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Stealth The Movie: A Glimpse Of The Future?  
User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6779 times:

Ok first off, let me just tell you how unrealistic the plot is in the movie. I'm talking about the future about our air force/naval air force. The aircraft starring in stealth is actually based on the Northrop Grumman "SwitchBlade", or more formally Bird of Prey. This made me wonder what ever happened to that aircraft since early 2000.
For those who don't know, the switchblade is/was designed to be a replacement for the F-111, considered a 'black on black' program, it would deliver an aircraft that could have 'hypercruise'.

Since then (1995) Popular Science Magazine has learned that the aircraft employs a unique forward sweeping wing mechanism that enables the aircraft to become an advanced attack aircraft capable of precision weapons delivery, super maneuverability and Mach 3 dash capability.
This would far surpass the capabilities of the F-111, and would come well into competition with the F-22, although designed for a medium bomber role altogether.
For those who believe that there will never be a F-111 replacement,keep in mind that in the AirForce's history it has never got rid of an aircraft mission type.

From air-attack.com:
"With the wings fully swept aft the aircraft can slow to drop precision weapons or land on short unimproved runways. Swept forward twenty degrees and the aircraft becomes a highly agile air combat platform. Sweep the wings fully forward and they become flush with the aircraft with the trailing edge becoming the leading edge, forming a highly swept 75 degree stealthy delta perfect for high speed getaways! Or as it is understated in the U.S. Patent 5,984231 abstract "The aforementioned apparatus may be used in a method to configure the aircraft for the desire flight regime." thus becoming the aircraft for every mission.
Northrop and Grumman have considerable expertise in designing advanced aircraft. Northrop was the chief contractor on the B-2 stealth bomber, YF-23 and the recently declassified Tacit Blue. Grumman has considerable experience in forward swept wing aircraft design as well as having built and designed the Navy's premier variable-swept winged aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat."
The Switchblade would feature pulse-detonation engines.

In November 1999, the Switchblade was patented by the Northrop Grumman Corporation: U.S. Patent 5,984,231. It states, "An aircraft with a variable forward-sweep wing and the method of configuring the wing in an optimal position for a desired flight regime. The variable forward-sweep wing is positionable from an essentially unswept position to a full-forward sweep position. In the unswept position the wing is approximately orthogonal to a fuselage centerline, while in the full-forward sweep position the wing has approximately a delta wing planform[platform]. Moreover, as the wing position changes from the unswept position to the full-forward sweep position the trailing edge becomes the leading edge. In addition, the aforementioned apparatus may be used in a method to configure the aircraft for flight in a desired flight regime. This method includes moving the wing to an optimal position for the desired flight regime."
Images courtesy of air-attack.com & others.


Now you're really flying
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 789 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6749 times:

Looks like someone read a Dale Brown book and decided to build an aircraft based on the idea.

Are you advocating that this aircraft actually exists or that it needs to? I know that Australia could certainly do with an f-111 replacement, not that we could afford something like this anyway, it would blow our budget out of the water.

Quoting Greaser (Thread starter):
The Switchblade would feature pulse-detonation engines.

What are these? I have not heard the term before.

Generally I think it looks very cool but am a bit suspect of the stealth of the design, the rear engine nozzles appear to exposed to me, not enough masking of the IR signature.

As for the movie, it has been advertising for almost two years now, when are we actually going to see it?


User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

if it was black on black, you wouldn't have heard about it

User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6741 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 1):
hat are these? I have not heard the term before.

One of the newest and most exciting areas of pulse-jet development is the Pulse Detonation Engine (PDE).
While they work on similar principles to a regular pulsejet, the PDE has one very fundamental difference -- it detonates the air/fuel mixture rather than just allowing it to simply deflagrate (burn vigorously).

So How do They do it?
The exact details on many of the PDE designs currently being developed are rather sketchy -- mainly because they have the potential to be extremely valuable so most of companies researching in this field are not about to tell us what they're doing.

However, from the information that has been published, it appears as if most designs are using a two-stage ignition process to achieve detonation.

Once a fresh air-fuel charge has been drawn into the pipe, a much smaller amount of a very volatile fuel (such as hydrogen) and an oxidizer (such as oxygen) are injected into a trigger chamber at the closed end of the pipe. This mixture is then ignited by an intensely powerful electrical discharge and made to detonate by forcing it through some carefully designed passages which create high levels of turbulence in the burning mixture.

This tube is sometimes referred to as a DDT (Deflagration to Detonation Transition) tube and its job is to force the trigger charge to burn at a rate that creates a supersonic shockwave.

Once it detonates, the small charge in the trigger chamber creates a very powerful shockwave that then hits the main air/fuel charge in the engine's secondary combustion chamber.

It may sound odd that it is possible to compress the gas in a tube which has an open end -- but the incredible speed of the detonation shockwave means that the air/fuel simply doesn't have a chance to be pushed out of the tube before it is compressed.

As, or because it is highly compressed, the air-fuel is also detonated by the intense heat of the shockwave.

Now while this all sounds pretty simple in theory, there are clearly quite a number of practical problems to be overcome before a working PDE can be built.

Firstly there's the issue of valving.

The effective life of a traditional pulsejet tends to be measured in minutes rather than hours -- and that's even though they're only called on to handle the relatively low pressures generated by deflagration. If you tried to use the same fragile valves when detonating an air/fuel mixture they would instantly be destroyed.

To get around this problem, some of the existing PDE designs appear to use robust rotary valves -- but this often requires a sophisticated synchronization system to ensure that the externally driven valves open and close at exactly the right times.

Another alternative is to use a valveless setup and rely on a careful synchronization of the shockwaves produced to control the gas flows.

Other problems with PDEs at this stage of their development include being able to inject and detonate the trigger charge at exactly the right moment to produce detonation of the main air-fuel charge. Too early and there won't be enough air/fuel to provide a good blast -- to late and the air/fuel will have already started leaving the tailpipe.

Then there is the problem of structural integrity. What you're effectively doing with a PDE is repeatedly setting off a small charge of hi-explosive inside a metal tube. This obviously requires that a PDE be massively stronger than a pulsejet. It also means that the levels of noise and vibration are similarly far higher.

One of the key players in the development of PDEs is NASA and they have a small but quite useful web page on the subject.

CalTech have also published some excellent information on their own PDE research.

Info courtesy of aardvark.co.nz

Quoting B744F (Reply 2):
if it was black on black, you wouldn't have heard about it

The -117 was black on black, note WAS. You can't hide everything from the public. All u need is a few talkative officials, someone with a camera in an area more than famous for aliens, and a government that doesn't doubt it's exsistance.
Ozair, I'm advocating that it does exsist now. The program that is. Whether or not there are operational "SwitchBlades" is questionable, but reportedly people have seen such FSW aircraft, but most mistake them for the X-29. PDEs (pulse det. engines) are still not mature enough to be used in full and upmost confidence,but i'd say it wouldn't be far fetched to say the technology exsists today, and that experimental aircraft with such engines, or even a switchblade itself, has been built and/or being tested. Remember the patents were filed in 1999.



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6707 times:

Quoting Greaser (Reply 3):
The -117 was black on black, note WAS. You can't hide everything from the public. All u need is a few talkative officials, someone with a camera in an area more than famous for aliens, and a government that doesn't doubt it's exsistance.

Ummm, it was.... until the government released it to the public in a PR campaign for the Gulf War. There were no leaks about the stealth fighter until they came out with pictures and a presentation.


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2090 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6697 times:

Quoting B744F (Reply 4):
Ummm, it was.... until the government released it to the public in a PR campaign for the Gulf War. There were no leaks about the stealth fighter until they came out with pictures and a presentation.

Actually the F-117 was publicly announced by the goverment and with a picture in 1989, well before the Gulf War and not related at all. The stealths were actually used in Panama first, with dismal results, only later redeeming themselves in the Gulf War.

And despite the fact that it wasn't officially acknowledged, it was pretty widely accepted that we had some kind of stealth fighter (tactical bomber actually) well before that.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineAFHokie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6686 times:

Quoting Greaser (Thread starter):
For those who believe that there will never be a F-111 replacement,keep in mind that in the AirForce's history it has never got rid of an aircraft mission type.

The Strike Eagle is considered the replacement for the F-111. Both perform/proformed interdiction


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6647 times:

Uhhh, where did you get the idea that the Northrop Grumman aircraft you have shown is is the Bird of Prey? I think you are referring to this Phantom Works aircraft:




When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6625 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 5):
Actually the F-117 was publicly announced by the goverment and with a picture in 1989, well before the Gulf War and not related at all. The stealths were actually used in Panama first, with dismal results, only later redeeming themselves in the Gulf War.

My fault I forgot about Panama, but again it was the government who released information

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 5):
And despite the fact that it wasn't officially acknowledged, it was pretty widely accepted that we had some kind of stealth fighter (tactical bomber actually) well before that.

I'm not talking about rumors, he simply said "anyone with a camera" as if there were pictures of the F-117 before the government released them


User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6565 times:

NEW UPDATE (Jan 2003):

ST. LOUIS, October 18, 2002 - Boeing unveiled the "Bird of Prey," a technology demonstrator that pioneered breakthrough low-observable technologies and revolutionized aircraft design, development and production.
The once highly classified project ran from 1992 through 1999, and was revealed because the technologies and capabilities developed have become industry standards, and it is no longer necessary to conceal the aircraft's existence.
The name Bird Of Pray belongs to THIS aircraft, the Boeing Bird Of Pray.
The switchblade remains a top secret project...

Beats me, i guess the name is switchblade now.

Quoting B744F (Reply 8):
I'm not talking about rumors, he simply said "anyone with a camera" as if there were pictures of the F-117 before the government released them

Ugh! I mean u get the point rite? haha it's ok the point is Im just posing a question whether this aircraft would be a glimpse into our airforce's future, black on black or not.  Smile



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 789 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 6522 times:

Quoting Greaser (Reply 3):
So How do They do it?

Thanks for the great summary, they certainly seem to hold a lot of potential.

Quoting Greaser (Reply 9):
Im just posing a question whether this aircraft would be a glimpse into our airforce's future, black on black or not.

I think there is certainly room for it, although I see the future as being far more UCAV driven. Perhaps a combination of UCAV with manned in a ratio of 4 to 1. I would hazard a guess that AI is what is holding this up and we will see some break throughs in this area in the next ten years. I take it that is what the Stealth movie is about although I don't think you will ever see the elimination of the pilot completely.

Quoting AFHokie (Reply 6):
The Strike Eagle is considered the replacement for the F-111

A poor replacement in my opinion, it may carry a heavy load but does not cut it at low level penetration like the aardvark.

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 5):
And despite the fact that it wasn't officially acknowledged, it was pretty widely accepted that we had some kind of stealth fighter (tactical bomber actually) well before that.

I remember seeing all those model kits of the (I think) F-19 with the long LEX and short rounded wings. Everyone knew there was something about but just no real idea of what it looked like. I do agree B744F, there were no pictures of real technical information. Does anyone know the real reason for the release of the F-117? Was it simply Glasnost or maybe the Russians said, look we know what you have and where it is?

Quoting Greaser (Reply 3):
Whether or not there are operational "SwitchBlades" is questionable, but reportedly people have seen such FSW aircraft, but most mistake them for the X-29

Are there any weight issues with FSW technology, I thought swing wing aircraft were generally far heavier than contemporaries? Does a modern composite structure shorten this gap?


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6507 times:

Quoting Greaser (Reply 9):
The name Bird Of Pray belongs to THIS aircraft, the Boeing Bird Of Pray.
The switchblade remains a top secret project...

Beats me, i guess the name is switchblade now.

Please stop trying to confuse people. The Boeing Bird of Prey and the Northrop switchblade concept in the above Popular Science article are two completely different aircraft. Please, please, please, stop regurgitating misinformation!



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9483 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6527 times:

Quoting Greaser (Thread starter):

Cool! Thunderbirds 1 and 2 all rolled into one aircraft.


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