YF-22 vs YF-23

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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mixelflick

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Unread post24 Jun 2021, 14:49

mixelflick wrote:I always assumed the F-22 would have superior range to an F-15C, just a question of how much. If I'm not mistaken, the YF-22A's range/internal fuel volume was scaled back when finalizing the F-22A.

Still, for the F-22 to have approx the same range as F-15C with 2 bags.... mighty impresssive IMO. Especially given the amount of electronics/avionics etc. it needs to carry to a (higher) altitude. Those motors really are something else...


EDIT: It strikes me as odd the F-15EX being procured to replace/"refresh" the F-15C fleet hasn't increased internal fuel volume one iota. In fact, it may carry a bit less due to the 2nd seat? The only way this makes sense is if the F-15EX's new motors are substantially more fuel efficient.

I'll buy the fact they give it better legs than an F-15C, but not by much.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Jun 2021, 15:32

mixelflick wrote:I always assumed the F-22 would have superior range to an F-15C, just a question of how much. If I'm not mistaken, the YF-22A's range/internal fuel volume was scaled back when finalizing the F-22A.

Still, for the F-22 to have approx the same range as F-15C with 2 bags.... mighty impresssive IMO. Especially given the amount of electronics/avionics etc. it needs to carry to a (higher) altitude. Those motors really are something else...

Higher altitude, more efficient engines, AND much less drag. It makes a big difference not carrying everything externally.
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wrightwing

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Unread post24 Jun 2021, 15:35

mixelflick wrote:


EDIT: It strikes me as odd the F-15EX being procured to replace/"refresh" the F-15C fleet hasn't increased internal fuel volume one iota. In fact, it may carry a bit less due to the 2nd seat? The only way this makes sense is if the F-15EX's new motors are substantially more fuel efficient.

I'll buy the fact they give it better legs than an F-15C, but not by much.

The EX has the same internal fuel volume as the E model. The advantage is has over the C is that it not only has more efficient engines, but carries conformal fuel tanks.
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viperzerof-2

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Unread post28 Jul 2022, 17:41

https://books.google.com/books?id=eyPfg ... te&f=false

Interesting popular mechanics from back in the day
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jessmo112

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Unread post09 Nov 2022, 02:30

Another article popped up in my feed.

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/yf-23a- ... he-yf-22a/

This gentleman claims that Lockheed needed the contract to stay alive.

Going forward, why even have competition, if it's always going to be decided on politics and not performance
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viperzerof-2

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Unread post09 Nov 2022, 03:43

jessmo112 wrote:Another article popped up in my feed.

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/yf-23a- ... he-yf-22a/

This gentleman claims that Lockheed needed the contract to stay alive.

Going forward, why even have competition, if it's always going to be decided on politics and not performance

Northrop engineers have been saying that for 30 years. They talk more sh*t then Floyd Mayweather. The Air Force had legitimate industrial and program management concerns with Northrop. What’s more it’s never really been established that their was a major difference between the dem Val aircraft or the final EMD proposal.

During the F-X competition Rockwells F-15 was actually evaluated to be superior to MDD, However it would have been 200 million more, been technically riskier, and would have required supporting more factories. For a slight improvement in performance that wasn’t worth it. Even if the F-23 was superior and to date I really haven’t seen any real proof that it is, the F-22 meet the requirement, they both where the product the customer asked for.

What exactly was Lockheed doing that Congress and the Pentagon decided to keep them in Business over almost the entire rest of the industry? Macdonald Douglas cried that they would go under if they didn’t get the JSF, too bad. Rockwell, Fairchild, General Dynamics, Grumman, MDD, Vought, and even Lockheed themselves were forced to consolidate, and GD and MDD where the big fighter factories. the 90s was the era of consolation.

Next it’s a mistake to think a competition is solely about performance even explicitly. Industrial, program management, technical risk. All are important factors. We see some times in these topics “Northrop is a company of engineers While Lockheed is a company of managers.” Well if the Program manager your the one who’s head is on the chopping block if the program goes 200 million over budget and now your getting grilled by Congress and your career is over. Do you want the guys who are are organized and have a clear management system or do you want the guys who are lax with documentation and don’t communicate anything? This was going on with the B-2 program at that very moment. They also seemed quite hard to work with. When the YF-17’s performance was not matching specifications a NASA team under Whitecomb made a number of recommendations. Well they didn’t want to hear it. They got involved with some big lawsuits with their partner MDD over the F-18 and F-20. What’s more they also kept trying to sell the F-20 to the Air Force who never asked or wanted it. None of that is endearing but more importantly it makes you a questionable partner.



I think it’s also kinda rich how often the Northrop side cries foul for the ATF program. At that very time Thomas V. Jones Northrops CEO was forced out in 1989-1990 for trying to bribe South Korean by officials to buy the F-20 (he previously had plead guilty 15 years earlier for unlawful contributions to Nixon’s reelection campaign but was still CEO). The justice department dropped that but a number of engineers and marketing people ended up with their reputations ruined.
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Unread post09 Nov 2022, 20:48

I still believe the F-23 is overall better than F-22 for how USAF is using the aircraft, but the difference isn’t as dramatic as some people say. It’s an overall stealthier design with more range. But some of the claims of how much better the YF-23 was over YF-22 has been exaggerated over the years, sometimes to ridiculous degrees.

The main thing thats pointed out is YF-23 is faster and stealthier than YF-22, but this needs some clarifying. The YF-23 top supercruise speed was only listed as Mach 1.6+, and probably Mach 1.72 that the YF-23/YF120 was tested to. This certainly is quite a bit better than YF-22/YF120 which did Mach 1.58, but the YF-22 had oversized vertical tails and was much fatter in some areas because the design was rushed, while the F-22 fixed a lot of these problems so it has much better drag and can reach around Mach 1.8 supercruise. Also the F-23 didn’t really slim down from the YF-23, the volume from the big nacelles was just redistributed since it’s already good in drag, and reportedly has more fuel than the F-22 so in terms of range its better, but again it’s probably not as dramatic as some say. To clarify about better stealth, I think the main advantage of F-23 over F-22 is not that it’s an absolute lower RCS, but it has low RCS from a wider range of angles because the leading and trailing edge angles on the F-23 are the same, so there are not as many spikes.

Also, in terms of handling and flying qualities, Paul Metz who flew both YF-23 and F-22 said in a podcast that the YF-23 is a bit better.
https://youtu.be/HSeApmqE_z4

Secret Projects forums had a good thread on the YF-23 and F-23 with lots of engineers and knowledgeable people discussing it, and some of the were on the actual program. I got a lot of information about the aircraft reading from them.

So yes the F-23 is probably overall better than the F-22 for how USAF is mainly using the ATF today, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight to some extent. But both are great designs and the difference isn’t big enough that a clearly inferior aircraft was chosen. The F-22 is still a great aircraft and the benchmark for 5th generation fighters in terms of performance. And in any case neither design would meet NGAD/PCA requirements, which will probably require more range than even what F-23 can provide and also be stealthier.
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charlielima223

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Unread post12 Nov 2022, 03:08

disconnectedradical wrote:I still believe the F-23 is overall better than F-22 for how USAF is using the aircraft, but the difference isn’t as dramatic as some people say. It’s an overall stealthier design with more range. But some of the claims of how much better the YF-23 was over YF-22 has been exaggerated over the years, sometimes to ridiculous degrees.

***

So yes the F-23 is probably overall better than the F-22 for how USAF is mainly using the ATF today, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight to some extent. But both are great designs and the difference isn’t big enough that a clearly inferior aircraft was chosen. The F-22 is still a great aircraft and the benchmark for 5th generation fighters in terms of performance.


I cant remember where I heard it or read it but someone said, "The YF-23 was what the USAF asked for but the YF-22 gave the USAF what they actually wanted".
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Unread post12 Nov 2022, 04:58

Possible, the F-22 and F-23 had some different tradeoffs, the F-22 had better performance and characteristics in some areas and F-23 was better in others, namely range and all-aspect stealth. I just think the F-23 advantages are better suited for how USAF is actually using the aircraft, but both are very good and competitive and it’s not like one is clearly better than another. In the end USAF couldn’t go wrong with either, but in any case, I don’t think either design will be suitable for NGAD/PCA.

Now, for the YF-22 and YF-23 prototype demonstrators, I think YF-23 is quite a bit better but it’s also arguably more mature since it didn’t get rushed with a completely redesigned wing and fuselage.
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zero-one

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Unread post14 Nov 2022, 18:55

charlielima223 wrote:I cant remember where I heard it or read it but someone said, "The YF-23 was what the USAF asked for but the YF-22 gave the USAF what they actually wanted".


I read that too, I’m still in awe of how other pilots who went up against the F-22 describes the F-22 particularly at close range.

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/usaf-f- ... NfkOC_LbxQ

(F-22 vs F-15E) against a Viper
the Raptor has both way more power and vectored thrust so it beats even the block 50 Viper.

‘The Strike Eagle, by contrast, is lucky to get any noticeable G at all, even momentarily. If you look back at the picture, you’ll notice the conformal fuel tanks. Trying to maneuver with those on is like trying to run in ski boots. For long air to ground missions they’re nice. For high G fighting they’re crippling.

When fighting the Raptors, it’s usually everything I can do to stay alive. I use full afterburner, I’m on the limiter, it’s exhausting, and they still usually get me. If nothing else they can drive me to the floor and just win by physics. Especially if I’m fighting the instructor pilot it’s a matter of time. The Strike Eagle, by contrast, is very easy to fight. When we fight them, we don’t use afterburner at all and it’s still trivial. If I wanted to, I could win every 2v1 in a matter of seconds because their jet just can’t point at me. I get to start behind them and they have no way to get me away from there.

‘When we coordinate the day before the Raptor instructors usually say something along the lines of “Do whatever you want. I’d like to see your best shot and we’ll figure it out.” The Strike Eagle instructors usually say “please don’t use AB, and line up behind me but switch to the student so I can see what he does, and if you end up 1 circle with me just stay neutral so I can see what he does, and don’t call kills, and if you get in a developed fight with the student just let him eventually get to your control zone so we don’t waste gas, and, and, and, ….”’

In a big and confusing world, we need all kinds of airplanes, but don’t be fooled by the impressive payload, loiter time, air to ground lethality, and superficial resemblance to a slightly more capable (but still sub-par) BFM airplane like the F-15C.

‘The F-15E can’t hold a candle to an F-22 in an up close and personal engagement.’



1. Im surprised this Viper pilot calls the Eagle just “slightly better” (but still sub par)
2. Im sure the F-23 would also get the job done as an air superiority fighter, but perhaps the sense of awe won’t be the same as what we have now with the F-22.

it was stealthier and faster but I don’t see anyone complain that the F-22 wasn’t stealthy enough or wasn't fast enough.
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Unread post15 Nov 2022, 01:33

I remember reading an article back in the mid 1990's -might possibly been from AFM or Aviation Week, but it said the top brass of the AF basically wanted an F-15 extrapolated for stealth for its ATF, and with the F-22 that is pretty much what they got.




zero-one wrote:
I read that too, I’m still in awe of how other pilots who went up against the F-22 describes the F-22 particularly at close range.

https://theaviationgeekclub.com/usaf-f- ... NfkOC_LbxQ

(F-22 vs F-15E) against a Viper
the Raptor has both way more power and vectored thrust so it beats even the block 50 Viper.

‘The Strike Eagle, by contrast, is lucky to get any noticeable G at all, even momentarily. If you look back at the picture, you’ll notice the conformal fuel tanks. Trying to maneuver with those on is like trying to run in ski boots. For long air to ground missions they’re nice. For high G fighting they’re crippling.

When fighting the Raptors, it’s usually everything I can do to stay alive. I use full afterburner, I’m on the limiter, it’s exhausting, and they still usually get me. If nothing else they can drive me to the floor and just win by physics. Especially if I’m fighting the instructor pilot it’s a matter of time. The Strike Eagle, by contrast, is very easy to fight. When we fight them, we don’t use afterburner at all and it’s still trivial. If I wanted to, I could win every 2v1 in a matter of seconds because their jet just can’t point at me. I get to start behind them and they have no way to get me away from there.

‘When we coordinate the day before the Raptor instructors usually say something along the lines of “Do whatever you want. I’d like to see your best shot and we’ll figure it out.” The Strike Eagle instructors usually say “please don’t use AB, and line up behind me but switch to the student so I can see what he does, and if you end up 1 circle with me just stay neutral so I can see what he does, and don’t call kills, and if you get in a developed fight with the student just let him eventually get to your control zone so we don’t waste gas, and, and, and, ….”’

In a big and confusing world, we need all kinds of airplanes, but don’t be fooled by the impressive payload, loiter time, air to ground lethality, and superficial resemblance to a slightly more capable (but still sub-par) BFM airplane like the F-15C.

‘The F-15E can’t hold a candle to an F-22 in an up close and personal engagement.’



1. Im surprised this Viper pilot calls the Eagle just “slightly better” (but still sub par)
2. Im sure the F-23 would also get the job done as an air superiority fighter, but perhaps the sense of awe won’t be the same as what we have now with the F-22.

it was stealthier and faster but I don’t see anyone complain that the F-22 wasn’t stealthy enough or wasn't fast enough.



^^This statement by this Viper pilot was very similar to what a full bird O-6 with over 3000 Viper Hrs told me this past summer about dogfighting the F-22 and the other teens. He had less than stellar words for the Strike/Vanilla Eagle, and F-14D in BFM. Yet he said that "he got crushed" dogfighting an F-22 in his Block 30.
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Unread post15 Nov 2022, 10:52

zero-one wrote:2. Im sure the F-23 would also get the job done as an air superiority fighter, but perhaps the sense of awe won’t be the same as what we have now with the F-22.

it was stealthier and faster but I don’t see anyone complain that the F-22 wasn’t stealthy enough or wasn't fast enough.


I think we get into the law of diminishing returns here. Even if F-23 had better stealth, it would've not made any serious difference in real life as F-22 has so good stealth already.

Same with the speed. F-22 can supercruise at Mach 1.82 or so. That's insanely fast and F-23 going to say Mach 1.9 would not make any difference in any scenario. It's like comparing the performance of two supercars, fun to argue but has almost no meaning for real life.
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Unread post15 Nov 2022, 17:25

hornetfinn wrote:I think we get into the law of diminishing returns here. Even if F-23 had better stealth, it would've not made any serious difference in real life as F-22 has so good stealth already.

Same with the speed. F-22 can supercruise at Mach 1.82 or so. That's insanely fast and F-23 going to say Mach 1.9 would not make any difference in any scenario. It's like comparing the performance of two supercars, fun to argue but has almost no meaning for real life.


The prototype demonstrator YF-23 was quite a bit faster than the YF-22, since the former supercruise just over Mach 1.7 while the latter was kinda rushed because of a wing/fuselage redesign and only managed Mach 1.58, which is decently big difference. The production F-22 and F-23 probably would have similar supercruise speeds of around Mach 1.8, but where the F-23 would have shined is range because it’s got more fuel volume.

Also, with the stealth it’s not that the F-23 had lower minimum RCS, but there are more angles that it’s stealthy and fewer RCS spikes. So there’s a wider range of angles where the F-23 can maintain stealth.

But in the end both F-22 and F-23 were great designs and either way the USAF would have gotten a great aircraft. Even though I think the F-23 is better suited for how we ended up using the F-22, but we still got a fantastic aircraft with the F-22. I think one of the chief ATF engineers even said this.

Honestly I wish both could be built, one can dream right? But at this point USAF is going all in with NGAD/PCA, which will be another big leap over both the F-22 and F-23, although because it’s probably going to be expensive as hell, we may not be buying many of them which is why we need to keep upgrading F-22 fleet, since those are the next best thing.
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Unread post16 Nov 2022, 07:19

disconnectedradical wrote:The prototype demonstrator YF-23 was quite a bit faster than the YF-22, since the former supercruise just over Mach 1.7 while the latter was kinda rushed because of a wing/fuselage redesign and only managed Mach 1.58, which is decently big difference. The production F-22 and F-23 probably would have similar supercruise speeds of around Mach 1.8, but where the F-23 would have shined is range because it’s got more fuel volume.

Also, with the stealth it’s not that the F-23 had lower minimum RCS, but there are more angles that it’s stealthy and fewer RCS spikes. So there’s a wider range of angles where the F-23 can maintain stealth.

But in the end both F-22 and F-23 were great designs and either way the USAF would have gotten a great aircraft. Even though I think the F-23 is better suited for how we ended up using the F-22, but we still got a fantastic aircraft with the F-22. I think one of the chief ATF engineers even said this.

Honestly I wish both could be built, one can dream right? But at this point USAF is going all in with NGAD/PCA, which will be another big leap over both the F-22 and F-23, although because it’s probably going to be expensive as hell, we may not be buying many of them which is why we need to keep upgrading F-22 fleet, since those are the next best thing.


Totally agree with that and I'm also fan of both F-22 and what F-23 would've been. Better range/endurance would've been great, but I think F-22 was good enough for almost anything especially with the USAF refueling capacity. More balanced RCS would've also been great but I think much of that is handled with the great SA (knowing where the threat radars are and what they see) and tactics. But I do agree that F-23 could've potentially been even better but F-22 was and is so good that it doesn't really matter much overall.
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