1987-07-01

X—31A 871346

MBB and Rockwell, under DARPA/NAVAIR and GMOD contract, are currently designing an experimental aircraft which will be dedicated to demonstrate “enhanced fighter maneuverability” (EFM) and supermaneuverability in particular. The aircraft is designed to break one of the last barriers left in aviation, the stall barrier. It will be able to perform tactical maneuvers up to 70° angle of attack and thus achieve very small radii of turn. Such highly instantaneous 3-dimensional maneuvers are of significant tactical value in future air combat with all aspect weapons. Key to the penetration into this unexplored flight regime is thrust vectoring in pitch and yaw. This feature is also used to enhance agility in critical flight conditions and to enhance the decoupling of fuselage aiming and flight path control as required for head-on gun firing. The test aircraft is resembling a Delta-Canard configuration which would provide good supersonic maneuver performance as mandatory for future beyond visual range air combat.

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