Showing posts from September, 2018


After more than 50 years, the USAF's aging T-38 is finally getting a replacement. On September 27, Boeing was announced as the winner of the T-X trainer competition .  Being the only real clean sheet design entered, many saw it as Boeing's to lose. Victory was no assured, however.  Submitting a clean-sheet design was a risky proposition when it comes to affordability and risk.  So much so that Northrop Grumman (maker of the T-38) abandoned the competition after going so far as to building a prototype . As the competition came to a close, Boeing faced the Leonardo T-100 and Lockheed Martin/KAI T-50 Golden Eagle.  Both of these aircraft had the advantage of being mature, proven designs.   The T-50 had the extra advantage of being represented by the juggernaut that is Lockheed Martin.  Without a Stateside sponsor, the T-100 was certainly a political dark horse. While other designs, like the Textron AirLand Scorpion were submitted, none of them really had a chance goin


What happens when the F-22 and F-35 get busy and have a baby? Lately, the idea of a "hybrid" between the F-22 and F-35 seems to be gaining steam.  First proposed to Japan when its self-designed F-3 project fell through, Lockheed is now pitching the idea to The Pentagon . This (sort of) new fighter would take the more modern sensors, avionics, and other newer technology found in the F-35 and modify them to fit the F-22 Raptor.  This new enhanced Raptor would also sport a more modern stealth coating that promises to require maintenance. It is not a bad idea.  Such a beast would not only offer improved capabilities for the F-22, but could actually result in lower flying costs. This new fighter (F-22B?  F-22E?  F-22X?  F-28.5?) would improve on the Raptor's exceptional air-to-air capabilities.  One of the F-22's current weak spots is the absence of any sort of IRST.  The addition of DAS (Distributed Aperture System), combined with a helmet-mounted display