T-X Thread

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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popcorn

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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 16:37

So what's in the hump?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... pe-420149/
​PICTURES: KAI, Lockheed rollout T-X prototype
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed the prototype that will form the basis of Lockheed Martin’s bid for the US Air Force’s T-X next generation trainer competition.

Based on the T-50 family of trainer/light fighter aircraft, the company’s “T-X demonstrator aircraft” will conduct ground and flight tests in 2016, says KAI in an email to Flightglobal. In 2017, KAI plans flight tests in the USA.

The aircraft features several new features, including a large area display (LAD), embedded training systems, and an aerial refuelling capability.
Aesthetically, the most striking change from the original T-50 is the addition of a large dorsal hump.

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"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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gideonic

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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 17:14

popcorn wrote:So what's in the hump?

Intresting. Looks a bit like conformal fuel tanks but too small for that.
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durahawk

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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 17:49

gideonic wrote:
popcorn wrote:So what's in the hump?

Intresting. Looks a bit like conformal fuel tanks but too small for that.

Pure speculation here, but I suspect it may have something to do with the inflight refueling requirements for T-X:
The aircraft shall provide a growth path and have provisions for installation of a boom-type inflight refueling system (to include space for a receptacle) without significant structural modifications and movement/redesign of other systems and subsystems to accomplish air-to-air refueling operations, in both day and night lighting conditions, with boom-equipped USAF Tankers.

[Objective]
The aircraft shall have a fully integrated inflight refueling capability compatible with boom-equipped USAF Tankers for use in accomplishing air-to-air refueling operations, in both day and night lighting conditions.

If KAI/Lockheed can hit the objective requirement right of the bat with a modification, I suspect they might be able to maintain a level playing field with the clean sheet offerings.
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madrat

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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 18:52

Hookups for practice, but no implication it actually takes fuel from it.
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slapshot!

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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 19:40

Maybe extra ECM equipment along with an in flight refueling system.
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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 20:04

Wow - hardly off the shelf and it has a hump already ala A-4E / F-16D+ !
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Unread post18 Dec 2015, 20:25

huggy wrote:
johnwill wrote:Wonder why they call it a sustained g maneuver requirement, when their definition of the maneuver is not a sustained g?

I'm not following you on this.
Yes, it is losing energy in the turn... but it's still got to hold 6.5G or better for 140 degrees.


Sorry for the late reply to your comment, just overlooked it. Losing any energy either by speed or altitude loss violates the definition of a sustained turn. The requirement is clear, but calling it a sustained turn is wrong.
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Unread post20 Dec 2015, 14:34

It turns out that the T-50 isn't a lock for LM's offerinģ to meet the T-X requirement. The Skunk Works has a clean-sheet "ultimate offering" design that could be proposed instead. LM is probably holding it in reserve while it evaluates the competition, likely keeping a close eye on the Boeing-Saab clean-sheèt design. The AF is expected to issue the RFP in 2017.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... xt-420225/
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post31 Dec 2015, 16:32

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popcorn

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Unread post12 Feb 2016, 09:11

LM has finally decided fo scrap a Skunk Works TX design and stick with a T-50 variant.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ks-421837/

Lockheed proposes KAI T-50A for T-X over Skunk Works design
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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durahawk

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Unread post12 Feb 2016, 14:18

popcorn wrote:LM has finally decided fo scrap a Skunk Works TX design and stick with a T-50 variant.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ks-421837/

Lockheed proposes KAI T-50A for T-X over Skunk Works design


Logical move I think, although:
He says the proposed design would have cost eight times more to fully develop than it would to bring the T-50A into production, but the extended schedule was more of a concern.

Really? 8 times the R&D cost is not a great concern? Yeah, don't worry, uncle sam will pick up the tab. :doh:
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Unread post22 Aug 2016, 15:32

Looks like Northrop's T-X entry has been spotted undergoing high speed taxi testing!
Image

LOS ANGELES – Northrop Grumman’s contender for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X next-generation trainer competition has begun taxi tests at Mojave, California.

The aircraft, which was designed by Northrop’s Scaled Composites special projects company, is believed to have begun high speed taxi work this week. Northrop’s offering is a low-wing, single-engine aircraft with side-mounted inlets and a conventional horizontal and large vertical tail.

From initial images released on Aug 19, the aircraft also appears to have simple trailing edge flaps and horizontal stabilizers mounted at a slightly negative dihedral (or anhedral) angle. The images also appear to indicate a baseline, non-afterburning engine – at least for the initial demonstrator. Northrop first revealed a brief glimpse of the concept to reporters in December 2015 and specified at the time the design was tailored to meeting the Air Force’s requirements for sustained G, instantaneous G, angle-of-attack maneuvering and turn rate/ turn radius – without being too expensive.

According to FAA registration details, the demonstrator is designated the Model 400 according, to its Scaled Composites design number. It is powered by a single General Electric F404-102D engine. The aircraft was registered with the FAA in mid-June 2015.

Northrop, which is teamed on T-X with BAE Systems and L-3, is expected to make the first flight of the demonstrator before year end. Competition for the T-X program is intense with Lockheed Martin and KAI offering a variant of the T-50A, while Boeing and Saab are working together on a clean-sheet design. Raytheon has partnered with Leonardo to offer the T-100, an upgraded version of the Leonardo (Alenia Aermacchi) M-346 advanced jet trainer.

The Air Force is planning to release a request for proposals for T-X in December, with a contract award expected by early 2018. The T-X is now expected to have operational capability in 2034 with initial operational capability in 2024.
http://aviationweek.com/defense/northro ... ver-mojave


Definitely looks like it has a lot of Northrop DNA! Very reminiscent of T-38 and F-20 Tigershark configurations. Also, interesting they went with a non-afterburning GE 404. Since T-X doesn't have a supersonic requirement, perhaps an afterburning engine is not needed to meet the sustained G and turn rate maneuverability requirements. Since the KAI T-50 uses an afterburning 404, it will be interesting to see how they rack and stack in terms of maneuverability with the age old more thrust vs. lighter weight paradigm.
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popcorn

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Unread post22 Aug 2016, 16:02

Nice sleek clean lines, no hump :D
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post22 Aug 2016, 17:15

Sort of underwhelming. I expected more from Northrop/Scaled Composites design wise, but if it fulfills requirements then so be it. The T-38 was a fairly nimble AC so if they took that basic design and up'd the performance and hold down cost even better.
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durahawk

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Unread post22 Aug 2016, 18:28

strykerxo wrote:Sort of underwhelming. I expected more from Northrop/Scaled Composites design wise, but if it fulfills requirements then so be it. The T-38 was a fairly nimble AC so if they took that basic design and up'd the performance and hold down cost even better.


Heh, I think that's more a less a metaphor for Government Acquisition as a whole these days. Poorly rewritten over constraining requirements breeding unimaginative, mundane material solutions.

Honestly though, I do think the number #1 objective for T-X should be cost control. Which is why I winced a little when the released the expanded maneuverability requirements and mid-air refueling considerations. While that may allow it to step into training roles that might have utilized a much more expensive asset, scope creep is generally something to be avoided like the plague in acquisition...

With so many procurement's going on at the same time... F-35, LSRB, KC-46, new ICBM's, (now OA-X??) etc. it's best for T-X to be kept on a pretty tight leash from a cost perspective, we really can't afford it otherwise.
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