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Thought experiment on Boeing Bird of Prey

Empire

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Its 1999 the test program for the BOP has just ended and the government wants a manned light bomber to replace the F-117. What would need to be done to the BOP to make it operational? I know this forum can easily design the aircraft. I asked this question in the BOP topic section but not alot of replies so i'm making it i's own topic. I'm looking for air frame changes, weapon systems, radar, etc. Some concept art would be nice too.
 

Empire

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Here are my thoughts on a manned design. Forward cockpit design kept the same as on BOP rear plan form changed to X-45A style with double bomb bay.


F-118A


Crew 1
Span 47 feet
length 51 feet
height 12 feet
engine modified GE-F412-GE-400
Thrust 13,000 lbs
radar Raytheon pre-APG-79 ASEA design
EO system modified An/AAS-44c Multi Spectral Targeting System
empty weight 22,500 lbs
max weight 38,392 lbs
internal fuel 7,830 lbs
payload 5000 lbs
weapons 2- 2000 lbs bombs 2- Aim-120c
max radius 1300 miles
max range 560 miles
max speed 650 mph
max altitude 40,000 feet
Covered in a textured metallic surface developed from the Senior Spud program. Reflects light in a unique way up close the light takes on a pink hue.
Only 15 air frames where procured it is the air forces silver bullet strike force.
 

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Jeb

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I imagine the changes would be substantial, to the point of it being a wholly new plane. BOP wasn't big enough for any real mission capability and it was quite difficult to fly.
 

allysonca

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Just a little note about the Bird of Prey.


I was flying my TL-19D to an air show up to Northern CA from CNO in the way back days before the release of the F-117. We knew of the dark jets and the "T-38 training crashes" in the local mountains so the Nighthawk was an unknown to as to shape and size. In flying North we always skirted Hwy 395 to the West side to remain out of Joshua (Edwards) airspace. My D model was much faster than my fiends A versions so I tended to leave later and arrive about the same time being a 25 knot difference in airspeed. On this CAVU day I looked over to the Edwards side and saw a WTF in tight formation with a T-38. It was smaller and glued to the left wing of the Chase. No camera and only the ability to broadcast on warbird freq (123.45 at the time) to the other Bird Dog group......Guys, Guys...... I see a Stealth. Yeah, sure you do was the reply. When the 117 came out it was, hey, thats not what I saw and at last the Bird of Prey was made public and lo and behold THIS is the plane I saw! I wish we had the cell phones and small cameras back in the day.... coulda made a stir with a picture of this one I bet (or thrown into a black hole)!
 

TomS

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Whatever you saw probably wasn't the Bird of Prey. The F-117 was announced in public in late 1988; the BoP project supposedly wasn't even started until 1992.
 

Empire

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My attempt at an operational design. Hope it comes out ok I had to take a picture of it because my scanner is out of service. I'm not a good drawer so don't judge to bad.
 

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quellish

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TomS said:
Whatever you saw probably wasn't the Bird of Prey. The F-117 was announced in public in late 1988; the BoP project supposedly wasn't even started until 1992.

It could have easily been a test of a SENIOR PROM configuration.
I am not certain that the F-117 test force used T-38s as chase during the period described. The test force was (IIRC) based at Groom Lake, though the operational squadrons were at TTR and used A-7 chase aircraft.
 

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I hate to say this but I know with 100 percent certainty that it WAS the Bird of Prey. The plan form and the droopy wing tips were unmistakeable. I love that someone that was not there could second guess me on this.... It was before the release of the F-117 and it was smaller than the T-38. I know what I know and one thing is aircraft.
 

quellish

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allysonca said:
I hate to say this but I know with 100 percent certainty that it WAS the Bird of Prey. The plan form and the droopy wing tips were unmistakeable. I love that someone that was not there could second guess me on this.... It was before the release of the F-117 and it was smaller than the T-38. I know what I know and one thing is aircraft.

One of the SENIOR PROM configurations was very similar, was flying in the 80s, and used T-38 chase aircraft.
Bird Of Prey wasn't constructed until several years after the F-117 was made public, and did not fly until even later. The techniques used to design and build Bird of Prey were not available before the F-117 was public.
*shrugs*
 

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Nope... According to this: Despite the successful flight tests, no production contract was awarded for [/size]SENIOR PROM[/size], and the program was terminated in 1981.
[/size]
[/size]What I saw was manned and had a canopy..... I'll dig out my log books and check the date. Close but no banana. [size=medium]
 

quellish

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allysonca said:
Nope... According to this: Despite the successful flight tests, no production contract was awarded for SENIOR PROM, and the program was terminated in 1981.

What I saw was manned and had a canopy..... I'll dig out my log books and check the date. Close but no banana.

It wasn't actually terminated until 1983 - work continued on integrating it on the B-52 until then, surprisingly enough. Lockheed kept flight testing SENIOR PROM and SENIOR PROM derived shapes for several years with internal company funds to support efforts in other programs.


A more specific date for your encounter would be very helpful ;)
 

sublight is back

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quellish said:
allysonca said:
Nope... According to this: Despite the successful flight tests, no production contract was awarded for SENIOR PROM, and the program was terminated in 1981.

What I saw was manned and had a canopy..... I'll dig out my log books and check the date. Close but no banana.

It wasn't actually terminated until 1983 - work continued on integrating it on the B-52 until then, surprisingly enough. Lockheed kept flight testing SENIOR PROM and SENIOR PROM derived shapes for several years with internal company funds to support efforts in other programs.


A more specific date for your encounter would be very helpful ;)
How far from possible would it be to suggest that it was a Navy stealth program? How long has NavAir been using the T-38?
 

quellish

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sublight is back said:
How far from possible would it be to suggest that it was a Navy stealth program? How long has NavAir been using the T-38?

Based on... what, exactly?
 

sublight is back

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quellish said:
sublight is back said:
How far from possible would it be to suggest that it was a Navy stealth program? How long has NavAir been using the T-38?

Based on... what, exactly?
Because she is REALLY insistent about the time frame. But I will just hold off until she looks at her flight logs.
 

allysonca

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I'm digging for them. 4 moves, 30 years and 3000 flight hours later.................... too many boxes, but I know I have them.
 

Empire

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Added this to my statistics post on page 1. Can any one model this with design software.
 

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Interesting. I had once thought of a cross between the BOP and the Phantom Ray.
 

Empire

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Here is the visual metallic coating I mentioned in my post 2 on page 1 for F-118 stats. It was tested on an F-117 airframe. When the plane gets up to operating altitude it all but disappears.
 

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quellish

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Adventurer104 said:
Like to know more about this "visual metallic coating". ?

SENIOR SPUD was a series of tests involving new coatings. This was not intended to reduce the visual signature of the test article but the IR and RF signatures.
 

Empire

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That coating pictured indeed reduced IR and RF signatures but on the classified side it also reduced visibility at height.
 

quellish

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Empire said:
That coating pictured indeed reduced IR and RF signatures but on the classified side it also reduced visibility at height.

Not according to the program summary or final report.
 

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Hi Quellish,
Do you have more info on that particular coating? It reflects light in a strange way.
 

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I may be wrong on this pinkish hue being effective at higher altitudes. I'm told this hue is effective either at dusk or dawn and under (yes it's hard to believe) cloud cover.
 

quellish

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Empire said:
I may be wrong on this pinkish hue being effective at higher altitudes. I'm told this hue is effective either at dusk or dawn and under (yes it's hard to believe) cloud cover.

Huh? SENIOR SPUD was not pinkish, it was metallic.


This paper explains visual signature reduction well:
UAVBarrett.pdf
 

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Thanks for the paper quellish good info. Sorry I mean the light reflecting off the metallic surface is a shade of pink hue.
 

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Here is info I found on British Recon Spit fires being painted pink. I think this is the effect trying to be exploited. Remember 70% of the earth is covered in clouds in any one time.
[/size]Although the planes were ideally meant to fly at sunset and sunrise, when the clouds took on a pinkish hue and made the plane completely invisible against them, they were also useful during the day. Clouds are pinker than we give them credit for. We perceive them as white against the sky because the particles in the sky scatter blue light, sending some of it down towards us and letting us see the sky as blue. Clouds scatter every kind of light, and against the intense blue sky look whitish gray. But their color depends on what kind of light gets to them, and what they are floating next to.
[/size]Although we see the sky as a radiant blue, the particles are actually filtering out a lot of the blue light that gets down to the earth's surface. When the blue light is scattered, a good deal of it goes right back up into space, which is why the atmosphere of earth glows blue in some pictures. This filters out a good deal of the blue that gets to the clouds. The clouds scatter what they have, which is a spectrum of light with at least some of the blue filtered out, shifting the overall light ever so slightly towards red. Add to that the fact that the water droplets in clouds can diffract light at different angles, and the clouds are often rife with pastel shades of pink, orange, and green. They look white compared to a glowing blue sky, and a quick glance leaves people with the impression that they are white, but a long look should reveal this shifting, if minor, shades. A light pink plane is safer against them than anyone would expect.

[/size][size=0.9375rem]
 

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Does anyone have any information on this McDonnell Douglas design. It looks like the air intake is behind the cockpit as in the Bird of Prey.
 

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I believe the MDD image above is a early JSF proposal tunnel model. The intake you are seeing is for the front lift fan.
 

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Boeing. who inherited BOP from McDonnell Douglas, designed, built and flew two X-45As - including weapon drops. Boeing relied heavily on BOP for that purpose or am I wrong. -SP
 

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Your right SP but this is the first time i've ever seen a manned version of what the BOP would have to become to make it a more stable platform in flight and be able to deliver a payload. As many have said at the beginning of this post the BOP design would have been no good for a bomber because of its aerodynamics.
 

quellish

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Steve Pace said:
Boeing. who inherited BOP from McDonnell Douglas, designed, built and flew two X-45As - including weapon drops. Boeing relied heavily on BOP for that purpose or am I wrong. -SP

You are correct, and this was a major reason that Bird of Prey was made public.
 

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Empire said:
That coating pictured indeed reduced IR and RF signatures but on the classified side it also reduced visibility at height.
In the book Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter by Paul F Crickmore he states that and I quote " Yet another attempt to reduce visual acquisition took place over four flights, between July 19 and 22, 1993. Code-named "Senior Spud," aircraft 784 was half-covered in a textured, reflective surface". end quote
 

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quellish said:
Adventurer104 said:
Like to know more about this "visual metallic coating". ?

SENIOR SPUD was a series of tests involving new coatings. This was not intended to reduce the visual signature of the test article but the IR and RF signatures.
n the book Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter by Paul F Crickmore he states that and I quote " Yet another attempt to reduce visual acquisition took place over four flights, between July 19 and 22, 1993. Code-named "Senior Spud," aircraft 784 was half-covered in a textured, reflective surface". end quote
[/size]
 
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