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Lockheed CL-1980

KJ_Lesnick

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I saw a picture of the Lockheed CL-1980 Concept in a book about the F-22. The plane was a chined vehicle that vaguely resembled the blackbird except a bit smaller and had vectored thrust nozzles.

Anyone have any pictures or data on it (assuming it's not classified or anything) as can't seem to find anything useful during searches...


Kendra Lesnick
 

Skybolt

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I have a couple of drawings of the low speed tunnel model of the -1 iteration. In one are apparent some design modifications. Some other data has been published in ATF-related books, since the CL-1980 series was one of ATF preparatory studies done by Lockheed under contract from various USAF entities. BTW, there was a CL-1981 that was intended as an "escort fighter" (I assume, Fleet Defense) for the Navy, similar to 1980 with usual carrier-related modifications.
Source: Bill Slayton via Scott Lowther.
 

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flateric

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Some tiny 3-views of CL-1980 series + short description, with emphasis on NAVY as customer, were in Jay Miller's Skunk Works book's appendix.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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From what I remember that thing was to be incredibly fast and high-flying with the idea being to overfly all but the biggest SAM sites, with thrust-vectoring providing a good rate of maneuverability.

Does anybody have any idea of how fast this design was to be, what altitude it was to fly at, and what engines they planned to power it?
 

Antonio

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Another pic. It's me or it looks "scaled up" when compared with the subject in Orion's pics ???
 

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Skybolt

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Yep. Remember that the one (in two versions) depicted in the model drawings and the one in the Scott image is CL-1980-1. Probably there were other iterations.
 

Antonio

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Thanks a lot for the info. USAF and USN models from Orion's pics seem related to lightweight fighter research according to "Lockheed's Skunk Works. The First Fifty Years". (page 205 in my 1srt Edition copy). Then the scaled-up CL-1980 could have been related to ATF?
 

Skybolt

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From what I remember that thing was to be incredibly fast and high-flying with the idea being to overfly all but the biggest SAM sites, with thrust-vectoring providing a good rate of maneuverability.
mmmm, I think it is not the CL-1980, but the really FAST Mach 5 plane with four methane-burning engines depicted at page 51 of the "An Illustrated Guide to Future Fighters anc Combat Airccraft" by Bill Gunston for Salamander Books -1984. BTW, on page 52-53 is depicted the very same aircraft posted by Pome. No indication of a CL-1980 designation, though. This second design is reported of being methane-fueled too, but much slower (main structure made of aluminium, with some exposed parts in titanium)
 

Skybolt

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Correction! The one posted by Pome isn't a CL-1980 iteration, but shows strict parentage with the CL-2016, one of the configuration developed by Lockheed for the official ATF competition. This is the one shown, for example, in Aerofax F-22.
Souce: Bill Slayton via Scott Lowther.
 

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sferrin

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Skybolt said:
From what I remember that thing was to be incredibly fast and high-flying with the idea being to overfly all but the biggest SAM sites, with thrust-vectoring providing a good rate of maneuverability.
mmmm, I think it is not the CL-1980, but the really FAST Mach 5 plane with four methane-burning engines depicted at page 51 of the "An Illustrated Guide to Future Fighters anc Combat Airccraft" by Bill Gunston for Salamander Books -1984.

Little bit different. ;)
 

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Antonio

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Thank you very much for that CL-2016 pic, Skybolt. You're simply great!.

Really interesting to see that all posted projects show similar lines while being designed for different roles. Not the first time I see coming from Lockheed.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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I did know that it was a very early ATF-contender. However the capabilities of this design seem to be a bit different than the F-22's final design, probably a lot faster, and less maneuverable (although quite good for its size) I would guess. Change and adjustment of priorities one would assume.

Since this design was to be extremely fast and it's obvious resemblance to the SR-71, did this concept-plane have the same top-speed or a similar speed as the SR-71?

Kendra
 

sferrin

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KJ_Lesnick said:
I did know that it was a very early ATF-contender. However the capabilities of this design seem to be a bit different than the F-22's final design, probably a lot faster, and less maneuverable (although quite good for its size) I would guess. Change and adjustment of priorities one would assume.

Since this design was to be extremely fast and it's obvious resemblance to the SR-71, did this concept-plane have the same top-speed or a similar speed as the SR-71?

Kendra

The brief bit I remember from Gunston's Future fighters was that it wasn't all titanium like the Blackbird to keep costs down and was subsequently limited to Mach 2.8 (assuming the engines could get it there- doubt it would have used J58s)
 

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Nine airframe companies and three engine manufacturers responded to the challenge when ASD reentered the game and issued its request for information for an ATF in 1981. At this early stage in the program, the Air Force had not decided whether the new aircraft would emphasize air-to-air or air-to-ground missions. The Air Force invited industry to share ideas for a new fighter.

The companies submitted a wide range of configurations in their responses. Lockheed's response favored a derivative of the YF-12A (what most people would recognize as a single-seat SR-71). This aircraft, designed for air-to-ground missions, carried several kinetic-energy penetrator weapons in a central weapon bay. The weapons would be released at supersonic speeds at high altitudes and guided by a laser. The approach, which was worked through spring 1982, built upon technical data gathered from a series of air-to-air missile launches from the YF-12A conducted in the mid- to late-1960s. The YF-12A had fired seven Hughes AIM-47 missiles at altitudes up to 80,000 feet at speeds over Mach 3. The shots, at aerial targets at ranges of over thirty miles, were highly successful. The high-altitude, high-speed approach was also one of Lockheed's candidates for the F-X program, what became the F-15.

[...]

The proposals from most companies for the concept exploration phase showed how they would narrow down their previous approaches for achieving air superiority. This work would lead to the next phase of the program, the demonstration/validation phase, in which they would have to prove their technologies and refine their designs. Lockheed, however, took a radical departure from its high-speed, high-altitude design and started from scratch with an F-117 derivative in its proposal for the concept definition phase.
"Clearly, ATF was going to be superstealth and not a cousin of YF-12 or SR-71," explains Osborne. "I stopped the YF-12 derivative effort, and we started working on an F-117 derivative for ATF." The design submitted in the Lockheed proposal looked like a larger and elongated F-117 with some significant differences. It had a high wing rather than low wing and four tails instead of two. The inlets were placed below and behind the leading edge of the wing. The highly faceted airplane weighed around 80,000 pounds and was far from aerodynamic.

F-22 Design Evolution
Code One Magazine, April 1998, Vol.13 No.2
 

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The Balckbird-like shape was also used by Lockheed California in one of the iterations in the study for their FX submission.
 

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I've tacked up several more CL-1980 diagrams on my blog:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=1879
 

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Grey Havoc

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Does anyone have any drawings or illustrations of the CL-1981 Naval escort fighter?
 

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