North American WS-300 / A3J Vigilante heritage of MiG-25 layout

LowObservable

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The MiG-25 is close enough to the A3J and different enough from any known earlier MiG designs to infer influence, although I believe the design pre-dates the Paris air show in 1961.


On the other hand, I don't think there is anything in the MiG-25 that could be traced to anything other than contemporary open-source data on the A3J, structure, propulsion and systems all being dramatically different.
 

circle-5

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Bill Walker said:
In the mid 70s my boss at a certain Canadian aircraft manufacturer made me hold one end of the tape measure while he measured the competition at a couple of air shows. Maybe he was a communist?

There is a difference: Canada is a great friend and a close ally. The Soviet Union was the evil enemy of all that is good and wholesome -- like truth, justice and the American way!
 

Hood

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All this talk of spies supposes that the bureaucratic, compartmentalised and secretive Soviet state is going to share all its stolen data with the OKBs directly. It's one thing OKB engineers with tape measures and cameras at Air Shows trying to imitate or compare their efforts, but the KGB or GRU is going to be more careful about who it hands its information too. Also, wouldn't any mole-obtained information have been passed to TsAGI for evaluation before selected designers were given access? There was an embassy official in Paris who was removed due to Concorde spying and other alleged cases like the Milan ATGW, so industrial espionage was going on. Even so I'm sure many Western competitors liked to check out what was going on too, like Bill Walker's post. Doubtless McDonnell Douglas or Lockheed would be just as interested to know what was going on at NAA.
 

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Why has no one mentioned the Tupolev 160 Blackjack? A blatant copy of the North American B-1A, even down to the Mach 2 top speed and variable swept wings. :eek:
 

flateric

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But we've so nicely tuned it up!))
 

Bill Walker

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The B-1 and the Tu160 were logical evolutions of the late 1960s Boeing SST studies. Who is copying who?

b2707-100_9.jpg
 

Sundog

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Bill Walker said:
The B-1 and the Tu160 were logical evolutions of the late 1960s Boeing SST studies. Who is copying who?

Can it really be said that NAR was referencing the Boeing work when so much of the AMSA work was concurrent with the U.S. SST development work in the 60's? After all, who wasn't doing VG in the 60's? One of main reasons the F-15 wasn't VG, and the early design proposals were, was due to the USAF fear of having to buy the Navy plane again.
 

Bill Walker

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Another interesting point of view Sundog. In general, if everyone is working on the "flavour of the month" design concept, is anybody really copying anybody else?

We shouldn't be surprised when we take several groups of people with similar skills and tools, ask them similar questions, and get similar answers.
 

FighterJock

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Also you can add the brand new Tupolev Pack-DA into the mix! Allegedly it is going to be a subsonic flying wing design. Sound Familiar? So it is not just North American Aviation Designs that the Soviet's (Russians) have been copying. But my favorite plane off all time. :mad: :eek:
 

Stargazer2006

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Bill Walker said:
The B-1 and the Tu160 were logical evolutions of the late 1960s Boeing SST studies. Who is copying who?

Indeed. And my impression is that all initial supersonic airliner research was more or less performed at NASA under the SCAT program. Once NASA isolated the very best configurations for a certain set of specifications, it seems logical that the industry would closely follow that. And NASA's reports may have been confidential to some extent, but I doubt they fell into the same degree of secrecy as the DoD's "Secret"-labeled files.
 

LowObservable

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Blackjack is not a B-1 copy. Big difference is that the high-fast envelope, not the low-fast envelope, is the primary one.
 

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LowObservable said:
Blackjack is not a B-1 copy. Big difference is that the high-fast envelope, not the low-fast envelope, is the primary one.


May be so, but when you look closely you might find that certain elements of the original B-1A not the B-1B, have been copied for soviet requirements of the day. For instance aircraft max load: 88,185 pounds, length: 54.1 meters, radius of action: 2000 km, Accommodation: two pilots, two WSOs, Max Speed: M2.05. Data from Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide Fifth Edition. The B-1A had a very similar top speed, range and crew stations.
 

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LowObservable said:
Blackjack is not a B-1 copy. Big difference is that the high-fast envelope, not the low-fast envelope, is the primary one.

The B-1A was actually faster than the Blackjack.
 

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The Tu-160 was developed from the Myasichev M-18 which had nothing to do with B-1A except superficially similar layout.
 

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M-18 won, and got taken over by Tupolev iirc. Then it got Tupolevified and became Tu-160.
 

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FighterJock

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I did not know that Myasichev was taken over by Tupolev after the competition was won. What did the M-18 look like? Are there any pictures of it available today before the redesign, would be interesting to see them side by side, and anyone know what Tupolev's original design looked like?
 

Stargazer2006

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FighterJock said:
I did not know that Myasichev was taken over by Tupolev after the competition was won.

This is NOT what has been said! The M-18 was taken over by Tupolev, not the Myasishchev bureau!

As often happened (and not just in the Soviet Union), the State picked a winner design and then chose among the losers which would be best (often read: cheapest) to get it manufactured...
 

FighterJock

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Whoops!! Sorry guys. Just my brain thinking ahead of my fingers unfortunately. Strange that the Soviets did that with the M-18 design handing it over to Tupolev when Myasishchev clearly won the competition, that would be like Northrop Grumman winning the ATB competition then Lockheed building the B-2A.
 

flanker

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In world of politics and lobbying, NOTHING is strange. (seen any news lately on lets say gene modified crops or ban in several states of films proving animal cruelty?)
 

Stargazer2006

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FighterJock said:
Whoops!! Sorry guys. Just my brain thinking ahead of my fingers unfortunately. Strange that the Soviets did that with the M-18 design handing it over to Tupolev when Myasishchev clearly won the competition, that would be like Northrop Grumman winning the ATB competition then Lockheed building the B-2A.

Actually this kind of thing happened a few times in American aerospace. Think of the F-18. Clearly a Northrop design but the DoD selected McDonnell Douglas as the prime contractor and offer Northrop to be the main sub-contractor instead — it was a tricky deal, because in theory, Northrop remained prime contractor on non-Navy versions, that is USAF if any, or export (except no such sales ever materialized), and therefore most people think the F-18 was actually a McDonnell Douglas aircraft! (and now a Boeing, gosh!)
 

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Yes I remember the YF-17, the loosing competitor to the F-16. Having seen it in aviation books back in the 1980s when I ordered them out the local library. A great pity it was not chosen because I am sure that it would have made a great fighter for the USAF, apparently there was not that much to separate the YF-17 from the F-16 in the fly off.
 

Stargazer2006

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FighterJock said:
Yes I remember the YF-17, the loosing competitor to the F-16. Having seen it in aviation books back in the 1980s when I ordered them out the local library. A great pity it was not chosen because I am sure that it would have made a great fighter for the USAF, apparently there was not that much to separate the YF-17 from the F-16 in the fly off.

Same old story. General Dynamics had an aggressive approach and appropriate political ties...
 

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That did not help Lockheed Martin from taking over General Dynamics in 1992 at the end of the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition. And also the Soviet Union was collapsing at that time too.
 

sferrin

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Stargazer2006 said:
FighterJock said:
Yes I remember the YF-17, the loosing competitor to the F-16. Having seen it in aviation books back in the 1980s when I ordered them out the local library. A great pity it was not chosen because I am sure that it would have made a great fighter for the USAF, apparently there was not that much to separate the YF-17 from the F-16 in the fly off.

Same old story. General Dynamics had an aggressive approach and appropriate political ties...

And engine commonality with the F-15, lower price, etc.

From Wiki ( :-[ )

"The chief reasons given by the Secretary were the YF-16's lower operating costs, greater range, and maneuver performance that was "significantly better" than that of the YF-17, especially at supersonic speeds. Another advantage of the YF-16 – unlike the YF-17 – was its use of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan engine, the same powerplant used by the F-15; such commonality would lower the cost of engines for both programs.[27] Secretary McLucas announced that the USAF planned to order at least 650, possibly up to 1,400 production F-16s. In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.[28][29]"
 

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Actually it was the Suchoi T-4MS that won the competition. Tupolev was then selected to build it but found it too challenging and went to work on the M-18 design instead. Tupolev's own designs were essentially bomber variants of the Tu-144 SST which were not liked.
 

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Actually the Sukhoi T-4MS was killed of by the Russian Air Force as being too expensive and went for the more affordable MiG-23 that could be ordered in more numbers than the T-4MS, at least that is what I know from reading Valkyrie The North American XB-70 by Graham M Simons.
 

flateric

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it's like saying that "instead B-2A USAF went for more affordable F-16s that could be ordered in more numbers"
pure BS
 

FighterJock

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So why are there no T-4MS (or whatever the Su-?? designation would be) flying as production aircraft. Actually the only T-4MS that survives to this day is in open storage (or display) at the Central Air Force Museum in Monino. A place I would love to visit if it wasn't for my inner ear disorder.
 

flateric

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you seems to mixing up T-4MS '200' with T-4 '100', that are hell of not the same things (like T-4MS and MiG-23 are totally different things, too)
 

FighterJock

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So what are the main differences between the T-4MS 200 and the T-4 100? I am well confused now.
 

flateric

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just subtle ones. like that T-4MS was twice heavier than T-4, was a strategic bomber, while T-4 was intended for hunting for aircraft carriers and reconnaissance
and they were slightly different by design
 

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FighterJock

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Thanks Flateric. I am well impressed. B) The T-4MS looks a lot heavier than the T-4 100 just by looking at it. Is there any more data available regarding top speed range etc?
 

flateric

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http://www.testpilot.ru/russia/sukhoi/t/4/ms/t4ms_e.htm
 

shine

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Hello all,

According to this quote:
"Detailed A3J info was in the public domain by 1961. Mikoyan designed an A3J inspired aircraft in 1961. There is no reason to suppose an NAA mole."
We hav to keep in mind: the need for a hight speed interceptor was in my opinion the result of the XB-70/F-108 threat for the Soviet Union. Both designs roughly the same age or even before WS300, capable of mach 3. A3J looks much like a bomber version of the f-108 interceptor, similair in shape and size.
IF you allready have the information in the late fifties, when the threat gets real, you act on it.
So was MiG23 designed in '61?
It looks like a perfect mix between the WS-300 and the F-108/A3J designs..


Mark
 

FighterJock

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shine said:
Hello all,

According to this quote:
"Detailed A3J info was in the public domain by 1961. Mikoyan designed an A3J inspired aircraft in 1961. There is no reason to suppose an NAA mole."
We hav to keep in mind: the need for a hight speed interceptor was in my opinion the result of the XB-70/F-108 threat for the Soviet Union. Both designs roughly the same age or even before WS300, capable of mach 3. A3J looks much like a bomber version of the f-108 interceptor, similair in shape and size.
IF you allready have the information in the late fifties, when the threat gets real, you act on it.
So was MiG23 designed in '61?
It looks like a perfect mix between the WS-300 and the F-108/A3J designs..


Mark


Anyone with any information or drawings relating to the Mikoyan A3J 1961 aircraft. Flateric? I would really like to know what this plane looked like.
 

Pioneer

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elmayerle said:
Word I had from a former co-worker who was at NAA-Columbus from circa 1950 to the early 1970's is that the single vertical was a USN request; no details as to why. This is strictly my own opinion, but it could be that going to a single vertical made for a distinct reduction in the cost of the forged and machined frame that included all the tail surface spindles. From what he said, the cost of re-designing this frame was one reason Vigilante derivatives with engines larger than the J79 were not extensively considered.


I've previously read similar elmayerle!
What I read was along the lines that the USN was very uncomfortable with the advanced concept of twin tail arrangement.


Regards
Pioneer
 

blackkite

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Thanks a lot Triton-san. :) What a beauty.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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In the recent Mikoyan OKB book the Mikoyan-to-Seletsky quote is given as;

"Yasha, draw something close to "Vigilante"; but without complexity, and R-15 engines".

It was told to the one of the co-authors by Yakov . I. Seletsky himself, so I think we can safely assume this conversation did take place. Timing is more debatable.

We now know that the E-155 project started officially on 11 June 1958.

On 26 May 1958, Aviation Week published an article on the rollout of the A3J:

AWST A3J 26 May.png

So I think that this conversation occurred in 1958, not 1961. In 1961, Mikoyan had his photograph taken in front of an A3J at the Paris Air Show which is published in the recent book.

So either Yefim made the association with Paris Airshow visit himself, or Seletsky misremembered the timing.
 
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