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NATF: planned Navy versions of the F-22 and F-23

Sundog

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According to my calculations, the NATF is approx 62.5' in length.

I guess-timated it, by referencing the detail forward fuse pic Scott had posted earlier with the smaller pic of the over all configuration and figured out the halfway point of the fuselage and marked that on the detailed forward fuselage image. I then matched it's scale with that of the F-23A blueprint Overscan had posted in the YF-23 thread until their canopies and windscreens matched when I overlayed them. Then comparing that length with the F-23A's is how I arrived at the length. It actually came out to 62'-4.5", but I know my calc method wasn't that accurate, hence, 62.5'. ;) Of course my scaling isn't even that accurate, so it's length may be a little less at exactly the same length as a Tomcat. Anyway, you guys get the point.

Also, has anyone seen performance specs for the NATF. I'm just curious if it was supposed to be able to supercruise and at what Mach number?
 

Abraham Gubler

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lantinian said:
The comparison is really telling however i do believe you have gotten the sizes wrong. It cannot be that big. AG Can you please post a size comparison of the NATF-23 and the F-23A or the YF-23?
The "miniNATF-23.gif" picture that Scott uploaded earlier as a very nice teaser has a 10 foot scale bar in the lower right hand corner. According to this the NATF-23 is 74 feet in length. The resolution is very low so *it* could be a different scale but the scale bar clearly has ten marks and the half way point is a single numeral (5) with the full length being two numerals (10).
 

Sundog

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Orionblamblam said:
Sundog said:
According to my calculations, the NATF is approx 62.5' in length.
You're way off.

It's actually 62.71 feet.
Well, I do need my Mk.1a eyeballs recalibrated, so that may be it. ;D
 

Abraham Gubler

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Here is a re-sized NATF-23 on a CVN-68 deck with a few other aircraft. It now fits in the elevator - just - at the 60 foot length. Because so much of the wings fold the spot factor looks pretty good.
 

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Sundog

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Thanks AG,
That's a very cool image. :)
 

sferrin

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Abraham Gubler said:
Here is a re-sized NATF-23 on a CVN-68 deck with a few other aircraft. It now fits in the elevator - just - at the 60 foot length.
Er,. . the A-5 Vigilante was 76 ft long and they didn't seem to have a problem. ???
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Sundog said:
Orionblamblam said:
Sundog said:
According to my calculations, the NATF is approx 62.5' in length.
You're way off.

It's actually 62.71 feet.
Well, I do need my Mk.1a eyeballs recalibrated, so that may be it. ;D
I think Scott was joking. With that kind of calculation, you did pretty well to get that close.
 

Sundog

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overscan said:
Sundog said:
Orionblamblam said:
Sundog said:
According to my calculations, the NATF is approx 62.5' in length.
You're way off.

It's actually 62.71 feet.
Well, I do need my Mk.1a eyeballs recalibrated, so that may be it. ;D
I think Scott was joking. With that kind of calculation, you did pretty well to get that close.
I took it as a joke. We used to do that at work when measuring to thousandths of an inch, joking about how accurate our eyeballs could measure just by looking at the part. So when I saw how close I was, that's where my reply came from. ;)
 

Abraham Gubler

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sferrin said:
Er,. . the A-5 Vigilante was 76 ft long and they didn't seem to have a problem. ???
The key dimension for deck edge elevators is length from nose to back of main gear. When I thought the NATF-23 was 74' long (thanks to Scott for clarifying that) I took the same solution the A3J designers did: folded the nose! With the NATF-23 sized at 64' they can fit in without a nose fold. Now I'm wondering just what that scale looking thing in the corner was?
 

Abraham Gubler

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The NATF-23 would have no problems spotting a wing onboard after a landing cycle.
 

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lantinian

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Thanks AG. Just by looking I can tell you that now that make visual sense. As you know well, one of the reasons for the NATF design difference is to shorten the too long to fit on a carrier YF-23 running at 20.52m. The F-23 was going to be even longer. The moment I saw your first pic, I though that you had the NAFT design with the ATF length and I gasped.

Glad to be right without needing a ruler ;) B)
 

Abraham Gubler

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One last picture. An all Northrop Grumman (with some McAir help) 21st century carrier wing a la CAW1 of VietNam.
 

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lantinian

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Nice. ::) It would make a nice movie.

I really like the idea of an all "insert aircraft manufacturer" carrier wing. You should definitely make this a series.
 

Deino

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Hi ... really more than impressive that bird !

May I add this on the list for that tread:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3141.15

Cheers, Deino
 

Orionblamblam

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Abraham Gubler said:
The NATF-23 would have no problems spotting a wing onboard after a landing cycle.
Minor detail: the F-23 shown in flight must be doing a touch-and-go, since it's lined up with the runway lines, not with the catapult...
 

flateric

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pity that Josef busy with problems that are more closer to real life...damn crisis
 

Abraham Gubler

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Orionblamblam said:
Minor detail: the F-23 shown in flight must be doing a touch-and-go, since it's lined up with the runway lines, not with the catapult...
I was thinking bolter. The last plane onboard has to do a go around. All those NATF-23s would be respotted aft before the carrier would start to launch aircraft for the next cycle.
 

blackkite

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Super discoverly! Where is the air intake?
 

Colonial-Marine

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So this is it, the mysterious F-23 NATF revealed at last? When did this happen?

What else are you senior members hiding? The "real" F-19, the YF-24, the truth about the moon landings?
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Colonial-Marine said:
So this is it, the mysterious F-23 NATF revealed at last? When did this happen?

What else are you senior members hiding? The "real" F-19, the YF-24, the truth about the moon landings?
The B-3 bomber? Aurora? The lost episodes of Dr Who, Space Patrol and Andromeda? :p
 

Abraham Gubler

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
Colonial-Marine said:
So this is it, the mysterious F-23 NATF revealed at last? When did this happen?

What else are you senior members hiding? The "real" F-19, the YF-24, the truth about the moon landings?
The B-3 bomber? Aurora? The lost episodes of Dr Who, Space Patrol and Andromeda? :p
It was posted on Scott's blog page ages ago. We were just having some stream of conciousness discussion about the aircraft because Scott was preparing an article for APR.
 

Matej

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
Colonial-Marine said:
So this is it, the mysterious F-23 NATF revealed at last? When did this happen?

What else are you senior members hiding? The "real" F-19, the YF-24, the truth about the moon landings?
The B-3 bomber? Aurora? The lost episodes of Dr Who, Space Patrol and Andromeda? :p
A few things that can be used commercially, make at least some profit to compensate the costs and then it can be published. This time take it as a teaser for the planned article in APR.
 

Colonial-Marine

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I find the upwards angled canards a bit unusual, was that done for stealth reason? The aircraft sure doesn't look much like the F-23.

Also, well done Northrop air-wing, I presume the aircraft to the right of the X-47B is Northrop's ATA proposal? Now somebody just needs to do a Lockheed air-wing with the F-22-based NATF and F-35.
 

flanker

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Colonial-Marine said:
I find the upwards angled canards a bit unusual, was that done for stealth reason?
MiG-1.44 canards were also angled upwards. The reason, i don't know to be honest. But then again, i don't know much about aerodynamics.
 

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I can imagine potential reasons for giving canards dihedral. I can't say which reason in particular is appropriate for this aircraft.

One reason may be to move the canards out of line with the wing so that the turbulent air flowing off of the canards won't hurt the wing's lift as much. In fact, if you place the canards above the wing appropriately, you can actually enhance the lift of the wing (close-coupled canard approach). However, it seems that some aircraft can do fine with canards in line with the wing (i.e. Su-37, X-36).

Another reason might be to improve rolling stability. With a wing, dihedral acts to improve rolling stability (of importance if the wings are low-mounted) and I imagine that the same can go for canards.

Stealth seems a rather unlikely explanation. Although giving the canards dihedral with reduce RCS when measured directly from above or below, it likely has the potential to increase RCS when viewed from the front. Take a look at the F-22. The tails are directly in line with the wing. This was likely done to reduce the radar reflections from the tails by screening them with the wings. With a canard in line with the wing, it can help screen the wing (some of the wing tip will be exposed, however). If it is out of line with the wing, you get full reflections from both the canard and the wing.

I'm not an expert myself, but this is what I gather.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Any explanation for the serrated rudder? I find it hard to believe it was done for stealth reasons, considering that the F-22's rudders and F-23's ruddervators feature no such shaping.
 

donnage99

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Colonial-Marine, the reason has been adequately written in Scott's blog:
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=5918
 

Colonial-Marine

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Triton said:
Model of F-22 NATF.
I am rather certain the answer is going to be "no", but are there any photos of all of the models behind the NATF there? How cruel of whoever took that photo.
 

donnage99

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Waiting for them to add pictures to these pages:
http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Test_434:_NATF_Nozzle_(McDonnell_%26_Northrop)_DOD_Develop
http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Test_433:_NATF_Inlet_(G.D._%26_Lockheed)_DOD_Develop
 

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Looking at the F-23 NATF drawing, I am struck by something that hasn't yet been discussed here. One of the many innovative features of the YF-23 design was the "ruddervators". They seemed to serve a number of purposes. One of which was that they helped to shroud the engine exhausts as part of Northrop/MDD's concern about IR stealth. If you look at the F-23 design, you'll note that, unlike the F-22, there is only a fairly narrow cone where you can actually "see" the exhaust plume, and even then it tends to be shrouded within the nacelle. The ruddervators block a substantial "view" of the exhaust over a fairly wide arc. More germane to my point is their role in giving the F-23 outstanding high AoA performance. The F-22 uses conventional surfaces plus its thrust vectoring. The F-23 design took a different tack. Again, examining the F-23 design, you'll see that at virtually no attitude are the ruddervators masked or blanked by the wing or fuselage.

On the F-23 NATF design, though, the rudders are more conventional, and will be blanked by the wing/fuselage as AoA increases. This indicates to me one of two things. The first possibility is that the USN was less concerned about maneuvering at extreme AoA, trusting to dogfight missiles and a HSS to counter an opponent who had extreme pointing or post stall maneuverability. As we know, the Navy was looking for some different things in the NATF than just an ATF with a hook. For example, it wanted a significant strike capability. This could be another difference between AF and USN requirements.

The second possibility is that some of the control surfaces on the trailing edge could be split, as they were on the landbased F-23 design and the YA-9, but have a large role in the seabased design. In this case, as the rudders/vertical stabilizers get progressively blanked, yaw and their other functions get progressively taken over by the split control surfaces, although they would suffer some blanking effect as well. A similar concept exists in the F-14 design where at lower wing sweep significant roll control comes from the spoilers but as sweep angle increases the spoilers are progressively locked out and the horizontal stabilizers pick up more roll control authority.
 

Sundog

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F-14D said:
On the F-23 NATF design, though, the rudders are more conventional, and will be blanked by the wing/fuselage as AoA increases. This indicates to me one of two things. The first possibility is that the USN was less concerned about maneuvering at extreme AoA, trusting to dogfight missiles and a HSS to counter an opponent who had extreme pointing or post stall maneuverability. As we know, the Navy was looking for some different things in the NATF than just an ATF with a hook. For example, it wanted a significant strike capability. This could be another difference between AF and USN requirements.
It would seem to me that the all moving vertical tails on the Northrop NATF aren't anymore blanked out than the vertical tails/rudders of the F-22 at high alpha. Although, I do agree with you that the Naval requirements would most likely have been different, in terms of operating envelope, as the NATF also has a higher aspect ratio wing and I'm guessing a lower supercruise Mach number than the F-23, since the Navy would probably be more interested in time on station/loiter capability.

Edit: Looking at pics, the vertical tails would get some clean air from between the wing TE and the stabilators of the F-22. It could be the case that at high alpha the canards on the NATF could provide roll control. I haven't any doubt the wing controls would provide yaw control. Just a suggestion anyway.
 

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F-14D said:
One of the many innovative features of the YF-23 design was the "ruddervators". [snip]

More germane to my point is their role in giving the F-23 outstanding high AoA performance. The F-22 uses conventional surfaces plus its thrust vectoring. The F-23 design took a different tack. Again, examining the F-23 design, you'll see that at virtually no attitude are the ruddervators masked or blanked by the wing or fuselage.
Good observation.

aero-engineer
 

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Are there any schematic or technical drawings available of Lockheed's NATF proposal with swing wings? All I've ever seen was concept art, and top view drawings showing the NATF, F-22, and AF/X side by side.
 

Abraham Gubler

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F-14D said:
Looking at the F-23 NATF drawing, I am struck by something that hasn't yet been discussed here. One of the many innovative features of the YF-23 design was the "ruddervators".
Also the “vertihorizontal” tails (aka ruddervators) on the F-23 have a huge displacement between them, especially the outside tips. One effect of this is to provide for much stronger yaw effects providing for flat turn capability.

F-14D said:
On the F-23 NATF design, though, the rudders are more conventional, and will be blanked by the wing/fuselage as AoA increases.
But the F-23 NATF also has canards. And they have quite a significant dihedral pitch (+20 degrees) meaning they can probably provide some yaw effects at high alpha as well not to mention pitch and roll.
 

Sundog

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Abraham Gubler said:
But the F-23 NATF also has canards. And they have quite a significant dihedral pitch (+20 degrees) meaning they can probably provide some yaw effects at high alpha as well not to mention pitch and roll.
I don't think you would get much yaw control from them at high alpha due to how close they would be to the cg. There wouldn't be much leverage. That's why the ailerons/outer wing controls are usually used for yaw control at high alpha.
 
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