ACCESS: Above Top Secret
- Apr 2, 2006
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General Dynamics 1986 Supportable Fighter study (Configuration 700)
flateric said:General Dynamics 1986 Supportable Fighter study (Configuration 700)
overscan said:Dating from the late 1970s, in the earliest stages of what became ATF when the strike role was dominant. We've seen other ATS designs from e.g. Northrop but I don't recall seeing these posted.
Albert C. Piccirillo, Origins of the F-22 Raptor
This book traces the history of the ATF program and the evolution of the ATF requirements from the beginning of the program through the start of the engineering and manufacturing development.
Runner up to Lockheed and Northrop was General Dynamics, with a tailless delta design that reflected the success of the F-16XL. The dramatically serrated trailing edge has the same alignments as the leading edge of the wing. General Dynamics proposed to put two radar arrays in the leading-edge root extensions, above the inlets, and an infrared sensor in the nose. The single vertical tail, however, detracted from its all aspect stealth.
XP67_Moonbat said:And has anybody ever seen the design for "Marshmallow"?
One of two early General Dynamics candidates for ATF was a descendent of Sneaky Pete. The company, however, was not allowed to show USAF officials actual drawings of this design because of its classification. The company substituted surrogate drawings of a notional fighter that USAF officials soon dubbed the marshmallow. The real design was the starting point for all-wing studies explored in the next phase of the program.
XP67_Moonbat said:In my LEGALLY PURCHASED copy of "Warplanes Of The Future", it's stated that one of the ATF designs GD looked at was at a classification so high that USAF officials were not allowed to see it.
As a substitute, they showed drawings of a notional plane nicknamed "The Marshmallow".
I'll go out on a limb and assume that super-secret design was the Model 100 ("Sneaky Pete")? But has anybody ever seen the design for "Marshmallow"?
The General Dynamics design for the dem/val phase evolved from a variety of inputs. During the previous program phase, the company had focused on three separate families of aircraft: conventional, all-wing, and semi-tailless (denoted in the configuration studies by C, W, and T, respectively). The conventional family derived from the Model 21 designs of the previous studies. The all-wing family strove to carry Sneaky Pete's minimum observables into the supersonic regime. The semi-tailless family, which had a single vertical tail, fell in between these two extremes. After a series of internal design competitions and trades, the company went with the semi-tailless approach.
Sundog said:I've seen conflicting reports here at Secret Projects about what "Sneaky Pete" was/is. I notice that they are officially regarding the flying design as "Sneaky Pete" in those images, so is it official now, or was there a competing design from another manufacturer?
quellish said:Sundog said:I've seen conflicting reports here at Secret Projects about what "Sneaky Pete" was/is. I notice that they are officially regarding the flying design as "Sneaky Pete" in those images, so is it official now, or was there a competing design from another manufacturer?
Sneaky Pete was the nickname of the GD Model 100. During the period that USAF Aeronautical Systems Division was managing the project (likely as a demonstrator, but not confirmed) it was under the name HAVE KEY. Sneaky Pete was an active project at GD from approximately 1976-1984. There was no direct connection to HAVE BLUE, etc. - GD was running it's own VLO effort for a long time with Model 100 as the output, and ASD showed interest in it.
There was no competition for Sneaky Pete, it started out life as a contractor effort and later gained support from ASD.
donnage99 said:Ironic that while General Dynamics tried to get their design to able to fly and had to compromised themselves with a vertical tail that contributed to their downfall, Lockheed won with a unflyable design.
Colonial-Marine said:Do you mean "unflyable" as in naturally unstable or as in it would have been impossible for Lockheed to actually make their chosen design fly?
Sundog said:BTW, do we know if Sneaky Pete was actually built and flown? I've read reports as such, but I'm just wondering if it has ever been verified and I've also heard that Sneaky Pete and the Model 100 were two different aircraft.
Very insightful take on it; I never thought of it that way. However, I would have to disagree on the suggestion that the cost estimate of A-12 had been based on knowledge gained from SP/100 which they couldn't used. The cost estimate would have to come from the team that was gonna build A-12, which did not have access to the experience and knowledge of the SP/100's team. Therefore, they couldn't possibly estimate the cost based on experience gained from SP/100.quellish said:Based on the documents in this thread (and many others), the feeling you may get is that GD felt that their VLO "special sauce" was entirely in that design/configuration rather than a process like those developed by Lockheed or Northrop that could be applied to different configurations and missions. GD took the subsonic SP and tried to hammer it into the shape of a supersonic fighter.