Oroka
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F-22A External Stores

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:07 am

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
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:15 am

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.
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:37 am

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.
 
Spacepope
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:13 pm

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.
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okelleynyc
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:40 pm

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
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RichardPrice
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:13 am

Whats a conformal tank, pray tell?
 
checksixx
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:24 am

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
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:12 am

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.
 
dl021
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:20 am

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.
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Spacepope
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:05 am

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.
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MissedApproach
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 11:51 am

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).
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Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:57 pm

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!).

 
sovietjet
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:13 pm

How stealth is the F-22? I don't see it as much of a stealth fighter...
 
cloudy
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:44 pm

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.
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:57 am

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.
 
flyf15
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:06 am

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.
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:17 am

but wouldnt that alter the flight characteristics of the wing? Also, I think of the seam again.
 
flyf15
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:38 am

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.
 
sovietjet
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:40 am

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
 
dl021
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:53 am

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.
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Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sat Mar 25, 2006 12:04 pm

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.
 
NoUFO
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sun Mar 26, 2006 6:38 am

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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checksixx
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:43 am

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
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:19 pm

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
 
checksixx
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:49 pm

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
 
okelleynyc
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:16 pm

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 optical stealth capability for daytime sorties? But the airforce mandated that it be painted black so that it would never be considered for daytime ops? Apparently black is pretty visible in a daytime sky? Does this ring a bell with anyone or is it just urban legend?

Thanks....
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flyf15
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:27 pm

Quoting Okelleynyc (Reply 25):
Did I read somewhere that the F-117 was originally to have been painted pink? Apparently they found that it provided a limited optical stealth capability for daytime sorties? But the airforce mandated that it be painted black so that it would never be considered for daytime ops? Apparently black is pretty visible in a daytime sky? Does this ring a bell with anyone or is it just urban legend?

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 color it is. Its all about the illumination of the aircraft. Think about the last time you were in a cloudy city at night... what color were the clouds? Orangish pink.



Now, what is the perfect color to paint an aircraft to blend in with the illumination it will be in? Orangish pink.

Although not perfect, it is somewhat similiar to the color that is optimal during the day - dull grey. It is all about having the aircraft blend in to its surroundings. Black is not really at all that great of a camoflague color.


Now, why is the F-117 black instead of its original pink? Well, I've heard all kinds of stories from high up air force officials thinking a stealth plane just "should" be black to pilots refusing to fly pink airplanes around. Who knows what the real truth is...
 
Oroka
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RE: F-22A External Stores

Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:44 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 24):
Raptor and F-117 skin are completely different. Not even in the same class. Paint had nothing to do with the F-117

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 very simular. The F-22 just uses less of it, only in certain areas.


http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita.../systems/aircraft/f-22-stealth.htm

Quote:
A new type of paint, or topcoat, increases the F-22 Raptor's stealthiness by reducing its vulnerability to infrared threats. To meet F-22 requirements, Boeing developed the topcoat to protect the aircraft against a broad range of wavelengths. The new paint replaces conventional topcoats, performing all the required environmentally protective functions while also reducing the aircraft's vulnerability to detection. The topcoat does not add to the F-22's weight, and provides performance enhancement at a very modest cost.

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