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F-22A External Stores  
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6419 times:

I seen a brief video showing the testing of external drop tanks of a F-22A, one of the coolest looking things I have seen on a plane... makes the Raptor look like it has fangs from the top, but I havent seen many pics of F-22As with external stores. Now that the first F-22A squadron is active for deployment, shouldnt we be seeing more Raptors with the external stores?

http://oroka.no-ip.com/images/FA-22A-Ext-AMRAAM-S.jpg

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6412 times:

The F-22A has conformal fuel tanks, like the F-15E/Ks and some F-16C/Ds have, so you won't see any external tanks any more. Putting external weapons on the Raptor defeats the purpose of stealth, radar will bounce off all those angles and corners, giving away it's location. All weapons are inside the weapons bays on each side of the airplane. You can see the outline of the doors in your picture, just foreward of the MLG.

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6406 times:

I knew I should have mentioned that.

Yes, the F-22A is a stealth fighter, and its stealth abilities will be used as a lead in to distroy AA, SAM targets and opposing airforces. Once ground threats are eliminated, the stealth ability of the Raptor will be less important, and it will become a bomb truck, carrying asmuch firepower to target as possible. They are not going to park the Raptors and let the old F-15s do the hard work.

I have seen diagrams of the Raptor using 4 external fuel tanks, mostly for ferrying flights, but no refrence to a conformal tank.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 6234 times:

Oh, the carnage of deleted posts!

In any case, the gist of my post was broken down into 3 parts, firstly:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
All weapons are inside the weapons bays on each side of the airplane.

This is quite obviously not the case. The above posted photo shows two AMRAAMS on underwing pylons, with a total capacity of 8 externally. Quick loadout schematics:



The F-22 has no provisions for CFTs. None have been fitted to the topside of the airframe, and there is no room on the sides/underside of the plane due to weapons bays and landing gear. All four pylons are plumbed for drop tanks, which would be heavy and expensive if not used. Reports of CFTs on the F-22 are either newly released info, or not quite correct.

The other point was that some members were contesting whether the F-16C/D were ever fitted with CFTs. The F-16E/F/I (latest blocks) are delivered with CFT capability, but I have never seen an older block C/D fitted with them, espescially from the USAF.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineOkelleynyc From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6230 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):
The other point was that some members were contesting whether the F-16C/D were ever fitted with CFTs. The F-16E/F/I (latest blocks) are delivered with CFT capability, but I have never seen an older block C/D fitted with them, espescially from the USAF.

 checkmark 

But just for clarity, the very fist F-16 with conformal tanks was a C model used by Lockheed during the development of the system.  Smile



Just give me my Vario, my Ozone Mojo and a gorgeous day of soaring.
User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6158 times:

Whats a conformal tank, pray tell?

User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6151 times:

Quoting Okelleynyc (Reply 4):
But just for clarity, the very fist F-16 with conformal tanks was a C model used by Lockheed during the development of the system.

It was not a production representative F-16C as none have capability for conformal fuel tanks. You cannot really make a comment like that without letting people know that the aircraft was modified for trials. Lets hope this post isn't censored like my earlier posting.

-Check


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 5):
Whats a conformal tank, pray tell?

A Conformal Fuel Tank (CFT) is a aerodynamic streamlined external fuel tank that is mounted on the body of a plane.

The best examples of these are newer F-16s sold for export (Israel, Greece, Singapore, and UAE).



F-15C/D/E have CFTs called FAST packs. These also more incoperate tatical sensors onto the F-15. the C/Ds dont use the FAST packs often, but the Strike Eagle uses them often.



IIRC, the Typhoon and Griphen have CFTs in development for them.


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6091 times:
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Wow....I had not quite grasped that the F-22 could actually carry 14 AIM-120 missiles if it needed to act in the interceptor mode. That's pretty damned stout. Or am I misreading the above diagram because if you have the four external hardpoints rigged you can't use the missile bays.....

I assume that the external fuel tanks would be most useful for long ingress/ferry missions when stealth was not a huge concern?

I do know that the F-22 does not have CFT's, rather they have very large internal tank capacity.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 6004 times:

I was curious about that too, The diagrams I have found show carriage of up to 14 AMRAAMS plus 2 AIM-9X and the M61A2 cannon. However I have not seen them all fitted at once.

There are photos on the web showing F/A-18Cs with 10 AMRAAMS (4 pylons with 2 each, 2 conformal) and 2 Sidewinders, and F/A-18Es with up to 12, so I'm sure there is no sorftware issue.

Question on the F-22 weapons bays... are they plumbed for internal tanks? IIRC, some models of F-111 used their weapons bay for this.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5991 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):

Thanks for the diagram. It was my understanding that even in the early days of F-22 development the stealth aspect was intended mainly for the first day of the war, or "first in" scenarios, to avoid tipping off enemy early warning systems, after which they would switch to external stores (since they've usually wiped out the enemy Air Force by that point).



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

Well, here is a thought.

Can a F-22 actually have a conformal fuel tank? Any seam on the Raptor would increase its radar signature. CFTs are not a perminant mounting, so there would have to be some seam...

here is the video I mentioned in the first post (click images). It also shows the cannon tests, and ice testing (from a KC-135 with a showerhead on the boom!).



User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2607 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5964 times:
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How stealth is the F-22? I don't see it as much of a stealth fighter...

User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5958 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 12):
How stealth is the F-22? I don't see it as much of a stealth fighter...

Its as or more stealthy than the F-117. That much is known, though the exact radar cross section is a closely guarded secret. The F-117 got stealth at the expense of other characteristics. The reason we can now have stealth without much penalty in performance is because of increased computer power. We can now create stealthy shapes that are also aerodynamically efficient. That is also why the F-22 does not look like the F-117.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5835 times:

Appearantly the USAF has discribed the F-22A as having the approximate radar signature of a metal marble, they also said the F-35 would be a golf ball, which is a bit better than the B-2, and the B-2 having a radar signature half that of the F-117.

The F-117 is pretty much 1970s tech, designed for a massive airforce, with aircraft ment to do one job, and one job only. The F-117 was ment to sneak in under Soviet Radar, and take out thier key facilities before the Ruskies knew what was going on. Once a F-117 is spotted visually, it is screwed. It is slow, not overly manuverable for a 'fighter', hell, I dont think it even has any air-air weapons. It is ment to sneak in, drop its bombs, then sneak out, unchallanged.

The F-22A on the other had takes the USAF's best fighter, the F-15, ads 4x the stealth, more speed, range, and manuverability. This fighter can do the job of several purpose specific jets from the 80s, better. For a while, the F-22 was desiginated as the F/A-22... so it was desiginated as an Attack platform. Very very multi-purpose. It can sneak in, take out any defences, fight its way out through the best fighters the world has to offer, then come back with a big load of bombs to blow you up. By far the meanest plane in history, there is nothing that can counter it.


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

So as I was watching that video above, I got to thinking. Why can't stealthy pods be made to hang from the hardpoints? Kind of like, removable weapons bays.

Surely a pylon could be made stealthy... no problem. And surely some kind of pod can be made to attach to it which is also stealthy. Stick some weapons within the pod and it acts just like a weapons bay, except under the wing.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5831 times:

but wouldnt that alter the flight characteristics of the wing? Also, I think of the seam again.

User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5824 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 16):
but wouldnt that alter the flight characteristics of the wing?

I actually had the thought when I was looking at those droptanks. Make them a stealthy shape and stick an AMRAAM in them, for example. If it can carry droptanks, I doubt that weapons pods would change anything.

I'm also sure that the seam could be taken care of easily. There are lots of seams like that on the aircraft... think about the spaces around the control surfaces, landing gear doors, canopy, etc.


User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2607 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5821 times:
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Quoting Cloudy (Reply 13):
The reason we can now have stealth without much penalty in performance is because of increased computer power. We can now create stealthy shapes that are also aerodynamically efficient. That is also why the F-22 does not look like the F-117

Interesting. I just can't see it though I mean yea I know it's there if it's been researched and proven but the F-22 looks as sleek as alot of other current fighters that aren't stealth. And while it made sense on the F-117 that all the panels were made to reflect the radar in other directions the F-22 seems just like a round, aerodynamic sleek plane that can't do that. I just gotta get used to it and accept it as stealth I guess  Smile


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5807 times:
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The reason that the two airplanes look differently is computers. The F-117 was designed to a large degree by slide rule using individuals. They were limited in their ability to calculate the variations and ended up with the sharp angled thing you see in the earlier airplane. The next level in design was achieved using computers that could calculate faster and more efficiently and they reached the curved lines of the B-2. When they started with the F-22 they had much more experience and were able to generate the stealth along with the incredible performance increases of that new fighter.

I'm no computer or aerodynamic engineer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!!!

Seriously, I discussed this with my uncle, the mechanical engineer for Lockheed and then watched the Discover Wings special on the subject. You can probably find this online....something about Stealth and it was a good watch.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5801 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 17):
I actually had the thought when I was looking at those droptanks. Make them a stealthy shape and stick an AMRAAM in them, for example. If it can carry droptanks, I doubt that weapons pods would change anything.

I'm also sure that the seam could be taken care of easily. There are lots of seams like that on the aircraft... think about the spaces around the control surfaces, landing gear doors, canopy, etc.

The pylons the drop tanks are attacked to are not all that wide, and wouldnt effect the profile of the wing that much. Also, the pylons run vertical, a wing does all its work on the horizontal. Strapping bludges flush to the wing would change that horizontal profile.

Yeah, I guess they could deal with the seams, but not 100%, which would increase the radar signature somewhat, but it guess it would be the same idea as the external stores, you only use them once the high threat targets have been eliminated and you dont have to worry about SAMs, fighters, or Radar Controlled AA.

To think about the CFTs, it is really ment to add extra fuel capacity without occupying weapon hardpoints. You would use these instead of drop tanks, as you can keep them on without loosing manuvering performance.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7957 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 15):
So as I was watching that video above, I got to thinking. Why can't stealthy pods be made to hang from the hardpoints? Kind of like, removable weapons bays.

I understand they are under development, at least for the Rafale and Typhoon.



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User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5691 times:

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 18):
Interesting. I just can't see it though I mean yea I know it's there if it's been researched and proven but the F-22 looks as sleek as alot of other current fighters that aren't stealth. And while it made sense on the F-117 that all the panels were made to reflect the radar in other directions the F-22 seems just like a round, aerodynamic sleek plane that can't do that. I just gotta get used to it and accept it as stealth I guess

While your trying to figure out how the plane itself is stealthy, think "paint"...thats all I'm willing to say.

Check


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5662 times:

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 22):
While your trying to figure out how the plane itself is stealthy, think "paint"...thats all I'm willing to say.

Yes. that is a factor in the Raptor's stealth ability, but not its only stealth feature. If it was as easy as that, everything would get coated in that stuff. They are very careful with working around the skin of the F-117 and F-22A... a scratch in this radar asorbing paint material would increase the aircrafts radar signature. In the end, it is paint that comes in other flavours.

http://oroka.no-ip.com/images/f-117-camo.jpg

http://oroka.no-ip.com/images/grayf1172web2.jpg


User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5582 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 23):
Yes. that is a factor in the Raptor's stealth ability, but not its only stealth feature. If it was as easy as that, everything would get coated in that stuff. They are very careful with working around the skin of the F-117 and F-22A... a scratch in this radar asorbing paint material would increase the aircrafts radar signature. In the end, it is paint that comes in other flavours.

Raptor and F-117 skin are completely different. Not even in the same class. Paint had nothing to do with the F-117.

-Check


25 Okelleynyc : Speaking of Paint.... Did I read somewhere that the F-117 was originally to have been painted pink? Apparently they found that it provided a limited o
26 Post contains images Flyf15 : Black stands out in the night too. You're never going to see an airplane in a pitch black sky if there are no lights illuminating it, no matter what
27 Post contains links Oroka : Sorry, I was implying the radar asorbing material (ram) applied to the F-117 and Raptor. The skin is diffrent, but the RAM applied to the skin is ver
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