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Boeing X-45C Phantom Ray, X-46 UCAS/UCAS-D

CammNut

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I will work this out one day...
 

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CammNut

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Found these interesting images of the completed (but never rolled out) Boeing X-45C unmanned combat air vehicle demonstrator built for the cancelled DARPA/USAF/USN J-UCAS programme. Now that Northrop has won the US Navy's UCAS-D programme with its J-UCAS demonstrator, the X-47B, it looks like the X-45N naval version will never see the light of day.
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Nice find CammNut - ever see drawings for this or the X-45?

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

yasotay

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I'm sure China would buy it... if nobody really wants it. Give us a real good deal on it too. :-\
 

CammNut

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Here is the only drawing I can find, showing the relative size of the X-45A, X-45C and F/A-18E.

Here is also a rare image of the X-45N proposed for the US Navy 's UCAS-D. Head-on it looks quite different from the X-45C. The hump ahead of the inlet is reminiscent of Northrop's X-47A Pegasus, which was based on a manned tailless aircraft design developed around the time of AFRL's FATE studies.
 

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Orionblamblam

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Mod edit: removed dead link
 

flateric

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Mark - here goes some more stuff...and visit http://www.darpa.mil/j-ucas/
 

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flateric

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....and X-46A...
 

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CammNut

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Interesting detail differences between the X-46A for UCAV-N and the later X-45N offered for UCAS-D. Attached is a crap Boeing image intended to illustrate the deck handling concept for UCAS-D, but it shows the X-45N had a different profile to the earlier X-46A.
 

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sferrin

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The X-46 tends to get buried in the shuffle with the various X-45s & X-47s.
 

flateric

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Boeing to Develop, Fly 'Phantom Ray' Technology Demonstrator

ST. LOUIS, May 08, 2009 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] plans to develop and demonstrate an unmanned flying test bed for advanced air system technologies. The internally funded program, called Phantom Ray, will use the prototype vehicle that Boeing originally developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy Joint-Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) program.
The Phantom Ray demonstrator is scheduled to make its first flight in December 2010. The aircraft will conduct 10 flights over a period of approximately six months, supporting missions that may include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; suppression of enemy air defenses; electronic attack; hunter/killer; and autonomous aerial refueling. The Boeing Phantom Works organization is employing rapid-prototyping techniques that facilitate the speed and agility needed to meet the 2010 flight schedule.
"Boeing's goals for the Phantom Ray program clearly demonstrate our commitment to rapid prototyping and are an important part of the company's efforts to be a leader in the unmanned aircraft business," said Phantom Works President Darryl Davis. "We have mobilized our assets to continue the tremendous potential we developed under J-UCAS, and now will fully demonstrate that capability."
Phantom Ray will pick up where the UCAS program left off in 2006 by further demonstrating Boeing's unmanned systems development capabilities in a fighter-sized, state-of-the-art aerospace system. The Boeing UCAS program began with the X-45A, which successfully flew 64 times from 2002 to 2005. Those flights included a demonstration exercise with two X-45A aircraft that marked the first unmanned, autonomous multivehicle flight under the control of a single pilot. Boeing also designed a larger UCAS aircraft, the X-45C, which will serve as the basis for the Phantom Ray demonstrator.
"What is particularly exciting about Phantom Ray is that we will incorporate the latest technologies into the superb X-45C airframe design," said Dave Koopersmith, vice president of Boeing Advanced Military Aircraft, a division of Phantom Works. "As we gradually expand the vehicle's flight envelope, potential users will have access to a full range of unique capabilities that only this type of autonomous platform can provide."
Lab testing for the Phantom Ray air vehicle is scheduled for late 2009, followed by ground testing and first flight in 2010.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
 

sferrin

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Nice. It'll keep Northrop honest maybe. ;)
 

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flateric

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don't forget to get new Aviation Week for exclusive Amy Butler article&photos on Phantom Ray

http://tinyurl.com/pbvpgk
http://tinyurl.com/o75sez
 

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sferrin

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flateric said:
don't forget to get new Aviation Week for exclusive Amy Butler article&photos on Phantom Ray

http://tinyurl.com/pbvpgk
http://tinyurl.com/o75sez

Alright, now I'm confused. The one I posted and the top one in your post look to have a sharper sweep angle on the leading edge thant he one in the second photo.
 

Demon Lord Razgriz

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sferrin said:
flateric said:
don't forget to get new Aviation Week for exclusive Amy Butler article&photos on Phantom Ray

http://tinyurl.com/pbvpgk
http://tinyurl.com/o75sez

Alright, now I'm confused. The one I posted and the top one in your post look to have a sharper sweep angle on the leading edge thant he one in the second photo.

It's the type of camera lens used, it's taking a wide angle view, which causes the wing sweep to seem greater than it really is..
 

donnage99

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x-45b?
 

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bobbymike

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I thought I read in Aviation Week that Boeing is going to develop with its own funds a UCAV based on a larger X-45? I will try and find the article.

Found it May 11, 2009 "Back in the Fight: Boeing's UCAV" on the cover. Now nicknamed the Phantom Ray
 

quellish

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CammNut said:
Here is the only drawing I can find, showing the relative size of the X-45A, X-45C and F/A-18E.

Here is also a rare image of the X-45N proposed for the US Navy 's UCAS-D. Head-on it looks quite different from the X-45C. The hump ahead of the inlet is reminiscent of Northrop's X-47A Pegasus, which was based on a manned tailless aircraft design developed around the time of AFRL's FATE studies.

Recently I came across several Northrop patents related to the tailless FATE aircraft. Interesting stuff.
 

Lampshade111

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What was the X-46, some sort of development of the X-45C/N?

Were there plans to fit any sort of radar capable of missile guidence to the X-45C or X-45N?
 

Andreas Parsch

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Lampshade111 said:
What was the X-46, some sort of development of the X-45C/N?
The X-46 was Boeing's design for the Navy's UCAV-N requirement (the rival was Northrop-Grumman's X-47). When the Air Force and Navy UCAV programs of the time were combined into J-UCAS, the X-46 was effectively terminated and replaced by the X-45C/N.
 

Mr London 24/7

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Boeing Phantom Works/US AFRL 1303, a UCAV with a 47° sweep angle (appears to be an X-45C genesis design):

UNINHABITED COMBAT AIR VEHICLE AERODYNAMICS:
https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/1788

Modification of the Flow Structure over a UAV Wing
for Roll Control (using Plasma-enhanced aerodynamics):
www.nd.edu/~tcorke/AIAA-2007-0884.pdf

Further offline AIAA links:
AIAA-2006-2985 Low Speed Wind Tunnel Tests on the 1303 UCAV Concept (S. McParlin, QinetiQ Ltd., Farnborough, Great Britain)
AIAA-2006-2991 Conceptual Design Studies of the 1303 Configuration (S. Woolvin, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Farnborough, Great Britain)
 

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Matej

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At least the first picture is the artists impression of the nEUROn from Sweden. You can even see the markings of the Swedish air force.
 

fightingirish

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Early models, shown at an exhibition.
 

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bobbymike

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Aviation Week article

Boeing Bullish On Phantom Ray

Mar 2, 2010

By Amy Butler

Boeing officials plan to begin taxi tests on the company’s Phantom Ray demonstrator in July, a slight delay from earlier plans, but first flight is still targeted for December 2010, according Darryl Davis, Boeing Phantom Works president.

Phantom Ray is a revived version of the defunct X-45C program. It is fully funded by Phantom Works and aimed to get Boeing designers and engineers working on unmanned combat system technology and aeronautical design elements that could be applicable to a number of future Pentagon acquisitions, including the U.S. Air Force’s unmanned MQ-X and Long-Range Strike program and the Navy’s F/A-XX future strike aircraft.

The goal is first to conduct flight worthiness tests for Phantom Ray and then enter a second phase to expand the flight envelope and, potentially, conduct automated aerial refueling trials, electronic warfare or other tests, Davis says.

The stealthy, flying wing design will be powered by a single modified General Electric F404-GE-102D engine and is designed to carry about 4,500 pounds of payload roughly 1,000 nautical miles round trip without refueling.

Availability of the stealthy exhaust system is what prompted a slight delay to the taxi tests, which were to occur in the spring. The exhaust system was needed elsewhere for a classified Defense Dept. test effort, Davis said. “That test overran its period of performance slightly and so we rewickered some things,” Davis said. “The test we were doing was not related to anything related to Long-Range Strike. It was a technology test for reliability, maintainability, durability kinds of things.”

Proprietary data on the design of the exhaust system is jointly owned by Boeing and General Electric. Davis says the exhaust system has been delivered back to St. Louis for integration onto Phantom Ray and the engine is expected in the next two months.

As the company moves forward with Phantom Ray, it appears a high-profile partnership with Lockheed Martin under a 2008 teaming agreement has stalled. The two opted to team up as a foil to Northrop Grumman, which has its stealthy B-2 and X-47 in hand.

At the time, it was widely thought that Lockheed Martin and Boeing were lagging far behind Northrop Grumman and General Atomics, maker of the Predator and Reaper families, in unmanned aircraft and in technologies that could be applied to a new bomber. Now, however, Lockheed’s work on the formerly classified RQ-170 has been exposed, revealing that the company has legs in this area. And Boeing has begun to pursue flight testing of Phantom Ray.

“Until we understand where the government is headed with the program, all the work that we had previously been doing to collaborate on [internal research and development] and technology, those things have gone into a pause mode ... and I’m not sure that the agreement will endure. And, at this point I’d say the jury is still out on what we will do,” Davis says. “I think the government in the day and age we are in probably wants more competition than less in the re-emergence of the program.”

Davis also says Boeing is well postured to be a prime in the next-generation bomber program. “Absolutely, we think we can prime and win. I can assure you the amount of investment we are making here will easily qualify us, and at one point we were the leaders in this business. So, to stay a relevant competitor in this area – that is why we chose to make this investment.”
 

Creative

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In the flightglobal article it mentions enlarged and manned Phantom Ray. Would they just move the intake to the ventral?
 

aero-engineer

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bobbymike said:
"....at one point we were the leaders in this business."

Sub-prime on B-2. Acquired Rockwell (B-1A/B).

Legacy Boeing B-52/B-50/B-47/B-29/B-17/B-9/B-1 reference?

aero-engineer
 

Sundog

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Creative said:
In the flightglobal article it mentions enlarged and manned Phantom Ray. Would they just move the intake to the ventral?

Well, if it has to be bigger it will most likely be multi-engine. For reference, just look at the images of the Northrop "B-3" that have been released. It's very much a scaled up X-47B with multi-engines.
 

sferrin

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aero-engineer said:
bobbymike said:
"....at one point we were the leaders in this business."

Sub-prime on B-2. Acquired Rockwell (B-1A/B).

Legacy Boeing B-52/B-50/B-47/B-29/B-17/B-9/B-1 reference?

aero-engineer

Probably referring to X-36/X-45. Still, I'd think it's quite a stretch for them to boast about being the leaders. That said, given that it's apparently been developed on their own dime, I wonder if Boeing would be able to market it internationally.
 

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An oldie but goodie. Here's a brief from 2002:
http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/industry/presentations/uav02freiberg.pdf

Moonbat
 

quellish

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XP67_Moonbat said:
An oldie but goodie. Here's a brief from 2002:
http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/industry/presentations/uav02freiberg.pdf

Moonbat

This is a good one, it does show the whole concept of operations that Boeing was pushing. Boeing really ran with the UCAV concept and was able to turn it into a whole different way of doing business - what to me is the real value of having a force of UCAVs. Many of the expenses of operating an air force would be greatly reduced. This document shows off Boeing's ideas for how this could work, the very ideas that most of USAF didn't seem to get.
 

GTX

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quellish said:
XP67_Moonbat said:
An oldie but goodie. Here's a brief from 2002:
http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/industry/presentations/uav02freiberg.pdf

Moonbat

This is a good one, it does show the whole concept of operations that Boeing was pushing. Boeing really ran with the UCAV concept and was able to turn it into a whole different way of doing business - what to me is the real value of having a force of UCAVs. Many of the expenses of operating an air force would be greatly reduced. This document shows off Boeing's ideas for how this could work, the very ideas that most of USAF didn't seem to get.

Agreed - if UCAVs (and indeed UAVs) were allowed to operate as part of a whole new concept of operations that exploited their attributes (e.g. not needing to have a fully trained pilot to pilot a UAV for one) there are many expenses that could be removed. Unfortunately, those who make the decisions in the Air Forces are invariably pilots with many such seeing no advantage to themselves in reducing the need for their own kind...kind of like horse borne cavalry not seeing the advantages of motorised vehicles let alone armoured ones or aircraft... ::). Sooner or later though, someone will make the leap.

Regards,

Greg
 

LowObservable

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That's interesting - the bifurcated inlet has not been seen on other Boeing UCAVs.
 
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GTX said:
Unfortunately, those who make the decisions in the Air Forces are invariably pilots with many such seeing no advantage to themselves in reducing the need for their own kind...kind of like horse borne cavalry not seeing the advantages of motorized vehicles let alone armored ones or aircraft... ::).
I think that is exactly what the problem is with the Air Force. Otherwise they would have dumped JSF and embraced the future....
 
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Ian33

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When looking at the X-46N, X-47B and the X-45C I always have to compare it to the RQ-170 exhaust - such a radical difference its amazing. A sign of just how large the age gap is between these systems possibly?

 

Sundog

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Ian33 said:
When looking at the X-46N, X-47B and the X-45C I always have to compare it to the RQ-170 exhaust - such a radical difference its amazing. A sign of just how large the age gap is between these systems possibly?

It might also just be a requirements difference. The RQ-170's design requirements, at least regarding LO, may not have been as stringent as those of the newer UCAV's.
 

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