Boeing Aircraft

The Boeing X-32 was a concept demonstrator aircraft in the Joint Strike Fighter contest.

 

Boeing X-32 JSF

The Boeing X-32 was a concept demonstrator aircraft in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

 

Boeing's strategy for a competitive advantage was to offer substantially lower manufacturing and life-cycle costs by minimizing variations between the different JSF versions. The X-32 therefore was designed around a large one piece carbon fiber composite delta wing. The wing had a span of 9.15 meters, with a 55-degree leading edge sweep and could hold up to 20,000 pounds of fuel. The purpose of the high sweep angle was to allow for a thick wing section to be used while still providing limited transonic aerodynamic drag, and to provide a good angle for wing-installed conformal antenna equipment. The wing would prove a challenge to fabricate.

The compete-on-cost strategy also led Boeing to pick a direct-lift thrust vectoring system, for the Marines' short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) requirement, as this would only necessitate the addition of a thrust vectoring module around the main engine. However, this choice required the engine to be mounted directly behind the cockpit, and moved the center of gravity forward from its usual position in jet fighters (towards the rear of the airplane) to enable a neutral-attitude hover. Boeing had proposed, in the 1960s, a similar supersonic fighter with a mid-center-of-gravity mounted engine with vectored thrust nozzles, but this never proceeded beyond pictures published in Aviation Week.

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On 14 December 1999, Boeing unveiled both its concept demonstrators at its plant in Palmdale, California, in front of 5,500 attendants. While the X-32A was expected to make an appearance, the roll out of the X-32B was a surprise, as construction of the latter aircraft had started some three months after the former and was completed six weeks after the X-32A.[7] Boeing attributed the rapid construction of the STOVL version to the use of digital design and assembly methods.[8] After having the Pratt & Whitney F119 engine installed in April 2000, the X-32A commenced low- and medium-speed taxi tests, which had been completed by late May.

Boeing
Boeing XF-32 JSF

The loss of the JSF contract to Lockheed Martin in 2001 was a major blow to Boeing, as it represented the most important international fighter aircraft project since the Lightweight Fighter program competition of the 1960s and 1970s, which had led to the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet. At the time, the production run of the JSF was estimated at anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000.

 

  • History

    Role Experimental stealth fighter

    Manufacturer Boeing

    First flight 18 September 2000

    Primary user Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

     

  • Primary Users

    Crew: 1

    Length: 45.01 ft (13.72 m)

    Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)

    Height: 17.32 ft (5.28 m)

     

  • General Info

    Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,200 mph, 1,931 km/h) at altitude

    Range on USAF mission profile: 850 nmi (1,574 km)

    Range on USN mission profile: 750 nmi (1,389 km)

    Range on USMC/RN mission profile: 600 nmi (1,112 km)
    20 mm M61A2 cannon, or 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon

    Internal: 6 AMRAAM air-air missiles or 2 AMRAAM air-air missiles and 2 x 2,000 lb (900 kg) class guided bombs

Boeing X-32 JSF

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The Boeing X-32 was a concept demonstrator aircraft in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

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