• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

US Navy’s UCLASS / CBARS / MQ-XX / MQ-25 Stingray Program

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,621
Reaction score
422
:rolleyes:

... I think you've got a point. My bad.

Obviously, my ill-fated remark was more on aerodynamics: less a proven system to land autonomously without tail on a carrier.
 

VTOLicious

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
667
Reaction score
265
X-47...it seems to have been a victim of the requirement changing to just a refueling aircraft, but the platform had a lot more potential and would have been ready sooner.
Indeed... Boeing had its UCLASS prototype ready to go and it satisfied the tanker role without major changes to the airframe, apparently. LM and GA had no hardware to show and we never saw a Northrop proposal for CBARS btw.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,040
Reaction score
1,079
:rolleyes:

... I think you've got a point. My bad.

Obviously, my ill-fated remark was more on aerodynamics: less a proven system to land autonomously without tail on a carrier.
Except that it did it seven years ago. Boeing's still hasn't. So even from a aerodynamic standpoint I don't see how it works. Also the MQ-25A will be the first butterfly tail on a carrier. So that's not really proven either.
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,621
Reaction score
422
I have watched the videos till my eyes burnt and I swore that nobody serious would be confident that the design was inherently safe...
Gremlins were there IMOHO. I mean some other design like the A320 have their fare share of them and still fly commercially... and crash.

Butterfly is also fairy easy to understand. The bad point is that it's draggy not unsafe (draggy without FBW and relaxed stability).
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,787
Reaction score
693

_Del_

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
451
Reaction score
91
:rolleyes:

... I think you've got a point. My bad.

Obviously, my ill-fated remark was more on aerodynamics: less a proven system to land autonomously without tail on a carrier.
Except that it did it seven years ago. Boeing's still hasn't. So even from a aerodynamic standpoint I don't see how it works. Also the MQ-25A will be the first butterfly tail on a carrier. So that's not really proven either.
I think it was mostly a victim of shifting priorities (rightly or wrongly), and while I think an X-47C style UCAV would have been worth quite a bit more for naval aviation and justifying the existence of the carrier fleet, I wouldn't close the door on the idea that there were probably technical difficulties to overcome, yet.

We've landed a C-130 and a U-2 on a carrier before. The C-130 wasn't selected to replace the C-2, and the U-2 won't be providing carrier-borne ISR. Possible and feasible don't directly translate to useful and better.

I'm pretty sure the Boeing product is going to have an easier road to get aboard and aloft at higher gross-weights, and probably will have better margins in bad weather and chop, too. Just the nature of having a tail gives it those advantages.

Can a flying wing design overcome the obstacles and be operationally useful? I am sure it could with time and money.

And again, I tend to agree that it would have been worth it. But I don't know that the test program demonstrated enough to conclude that.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,040
Reaction score
1,079
I have watched the videos till my eyes burnt and I swore that nobody serious would be confident that the design was inherently safe...
Gremlins were there IMOHO. I mean some other design like the A320 have their fare share of them and still fly commercially... and crash.

Butterfly is also fairy easy to understand. The bad point is that it's draggy not unsafe (draggy without FBW and relaxed stability).
Tailless is the way of the future for stealth. You overcome the gremlins by trying to ignore the problem. Just sayin'.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,040
Reaction score
1,079
[...]Also the MQ-25A will be the first butterfly tail on a carrier. So that's not really proven either.
Supermarine type 508 was tested on HMS Eagle.
View attachment 634367
Image found here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205187767
The French Navy also used the butterfly tailed CM.175 Zephyr as their primary carrier trainer for quite a while.

Honestly I had trouble even thinking of any military jets with a butterfly tail, other than the YF-23 and Magister. Didn't realize there was a carrier version of the latter.
 
Top