Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 and EMD F-23

Colonial-Marine

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LowObservable said:
Ditto to Jeb.

Not only could the AF have obtained a SuperViper, but a third party would have paid for it. But the AF/OSD leaders regarded it as an alternative/competitor to "real stealth" which was being promised at an unbelievably low cost and rapid schedule.

At least they got the "unbelievable" bit right.
Which 3rd party would pay for it? It would certainly involve a fair share more work and money than the Block 60.

Even if the USAF got Falcon 21s or something similar it would be a short-term fix. They'd still need something beyond that which would inevitably be pretty expensive to develop.
 

Airplane

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Colonial-Marine said:
LowObservable said:
Ditto to Jeb.

Not only could the AF have obtained a SuperViper, but a third party would have paid for it. But the AF/OSD leaders regarded it as an alternative/competitor to "real stealth" which was being promised at an unbelievably low cost and rapid schedule.

At least they got the "unbelievable" bit right.
Which 3rd party would pay for it? It would certainly involve a fair share more work and money than the Block 60.

Even if the USAF got Falcon 21s or something similar it would be a short-term fix. They'd still need something beyond that which would inevitably be pretty expensive to develop.
Remember Agile Falcon from the late 80s? It was what was originally going to compliment the ATF. Not a single engine stealth fighter at all.

Really, when you have on the order of 2000 fighters in just the USAF the idea of them all being stealth fighters within... Lets say 20 years, is needlessly expensive and frought with risk. From the perspective of 1989, 500 ATF and a few hundred A-12 complimented by advanced eagles and vipers could have been a viable solution... Along with the B-2.

What killed advanced eagles and vipers was the fall of the USSR. There was no more boogey man in the 90s so whet we had was good enough to get us through until the 22 was in production. Then JSF came along and that was the final nail in 16XL derivative. What we had in the 90s was actually good enough. But then defense program timelines ballooned into 20 years to build a new fighter and hence we are still relying on what are now museum pieces. Meanwhile China is now building stealth fighters in a fraction of the time it takes the US.
 

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Airplane said:
NeilChapman said:
Airplane said:
Northrop came to the table with an x-plane science project. Lockheed came with a plane that with a few modifications was essentially ready for duty even without all of the changes that it eventually was given. Lockheed met the requirements. Less risk. No fuss, no muss. End of story.

Hmmm. But was it less risk, no fuss, no muss?
The only way to know is to go back in time and source NG and see the how the results shake out (then compare). Given politics, the USAF would have still only been allowed to buy 187 copies ASSUMING that by the time Obama was in office a sufficient quantity had been built (I don't remember the exact build numbers & years). IF by that time the F-23 program was suffering delays because of developmental issues, THEN the USAF would have gotten LESS than 187 copies.

Its a real shame that the USAF could not sneak in a brand new fighter into production the way NAVAIR got superbug. Too bad there are not superbeagles or vipers roaming the skies.

EDIT

...and why the love affair with which is better, the 22 or the 23?

It's the modern day question from the 80s of which is better, the 15 or the 14? And in many ways this analogy it correct whereby the 23 is like the 14 and the 22 is like the 15. Like the 14, the 23 was a 3 nacelle design that was a lifting body. And the 22 is CLEARLY very similar to the 15.

The 23 was a true successor to the 14 with its lifting body design and widely spaced engines, and the 22 clearly a successor to the 15.

They were both good planes for their missions but neither one was better for every circumstance and occasion. The last generation of tomcat drivers with its powerful engines and bombcat capability would have you believe the 14 was indeed superior to the 15 in EVERY situation, but.... we know that isn't correct.
I've culled a bunch of insults that seem to refer to Barack Obama from this post. Unnecessary, and without basis in fact.

The decision that 183 F-22's would be sufficient was taken by the DOD in 2004, under the Bush administration. The most you can blame Obama and Gates for is ending F-22 production at 187, which is 4 more than the DOD said it needed under a Republican administration.
 

sferrin

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Airplane said:
Meanwhile China is now building stealth fighters in a fraction of the time it takes the US.
Much easier when you have somebody showing you how vs figuring it out for yourself the first time.
 

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Airplane said:
...and why the love affair with which is better, the 22 or the 23?

It's the modern day question from the 80s of which is better, the 15 or the 14? And in many ways this analogy it correct whereby the 23 is like the 14 and the 22 is like the 15. Like the 14, the 23 was a 3 nacelle design that was a lifting body. And the 22 is CLEARLY very similar to the 15.

The 23 was a true successor to the 14 with its lifting body design and widely spaced engines, and the 22 clearly a successor to the 15.

They were both good planes for their missions but neither one was better for every circumstance and occasion. The last generation of tomcat drivers with its powerful engines and bombcat capability would have you believe the 14 was indeed superior to the 15 in EVERY situation, but.... we know that isn't correct.
Correlation does not mean causation.

I don't think it's accurate to characterize the YF-22 and YF-23 as the successors of the F-15 and F-14 respectively. For one, McDonnell Douglas which designed the F-15 was on the YF-23 team. The configurations that the Lockheed and Northrop teams settled on were driven by different requirements compared to the requirements for the F-14 and F-15. Speaking of the configuration, the YF-23 configuration differed from the F-14 particularly in the placement of the inlets and the empennage. And in addition, one of Lockheed's original ATF RFI proposals resembled a scaled down SR-71 with widely spaced engine nacelles.

Furthermore, the spacing of the engines don't determine whether or not the fuselage can be classified as a "lifting body"; even the F-15's "boxy" fuselage was able to provide enough lift such that when a wing was torn off, the remaining control surfaces could still provide stability and some control abilities.
 

marauder2048

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I've culled a bunch of insults that seem to refer to Barack Obama from this post. Unnecessary, and without basis in fact.

The decision that 183 F-22's would be sufficient was taken by the DOD in 2004, under the Bush administration.
The 2004 PBD 753 also killed Air Force buys of the C-130J which didn't come to pass; the 2006 QDR punted the decision on the F-22 to FY2010.

It was strictly (as confirmed by Obama campaign advisor McPeak who argued against it) an Obama and Gates decision.

But at least the fourth estate spoke truth to power on the folly of this decision.
 

lantinian

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Not sure its this is YF-23 news or ATD-X news

Based on this report about Northrop considering participation in the Japanese Stealth Fighter Program
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence-northrop-grumman-exclus/exclusive-northrop-grumman-angles-for-role-in-japanese-stealth-fighter-program-sources-idUSKBN1JW0YU

We have this clickbait by Popular Mechanics ... that's not impossible to imagine given similarities between the YF-23 and the Japanese project ATD-X version 24DMU

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a22093705/northrop-grumman-japans-fighter-jet/

One possibility is the resurrection of the YF-23 design, with modernized electronics and a Japanese engine. (One positive outcome of the ATD-X program has been Japanese advances in high performance jet engines.) If that’s Northrop’s proposal, then we could be living through the 1990s all over again, pitting Son of F-22/F-35 versus a reincarnated Son of YF-23
The overal tactical concept behind the YF-23 was a lot more suitable for operations in the Pacific with its longer range fighter faster speed. So, Japan's own efforts to build an air superiority platform could greatly benefit from Northrop experience with YF-23. I just don't see how Northrop will not consider a YF-23 based proposal.
 

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NeilChapman

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Airplane said:
The only way to know is to go back in time and source NG and see the how the results shake out (then compare). Given politics, the USAF would have still only been allowed to buy 187 copies ASSUMING that by the time Obama was in office a sufficient quantity had been built (I don't remember the exact build numbers & years). IF by that time the F-23 program was suffering delays because of developmental issues, THEN the USAF would have gotten LESS than 187 copies.

Its a real shame that the USAF could not sneak in a brand new fighter into production the way NAVAIR got superbug. Too bad there are not superbeagles or vipers roaming the skies.

EDIT

...and why the love affair with which is better, the 22 or the 23?

It's the modern day question from the 80s of which is better, the 15 or the 14? And in many ways this analogy it correct whereby the 23 is like the 14 and the 22 is like the 15. Like the 14, the 23 was a 3 nacelle design that was a lifting body. And the 22 is CLEARLY very similar to the 15.

The 23 was a true successor to the 14 with its lifting body design and widely spaced engines, and the 22 clearly a successor to the 15.

They were both good planes for their missions but neither one was better for every circumstance and occasion. The last generation of tomcat drivers with its powerful engines and bombcat capability would have you believe the 14 was indeed superior to the 15 in EVERY situation, but.... we know that isn't correct.
I've culled a bunch of insults that seem to refer to Barack Obama from this post. Unnecessary, and without basis in fact.

The decision that 183 F-22's would be sufficient was taken by the DOD in 2004, under the Bush administration. The most you can blame Obama and Gates for is ending F-22 production at 187, which is 4 more than the DOD said it needed under a Republican administration.
Not sure what you culled so I'll comment on what's left.

I certainly don't read the reference to PBO that was left in as insult. And I don't quite understand your reference to what Rumsfeld (PGWB) thought being of any significance. The F-22 was in production beyond the PGWB's administration. Gates made a tough decision, but, the decision criteria he attributed to the decision was incorrect. That's not a criticism, it's just a fact. Whether Gates would have made the same decision if he had today's political reality might be an interesting thought experiment but that's about it.

Given what we know about general production delays and how consistently new tech seems to fall short of expectations and basic manufacturer times for complex systems it's incumbent upon civilian leaders to overlap existing systems and their replacements. Rumsfeld was foolish, Gates should have known better. That's why the decision was so disappointing.

With airframe MCR's pretty crappy across the board we see the effects of diminished defense budgets that sacrificed sustainment and maintenance for high tempo operations. Subs not at sea because of years of drydock backlogs for maintenance. Shipyards in a horrendous state of disrepair with too few workers. Pilots not getting flight time. The list goes on and on.

It's been reported that defense spending (DOD + DOE Nukes) decreased from ~5% of GDP in 2010 to ~3% in 2016 after having grown ~9% per year between 2000-2009. But those increases largely bypassed the USAF and airframes were not replaced in any significant numbers with the AF forced to divest itself of hundreds of combat and transport aircraft and enablers under PBO. While one could nit-pick the minutia of these numbers it's pretty obvious that defense spending dropped significantly under PBO.

That's the way I read the comment re:pBO. Political realities (PBO et al) required diminished defense budgets which caused difficult decisions to be made resulting in the termination of F-22 production. In addition to it being a comment and not a criticism, it is based in fact and is attributable to the policies, programs and overall view by PBO in the 'new norm' of the US economy and the resulting impact on GDP/government receipts/DoD as implemented by his leadership team, including Bob Gates.
 

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sferrin said:
Radical said:
Also, where did Mach 1.82 for the F-22 come from? IIRC, the highest supercruise speed released by the Air Force is Mach 1.78. I also can't help but wonder how much the extra weight that the F-22 gained vs. the YF-22 hurt the potential speed. Is there any reason to assume that the F-23 wouldn't have the same weight control issues?
Mach 1.82 is listed in Jay Miller's book. The 2.42 I'd guess is from Paul Metz's quote about "the top speed is secret but it'll do 1600 mph".
Mach 1.82 was the figure given at ADP 75th Anniversary presentation 2018.
 

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https://flic.kr/p/dDN65A
Is that the variable bypass control linkage above and to the left of the trolley's front mounting arm? I was looking for clues to the Affinity engine being VCE, and assumed it too would have outside control arms of sorts.
 
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flateric

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Affinity is not variable cycle engine
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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I don't think it is either, but some people believe it could be. GE hasn't explicitly said, and renders of the engine show no extra control links aside from the stator control ring at the front.
 

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To me the nacelles and the fill between them is off. The nacelles are too rectangular and i'm not sure the space between them was filled that high at the fuselage/nacelle junction.

Your thoughts?
 

sferrin

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Ogami musashi said:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24911/this-is-what-a-northrop-f-23a-wouldve-looked-like-if-lockheed-lost-the-atf-competition

To me the nacelles and the fill between them is off. The nacelles are too rectangular and i'm not sure the space between them was filled that high at the fuselage/nacelle junction.

Your thoughts?
TR being TR.
 

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Ogami musashi said:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24911/this-is-what-a-northrop-f-23a-wouldve-looked-like-if-lockheed-lost-the-atf-competition

To me the nacelles and the fill between them is off. The nacelles are too rectangular and i'm not sure the space between them was filled that high at the fuselage/nacelle junction.

Your thoughts?
Yes, the engine nacelle cross section is completely wrong, there should be an apex curve running down the center top to the center of the top nozzle pedal.
 

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Shame to see such a nice model with such an obvious flaw. It's not like that information isn't available.
 

Ogami musashi

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I asked adam burch and he does have the EMD drawings and production models (by the way sundog, what production models to speak of?) so i don't understand how he went to this shape except if he took as example the YF-23/F-23 hybrid model that was on turbosquid.

Well as mihoshik said, it is a shame because otherwise the model is very nice.
 

MihoshiK

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Just added my last two cents to that discussion as well. It absolutely baffles me how with all these sources available, he still maintains he got it right.
 

sferrin

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MihoshiK said:
Just added my last two cents to that discussion as well. It absolutely baffles me how with all these sources available, he still maintains he got it right.
One of the many reasons he's held in such high regard. /sarc
 

Ogami musashi

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sferrin said:
MihoshiK said:
Just added my last two cents to that discussion as well. It absolutely baffles me how with all these sources available, he still maintains he got it right.
One of the many reasons he's held in such high regard. /sarc
Who you're talking about? TR has nothing to do with that model....
As for Adam, he does say that the cross section are there. One would have to see his untextured model. And in any case, it is his model, if he thinks this is ok like that, then what do we have to say?
 

sienar

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Not perfect but close enough that you get the idea. The fuselage is way off.
 

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MihoshiK

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Ogami musashi said:
sferrin said:
MihoshiK said:
Just added my last two cents to that discussion as well. It absolutely baffles me how with all these sources available, he still maintains he got it right.
One of the many reasons he's held in such high regard. /sarc
Who you're talking about? TR has nothing to do with that model....
As for Adam, he does say that the cross section are there. One would have to see his untextured model. And in any case, it is his model, if he thinks this is ok like that, then what do we have to say?
We get to say he's wrong? On account of all available evidence suggesting he is?
 

Ogami musashi

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I mean: It is his model, if he doesn't feel like correcting it, it is his right. He kind said it actually: if you don't like it, do it yourself.
 

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Ogami musashi said:
I mean: It is his model, if he doesn't feel like correcting it, it is his right. He kind said it actually: if you don't like it, do it yourself.
Judging from it all, it's more like he got paid, and there's no more money.

Ironically enough I've been thinking for a month or two about having a F-23 model commisioned by someone, but I don't think I can swing the money.
 

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Stuka (a SPF member) had a promising model in the works, sadly i haven't heard of him for years now.
 

sferrin

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MihoshiK said:
Ogami musashi said:
I mean: It is his model, if he doesn't feel like correcting it, it is his right. He kind said it actually: if you don't like it, do it yourself.
Judging from it all, it's more like he got paid, and there's no more money.

Ironically enough I've been thinking for a month or two about having a F-23 model commisioned by someone, but I don't think I can swing the money.
You might want to take a peek at this thread:

 

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
sublight is back said:
DrRansom said:
I thought the A-12 had a fundamentally wrong approach to stealth? Quellish said something like the USN had the wrong ideas? This may have been in reference to A-12 low altitude ops and low altitude being bad for low observability?

Anyway, A-12 or FB-23 would have saved the USAF a lot of heartache.
I believe McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics were waiting for, or under the impression that a significant amount of stealth related data and/or technologies would be provided to them to aid their design efforts.
The A-12 had a fundamental configuration error in the unswept trailing edge. This is difficult to fix, and would have compromised its stealthiness from directly in front and behind. General Dynamics also don't seem to have realised they would need to align all access doors etc with their leading/trailing edge angles. I don't believe the A-12 aimed at the same level of RCS reduction as the F-117, and would have used low level flight and ECM to supplement its reduced RCS.

Dan Raymer said the ATF stealth requirements went from "pretty good, especially at the front" to "incredible, from almost all directions". I'm not sure A-12 went through the same stealth reset.

General Dynamics and McDonnell-Douglas also expected technology transfers from the US Government on details of stealth structures and materials from other programs which didn't happen, and which contributed to cost and weight escalation.

Of course, it could still have been a viable combat aircraft even if it wasn't quite as stealthy as an F-117.
Consider that Northrop's unbuilt low altitude penetrator concept for the ATB also had a completely straight trailing edge. I'd suggest that the USN was primarily worried about look down, shoot down radar fighter threats against a low flying A12. In that scenario, the ventral access door alignment really doesn't matter that much. Also remember that there was still the prospect of long range air cover in the form of a F-14 successor and the A-6 community was still oriented towards low level tactics.

The biggest consideration militating against B-2 or F-117 levels of stealth is that an aircraft carrier hangar can't offer ridiculous levels of upkeep. I can assure you that the USN couldn't sandblast an A-12 with wheat starch after every mission, but that's pretty much what the USAF has to do with the B-2.
 

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I've seen a lot of instances of the F-23 EMD's intakes being described as diverterless supersonic intakes, including that article featuring that OK EMD model on "The Drive", but I'm realizing now, I don't think they actually are. If I understand their method of operation correctly, a DSI squeezes out the boundary layer between the lump and the shockwave from the protruding cowle, but the EMD intake throat forms a semicircle, there's no pinch. It looks like an oblique shock diffuser style intake and it would still need a boundary layer sucker/diverter.

Interestingly I just noticed Adam Burch's actually includes diverter plates in the intakes, you can see them in the picture showing off the hourglass symbol, though the ones he includes are at zero sweep so they would increase RCS frontally. Also interestingly, all the edges of the YF-23's intakes are at 40 degrees (like the wing) relative to zero sweep.

Side note, Adam Burch's F-32 model (Featured on a previous The Drive article) for some reason fillets/radiuses the joint between the wing leading edge and the fuselage, there's no sign that such a thing was planned and such a change would be throwing away RCS reduction.
 

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I think it would have had boundary layer suction through a porous material ala the yf-23. I've never seen anything confirming this but why do it on the demonstrator then regress back to a splitter for the production aircraft.
 

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When comparing the F-23 DWGs with the YF-23, it appears that the chines on the F-23 are substantially more subdued than on the YF-23. I wonder what effect that has on vortex generation at high alpha; I would think that it would be less than on the YF-23. Is there anything on the high alpha testing or modeling of the YF-23 to give insight as to why the chines were altered?
 

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Steven said:
When comparing the F-23 DWGs with the YF-23, it appears that the chines on the F-23 are substantially more subdued than on the YF-23. I wonder what effect that has on vortex generation at high alpha; I would think that it would be less than on the YF-23. Is there anything on the high alpha testing or modeling of the YF-23 to give insight as to why the chines were altered?
The diamond shaped cross section and the chisel nose give very good high alpha control. My guess is they were deleted due to construction costs, since building chines all the way down the fuselage is comparatively expensive and they don't really offer any internal volume benefit. Also, it may have related to RAM and LO signature and they figured they could get the levels they needed without them.
 

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Does anyone know what the benefit of jet engines in a tow out arrangement is?, Both the F-23 EMD and NATF-23 have the arrangement. I get that having them toe in helps in engine out situations, but that obviously isn’t the case for toe out.
 

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Phos said:
Does anyone know what the benefit of jet engines in a tow out arrangement is?, Both the F-23 EMD and NATF-23 have the arrangement. I get that having them toe in helps in engine out situations, but that obviously isn’t the case for toe out.
less momentum when one of them is in flame out?
 
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