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Rockwell Oblique Wing Cruise Missile

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Attached are photos of an oblique-wing, stealthy cruise missile concept model from Rockwell International. The NACA flush air intake becomes unobstructed by the wing after the missile is released and the wing opens into position. The payload nose section (warhead?) is removable, so I presume there were others, possibly recon packages. Date is unknown, but the red stencils and high visibility insignia remind me of some old, short-lived SR-71 markings.

Does anyone have any info on this missile project? Thank you.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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There's reference in an AIAA paper (76-943, APPLICATIONS OF OBLIQUE-WING TECHNOLOGY - AN OVERVIEW) to a classified oblique wing cruise missile study requested by the USAF and tested at NASA Ames. Mission requirements were for a long range cruise missile carried internally from existing bombers (hence constraining size and shape). Any idea of size?
 

Stargazer2006

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This and the envisaged oblique wing combat aircraft by Rockwell make interesting research developments for the NASA/Rutan Ames AD-1 Oblique Wing demonstrator... Thanks for sharing.
 

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overscan said:
There's reference in an AIAA paper (76-943, APPLICATIONS OF OBLIQUE-WING TECHNOLOGY - AN OVERVIEW) to a classified oblique wing cruise missile study requested by the USAF and studied at NASA Ames. Mission requirements were for a long range cruise missile carried internally from existing bombers (hence constraining size and shape). Any idea of size?

Thank you Overscan. Not one bit of information came with this model, hence my query. I always assumed it was sized to fit on a Common Strategic Rotary Launcher (about 20ft. x 2ft.). If the AIAA paper is from 1976, the application of stealth technology was probably minimal.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yes, 1976.

From 1983 onward, you have the AGM-129 for that mission, so presumably its from before then. I haven't actually found who submitted designs to the ACM competition - anyone know? Its possible the model could be an early 1980s model unrelated to, or descended from, the mid 70s study.
 

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circle-5 said:
If the AIAA paper is from 1976, the application of stealth technology was probably minimal.

Not necessarily. The 1968 vintage AGM-69 SRAM was liberally coated in RAM in order to reduce its already minimal RCS...
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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The shape, to me, looks like its definitely reduced RCS, pre-stealth. 1975 seems about right.
 

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Because missile shapes and sizes (even cruise missiles) reflect much smaller RCS than fighters and bombers a reduction in RCS by up to a half using “pre-stealth” technology would still have a tactical benefit. Not in HAVE BLUE or 5th generation fighter territory but still significant.

The significance of the SR-71 alike markings could be the removable nose for a reconnaissance mission. All the USAF 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s support aircraft, cars, etc were painted in the black skin, red markings of the SR-71 despite not needing it. So to market a 1970s D-21 type system to the potential user it would be a good idea.
 

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Maybe Scott knows.

I do not. however, I'll simply point out that lowered radar cross-section has been not only a goal but a design feature for a lot longer than people might think. Not only was SRAM covered in RAM, it also had only three fins. When most missiles had four, three seems an odd choice... until the phrase "corner reflector" comes to mind.
 

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overscan said:
There's reference in an AIAA paper (76-943, APPLICATIONS OF OBLIQUE-WING TECHNOLOGY - AN OVERVIEW) to a classified oblique wing cruise missile study requested by the USAF and tested at NASA Ames. Mission requirements were for a long range cruise missile carried internally from existing bombers (hence constraining size and shape). Any idea of size?

Just long range, or long range AND loitering over the target?
 

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Orionblamblam said:
When most missiles had four, three seems an odd choice... until the phrase "corner reflector" comes to mind.
Interesting...I had not considered that. Which puts this in an interesting light - it is a Douglas SRAM proposal model - image from eBay.
 

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AeroFranz

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Apologize for re-opening long-dead thread, and for non-strictly related post, but two of my acquaintances worked at Rockwell and their first recollection of working on stealth projects was around '71.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
I do not. however, I'll simply point out that lowered radar cross-section has been not only a goal but a design feature for a lot longer than people might think. Not only was SRAM covered in RAM, it also had only three fins. When most missiles had four, three seems an odd choice... until the phrase "corner reflector" comes to mind.
Also interesting to consider in light of the shift from four to three fins for UGM/RGM-109E (which one may also note has a reshaped nose).
 

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Howedar said:
Orionblamblam said:
I do not. however, I'll simply point out that lowered radar cross-section has been not only a goal but a design feature for a lot longer than people might think. Not only was SRAM covered in RAM, it also had only three fins. When most missiles had four, three seems an odd choice... until the phrase "corner reflector" comes to mind.
Also interesting to consider in light of the shift from four to three fins for UGM/RGM-109E (which one may also note has a reshaped nose).

AGM-86 has some "interesting" features as well (albeit not as "interesting" as AGM-129).
 

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circle-5 said:
overscan said:
Nice - faceted tail fins?

Yes. See attached photo.

Actually, I doubt their faceted primarily for LO reasons, though their shape would definitely help. I'm guessing that's a supersonic missile and a diamond shaped airfoil works well for supersonic/compressible aerodynamics. Not to mention it's probably cheaper and easier to manufacture.
 

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RE: The original model?

A couple of notes: The fact that the "nose-cone" is removable doesn't really mean anything. The "payload" bay on a CM is nearer the center of gravity to help stablize the vehicle and actually back towards the center of the vehicle.

Where's the "guidance" equipment? An Oblique-Wing by itself is not very useful, without vertical and horizontal stabs that thing is going to tumble all over the sky.

Randy
 

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Looks to me like this later Boeing concept may be related:




(h/t to flateric)​


EDIT: On the other hand, 1992 would seem to be too early for Boeing to have gotten their hands on Rockwell's oblique wing research.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
Looks to me like this later Boeing concept may be related

IIRC, this had a conventional wing rather than oblique. This drawing just showed how it was stowed and deployed.

As far as the AGM-129A, I'm not sure if it was actually competed - it may have gone to production directly from a DARPA program just like SENIOR TREND.

" A DARPA program, TEAL DAWN, developed key technologies and a design later incorporated into the Air Force Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM). In the early 1980s, the Air Force assumed responsibility for the ACM Program and success- fully managed the system through concept demonstration; engineering and man- ufacturing development; production; and development. The TEAL DAWN Program involved a series of studies and developments related to the development of a long-range stealthy strategic cruise missile. DARPA expe- rience in low observables was incorporated into the design of the low-signature engine inlet and nozzle. Other technologies included the unique aerosurface sweep angles that provided a benefit to the aerodynamic performance.
Clearly recognized performance goals (signature, range, flight profile) were suc- cessfully demonstrated during the DARPA phase of the program. Wind tunnel and radar ranges testing also were accomplished by the Air Force under DARPA sponsorship. The follow-on Air Force program could then focus on operational test and evaluations (OT&E) and manufacturing objectives with a high degree of confidence that program objectives would be realized."
In FY81-82 USAF had control of TEAL DAWN and was moving it to flight test demonstration.
 

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quellish said:
Grey Havoc said:
Looks to me like this later Boeing concept may be related

IIRC, this had a conventional wing rather than oblique. This drawing just showed how it was stowed and deployed.

Check out the shape of the wingtips...(highlighted)


cheers,
Robin.
 

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