PICTURE: One AFRL briefing, lots of new aircraft

US Air Force chief scientist Mark Mayberry briefed the AirVenture symposium on the future of electric flight this morning, allowing your blogger the pleasure of one of our favorite games: Spot the funny-looking aircraft on the AFRL briefing slides! Hey, it’s one way to survive death-by-PowerPoint.

1. F-X is the new name for the USAF’s very preliminary programme (see this story) to replace the Lockheed Martin F-22, and here’s the picture that Mayberry used to illustrate it. I haven’t seen this one before. Can anybody place it?

FX thumb.jpg

2. Boeing’s well-publicized concept design for a next generation air dominance fighter — another F-X candidate — illustrated the slide about the INVENT programme (see more on this here).

Boeing FX thumb.jpg3. We’re pretty sure we’ve seen this on AFRL slides before, but here it was labeled a “fractionated and survivable” unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in Mayberry’s presentation. Perhaps an early concept for MQ-X?

Fractionated survivable thumb.jpg4. We all know about the Long Range Strike (LRS) programme, but were you aware there is apparently an “LRSII” and “LRSIII” programme?

Laser LRS thumb.jpg


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13 Responses to PICTURE: One AFRL briefing, lots of new aircraft

  1. Dude 29 July, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Doesn’t sound revolutionary enough to be call a NG. It merely addresses the Achilles heel of today’s VLO: thermal management.

  2. Ian 30 July, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    The ‘fractionated and survivable’ image is NASA’s morphing UAV.

    Haven’t seen the FX AI before, but it shares passing similarlity with BAES’ manned FOAS study. Albeit with two fewer vertical stabs.

  3. Moose 30 July, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    That white one is a NASA concept from a few years back for a morphing wing aircraft.


  4. nico 30 July, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Picture Number 1 is real fuzzy, not much to say. Looks like one engine design? with top mounted inlets?

  5. BDF 30 July, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    The first one, the F-X rendering, was seen in a AFA article and I believe is a Northrop Grumman artist concept.

  6. Ogami musashi 30 July, 2011 at 10:08 am #


    The first one is from Northrop Grumman, it is an artist impression that appeared in an airforce magazine article on sixth geeneration fighter.


    The second one is from boeing and is the second design of their NGAD navy oriented program;
    AFAIK the boeing design is not part of F-X.

    And finally as said previously, the third one is from a nasa morphing aircraft CG video.

  7. S O 31 July, 2011 at 12:32 am #


    “II” and “III” happen to be Latin for “2″ and “3″, and I guess that both are merely about blocks / batches / versions. Nowadays air forces don’t expect that the early production of an aircraft will be very much the same as its late versions.

  8. john 31 July, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    On chart #4 …Laser Fighter… ???
    Should we ask Steven Spielberg?

  9. br_dlft 1 August, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    The first picture can be found at


    and is probably a Northrop artist impression

    The second slide presents a Boeing concept.

  10. John 5 August, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Flightglobal folks, please spell your words in modern english.
    There is no need for the letters ‘me’ at the end of the word ‘program’.
    Color and not colo’u'r etc.

    The meaning of the words will not change and it will be less keystrokes. I realise that change is difficult to accept for some folk, but this improved way of modern spelling will be for the better.

  11. Stephen Trimble 5 August, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Ha! Good luck! I’ve been barking up that tree for years. I originally wrote the blog in American style, but we’ve been instructed to keep editorial style consistent across Flightglobal. If you think programme is bad, wait until we use manoeuvre!

  12. John 7 August, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Thanks Stephen.

    For the heck of it, just spell the better American way. They won’t fire you.

    Some of them are very set in their old ways!

  13. Stephen Trimble 7 August, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Ha! Sorry, but I have a professional policy: Whomever is signing my paychecks has the correct grammatical style.

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