The US Air Force proudly announces the... Y-Wing

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Dunno about you guys, but the Bird of Prey that was announced yesterday (made by Boeing) really reminded me of a Y-Wing.

Can't wait for a Tie Advanced



  • Reply 1 of 36
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    this project was top secret and ran between 1992 through 1999 :eek: :eek:
  • Reply 2 of 36
    zozo Posts: 3,117member
    Lots of good info here. I didnt know it was just a pure prototype, not destined for any kind of production. A testbed for stealth technologies that will especially be used in the upcoming unmanned (UCAV) planes.

    <a href=",12543,365576,00.html"; target="_blank">,12543,365576,00.html</a>;
  • Reply 3 of 36
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Cool plane.

    Seems as though the future of military air power is a drone filled with JDAMS circling a target waiting for order. Refueled by the refueling drone. Targeting by the radar drone which we already have. Cost should go way down as the need to keep a crew alive and safe goes away. The other would be the laser bomb drone waiting for targets from your spotter drone or maybe even people on the ground.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    And the future of war, is like playing Q3Arena online
  • Reply 5 of 36
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Yea. Wont be long before CNN has a news drones flying over the whole thing.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Yeah, I've heard little bits and pieces over the years about such craft being developed, but obviously no pictures or specs.

    The original though was that this fighter-bomber was a swing-wing plane with hinges at the rear. I guess not.

    I don't really see the resemblance with the Y-Wing. . . and even better, the manufacturing processes at work here blow away anything in sci-fi, thus vindicating an argument quite personal to me.

    (For those curious types, I have been in raging debates in various 3D modeling forums about the proper form of sci-fi craft. I'm in the ultra-smooth camp)
  • Reply 7 of 36
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Okay I'll bite. In a space where there's no atmosphere why would the shape count that much?
  • Reply 8 of 36
    zozo Posts: 3,117member
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>Okay I'll bite. In a space where there's no atmosphere why would the shape count that much?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    in space it would make sense to have JET MATT BLACK 'camo'. Not that it would matter 'cause weapons would probably fire at hundreds if not thousands of kilometers and close combat would never (almost) take place. Plus, canopys would be integrated with machine enhanced visual, so while one could paint a ship matt black, the target would still be artifically visible via sensors and then 'painted' on displays.

    Form could have a role if it were a vehicle that could also reenter an atmosphere and have to fly optimally through it. Then, it would have to be such that it could adapt its form to various types of planets and atmospheres.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>Okay I'll bite. In a space where there's no atmosphere why would the shape count that much?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Radar avoidance.

    And secondly, the vessels, I presume, have to land on planets from time to time.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    But that would argue for angled surfaces. The stealth planes have sharp angles.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    zozo Posts: 3,117member
    aside from the F-117, all new gen stealth planes are actually quite smooth and non angled. Just the outlines are straight lines. Canopy, fuselage, etc are curved.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    The new Xwhatever is more angled than not. The curved body assures that some point on the surface will have a normal that points back to the radar station. Right?
  • Reply 13 of 36
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>The new Xwhatever is more angled than not. The curved body assures that some point on the surface will have a normal that points back to the radar station. Right?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    The F117 had sharp angles because the computers and software of the day couldn't handle simulations of radar reflections off of anything but flat surfaces.

    The B2 is very smooth. The YF-23 was smooth, yet with a few shar edges. The Bird Of Prey shares a lot of design similarities with the YF-23. An appropriately curved surface will be ideal for radar avoidance, but given aerdynamic constraints, some sacrifices have to be made, and by throwing in a few, non 90 degree angles, the designers obviosuly sought to minimize radar reflection while maximizing flight characteristics. (It doesn't need a stability computer at all!) Plus, there is some truth that appropirately angled edges can scatter radar. These are usually found around engines, hinges, etc. Things that would reflect radar nicely.

    You may also have read that Boeing put flexible, elastic material over most of the control joints in order to reduce radar reflection. Basically, the smoother the surface is, the less chance that radar signal will reflect off of some edge and go back to the radar. Unless the plane is directly above the radar, a very flat, smooth surface will not do much to reflect radar back to the receiver.

    [ 10-20-2002: Message edited by: Splinemodel ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 36
    a10t2a10t2 Posts: 191member
    I think that if you look at where detection technology will bein 20 years with multiple phased arrays and pervasive imaging technologies, stealth is going to be obsolete, at least with respect to radar visibility.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    zozo Posts: 3,117member
    well, supposedly GSM networks can already pick up stealth craft. Not sure how true that was in the end, had read the headline a while ago. Basically the triangulation reading from a GSM network can detect anything. Thats in theory.

    Also, if I remember correctly, if the B2 bomber gets wet, it lights up like a christmas tree on radars.

    Anyway, 20years is 20years. The technology coming out today is stuff thats been worked on starting 15-20 years ago. These things have dismally long dev cycles. The Bird of Prey was started 'only' 7-8 years ago, which is actually quite remarkable. Then again, they had tons of previous data to base on.

    Uh, what was my point? yeah... well, 20 years is 20 years. There has to be tech that can cover that span. And while you have one tech that detects, you will come up with a tech that will cloak again.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    [quote]Originally posted by Scott:

    <strong>Okay I'll bite. In a space where there's no atmosphere why would the shape count that much?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    At low speeds it really doesn't matter but when you start thinking about high speed or modes of faster than light travel all of a sudden shape is important all over again due to some of the forces involved. There are actually guys around that do nothing but study the appropriate shapes for space vehicles.

    [ 10-20-2002: Message edited by: Telomar ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 36
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    ISTR that the biggest problem at velocities that are a good chunk of the speed of light is hitting stuff. Ever see that fighter that was slammed into a block of concrete at a thousand-odd mph? Sucker vapourised and took a fair bit of this 10-foot thick block with it. Thinking about, say, 100000 mph and you're going to need something pretty complex to deal with it, even if it's just a pea-sized chunk of rock. Even Skylab's micro-meteoroid shields got trashed by hitting stuff moving at around 20000 mph.

    As for FTL, that's a whole different set of problems, presuming anyone ever actually manages it. Gravitational shockwaves are the first thing that comes to mind, even if you don't have to do something completely strange to go that fast...
  • Reply 18 of 36
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    I remember reading that when approaching 85% the speed of light you have to worry about gravitational compression and the integrity and shape of an object need to be engineered for those speeds.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    The truth is we really don't understand certain aspects of physics and spacecraft design well enough to know what a futuristic craft should look like. Back in the late 40's engineers thought the sound barrier would / could destroy an aircraft just by passing through it. Just a few years later they figured out how foolish that idea was.

    Only this problem won't take us a few years but more likely a century to unravel and understand. I think scientists today who are theororizing about what a spacecraft must be shaped like, in order to travel at near-light speeds, really have no way of knowing. I doubt even the computer modeling and simulation is there yet, because we don't have all the physical variables needed to plug into those simulations in order for them to give accurate results.

    We're not even to the experimental "Chuck Yeager" phase yet, based on what I've read. There are some mock-ups of Antimatter Catalyzed Micro-Fusion drives which could theorhetically propel a not-so-fighter-like spacecraft to the outer solar system in just a few years...but even that is as much fantasy as science IMO. And given the current status of tree-hugging, anti-nuclear-science types in our society, we're not even close to living in a world where it's *legal* to build such a ship.

    Enviro-Nazis will be the single biggest factor that slows our ascent to Mars, the outer planets and beyond. That is because almost by definition, in order to get the specific impulse required to propel large ships at great speeds (fast enough to get to Saturn in say 3 years instead of 30), we need some form of nuclear-assisted propulsion. And even if we guarantee we won't light the engine until the ship is safely away from earth, the greens will still bitch up a storm about "space pollution" - never mind that space is filled with all kinds of radiation eminating from basically all directions.

    [ 10-20-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 36
    I certainly prefer the simple shape of the real plane to the cluttered appearance of the movie starship with its exposed plumbing, which has been looking outdated the day it appeared.

    Yes, even the F-4 Phantom (or when I come to think of, the A-4 Skyhawk) looked more future-like back in the seventies.
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