X-35 vs X-32

Experimental aircraft including -but not limited to- X-planes, from the Bell X-1 to the Su-47
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Bwadwey

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Unread post14 May 2005, 22:53

Even though the X-32 seemed uglier, why was the reason that it lost to LMT? Did the choice have to do with anything with the fact that LMT was probably the better company to design a fighter instead of a company that built flying buses.

But form my point of view, the X-32 wasn't that ugly of a plane. Compared to a harrier, I would take the X-32.
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Polaris

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Unread post14 May 2005, 23:54

I remember watching a documentary on NOVA called "X-Planes." I noticed the X-32 had a lot of reliability issues, such as a leak that sprung during aerial refueling. The F-35 didn't have as much, so it seemed in the documentary.
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atlau

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Unread post15 May 2005, 01:42

Wasnt the X-32's VTOL system underpowered? I think any weight/growth issues would have prevented it from taking off vertically. The Lockheed's lift fan provided more thrust.
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Lawman

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Unread post15 May 2005, 01:58

So given that both these planes look more like prostitutes then pagent winners we'll just forgo the issue of X vs Y as far as looks.

Now the interesting little Irony to the final Choice on JSF. During the testing of the B models the X-32 encountered a problem that is established with the "Harrier" style VSTOL that Boeing decided to go with. Its a proven system but when hovering in ground effect with no forward movement, the hot nozzles end up fouling the air being taken into the intakes, not to the point that it kills the motor but it causes a drop in power (which you are carefully trying to balance in Hover). This happens in Harriers which is why they are always trying to keep forward motion when landing. They solved this problem (temporarly) by removing the gear doors they found this to remove the airflow backwash issue and were commited to making small changes in a production model since this is just one of those developmental things. The X-35 using a new lifting fan (* I.E. when not in hover dead weight) design didnt have the problem of exhaust backwash. However they were a very heavy aircraft at the time but projected (I.E. bullshitted) that with the new technologys in development for the production model the wieght would go down. We all know where this went.

All and all, I really dont want to see either aircraft make it to full production. Every month it just seems like a new problem with a new massive amount of money being needed and still no hope of any return for a long long time.
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TenguNoHi

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Unread post15 May 2005, 04:49

Wasnt the X-32's VTOL system underpowered? I think any weight/growth issues would have prevented it from taking off vertically. The Lockheed's lift fan provided more thrust.


I never knew that. Sounds like a big deal though. I meen, something like that would severely hamper the expansion of the B-Models in the future.

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Bwadwey

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Unread post15 May 2005, 05:36

Well I think the F-35's lift fan is kinda weird. I mean think about it, you're putting a hug fan right behind the pilot's cockpit, it just doesn't sound like a really smart idea. And it's a waste of space. I would've picked the X-32 (don't ask why) But for looks, the F-35 is better and I favor Lockheed Martin more than Boeing.
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goatmilk

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Unread post15 May 2005, 07:54

Actually, the concept of putting a lift fan behind the cockpit is not too new of an idea. In the 70's, the Russians built the Yak-38 which had a lift fan located behind the cockpit. Granted, it's probably still not a really good idea, at least when it comes to saving weight and fuel space. Personally, I didn't like either design looks-wise. The F-35 looks like an F-22 after it got beaten with the ugly stick. The YF-32 looked interesting indeed. IMHO it seems like the government/military prefers more conventional looking designs, as was the case of the ATF competition in which the radical-looking YF-23 lost to the F-22, but that's just my opinion.
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dred

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Unread post16 May 2005, 19:28

If I remember correctly, the Yak did not have a lift fan - it had a separate, dedicated vertical engine, which then became dead weight in conventional flight. Payload (i.e. fuel & weapons) was reduced accordingly, which is why the British didn't go that route with the Harrier.

I think the lift fan is clever; it will be interesting to see if the VSTOL version of the f-35 becomes a usable combat aircraft, or if it becomes the next Comanche, too expensive to fully develop and place into service. If I understand correctly, the lift fan as installed on the X-35 develops more lifting power than the direct lift as used in the Harrier and X-32. Not the best analogy perhaps, but it's a little bit like how a jet-engined helicopter gets more lifting capability using it's rotor than had it skipped the rotor and just pointed it's engine downward.

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psychmike

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Unread post16 May 2005, 21:52

I think that the X-32 also underwent a major redesign after the prototypes were built. If I recall correctly, it didn't have enough roll authority for carrier landings so conventional tailplanes were added. Boeing argued that the front half of the plane was essentially unchanged but it still seemed like it would be much more of a risk to buy a design that hadn't even flown, compared to the f-35 design which didn't change much at all after the prototypes were built. I think the inlets were just cut back a little and reshaped.

Michael
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EriktheF16462

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Unread post17 May 2005, 17:44

From what I saw on NOVA the X32 had issues all over the board. It was no doubt under powered, they removed intake parts, gear doors and lots of other stuff to get the thing to VTOL, and that was over a pit designed to prevent the engine stagnation problems that all VTOL jets have. It also had a very hard to produce composite wing that was one piece. They showed that it was a tough thing to build and fail a few times in development. It was not up to speed in the handling department either and was going to require major re-engineering of the back end to get it to perform up to specs. They flat out lost that competition.

Unlike the 22/23 testing is was nowhere near close.
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aggressor267

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Unread post17 May 2005, 17:54

Think about if that lift fan were ever to shell out. Where would the shrapnel and flying pieces go? Towards the pilot and the engine.
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VPRGUY

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Unread post17 May 2005, 18:16

I would imagine they'll have limited sheilding of some sort, be it armor or whatever, to at least protect the pilot. As far as the motor, I don't think they'd worry too much about it; if you're in a hover, and the lift fan fails, it doesn't matter if the engine will survive or not cause the airplane is going to crash. Unfortunatly I wonder if the pilot would even have time to get out. With the lift fan (and the associated 15,000+ lbs of thrust in the front) gone, plus the sudden spool up of the motor from being unloaded like that (with the 15,000+ lbs of thrust already in the back), the airplane would probably sumersualt into the ground before the pilot had a change to figure out what happened. Not really a pleasant thought.

But, for armoring to protect the pilot; it wouldn't even have to be too thick. Just set it up with a "V" shape, with the top of the "V" pointed forward (towards the pilot), and the thrown blades could simply be deflected out the sides instead of trying to stop them outright.
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Duymon

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Unread post22 Sep 2005, 10:43

I was actually rooting for the X-32 the whole time.. I actually think the x-32 looks cool! Well.. cool in the same way that the Vought A7 or A8's did 8) Guess it takes a certain person to like em :p

I was always thinking the x-32 would have been more manueverable with its thrust vectoring system but I guess not :(

Though the only thing I didn't like about the x-32 was the single tiny weapons bay it had that only seemed to be able to carry 2 munitions compared to the x-35's 4.

JSF was suppossed to be a cheap replacement fighter for f-16's, 18's etc but considering they cost nearly 4x what an f-16 costs.....it just makes you wonder :p
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WilliamG

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Unread post22 Sep 2005, 14:33

goatmilk wrote:Actually, the concept of putting a lift fan behind the cockpit is not too new of an idea. In the 70's, the Russians built the Yak-38 which had a lift fan located behind the cockpit.

The Yak-38 Had 2 separate lift jets in the fuselage.
Linky for Yak-38 Details http://www.airtoaircombat.com/detail.asp?id=110

goatmilk wrote: IMHO it seems like the government/military prefers more conventional looking designs, as was the case of the ATF competition in which the radical-looking YF-23 lost to the F-22, but that's just my opinion.

And yet we still have the B-2, and the F-117.
I was not a fan of the -32 only because it looked so darned large in the profile.
Just made me think the Mk1 eyeball would say Hey lookie there, Why thats a flying guppy...
I still think it is a shame that the -23 did not win, as I think it would have proven to be a superior aircraft in the long run


Duymon wrote:I was actually rooting for the X-32 the whole time.. I actually think the x-32 looks cool! Well.. cool in the same way that the Vought A7 or A8's did Cool Guess it takes a certain person to like em :p



I loved the Last Gunfighter and SLUF, both were true beauties of shape and form, However the -32 is nowhere close to them. squat short and oversized
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EriktheF16462

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Unread post22 Sep 2005, 14:38

THe boeing offereing was so over weight it could not hover without major peices removed, intakes, gear door (not removed for airflow but for weight) other internal systems. The wing box was such a nightmare to build they blew it a couple of times before they got a wing for the bird made. Payload in the bay was to small also. The best jet won the fly off. Boeing needs to stick to making big planes.
F16 462 AD USAF. Crew dog for 3 and Even a pointy head for a few months.
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