Lifting Body Aircraft

Experimental aircraft including -but not limited to- X-planes, from the Bell X-1 to the Su-47
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Unread post08 Dec 2008, 19:56

Does anyone have any information on the stall speeds for lifting body aircraft such as the X-24, HL-10, M2-F2, or others? I have a feeling that it's rather high when compared to winged aircraft.

I was also wondering how practical it might be to have a fighter jet that had a lifting body design or incorporated a greater emphasis on body lift than wing lift.

In accordance with what I've read on Wikipedia, lifting bodies have low drag, which might make for improved supercruise performance on a fighter jet and improved range at supersonic speeds. With a jet that utilizes mostly body lift, one could make the wings much smaller. With very small wings, one could greatly reduce the dorsal and ventral RCS of the aircraft.

Lifting bodies are said to be unstable in flight, which might help contribute to manueverability if fly-by-wire controls, relaxed stability, and thrust-vectoring nozzles are also incorporated into the design. For increased control, perhaps what tiny wings the aircraft has could be made to be all-moving "tiperons" similar to what the proposed XF-103 would have had. The voluminous body that such an aircraft could have might be used for extra fuel and/or weapon storage.

My biggest concerns for such an aircraft would be stall speed and general subsonic performance characteristics. It might require quite a long runway in order to take off and land.

An early Rockwell ATF proposal seemed to have body lift as one of its key design features: ... raymer.jpg

I realize that aircraft such as the F-14 and F-15 have a lot of body lift, too. However, I'm talking about an aircraft that relies more on the lift generated by its body than that generated by its wings.
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Elite 3K

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Unread post03 Apr 2012, 23:25

For extreme wing-body X-fighters, look up the XF-5U, the Flying Flapjack.
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