X-44 MANTA project

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Unread post11 Aug 2007, 13:18

Anyone know what has been happening lately with the X-44 project? Has it been cancelled?
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Unread post16 Aug 2007, 04:04

This is the only reference to the X-44 program on Jane's site. It appears just this once in an article concerning the FB-22.

Jane's wrote:"An experimental tailless version of the F-22, known as the X-44 Manta (Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft) has been studied by NASA and the USAF Laboratory. Tailless technology could sharply reduce the bomber's side-on radar cross section (RCS)."

A brief mention in "Code One Magazine" 2nd Qtr 2001 - http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives ... e_x44.html (Photo Below)

Code One Magazine wrote:X-44
Mission: The X-44 is a proposed vehicle designed to fly without the aid of aerodynamic controls of any kind. All control inputs will be through the aircraft’s multi-axis vectorable exhaust nozzles.

Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
Number Built: 0
Sponsor: USAF
Fastest Flight: NA
Highest Flight: NA
First Flight: NA
Last Flight: NA
Total Flights: NA
Length: unknown
Wingspan: unknown
Height: unknown
Gross Weight: unknown

From NASA's site - http://history.nasa.gov/monograph31.pdf - I've extracted the X-44's page (posted below) and it says...

NASA wrote:"The X-44 designation is reportedly reserved for a possible full-scale USAF/NASA manned tailless flight control
demonstrator. The X-44 has been referred to as the MANTA, or Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft.

The plan is to convert an early prototype Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor with a large delta wing (similar to that proposed for the FB-22) and advanced thrust vectoring nozzles for flight control. Thrust vectoring—the ability to turn the jet exhaust—allows an aircraft to create forces with its engines similar to the forces created by aerodynamic surfaces such as flaps, rudders, and stabilators. The result would be a structurally simple, light airframe, with increased fuel volume and better “stealth” characteristics since there would be no movable aerodynamic control surfaces. An X-44 feasibility study is in progress, with a team including AFRL, NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney. The X-44 is unlikely to fly before 2007, although the F-22 program will retire the first and second flying prototypes long before then. The X-44 technology, combined with fluidic nozzles and supersonic-cruise aerodynamics, could lead to a generation of high-performance, very stealthy aircraft, with exceptionally high aerodynamic efficiency."

Note: reportedly reserved not assigned and the word possible. There are also no dates for program's progress or goals. Simply "unlelikely to fly before 2007" and we're 3/4 through the year.

With NASA's dwindling funds, the USAF/Lockheed/P&W may be the project's best hope, especially if the USAF/DOD is serious about the FB-22's development. With the ongoing war and lack of DOD funds, I doubt we'll see the FB-22 any time soon; if ever. :2c:

On another note; one of the prototype aircraft mentioned above is currently at the USAF Museum being restored for display there. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsh ... sp?id=8389

So I guess the answer would be either
1. No one seems to know much
2. Can't say
3. Won't say

NASA's Fact Sheet for the X-44 Designation "Reservation"
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Lockheed "Code One" Magazine Photo
Lochheed Photo


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Unread post16 Aug 2007, 12:44

Kinda reminds me of the F-16XL project.
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Unread post17 Aug 2007, 07:10

Master-of-Disaster wrote:Kinda reminds me of the F-16XL project.

Yes, the addition of a large delta wing gives several advantages. The F-16E tried to use some of these same traits.

Larger internal volume for additional fuel (resulting in range)
Larger wing area to increase max take off weight (needed for extra weight)
More hard-points for extra munitions

The tail-less design reduces drag/weight to gain even more over the delta alone. (There was also a tail-less version of an F-16 delta that never flew.)

The talk for the FB-22 also mentioned F135 engines from the F-35 program. The F135 would allow more power for the heavier aircraft, and possibly a reduced fuel burn at optimum cruise.

All in theory.... :2c:

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