|Quoting Blackbird (Reply 16):|
Assuming it's not classified, do you have any estimates on how much faster the YF-23 was in supercruise and afterburner verses the YF-22 / F-22?
Both aircraft were faster with the variable cycle F120 than with the F119.
-22: mach 1.58 (GE) mach 1.43 (P&W)
-23: mach 1.64 (GE) mach 1.48 (P&W)
-22 was chosen mainly for political reasons, as Northrop had the B-2 contract. The USAF
acknowledged that the YF
-23 was the more advanced aircraft from a configuration, stealth, and speed standpoint. The YF
-22 was only slightly more maneuverable and of a conventional configuration (basically a stealthy F-15 with internal weapons storage and thrust vectoring). Northrop engineers stated that aerodynamic control surfaces are better for maneuverability than thrust vectoring, and indeed, the YF
-23, with its two large canted tail surfaces and diamond wings, was capable of astonishing maneuverability; better than any aircraft previously built, and capable of outmaneuvering the vectored thrust YF
-22 in the trans-sonic regime and when the YF
-22 was only using normal control surfaces, the YF
-23 could outmaneuver it in any flight regime.The YF
-23 was also designed to incorporate thrust reversers, and the engine"humps" would have been lower profile on the production version as the requirement for thrust reversers was dropped by the USAF
. Also, as we have seen in the past, the USAF
tends to go the conservative route with new systems, hence the more conventional F-22 and F-119 engine instead of the more radical (and higher performance) F-23 and F120 engine.
Given the rediculous amount of time it took to get the ATF into service (a new record) USAF
should have chosen the more advanced YF
-23 to better keep pace with more advanced technologies. (In hindsight, nobody ever thought it would take as long as it did; 14+ years vs. 3 for the F-15)
, and of course the YF
-23 is the sexiest fighter ever built!