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What's with the YF-23 revival talk?

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  • What's with the YF-23 revival talk?

    So thi is the second vid I've seen on YT lately that the Japanese are thinking of dusting off the old YF-23 for their next gen fighter, which sounds preposterous.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oukbvuoe44

    I've also seen vids about the USAF examining it again. Some of these vids claim the 23 outperformed the 22 in trials back in the day but was not selected for other reasons. I liked the look of the 23 better, but that's about all I know about it.

    So is there any merit to the idea of dusting off a near 30-year-old prototype that never saw service and updating it or is all this wild talk? BTW there was also a clip recently about restarting F-22 production lines, which sounds more practical. How possible is that?

  • #2
    If America won't sell them the F22 then why not team up with the other (and supposedly better half of the trial) half of the trial and build a new design round the YF23


    as for restarting F22 building - good luck with that
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ica-cant-19420

    and why would you build more F22's when you could build something better???

    the future will be lots of small fast drones and I mean lots - you just need a decent drone carrier

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    • #3
      Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
      If America won't sell them the F22 then why not team up with the other (and supposedly better half of the trial) half of the trial and build a new design round the YF23


      as for restarting F22 building - good luck with that
      https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ica-cant-19420

      and why would you build more F22's when you could build something better???

      the future will be lots of small fast drones and I mean lots - you just need a decent drone carrier
      Why build more F22's, because they're talking about building new F15's and F16's!

      Do a small improvement where needed for the F22 and build more. That sounds better to me that new F15's with redesigned wings & co (the argument that the F22 air frame being from the 80's does not hold in my eyes).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post
        If America won't sell them the F22 then why not team up with the other (and supposedly better half of the trial) half of the trial and build a new design round the YF23


        as for restarting F22 building - good luck with that
        https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...ica-cant-19420

        and why would you build more F22's when you could build something better???

        the future will be lots of small fast drones and I mean lots - you just need a decent drone carrier

        That is another factor isn't it? The idea of a manned fighter (and its enormous cost) seems outdated now that drones are already commonplace.

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        • #5
          30 year old prototypes might still have valid reasons for being selected/improved, or having key components resurrected in the future. First thing that comes to mind is the flying wing bombers from Northrop back in the late 40s and 50s eventually spawning (at least in my mind) the B-2

          Besides, I agree with you Budgie... It's totally awesome, totes-mags, "good looking".

          Of course, it is also Friday evening here in the western USA and I've cracked open a cerveza for some lightweight conversation... oh... and I have to wash the dishes and beer makes that better!

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          • #6
            Northrup is trying to get in on the F-3 program by trying to sell Japan on their avionics and stealth tech. Northrup is into flying wings these days.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RobertKLR View Post
              Northrup is trying to get in on the F-3 program by trying to sell Japan on their avionics and stealth tech. Northrup is into flying wings these days.

              Does that suggest they might use Japan's F-3 prototype airframe (F-22 lite) with Northrop avionics and stealth tech or an entirely Northrop airframe?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by budgie View Post


                Does that suggest they might use Japan's F-3 prototype airframe (F-22 lite) with Northrop avionics and stealth tech or an entirely Northrop airframe?
                Japan does not have enough stealth tech and the avionics to work with stealth on their shelves. They don't need to reinvent the wheel, they need a shortcut to make the F-3 in a timely and affordable way. Since Northrup is all about flying wings these days and hasn't built a fighter since the 23 (and flying wing fighters are not that great at air to air combat) Japan will probably stick with their designs and use some Northrup derived technology if Northrup can sell them on it. But a complete airframe doesn't seem to be in the cards in my opinion.

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                • #9
                  Isn't the YF-23 US government property since they payed for the tech, even if it was not selected?

                  Would they need US government / congress approval to export/sell anything to Japan?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BogT View Post
                    Isn't the YF-23 US government property since they payed for the tech, even if it was not selected?

                    Would they need US government / congress approval to export/sell anything to Japan?
                    The U.S. Government controls exports of sensitive equipment, software and technology as a means to promote our national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Through our export control system, the U.S. government can effectively:
                    • Provide for national security by limiting access to the most sensitive U.S. technology and weapons
                    • Promote regional stability
                    • Take into account human rights considerations
                    • Prevent proliferation of weapons and technologies, including of weapons of mass destruction, to problem end-users and supporters of international terrorism
                    • Comply with international commitments, i.e. nonproliferation regimes and UN Security Council sanctions and UNSC resolution 1540
                    http://www.state.gov/strategictrade/overview/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
                      30 year old prototypes might still have valid reasons for being selected/improved, or having key components resurrected in the future. First thing that comes to mind is the flying wing bombers from Northrop back in the late 40s and 50s eventually spawning (at least in my mind) the B-2
                      Pfffff...Northrop. Horten is the name.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by budgie View Post
                        So thi is the second vid I've seen on YT lately that the Japanese are thinking of dusting off the old YF-23 for their next gen fighter, which sounds preposterous.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oukbvuoe44

                        I've also seen vids about the USAF examining it again. Some of these vids claim the 23 outperformed the 22 in trials back in the day but was not selected for other reasons. I liked the look of the 23 better, but that's about all I know about it.

                        So is there any merit to the idea of dusting off a near 30-year-old prototype that never saw service and updating it or is all this wild talk? BTW there was also a clip recently about restarting F-22 production lines, which sounds more practical. How possible is that?
                        Companies and design bureaus often hold onto old projects, and trot them out every so often, whenever it seems like there might be some interest.

                        My go-to example is the old Soviet Ilyushin bureau, which developed the Il-40 attack plane in the 1950's, failed to secure a production order, but kept developing it internally and tossing it into the competition whenever a new design requirement was announced. The Il-102, which (unsuccessfully) competed against the Su-25 in the mid-1970's, was basically a 1950's Il-40 with a facelift. Companies in the west are no different. If you spent a lot of time and money developing a concept, you'll probably hold onto it, and see if you can pitch it elsewhere down the line if you don't make the cut the first time around.

                        Could the YF-23 be revived? Well, nothing's impossible, though any purchaser would have to pay for the entire production line to be set up - no small expense. Plus, a lot of the avionics would need to be updated and modernized.

                        There's also the problem that the YF-22 and the YF-23 weren't really complete aircraft when they first flew in 1990 - they were more like technology demonstrators. The first 'real' F-22 prototype only took flight in 1997. So there would be a lot of additional engineering work involved in getting the YF-23 from the point it left off as - an incomplete proof-of-concept - to the level of being a production-ready aircraft. It took the F-22 eight years to go from the first prototypes to mass-production, and I suspect that a similar amount of work would probably remain with the YF-23 if anyone were really serious about pursuing it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marsch View Post

                          Pfffff...Northrop. Horten is the name.
                          Horten's chicken wing accomplished more in mythology than all other aircraft combined have accomplished in reality. Like the Russian N1 rocket. Greatest booster ever made that never really worked right.

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