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Unread postPosted: 12 May 2005, 02:22
by EBJet
Maneuverablity was very close, with the YF-23 having an edge at higher speeds (transonic), while the YF-22 was better in the slow speed regime. The YF-23 also had a much lower RCS than the YF-22. The GE powered PAV-2 "unofficially" supercruised at a bit better than M 1.8, and this was with pre-production GE YF-120 engines, which gave PAV-2 a much better T/W ratio.

The YF-23 also would have gone through a gestation somewhat similar to the YF-22. For example, the prototypes engine nacelles were squared off at the top, which were like that to accomodate the cancelled requirement for thrust reversers. The production aircraft would have had smaller nacelles rounded on the top which would have reduced its RCS even further. The inlets also would have been much different on production aircraft, and I won't be specific because it probably is still classified.

I saw Roscoe talking about the missile firings from the YF-22,and made me think of the first AIM-9 firing from the side bay. The rocket plume was ingested by the engine, forcing a shutdown and an emergency being declared. Someone posted earlier that one of the YF-23's crashed. Not true,they both performed very well in Dem/Val. It actually was a YF-22 that pancaked into the ground due to PIO (and a software glitch).

As far as I know, there are only two people to have flown both aircraft,one being (then) USAF Maj. Con Thueson during Dem/Val, and the other being Paul Metz who became Lockheed's Chief Test Pilot after leaving Northrop,where he was also Chief Test Pilot. If you ever meet him,ask him which he liked better. :wink:

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2005, 04:27
Only God knows why the YF-22 was selected. The main difference appeared to be that the -22 was more manoeuverable in some regimes, but supposedly manoeuverability is not as critical because of VBR missiles. The Yf-23 is a mean looking beast that I have the impression was far superior. We will never know.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2005, 04:51
by calhoun
Maintenance cost was what we were told at the CTF. The 22 was cheaper to maintain and operate.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2005, 15:30
by Roscoe
EBJet wrote:The YF-23 also had a much lower RCS than the YF-22.

I would be real interested in how you would know that, because if you were truly in a position to know, you would know better than to talk about it here. Besides, just because an airplane "looks" like it has a better RCS, that doesn't mean diddly squat. Too many subtle interactions and details that can overwhelm a return and make an otherwise cool-looking design be lousy.

...But let's say you're right and the -23 did have a smaller RCS (which is a misnomer, because "RCS" has so many facets (so to speak) that it is like saying an aircraft has better performance...too generic a statement to mean anything). Do you know what the RCS specification required? It's possible it may have been better, but the F-22 may have been good enough and cheaper, and I guarantee you the way that the US does competitions that good enough and cheaper will win every competition every time.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2005, 20:31
Ease of construction plays a part too, I'm sure; look how quickly WWII grumman fighters got put into construction compared to hard(er)-to-build planes like the corsair. Ditto with Hurricanes vs. Spitfires, and ME109's against the 190.

Unread postPosted: 13 May 2005, 16:09
by Roscoe
We couldn't care less about ease of construction except that it leads directly to lower production cost. Ease of maintenance is a totally different story however.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2005, 17:48
by EBJet
"I would be real interested in how you would know that"

I'm sure you probably have a pretty good idea how I might know that..Having said the YF-23 had a lower RCS than the YF-22 without actually talking about numbers, reveals absolutely nothing which would be deemed inappropriate, and breaks no rules.

I do indeed know what the RCS specification called for in the proposal, and also how many different "facets" there are to coming up with an absolute number. As I'm sure you know, there are a huge number of aspects to RCS testing, both on the pole and in the air, which we shouldn't go into here.

I do disagree with you to a certain extent about the "looks" of an aircraft. When you are talking about low observable aircraft vs. non-low obeservables, then certain methods for signature reduction are plainly obvious. When you are talking about comparing two stealthy aircraft from the same generation however, the differences are much more subtle, and not as easily discerned, as you pointed out.

I agree with you about how "good enough and cheaper will win everytime" and it is an accurate assesment. It makes me wonder though,if the -23, if chosen, would have ended up being as expensive as the -22 is turning out to be, although some of the cost escalations are through no fault of the Raptor itself.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2005, 23:13
by allenperos
Roscoe, thanks for jumping in, you always manage to clear things up alot. Glad you took a peak at this forum, it was a good one.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2005, 23:59
by Polaris
I'm not sure if the information I'm asking for is classified or not, but: How did the YF-23's yaw rate compare to that of the YF-22?

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2005, 01:03
by LazyTed
I'm not sure if the information I'm asking for is classified or not, but: How did the YF-23's yaw rate compare to that of the YF-22?

It's classified.

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2005, 02:35
by allenperos
Have you heard of "Q" units, or artificial feel systems in a computerized flight control management system, let me tell you, the yaw rate was "adequate", whatever that means. Question is off-topic really, and irrelevant.

LazyTed; integrate the following: 3X^2, do that and I'll send you a check for a million, oh, by the way, differentiate the integration and, in essay, explain the relationship between the two functions along the "X" axis if X=2.

I've got your answer Ted, whenever you want it. Its been about a week now.

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2005, 04:39
Northrop Gruman has responded quickly to the Pentagon's request for proposals for a next-generation long-range strike aircraft that could be ready for operations by about 2018. Company designers are offering four options. First is a stealthy, manned high-altitude, half-size B-2-like flying wing design. Second is an unmanned version with even longer range and endurance. Third is a bomber version of its F-23 fighter with only minor changes to the diamond wing, V-tail design.

Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology 05/16/2005, page 22

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2005, 23:02
by Bwadwey
Is there a name to this program or the plane itself? Are there any other competitors?

Unread postPosted: 18 May 2005, 01:10
by calhoun
The -23? Black Widow.

Unread postPosted: 18 May 2005, 03:17
by TenguNoHi
Any reason the UCAV won't win?

From that article post; already sounds like its got the lead edge on both other designs...