YF-23: A Modeler's Perspective

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Matt308, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    With all of the modeling talent on this forum, I thought that I would post some good close ups of the YF-23 competition to the F-22 fly-offs. Personally my favorite from a visual perspective. She is a beauty. So here ya go. I hope someone might build the 1/72nd model and perhaps might find these pics usefule.
    _________________________________________________________
    From Wikipedia...

    The YF-22 and YF-23 were competing in the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program, conceived in the early 1980s, to provide a replacement for the F-15 Eagle. Contracts for the two most promising designs were awarded in 1986, with the YF-23 delivered in 1989 and the evaluation concluded in 1991.[1]

    The YF-23 was designed to meet USAF requirements for survivability, supersonic cruise (supercruise), stealth, and ease of maintenance. Designed with all-aspect stealth as a high priority, Northrop drew on the company's experience with the B-2 Spirit and F/A-18 Hornet. The YF-23 was an unconventional-looking aircraft with diamond-shaped wings, substantial area-ruling, and a V-tail.[1] It introduced the novel feature of rear jet nozzle troughs lined with heat ablating tiles developed by Allison, which shielded the exhaust from IR detection from below. All the control surfaces were coupled together via the Vehicle Management System to provide "net effect" aerodynamic control. The wing flaps and ailerons deflected inversely on either side to provide yaw, while the tail provided pitch. Aerodynamic braking was achieved by deflecting the flaps and ailerons on both sides simultaneously.

    Although possessing an advanced design, in order to reduce costs and development, a number of F-15 Eagle components were utilized including the standard F-15 nose wheel unit and the forward cockpit of the F-15E Strike Eagle.[1]

    Two aircraft were built. PAV-1 was fitted with Pratt Whitney YF119 engines, while PAV-2 was fitted with General Electric YF120 engines. The YF-23 featured fixed nozzles.[1]

    The black YF-23 was nicknamed "Black Widow II", after the Northrop P-61 Black Widow of World War II and had a red hourglass marking resembling the underbelly marking of the black widow spider. The black widow marking was briefly seen under PAV-1 before being removed at the insistence of Northrop management.[2] The gray colored YF-23 was nicknamed "Gray Ghost".[3]

    General characteristics

    Crew: 1 (pilot)
    Length: 67 ft 5 in (20.60 m)
    Wingspan: 43 ft 7 in (13.30 m)
    Height: 13 ft 11 in (4.30 m)
    Wing area: 900 ft² (88 m²)
    Empty weight: 29,000 lb (14,970 kg)
    Loaded weight: 51,320 lb (23,327 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 62,000 lb (29,029 kg)
    Powerplant: × General Electric YF120 or Pratt Whitney YF119 , 35,000 lbf (156 kN) each
    Performance

    Maximum speed: Mach 2.2+ (1,650+ mph, 2,655+ km/h) at altitude
    Cruise speed: Mach 1.6+ est. (1,060+ mph, 1,706+ km/h) supercruise at altitude
    Combat radius: 865-920 mi [8] (750-800 nmi, 1,380-1480 km)
    Service ceiling 65,000 ft (19,800 m)
    Wing loading: 54 lb/ft² (265 kg/m²)
    Thrust/weight: 1.36
    Armament None as tested but provisions made for

    1× 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon
    4× air-to-air missiles, AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder
    _____________________________________________________________

    The following pics courtesy of Dale Elhardt
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    Note that the actual stealth technology is obviously not included in this prototype. Not sure if this was an actual flying version, likely so, but was only an aerodynamic airframe for basic handling qualities. Things such as stealth features associated with airframe access are obviously not addressed in this model. Nor are sensors and conformal antennas.

    So some more...
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    The landing gear is interesting in that it might be an F-18 main (??). Not sure what the reaons were for chosing this style of gear. Maybe availability from McDonnell Douglas of F-18 equipment. But with such a low stance, you have to imagine some wing-in-ground effect occuring with such a flat planform.

    So here is some gear pics...
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    Now the intakes are even more interesting. Certainly the stealth aspects are not engineered and leave some imagination. But the curvelinear intake hiding the engine fan blades is obvious, taking a perpendicular S-shaped approach from the F-22. Also note the exhaust's use of heat absorbent tiles.

    Oh what is could have been... Reminds me of the F-15 MANX. But with serious claws.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15,719
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Auto Restoration
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA.
    Great pics Matt. I had only seen a few photos before. Very interesting stuff. Thanks.8)
     
  6. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    With Aaron, great pics Matt! I wish I'd had them when I built my Italeri kit... (now long since given away when I left Australia)
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    Beautiful bird, almost a shame that it didnt prevail over the F-22, nice pictures.
     
  8. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
    It is a shame isn't it. Northrop sure makes some beautiful airplane designs.
     
  9. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    The US military seems to have a bad concept of the V ( butterfly) tail design, the Boeing JSF design used it and also didnt make it facing a Lochkeed more conventional layout. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    51,156
    Likes Received:
    847
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Adelaide Sth. Aust.
    Great shots Matt!
     
  11. Henk

    Henk Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Distribution of Magazines and driver
    Location:
    George - South Africa
    Great pics Matt.

    Very nice aircraft indeed. It is just a shame this bird is not complete.
     
Loading...

Share This Page