It made me think about starting an "Ugliest airplane" thread!If anyone puts this on the "most beautiful airplane" thread, there will be hell to pay...
I'm guessing that blade shaped extension on the nose is there to create a strong vortex at high AoA, to swirl energized air over the fuselage and into the engine intake? Anybody here know... anybody here able to tell me without being taken to Guantanamo?
Well it certainly was unpleasant to look at.Yes, the edges of the flying surfaces are "louder" to radar than further inboard. Tacit Blue was supposed to be a stealthy flying box with a radar dish inside the shape was dictated by that. Apparently it did not have pleasant handing characteristics.
The full-perimeter chine reduces the vertical portion of the aircraft's surface to a slim razor edge all the way around. It's not unlike the SR-71's RCS-reducing cross section profile.Anybody here know... anybody here able to tell me without being taken to Guantanamo?
Actually, I believe the computational issue is related to issues regarding the Radar Cross Section (RCS) of the aircraft. A flat surface reflects light or radar waves in a single direction (depending on angle the radiation comes in from), while a curved surface tends to have a prism effect and splays the reflected radiation over a broader arc.The curvature of the airfoil has nothing to do with computational power. It’s a material issue.
Curved surfaces on stealth aircraft are possible by using a graphite mixture in composite skin, or is accomplished by placing an aerodynamic composite cap over a faceted surface.
Shades of Vietnam, when the Air Force sent B-52s to bomb following the same flight path. Shades of WWI, for that matter, when Beatty had his ships at Jutland changing course in succession, which meant all the Germans had to do was to aim at the single spot where each ship would start to turn.That is very fascinating. I heard about such a program back when that F-117 was shot down. Some mission analysts hadn’t been checking the flight plans and allowed several aircraft to fly identical routes instead of the random routes the program was designed to create, which is why the Serbs knew the flight path to target.
I suspect there's very little in the material arena that's truly secret in the stealth world anymore. I remember ~40 years ago you could buy a car "bra" that included RAM (Radar Absorptive Material). IIRC, it didn't work. Heck, Robert Heinlein included a basic stealth concept in "Between Planets" in 1951:And since we are on the topic, the Iranians copied that stealth drone they captured years back, and the Israelis shot one down over Syria.
That is very impressive for both sides. Iran has a much more advanced aerospace industry than expected. And the Israelis as well if they can detect it.
You make your choices. Depending on your mission, you may not need rear aspect stealth. Best anyone can tell, the Chinese canard is optimized for front aspect stealth. It is a large, long range platform, intended to take out tankers, AWAC's, and the like in rear areas. So, it sneaks in close enough to launch long range missiles, turns away and is moving out of range by the time it shows up on radar screens.That Chinese fighter was "reviewed" by someone in Flight Journal magazine who said the front of the airplane looked stealthy but the back was regular old jet. Sir Stanley Hooker said the same thing about Chinese engineering that you did back when the Chinese had just quit talking to the Russians.