The US Air Force has built and flown a mysterious full-scale prototype of its future fighter jet


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DocM

Dr. Will Roper is the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, and previously the founding Director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office.

 

Big. Dawg.

 

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/09/15/the-us-air-force-has-built-and-flown-a-mysterious-full-scale-prototype-of-its-future-fighter-jet/

  

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The US Air Force has built and flown a mysterious full-scale prototype of its future fighter jet

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has secretly designed, built and flown at least one prototype of its enigmatic next-generation fighter jet, the service’s top acquisition official confirmed to Defense News on Sept. 14.

The development is certain to shock the defense community, which last saw the first flight of an experimental fighter during the battle for the Joint Strike Fighter contract 20 years ago. With the Air Force’s future fighter program still in its infancy, the rollout and successful first flight of a demonstrator was not expected for years.

“We’ve already built and flown a full-scale flight demonstrator in the real world, and we broke records in doing it,”

Will Roper told Defense News in an exclusive interview ahead of the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference. “We are ready to go and build the next-generation aircraft in a way that has never happened before.”
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And because the advanced manufacturing techniques that are critical for building NGAD were pioneered by the commercial sector, the program could open the door for new prime contractors for the aircraft to emerge — and perhaps give SpaceX founder Elon Musk a shot at designing an F-35 competitor.

“I have to imagine there will be a lot of engineers — maybe famous ones with well-known household names with billions of dollars to invest — that will decide starting the world’s greatest aircraft company to build the world’s greatest aircraft with the Air Force is exactly the kind of inspiring thing they want to do as a hobby or even a main gig,” Roper said.
>

 

An open invitation to Elon Musk's merry band of pirates?

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FloatingFatMan

Y'know, if they invested more on remotely operated technologies, the aircraft needed could be both simpler AND more powerful as there wouldn't be any need to be concerned about pilot g-forces.  Imagine a fighter plane that could pull off manoeuvres that would wreck an enemy pilot if they tried them... The bad guys wouldn't stand a chance.

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DocM
5 hours ago, FloatingFatMan said:

Y'know, if they invested more on remotely operated technologies, the aircraft needed could be both simpler AND more powerful as there wouldn't be any need to be concerned about pilot g-forces.  Imagine a fighter plane that could pull off manoeuvres that would wreck an enemy pilot if they tried them... The bad guys wouldn't stand a chance.

 

That's exactly what they're doing, and not just fighters.

 

Pilot-optional or robotic tankers, attack aircraft, robotic wingman combat drones, bombers (the B-21 Raider), etc.

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FloatingFatMan
36 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

That's exactly what they're doing, and not just fighters.

 

Pilot-optional or robotic tankers, attack aircraft, robotic wingman combat drones, bombers (the B-21 Raider), etc.

No. Not robotic.  Never robotic.  A machine must never be allowed to decide to take a human life.  THAT must always be in the hands of a real life person at all times.  Remote piloting is fine, but no machines making that choice.

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DocM
On 17/09/2020 at 07:45, FloatingFatMan said:

No. Not robotic.  Never robotic.  A machine must never be allowed to decide to take a human life.  THAT must always be in the hands of a real life person at all times.  Remote piloting is fine, but no machines making that choice.

I'm not saying autonomous, more like the F-35/F22 pilot, or base mission commander, does the target selection and "hits the GO button."  The system executes the mission - but with a human in the loop who can recall or modify it.

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macrosslover

我们对这次飞行的结果也很满意。

 

Google/Bing translate. 😁

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FloatingFatMan
3 hours ago, macrosslover said:

我们对这次飞行的结果也很满意。

 

Google/Bing translate. 😁

I got your advanced fighter right here!

 

bd0d8f9d0ce43a050e43879defaf23d3.jpg

 

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macrosslover
42 minutes ago, FloatingFatMan said:

I got your advanced fighter right here!

 

bd0d8f9d0ce43a050e43879defaf23d3.jpg

 

I would love it if they had something like that as their prototype.

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DocM

More like this from the Air Force Research Lab. Possibly hypersonic given their recent  engine work.

 

330407134_Screenshot_USAFNGfighter-2a.thumb.jpg.bf230d35151577b7ff359b9d19ea65ab.jpg

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George P
20 hours ago, macrosslover said:

I would love it if they had something like that as their prototype.

They had a prototype like that years ago, forward slopped wings are terrible to handle/control.  It didn't work out.

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macrosslover
9 hours ago, George P said:

They had a prototype like that years ago, forward slopped wings are terrible to handle/control.  It didn't work out.

Oh it's not just the forward wings, it's that it would be a precursor to a Valkyrie, from Macross.  He posted a picture from Macross.

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George P
1 hour ago, macrosslover said:

Oh it's not just the forward wings, it's that it would be a precursor to a Valkyrie, from Macross.  He posted a picture from Macross.

I know, I'm a fan myself.  Just saying, it's not like they didn't try that specific style of fighter jet.  As for the rest, bipedal mechs are cool but actually not that practical from what I've read irl.  

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Emn1ty
On 20/09/2020 at 09:35, George P said:

I know, I'm a fan myself.  Just saying, it's not like they didn't try that specific style of fighter jet.  As for the rest, bipedal mechs are cool but actually not that practical from what I've read irl.  

They can be highly useful in rough terrain, rescue operations, and some construction applications. But those advantages are outweighed by the complexity and maintenance required to make them work.

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Xenon
On 20/09/2020 at 12:35, George P said:

I know, I'm a fan myself.  Just saying, it's not like they didn't try that specific style of fighter jet.  As for the rest, bipedal mechs are cool but actually not that practical from what I've read irl.  

 

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George P
5 hours ago, Emn1ty said:

They can be highly useful in rough terrain, rescue operations, and some construction applications. But those advantages are outweighed by the complexity and maintenance required to make them work.

In rough terrain I think having more legs is better,  so in this case I'd say 4 > 2.  Even people, when we go hiking in many cases we have one of those staffs, or w/e the official name for it is, which basically gives you a 3rd leg.  And often when it's really rough we, you know, crouch down and use are hands.    

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DocM

Nature created most critters with 4-8 legs for stability and climbing, bipeds being unusual. There's a good reason for that.

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