lehpron
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

How To Get X-plane Status?

Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:12 pm

Does a private company or organization need a military or NASA contract to have a experimental airplane of theirs be held under the X-plane status and be tested at Edwards or whereever?

Can a university senior project apply?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
HaveBlue
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:26 am

From what I know, the X planes have always been Air Force, Navy or NASA funded experimental aircraft or rockets.

Back in the day, it was truly experimental types, first supersonic, first hypersonic, first swing wing, first tail-less, first VTOL jet, ect. The last few X designations have been the ultra manuevarable X-31, space planes and space crew recoverable vehicles, and, unusually, the fighters X-32 and X-35.

Normally prototype aircraft didn't get the X designation, but rather the Y prefix. When the General Dynamics F-16 and Northrop F-17 (later became the F-18 for a different program) had their fly off for the Air Force lightweight fighter contract, they were designated YF-16 and YF-17. The 16 won, and the 17 almost faded into obscurity. Same with the YF-22 and YF-23.

So, to answer your question, it is my opinion that a university program wouldn't get an X designation and access to Edwards, but I could be wrong. Just everything I can remember that was X had government contracts or armed service contracts behind it.
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:10 am

Have Blue - correct. An "X-plane" isn't a status awarded to just any experimental aircraft, but is a Basic Mission designator under the Tri-Service Designation system. Thus the aircraft would have to be under USAF/NASA control and have been built under contract to those entities.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
PPGMD
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RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 3:11 am

I highly doubt that a program would get access to Edwards unless they have a military, NASA, or DARPA contract. Though there have been exceptions like Scaled Composites Voyager.

Also the X series is generally only given to experimental NASA or military aircraft, that has no direct applications for the aircraft (though knowledge and technology tested on the aircraft have future use).

Many schools often do get DARPA, NASA, and military contracts too.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:15 am

lso the X series is generally only given to experimental NASA or military aircraft, that has no direct applications for the aircraft (though knowledge and technology tested on the aircraft have future use).

Not always true, anymore, unfortunately, PPGMD. As happens all too frequently these days, convention is being swept aside for whatever reasons - note that the two prototypes in the JSF competition were given "X" designations rather than "YF" designations.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
PPGMD
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RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:32 am

There are always exceptions to every rule, it started with the XB-70. At least that I am aware of.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2110
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 5:51 am

PPGMD, exactly. The XB-70 was always an anomaly to me (though one of my all time favorite aircraft) because normaly it would have been a YB-70 and after the program faultered as it did, it was just used as a research vehicle for tri sonic testing, but if circumstances had been different it would have went into production. None of the other X planes were ever intended to be in production, even the X-29 which was a technology demonstrater, but it was just politics and the crash of the second article that doomed the XB-70 from seeing a production run.

IMO the F-32 and F-35 should have had a Y prefix, with the loser fading into ambigiouty and the F-32 going into production. But I don't make the rules  Smile
Here Here for Severe Clear!
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:08 am

They used the X designator to hide the true purpose of the aircraft from those commies that are out to steal our precious bodily fluids.

Also if I made the rules I would have canceled both program and told Lockheed and Boeing to find me a stealth aircraft that can truly replace the F-16 (while still be stealthy) or stop wasting our money.

Johan, LM doesn't work either

That's LM.

[Edited 2004-09-29 00:09:45]
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:22 am

Would it be that protoype aircraft have the intent of become a real production aircraft and that an experimental aircraft is meant as a flying testbed?

So if a school can get a contract, how is the space allocated, who has control?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:33 am

That's something you would clear up through the contract, you would get a DARPA, military, or NASA contact that would deal with stuff like that.

Or you could always call up the Flight Test Center, if you are on an USAF contract, but your contact might not like you going over their head without their permission.

One shouldn't really care if you are a Y series or X series, just as long as you have support and funding it really doesn't matter. In fact the Y series would be a better area to be in if you want funding beyond the flying test bed, few X series aircraft are extended beyond a single aircraft, even though they have potential, like the X-31

You guys working on your no sonic boom aircraft (well I believe you said from the perspective of the average person on the ground)?

[Edited 2004-09-29 01:36:54]
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

RE: How To Get X-plane Status?

Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:52 am

They're called "low boom" concepts and right now that is all they are. The only thing I can't tell is subsonic performance, I hope to test approximate scale models in my school's wind tunnel for verification some time during next year.

What you put in parenthesis is the biggest clue to what I came up with this past January.  Wink/being sarcastic

As of the x-plane deal, my wishes are either this or Project Lehpron (one of my pulse-engined hypersonic concepts I sure wish were an X-plane. That would be so kickass.)
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.

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