Friday, August 13, 2021



Recently the Air Force announced that it may be interested in obtaining a new low cost option to replace its fleet of F-16s, calling for a clean sheet design of a new either fourth and a half gen or fifth gen minus fighter. The role that today's F16s play cannot be understated: while the F22 and F35 are the air force's fifth generation frontline fighters, the F16 is by far the most numerous fighter the air force operates, with more F16 examples than all F15s, F22s and F35s combined. As a result you could make the argument that the F16 is the backbone of today's air force. And while the USAF's F16s have served with distinction during its operational lifetime, current Air Force leaders feel that the viper lacks the mission systems capability and networked software sophistication to be a serious contender. Additionally, the air force has stated that the goal is to have 386 squadrons. Assuming an average of 20 aircraft per squadron, that's 7,720 aircraft and plenty of new airframes that need to be produced.

The F16XL is a cranked arrow delta wing variant of the hugely successful F-16 Fighting Falcon or Viper. Initially conceived as a technology demonstrator for General Dynamics, the F-16XL was entered into the Enhanced Tactical Fighter competition. Let's take a look at some of the specifications for the F-16XL:

Specifications Length: 54 ft 2 in (16.51 m) Height: 17 FT 7 IN (5.36 M) Wingspan: 34 FT 3 IN (10.44 M) Maximum speed: 1,400 MPH (2,300 KM/H) MACH 2.05 Empty weight: 22,000 LB (9,980 KG) Range: 2,850 MI (4,590 KM), 2,480 NMI) Max. takeoff weight:48,000 LB (21,800 KG) Engine Thrust Class GE F110-GE-100 TURBOFAN 17,100 LBF (76 kN) THRUST DRY 28,900 LBF (129 kN) WITH AFTERBURNER

At the end of the SR-71 spy plane program in the 90s, the US was left without a new spy plane to operate across the world. The SR72 is still decades away, and for the last 30 years, supposbly the military has flown blind. Or have they. There are many reports of strange triangle aircraft flying high above military airbases, and across the world, that seem to defy modern aviation physics, with the abilities to fly faster than anything ever before, and seemly vanish into the clouds. little is known about this plane, but it is estimated to fly at a top altitude of 135,000 feet (or possibly 110,000 feet), and cruising around 90,000 feet. At these altitudes the aircraft would have an incredible speed, easily pushing mach 6 and tearing across the sky. To reach this pace, it would either have a ramjet or early scam jet like that propossed for the SR72, or it would have a very unquie propulsion called a Pulse Wave Detonation Engine. Basically this crazy idea uses small detotnations of fuel to push the aircraft forwards, constantly chain reacting until the plane reaches the required speed.

This will result in a very unquie contrail of a ring of donuts dasiy chaining behind the aircraft. Its very different form normal engines. All regular jet engines and most rocket engines operate on the deflagration of fuel, that is, the rapid but subsonic combustion of fuel. The pulse detonation engine ioperates on the supersonic detonation of fuel. Because the combustion takes place so rapidly, the charge of a fuel and air mix does not have time to expand during this process, so it takes place under almost constant volume. Constant volume combustion is more efficient than open-cycle designs like gas turbines, which leads to greater fuel efficiency. If the aircraft had this engine, it would mean it could fly high enough to be out of range of any current anti-aircraft defenses, while offering range considerably greater than the SR-71, which required a massive tanker support fleet to use in operation. The auroras mission profile would be spying, used to bridge the gap between spy satalights and slower aircraft or drones. Spekaing of drones, this aircraft would either be a complete

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