Military Review

The U.S. Air Force could be F-23: about competition for the right to create a 5th generation fighter


In 2020, the United States is going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype of the future (at that time) fifth-generation aircraft. We are talking about the prototype YF-22, which ultimately embodied in the multi-purpose stealth fighter F-22. The first flight of the prototype of this combat vehicle took place in December 1990.

It is noteworthy that today the U.S. Air Force could not be F-22, but F-23. Did not happen...

The fact is that at the same time in the United States, research was underway in the framework of two projects. YF-22 is a "cooperative" project of Lockheed, Boeing and General Dynamics. YF-23 is also a cooperation, but already Northrop / McDonnell Douglas. The first received the name, which is well known to this day - Raptor ("Predator" or "Bird of Prey"), the second did not have a single name. During the implementation of the YF-23 program, two prototypes were produced, the first of which was named "Black Widow-2", and the second - "Gray Ghost". These examples differed primarily in engines. The Widow was powered by the Pratt & Whitney YF119 power plant, and the Ghost was powered by the General Electric YF120.

When creating the “Widow” and “Ghost” in Northrop, they relied on combining the technologies that were used in the F / A-18 Hornet fighter and the “strategist” B-2 Spirit.

Despite the fact that the development in the framework of the two programs was carried out independently, the prototypes turned out to be very similar up to the basic geometry of the tail.

This gave reason to say that representatives of competing, as it is now customary to say “collaborations,” not only were based on the same basic principles, but, to the extent possible, traced any leaks from the camp of the “rival”.

According to American test pilots, the championship was given to the YF-22 project because of the apparent superiority in maneuverability that appeared. Those representatives of the command who wanted to see a 5th generation aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier also said their word. As a result, even the speed advantages and lower visibility of the YF-23 did not give him a chance. By the way, during the tests, the instance of “Gray Ghost” developed a speed of Mach 1,6.

In April 1991, the developers of the YF-23 heard the final verdict - there will be no F-23 fighter, but there will be an F-22. It was the Lokhidov program that it was decided to continue to finance.

They say that it was then (in the early 1990s) that a story was born among American developers that "paranoia defeated schizophrenia." What are we talking about? The fact is that in one of the development teams there was a person who was a psychiatrist (psychologist) in the first specialty. When it became known that the victorious aircraft would receive the F mark (fighter), traditional for the US Air Force, it “accepted bets” on F-22 or F-23. In psychiatry, there is a nomenclature for the designation of diseases in which F22 refers to paranoia (e.g. F22.01) and F23 refers to psychotic disorders (e.g. F23.1 is an acute polymorphic psychotic disorder with symptoms of schizophrenia). Comparison, as they say, of course, is interesting ... If you are guided by this terminology, then the “paranoia” in the form of a fifth-generation fighter F-22 has been in the arsenal of the US Air Force for the 15th year already. At the same time, the production of F-22 was completed in 2011. The main reason is called the active implementation of the F-35 program. At the same time, the F-35 program is already being implemented on a much larger scale, including coverage by the number of participating countries.
Photos used:
Wikipedia / National Air Force Museum
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  1. Blacksmith 55
    Blacksmith 55 26 May 2020 16: 15
    Not the topic, but the good news.
    Victory Parade will be held on June 24.
    Congratulations to everyone who was looking forward to it.
  2. vvvjak
    vvvjak 26 May 2020 16: 35
    As a result, depression (affective) mood disorders (F30 - F39)) prevailed over paranoia and schizophrenia.
  3. Undecim
    Undecim 26 May 2020 16: 59

    "Black Widow II" and "Gray Ghost" over the Mojave Desert.
  4. Pete mitchell
    Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 17: 19
    Actually, the F-23 was a more advanced aircraft with a set of innovations, which ultimately frightened the USAF leadership and they chose the more conservative -22.
    1. GMM
      GMM 26 May 2020 17: 23
      So we rush between the T-50, PAK FA, Su-57 and finally the "Criminal" Felon according to NATO classification ...
    2. novel66
      novel66 26 May 2020 17: 52
      Hobo, hello! hi Well. maybe they were right - it’s been flying for so many years, and they don’t sell it to anyone - yes it says something
      1. Pete mitchell
        Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 18: 28
        Novel hi the winner became a significant aircraft for usaf and they did not want to share secrets, although the Japs seemed to be attached, but they were ousted from them. In addition, as a result of all the changes in the F-22 program, it turned out to be unbearable for the money; according to various sources, I met from 250 to 420 apiece, which is more of a bite. Having crouched on a raptor in the TOR for JSF, a fly away unit cost was agreed - the final price, for which they are now selflessly fighting for their loved ones, the allies do not really feel
        1. novel66
          novel66 26 May 2020 18: 32
          Well, someone from Israel .. very sorry. what they do not sell
          1. Pete mitchell
            Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 18: 35
            Honestly, I do not think that the F-22, especially in the initial configurations, would meet the interests of Hel ha'Avir.
            1. novel66
              novel66 26 May 2020 18: 36
              for free .. like all of them - and the opportunities are not bad
              1. Pete mitchell
                Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 18: 37
                In the case of the F-22, the freebie did not ride, even the staff didn’t pull
                1. novel66
                  novel66 26 May 2020 18: 37
                  have these ?? would ride ..
                  1. Pete mitchell
                    Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 18: 43
                    Not Rum, not this time. Moreover, the aircraft was redundant for the period after the collapse of the Union, both in cost and in cost of operation. Well, I had a way super duper one for all and sundry Jsf clear
                    1. novel66
                      novel66 26 May 2020 18: 44
                      well, for the Jews with their endless war, there is no excess aircraft
                      1. Pete mitchell
                        Pete mitchell 26 May 2020 18: 48
                        I think even they were not ready measure well depth with an oscilloscope and stopwatch - they have the most powerful air forces in the BV and without the 22nd
  5. Pavel57
    Pavel57 26 May 2020 17: 25
    I heard another version, according to which the F-23 was better, but formally did not meet the size limits.
    1. Boratsagdiev
      Boratsagdiev 26 May 2020 17: 37
      Most likely a combination of factors.
      Starting with the novelty and "incomplete engines" and ending with "you can't do everything alone."
      1. Pavel57
        Pavel57 26 May 2020 17: 52
        Lokhod's lobby turned out to be stronger.
  6. smaug78
    smaug78 26 May 2020 18: 43
    The main reason is called the active implementation of the F-35 program.
    The main reason was called and is called the price of F-22. The author does not fuck crap, it hurts ...