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VFAX/NACF Projects (Pre F/A-18 concepts)

overscan (PaulMM)

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Came across the following in Air International.

Seven companies responded to the VFAX RFP for unfunded proposals for a Mach 1.6 aircraft with 28,000-30000lb weight an unit cost less that $6 million in 1975 dollars over a 400 aircraft program.

General Dynamics submitted two designs; a stretched YF-16 called Model 18 from Fort Worth and the Model 218 from Convair, based on the Model 200 VSTOL fighter.

Rockwell submitted a proposal that was largely a conventional derivative of the XFV-12.

Northrop proposed the P.630, a larger derivative of the YF-17.

McDonnell-Douglas submitted a canard equipped design with a family resemblance to the F-15.

Grumman & LTV also submitted responses (no details).

Source:

Airscene, Air International November 1974
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Crosspost from US V/STOL Projects thread, Model 218

 

boxkite

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Sorry, if I overlooked this in another thread, but I have no designation to search for ...

"This is the design that McDonnell Douglas was offering at the time of the VFAX hearings prior to the requirement to navalize the Air Combat Fighter."

SOURCE: Stevenson: The Pentagon Paradox
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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A very big coincidence - thanks Boxkite for posting this, its clearly marked as Navy where the other "McDD VFAX" drawing isn't, and there are minor differences like engine inlets

The VFAX program was cancelled and replaced by NACF (Navalised Air Combat Fighter) which was based around navalising YF-16/YF-17.
 

boxkite

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Sentinel Chicken said:
What year was this design?

I borrowed the book only for a short time - enough to scan the most important pics, but nothing more. So I don't have access to the contents of the publication (ISBN of the UK edition 1557507759) now :( . Sorry.
 

Sundog

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Wow, that's the first time I've seen the McDD design. That looks very cool, in the sense that it kind of reminds me of an F-4 crossed with an F-16 with canards, which, didn't an F-4 get flight tested with canards, if my memory serves me correctly? Hopefully, someone has data on the other designs.
 

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Sundog said:
....didn't an F-4 get flight tested with canards, if my memory serves me correctly?

Yes, it did. It was experimental plane F-4CCV. Some pics are for example in "Aviation Record Breakers" from Quintet Publishing Ltd., London, 1995
 

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overscan said:
A very big coincidence - thanks Boxkite for posting this, its clearly marked as Navy where the other "McDD VFAX" drawing isn't, and there are minor differences like engine inlets

The VFAX program was cancelled and replaced by NACF (Navalised Air Combat Fighter) which was based around navalising YF-16/YF-17.
Did this design get assigned a model number by McDD?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I expect so, but I don't know it yet. The F/A-18 was Model 267, we know the 265 design, logically it would be in the 200s somewhere before 265.

I seem to remember reading that the McDD VFAX design had the "glass cockpit" concept used on the FA-18.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Found it!

It was Model 263,

packed with well thought out engineering features, not least being a superb one-man cockpit, four channel digital flight controls and the capability of flying both fighter and attack missions.

Source:

Bill Gunston, F/A-18 Hornet, Modern Combat Aircraft, Ian Allan 1985
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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For the history of the P-530/YF-17 look here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,448.0.html
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Found VFAX in Airscene, Air Enthusiast January 1974

The US Navy is considering launching a development program for an advanced shipboard light strike fighter in the 25,000-35,000lb weight category as a successor to the Vought F-8 Crusader and Vought A-7 Corsair. Intended to possess both strike and air defence capability, the fighter is intended to have a unit cost of $5-6 million and if the US Navy decides to proceed with the programme a proposal request for 90 day definition studies will be issued to selected contractors later this year with a single contractor being chosen by January 1975 to build eight prototypes. A number of companies are conducting preliminary studies including Boeing, Vought, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed and Grumman. Northrop is proposing a heavier, two seat version of the YF-17, the P630, and General Dynamics is proposing a stretched version of the YF-16.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Following contemporary articles on VFAX might be illuminating if anyone has access-

'VFAX studies focused on late 1975 pick of contractor', 'Flexibility seen VFAX advantage'; AWST Sep 9 1974
'VFAX draws interest in Europe'; AWST Sep 16 1974
'Grumman designs conventional, V/Stol (Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing) aircraft VFAX'. AWST Oct 28 1974
 

Sundog

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Nice find, it shows us where the gun is located.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Poor quality picture of McDonnell-Douglas Model 263 wind tunnel model and crude top views.

From McDD Contractor Report on Model 279:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19840020698_1984020698.pdf
 

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ysi_maniac

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Can I assume the size of this aircraft to be in the order of F-15 or smaller, in the order of F-16?

I would appreciate your opinions :)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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You mean Model 263? Should be more FA-18A sized - larger than F-16, smaller than F-15. Two F404 engines.
 

Sundog

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You mean Model 263? Should be more FA-18A sized - larger than F-16, smaller than F-15. Two F404 engines.

Are you sure? It looks like a single engine to me.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yes - and no :)

There seems to have been single and twin versions, but the drawings seem to be of the single engine version. The Navy painted example from page 1 seems to be single engine. Perhaps F101DFE/F110 rather than F100?
 

ysi_maniac

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overscan said:
You mean Model 263? Should be more FA-18A sized - larger than F-16, smaller than F-15. Two F404 engines.

OK, thanks a lot. I will try to model it in 1/72 by reducing a 1/72 F-15 or enlarging a 1/100 F-15, in both cases with bits from F-4 (1/72 or 1/100) Arghh :eek:
 

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Does anyone know where I might find a copy of the famed Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program?
I understand it was a mere 25 pages, yet seems to be the model for efficient acquisition since this time.
 

flateric

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Hardly think it's somewhere online. Should be 90% at James Stevenson's 'The Pentagon Paradox'
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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What was the original wing area and fuel requirements?

I remember reading in a book about Skunk Works that the figures were deemed unrealistic by Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich actually recommended they just submit a design that would meet those specifications anyway, eventually as the design evolved the wing area and fuel capacity would increase, Johnson went against this.


KJ Lesnick
 

Pioneer

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flateric said:
Hardly think it's somewhere online. Should be 90% at James Stevenson's 'The Pentagon Paradox'

Pentagon Paradox is without doubt the most informative book I have read in regards to the development of the F-111, F-14, F-15, F-16 and the F/A-18.
It is also amazing in the way in which both the USAF and USN are prepared to sabotage an excellent and ethical fighter programs.
Well worth the money!
Well worth the read!

P.S. It also made me change my pro-F/A-18 attitude for that of the potential for a carrier-based F-16!
It is also very interesting to see how McDonnell Douglas was to shaft Northrop in becoming the prim manufacture and salesman of the F/A-18A Hornet at the cost of Northrop’s time and efforts. Sad as I am a firm believer that the Northrop F/A-18L Cobra would have been a far better performer and cost effective alternative to the carrier-based McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet, by the likes of the RAAF, RCAF and Spain.



Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Dr E D Spong: Inlet/Airframe interactions and performance characteristics at transonic manouvering conditions. Model 263 drawing.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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McDonnell-Douglas Model 263 pics from Mark Nankivil.
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Hi All -

A few more Model 263 drawings from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum archives.

The first one may be one of the conventional layouts in the 263 series as mentioned in Tony Buttler's book.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Note the poorer rear view and extended front fuselage in the image from James Stevenson's book.
 

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fightingirish

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I can't say if this proposal was for Carrier Ops or just for land-based Ops.
Maybe someone can identify the markings.
Notice the double AIM-9 Sidewinder launchers.
More F-16N pictures at the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
Link: http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=49487266%40N07&q=F-16N&m=text
 

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Grey Havoc

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Does anyone have three-views or other detailed drawings of the twin engined version of the MDD Model 263? More drawings of the single engined version would be also nice.

Thanks!
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Stargazer2006 said:
Great, thanks for sharing! Which takes me back to the old question: did the General Dynamics F-16 design originate in the V-526?


And the old answer: no.


The General Dynamics Model 401 was largely at its final configuration by 1971.


The earliest design of this type to be publicised was probably the Boeing 909-618-2 which was circulated as part of Boyd, Sprey and Riccioni's Falcon Brief.





Vought, Boeing and General Dynamics all came to a general consensus on the basic layout for a lightweight single F100 engined fighter. However, all three designs differ in their details.
 

Stargazer2006

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Thanks folks for setting the record straight. Indeed the Boeing, Vought and Convair designs were amazingly close.
 

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thank you! another nice weekend surprise
 

flateric

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVOs9__j2Ig
 

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How come the cockpit layout for the V-526 looks much more like an A-7 with sidesticks than the F-16A? You'd think they'd try to retain things like the MFD the F-16 has.
 

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