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Bob Sandusky on Area Ruling and Stealth Design


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This is from a documentary on the YF-23.  I may have to pick it up, it sounds interesting.


While I remain provisionally convinced that the Lockheed bird was better, the Northrop design team members were no dummies, and anything they have to say about fighter design is well worth listening to.


On birdstrike testing:



Apparently birdstrike requirements are a major mass driver in fighter canopy design!

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Indeed.  The Northrop team is clearly sitting on a bunch of classified numbers about the YF-23, but do they know those corresponding figures for the YF-22?


In any case, the YF-23 was not a bad design at all.  It would be the crown jewel of any other nation.  Here in the USA though, we have so much goddamned money that we can do everything in duplicate, and only in that context does the Black Widow II come in second best.



The two videos above aren't so much talking up the YF-23, but talking about fighter design generally.  Nobody wants to hear about how the ATF program was screwed up and the USAF made the wrong choice, but we can't give you specifics because it's all still classified.  That would be boring and provide no useful information.  Hearing these guy's thoughts and experiences on fighter design is worthwhile, because they were clearly champs at that (if narrowly second best).  It's interesting to hear Bob Sandusky describe area ruling and stealth shaping in such a way that they sound potentially synergistic.  Again; guy knows what he's talking about.  He worked on YF-17 as well:


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