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Thread: Why the YF-23 should have won. | Forums

  1. #1
    This topic has probaly come up many times here, and before I start I do not intend on starting a war with F-22 fans, but should the YF-23 be where the F-22 is today.

    The YF-23 could have and should have won the ATF selection program in 1990. Here is why I think it should have won.

    The YF-22 and YF-23 were different in many ways. The YF-23 was designed for speed and maneuverability. The YF-22, however, was designed more for maneuverability. Both aircraft, were designed for supercruise. The YF-23 was slightly more aerodynamic as it's cruising speed was M 1.25, M 0.08 faster than the YF-22, roughly taking into account the different powerplant options. Both powerplants were roughly equal but the F120 was better suited to supercruise.

    According to the Air Force, it selected the YF-22 because the production F-22 was better designed for maintainability, greater potential for future development, and slightly lower cost. A popular view is that the decision reflected a preference for maneuverability over stealth.

    It is universally held that the YF-23 was by far the better looking aircraft. The YF-23 is a very unstable aircraft and when this is coupled with a fly-by-wire control system, results in a very agile aircraft. Another attribute that lends itself to high mobility is the rudervator tail.

    The YF-23 was stealthier than the F-22. The two rudderavators reduce the RCS of the YF-23 significantly. The F-22 design uses a traditional configuration, this makes the RCS larger. The larger bottom fuselage lets the YF-23 pack more missiles and other expendable weapons. The intake duct starts on the lower edge of the wing and moves through it onto the top of the wing. This feature can also reduce the radar signature from a look down- shoot down radar from an aircraft flying overhead.

    The YF-23 had greater fuel capacity and therefor longer range. By having a larger wing area and greater fuselage volume, the fuel storage of the YF-23 is increased over the F-22.
    The YF-23 can fly longer CAP missions. It can fly deeper into enemy territory without the need of tanker support. As a result fewer aircraft must be purchased and less money needs to be spent on refuling tankers.

    The only thing I can see that was missing is thrust vectoring and that wasn't an ATF requirement, just an advantage the F-22 had over the YF-23 that the USAF seemed to like more, since the Russians had it they felt they needed it too.

    Imagine what could have been, The F-23 Black Widow II. Polotics doesn't work.
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  2. #2
    This topic has probaly come up many times here, and before I start I do not intend on starting a war with F-22 fans, but should the YF-23 be where the F-22 is today.

    The YF-23 could have and should have won the ATF selection program in 1990. Here is why I think it should have won.

    The YF-22 and YF-23 were different in many ways. The YF-23 was designed for speed and maneuverability. The YF-22, however, was designed more for maneuverability. Both aircraft, were designed for supercruise. The YF-23 was slightly more aerodynamic as it's cruising speed was M 1.25, M 0.08 faster than the YF-22, roughly taking into account the different powerplant options. Both powerplants were roughly equal but the F120 was better suited to supercruise.

    According to the Air Force, it selected the YF-22 because the production F-22 was better designed for maintainability, greater potential for future development, and slightly lower cost. A popular view is that the decision reflected a preference for maneuverability over stealth.

    It is universally held that the YF-23 was by far the better looking aircraft. The YF-23 is a very unstable aircraft and when this is coupled with a fly-by-wire control system, results in a very agile aircraft. Another attribute that lends itself to high mobility is the rudervator tail.

    The YF-23 was stealthier than the F-22. The two rudderavators reduce the RCS of the YF-23 significantly. The F-22 design uses a traditional configuration, this makes the RCS larger. The larger bottom fuselage lets the YF-23 pack more missiles and other expendable weapons. The intake duct starts on the lower edge of the wing and moves through it onto the top of the wing. This feature can also reduce the radar signature from a look down- shoot down radar from an aircraft flying overhead.

    The YF-23 had greater fuel capacity and therefor longer range. By having a larger wing area and greater fuselage volume, the fuel storage of the YF-23 is increased over the F-22.
    The YF-23 can fly longer CAP missions. It can fly deeper into enemy territory without the need of tanker support. As a result fewer aircraft must be purchased and less money needs to be spent on refuling tankers.

    The only thing I can see that was missing is thrust vectoring and that wasn't an ATF requirement, just an advantage the F-22 had over the YF-23 that the USAF seemed to like more, since the Russians had it they felt they needed it too.

    Imagine what could have been, The F-23 Black Widow II. Polotics doesn't work.
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  3. #3
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    It was NGC's past actions on the B-2, they were delays, setbacks, and overruns while Lockmart was on time with the F117.

    That was the major sway vote past business dealings with the government.

    One of the YF-23 prototypes is back into flying conditions since the USAF is looking for a replacement medium bomber.
    ~J
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  4. #4
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    Cuz it looks like a futuristic ATF, and not like a fat duck with a giant a**.

    It has a big weapons bay, the thing was stealthier than the f-22, and offcourse the range, but heck, politicians have ruled so the US will fly in a fat, small duck now.

    Imagine seeing the F-23 at an airshow, mmm, that thing would sooo blow the su-47 away, well, or at least equal it's appearance.

    2 down, 23 to go...

    But, they have colorful spanners for the F-22...
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  5. #5
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    YF-23 was a more risky proposition. Certain important features still hadn't been finalized (something to do with the tail IIRC), while YF-22 was significantly closer to the final ATF design. This caused the government to go for the LM contract.
    "i knowe that the jas39 gripen radar can detect stealth plane, it uses radio signals or somting like that

    -Dr_Pepper_"
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  6. #6
    Why the YF-23 should have won?

    To upset the F-22 fanboys
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  7. #7
    The F22 is, indeed butt ugly. Not as ugly as the YF22, but way too ugly nonetheless.

    I too wish the YF23 had won, and I think it would have been a more efficient fighter than the F22, and better suited to become a fighter/bomber at a latter stage due to it's better stealth characterisitics, longer range, and bigger load capacity.

    Who the heck in his right mind thinks there are going to be enough dogfights in a future war to warrant making an über agile fighter, while at the same time the main thing that limits the agility of today's fighters is the pilot?

    Nic
    The first official D12 whiner!
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  8. #8
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    I don't see why people think the F-22 is so ugly. Sure the YF-23 is better looking but I think the F-22 is all around better.

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  9. #9
    Whoever calls the F-22 ugly must be out if their sane mind! I think it's the most beautiful plane in the world.


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  10. #10
    Haha, the ugliest plane in my books is still Su-32/34. The second ugliest would be Su-25/39. As for YF-23 and F/A-22, I'd say they are par in terms of beauty but I think YF-23 looks more radical in design... kinda artistic, inspirational, whereas F-22 simply follows the traditional fighter layout: 2 H stabilizers behind 2 main wings, 2 V stabilizers tilted slightly outward, 2 air intakes next to fuselage, yadda yadda. Been there done that.

    But in the end beauty doesn't matter, unless your plane looks so good your enemy becomes too reluctant to shoot it ... so as long as your plane does the job, hey go for it who cares if it's ugly.

    Here's a technical comparison between the two competing fighters if anyone wants

    http://www.sci.fi/~fta/atf-1.htm (introduction)
    http://www.sci.fi/~fta/atf-2.htm (comparison)
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