Rockwell Close Air Support, High Manouverability Study

Orionblamblam said:

Mark Anthony Kutz's personal site

09/82 - 10/87: Conceptual Aircraft Designer, Rockwell International
Although my time there was short, I'd have to say the work I did as a young conceptual aircraft designer for Rockwell was the most fun. In my first year, I was assigned to the B-1B Bomber Propulsion Systems group, where I developed the first successful computer simulation for the entire B-1B engine start system for use in airbase escape time studies. My later responsibilities included the development of design criteria, design synthesis methods and of course conceptual design of new aircraft for the U.S. military. I designed some pretty cool stuff including Close Air Support, High Maneuverability (shown upper left), High Altitude Reconnaissance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Hostage Rescue and Low Observables aircraft. I even performed some of the early hypersonic propulsion system integration work on the unrealized National Aerospace Plane (NASP). My last assignment was acting subsystems integration lead on Rockwell's Advanced Tactical Fighter concept (now the F-22 Raptor being built by Lockheed-Martin). It may not sound glamorous but I learned about every major system in the aircraft.
At first glance, it seems more plausible as a GI Joe toy than a credible CAS aircraft. Where do you put the stores? You need to balance them fore and aft for CG, but putting anything on the front wing of such a configuration is not going to do super great things to the airflow around the rear wing. Yeah, I suppose it's a nice fat fuselage, but that's pretty limiting, especially now that damned near everything is guided and will want a view forward. And hell, why split the wing at all if you're not going to take advantage of the structural benefits of one high anhedral wing and one low dihedral wing?

Worth further consideration, I suppose, but it seems like it's designed first and foremost to look cool.
...I agree. Damn thing looks more like something designed for a toy line than for the front line.
OM said:
...I agree. Damn thing looks more like something designed for a toy line than for the front line.

1) The pilot looks like his feet have to serve as the nose landing gear... the forward fuselage looks *real* shallow
2) If that's a gun in the nose, again, the pilots feet look to be in the breech
3) The cockpit transparency extends *really* far aft. Pilot simply couldn't look that far over his shoulder.
4) There would be AoA's where the "canard" would do interesting things to the airflow in the region of the inlets.

Could be a "real" project, I can't say. But this would seem to be an initial "sketch" more than a detailed design. It's really not unusual for the first thing a designer puts to paper to be seriously flawed even on basic geometry.
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