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

Just call me Ray

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Hmmmm...dare I say?

Perhaps the main selection criteria as to why the YF-22 was chosen was simply as an economic bone to Lockheed. Lockheed hadn't been doing too well since the Tri-Star program at least as far as straight-up aircraft production goes and the S-2/P-3 programs were winding down, while Northrop-Grumman was a prime contractor with the F/A-18, has a very strong shipbuilding program and of course had the B-2 program.
 

F-14D

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Just call me Ray said:
Hmmmm...dare I say?

Perhaps the main selection criteria as to why the YF-22 was chosen was simply as an economic bone to Lockheed. Lockheed hadn't been doing too well since the Tri-Star program at least as far as straight-up aircraft production goes and the S-2/P-3 programs were winding down, while Northrop-Grumman was a prime contractor with the F/A-18, has a very strong shipbuilding program and of course had the B-2 program.

I'm glad you dared. For completeness, though, the company Northrop-Grumman did not yet exist. The team was Northrop-MDD, and they had both sides of the F/A-18 program.
 

donnage99

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I seriously doubt that economic status of contractors played any factor in there if we talking history here. It certainly doesn't go well with tradition of the Air Force (or Navy, or any other branch), which never really give a damn about maintaining economic balance between contractors (Congress does, but then they don't have anything to do with the decision). However, according to Don Rice (as I remember), Contractor's past programs and their creditability at delivering these projects did play a role in the final decision.
 

F-14D

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donnage99 said:
I seriously doubt that economic status of contractors played any factor in there if we talking history here. It certainly doesn't go well with tradition of the Air Force (or Navy, or any other branch), which never really give a damn about maintaining economic balance between contractors (Congress does, but then they don't have anything to do with the decision). However, according to Don Rice (as I remember), Contractor's past programs and their creditability at delivering these projects did play a role in the final decision.
Economic status of a contractor (other than being financially able to perform) would not be a major concern in this particular case, although in the past there were cases of contracts being awarded so that one manufacturer wouldn't have all the business in order to maintain competition. However, what would enter in here would be something called "industrial policy", a philosophy that the administration of the elder Bush was known to be a proponent of.

By the late '80s it was apparent that there would not be enough programs coming along to maintain as big a manufacturing and design base as currently existed. More simply put, we weren't going to need all the aircraft companies we had at the time (at the time there were eight major military ones). Partly this was addressed through the encouragement, and often the mandate, of teaming (In fact, word is that on the A-12, not only was teaming mandated, but the gov't even decreed who would team with who, but that's another topic), but even that wouldn't be enough, some companies were going to have to be absorbed by others or fall by the wayside. Industrial policy meant that not only did you look at who proposed the "best" or most cost effective plane, but which companies were the most versatile, diverse or could provide services that might be necessary in the future. In other words, who did you need (or want) to be around in the future to do other work for you? You also looked at what other business other companies had that might keep them going for a while without having to win the particular contract under question. These considerations would way as much, or even more than, how well the submission performed, as long as they met at least minimum requirements (and in ATF , both submissions met and in some cases exceeded requirements).

Keeping in mind that these kind of decisions are not snap decisions and the way the gov't works once a consensus or decision is made, it tends to keep going even if circumstances change between when it is made and when it is announced, it is perfectly possible to postulate that DoD/AF felt that they wanted Lockheed and Boeing to stay in the military business more (especially since Northrop and MDD had what looked got be ongoing programs to tide them over when the course was set). There's nothing illegal or dishonest about this, it's just looking long term. . I'm not saying this did happen, but it certainly could have, and it would have explained a lot. Of course, one has to wonder just how good the gov't is in setting industrial policy, given its record. To cite another example (and I don't mean to bring this controversy onto this thread, it's just for illustration): To a number of people, candor forces me to admit I'm one of them, the decision to not proceed with the Block IV upgrade of the F-14D but to develop the F/A-18E/F only makes sense in terms of industrial policy. MDD (and to a lesser extent Northrop) was a more versatile company and was necessary for other ongoing programs. Grumman was an excellent, though arrogant, builder of naval aircraft, a more niche aircraft contractor. MDD had nothing else to keep it going in the near term, hence the Super Hornet.

Maybe, though not to so great an extent, this is what happened with ATF. Of course it didn't hurt that next to the F/A-18 lobby, Lockheed is about as good as it gets on effective lobbying.

Also, Congress has a big say in the way decisions are made. After all, if they don't like something, they can refuse to fund it, so that's always a consideration. Whose District a project is in always is taken into consideration. They don't take as obvious a role (except in cases like the C-5 and a few other examples), because they never want to be held accountable for what they do, but that doesn't mean they aren't involved.
 

donnage99

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Wow, that certainly is a huge leap of faith, but then you have the right to pursuit your own opinion. The reason I believe that it's not Air Force's tradition due to the recent tanker AF decision and the JSF program where McDonnell Douglas was cast out even though there were letters sent to the Air Force by members from Congress concerning MD's economic future.

However, you have a point, in which I totally agreed and kinda relate back to my previous post, which is that it's reasonable for the Air Force to take the one that is less likely to get cancelled by Congress. Boeing had a firm base of proponents in Congress. if the ATF was to face cancellation in the future, Boeing with its political influences would have helped (which I think it did).

With all things have been said and released and how they fit together, I think that they pointed toward the notion that the MAIN reason was good presentation, management that won the game when both aircrafts met or exceeded requirements (especially even if MD president said so). As much as I understand, all of us agreed with this. This is of course, reasonable since that's the whole point of building a prototype instead of choosing just one of the concepts, to prove concept's feasibility (note that I don't mean 'feasibility' in the sense that "can you build it or not," but that "can you build it within projected cost and time"). Lockheed/Boeing/GD team did a better job at proving that to the AF. There MIGHT be some other reasons, but that where they stopped, due to the lack of evidences, and there's just no reason to believe in it unless you intentionally wanted to believe so.
 

F-14D

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donnage99 said:
Wow, that certainly is a huge leap of faith, but then you have the right to pursuit your own opinion. The reason I believe that it's not Air Force's tradition due to the recent tanker AF decision and the JSF program where McDonnell Douglas was cast out even though there were letters sent to the Air Force by members from Congress concerning MD's economic future.

However, you have a point, in which I totally agreed and kinda relate back to my previous post, which is that it's reasonable for the Air Force to take the one that is less likely to get cancelled by Congress. Boeing had a firm base of proponents in Congress. if the ATF was to face cancellation in the future, Boeing with its political influences would have helped (which I think it did).

With all things have been said and released and how they fit together, I think that they pointed toward the notion that the MAIN reason was good presentation, management that won the game when both aircrafts met or exceeded requirements (especially even if MD president said so). As much as I understand, all of us agreed with this. This is of course, reasonable since that's the whole point of building a prototype instead of choosing just one of the concepts, to prove concept's feasibility (note that I don't mean 'feasibility' in the sense that "can you build it or not," but that "can you build it within projected cost and time"). Lockheed/Boeing/GD team did a better job at proving that to the AF. There MIGHT be some other reasons, but that where they stopped, due to the lack of evidences, and there's just no reason to believe in it unless you intentionally wanted to believe so.
Well, in the case of the KC-X MDD no longer existed, and what virtually everyone seems to agree is that after USAF saw what both proposed, they decided they wanted the KC-30 more, even though what it did better was not what USAF had asked for. That's why the protest was sustained, not because there was plenty of Congressional lobbying for both planes. In the case of JSF, where relative capability was an evalution factor, MDD absolutely came in third.

As far as ATF goes, I'm simply offering up a thought on what might possibly have happened given how unusual the selection criteria was set up (I don't think there's ever been like that before or since). Not saying this actually did happen, I have no evidence. Although there was some indication that Lockheed may have been favored, and it is clearly true that Northrop/MDD/s paperwork wasn't as good, and as we all know, in these modern times the weight of the proposal can be an indicator of who's going to be looked at with approval, since we now work more towards lowest risk instead of max performance.

USAF still got a superb plane
 

donnage99

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F-14D said:
Well, in the case of the KC-X MDD no longer existed, and what virtually everyone seems to agree is that after USAF saw what both proposed, they decided they wanted the KC-30 more, even though what it did better was not what USAF had asked for. That's why the protest was sustained, not because there was plenty of Congressional lobbying for both planes.
For the tanker decision, I was referring to that a team that include a major foreign partner, which reduced the jobs of the nation industrial base, was chosen. In short, I was referring to the Air Force's ex-decision, not the Gate's decision for the rebid.

In the case of JSF, where relative capability was an evalution factor, MDD absolutely came in third.
So your point being? That the decision wasn't influenced by maintaining manufacturing balance between contractors because capabilities being the evaluation factor? And the ATF was influenced by such factor because confidence in contractor's team to deliver on time and at projected cost? I apologize but I do not find this anyway logical.

As far as ATF goes, I'm simply offering up a thought on what might possibly have happened given how unusual the selection criteria was set up (I don't think there's ever been like that before or since). Not saying this actually did happen, I have no evidence. Although there was some indication that Lockheed may have been favored, and it is clearly true that Northrop/MDD/s paperwork wasn't as good, and as we all know, in these modern times the weight of the proposal can be an indicator of who's going to be looked at with approval, since we now work more towards lowest risk instead of max performance.

USAF still got a superb plane
I apologize I read too much into it. It just that the particular post in discussion lack some "if" so I misunderstood. My bad!
 

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donnage99 said:
F-14D said:
Well, in the case of the KC-X MDD no longer existed, and what virtually everyone seems to agree is that after USAF saw what both proposed, they decided they wanted the KC-30 more, even though what it did better was not what USAF had asked for. That's why the protest was sustained, not because there was plenty of Congressional lobbying for both planes.
For the tanker decision, I was referring to that a team that include a major foreign partner, which reduced the jobs of the nation industrial base, was chosen. In short, I was referring to the Air Force's ex-decision, not the Gate's decision for the rebid.

In the case of JSF, where relative capability was an evalution factor, MDD absolutely came in third.
So your point being? That the decision wasn't influenced by maintaining manufacturing balance between contractors because capabilities being the evaluation factor? And the ATF was influenced by such factor because confidence in contractor's team to deliver on time and at projected cost? I apologize but I do not find this anyway logical.

As far as ATF goes, I'm simply offering up a thought on what might possibly have happened given how unusual the selection criteria was set up (I don't think there's ever been like that before or since). Not saying this actually did happen, I have no evidence. Although there was some indication that Lockheed may have been favored, and it is clearly true that Northrop/MDD/s paperwork wasn't as good, and as we all know, in these modern times the weight of the proposal can be an indicator of who's going to be looked at with approval, since we now work more towards lowest risk instead of max performance.

USAF still got a superb plane
I apologize I read too much into it. It just that the particular post in discussion lack some "if" so I misunderstood. My bad!

Been away for a while. I'm going to stick my response to your thoughts all here at the end because I tend to screw up format-wise when I interleave.

In the case of the tanker, I wasn't referring to the re-bid either, but the original KC-X decision. What I was saying was that USAF didn't feel like following its own announced rules and selection criteria so the award was overturned. You are right about MDD's economic future on JSF, they realized that if they didn't win JSF they would not survive, which is why they were so receptive when Boeing approached.

Following up on the JSF issue, in the competition there leading up to the flyoff, DoD had very definite performance and relative weight assigned to aspects of the specifications. If MDD and produced a design that promised to match those criteria best, they would have been selected to go on. As it happened, MDD definitely came in third, and so they were not selected to move on to the next phase ("MDD. The tribe has spoken, it's time for you to go".). For ATF there was nothing like that. It was basically, "You've got to do at least this. Beyond that we can pick anything we want for any reason we want".

Regarding the ATF competition, you didn't over read me, so there's no reason to be sorry. Although I have no proof, just observations from what happened from the mid-80s through the selection, some personallly and some second hand, it is my personal belief that they always intended to favor Lockheed for industrial policy reasons and Lockheed would have to screw up badly to not get the contract. For example, it's well-known that the YF-23 was ready to fly by the original required date. Lockheed, though, because of the need for extensive redesign (of which they did a remarkable job), said they would need around six more months. The program was then restructured to let Lockheed catch up. Northrop/MDD wanted to fly, but were forbidden to do so, even using their own money. There are other examples. It's important to also look at the whole exercise from what was known and expected then, without the knowledge we have today of how the industry and the world actually turned out. Remember again, there's never been a solicitation like this one, before or since.

It's quite possible that USAF did have more confidence in Lockheed's team to deliver on time and at projected cost, I'm not sure if that would be a valid position, but it was their's to have. They definitely were better in documentation. That would certainly be a valid reason to award to them but again, USAF could award for any reason they felt like. The better documentation would in this case reaffirm a decision they were probably going to make anyway, barring a catastrophic performance. The YF-23 was probably better, and probably would have done at least as well transitioning to production, but it wasn't unbelievably better. It probably didn't have the RCS of the hair on a baby gnat, the range to circle the world twice without refueling, carry an ICBM internally, supercruise at Warp 3 and automatically deploy a golf course and O Club at forward sires. Either way USAF could expect to get a remarkable plane for the time, and it did.
 

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F-14D said:
For example, it's well-known that the YF-23 was ready to fly by the original required date. Lockheed, though, because of the need for extensive redesign (of which they did a remarkable job), said they would need around six more months. The program was then restructured to let Lockheed catch up. Northrop/MDD wanted to fly, but were forbidden to do so, even using their own money.
Agreed. It's like Lochte and Phelps standing on start, then judge comes, says that Lochte needs to change for Speedo Speedskin suit, but Mike will get 100 bucks reward for this (if you remember, USAF paid Northrop team a 'compensation' for half-a-year delay).
 

F-14D

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flateric said:
F-14D said:
For example, it's well-known that the YF-23 was ready to fly by the original required date. Lockheed, though, because of the need for extensive redesign (of which they did a remarkable job), said they would need around six more months. The program was then restructured to let Lockheed catch up. Northrop/MDD wanted to fly, but were forbidden to do so, even using their own money.
Agreed. It's like Lochte and Phelps standing on start, then judge comes, says that Lochte needs to change for Speedo Speedskin suit, but Mike will get 100 bucks reward for this (if you remember, USAF paid Northrop team a 'compensation' for half-a-year delay).
You are correct. The "compensation" was for the cost of keeping their planes ready and the engineering and flight teams together as this was a cost imposed by the Gov't and not part of what they included in their bids.
 

donnage99

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F-14D said:
Been away for a while. I'm going to stick my response to your thoughts all here at the end because I tend to screw up format-wise when I interleave.

In the case of the tanker, I wasn't referring to the re-bid either, but the original KC-X decision. What I was saying was that USAF didn't feel like following its own announced rules and selection criteria so the award was overturned. You are right about MDD's economic future on JSF, they realized that if they didn't win JSF they would not survive, which is why they were so receptive when Boeing approached.
So as much as I understand it, what you said didn't refute my point, which was that in the tanker decision, maintaining the nation's industrial base was not a influencial factor.
Following up on the JSF issue, in the competition there leading up to the flyoff, DoD had very definite performance and relative weight assigned to aspects of the specifications. If MDD and produced a design that promised to match those criteria best, they would have been selected to go on. As it happened, MDD definitely came in third, and so they were not selected to move on to the next phase ("MDD. The tribe has spoken, it's time for you to go".). For ATF there was nothing like that. It was basically, "You've got to do at least this. Beyond that we can pick anything we want for any reason we want".
It still doesn't refute my point that economy was not an influential factor in the JSF decision. These two examples I pointed out was to show that it's not Air Force's tradition to put contractor's future into their decision making process. Nothing more, nothing less. As for ATF's "unusual' setup, wasn't it the modified version after the DoD stepped in? In that case, it could be explained why the setup was so unique.
Regarding the ATF competition, you didn't over read me, so there's no reason to be sorry. Although I have no proof, just observations from what happened from the mid-80s through the selection, some personallly and some second hand, it is my personal belief that they always intended to favor Lockheed for industrial policy reasons and Lockheed would have to screw up badly to not get the contract. For example, it's well-known that the YF-23 was ready to fly by the original required date. Lockheed, though, because of the need for extensive redesign (of which they did a remarkable job), said they would need around six more months. The program was then restructured to let Lockheed catch up. Northrop/MDD wanted to fly, but were forbidden to do so, even using their own money. There are other examples. It's important to also look at the whole exercise from what was known and expected then, without the knowledge we have today of how the industry and the world actually turned out. Remember again, there's never been a solicitation like this one, before or since.

It's quite possible that USAF did have more confidence in Lockheed's team to deliver on time and at projected cost, I'm not sure if that would be a valid position, but it was their's to have. They definitely were better in documentation. That would certainly be a valid reason to award to them but again, USAF could award for any reason they felt like. The better documentation would in this case reaffirm a decision they were probably going to make anyway, barring a catastrophic performance. The YF-23 was probably better, and probably would have done at least as well transitioning to production, but it wasn't unbelievably better. It probably didn't have the RCS of the hair on a baby gnat, the range to circle the world twice without refueling, carry an ICBM internally, supercruise at Warp 3 and automatically deploy a golf course and O Club at forward sires. Either way USAF could expect to get a remarkable plane for the time, and it did.
As for your example, wasn't it that the delay for NATF study after the DoD stepped in to have the navy and airforce "buying" each other "products" (ATF and ATA respectively)? And even if it's not for NATF study, it can easily be explained if you look at it from the perspective of the Air Force. Their priority was not to have the fairest competition process, but to have the "best" options out of the competition for them to choose. Think of it as a race, where lockheed and northrop were the racers. As the judge, their priority is to have both racers finish the race, so they would have more options to choose. This happens once again during the JSF competition, when Lockheed ran into a huge mismanagement (was it mismanagement or something else?). the Air Force faced 2 choices, to immediately award the contract to Boeing or "forgive" Lockheed and have the competition running as intended. They chose the latter. Was it fair for Boeing? Definitely not! Though fairness was not the judge's priority, that doesn't mean that the Air Force intentionally favored the other team because of reason such as politics. So back to the case of the ATF program, it certainly wasn't fair for Northrop, but that doesn't mean that the motivation of the delay was because of Air Force intended Lockheed to win. If Northrop was the one who needed a major redesign, I think there would still be a delay for them to catch up.
 

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If Northrop was the one who needed a major redesign, I think there would still be a delay for them to catch up.
That's not what happened with the LWF program. Although, that was different due to reasons of when NATO was going to make their choice for their F-104 replacement. Then there was the F-20. Then the YF-23. If it is partly because of keeping airframe contractors going, N-G must be getting alot of classified work. ;)

I've often wondered, thinking out load here, if part of the reason the YF-22 was chosen over the YF-23 is an existing aircraft with which the performance of the YF-23 overlapped, so that made some of it's performance irrelevant. I base this on the description of the aircraft that supposedly crashed at Boscombe Downe and has supposedly been seen at various military bases; The most recent example having been at Yokata in Japan, according to AW&ST. I don't think it's called Aurora, I think it's called ASTRA (Advanced Strike and Tactical Recon Aircraft) and I think it is sort of a hybrid replacement for the F-111 and SR-71 and in a pinch could also be a Mach 3+, high mach 2,8+, dash speed interceptor.

If we do have a such a high speed stealthy aircraft, that would sort of negate some of what the YF-23 could do and the YF-22 would give the USAF greater coverage of the entire aerospace flight envelope than the YF-23 would have, due to it's greater maneuverability. Of course, that would partly depend on how many of this other aircraft were built. It's just a thought, but I wonder to what extent "classified" aircraft affect these choices, if at all? Or would it be too compartmentalized to have any effect?
 

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Sundog said:
It's just a thought, but I wonder to what extent "classified" aircraft affect these choices, if at all? Or would it be too compartmentalized to have any effect?
Just look at what Lockheed had to do to get on the Have Blue program. I'll bet there are lots of times when classification causes needless duplication and wasted money. Imagine group A does something successfully and then 10 years later Group 3 is tasked to do virtually the same thing (because they don't know of the existence of Group A's work) - and fails. So Group B blows through it's money, fails, and whoever doesn't get the item they need when all along it was sitting on a shelf somewhere.
 

donnage99

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In case of the f-22, active radar on the nose as usual, and passive one scattered around the leading edge. Does anyone know how the radars were arranged on the f-23 proposal?
 

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donnage99 said:
I seriously doubt that economic status of contractors played any factor in there if we talking history here.
Here's what I was told yesterday, Jan 8, 2009. I was discussing the f-22/23 decision with a hobby shop owner in Austin, Texas. He asked, "Who was president at the time? When was that choice made?" I told him I believed it was 1991. "Well, there ya go," he says. "George Bush senior? Lockheed Martin? Texas? Bush? There's yer answer."

Yep, sounds about right to me. Isn't that how all the major decisions are made if the president has a mind to get involved?

The fact that this discussion is still going on after 17/18 years shows that there was a lot of emotional and logical support for the YF-23. I wonder if there would be any discussion or support for 'this long' had the 22 lost as it should have.

As for the comment someone made about the differences not being "that" much. The point of the exercise is to choose the better plane (politics aside). The YF-23 was faster, more stealthy, could maneuver just a well without thrust vectoring and had no heat signature (HELLO! Thrust vectoring = heat signature big time. Just shoot me down now.) The YF-23 was and, with all its controls back in place, is "still the most advanced fighter plane to date." Quote from one who was in the know. The F-22 is a good plane for sure but why choose 2nd best?
 

donnage99

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Burnelli Support Group said:
donnage99 said:
I seriously doubt that economic status of contractors played any factor in there if we talking history here.
Here's what I was told yesterday, Jan 8, 2009. I was discussing the f-22/23 decision with a hobby shop owner in Austin, Texas. He asked, "Who was president at the time? When was that choice made?" I told him I believed it was 1991. "Well, there ya go," he says. "George Bush senior? Lockheed Martin? Texas? Bush? There's yer answer."

Yep, sounds about right to me. Isn't that how all the major decisions are made if the president has a mind to get involved?

The fact that this discussion is still going on after 17/18 years shows that there was a lot of emotional and logical support for the YF-23. I wonder if there would be any discussion or support for 'this long' had the 22 lost as it should have.

As for the comment someone made about the differences not being "that" much. The point of the exercise is to choose the better plane (politics aside). The YF-23 was faster, more stealthy, could maneuver just a well without thrust vectoring and had no heat signature (HELLO! Thrust vectoring = heat signature big time. Just shoot me down now.) The YF-23 was and, with all its controls back in place, is "still the most advanced fighter plane to date." Quote from one who was in the know. The F-22 is a good plane for sure but why choose 2nd best?
I suggest you go read a few pages back
 

RobertWL

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Burnelli Support Group said:
donnage99 said:
I seriously doubt that economic status of contractors played any factor in there if we talking history here.
Here's what I was told yesterday, Jan 8, 2009. I was discussing the f-22/23 decision with a hobby shop owner in Austin, Texas. He asked, "Who was president at the time? When was that choice made?" I told him I believed it was 1991. "Well, there ya go," he says. "George Bush senior? Lockheed Martin? Texas? Bush? There's yer answer."

Yep, sounds about right to me. Isn't that how all the major decisions are made if the president has a mind to get involved?
You know I don't post much, but that claim is so absurd. :eek: General Dynamics was the dominate force as far as Aircraft production goes in Texas in 91, The only presence Lockheed might've had in Texas ((to my memory)) would've been the Fire control & Mission Division MAYBE.. I can't remember if that division has always been in the Lockheed fold or was purchased like General Dynamics was in 1993. I might be missing something, but such a claim is rather silly. ::)
 

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GDFW (General Dynamics Fort Worth) was not part of Lockheed Martin (which didn't exist until 1995) at the time of the 1991 ATF award to the F-22. But they were part of the team. GDFW build the central fuselage for the F-22 - the largest share of construction work. Boeing build the aft and the forward section and final integration is by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. So F-22 was a big win for Texas. As opposed to all the California and Missouri work for F-23.

There were no doubt political considerations in the F-22 award, especially the huge lobbying efforst of the Georgia Caucus in US Congress. But perhaps it is just conincidence that the three largest combat aircraft contract awards for USAF in the past 30 years have all been to the home states of the Presidents. B-1B to Rockwell North American in California (Reagan, R-CA), F-22 to Lockheed/GDFW/Boeing (Bush I, R-TX) and F-35 to Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman (Bush II, R-TX). You could also argue that each bid won against something a bit more exciting technically; the FB-111H, F-23 and F-32.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
GDFW (General Dynamics Fort Worth) was not part of Lockheed Martin (which didn't exist until 1995) at the time of the 1991 ATF award to the F-22. But they were part of the team. GDFW build the central fuselage for the F-22 - the largest share of construction work. Boeing build the aft and the forward section and final integration is by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. So F-22 was a big win for Texas. As opposed to all the California and Missouri work for F-23.

There were no doubt political considerations in the F-22 award, especially the huge lobbying efforst of the Georgia Caucus in US Congress. But perhaps it is just conincidence that the three largest combat aircraft contract awards for USAF in the past 30 years have all been to the home states of the Presidents. B-1B to Rockwell North American in California (Reagan, R-CA), F-22 to Lockheed/GDFW/Boeing (Bush I, R-TX) and F-35 to Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman (Bush II, R-TX). You could also argue that each bid won against something a bit more exciting technically; the FB-111H, F-23 and F-32.
B-1 was developed during the Carter years.

GDs ATF entry was not chosen.

The F-35 was the better choice of the X-35 and X-32. The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.
 

donnage99

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sferrin said:
The F-35 was the better choice of the X-35 and X-32. The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.
He probably meant that the x-32 was more radical and riskier than x-35, which was true. Due to its radical design approach, it was able to beat the lockheed aircraft in term of development time and cost by significant margin (until the boeing employee strike set in).
 

frank

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I think technically, before just using the blanket designation of B-1 & who was in office, IIRC, the B-1A was during the Ford & early Carter years & Carter cancelled it in favor of the ATB/Stealth Bomber program. Reagan, again, IIRC, re-instated the B-1 development AS the B-1B, so the B-1B was during the Reagan years.




sferrin said:
Abraham Gubler said:
GDFW (General Dynamics Fort Worth) was not part of Lockheed Martin (which didn't exist until 1995) at the time of the 1991 ATF award to the F-22. But they were part of the team. GDFW build the central fuselage for the F-22 - the largest share of construction work. Boeing build the aft and the forward section and final integration is by Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. So F-22 was a big win for Texas. As opposed to all the California and Missouri work for F-23.

There were no doubt political considerations in the F-22 award, especially the huge lobbying efforst of the Georgia Caucus in US Congress. But perhaps it is just conincidence that the three largest combat aircraft contract awards for USAF in the past 30 years have all been to the home states of the Presidents. B-1B to Rockwell North American in California (Reagan, R-CA), F-22 to Lockheed/GDFW/Boeing (Bush I, R-TX) and F-35 to Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman (Bush II, R-TX). You could also argue that each bid won against something a bit more exciting technically; the FB-111H, F-23 and F-32.
B-1 was developed during the Carter years.

GDs ATF entry was not chosen.

The F-35 was the better choice of the X-35 and X-32. The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.
 

Abraham Gubler

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sferrin said:
B-1 was developed during the Carter years.
Please note we are talking about production contracts. The B-1B was ordered into production by Reagan over the FB-111H. Palmdale, CA vs Forth Worth, TX. The B-1A was developed in the 1970s but canceled by Carter because of the promise of the ATB program (later the B-2A).

sferrin said:
GDs ATF entry was not chosen.
Yes back in the 1980s and after that GDFW teamed with Lockheed to be the most significant production partner in the F-22 project which won the final development and production award for ATF.

sferrin said:
The F-35 was the better choice of the X-35 and X-32. The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.
I said 'technically interesting' and beyond the STOVL system was so. Of course the X-32 was flying on a F119 not a F135...
 

robunos

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The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.
I was under the impression that a _vertical_ take-off was not required, that is, the JSF was a STOVL, not VTOL, aircraft.
As I understood it, the JSF would only ever perform short rolling take-offs, the only vertical flight requirement being for a vertical _landing_.

cheers,
Robin.
 

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The X-32 could barely do a vertical takeoff at sea level with parts left on the ground.

I was under the impression that a _vertical_ take-off was not required, that is, the JSF was a STOVL, not VTOL, aircraft.
As I understood it, the JSF would only ever perform short rolling take-offs, the only vertical flight requirement being for a vertical _landing_.

cheers,
Robin.
As I remember at the top of my head, the JSF is required to land vertically with full internal weapons and minimum fuel. Hence, JSF should be able to take of vertically if no weapons or minimal weapons are carried.

All prototypes gain weight as they go into full scale development. If the X-32 could barely do the vertical take under ideal condition with several hundred pounds of parts removed, it was more doubtful the production aircraft could do.

F-22 gained about 5 tons (~10,000lb) as it went from YF-22 to F-22A.
 

robunos

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oops, i'd forgotten about the 'bring-back' requirement...
then again, sooner or later, in an operational situation, i'm sure someone is going to have need of full VTOL performance, so maybe this aspect of the JSF's performance envelope is going to be seen as an error....

cheers,
Robin.
 

donnage99

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robunos said:
oops, i'd forgotten about the 'bring-back' requirement...
then again, sooner or later, in an operational situation, i'm sure someone is going to have need of full VTOL performance, so maybe this aspect of the JSF's performance envelope is going to be seen as an error....

cheers,
Robin.
We never had a truly full VTOL performance (with weapon load) before, not even with the harriers.
 

donnage99

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doolyii said:
This looks interesting...
http://books.google.com/books?id=eyPfgGGTfGgC&pg=PA65&dq=yf-23#PPA62,M1
Where did you get these pictures? Great ones, by the way.
 

flateric

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first one, f-16.net forum, posted by SoCal_CJ
second is from ATF-23 promotional brochure
 

doolyii

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i am trying to get the original somewhere to get it scanned...
This is something I scanned from collection, quality may not as good as original 5 MB pictures..
 

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donnage99

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Thanks, guys! I found those pix a while ago uploaded by someone named Jon borlin, but they were not as big as the ones doolyii posted:
http://picasaweb.google.com/jonborlin/YF23#
 

flateric

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Well, guys, I've thought, that I, Matej and Lantinian are nuttiest YF-23 nuts around. But...not...
 

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AeroFranz

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at the cost of repeating something that has been said a million times - But looking at these pictures one cannot help but think DAMN the YF-23 is sexy! It makes the F-22 look pedestrian in comparison.
 

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Flateric, do you have any higher res versions of those pictures? (Great pics BTW.)
 

flateric

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Yes, but due to some obligations can't post, sorry...
 

Antonio

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Thanks Flateric,

Now I see there is something sexier than a F-23, a couple of F-23 flying in formation. That 05.jpg pic is gorgeus!
 

flateric

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note that the last one is not famous photo from Dryden site - it's another from a series
there were made more than dozen thousands of photos of YF-23 by Northrop and USAF during ATF program, several hundreds hours of footage
where did they go, no one knows...
 

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