructed:
  • General Arrangement 1985 Point Design
  • Inboard Profile 1985 Point Design
 

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BAROBA

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Thanks for the cleanup :D
Now I really have to model one of those, don't I ?

Cheers,

Rob


Stargazer2006 said:
No problem! The source document is lousy so it's best not to expect any miracles, but at least it's in one piece now.

Here's the next two plans reconstructed:
  • General Arrangement 1985 Point Design
  • Inboard Profile 1985 Point Design
 

Triton

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Is multiple re-arming and re-sortie ability of micro fighters with an aerial mothership more advantageous than conventional fighter designs with in-flight refueling and/or external tanks?
 

Sundog

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DonaldM said:
Is multiple re-arming and re-sortie ability of micro fighters with an aerial mothership more advantageous than conventional fighter designs with in-flight refueling and/or external tanks?

I would say it would definitely depend on the mission. However, in terms of the pure fighter mission I would say that history has already answered that question. Where I think such a system could be advantageous is where one already has air superiority, if these could deliver ground ordnance, it could be a like a flying airfield CAP and have fighters ready to aid the fight on the ground with minimum response time. Or, as a self deploy-able airbase. It also would probably help with pilot fatigue. Sitting in a fighter cockpit for 14 hours is probably not the best for staying alert.

However, I think advanced systems like we're putting in UAV's/UCAV's could also be placed in fighters in the future such that, when deploying overseas, the flight crews would just ride in the tanker while the "unmanned" combat aircraft fly in formation and refuel autonomously until getting to their detachment.

The microfighter would be inexpensive, comparatively speaking, but then you add in the cost of the mothership and the size airfield you need for it to operate it out of and I'm not sure what you've gained. Plus, as Chuck noted, one good missile shot can take out your whole squadron.

The only scenario I can think of is if you have to operate continuously very far away from available airfields before the U.S. Navy can get a carrier in the area. Sort of like a rapid response carrier, but without all the capabilities of a Naval fleet.
 

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i would imagine that for those 6+ hour long duration overseas ferry flights to deploy aircraft to other countries, the fighter pilots being able to travel in an aircraft that gives them access to a toilet, kitchenette, and sleeping space might be an improvement over being stuffed in a cockpit the whole time.

though with the increase in interest in UCAV's, i could see the mothership idea being reexamined as a way to more rapidly deploy UCAV's to new warzone.
 

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mithril said:
i would imagine that for those 6+ hour long duration overseas ferry flights to deploy aircraft to other countries, the fighter pilots being able to travel in an aircraft that gives them access to a toilet, kitchenette, and sleeping space might be an improvement over being stuffed in a cockpit the whole time.
Having deployed with an AWACS squadron for DS-1, I'm not sure how much "room" would be available per-se. The AF tends to pack things rather tight. (My "seat" was surrounded on all sides with deployment bags. I would "stretch-my-legs" by standing up and STILL couldn't see over them! Of course worse was getting to the bathroom because I had to crawl up and over the stacks, then lower myself off the equipment racks and hope I wasn't stepping into anyones space while they were working :)

though with the increase in interest in UCAV's, i could see the mothership idea being reexamined as a way to more rapidly deploy UCAV's to new warzone.
I think between this and "close" air-support re-loads would be a "killer" ap for such an aircraft. Mostly because the less time between weapons on-target the better.

Randy
 

mithril

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I would imagine though that even a cramped seat and a toilet you have to climb over packs to reach would still be preferred to being stuck in a cockpit having to fly the aircraft themselves, with no toilet at all.
 

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