Rockwell
 

Rockwell International submitted 2 proposals for the AF 1982 RFI; both Air To Air fighters. The first was for a standard sized fighter of 43,020 lbs, optimised specifically for transonic manoevure like the F-15, F-16, and F-18, but employing a canard layout and thrust vectoring. Known as Concept 5, it would have been the US equivalent of Eurofighter and employed minimal stealth characteristics. Concept 6 was for a fighter in the F-15 class, at 48,373 lbs, optimised for supersonic performance and employing stealth technology. This concept employed twin fins and thrust vectoring, a standard wing with no canard, and no horizontal tail. Apparently this particular design was created almost single handedly by a Mr Daniel P Raymer. What is curious is that his website has a drawing of an early permutation which shows a strong resemblance to the classic 'Loral Jet': a theoretical concept dreamt up to help Loral sell stuff back when stealth was a buzzword and no-one in the white world knew how it really worked. The artist who dreamt up this idea painted a shape dominated by a plethora of curves, almost harking back to a Bugatti-esque, 1940's era aesthetic. Daniel had seemed to take this idea to heart and wrought it into a practical configuration, one strongly redolent of a moth. The final configuration submitted for the RFI was toned back a with more square-like shapes.

 

Concept 5
 
It is believed that Concept 6 in a refined form was actually the proposal submitted for the 1986 ATF competition. If this is indeed the case, then it is understandable that Rockwell came last, as the shape was a generation behind what was required in terms of stealth technology. It seems that Daniel really "hadn't quite got the idea".

 

Above: display model for Paris Air Show
Left: wind tunnel model probably very close to that submitted for the 1986 ATF competition.
Right: wind tunnel model. The wing planform is reminiscent of the Su-27, so it would have had good high alpha manoevureability.

Last updated February 2010.

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