The USAF has built and flown a full-scale Next Gen Fighter

New and old developments in aviation technology.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post21 Sep 2020, 20:13

I'm expecting something along the lines of "shortest time from PDR to first flight for a military jet".

"The importance, Roper said, is that just a year after the service completed an analysis of alternatives, the Air Force has proven it can use cutting-edge advanced manufacturing techniques to build and test a virtual version of its next fighter — and then move to constructing a full-scale prototype and flying it with mission systems onboard."
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XanderCrews

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Unread post21 Sep 2020, 22:15

not to take anything away but the "air vehicle" is the relatively easy part. the show stoppers have been engines and avionics development and then endless testing requirements

X-35 flew mission X in 2001, but F-35B wouldn't be IOC until 13 years later. hell they took a test F-35A to mach 1.61 and 9.9G all the way back in 2011. my point being that the early awesomeness won't necessarily translate to an overall speedy development. remember that early on JSF was considered a model program. it actually won awards before the "troubles" set in.

If they had simply sole sourced the JSF to LM with the winning STOVL Lift fan we could have saved years. but the competition was required. X-35 first hover was June 2001. You can do amazing things with short timelines and good people, the issue is the politics and the bureaucracy. DOT&E exemplifies this nearly perfectly. The sheer amount of testing and verification is now a decades long process.

:doh: :doh: :doh:

"do this slow enough you can make a career out of it"
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Unread post21 Sep 2020, 22:24

“Do this slow enough you can make a career out of it"

Shack. (And the bits above it about test world).
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element1loop

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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 01:38

BDF wrote:I'm not so sure. Seems that the primary focus will be a airframe tailored to the high end air dominance role with focus on stand in counter air and electronic attack from extended ranges. The AF has made it fairly clear they need deeper magazines and persistence as well. Depending on the performance requirements this suggests twin engine design. This is what the defense industry reports as well. I wouldn't be surprised to see some versions being single engine however.


There's also no reason why a single can not be made with 30% larger diameter than say F-135, to flow more than double the air for 100,000 lb of thrust, with the efficiency, lighter-weight and extra fuel fraction from a highly blended single engine air-frame. If you have such an advantage in single-engine airpower (thrust, lower weight, efficiency, range, loiter, payload, larger weapon bay) you'd be crazy not to maximize those advantages over any rival still stuck with using twins.
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element1loop

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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 01:50

weasel1962 wrote:So when does one procure planes for 2030+ air superiority? In 2040? Just because the 2016 Air Superiority plan happens to be before 2019 doesn't invalidate it. It sets an objective for air superiority in 2030. The AoA adds detail but doesn't change the goals. Its still 2030 last I read.


What's the threat?

Seems to me the threat will be a revised, updated, re-engined and actually rebuilt J20 fleet, in 2035.

No doubt PLAAF will reply soon with blurb about it's superior 7th-gen design and its upcoming flight testing in early 2022.

The supporting propaganda video will feature an X-47B video, being passed off as PLAAF/PLAN's killer-death Ai fewcha fidah! And no one in China will even know it's a 10 year old X-47B video.
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element1loop

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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 02:00

mixelflick wrote:... This probably explains why the Russians decided to accelerate their SU-57 program, and "Hunter" drone too. ...


Accelerated? Where? The Su57 build is slower than a wet weak. it's even slower than a Rafale production line. The only reason it was accelerated was because the other option was to sweep it under the carpet, and call the the Su35 a 6th-gen. :mrgreen:
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element1loop

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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 02:21

weasel1962 wrote: d) The FY 21 budget documents does not reflect how the 3rd track will be managed. If still under AETP, it does not validate that the AETP is an exclusively F-35 compatible engine effort.


There's no reason an F135 replacement would not be using the third stream to optimize F-135 for higher altitude, higher cruise speed performance, as indeed, that's exactly where AETP range, loiter, speed and efficiency increases would come from.

In which case the engine becomes a lot more capable than just the F-35A envelope, it would in fact substantially expand the USAF's (presumably new-build) F-35s re-certified envelope variant.

In which case the engine becomes suitable for use in other aircraft, but may not be.

In a secret fighter development program, the engine for it would be a secret as well. I expect a completely different engine for an NGAD fighter.
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element1loop

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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 02:33

zero-one wrote: ... but I just don't think they'll push the plane that much within the 1st few flights.


But it's just a demonstrator, there are probably several of them. The point is to quickly demonstrate its upper limits, advantages, and disadvantages. What it can really do. There have probably been scores of flights before this announcement. As there's no new fighter contracts on the line yet and its all hush-hush, no one will care if demonstrators are thrashed (early) to the point of breaking them. They'd be crazy not to push them hard early, if the point is acceleration of performance tests, and of VLO airframe tech.


EDIT: One other thing, there's been some talk of updating aircraft software in the air recently. Such rapid development needs seem to be the perfect opportunity to tweak an aircraft's flight envelope and control surface behaviors and stability, via adaptively updating flight parameter limits and timing of events, based on sensor input feedback, in real time, while flying and testing multiple areas during the course of 1 flight. Especially if optionally-unmanned for the sake of initial (i.e. including sacrificial testing) flight testing needs to be met, very rapidly. I see no reason this could not be dramatically accelerated via automation, and quickly stress-testing the result more fluidly. With telemetry and results transmitted to ground, ready for analysis within at most minutes. Revised, and uploaded from another test. If you control the airspace 100%, and the aircraft can stay aloft for 7 to 8 hours, it makes sense to accelerate the whole basic flight and performance testing in this way. There's no time gains in testing the way the F-35 was serial tested, so that's out. The testing has to be automated, and done in massive-parallel, in rapid succession, each flight.
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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 09:42

element1loop wrote:
weasel1962 wrote: d) The FY 21 budget documents does not reflect how the 3rd track will be managed. If still under AETP, it does not validate that the AETP is an exclusively F-35 compatible engine effort.


There's no reason an F135 replacement would not be using the third stream to optimize F-135 for higher altitude, higher cruise speed performance, as indeed, that's exactly where AETP range, loiter, speed and efficiency increases would come from.

In which case the engine becomes a lot more capable than just the F-35A envelope, it would in fact substantially expand the USAF's (presumably new-build) F-35s re-certified envelope variant.


The variable cycle engine (VCE) architecture you want for flow-holding for a subsonic cruiser with supersonic dash (and some supercruise) tends to look *very* different to what you want for a supercruiser with dash; the thermal management system required for the latter (and how it interacts with the engine(s)) is far more complex.

AETP being F-35 focused is nice since that VCE is a far less challenging design point and the aircraft configuration
is not a moving target. The potential install base is demonstrably large and the overlap between the F135 and the B-21 propulsion system suggests it could be a win for both programs.
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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 12:24

element1loop wrote:Accelerated? Where? The Su57 build is slower than a wet week. it's even slower than a Rafale production line. The only reason it was accelerated was because the other option was to sweep it under the carpet, and call the the Su35 a 6th-gen. :mrgreen:


fixed.
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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 16:15

madrat wrote:
element1loop wrote:Accelerated? Where? The Su57 build is slower than a wet week. it's even slower than a Rafale production line. The only reason it was accelerated was because the other option was to sweep it under the carpet, and call the the Su35 a 6th-gen. :mrgreen:


fixed.


Yes well, perhaps "accelerated" wasn't the right term.

They have been all over the place, but quickly went from "We're building 12 of them" to, "We're building 76" for.... some reason. I don't think it was just a whim on Putin's part, something seemed to be driving it. If you follow Russian propaganda sites, other countries are supposedly ordering/thinking about ordering it all the time, LOL. How's this for desperate?

"A recent image of the country’s Defence Ministry shows Su-57 fighters operating alongside Algerian Su-30 fighters, frigates and T-90 tanks - giving considerable credibility to reports that the country is in fact planning to field the aircraft..."

https://militarywatchmagazine.com/artic ... jet-likely

So because the SU-57 showed up in what looks like wall graffiti, that means they're ordering it. Hell, you might as well say it's already flying in Algerian colors. Lately though, they've been pumping up the possibility that Iran, China, Egypt and North Korea might buy it. I don't know about those countries, but I think it'd look good in Canadian livery. Given their love of fielding 80's retro-birds though, doubtful it'll happen.

Regardless of what's driving it, their latest plans have jumped by 64 airframes. Which if you think about it, represents a nearly 7 fold increase in production! :mrgreen:
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Unread post22 Sep 2020, 17:28

XanderCrews wrote:not to take anything away but the "air vehicle" is the relatively easy part. the show stoppers have been engines and avionics development and then endless testing requirements

X-35 flew mission X in 2001, but F-35B wouldn't be IOC until 13 years later. hell they took a test F-35A to mach 1.61 and 9.9G all the way back in 2011. my point being that the early awesomeness won't necessarily translate to an overall speedy development. remember that early on JSF was considered a model program. it actually won awards before the "troubles" set in.


M1.67 to be more precise (at least as far as public domain is concerned.)
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element1loop

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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 01:16

mixelflick wrote:Regardless of what's driving it, their latest plans have jumped by 64 airframes. Which if you think about it, represents a nearly 7 fold increase in production! :mrgreen:


Yeah, Russian plans are amazing. :mrgreen:

Image

The fact the Russains aren't building a fleet of >250 x Su57 @ 25 per year, makes it clear they're not serious.
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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 05:00

"marauder2048", there are a couple of complaints by forum members of your behavior, particularly of you calling people "stupid" in this thread. You are hereby warned to cease that behavior as it does violate forum rules. Continuation of this behavior towards others could result in disciplinary actions against you to include banning.
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Unread post23 Sep 2020, 12:51

I come here to read informative posts like marauder2048. I don't know what snowflake complained about him, but we really don't come to read their babble.
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