Northrop N353/P900 Mission Adaptive Fighter (Bud Nelson)

Sundog

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This is a design study from AIAA student journal back in the 1980's for a lightweight supercruise fighter by Northrop. To me, it's sort of their "modern" F-5. I've seen pictures of a lightning test model in Koku-Fan of an iteration of this configuration and the model seemed to have slightly modified inlets, in that they were a little deeper in height and the exhaust nozzle was more like the F-15SMTD's in that it didn't have the center horizontal vane/flap as shown in this drawing, it had the top/bottom C-D nozzle flap configuration.
 

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Matej

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Some resemblance with Boeing microfighters studies...

However, nice findings, welcome on this forum Sundog ;)
 

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Sundog

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Yes, I had noticed the similarities before. It's funny how design "vogue" influences designs in certain time periods.

Thanks for the welcome. I have to get my MiG-2000 images scanned in next. In this case, it isn't a MiG design, it's a General Dynamics design. ;)
 

elmayerle

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Hmm, I'll have to see if I can find it, I do believe I've a rather more detailed drawing of this study concept. I got it from the guy who did the fuel system, since he was also behind much of the fuel system on TSSAM. If I find it, I'll scan and post, though I may have to scan in sections (anyone in a position to composite these in Photoshop?)
 

Antonio

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Evan and Matej,

I'm on holidays, feel free if you want to send it to me ;)
 

elmayerle

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Did my first attempt at scanning this drawing today, doing a hi-res scan, I ended up with five overlapping images of some 1.2megs each. I need to see if I can get that down somewhat before I post them. Would it be best to post them here or to just announce availability here and let those who want to combine them email me for the files?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Evan, email them to me and I'l upload the lot as a paclage which people can download.

Paul.
 

elmayerle

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A zip file of overlapping scans, in jpg format, of this drawing is uploaded at:

[link dead - Admin]

For those who download and combine them, please let me know if you need any further scans.

I should add that data on the original drawing shows that it dates from the early 1980s.
 

Sundog

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Thanks Evan! :)
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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My version.

I got the parts to line up a bit better than Sundog :)

Its a great set of scans, Evan, no need for anything more.
 

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Matej

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elmayerle said:
I should add that data on the original drawing shows that it dates from the early 1980s.

Any data that were not already postet are welcome.

BTW, from that scans its (at least for me) a bit hard to imagine the exact shape of the air intakes and fuselage near to them.
 

elmayerle

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The inlets are roughly triangular in shape and blended into the wing. Somewhat like an F-105's or Draken's but with the inlet solely on the bottom surface of the wing. The intakes are purposely shaped to reduce RCS.
 

Sundog

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Edited because some of the info was incorrect and the image is in the next post.
 

Sundog

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Here's the pic from Koku Fan. It's very close to the layout I put at the top of the thread, so that would mean the image from elmayerle is probably what it started out as then became what you see in this image. This image was in a 1988 issue of Koku Fan. You can see the early version had intakes that matched the leading edge of the wing, but were later moved back with a reduced sweep on the inlet itself. I'm assuming this is for better pressure recovery at high AOA, but that's just my guess.

BTW, I was wrong about the nozzle. It looks like this later model maintained the nozzle with vectoring flap in the middle, not like the nozzle on the F-22. I should know better to speak just based on memory. ;)

NLWF-1.jpg
 

flateric

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Weird embedded inlets figher concept from

AIAA-83-1164
Survey of Inlet Development for Supersonic Tactical Aircraft (Invited Paper)
L.E. Surber and Lt. C.P. Robinson, AFWAL, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
 

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elmayerle

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Yeah, that's a rather interesting one. Looks even more interesting in the full GA drawing.
 

flateric

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Evan, have you noticed striking similarities to Boeing's parasite Model 985-213 that Orionblamblam posted a while ago?
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,398.msg2595.html#msg2595 May be this is just author's mistake...article has two Northrop concepts (one is surely Nortrop's one with dorsal inlet posted in this thread before + one new I posted to Boeing pre-ATF studies thread).
 

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Orionblamblam

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flateric said:
Evan, have you noticed striking similarities to Boeing's parasite Model 985-213 that Orionblamblam posted a while ago?

Not unlikely. The aircraft design is based on USAF Flight Dynamics Laboratory aerodynamic research. The FDL generated an interesting *shape* for an aircraft, various copmpanies then took that generic shape and designed their own specific aircraft using that. I know I've seen Nortrop drawings usign that shape before, as well as the Boeing work.
 

flateric

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elmayerle said:
Yeah, that's a rather interesting one. Looks even more interesting in the full GA drawing.

Yes, sure) Thing was called Future Compact Fighter

AIAA-86-2630
Design Scope For Student Supersonic Projects
B.D. Nelson, Northrop Aircraft Division
Hawthorne, CA
AIAA Aircraft Systems, Design & Technology Meeting
Dayton, Ohio
October 20-22, 1986
 

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BillRo

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A little background is indicated here. Northrop always had a strong Advanced Design group, not glamorously named like Lockheed's Skunk Works, but very creative, following Jack Northrop's vision. For many years they were based on the top floor of the Engineering building along Broadway (now Northrop Ave.) In the mid 50's into the 60's, under Welko Gasich with Lee Begin running Configuration, the N156, T-38 F-5 series was developed, culminating in the F-5E with uprated engines in 1972. Walt Fellers was a key figure by then and the AX program with Jerry Huben and Don Heinze was a result. The P-530 was Fellers baby too with Lee Begin in the Project Office and Jerry Huben responsible for configuration. This evolved into the LWF proposal and subsequently the YF-17.

Northrop had no Navy experience and so teamed with McDonnell for the NACF proposal based on Northrop's design, but significantly larger. As part of the deal Northrop retained the right to design responsibility for overseas sales of a land-based variant, the F-18L. The production effort kicked off in 1975 and the F-18A Configuration group under Jerry Huben evolved into F-18L Configuration Development by 1980. Lee Begin was the the Program Office with Haig Asdurian running Engineering. Advanced Design under Bob Sandusky was doing studies that led to the ATF proposal and when Northrop won, they disappeared into the compartmented Special Access world. Walt Fellers and Bob Sandusky's names are on the YF-23 patent although Tom Wier then Ken Victor managed configuration eventually.

There was a need for a "white world" Advanced Design and the F-18L folks and Advanced Design people who could not be cleared for SAR because they were foreign born or something were merged into Advanced Projects under Pete Audano, Dave McNally, Engineering and Jerry Huben, Configuration. Several of the Northrop projects shown in this thread come from this group between 1980 and '85. They were called Advanced F-5 -F-18 Configuration Development. The ND-102 was Walt Feller's baby and he meticulously massaged it with Jerry Acord and Don Stack.

As an interesting aside, when we developed a configuration for the Supercruiser with a diamond shaped wing we were visited by a deputation from ATF configuration who removed all drawings of the design.

The picture dated '82 shows a model of the dorsal inlet design and on the original you can see that the drawing on the board is of Bud Nelson's Compact Efficient Fighter (CEF) that appeared as Future Combat Fighter. Who are those people?

BillRo
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Bud Nelson's Compact Efficient Fighter (based on his earlier Microfighter work at Boeing) from BillRo.
 

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BillRo

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The third configuration was the well known Bud Nelson Compact Efficient Fighter. This is probably one of the last iterations, the N353-4/P900. I have also included some drawings and model photos of a version with inlets in the wing root with a grid, rather that the usual design underneath the wing LE. The TBird paint scheme is pretty cool.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Just realized I have other pics of that design (probably from elsewhere on this forum) variously refered to as "NALF", "NLWF" and LWSCF"... Are these bogus designations or do they correspond to something in relation with the P-900 proposal?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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N.353 / P.900 Structural drawing.


Courtesy BillRo.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Stargazer2006 said:
Just realized I have other pics of that design (probably from elsewhere on this forum) variously refered to as "NALF", "NLWF" and LWSCF"... Are these bogus designations or do they correspond to something in relation with the P-900 proposal?

Found earlier topic and merged with this one. The designations above seem to come from descriptions and filenames in that older topic.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Note Evan's drawing posted earlier in topic is a slightly different version of this design. Reposted here sharpened a bit.
 

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allysonca

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Thought that you would like this... From my collection in 1/20th. All wood construction in-house made.


Also had a smaller one that was 1/40th.

The models were painted white and were used in the litigation trial against McDonnell Douglas and the F-18.
 

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Pioneer

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The models were painted white and were used in the litigation trial against McDonnell Douglas and the F-18.
Sorry colleagues to digress, but can you please PM me allysonca regarding how these models, this design was used by Northrop in the litigation trial against McDonnell Douglas re the F/A-18? I'm intrigued :p

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hesham

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allysonca said:
Thought that you would like this... From my collection in 1/20th. All wood construction in-house made.

Also had a smaller one that was 1/40th.

The models were painted white and were used in the litigation trial against McDonnell Douglas and the F-18.


Amazing Models Allysonca.
 

allysonca

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I was told that these were litigation models by the (now long retired) Model Shop manager when I acquired them. As you can see they were all white and they were intended to show the linage and progression of the YF17 design. Other than that maybe Tony Chong has some more info.
 

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I can give you a little background since I coordinated the Northrop Engineering part of supporting the lawsuit and spent weeks in STL in the middle of winter digging through McAir documents during the discovery process. Basically the teaming agreement between Northrop and McAir was to use McDonnell expertise in carrier aircraft to adapt the YF-17 design for shipboard use. If we won the contract, Northrop would design and build the center and aft fuselage and the vertical tails while St Louis would have the forward fuselage (crew station), wings and horizontal tails. McAir would have program responsibility for USN ship-based aircraft while Northrop would design and sell the land-based variant - the F-18L to foreign customers as they did with F-5s.

Things did not work out that way since foreign customers like Canada, Australia, Spain etc. wanted to use the USN supply train unchanged rather than deal with unique parts (3-pylon no-fold wing, different pylons, different landing gear etc.) even though the F-18L had significant performance advantages being 2000 lb lighter. McDonnell then started to sell F/A-18A aircraft to land-based customers and, as cost offsets, began offering parts of the Northrop production share to those customers. When Northrop found out what was happening a lawsuit ensued.

The models were built as a trial court exhibit to show that the F-18 was a Northrop design by showing the design progression from F-5 to YF-17 to F/A-18A. Lee Begin ordered those but I have no clue as to why Bud Nelson's CEF was included. In any event the models were never used as the case was settled out of court. As I recall Northrop got $50 M and dropped the F-18L, but kept their production share, a situation that continues today on the F/A-18E, F and G
 

Pioneer

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I must say, I'm very impressed by the 'Modular Weapons Carriage' configuration!! And yet no one has yet fielded such a simple arrangement yet :eek:
Also thanks very much into your insight into the issue of the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 / F-18L issue BillRo
I've said it one, and I'll say it again, its a great pity in my view and opinion that the similar and lighter F-18L was never adopted by Air Forces around the world!! :'(

Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Bud Nelson's Compact Efficient Fighter (based on his earlier Microfighter work at Boeing) from BillRo.

According to Tony Chong in Flying Wings and Radical Things Bud Nelson's design was the N-353/P900 Mission Adaptive Fighter (MAF), not the Compact Efficient Fighter.
 
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