Forty years ago, the US Air Force tried to replace the Lockheed Martin C-130 with a super short take-off and landing (STOL) airlifter, with the Boeing YC-14 and McDonnell YC-15 as the candidates. Then, things got weird. Budgets grew, funding shrank and eventually the requirement transformed into something much larger. Thus, the Boeing C-17A Globemaster III was borne to replace the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter and the Lockheed C-130 continues into its seventh decade of active production.
What goes around always seems to come around in this business, and so it is with the YC-14 and YC-15.
Meet the Speed Agile. If the USAF is allowed to spend big money on a super-STOL C-130 replacement after 2020, this is Lockheed’s idea for what it should look like. Boeing is also working on an alternative concept. The Air Force Research Laboratory has been funding both Lockheed and Boeing to work on wind tunnel models. Last month, the AFRL released these front and rear images of a 23%-scale model of the four-engine Lockheed Speed Agile concept. The wind tunnel model includes two Williams FJ44 engines. The Secret Projects forum found the images earlier today on AFRL’s web site.
IMAGES: Lockheed’s stealth C-130 successor revealed
By Stephen Trimble on 13 September, 2011 in Uncategorised
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