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Delta wing F-16s: SCAMP, F-16XL, Falcon 21 and more

sferrin

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Sundog said:
sferrin said:
Sundog said:
It had great super-cruise performance, however, there are other factors, such as maneuvering requirements,

Where did you hear it could cruise supersonically dry and was lacking in manueverability?

See attached:

Maneuverability is a relative term. I didn't say it wasn't maneuverable, I said in all metrics for modern fighter aircraft, maneuverability being one of them, the cranked arrow wing comes up short. If it was so much better than all of the others, you would have seen it on ATF designs and JSF designs, etc. The evidence speaks for itself.

Did you look at the graphs? It blew the standard F-16 out of the water in the manueverability department. (Which is no small thing.) I suspect, with all of it's curves, if it came up short it would be in the area of RCS.
 

Sundog

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sferrin said:
Sundog said:
sferrin said:
Sundog said:
It had great super-cruise performance, however, there are other factors, such as maneuvering requirements,

Where did you hear it could cruise supersonically dry and was lacking in manueverability?

See attached:

Maneuverability is a relative term. I didn't say it wasn't maneuverable, I said in all metrics for modern fighter aircraft, maneuverability being one of them, the cranked arrow wing comes up short. If it was so much better than all of the others, you would have seen it on ATF designs and JSF designs, etc. The evidence speaks for itself.

Did you look at the graphs? It blew the standard F-16 out of the water in the manueverability department. (Which is no small thing.) I suspect, with all of it's curves, if it came up short it would be in the area of RCS.

I thought the standard F-16 still had a better sustained turn rate? But I was shocked at what the XL was capable of performing in the graphs you posted. I also agree about the RCS problem with it. Also, it's probably more expensive to build than the other wing planforms. It's still my favorite F-16 design as well.
 

earlm

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Isn't the XL capable of 9g supersonic? Also, is there any speculation as to why this planform is inferior to the others slescted for JSF? My guesses are RCS which we can't really get figures on, and subsonic cruise. However, shouldn't the sheer size of this wing give a low enough loading to be good?
 

Abraham Gubler

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sferrin said:
Did you look at the graphs? It blew the standard F-16 out of the water in the manueverability department. (Which is no small thing.) I suspect, with all of it's curves, if it came up short it would be in the area of RCS.

Despite having a much bigger wing with a lot more surface to reflect the RCS of the F-16XL was lower than that of normal F-16s (Source USAF Comd Aero Sys Div *). Also when carrying bombs conformlly it would have been much lower than a F-16 with similar on MERs.

* http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1983/November%201983/1183f16xl.aspx
 

Sundog

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Just as an aside, the July issue of Aircraft magazine has an excellent article on the Strike Eagle. In it is a small part on the "fly-off." It's pointed out in that article that

a) The F-15E in the fly-off was a full up Strike Eagle with all of the systems, the F-16XL was just a shell, it didn't have all of the required systems.
b) There were many in the Pentagon, reportedly, who still hated the LWF mafia and weren't interested in another F-16.
c) It then states the Strike Eagle was clearly better.

However, based on the whole article, mainly being that that the Strike Eagle was the Air Force's idea to begin with, I got that there was no way the F-16XL was going to win. I found the whole article interesting for as much about the Strike Eagle as also all of the internal politics within the Air Force just over one aircraft program. The article also states that the F-15 with the CFT's has better high alpha performance than without, which was interesting.

But it seems more and more obvious to me that the USAF wasn't going to buy XL's unless congress forced them to buy them. Which, as I've said before is dumb, because it would have been a better bomb truck than the standard F-16. Of course, when it comes to the USAF and bomb trucks, we're still waiting for F-14D's take on the YA-7F program. ;)
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sundog said:
The article also states that the F-15 with the CFT's has better high alpha performance than without, which was interesting.

The CFTs *reduce* the subsonic (Mach <0.9) drag of an F-15 by about 0.1-0.2 sqft. So it is going to fly better across the subsonic envelope.
 

LowObservable

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My understanding at the time was that, as promising as the XL was, the two-seat version did not match the range/payload of the F-15E. Also, it really needed the Increased Performance Engine but the USAF was not out of the woods on the basic F100 at the time, and saw that as high risk.

And when GD/Lockheed revisited the XL idea with the F-16U, they went with an F-22-like delta wing. Opinions varied on the wisdom of doing this, but the cranked arrow was indeed designed for supercruise (the blunt-edged inner section was inside the shock and the sharp-edged outer panels were not) and the F-22 wing was considered better overall - including signatures.

The LOAN nozzle and diverterless inlet, by the way, could be seen on delta F-16 models in the mid-90s.

The delta was considered seriously in the early 1990s. First, the USAF was evaluating whether it would make more sense than what was then MRF, under an initiative called "rollover-plus" - basically, complementing the F-22 with highly updated F-16s and F-15s. Second, the UAE was very serious about the jet in 1995-96 but wanted the USAF to buy at least a wing of them as well.

But this would have conflicted with the masterly plan to force the USAF and USN to base their future fighters on a Marine STOVL jet.
 

AeroFranz

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If they ever did, they must have known that it would require a complete redesign. I don't think you would be able to keep much more than the cockpit and nose.
 

frank

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Had they done so, it'd probably been something like this.
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/row/idf.htm

AeroFranz said:
If they ever did, they must have known that it would require a complete redesign. I don't think you would be able to keep much more than the cockpit and nose.
 

flateric

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many spectacular F-16XL pics, many unseen before
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/gallery_slideshow.html?item_id=63
 

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I am not an aerospace engineer or aerodynamicist but sometimes it seems from a design perspective we are going backwards. The F-16XL sure was a nice looking and capable airplane.
 

Abraham Gubler

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bobbymike said:
I am not an aerospace engineer or aerodynamicist but sometimes it seems from a design perspective we are going backwards.

No we are changing our priorities based on the constant and evolving re-appreciation of what contributes to lethality and survivability on the battlefield. When the F-16XL was designed the best thing for lethality/survivability was speed and agility. Now the best thing is low observableness and situational awareness. Which is why the F-35 looks like a toad compared to the F-16XL except on the threat’s radar screens and in its own cockpit. That ‘inner beauty’ is far more important.
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
many spectacular F-16XL pics, many unseen before
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/gallery_slideshow.html?item_id=63

New ones of the F-35 as well (the wing on the C from above rear makes the engine nozzle look tiny).
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Attached the F-16XL shots from CodeOne magazine. Great stuff.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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overscan (PaulMM)

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Last 3.
 

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Loon

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I remember the original XL was an experiment, like the CCV. It offered double the range/double the load over the stock F-16. The F-16 offered a proven fly by wire system and structure that could be modified to different configurations.
The two seat F 110 engined F-16XL was a long shot at best, it was still experimental. It would have taken more time to develop where the F-15 was a known animal.
There was some talk about remanufacturing a certain number of F-16s to XLs. I think it would have given a very interesting capability, F-16s with late model XLs for longer missions.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Always thought the F-16XL was a great looking aircraft. The thought would have enraged the proponents of the original LWF concept, but was it ever considered to produce the F-16XL as the successor to the standard F-16? Somewhat like new production Super Hornet supplementing older basic Hornets while the Navy waits for the F-35C?
 

Sundog

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Actually, based on the latest info I've read on the Strike Eagle program is that one of the reasons the Strike Eagle won, besides the fact that it was an operational bird and not a demonstrator like the XL, is that they didn't like the LWF mafia and just saw the XL as more of their meddling.
 

vajt

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Would have loved to seen the F-16XL and YF-23 gone to production. :-\

-----JT-----
 

F-14D

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Sundog said:
Actually, based on the latest info I've read on the Strike Eagle program is that one of the reasons the Strike Eagle won, besides the fact that it was an operational bird and jost a demonstrator like the XL is that they didn't like the LWF mafia and just saw the XL as more of their meddling.

I would think that the F-16E (the XL was the supersonic cruise demonstrator program, the strike versions would have been the E & F) would have, as someone mentioned made the LWF folks angry and so would be a point in its favor within AF hierarchy.

Actually, I believe the reason was more mundane. AF had a requirement for an eventual replacement of the F-111 (the original replacement, the B-1A, was canceled by President Peanut). Congress said this was fine and to ahead with the ETF (Enhanced Tactical Fighter) program. But they put one significant constraint on the idea: The ETFs would come out of the already authorized production totals of whoever won. Therefore, the relative costs of the two aircraft was not as important as the delta between the C/D version and the E/F of the respective aircraft.

MDD and Hughes had already been working on such a concept. The F-15 required much less modification, basically stronger landing gear, certification of the already developed conformal fuel tanks, sensor mounts, some revision of the rear cockpit (singe seat versions of both ETF proposals had been dropped) and weapons clearance trials. It was larger and could accommodate more growth. Also, while more power would definitely be needed to realize its full potential, it could get by with the existing Pratts. The F-16E would require much more design and development and definitely need an engine with the power of the F110 from the get-go. Reports indicate that development cost of the Strike Eagle would be 40% less than that of a Strike Falcon, and the cost difference between a Strike and regular Eagle was significantly less than that of its Falcon counterparts (remember the constraint that you get the same number of respective airframes regardless of whether it's a"Strike" or not).

So what it came down to was that under the constraints they were operating under, besides the other advantages, the Strike Eagle was cheaper.
 

Sundog

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F-14D said:
Sundog said:
Actually, based on the latest info I've read on the Strike Eagle program is that one of the reasons the Strike Eagle won, besides the fact that it was an operational bird and jost a demonstrator like the XL is that they didn't like the LWF mafia and just saw the XL as more of their meddling.

I would think that the F-16E (the XL was the supersonic cruise demonstrator program, the strike versions would have been the E & F) would have, as someone mentioned made the LWF folks angry and so would be a point in its favor within AF hierarchy.

Actually, I believe the reason was more mundane. AF had a requirement for an eventual replacement of the F-111 (the original replacement, the B-1A, was canceled by President Peanut). Congress said this was fine and to ahead with the ETF (Enhanced Tactical Fighter) program. But they put one significant constraint on the idea: The ETFs would come out of the already authorized production totals of whoever won. Therefore, the relative costs of the two aircraft was not as important as the delta between the C/D version and the E/F of the respective aircraft.

MDD and Hughes had already been working on such a concept. The F-15 required much less modification, basically stronger landing gear, certification of the already developed conformal fuel tanks, sensor mounts, some revision of the rear cockpit (singe seat versions of both ETF proposals had been dropped) and weapons clearance trials. It was larger and could accommodate more growth. Also, while more power would definitely be needed to realize its full potential, it could get by with the existing Pratts. The F-16E would require much more design and development and definitely need an engine with the power of the F110 from the get-go. Reports indicate that development cost of the Strike Eagle would be 40% less than that of a Strike Falcon, and the cost difference between a Strike and regular Eagle was significantly less than that of its Falcon counterparts (remember the constraint that you get the same number of respective airframes regardless of whether it's a"Strike" or not).

So what it came down to was that under the constraints they were operating under, besides the other advantages, the Strike Eagle was cheaper.

Partly, though, that comes back down to the mission and the "mission" was designed more around the Strike Eagle than it was the F-16XL (E). Also, it was the Air Force itself that was pushing the for the "Strike Eagle" and they literally had to talk MDD into actually building the prototype.

Having said that, the F-15E was always going to be better. Larger fighters are always better due to greater capability and room for more growth. The only reason you usually buy a smaller fighter is to save money.

The F-16XL only made sense to me to replace current F-16 production, since the USAF likes a long range bomb truck at the lower end, which is how they mostly use the F-16. Of course, the F-16 finally became that aircraft with CFT's. But they could have had that earlier with the YA-7F (But it wasn't an F-16).

Of course, veering a little off topic, now that they want a replacement for the T-38, a derated F-16 makes complete sense for that mission. Remove most of the mission capability you don't need for training, remove the A/B as the dry thrust of today's improved F-100/F-110 on a lighter F-16 should be more than enough for what they need for supersonic training. But the F-16 is no longer new and could go into production much quicker than a competitor, be built in the U.S. and the only real other supersonic trainer option is the Korean/LM T-50. So it probably won't be offered. Except maybe from Boeing ;) (I know it's built by LM, that was just a ref to Boeing's smart play to offer upgraded variants of existing products).

BTW, does the USAF have any CFT equipped F-16s? To the best of my knowledge the answer is no, but someone in my hobby club was saying they do. I've yet to find any evidence to support that notion.
 

Triton

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From Wikipedia:
Original development team for F-16 SCAMP Model 400, later designated F-16XL. Pictured from left to right: Harry Hillaker, Program Manager; Andrew Lewis, Aerodynamics; Kenny Barnes, Stability and Control; Jim Gordon, Program Engineer. Circa 1978.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scamp_team1.jpg
 

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F-14D

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Sundog said:
F-14D said:
Sundog said:
Actually, based on the latest info I've read on the Strike Eagle program is that one of the reasons the Strike Eagle won, besides the fact that it was an operational bird and jost a demonstrator like the XL is that they didn't like the LWF mafia and just saw the XL as more of their meddling.

I would think that the F-16E (the XL was the supersonic cruise demonstrator program, the strike versions would have been the E & F) would have, as someone mentioned made the LWF folks angry and so would be a point in its favor within AF hierarchy.

Actually, I believe the reason was more mundane. AF had a requirement for an eventual replacement of the F-111 (the original replacement, the B-1A, was canceled by President Peanut). Congress said this was fine and to ahead with the ETF (Enhanced Tactical Fighter) program. But they put one significant constraint on the idea: The ETFs would come out of the already authorized production totals of whoever won. Therefore, the relative costs of the two aircraft was not as important as the delta between the C/D version and the E/F of the respective aircraft.

MDD and Hughes had already been working on such a concept. The F-15 required much less modification, basically stronger landing gear, certification of the already developed conformal fuel tanks, sensor mounts, some revision of the rear cockpit (singe seat versions of both ETF proposals had been dropped) and weapons clearance trials. It was larger and could accommodate more growth. Also, while more power would definitely be needed to realize its full potential, it could get by with the existing Pratts. The F-16E would require much more design and development and definitely need an engine with the power of the F110 from the get-go. Reports indicate that development cost of the Strike Eagle would be 40% less than that of a Strike Falcon, and the cost difference between a Strike and regular Eagle was significantly less than that of its Falcon counterparts (remember the constraint that you get the same number of respective airframes regardless of whether it's a"Strike" or not).

So what it came down to was that under the constraints they were operating under, besides the other advantages, the Strike Eagle was cheaper.

Partly, though, that comes back down to the mission and the "mission" was designed more around the Strike Eagle than it was the F-16XL (E). Also, it was the Air Force itself that was pushing the for the "Strike Eagle" and they literally had to talk MDD into actually building the prototype.

Having said that, the F-15E was always going to be better. Larger fighters are always better due to greater capability and room for more growth. The only reason you usually buy a smaller fighter is to save money.

The F-16XL only made sense to me to replace current F-16 production, since the USAF likes a long range bomb truck at the lower end, which is how they mostly use the F-16. Of course, the F-16 finally became that aircraft with CFT's. But they could have had that earlier with the YA-7F (But it wasn't an F-16).

Of course, veering a little off topic, now that they want a replacement for the T-38, a derated F-16 makes complete sense for that mission. Remove most of the mission capability you don't need for training, remove the A/B as the dry thrust of today's improved F-100/F-110 on a lighter F-16 should be more than enough for what they need for supersonic training. But the F-16 is no longer new and could go into production much quicker than a competitor, be built in the U.S. and the only real other supersonic trainer option is the Korean/LM T-50. So it probably won't be offered. Except maybe from Boeing ;) (I know it's built by LM, that was just a ref to Boeing's smart play to offer upgraded variants of existing products).

BTW, does the USAF have any CFT equipped F-16s? To the best of my knowledge the answer is no, but someone in my hobby club was saying they do. I've yet to find any evidence to support that notion.


MDD and Hughes actually started work on a strike version of the Eagle in as a private venture in 1979, two years or so before AF started the ETF competition. I'd be interested in hearing more about MDD reluctance to building a prototype, since genreally contractors tend to cooperate when they hear the words, "Here's money, go do it". They first demonstrated brassboard Strike Eagle features with a bailed back F-15 form USAF. This illustrates one of the advantages they had, that most of the aerodynamic related questions could be answered with existing Eagles, whereas the F-16 would require either dedicated prototypes build from scratch or extensive modification to bailed back aircraft which would not necessarily tell you everything you need to know (using the XLs wouldn't be as effective as a more optimized development bird). I also neglected to mention that unlike the F-15E, the Strike Falcon would have some issues as to which stations could be used when; for example carrying a weapon on the wet/heavy station under each wing blocked use of two of the other stations. If you carried a fuel tank, an additional weapons station was blocked.

Regarding Conformal Fuel Tanks, they were first tested on a Block 30 F-16C in 2001 or thereabouts., but not adopted by USAF. Another version, the F-16ES- sort of a "Strike Falcon lite" (regular wings, etc.), had CFTs and was proposed to Israel in competition with the Strike Eagle, which the latter won. Knowledge gained through it was applied to later Falcon marks which used CFTs. An enhancement to the Block 50/52s is the 50/52 plus. These can use CFTS and I believe both the Israeli and Greek ones use them at times. The ultimate Falcon, the Block 60, now designated the F-16E/F, always uses them in service.

To my knowledge, the only ones we'd see here in the US would be ones owned by foreign customers that are here for testing or training.
 

Triton

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Triton

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Wind tunnel model of General Dynamics SCAMP (Supersonic Cruise and Maneuver Prototype) circa 1978.

Source:
http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Additional_Photos_for_Unitary_and_Continuous-Flow_Hypersonic_Tunnels_4#SCAMP
 

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Triton

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Wind tunnel model of General Dynamics SCAMP (Supersonic Cruise and Maneuver Prototype) circa 1979.

Source:
http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Additional_Photos_for_Unitary_and_Continuous-Flow_Hypersonic_Tunnels_4#Other
 

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flateric

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INTRODUCTION TO AERONAUTICS: A DESIGN PERSPECTIVE (see the original article for more illustrations)
CHAPTER 9: CASE STUDIES AND FUTURE AIRCRAFT DESIGNS

9.4 CASE STUDY #3: THE EVOLUTION OF THE F-16

Hillaker noted that in 1974, General Dynamics embarked on a Supersonic Cruise and Maneuver Program (SCAMP) to develop a supersonic cruise derivative of the F-16. The “supercruiser” concept envisioned optimization at supersonic cruise lift conditions so that sustained cruise speeds on dry power (nonafterburner power) could be achieved in the Mach 1.2 to 1.3 speed range. Trade-offs to the aerodynamics required for supersonic cruise, subsonic cruise, and maneuvering flight were explored. The goal was to arrive at a design that would offer at least a 50% increase in the supersonic lift-to-drag ratio (L/D), that would retain a high subsonic L/D ratio, and that would provide the level of maneuverability of a fighter.
 

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Triton

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General Dynamics F-16XL model manufactured by Precise found on eBay.

URL:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECISE-GENERAL-DYNAMICS-1-72ND-F-16XL-DISPLAY-DESK-MODEL-VERY-RARE-MIB-/170892998151?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27ca043607
 

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hesham

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I found this General Dynamics design,with a strake-wing concept,as they said;
it was developed from F-16 and F-16XL,a design with a highly-swept cranked
wing;


Organized vortical flow was successfully employed in the 1960's by SAA'3 of Sweden in
their closely-coupled canard-wing Viggen aircraft. This arrangement used a canard with
trailing-edge flaps to control the aircraft and to delay gross upper surface separation
on the wing. The latter occurred through a favorable interaction with the stable canard
tip vortex and led to a more maneuverable aircraft at higher angles of attack. In the
1970's and into the 1980's the concept of using a trailing vortex system to control the
flow on the main winy upper surface downstream was extended to include the direct lift
benefits from the forward surface, e.g., strake, and has been incorporated into the F-16,
F-18 and F-16XL aircraft (see fig. 2). This type of flow may be generated along the
leading and/or side edge of a strake or the inner portion of a highly-swept cranked
wing. The latter can be thought of as an extension of the off-design (and perhaps even
on-design) vortex flow present on the Concorde (ref. 3).


http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a192214.pdf
 

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Triton

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General Dynamics F-16XL model found on eBay.

Source:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-16-XL-with-Bombs-Factory-Model-/320984804209?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abc2f6b71
 

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