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No more swing-wings?

M

McColm

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Hi Guys,
It seems to me that aircraft designs go through certain stages as technology gets better.
The fifth/4.5 generation fighter/attack aircraft entering service have gone back to the delta-wing. The engines continue to improve their reliability. Wether one large or two small should be fitted.

Apart from the Su-47 forward swept wing entering service, are there any new swing-wing aircraft to enter service?

This of course could change when the two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy are finished.

Have there been any flying prototypes of a forward swing-wing? (Switch blade not included.)
Is there any likelyhood of the Typhoon gaining swing-wings?
 

TomS

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Unless you're talking about a specific unbuilt aircraft program, this sort of discussion seems more suited to one of the more general subforums like Aerospace.
 

saintkatanalegacy

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IIRC, there was a forward (swing-wing???) MiG 23 wind tunnel model before. dunno if it underwent prototyping
 

TomS

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1) The Su-47 (S-37 Berkut) isn't a swing-wing design, it has a fixed forward-swept wing. And it's not entering service; it was a one-off technology demonstrator.

2) The aircraft for the new British carriers are settled -- barring a total program collapse, they are going to carry STOVL Joint Strike Fighters (F-35B). Failing that, they'll undoubtedly end up wiht an existing aircraft type, not a new development for only 100-odd aircraft.

3) The closest I can think of was the NASA AD-1 oblique wing demonstrator, but I think that had the wing fixed in flight and they just switched it to different angle between flights.

4) There's zero chance of the Typhoon getting a swing wing. It's not generally the sort of thing that can be retrofitted to a design, it requires a ground-up redesign of the structure and aerodynamics.
 

saintkatanalegacy

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the typhoon's body is made to be as compact as possible so i guess putting in a swing-wing housing would be rather difficult. besides, it already flies well enough
 

Just call me Ray

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Swing-wings have fallen out of favor because they add weight and complexity. They've pretty much found other airfoils that offer a good compromise between the different characteristics they need, and apparently this compromise is less, well, compromising than what the weight of a swing-wing mechanism offers.
 

mz

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TomS said:
3) The closest I can think of was the NASA AD-1 oblique wing demonstrator, but I think that had the wing fixed in flight and they just switched it to different angle between flights.

IIRC there are videos at Dryden that show it changing wing angle in flight.
http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Movie/AD-1/HTML/EM-0001-02.html
 

TomS

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Excellent! I wasn't aware they had done that.
 

uk 75

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I am a swing-wing fan because they are typical 60s: mad,expensive and fun.

But seriously, I am sure I will get shot down here, but weren't some of the
designs for the F22 programme and the later stealth bomber designs given
swing-wings. Janes has some artwork in the 90s for a swing wing naval
version of the F22. They never came to anything, but if you are a swing-wing
fan they are worth chacking out.

UK 75
 

sferrin

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uk 75 said:
I am a swing-wing fan because they are typical 60s: mad,expensive and fun.

But seriously, I am sure I will get shot down here, but weren't some of the
designs for the F22 programme and the later stealth bomber designs given
swing-wings. Janes has some artwork in the 90s for a swing wing naval
version of the F22. They never came to anything, but if you are a swing-wing
fan they are worth chacking out.

UK 75

The carrier version of the F-22 would have had swing wings. At least one of the A/F-X concepts had swing wings. I'm not sure where the idea that they've "fallen out of favor" comes from. There simply hasn't been a need for one lately is all.
 

funkychinaman

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Are swing wings stealthy? I'd imagine there'd be a lot of extra seams that a fixed wing aircraft just wouldn't have.
 

saintkatanalegacy

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swing wings will pose a problem in RCS reduction particularly on the swing wing housing facets and may also require a heavily planned out planform aligning for practical sweep angles. hypothetically, a sweep angle of 30 and 60 degrees might work if done correctly(although it can also be done on different angles). as for the swing wing housing, i imagine that it would need a hefty amount of RAM on the edges and some concealment for the actuators.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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McColm, please try to do a modicum of research before posting questions of this nature.

Yes, there's a Northrop patent (the so-called Switchblade) with variable forward sweeping VG wings. No-one has identified any benefits to this dubious arrangement, and there are strong practical reservations regarding it. No practical application of forward sweep VG is known.
 
M

McColm

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I did some research into this and came across the Switchblade, but no one could confirm or deny that this aircraft ever flew.
In my research the name "Switchblade" refers to the F-111.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell%27s_teapot

There is no evidence I am aware of for a forward sweep VG aircraft of any type. Speculation without evidence is better suited to another forum.
 

Stargazer2006

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From what I know, "SWITCHBLADE" is merely the nickname of the FB-111A version, not an official monicker. No-one ever said that Northrop Grumman's "SWITCHBLADE" had flown nor even was in any form of engineering process. It exists in the form of a patent, and, to some extent, as a movie derivative called the "F/A-37 TALON", used in the movie Stealth in 2005, that benefitted from the advice of people at Northrop to look more realistic.
 

Stargazer2006

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This being said, there is a "SWITCHBLADE" that is mentioned in a 2006 DoD document which you can find here:

http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/logs/FOIALog_FY06.pdf

"Request a copy of contract , including the statement of work, awarded from solicitation #BAA0540 under the Switchblade Obligue Flying Wing (OFW) Program Phase One"

But of course, this is a whole different switchblade, owing more to Rutan/AMES' AD-1 than to the fictitious TALON... More on this project here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/switchblade-plane.htm/printable
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The oblique wing design (AD-1 type) is more practical than the forward sweep VG. Oblique flying wings are a bit more esoteric however.

http://www.obliqueflyingwing.com/
 

Lampshade111

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The Northrop "Switchblade" is certainly a very interesting concept, I wonder how much work was actually done related to it however. It almost seems like a project where a few engineers just had too much time on their hands and drew up something crazy.

Theoretically, would this be stealthier than a rearward swept swing-wing configuration like on the A/F-X? Unless this is the case, I can't imagine having such a forward swept variable-sweep wing would be worth even considering.
 

F-14D

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Stargazer2006 said:
From what I know, "SWITCHBLADE" is merely the nickname of the FB-111A version, not an official monicker. No-one ever said that Northrop Grumman's "SWITCHBLADE" had flown nor even was in any form of engineering process. It exists in the form of a patent, and, to some extent, as a movie derivative called the "F/A-37 TALON", used in the movie Stealth in 2005, that benefitted from the advice of people at Northrop to look more realistic.

For those of you who saw my post before it was consigned to the electronic void (which wasn't unexpected), I posted pictures of that movie plane. They're out there if you search for the movie. Interestingly enough, so the tale goes, when the studio saw what the engineers sketched for them, they decided it didn't look "real" or "advanced" enough, so they came up with their own, "hotter" design.
 

Antonio

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They're out there if you search for the movie.
self answered.

Besides, F/A-37 pics had been posted previously in this forum:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4060.0/highlight,f+a-37+talon.html

no need to duplicate info. The "search tool" works much better without duplicated subjects and keeping the forum "lightweight" means it runs faster.

Best regards,

Antonio
 

Lampshade111

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It seems to me that the Achilles heel of variable sweep wing designs has always been maintaining the things. Some article awhile back claimed that Australian F-111s required over 100 hours of maintenance work per flight hour. Back before the USN's F-14s were retired they also seemed to be problematic in that regard.

Did any VG designs achieve a relatively low maintenance hours per flight hour ratio? Were future VG designs (ST-21, NATF, A/F-X) looking at techniques to reduce maintenance time and costs?
 

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