YF-23

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ccheese, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    The competetion between the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 and the
    Lockheed YF-22 is history. The YF-23 lost, the YF-22 won. The YF-22
    went into production, but what hapened to the YF-23 ? Has the multi-
    million dollar aircraft been destroyed ? Is it reposing, somewhere, letting
    the weather destroy it ? Or has Northrop or M-D saved it for a museum ?

    There was a show (Modern Marvels) on TV that showed the lonely VF-23
    sitting on the ramp, somewhere..... abandoned ? I doubt that !

    What happens to "one of a kind" aircraft that don't make it into production ?
    Some are surely destroyed (like Northrops big flying wing, and Martin's
    "Seamaster"), but what happens to the others ?

    More info here:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNKw9TrVviE



    Charles
     
  2. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    After losing the competition, both YF-23 prototypes were transferred from Northrop to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, at Edwards AFB, California. The engines were removed. NASA had no plans to perform flight tests with the airframes, but a proposal was put forward to use one of the two aircraft to study strain gauge loads calibration techniques. The possible production configuration of the F-23A has never been publicly revealed.

    In the end, however, both aircraft remained in storage until the summer of 1996, when the aircraft were transferred to museums. Aircraft PAV-2 was in exhibit at the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, California and PAV-1 was recently moved to the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio, where it sits in the Aircraft Restoration Hangar.[1] Aircraft PAV-2 is now on display in an outdoor parking area at Northrop Grumman's production facility in El Segundo, California. [show location on an interactive map] 33° 927872 -118° 380883

    Possible revival

    In late 2004, Northrop Grumman proposed a YF-23 based design for the USAF's interim bomber requirement, a role for which the FB-22 and B-1R are also competing. Aircraft PAV-2 was moved from the Western Museum of Flight to Northrop's plant for refurbishment after being on outside display for more than a decade. Instead, Northrop used the aircraft to create a full scale model of its proposed interim bomber. The interim bomber requirement has since been cancelled in favor of a more long-term, permanent bomber replacement requirement, however, the same YF-23-derived design could possibly be adapted to fulfill this role as well.[5]

    Northrop YF-23 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    By far the prettier aircraft over the F-22. But I suspect that the high AOA peformance was not quite as good. But likely at the expense of better stealth characteristics.
     
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Used as 'hacks', targets, instructional airframes, etc, and some as ongoing experiments.

    The 'one of a kind' Beardmore Inflexible for example, was broken down and the wings left in the open air to "assess their resistance to the effects of the elements" (left to rot?!).

    All that remains is a 7ft 4 in wheel, somewhere in England.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    THeres a nice pic
     

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  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Both YF-23s sat outside for a long time at Edwards AFB next to the Aeroclub located at "southbase."
     
  7. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Would love to have seen that - she's a beautiful looking aeroplane
     
  8. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, the YF-23 was the technical selection of the fly-off. It had better supercruise speed and better stealth and met all the maneuvering requirements without the use of vectored thrust. I understood that the selection was based upon the perception that LM could manage the program better than Northrop, which is understandable since the B-2 bomber had grossly overrun (although the AF had a significant part of that with changing requirements, but, of course, Northrop mismangement, and rampant lack of contract discipline on both sides, contributed mightily. And beside, I had to send my kids to college!). However, as an interesting sidelight, when I started supporting LM on the JSF in Fort Worth, I was expecting to see an efficient systems driven engineering organization. What I found was an organization very similar to Northrop's and was just a screwed up. This showed it ugly head with the greatly inflated cost of the F-22. I have lost track of the progress of the F-35.

    In my opinion, the F-23 is much more attactive than the F-22, which looks like a cluge of parts that don't quite fit. I worked at Northrop Grumman at their El Segundo plant just before I retired. I always enjoyed going out side and walking all around the YF-23, which was parked there. Unlike the F-22, the F-35 is good looking and I think it will be an amazing aircraft.
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    From everything I have read, the F-35 is a marvel of manufacturing compared to the F-22. Many lessons learned there and applied to the Lightning II program.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    A very good friend of mine worked on the X-35 and now the F-35. He helped design the electrical system. A lot of "lessons learned" from the F-22 went into the F-35. Additionally a lot of original General Dynamics people moved into key positions when Lockheed swallowed them up. There was (and still is) a lot of resentment in the Skunk Works in Palmdale over the Fort Worth influence but it seems to have things going in the right direction.

    My ex-brother in law was a retired Lockheed procurement director who went back to Lockheed as a consultant on the F-22. The last time I saw him he was telling me how screwed up the F-22 program was. The boarding ladder alone was costing several millions to design and build - A Boarding Ladder!!!!:rolleyes:
     
  11. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    From what I heard, yes, the YF-23 was more stealthy and had slightly better supercruise performance, but was less maneuverable than the YF-22 (it must be remembered that the YF-23 did not have vectored thrust like the YF-22 did).
     
  12. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    And without horizontal stabs and vertical stabs of such dihedral, the AOA performance can't possible be as good as the F-22.
     
  13. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    It met all the technical requirements of the request for proposal (RFP) without the vectored thrust. And I have heard from several sources that it was the technical (an overall consensus of performance critera, maintainibility, supportability, et.al.) but the selection was made on management capability.
     
  14. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I saw the rift between GD people and Lockheed people from the GD side. There was a lot of disdain from Ft. Worth for the work that was being done at the Skunk Works. I think they took over the Skunk Works or something like that.

    An example of the costly design of the F-22 was the separation of circuit boards in the avionics. In the F-22, the separation was so close that Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components could not be used and most electronic parts had to be specifically designed for the F-22, an extremely costly effort. On the JSF, we were told that the board separation HAD to be great enough for COTS equipment. Cost control was a major factor in JSF competition.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Actually a lot of the management was over-run by people from Fort Worth - I knew a lot of older Skunk Works people who retired when the influx of FW people moved to Palmdale. The FW people were given hefty raises, relocation allowances and for a period per diem to relocate to Palmdale. When these folks got there they eventually filled management spots as they became available. At the same time my friend said he saw a lot of laziness and incompetence within the organization - the problem (and I think you find this in all aircraft manufacturers) is a majority of the people who hold key positions are not "Aviation Folks." Sure, they have the big degrees, but most of them could care less about aircraft, flying or aviation - I've seen some folks get laid off and try to stay in aviation in an aircraft maintenance capacity and at that point it really shows their true lack of knowlege of the industry and their apathy toward aviation.
    Yep! And on the F-35 engineers were given cash awards when they came up with weight saving ideas.
     
  16. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Weight was starting to be a problem while I was working on the program. Actually, weight problems always begin with the proposal. All contractors want to have the best capability. In order to do this they willingly accept the risk of low probability of success in schedule, weight and cost. They always plan on a perfect program. It never happens and the Pentagon gets another black eye. And, of course, there is the customer wanting more capability and contractor willing to provide it for a price.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    And you also have the program Manager promising the customer that he could make 2+2=7!
     
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