I like that second graphic that shows the various configurations together. I find that FB-22-1 interesting as well. By widening it they keep the propulsion system (nozzle and inlet and their integration) the same. it's sort of like a Flankerized Raptor, in terms of configuration layout. I wonder, when there were reports of the tailless version, were people referring to what we see above without the horizontal tails, or was there actually a version without the vertical tails? I saw the artwork in Popular Science/Popular Mechanics, but since it was reportedly based on what they heard, I wonder if it was just a mis-interpretation of the latter large delta-wing designs?
There have been so many FB-22 versions, I just wanted to be sure which was true. It is a shame they didn't build the X-44 Manta, but, for all know, something similar could have already been flying that we don't know about. Although I'm guessing that when references were made to a tailless fighter flying out at Groom lake during the late 90's they were referring to the BoP.
I seriously warmed up to the "FB-22" in tandem, tailed form.
Considering the USAF's 2018 interim bomber requirement, now deemed a manned and subsonic craft of 2000nm range and 18-24k payload, wouldn't a Raptor development seem the best? Capable of the range/payload requirement, manned, and feasible from a production model.
The Air Force seems to have settled upon, ultimately and after much prediction, a more regional/medium type aircraft versus a true strategic platform for this requirement. Building of off a capable and proven design seems the way to go.
Realy great pics CammNut, especialy the one showing the evolution.
Its really the one that answers best the original ATF requirements dated somewhat before 1981. Definitely a Air-to-Air and a Strike model merged. Being able to carry even the GBU-37 internally is awesome tactical advantage. However it would have been the most expensive one, due to both widening and lengthtening all 3 fuzelage sections which is by far the most expensive way to add capability. This aircraft featured would not have featured significant range improvement which has become the #1 top priority requirement of the USAF since Afghanistan. However it will probably retain most of the maneuvering envelope and speed capabilities.
My guess is that is a configuration from dates to the period 1995-2001,It could have been a fallback configuration should the USAF decide that the basic F-22 was now sufficiently multirole and being able to carry significant A2G stores internally. A really great find if it is genuine.
That one is definitely the one which Bill Sweetman based his Popular Mechanics article about the Raptor as a Bomber. We can already see the emphasis on the A2G mission at the expence of the maneuverability. Spurred probably from the experience in Afganistan in 2001. LM have desided than widening the fuselage drives the cost excessively. Also as the FB-22-2 version is considered as replacements for the F-15E/F-117 only, it placed greater emphasis on the range, and payload but the Supercruise speed is kept the same. This aircraft is analogous to the FB-23 RTA submission by Northrop. Development cost is moderate.
When the FB-22 concept was first revealed, LM talked about several configuration that answered different requirements. This one is from the same time as the FB-22-2 but it pointed the FB-22 development in a new direction. Additional Speed was traded for more range and it kept the cost down by keeping the fuselage of the aircraft the same. Only the wings are totally new. I believe this is the version referred to have the Mach 1.5 dash capabilities. The engine nozzles however should be F135 like as seen in the desktop model picture.
Development cost is low.
As the USAF refined its new Bomber requirements, it became it became obvious that additionl range and payload was required if the FB-22 can meet them. I believe this version first introduced the concept of the stealthy external wing pod which in my opinion is only thing that will see light some day. Development cost is still kept low
USAF officials have confirmed that if the FB-22 is someday developed it will not be as part of the new long range strike platform.
I cannot confirm or deny this ...)) Although I wish it was true
BTW, just had a thought. I remember reading somewhere that the F-22 SDB internal carriage capacity could be increased in the future from 8 to 12. I could not figure it out at the time. Then CammNutt comments on one of the FB-22 pictures shed the light on it.
The FB-22 has the same fuselage as the F-22, hence the same sidebays. However it features low cost (my guess) improvements enabling it to carry 2 SBDs in the place of each AIM-9X.
I bet that this is some sort of trapeze launcher capable of carried 2 SBDs side by side. I also bet that it can be retrofitted to the standard F-22s as a block upgrade. All in all I suspect that the sidebays of the F-22 are will see great changes in future. Right now they enclose as much as a 1/3rd of the total internal stores volume, yet they carry only 1/10th of the internal weapons weight.
CammNut FB-22 stores diagram showing them rated at 1200 lbs could be close to the truth.
Right now I just work in a Kitchen and Amusement park for an average of 85 hours per week in hot Alabama.
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Grigo, Interesting find.
It just ,that's one hell of a way to give birth to rumours
IMHO, if I have to be realistic, this move on LM part is probably simply to funnel all interested in its developments to its main website.
Given the current US administration view of the F-22, waiting for and FB-22 to come up again by anybody would be daydreaming
I still hope they will introduce those Stealthy weapons pods in the F-22 one day, though