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

donnage99

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overscan said:
Removed some recent off-topic posts.

YF-23 was certainly a beauty.
Need more pix, please! :D

And I know flateric got several. ;)

As for the engine, is it technologically possible to have a 2d thrust vectoring nozzles but still maintain yf-23 nozzle stealth features? I mean like the bottom of the b-2 style nozzles of the yf-23 that hides it from ground radars would retract into a yf-22 nozzle style for thrust vectoring when needed? I know that it would add lots of weight penalty to the aircraft, but is it even technologically possible?

I'm thinking this is because though the yf-23 nozzles helped stealth from below and the back, which is ideal for deep penetration missions envisioned for the ATF, thrust vectoring has a stealth advantage in another perspective. It decreases the uses of control surfaces for maneuverability, which would mess up the plane's ideal stealthy shape.
 

Lampshade111

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I believe the F-23 would need some serious redesign in order to get thrust vectoring capability. The nozzles on the YF-23 were designed with stealth the main goal.

As for the suggestion of a navalized F-23, I thought the YF-23 was considered less suitable to the possibility of carrier operations than the YF-22? I doubt a navalized F-23 could have worked, when you consider the F-22 would have been redesigned with variable-sweep wings for carrier operations. This was the proposal under the NATF program.
 

lantinian

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As for the engine, is it technologically possible to have a 2d thrust vectoring nozzles but still maintain yf-23 nozzle stealth features
You should really do some research about the F-23 as an operational concept vs the F-22. It's not a question if it is possible or not, it's a matter of whether is was needed or not.

At the time of the competition, TVC was very popular in the aerospace industry circles and was considered almost as great value for Air Superiority as stealth and sustained speed was. Maybe even higher amongst front line pilots.

It is NOT.

Northrop operational concept called for overwhelming advantage in the BWR combat to reduce the enemy so you have numerical advantage in WVR combat.

Lockheed concept called for advantages in both areas. It was "politically" a better decision given the unproven record of stealth and the new Cobra Maneuvers demonstrated by the MiG-29s and SU-27s at the time.

What most people do not realize if the fact that F-23 had a lot more capability to totally refuse WVR fight compared to F-22 because of its higher sustained speed and better supersonic maneuverability. In those flight conditions trust vectoring brings little capability to justify its added weight, cost and affect on stealth.

Recent reports of how pilots tend to use the advantages of the F-22 in exercises totally supports the Northrop Concept. F-22 pilots virtually do not make any use of its super-maneuverability if that was not a target in the exercise. Flying high, fast and unseen is the best tactic to keep you safe, lethal and in control of the battlefield.

In hight speed flight, F-22's TVC pitch control is not as important as directional control and I suspect F-23 was better at that given the design's ability to exert more control power by varying engine trust. (SR-71 had even more potential for that but I guess the digital FCS was not there yet)

So lets stop questioning Northrop's design decisions about not adding TVC or canards.
 

donnage99

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lantinian said:
As for the engine, is it technologically possible to have a 2d thrust vectoring nozzles but still maintain yf-23 nozzle stealth features
You should really do some research about the F-23 as an operational concept vs the F-22. It's not a question if it is possible or not, it's a matter of whether is was needed or not.

At the time of the competition, TVC was very popular in the aerospace industry circles and was considered almost as great value for Air Superiority as stealth and sustained speed was. Maybe even higher amongst front line pilots.

It is NOT.

Northrop operational concept called for overwhelming advantage in the BWR combat to reduce the enemy so you have numerical advantage in WVR combat.

Lockheed concept called for advantages in both areas. It was "politically" a better decision given the unproven record of stealth and the new Cobra Maneuvers demonstrated by the MiG-29s and SU-27s at the time.

What most people do not realize if the fact that F-23 had a lot more capability to totally refuse WVR fight compared to F-22 because of its higher sustained speed and better supersonic maneuverability. In those flight conditions trust vectoring brings little capability to justify its added weight, cost and affect on stealth.

Recent reports of how pilots tend to use the advantages of the F-22 in exercises totally supports the Northrop Concept. F-22 pilots virtually do not make any use of its super-maneuverability if that was not a target in the exercise. Flying high, fast and unseen is the best tactic to keep you safe, lethal and in control of the battlefield.

In hight speed flight, F-22's TVC pitch control is not as important as directional control and I suspect F-23 was better at that given the design's ability to exert more control power by varying engine trust. (SR-71 had even more potential for that but I guess the digital FCS was not there yet)

So lets stop questioning Northrop's design decisions about not adding TVC or canards.
Though I try as much not to turn this into a yf-23 vs. yf-22 thread, I just found too many holes in this typical yf-23 fanbois argument. First of all, I never said that I suggested the yf-23 to have thrust vectoring for subsonic maneuverability. I suggested it for stealth performance. Thrust vector of f-22, though not good for infared and heat seeking missiles from below, it is good for overall rcs stealth performance since you don't have to use as much control surfaces, which would mess up its ideal stealthy shape. This is one of the reason why Lockheed kept thrust vectoring for the a/f-x proposal (quoted from flight global) Does it mean yf-22 was stealthier than yf-23? Absolutely not. It's a well known fact that yf-23 was stealthier. But the f-22 design pushed its stealth boundary to be close enough to yf-23 so that it wouldn't be significant in the final decision from the Air Force, and at the same time, offering some additional capabilities that the yf-23 don't.

As for yf-23 maneuver better in supersonic speed then yf-22, who said that? You? Let's stick with reliable sources, shall we? According to Paul Metz, test pilot of yf-23, and later f-22, he said that thrust vectoring, unlike popular belief, actually benefits supersonic maneuverability.

Quote:

What is not widely known is that thrust-vectoring plays a big role in high speed, supersonic maneuvering. All aircraft experience a loss of control effectiveness at supersonic speeds. To generate the same maneuver supersonically as subsonically, the controls must be deflected further. This, in turn, results in a big increase in supersonic trim drag and a subsequent loss in acceleration and turn performance. The F-22 offsets this trim drag, not with the horizontal tails, which is the classic approach, but with the thrust vectoring. With a negligible change in forward thrust, the F-22 continues to have relatively low drag at supersonic maneuvering speed.
As for the the decision were influenced by the fancy airshow cobras made by mig and su at the time: ridiculous bull. Again, where is the source for that?

As for one of the PRACTICAL capabilities offered by thrust vectoring, also from Paul Metz:
By using the thrust vector for pitch control during maneuvers the horizontal tails are free to be used to roll the airplane during the slow speed fight. This significantly increases roll performance and, in turn, point-and-shoot capability. This is one of the areas that really jumps out to us when we fly with the F-16 and F-15. The turn capability of the F-22 at high altitudes and high speeds is markedly superior to these older generation aircraft. I would hate to face a Raptor in a dogfight under these conditions.
Also from AviationWeek magazine, thrust vectoring offers significant maneuverability at high attitude, since there isn't much air up there for control surfaces to work efficiently with. And given the characteristic of the ATF, which is to operate in highest attitude for a fighter to have the "look-down/shoot-down" capability, thrust vector is very relevant.

The advantage of thrust vector for the requirements of the ATF is very significant. Adding thrust vector to the yf-23 would deny the advantages of its counterpart, and with its already faster and stealthier airframe, can give its a significant edge over its counterpart. This edge would hopefully balance the yf-23's program's weakness in management issues.
But then again, the decision was done, history has been made. So my question was not about "Did the Air Force choose the second best?" but it was if it's technologically feasible to add thrust vector to the aircraft while still maintain its b-2 style nozzles, by the mean of retraction of the bottom part of the nozzle when thrust vectoring is needed.

I myself, an all time fan of yf-23, that's why I'm on this board, but let's try not to be biased and cut out all the made belief "informations", shall we?
 

lantinian

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Dear donnage99,

You need to have a lot more information that you obviously have your hands on to pretend you can question a very tough design decision made by Northrop. Don't argue it with me, argue it with the people who build this plane.

And you need to find some more quotes by Paul Metz re the YF-23 not the F-22 if you want to know something more about the true YF-23 perfomance

First of all, I never said that I suggested the yf-23 to have thrust vectoring for subsonic maneuverability. I suggested it for stealth performance.
If you would like to suggest that the overall stealth profile of the YF-23 would have been better by adopting F-22 like 2D TV nozzles then I will be sure to save my time and skip reading your following posts

Thrust vector of f-22, ....is good for overall rcs stealth performance since you don't have to use as much control surfaces, which would mess up its ideal stealthy shape.
You obviously are not fully aware of how the F-22 actually uses its TVC. It is not used to perform any one maneuver by itself or extend the maneuverability envelope of the aircraft. The sole purpose of the TVC on the F-22 is to get it from one maneuver into the other faster.

То imply that moving flight control surfaces on an aircraft like the YF-23 degrades its stealth and that can be eliminated by transferring control to the 2D TVC is plain funny my friend. You need to think about it some more.

But the f-22 design pushed its stealth boundary to be close enough to yf-23 so that it wouldn't be significant in the final decision from the Air Force
I think you have your facts very wrong. Actually I do not think you have the facts. But there are some people who do and very clearly imply what a difference that was. Watch the documentary YF-23 Web of Secrecy.

This is one of the reason why Lockheed kept thrust vectoring for the a/f-x proposal (quoted from flight global)
I bet it had to do more with adequate control power for an Navy aircraft than any consideration of decrease of stealth due to moving flight control surfaces.

As for yf-23 maneuver better in supersonic speed then yf-22, who said that? You? Let's stick with reliable sources, shall we? According to Paul Metz, test pilot of yf-23, and later f-22, he said that thrust vectoring, unlike popular belief, actually benefits supersonic maneuverability.
That does not mean that F-22 has better supersonic maneuverability. It only means that F-22 has TCV and they help in supersonic maneuverability.
In fact on of the benefits of using TCV is that you can have your horizontal stabilizers smaller and reduce weight. Lockheed designers took advantage of that. In other words you can compensate the lack of TCV with a larger area flight control surfaces. That is what Northrop did.
That is a fact.

The superior supersonic performance of the YF-23 comes from the larger wing area, better area ruled design, and better engine integration. The YF-23 was a lot faster for a given throttle settings and so could pull more Gs while keeping the same speed. Again, you should check some comments of Paul Metz from the flight testing of the 1990 about the YF-23 performance.

Also from AviationWeek magazine, thrust vectoring offers significant maneuverability at high attitude, since there isn't much air up there for control surfaces to work efficiently with.
YOu should really think a little before posting something like that.
How would an airplane fly in the first place if the thin air was making control surfaces inefficient? Actually flying at Mach 1.5+ at high altitude is not a problem for the wings or the flight control surfaces. It is a problem for the engines. The engines simply do not have the needed inlet air-pressure to produce enough trust, hence the use of so much afterburners on similar aircraft such as SR-71.

You also seem to forget the reliability index. If TCV was so reliable, we would have had tailless aircraft decades ago. Aircraft relying on 3D TVC for all control.

If you have not read trough every book on the ATF subject, you should as I have if you consider yourself a fan and then ask questions that were not answered there.

Re the TVC as a selection criteria. Yes it did matter to some people but it was more a political factor than true capability. I don't know where you live but in the 90s a lot a people thought that a cobra like maneuvers were more useful in combat than stealth. The F-22 could counter such capabilities on paper with TVC. The F-23 couldn't. Its true strength lied in numbers that are to this day classified.

You should be seeking those, not to question the YF-23 design.
One of the biggest reasons F-22 won is that Lockheed produces several times the amount of paperwork needed to convince the brass it had a better management plan. It did and it probably had. It was not a performance stand of. It it was, the YF-23 would have won hands down.
 

donnage99

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lantinian said:
Dear donnage99,

You need to have a lot more information that you obviously have your hands on to pretend you can question a very tough design decision made by Northrop. Don't argue it with me, argue it with the people who build this plane.

And you need to find some more quotes by Paul Metz re the YF-23 not the F-22 if you want to know something more about the true YF-23 perfomance

First of all, I never said that I suggested the yf-23 to have thrust vectoring for subsonic maneuverability. I suggested it for stealth performance.
If you would like to suggest that the overall stealth profile of the YF-23 would have been better by adopting F-22 like 2D TV nozzles then I will be sure to save my time and skip reading your following posts

Thrust vector of f-22, ....is good for overall rcs stealth performance since you don't have to use as much control surfaces, which would mess up its ideal stealthy shape.
You obviously are not fully aware of how the F-22 actually uses its TVC. It is not used to perform any one maneuver by itself or extend the maneuverability envelope of the aircraft. The sole purpose of the TVC on the F-22 is to get it from one maneuver into the other faster.

То imply that moving flight control surfaces on an aircraft like the YF-23 degrades its stealth and that can be eliminated by transferring control to the 2D TVC is plain funny my friend. You need to think about it some more.

But the f-22 design pushed its stealth boundary to be close enough to yf-23 so that it wouldn't be significant in the final decision from the Air Force
I think you have your facts very wrong. Actually I do not think you have the facts. But there are some people who do and very clearly imply what a difference that was. Watch the documentary YF-23 Web of Secrecy.

This is one of the reason why Lockheed kept thrust vectoring for the a/f-x proposal (quoted from flight global)
I bet it had to do more with adequate control power for an Navy aircraft than any consideration of decrease of stealth due to moving flight control surfaces.

As for yf-23 maneuver better in supersonic speed then yf-22, who said that? You? Let's stick with reliable sources, shall we? According to Paul Metz, test pilot of yf-23, and later f-22, he said that thrust vectoring, unlike popular belief, actually benefits supersonic maneuverability.
That does not mean that F-22 has better supersonic maneuverability. It only means that F-22 has TCV and they help in supersonic maneuverability.
In fact on of the benefits of using TCV is that you can have your horizontal stabilizers smaller and reduce weight. Lockheed designers took advantage of that. In other words you can compensate the lack of TCV with a larger area flight control surfaces. That is what Northrop did.
That is a fact.

The superior supersonic performance of the YF-23 comes from the larger wing area, better area ruled design, and better engine integration. The YF-23 was a lot faster for a given throttle settings and so could pull more Gs while keeping the same speed. Again, you should check some comments of Paul Metz from the flight testing of the 1990 about the YF-23 performance.

Also from AviationWeek magazine, thrust vectoring offers significant maneuverability at high attitude, since there isn't much air up there for control surfaces to work efficiently with.
YOu should really think a little before posting something like that.
How would an airplane fly in the first place if the thin air was making control surfaces inefficient? Actually flying at Mach 1.5+ at high altitude is not a problem for the wings or the flight control surfaces. It is a problem for the engines. The engines simply do not have the needed inlet air-pressure to produce enough trust, hence the use of so much afterburners on similar aircraft such as SR-71.

You also seem to forget the reliability index. If TCV was so reliable, we would have had tailless aircraft decades ago. Aircraft relying on 3D TVC for all control.

If you have not read trough every book on the ATF subject, you should as I have if you consider yourself a fan and then ask questions that were not answered there.

Re the TVC as a selection criteria. Yes it did matter to some people but it was more a political factor than true capability. I don't know where you live but in the 90s a lot a people thought that a cobra like maneuvers were more useful in combat than stealth. The F-22 could counter such capabilities on paper with TVC. The F-23 couldn't. Its true strength lied in numbers that are to this day classified.

You should be seeking those, not to question the YF-23 design.
One of the biggest reasons F-22 won is that Lockheed produces several times the amount of paperwork needed to convince the brass it had a better management plan. It did and it probably had. It was not a performance stand of. It it was, the YF-23 would have won hands down.
Amusing, indeed! Amusing in that I think your message should be direct at yourself rather than me. As much as I'm tempted to dissect each part of your reply, but it's better to just sum it up. Here's a thing: I fully know my limitation of my knowledge on both the planes, that's why I'm not drawing any conclusion or assumptions on the planes. Thrust vectoring helps stealth performance was quoted by lockheed spokeperson on the a/f-x short lived program from Flightjournal. Thrust vectoring helps at high altitude was quoted by f-22 pilot on aviationweek. You don't have to argue with me, argue with them. Everything I said was directly quoted from either pilots or makers of the planes, the ones who have more knowledge and know what they doing more than both you and me combined. I've never questioned the decision of the northrop people. I was asking if it was feasible to retract . Maybe it wasn't; maybe it was too expensive and risky; maybe the weight of the retraction device adds up with the thrust vectoring is too heavy; maybe it's not technologically possible at the time at all. I'm just asking whether it was technologically feasible. but IF it was feasible, and within northrop's reach, thrust vectoring would have denied the advantages of its competitor.

If anyone who jumps on conclusions and assumptions on their own, it's you. Everything you provided in regard of the planes in comparison toward each other are from where? Your own mind (no official or even just reliable sources made direct claim that yf-23 has better agility than yf-22 at supersonic speed, such claims only came from amateurs around the net, so please cut the bull)?

And as for web of secrecy, there is 4 accounts I remember that the northrop made comparison between the planes. One was that it's much faster than the yf-22; another was that if the decision was chosen in light of the airplane with the best capabilities, then it should be northrop, and the guy also made the remark at the end "that's how I feel." There's also a remark at the beginning by a northroper is that their team has decided their aircraft to be stealthier and the other one more agile. Please refrain from making baseless claims. Taking into account that these comments are biased simply because they were the ones who shed the tears and bloods of long years into this plane, the document says nothing about the plane in comparison toward the yf-22. Why? because in another document, a lockheeder said the same thing about his plane, that northrop had the second best plane in the world.

And as for ignoring my post about adding thrust vector would help overall stealth performance. You just proved your stupidity by not reading thoroughly what I said (since that's only half of what I said, which totally distorted the original meaning in my message). Nothing personal, just plain old logic.
 

Sundog

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Actually, the choice of the YF-22 over the YF-23 was quite a shock to many and it is a simple fact that the YF-23 had the superior stealth and supersonic performance. Lockheed officials liked to knock the Northrop design, saying they, Lockheed, designed a fighter first and a stealth aircraft second. The simple fact is that the YF-23 met the maneuvering requirements stipulated in the ATF requirements without thrust vectoring.

Now, as for the thrust vectoring on the YF-22/F-22, where it really does help, besides satisfying all the fanboy's at airshows, to which I confess being one, is during take-off and supersonic maneuvering. In take-off, it allows the F-22 to rotate at a lower airspeed than it would be able to with just the stabilators. One of the design points on aircraft is sizing the tail for rotation on take-off without causing too much drag at higher speeds. It's a trade-off and the TVC allows greater optimization of the tail size.

In supersonic maneuvering the TVC allows trim drag to be minimized, thereby minimizing how much energy is bled during maneuvers in certain parts of the supersonic envelope. The YF-22 had some advantages in those areas over the YF-23, but once again, it was a trade-off and clearly not in the entire supersonic regime. Also, the TVC brings a certain greater amount of maintenance over non-thrust vectoring nozzles and a weight penalty. Of course, the YF-23's nozzles had the problems with the tiles, which were also maintenance intensive, but IIRC, they were going to change that in the production version?

Having said that, let's try to keep the personal attacks down and just stick to the facts, or at least respectable disagreement, as there are already enough other aviation forums that devolve into that kind of nonsense and is one of the reasons I enjoy Secret Projects so much is it's lack of such behavior.
 

donnage99

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yeah, yf-22's stealth met the ATF prototype requirements, too. Does it mean that it is as stealthy as the the yf-23? No. So to say that since the yf-23 meets the ATF prototype requirement in term of agility, it must mean it's as agile as yf-22 is just not logical. And yes, the decision was a shock, and I'm still mourning for the yf-23 till now, but then again, popular belief and sympathy are not necessary the right ones. And I'm sorry I should be smarter to know that not everything can be said, even when it's true. It's just distortion of what other said for the sake of winning an argument is just.....

Anyway, can we stop this yf-22 vs. yf-23 trend that I've probably (and certainly many of you) seen a thousand times around different forums, and get back to my original question of technological feasibility, since everything else beside what the Air Force said that both aircrafts met or exceed the requirements and neither were significantly better than the other one, so the decision was more than just capabilities. The rest are just thin air fabricated by the bias of both planes fanbois who don't fully know enough about the planes and the professional knowledge and experience to make judgment.
 

Lampshade111

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Did Northrop/McDonnel Douglas ever show an offer for the NATF program?
 

donnage99

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Lampshade111 said:
Did Northrop/McDonnel Douglas ever show an offer for the NATF program?
There's one promotion video about northrop NATF proposal based on yf-23, but I've never seen a picture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGIjJbBVyOU&fmt=18
 

KJ_Lesnick

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donnage99,
There's one promotion video about northrop NATF proposal based on yf-23, but I've never seen a picture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGIjJbBVyOU&fmt=18
From what I remember it didn't look anything like the F-23
 

sferrin

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donnage99 said:
yeah, yf-22's stealth met the ATF prototype requirements, too. Does it mean that it is as stealthy as the the yf-23? No. So to say that since the yf-23 meets the ATF prototype requirement in term of agility, it must mean it's as agile as yf-22 is just not logical. And yes, the decision was a shock, and I'm still mourning for the yf-23 till now, but then again, popular belief and sympathy are not necessary the right ones. And I'm sorry I should be smarter to know that not everything can be said, even when it's true. It's just distortion of what other said for the sake of winning an argument is just.....

Anyway, can we stop this yf-22 vs. yf-23 trend that I've probably (and certainly many of you) seen a thousand times around different forums, and get back to my original question of technological feasibility, since everything else beside what the Air Force said that both aircrafts met or exceed the requirements and neither were significantly better than the other one, so the decision was more than just capabilities. The rest are just thin air fabricated by the bias of both planes fanbois who don't fully know enough about the planes and the professional knowledge and experience to make judgment.

You should probably avoid crap like "Though I try as much not to turn this into a yf-23 vs. yf-22 thread, I just found too many holes in this typical yf-23 fanbois argument. " or your stay will be short. If you have to have an A vs. B debate take it to another board. I'm not a mod (obviously) but I can tell you the tolerance level for that stuff is VERY low here.
 

lantinian

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It all started here
As for the engine, is it technologically possible to have a 2d thrust vectoring nozzles but still maintain yf-23 nozzle stealth features?
donnage99 expressed his reasons for asking and I expressed my point of view of why the quesion is irrelevant.

NO is my answer to the question because it will require redesign of the boat like rear fuselage to accommodate the extra supporting structure for the TVC and the expanded maneuvering envelope. It will also have negative impact on rear quadrant Stealth capability, something F-22 sacrificed to get the maneuvering bonus in subsonic speed. A No TCV nozzle can always be made more stealthy than TCV equipped one.

Sundog also expressed his view.

I respect everybody's opinion but believe strongly that any discussion for lightheartedly assuming an easy integration of TVC in the YF-23 is undermining Northrop amazing job with this aircraft and their choice of not using TVC.

It is not as if they forgot to think about the idea and it could just be added later with no penalty to the design.
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
You should probably avoid crap like "Though I try as much not to turn this into a yf-23 vs. yf-22 thread, I just found too many holes in this typical yf-23 fanbois argument. " or your stay will be short. If you have to have an A vs. B debate take it to another board. I'm not a mod (obviously) but I can tell you the tolerance level for that stuff is VERY low here.
And I'm glad you aren't. Taking verses out of context is not something mods should do. I didn't mean to turn it into a A vs. B. I never argued that yf-22 was a better aircraft; I don't even think it was. I was simply correcting what, in my opinion, is false information and a typical fanboi argument.

lantinian said:
donnage99 expressed his reasons for asking and I expressed my point of view of why the quesion is irrelevant.

NO is my answer to the question because it will require redesign of the boat like rear fuselage to accommodate the extra supporting structure for the TVC and the expanded maneuvering envelope. It will also have negative impact on rear quadrant Stealth capability, something F-22 sacrificed to get the maneuvering bonus in subsonic speed. A No TCV nozzle can always be made more stealthy than TCV equipped one.
If you read my post thoroughly, you would find that I'm NOT asking to REPLACE the TCV of the yf-22 with the b-2 style nozzles on the yf-23. I did point out that yf-23's nozzle is stealthier, especially with infrared and heat seeking sensors. I'm asking for a incoperation of both designs into a single design, which use some sort of a retraction and contraction device. And my question is if that is technologically possible.

I respect everybody's opinion but believe strongly that any discussion for lightheartedly assuming an easy integration of TVC in the YF-23 is undermining Northrop amazing job with this aircraft and their choice of not using TVC.
It is not as if they forgot to think about the idea and it could just be added later with no penalty to the design.
NO BODY SAID THAT. I'm asking about technology feasibility. If it's technologically feasible, doesn't mean choosing to do it is the right choice. There's also cost, weight penalty, risk factors that add up and overwhelm the advantages gained by the specific design. I'm asking if it's TECHNOLOGICALLY feasible, not whether it's a good choice or not. I'm not criticizing northrop's decision.
 

lantinian

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I'm asking about technology feasibility
I would assume that you have not gone trough the whole 15 pages of this tread. If you had, you might have noticed this post with official info:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1092.msg15388.html#msg15388

or this one with unofficial one:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1092.msg25618.html#msg25618

Actually you will find a lot of discussion about Trust Vectoring on the YF-23 on the first few pages. Some of it coming from the people that have worked in Northrop at the time.

I have personally come across information that Northrop had done some trade studies with a TVC version of the YF-23 but it was primarily as a backup should the AirForce decide that the technology was a must for the ATF.

Anyway I have also found that any further speculation about nonexistent projects and modifications of aircraft will result in the moderators encourage you to visit this page
http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php
 

overscan

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Play nicely please. No need to be rude with each other.
 

donnage99

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lantinian said:
I would assume that you have not gone trough the whole 15 pages of this tread. If you had, you might have noticed this post with official info:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1092.msg15388.html#msg15388

or this one with unofficial one:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1092.msg25618.html#msg25618


Actually you will find a lot of discussion about Trust Vectoring on the YF-23 on the first few pages. Some of it coming from the people that have worked in Northrop at the time.
I did, but those designs had nothing to do with the design I was suggesting.
I have personally come across information that Northrop had done some trade studies with a TVC version of the YF-23 but it was primarily as a backup should the AirForce decide that the technology was a must for the ATF.
Again, whether northrop did a study on it or not (I'm very confident they did), it had nothing to do with what I was talking about.
Anyway I have also found that any further speculation about nonexistent projects and modifications of aircraft will result in the moderators encourage you to visit this page
http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php
it's for making models, it has nothing to do with my question, which is technology application on real planes.
 

donnage99

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I thought the recent restored one (dark one that posted on page 13) is the pav-1 black widow ii, but in this pic it said grey ghost:
 

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flateric

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YF-23A *aircraft type* unofficial nickname was Black Widow II (due to specific view of its RCS pattern on radar screen and as heritage tradition of WWII Black Widow). PAV-1 prototype (dark-grey) was christened Gray Ghost by flight crew, PAV-2 (light-grey) was Spider.
 

frank

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I have read that there were access panels or some other doors or panels on its belly or that had been painted red & were the shape of a black widow's marking & that also attributed to the name.



flateric said:
YF-23A *aircraft type* unofficial nickname was Black Widow II (due to specific view of its RCS pattern on radar screen and as heritage tradition of WWII Black Widow). PAV-1 prototype (dark-grey) was christened Gray Ghost by flight crew, PAV-2 (light-grey) was Spider.
 

flateric

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http://web.archive.org/web/20050906000951/www.wci-productions.com/infopg.htm

The shape of the plane was determined by radar and wind tunnel tests. During one type of radar test, the aircraft model was placed on a pole, and its cross-section illuminated with various high frequency radar signals. Early in the program, during one such RCS (Radar Cross Section) test, the YF-23 first acquired the name "Black Widow".

"We realized that the radar signature from the leading and trailing edges of the wing, and the wing tips formed and RCS pattern that looked like a spider. And I don't remember who it was that said it, but they said, Black Widow II, it has to be" . - Bob Sandusky

Although Northrop held a name the plane contest, many employees entered the name Black Widow II.

Two days before scheduled roll out, Chief Engineer Bob Sandusky found a way to give PAV-1 its unofficial insignia. Crawling under the narrow wing space, he came across a sharp edge by the air vent. Bob Sandusky:: "I said, you know that looks dangerous, and we really ought to paint that sharp point there red."

Dave Maurice, crew chief for PAV-1 agreed: "So I painted the inside of the vent red so you'd be able to see it and try to get a little bit of a warning. All of a sudden it tuned into a hourglass like on the belly of a Black Widow spider".

But moments before the scheduled roll out, Bob Sandusky was forced to apply stealth interference of his own when an Air Force General wanted to carry out a last minute inspection. Bob Sandusky: "I literally threw my body in front of him and pointed him off to another part of the airplane so he wouldn't see the hourglass on the bottom of the airplane before the roll out."
If you ever see Bob Sandusky photo, you can understand that field of view he closed was impressive.

After PAV-1 appeared with hourglass logo on the cover of AW&ST, USAF officials pushed Northrop to remove it on reasons unexplained.
 

flateric

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Cutaway said:
This plane would have been the best F-14 replacement. Better than the F/A-18 Superhornet and the F-35 JSF although some years older.
Err..what knowledge your predictions are based on? I know just a couple of guys who ever have seen NATF-23 proposal technical data and configuration - and all of them are talking of it as of bunch of compromises.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Cutaway,

Maybe if the plane was over-engineered/designed with the extra strength built into the design for US Navy purposes from the beginning (I mean the F8U wasn't too much heavier than the F-100 and in many ways they were comparable) and carried those AAAM's (long-ranged missiles which were similar in size to the Sparrow/AMRAAM, weighed around 650 lbs, and had at least if not more range than the AIM-54 Phoenix)...


KJ
 

donnage99

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Cutaway said:
This plane would have been the best F-14 replacement. Better than the F/A-18 Superhornet and the F-35 JSF although some years older.
Lol, wrong forum, mate! If you gonna make some baseless claim, you're gonna be crucified hard by these guys in this forum. :D
 

donnage99

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Here's a question that is bugging me. The weapon bays of the yf-22 were placed well behind of the inlets, yet members of congress were still concerned that the smoke coming from firing missiles could mess with its engine through the inlets. This prompted Lockheed to have a missile firing demonstration from both the main bay and side bay. And now we talking about the yf-23, which has its main weapon bay even closer to the inlet, and the planned inlet for the sidewinders which is even before the inlets (so the rumour goes). I'm wondering why was Congress not concerned about Northrop airplane?
 

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Lockheed added weapons firings to the schedule, it wasn't a required element. It is possible that they did have concerns about the YF-23 as well, but the YF-23 demonstrator could hardly have demonstrated front weapons bays it didn't have.
 

flateric

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What the source of the fact that Congress was even bothering of ATF 'smoke' launch problems? If they were giving a f**k of that, they'd better bother about acoustic loads and wave interference between airframe and missile exhaust plume (these were *real* problems).
 

donnage99

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flateric said:
What the source of the fact that Congress was even bothering of ATF 'smoke' launch problems? If they were giving a f**k of that, they'd better bother about acoustic loads and wave interference between airframe and missile exhaust plume (these were *real* problems).
From this book (and after rereading it, I found myself making a mistake. The book says members of the Gov. not Congress. My apology):
http://books.google.com/books?id=5To910D9ASIC&pg=PA61&dq=yf-22+weapon+smoke&lr=&as_brr=3

I heard some guy who claimed he worked on the yf-23 and later moved to work on contract for the f-22 said this. He was arguing another guy who said that one of the reasons yf-23 lost because it didn't demonstrate as aggressively as yf-22, citing missile firing demonstration on the yf-22. I never taken what the so-called engineer said until I found the book that said something similar.
 

lantinian

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the smoke coming from firing missiles could mess with its engine through the inlets.
Consider the design of the F-14 and SU-27 and you will see these planes to be even more prone to such effects than the YF-23, which had its intakes widely spaced apart.

The YF-23 missile launcher was quite capable of making test launches of the AIM-120. In fact test were made with the missile extended almost fully out in the airstream. This way Northrop could simulate unlimited times missile launch without dropping the missile itself.

There was no requirement to perform actual missile launches. There was a requirement however to provided verification data regarding the launching mechanism.

The reason the YF-22 team did that (I think) is because that was the only way to provide the same kind of date the YF-23 team did. Remember how the YF-22 launcher works. The missile cannot be extended into the open and then dropped. Instead, it was pneumatically ejected. So, you cannot test that effect without dropping the missile. And they did eject the missile for the test. It was not really a big deal to make the missile fire its engines afterwords.

The approach by Lockheed made for a very powerful pro YF-22 argument to those not familiar with the actual tests. Actually Northrop tested its simulated missile launches and weapons bay performance at speeds up to Mach 1.5, while Lockheed made all test launches subsonically.

Consequently F-22A did have redesigned weapons bay since the old design could not operate well supersonically. Needless to say the F-23A didn't. It had the same main weapons bay door design.

All in all both teams demonstrated the most critical part of their missile launchers. For YF-22 that was the pneumatic missile ejection and for YF-23 that was bringing the missile from a storage position to launch ready one.

This plane would have been the best F-14 replacement. Better than the F/A-18 Superhornet and the F-35 JSF although some years older.
Yes, it was a bigger airplane all right. But at what cost would it have fully worked? The only thing one could argue is that Northrop/MDD have a lot more carrier experience that Lockheed/Boeing/GD
 

donnage99

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You missed the point, Lantinian. Yes, they both did hours of testing with their firing mechanism, obviously, but the point wasn't about concern for the approach of the missile firing machanism. It's fear of an engine flame out with the smoke from the missile comes in through the inlet. You can't do stimulation with this. My question was that I find it odd that they were afraid of a flame out with yf-22 but not yf-23, which had much closer weapon bay toward the inlets.

My guess is that it was more of a concern with the engines rather than which airframe it was. So with Lockheed demonstrated that a flame out wouldn't occur with the engines, Northrop didn't have to do the same, since they both used same engines. My other guess is that it was never a formal request, but rather just concerns of critics and oppositions of the ATF program within the government (usually they are not even in the program), much like some folks in the Gov. are now raising concern about the tumblehome design of the Zumwalt Destroyer. And Lockheed just did it for propaganda reason or something.
 

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In YF-22 the missile bay is directly below the inlets. In YF-23 the bay is between the inlets. The YF-23 need not push its missile out of the way to avoid hot gas injection. Check the Front views of the two aircraft.
 

flateric

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Look at the pic. You will note that YF-23s weapon bay doors perfectly serve as deflectors of exaust plume both from AMRAAMs launched from retractable 'cradle' (other dubbed it 'cigarette pack') launcher moved into airstream (launch method in case of YF-23) and AIM-9s, launched from launchers installed on bay doors close to the edge. So in the case, YF-23 was superior to YF-22 with a cheek Sidewinders launchers. In the case of F-23A, with a additional AIM-9 weapon bay forward to AMRAAMs one, it would be a problem. I've asked a question to Pavel Bulat, why is a gury in wave dynamics and weapon bay aerodynamics. Let's see what he will say.
 

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donnage99

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Thanks, guys! And hopefully, Pave Pulat may know something.
 

flateric

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Rooney said his team was not concerned with the Lockheed team's decision to fire Sidewinder and AMRAAM
missiles, which he says were not a requirement of dem/val. "We make a list of what we feel is important and
we didn't share our list with Lockheed ... and they didn't share their list with us," he said. "We didn't think that
launching a very mature missile at seven-tenths Mach in level flight had any meaning whatsoever. (We) were
concerned about ... the environment in that weapons bay at very high speeds."
 

donnage99

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flateric said:
Rooney said his team was not concerned with the Lockheed team's decision to fire Sidewinder and AMRAAM
missiles, which he says were not a requirement of dem/val. "We make a list of what we feel is important and
we didn't share our list with Lockheed ... and they didn't share their list with us," he said. "We didn't think that
launching a very mature missile at seven-tenths Mach in level flight had any meaning whatsoever. (We) were
concerned about ... the environment in that weapons bay at very high speeds."
Did you get this from accessmylibrary? I had read that a while ago, but totally forgot. Thanks for reminding me. So I'm guessing that it was only unwritten concern and not a formal request, and Lockheed did it just for propaganda reason.
 

flateric

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unwritten concerns sometimes worth more than written ones, but I think it was the other case
 

donnage99

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flateric said:
unwritten concerns sometimes worth more than written ones, but I think it was the other case
I meant unwritten concern from the people who aren't even part of the evaluation team. If you look through history, these people existed in every programs. The reason is because they dont have full access to the program, they aren't aware of the technology used to overcome certain challenges, thus raising their concerns. Just look at the Zumwalt tumblehome concerns, the f-35's air to air capabilities concerns, etc. Back when the yf-22 came out, they were concerned that it wasn't stealthy enough at all. Most the time, the people in charged of the program just shrug it off, but sometimes they'll do something about it if the voices get too noisy.

And what do you mean by the other case? The engine case? The article you provided seems to be in line more with the non-formal concern, though.
 

flateric

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as Paul Metz once said - not exact citation, but factually close -'we <at Northrop> still can't understand the reasons why we lost' Well, I suppose they were asking, but didn't get answers, yeah? And they were much more appropriate people to get the answers than we are.

There are many sources on the net discussing the possible reasons, many opinions coming from people who was directly involved (check old rec.aviation board archives for example) I don't feel we need make reposting these old sceletons here. In short, possible reasons could be proposed and expected by decision makers R&D costs, manufacturing base and flyaway costs, comparison of EMD and FSD configurations (you know how F-22 does look like and how it differs fron YF-22, now, what about how much would cost remake YF-23 to EMD? to NATF? May be, they just saw NATF-23 and took a decision momentally? Take into consideration current companies position on the market - who needs contract? Who just got a contract and have problems with performing it nice (Northrop B-2 RCS = not as advertised, MDA ATA = very bad). Lockheed needs some white job, it has almost nothing in nearest future to do. Etc, etc.
 
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