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Ultimately, the Air Force selected Lockheed’s YF-22 design, which was also an exceptional aircraft, for its ATF requirement. The YF-22 would eventually evolve into today’s F-22A Raptor, which became operational in late 2005 and remains the single best air superiority fighter ever built. However, in many ways, the YF-23 was a superior design that was well ahead of its time.

最终,空军选择洛克希德的YF-22设计,这也是一种满足ATF要求的特殊飞机。YF-22最终发展成为今天的F-22A猛禽,它于2005年末投入使用,并且仍然是有史以来制造的最好的空中优势战斗机。然而,在许多方面,YF-23是一个先进的设计,远远领先于它的时代。
ATF计划, 先进战术战斗机计划,由美国空军进行开发新一代空中优势战斗机。

Though the United States Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition was decided almost thirty years ago in 1991 with what would become Lockheed Martin’s F-22A Raptor emerging as the victor, the battle between the YF-22 and the Northrop YF-23 still fascinates many to this day.

虽然美国空军的先进战术战斗机(ATF)的竞赛是在三十年前的1991年决定的,后来胜利者成为洛克希德马丁公司的F-22A猛禽。YF-22和诺斯罗普 YF-23之间的竞争至今仍令许多人着迷。

While the Raptor has evolved into the single most capable air superiority fighter ever built, the YF-23 design—especially when combined with General Electric’s YF-120 variable cycle engines —was arguably more advanced. Compared to the YF-22, the YF-23 was faster and stealthier, but many have argued that it was less maneuverable than the thrust vector controlled precursor to the Raptor. However, the difference in maneuverability between the two designs was far slimmer than many might have imagined.

虽然猛禽已经发展成为有史以来最强大的空中优势战斗机,但YF-23的设计-尤其是与通用电气的YF-120可变循环发动机-结合在一起,可以说是更先进的。与YF-22相比,YF-23更快、更隐蔽,但许多人认为它的机动性不如猛禽的推力矢量控制。然而,这两种设计在机动性上的差别比许多人想象的要小得多。

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“ACC pilots were enamored with dog fighting and Lockheed gave a good visual demonstration of high AOA (albeit a very limited and benign test). Northrop chose not to do high AOA during DemVal [Demonstration and Validation] [and] that was a mistake,” Metz wrote. “Both airplanes could do the same exact maneuver (trimmed, high AOA). As it was, the YF-22 ‘appeared better’ because they did something visually exciting and Northrop couldn't (or so it was inferred).”

“ACC飞行员热衷于狗斗,洛克希德给出了一个良好的高攻角视觉演示(虽然是一个非常有限的和低强度的测试)。诺斯罗普在论证和验证中选择不做高攻角这是一个错误,”梅兹写道。“两架飞机都可以做同样的精确机动(纵倾,高攻角)。事实上,YF-22“看起来更好”,因为他们做了一些视觉上令人兴奋的事情,而诺斯罗普却做不到(或者说是这样推断)。

To learn more about the YF-23, one should read Metz’s excellent book Northrop YF-23 ATF (Air Force Legends Number 220) where he details a comprehensive history of this incredible jet. Metz covers everything from the origins of the ATF requirement, to alternative Northrop designs for the program to the moribund FB-23 bomber proposal of the mid-2000s. It is definitely one of the best histories of the ATF program written to date.

要了解关于YF-23的更多信息,请阅读梅兹的优秀著作《诺斯罗普YF-23ATF》(空军传奇编号220),他在书中详细描述了这架不可思议的喷气式飞机的全面历史。梅兹涵盖了从ATF要求的起源,到替代诺斯罗普公司对该计划的设计,到本世纪中期濒死的FB-23轰炸机提案。它绝对是迄今为止ATF计划最好的历史记载之一。