Grumman Pre-ATF & ATF Studies

overscan

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First a whole load of concepts from 1979.

A "high mach" supersonic cruise optimised fighter

Sources:
Aviation Week & Space Technology Jan 17 1979
TsAGI Technical Briefing on ATF Program, 1984
Internet
Michael J Taylor -Jet Warplanes, The Twenty First Century
 

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overscan

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Similar to the above but canard delta. Identified as "Advanced Design Composite Aircraft", with 80% composite structure, weighing 25% less, costing 20% less and saving 30% on fuel over a conventional fighter, from Grumman advert in Flight International 2 Sept 1978.
 

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overscan

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Thanks for those drawings, Scott. Top stuff.

The TsAGI technical bulletins I downloaded from the internet are pretty low quality, but they do nicely sum up everything that was in the open source press about US programs, including references to the source articles. For example, in here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111.0

I've posted the references for the ATF article, which could be useful for tracking down the original source materials.

Paul.
 

sferrin

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ISTR these were the order the companies were ranked when they narrowed it from 7 to 4

Lockheed
Northrop
General Dynamics
Boeing
McDonnell Douglas (apparently they raided Lockheed for stealth expertise)
Rockwell International & Grumman brought up the rear but I don't know the order. As one person in the decision chain put it "We had a couple very good proposals, a few pretty good ones and the rest just didn't seem to get it."

Anyway here's a couple Grumman (probably been here before but this seems to be a good place for them so all the companies are covered)
 

sferrin

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overscan said:
Identified as "Advanced Design Composite Aircraft", with 80% composite structure, weighing 25% less, costing 20% less and saving 30% on fuel over a conventional fighter, from Grumman advert in Flight International 2 Sept 1978.
Those wingtip fuel tanks remind me of spaceships from the 50s :)
 

overscan

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So exactly happened at Grumman? Did the F-14 engineers all leave or something? Their ATF bids were pretty rubbish...
 

sferrin

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overscan said:
So exactly happened at Grumman? Did the F-14 engineers all leave or something? Their ATF bids were pretty rubbish...
This is just speculation on my part and not strictly speaking about Grumman but when stealth came to the forfront with the ATF it left some companies in a bind it would seem. Lockheed of course had a lot of experience and Northrop was right there too. Convair (General Dynamics) had experience going back to Kingfish at the least. And those were the 1, 2, and 3 positions on the first downselect when they went from 7 to 4. I don't know where Boeing got their stealth experience ( position 4), supposedly McDonnell hired some Lockeed individuals away and presumably their non-competition agreements ran out (I don't know how that would apply to privilaged/classified info they had in their heads though) and they came in 5th. AFAIK Grumman and Rockwell International have never been involved in any stealth programs which would kinda leave them out in the cold. Looking at the Rockwell submission I'm reminded of the concepts of the day that were floating around for public consumption and that one fits right in. As it turns out features that you typically find on stealth aircraft are nowhere to be seen. I'm guessing Grumman and Rockwell were the ones who "just didn't get it" which is unfortunate but those are the breaks I suppose.
 

elmayerle

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For what it's worth, I understand that Northrop's interest in "stealth" goes back to roughly 1964 when they started an in-depth look at why the Snark was so difficult to track on radar.
 

Trident

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sferrin said:
overscan said:
So exactly happened at Grumman? Did the F-14 engineers all leave or something? Their ATF bids were pretty rubbish...
This is just speculation on my part and not strictly speaking about Grumman but when stealth came to the forfront with the ATF it left some companies in a bind it would seem. Lockheed of course had a lot of experience and Northrop was right there too. Convair (General Dynamics) had experience going back to Kingfish at the least. And those were the 1, 2, and 3 positions on the first downselect when they went from 7 to 4. I don't know where Boeing got their stealth experience ( position 4), supposedly McDonnell hired some Lockeed individuals away and presumably their non-competition agreements ran out (I don't know how that would apply to privilaged/classified info they had in their heads though) and they came in 5th. AFAIK Grumman and Rockwell International have never been involved in any stealth programs which would kinda leave them out in the cold. Looking at the Rockwell submission I'm reminded of the concepts of the day that were floating around for public consumption and that one fits right in. As it turns out features that you typically find on stealth aircraft are nowhere to be seen. I'm guessing Grumman and Rockwell were the ones who "just didn't get it" which is unfortunate but those are the breaks I suppose.
Sounds reasonable, but wouldn't Rockwell have had a fair bit of LO experience with the B-1B?
 

sferrin

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Sounds reasonable, but wouldn't Rockwell have had a fair bit of LO experience with the B-1B?
True but on on the B-1B the efforts seem to consist mainly of RAM and hiding the compressor faces which the Rockwell entry probably had but that seems to be about it. You didn't see edge-alignment in there and I wouldn't be surprised if Lockheed's and Northrop's RAM and RAS technology were ahead of Rockwell's by a generation or two. Obviously this is all just speculation but that quote earlier about some "just not getting it" would seem to indicate that Rockwell and Grumman missed the mark completely. Which doesn't neccessarily mean they were horrible by the standards of the day in other regards such as performance, manueverability etc. but if they came in with say an RCS of 0.001m^2 and Lockheed, Northrop, and GD were around 0.00001m^2 that's a huge difference.
 

sferrin

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elmayerle said:
For what it's worth, I understand that Northrop's interest in "stealth" goes back to roughly 1964 when they started an in-depth look at why the Snark was so difficult to track on radar.
Maybe even earlier than that. They'd noticed the B-49 was pretty small on the radar of the day too, particularly from head on.
 

elmayerle

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sferrin said:
elmayerle said:
For what it's worth, I understand that Northrop's interest in "stealth" goes back to roughly 1964 when they started an in-depth look at why the Snark was so difficult to track on radar.
Maybe even earlier than that. They'd noticed the B-49 was pretty small on the radar of the day too, particularly from head on.
True, but all the papers and other materials I read while there indicate that the experience with the Snark was the real start of a strong interest on their part. That matches what T.V. Jones claimed in one talk.
 

Deino

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Just another question reagrding Grumman's pre-ATF studies !

Does anyone know anything about concepts / studies not directly related to the pre-ATF-aera ... only between F-X & FV-X and the later ATF-concepts ?? ???

Cheers, Deino
 

rousseau

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I also think that many FX, VFX and ATF project are same category. There is no any superior parts I can seen ccompare with F-X or VFX. ???
 

hs1216

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Grumman lost because they little experince with stealth tech, also they had not build a Airforce fighter in years.
 

flateric

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First three illustrations of 'The Grumman Research Fighter' (design by Nathan Kirschbaum) from
"Configuration Development of Advanced Fighters”
by Paul Bavitz, N. Kirschbaum. et al.,
AFWAL-TR-80-3142, Nov. 1980
 

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flateric

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Scott, it's so much fictional as should be its sizes. I've only have seen two artist's renderings posted here. That's all.
 

overscan

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Never seen it in anything official like AIAA report or suchlike, only those 2 pics in contemporary books and magazines. Looks fairly large to judge from the cockpit size. I *think* that the second pic, that flateric posted, might be of a model photographed (and built?) by Erik Simonsen for Bill Yenne's "WARPLANES OF THE 21ST CENTURY".
 

flateric

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Extended version of the drawing with a tiny side view.
 

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Deino

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Hey ... a future modelling project for Scott !!??

Cheer, Deino
 

overscan

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Added some additional images to the posts at the beginning of this topic.
 
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