The Start of my YF-23 Black Widow II Project - RC Groups
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Nov 29, 2003, 09:06 AM
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The Start of my YF-23 Black Widow II Project

Also know as Relitivium Obscurus...

Only 2 of these planes were made for the Advanced Tactical Fighter competition for purchase by the U.S.A.F..

Neither of the 2 prototypes were fully complete, they lacked radar and weapons systems. One of them resides at an aircraft museum, the other I don't know about. But I assume it is in like condition to the museum piece... Lacking anything that could be reused elsewhere (Engines... etc.) and oxidizing quite well (Looking at the lower panels of the fuse in a walk around photo shoot.).

Gentlemen I give you my first proto of the YF-23 Black Widow II...

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Nov 29, 2003, 09:12 AM
World's most interesting cat.
RCWorks's Avatar

And one of the bottom

This one is showing the bottom, note the stiffeners are shaped like the jet intakes...

And to those viewing that might be wondering about my J-250 Powered ALL EPS P-51... I abused it, 3 packs in succession without a break... the motor failed mid way through the 3rd pack and ceased operation... but it was fun while it lasted. Valuable data was gleaned from the proto and will be incorporated into the new proto.
Last edited by skunkworksrc; Nov 29, 2003 at 09:23 AM.
Nov 29, 2003, 11:29 AM
Registered User
Skunkworksrc, which museum is displaying this prototype?

I thought the f23 had nicer lines than the winning Raptor (or is it in the eyes of the beholder?). Never did get a clear explaination what advantages the F22 had over the F23. Was it as clearcut as between the F32 & F35?

What power system do you intend to use?

Nov 29, 2003, 11:47 AM
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RCWorks's Avatar
I want to use an DD 020 but I do not have one. Nor an 010...

I am going to try my Zagi Pusher and KAN 1050s for this one.

If I like it I will try going from the 20 inch span to a 30inch and go to my Jeti 15/4 and 8 cells of CP-1300

This one is made from a 20x30 sheet of black sturdyboard.

If I get to a 30 inch verstion with the brushless I will add the cockpit in EPS as well as the top engine nacells and landing gear. If I use the Jeti I will be using a 7x4 prop

The 20 inch-speed 400 setup I will start with a 6x4.

If I can get a good supply of depron I would consider useing a GWS 350 C drive and an MP Jet on a 90x70 on a 30 incher

Someone I fly with was suggesting that I stick the wattage turbofan with the astro in between the stiffeners.

There are a lot of choices... but I have speed 400s, cobalts, grapner 480s, KAN1050s and CP1300s on hand

Since I got a 3 pack of the sturdy board I can play with the design.

I am open to other suggestions...
Nov 29, 2003, 11:51 AM
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RCWorks's Avatar
From what I gather it was politics that doomed the YF-23 to death in the hanger.

The one I used for the walk around pics is at...

Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio

the link is

The other bird is a mystery... but I assume it met a similar fate.
Last edited by skunkworksrc; Nov 29, 2003 at 11:56 AM.
Nov 29, 2003, 11:55 AM
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On the JSF, the winner won because of superior design... the fan on the lockheed setup was better than venting jet exhaust straight down that the front of the plane, the latter contaminated the intake air so much that during lanings flame out could be a real problem, it would stall its own motors, whereas using a driveshaft and transmission to power the front lift fan kept the intake air charge clean and the engine running with perfect reliability.
Nov 30, 2003, 12:37 AM
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I have settled in on a Zagi Pusher motor with a 6x4 prop and 8 cells of KAN 1050 for the first R.O.G..

Flight controls...

I am going to go with Elevator and Ailerons, Both are generous in size and I expect no problems.

L.G. I have a set of landing gear from a Wattage F-22 that I will use on this bird.

As it stands... 555 reciever, CS-21 servos, Wattage 380AS ESC for the guts.

I will be useing KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) design standards for the prototypes, after which I will add shape to it couresy of my CNC with an EPS cockpit and nacelles.

The goal of this project is to create a smal version 20x30 (260 sq in wing) and scale it to a large brushless version 40x60 (500+ sq in).

Pending any unforseen problems I will place the protos in the LHS for consignment sales. (I HOPE)
Nov 30, 2003, 10:41 AM
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turaboy's Avatar
The other YF-23A is at the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, CA. I live very close, but have not made it out there yet!

Your version looks great so far!
Nov 30, 2003, 11:37 AM
Registered User
You have an interesting plan. I intend to keep track of you progress. Please keep us posted.
Nov 30, 2003, 12:25 PM
Electric Coolhunter
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I was around the ATF program and watched all the events with great interest. I was a General Dynamics employee, then and we were part of the Lockheed/GD/Boeing team.

A lot of people claim politics in the ATF flyoff decision, but if you were close to it, you can see that politics were not a significant factor.

Both aircraft were damn good. Both sets of engines were damn good. The YF-22 got the nod because it was deemed to be less risk in its continued development than the YF-23, and was judged to be more flexible for future needs. (some question this attitude, since this was not part of the requirements at the onset). The YF-22 also demonstrated a greater maturity in design, as we were able to demonstate more of the attrributes of a operational aircraft (Missile launches, flight at high angles of attack, etc).

IIRC, there was some worry about the avonics and integrated systems on the YF-23 being even more complex and thus more problematic than those in the YF-22.

Despite the info on the USAF Museum web site, they do not have a YF-23 there. Where is the other one?

Lockheed Martin won every technical aircraft point in the JSF flyoff. Do a search on here for JSF and you will find a long discussion about it in the off topic forum.

I find it interesting that people always want to question why something won over another. If they like the loser, they assume it was politics or other factors and not any inherent shortcomings in their favored aircraft...
Last edited by Thomas B; Nov 30, 2003 at 12:28 PM.
Nov 30, 2003, 08:56 PM
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They stated in what I read that Northrop was having cost over runs and delivery problems with other aircraft that they had fallen from favor.
Nov 30, 2003, 10:17 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
While that certainly may have influnced attitudes, that was not the sole basis or even the largest factor of the decision.
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Nov 30, 2003, 10:39 PM
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So how are you going to rig that thing? Flying diamonds are a hand full but ha,,,thats the idea.... Elevons?, A/E? ele pusher i assume...well i just reread your posts and see its a/e, with pusher. Flat plate style wings,,,man this is different!!...It does have that YF23 look ...pretty cool.....
Nov 30, 2003, 11:59 PM
Registered User
Ailerons of course...
Dec 01, 2003, 02:02 AM
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Well Dan and I took it out... a few minor mishaps nothing bad, we did however separate a wire on the speed controls side of the Deans connector...

I am going to look around to see if there is any text for CG calculation of the diamond... I gave it my best shot and it looks like I am off a good 2 inches.

It did get the usual ooooos and ahhhhhs that my strage stuff always gets, but the Evil Kanevil show that we gave was just not my cup of joe (Hey, no tea drinker here.). I will repair the wire and try another run at it at lunch tomorrow.

Hey at this level..."You want to play your gonna pay." I love the challenge of late model military hardware... when you get it right and it flies and you have the only one... But there is the humility factor of early testing... Sometimes you get the bear sometime it gets you. This however has been probably the worst first outing I have ever had and still it did not result in the loss of plane. So I can still hold my head up high. I have yet to see a R/C kit of the YF-23.