Stealthy inlet duct quiz


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1 April 2006
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Origin: McDonnell Douglas Phantom Works
Timeframe: mid 90s

Question: what the damn platform it was made for?


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Well, if I had to guess....
The shape suggests it was a 1 inlet per engine design. So either a single engine 1 inlet or two engine 2 inlet.
The type of curve (strong but strictly one axis) would suggest a vertical S moment not a side of mixed (side+vertical) one. That would rule out the two engine configuration.

Actually, if you turn the picture upside down, you will likely see a stealthy F-16 type of chin inlet design forming around the shape of the inlet. The main weapons bay is hiding in the cavity behind the inlet, which is shark mount in shape.
I agree with lantinian's assessment. It should be for a single engine aircraft.
Just judging by the size and diameter of the duct, it should be something bigger than X-45
But which aircraft?
Could it be that there was no aircraft and it was a manufacturing technology demonstration?
Of course, this is a much less exciting explanation :)
My first thought was the Bird of Prey but I think it might be a bit too big ???

Looks a bit like one of the ducts for a MRF study in this thread,2392.msg49723.html#msg49723 but the wrong way up.
no, this is apparently not BoP
I wonder if MDC was making their little Global Hawk?
well, I have tried also to fit it to you are not alone...
Could just be a practice shape they were testing a new layup machine on.
sferrin said:
Could just be a practice shape they were testing a new layup machine on.

That, and it could be a test shape to attach to an actual turbojet, to see how such a serpentine inlet would actually survive. Built poorly, the inlet would collapse, or at least crack. Doing such tests early would provide good data for actual designs later.

Just a theory.
Scott, you are ruining my dream castle...
It's obviously a big slinky the engineers play with at lunch.
Judging from the happy faces.
When they are done, they put it back in its container in the wall (as you can see in the background).
There is a black program exploring stealthy slinky's, but you didn't hear it from me!

Yes, I think it is an inlet duct too. Note the rectangular cross section
at the right and the circular cross section on the left (hard to see but looks
Why not YF-23? The round engine end is almost perpendicular to the camera, while the front end "looks away" from the camera: it's a twin engine inlet tube clearly. It's just upside down.
from ATK presentation


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