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  1. DESIGNING ADVANCED FIGHTER AIRCRAFT Burt Dicht Managing Director ASME Knowledge and Community Sector

  2. TODAY’S AGENDA • Fighter Aircraft Requirements • The Evolution of Stealth Technology • The Advanced Tactical Fighter • The Design Process • The Future of Aircraft Design • Opportunities for ME’s in Aerospace • ASME

  3. MY BACKGROUND • Currently Director, ASME Managing Director, Knowledge & Community • Started out as an ASME student member - just like you. A member for 26 years. • BS Temple University, Philadelphia • MA, CSUN, Northridge, CA • Staff of Congressman Jon Fox (PA/13) • Northrop Grumman – Lead Engineer T-38 Talon • F-5E/F Tiger II • F-20 Tigershark • YF-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet • Rockwell Space Systems Division (Boeing) Space Shuttle Program • NASA Kennedy Space Center Summer Intern - Space Shuttle Launch Facility Design

  4. MODERN FIGHTER AIRCRAFT REQUIREMENTS • Air Superiority – controlling the airspace within a limited area and within a limited length of time • Stealth – seeing the enemy before they see you • Maneuverability – not top speed, but climbing performance, acceleration and turning speed • Aerodynamics – wing loading – aircraft weight divided by wing area – one of the most important • Range – ability of the aircraft to reach the combat zone and cover it • Engine – thrust to weight ratio, favorable fuel consumption, low infrared and smoke • Avionics – Vehicle and systems management, reduced pilot workload, all weather capability • Armament- kind and quantity of stores on board • Reliability and Maintainability – systems have a high operational rate and are easy to repair

  5. THE EVOLUTION OF STEALTH AIRCRAFT • From the earliest days, deception and stealth have been used to gain the advantage over an enemy in combat. • Early combat aircraft used camouflage to make visual detection difficult. • The advent of RADAR in the late 1930’s and during WWII enabled the early detection of aircraft in flight. • Romulan “Bird of Prey” • Equipped with “Cloaking Device.” • Made the craft invisible to Federation sensors.

  6. THE EVOLUTION OF STEALTH • NORTHROP YB-49 BOMBER • Designed by Jack Northrop in the late 1940’s. • Role was as a strategic bomber. • Its unique wing shape produced a low radar cross section, although the goal was improved performance.

  7. THE EVOLUTION OF STEALTH • DESIGN IN THE 50’S AND 60’S • Stealth in aircraft design does not mean invisible – it means “Low Observable,” reducing the radar cross section. • Little effort in the 50’s and 60’s. Integrating low observable aspects meant compromising performance – so designers concentrated on speed, maneuverability, and weapons. • A-12/SR-71 has rounded lines, wing/body blending, conical center bodies, fuselage chine and canted twin fins to reduce radar reflectivity. Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

  8. STEALTH CHARACTERISTICS • Airframe shaped for Low Radar Cross Section • Use of Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) • Minimized engine noise • Reduced infrared signature • Reduced visual signature • Use of electronic countermeasures

  9. THE FIRST STEALTH AIRCRAFT • F-117A Nighthawk • USAF and DARPA studies initiated in 1973 – project Have Blue • Air Force invites proposals to develop technology prototype • Lockheed and Northrop were finalists and each built a prototype for a “fly-off” • Lockheed wins production contract in 1976 Mission – covert reconnaissance and covert surgical strikes Subsonic – limited performance

  10. FIGHTER GENERATIONS Gen 1 – Earliest jet fighters: Germany’s Me 262, Britain’s Meteor, US F-80. Hallmark was advance in speed over piston engine aircraft Gen 2 – Korean War era: USAF f-86 and Soviet MiG-15. Designers maximized performance by tailoring airframe to jet engine. (Use of swept wings is an example) Gen 3 – late 50s early 60s: USAF Century Series F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104, F-105, F-106 and Soviet MiG-17 and MiG-21. Featured advanced missiles, supersonic speed and sophisticated engines. F-4 Phantom was late Gen 3 fighter. Gen 4 – mid 1970s: USAF F-15 and F-16 and Soviet Su-27 and MiG-29. Highly maneuverable, sophisticated weapons, engines and avionics. Gen 5 – today: all aspect stealth, internal weapons, plug and play electronics and supercruise. USAF F-22 and F-35 coming. Source - Air Force Magazine – Sept. 2008

  11. STEALTH GROWS UP • 1980 report concluded that B-1 bomber would be unable to penetrate Soviet air space beyond 1990 • Positive results from Have Blue (F-117) justified launch of a full-scale low-observable bomber program (Advanced Technology Bomber – ATB) • Lockheed/Rockwell team and a Northrop/Boeing team responded to requests for proposals • Northrop relied on experience studying stealth technology and its extensive experience with flying wing designs and was awarded the contract

  12. STEALTH GROWS UP • NORTHROP – GRUMMAN • B-2 SPIRIT • Length – 69ft • Height – 17ft • Wingspan – 172 ft • Max Speed – Mach .85 • Range 6300 nm • Armament – 40,000 lbs in internal weapons bays • Powerplant – four GE F-118-GE-100 turbofans – 17,300 lbs

  13. DEVELOPING A TRULY STEALTH FIGHTER • WHY THE NEED? • Late 1970’s – Soviets building far more fighters than US • Massive Soviet surface to air missile threat • USAF looking to technology to counter Soviet numerical advantage • In 1981 USAF issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) • A RFI does not offer any money or production contracts, it defines mission, the threat, service entry date and new features that are desirable and feasible • Supercruise (the ability to achieve supersonic flight without afterburner) and stealth were considered essential components, although stealth was still considered an exotic technology

  14. DEVELOPING A TRULY STEALTH FIGHTER • THE ADVANCED TACTICAL FIGHTER (ATF) PROGRAM • Air Force opts to build a truly air-to-air fighter to follow the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter - designed to enter service in mid 90’s • In 1983 USAF issues Request for Proposals (RFP) for ATF and the Joint Advanced Fighter Engine (JAFE) • General Electric and Pratt & Whitney vie for engine contract • Lockheed, Rockwell, Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop vie for aircraft contract • McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics were thought to have the inside track because of F-15 and F-16 • But stealth proved to be the deciding factor. Both Northrop and Lockheed fell back on their stealth experience and proposed stealthy fighters that could perform as well as non-stealthy fighters

  15. DEVELOPING A TRULY STEALTH FIGHTER • THE ADVANCED TACTICAL FIGHTER (ATF) PROGRAM • In October 1986 the USAF awards the contracts to build prototype aircraft to Northrop and Lockheed • Northrop teamed with McDonnell Douglas to build the YF-23A • Lockheed - Boeing - General Dynamics comprised the other team to build the YF-22A. • Aircraft first flights in the Fall of 1990. • Lockheed Martin awarded contract in April 1991. The F-22 is now in production.

  16. YF-23A BLACK WIDOW II • Wing Span 43.6 ft • Length 67.4 ft • Height 13.9 ft • Wing area 900 sq. ft. • Top Speed Mach 2+ • Range 800 Nm • Altitude 65,000 ft • Air Superiority • Low Observable • Super-cruise - mach 1+ without afterburner • Two Prototypes were built • PAV 1 - two Pratt & Whitney YF119 engines • PAV 2 - two GE YF120 engines

  17. NORTHROP GRUMMAN AN AIRFRAME MANUFACTURER • Responsible for the design, manufacture and integration of aircraft and aircraft sub-assemblies F/A-18 Carrier Takeoff Boeing (McDonnell Douglas/Northrop) F/A-18F Super Hornet

  18. AIRCRAFT DESIGN PROCESS • Customer Requirements • Conceptual Design Phase General size and configuration of the aircraft • aerodynamics studies • thrust loading • wing loading • wing sweep • general body, wing and tail configurations • Preliminary Design Phase Best conceptual design is chosen for testing • inlet/engine/airframe integration • major loads and stresses • weight • stability and control • internal arrangement • Detailed Design Phase Configuration frozen • Detailed structural design • Detailed system design and installation • Production drawings • Development Phase Manufacturing and assembly

  19. AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING GROUPS • Aerodynamics • Advanced Design • Avionics (airborne electronics) • Crew Station (cockpit) • ECS (environmental control system) • Electrical • Flight Test • Fuel Systems • Hydraulic Systems • Propulsion Integration (engines) • Reliability and Maintainability • Safety • Structures • Vehicle Management (flight control)

  20. CONFIGURATION/SYSTEMSINTEGRATION • Responsible for overall internal and external systems arrangement • Work with every design group and coordinate and integrate their designs into a single aircraft design • Final Product: Inboard Profile Drawing • Aperture Arrangement • Three Views • Zone Drawings F-20A Tigershark

  21. INBOARD PROFILE F-23A Advanced Tactical Fighter Profile View

  22. APERTURE ARRANGEMENT YF-23A Prototype Air Vehicle – Plan View

  23. AIRCRAFT DESIGN IS A COMPROMISE • It is the task of the aircraft design engineer to balance the customer requirements with the physical constraints, cost and time-scale, in order to produce the most effective aircraft possible. • Aircraft Design Requires Teamwork • No “one” design group is more important than the others. • Note: All Engineering involves Compromises!


  25. ENGINEERING JOB DESCRIPTIONS • Design - From Concept to Production • Good understanding of engineering principles • See things in 3-D (Geometry, Graphics, Kinematics) • Like to solve problems, come up with better ways of doing things • Analysis - Verify engineering designs (Stress, Thermal, Aerodynamics, Dynamics) • Engineering Theory and Mathematics • Problem solving • Test - Verify functionality of design • Basic understanding of engineering theory and design principles • Lab work and strict guidelines and procedures • Operations- Maintaining and operating final product • Basic understanding of engineering design and systems • Understand how and why things work


  27. LOCKHEED MARTIN F-22A RAPTOR • Wing Span 44.5 ft • Length 62 ft 1 in • Wing area 830 sq. ft. • Top Speed Mach 2+ • Range 800 Nm • Altitude 65,000 ft • Air Superiority • Low Observable • Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 Turbofans @ 35,000 lbs


  29. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Aerospace Outlook Employment Change 2006 - 2016 • Aerospace engineers held about 90,000 jobs in 2006. • Aerospace engineers are expected to have 10 percent growth in employment over the projections decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increases in the number and scope of military aerospace projects likely will generate new jobs. In addition, new technologies expected to be used on commercial aircraft produced during the next decade should spur demand for aerospace engineers. The employment outlook for aerospace engineers appears favorable. The number of degrees granted in aerospace engineering has declined for many years because of a perceived lack of opportunities in this field. Although this trend has reversed, new graduates continue to be needed to replace aerospace engineers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons. • Mechanical engineers held about 227,000 jobs in 2006. • Mechanical engineers are projected to have 4 percent employment growth over the projections decade, slower than the average for all occupations. .

  30. AEROSPACE & ME SALARIES • Average starting salary for Bachelor’s degree candidates in aerospace engineering is $53,408 a year. (2007) • Average starting salary for Bachelor’s degree candidates in mechanical engineering is $54,128 a year. (2007)



  33. THE FUTURE Northrop Grumman X-47B Pegasus Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D).


  35. THE FUTURE SCALED COMPOSITES SPACESHIP ONE (Building Spaceship Two for Virgin Galactic)



  38. THE FUTURE ARES V Launch Vehicle (two - 5 segment shuttle SRBs and a 33 ft diameter liquid fueled booster with 5 RS-68 engines for the 1st stage and an Earth Departure Stage with a single J2X engine) ARES I Launch Vehicle (5 segment shuttle SRB for the 1st stage and a liquid fueled J2X engine for the second stage)



  41. For More Information • ASME Professional Practice Curriculum (PPC) The ASME Professional Practice Curriculum was developed by senior engineers, managers, and faculty leaders for early-career engineers and engineering students to supplement and enhance their formal engineering education. The curriculum covers a diverse array of topics on principles of engineering and business practice and professionalism aimed to better prepare graduates for entry into and early advancement in the engineering profession. Industry Series – Aerospace Module • Introduction • Industry Scope • Industry Sectors • Industry Operations • Job Functions • Industry Outlook • Mapping Your Career • Industry Resources • Summary

  42. Aerospace Web Sites • Bureau of Labor Statistics • About Aerospace/Aviation - Links to many aerospace employers • - Aviation and Aerospace business news and job search • Aircraft Design Sites • Aerospace Industries Association – sign up for AIA Update

  43. Aerospace Web Sites • AOL Hometown - Aerospace Job Search • Nation Job - Job database and search engine • NASA - Job and internship information • Aerospace Mall - A directory of many aerospace/aviation related companies (From airframe to suppliers, from military to general aviation) • Internships

  44. ASME STUDENT MEMBERSHIP Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, today ASME International is a nonprofit educational and technical organization serving a worldwide membership of 100,000 members and 20,000 student members. ASME offers students a wide range of technical and non technical benefits that will enable them to grow professionally, learn about the engineering profession, and gain valuable skills needed in today;s highly competitive work environment. Any student enrolled in any curriculum leading to a degree in engineering at a regionally accredited school is eligible to join. You don’t have to a Mechanical Engineering Student. Dues, $25 per year (10/1 thru 9/30) Freshmen can join for free. or call 800-843-2763

  45. For More Information • Burt Dicht, Managing Director Knowledge and Community Sector ASME Headquarters Three Park Avenue, M/S 23S1 New York, NY 10016 212-591-7074