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Sixth generation fighter prototype secretly fielded for USAF

“Air Force reveals it secretly built and flew new fighter jet.” ( More...

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Alan Brown 11
Almost sounds like a "Skunk Works" type of aircraft build. Those always seem to fly well and work as designed.
sparkie624 13
In this day and time.... With all he Blabber mouths... how did they keep this a secret for an entire year.... Great Job...
Roy Hunte 9
Hence the reason Groom Lake remains off limits to the general public.
Roy Hunte 1
It's highly probable that is the location of build and testing.
Greg Zelna 6
"The NGAD, in contrast, was first designed and tested digitally before it was physically built." Not sure on that point, having worked in those industry(s) since the F-22 development in the 80's , everything is mocked up digitally and extensively analyzed and tested before anything is 'physically built'.... Hopefully the NGAD shares more of the F-22's flight characteristics, and none of the F-35's.... For reference, remember the SR-71 was designed in the 50's when most planes had reciprocating engines and a cruise speed of about 250kts....... It flew well beyond mach 3 and 80,000 feet......
Tom Bruce 5
hope it doesn't take 15 years to get it right like the F35... oh wait, the F35 still isn't quite right.. and, after all this time I bet the Chinese and Russians know more abut the F35 than we do...still, if this is a "skunk works" project maybe it will go a lot faster... seems the AF always wants to add unproven tech and gold-plate everything... hope this one pans out quickly for our fly boys and girls!
Greg S 6
"Getting it right" or perfect is not that important for strategic deterrence. Holding adversary assets at risk is what matters. The F35 does that in spades. Even the B52 still does that in a small way.
Greg Zelna 2
I believe from my father a Naval Aviator's comments from many years ago, the real problems occur when government procurement 'experts' try to have a jack of all trades aircraft built for all military branches, including Naval carrier operations. Of course with 'slight modifications'. You end up with an overweight, under-performing (and I refer to its flight characteristics) 'master of none'.
Rick Wald 5
Send your old junk up here to Canada!!
We are still crashing our Widow Makers!!
WhiteKnight77 4
The Have Blue program tested, built and flew the F-117 in secret, even if it took more than a year. With the advent of digital design, there is no reason why such could not happen for a new aircraft, and in less time.
Greg Zelna 3
I've worked in that field since the mid 1980s, as some of the earliest practitioners of '3D CAD' , while there really wasn't much analysis capability like ANSYS around, even then we had the ability to transfer 3D digital data (no 'drawings') to suppliers for prototyping. Now and for the past couple decades everything is modeled and much of it analyzed, before anything is built.
patrick baker 4
Has to be skunk works, and i expect it to be splendid. Chinese and Russians ought to be more than a little concerned. The secrecy is unusual- no warning, no bragging in advance, so we all get to see the wisdom of the new means of design, production, testing and deployment. Maybe the nickname "zorro" would be correct....
Michael Kelly 3
Does anyone actually believe this? It take a committee at least a year to come up with the specifications. Then once the prototype is started the brass will change their mind on what they want. I'm highly skeptical that this is true.
ToddBaldwin3 1
In the manner of the movie "the Pentagon Wars".
Stealth Fighter and Stealth Bomber were also built in secrecy.
mariofer 3
Can't wait to see how this thing looks like. Who knows, it may help explain a lot of the late "UFO" sightings LOL
user3956 2
"The NGAD, in contrast, was first designed and tested digitally before it was physically built."

As someone else here has said, "in contrast" is a crock of feces. They should rephrase with something like "using the latest software/hardware technology.

This thing better be UAV-able or it will be obsolete before it is produced in numbers. UAVs have the potential ability to loiter for a longer amount of time AND sustain maneuvers that humans cannot endure.

With technology where it is today in 2020 it would be almost unfathomable that we would seek to build another manned fighter aircraft when that cost could be better spent on increasing a UAV's capabilities. And we're not talking drones here, we're talking about human decisions still being made, but just being made in an air-conditioned safe room somewhere with X-Box controllers instead of from within the cockpit whilst enduring G forces.
Ed Huenniger 2
Did anyone else notice the movie clip is mainly of NAVY operations of Navy aircraft?
WhiteKnight77 1
This is something I have noticed over the last couple of years. A news report of some sort has video of something totally unreleated to the actual article. I don't know if that is better or not though, it isn't better than a video that is word for word what is in the actual article and neither gives us any different information.
Henry Ziemba 2
It’s good to see that people can still keep secrets.

As to the technology, digital modeling and simulation capabilities have been growing dramatically across the board, so it’s reasonable to assume that they have done so in the aerospace world.

Remember FS 1.0 on the IBM PC in the mid 80’s? Compare to recently released FS 2020...and that’s with a video game on a PC. Imagine the power of equipment in a lab with networks of specialized computers!

The better you can model, the less flight test is needed, and the fewer problems will occur during that flight test.
Also, it’s a lot easier to keep a simulated flight out of public view than a real one.

Bottom line is that I find this very believable.
Tom Bruce 2
flight test isn't the concern... loading it up with unproven tech will kill it... like the 15+ years it's taken on the F35
Greg Zelna 2
The SINGLE engined F-35 is also expected to perform Marine/Naval carrier operations and, VTOL, STOL, and fly reasonably well despite being overweight and under-powered. In fact its flight performance requirements were reduced several times since it could not handle little stuff like rate of climb, turns/G-forces, etc..... I guess thats one way to meet the performance specs, reduce them !
James Simms 1
I still haven’t told stuff I know abt the Persian Gulf War
WhiteKnight77 2
My Pops went to the grave with his secrets as a photo-interpreter while in the AF. He told my brother some not so secret stuff and we all knew what he did, but the actual specifics outside of helping to create strike packages in'Nam and that he had seen shots of the missles in Cuba (I swear I see pics of him in documentaries about that) as he was stationed at a SAC bomber base.
Chris Ryan 1
Just because we didn't know doesn't mean the Russians didn't...
WhiteKnight77 1
Satellites are a wonderful thing. If you notice, since the deployment of the F-22 and now the F-35, US air bases are putting them under a cover on the flight lines so they are not dragging them in and out of hangers on a daily basis for flights. It also helps the mechanics not be in the sun while making repairs like I did when I was in (though helicopters would need a rather large one).
ReverendLee 2
So they're already building the replacement for the F-35. Good. Now maybe they'll get those pieces of junk off the line and work on something that can fight.
wiregold 1
Hopefully we just stole the design from the Chinese ...
Hope the cost per flight hour is better than the F-35. At $44,000 per flight hour for the F-35 plus the cost to build, about $89.2 .million this sounds like it might actually be more cost effective.
Wouldn't be surprised at all if this 6th gen thingy is triangle-shaped.
lynx318 2
Already did that with the F-117
The exception being that the F-117 doesn't hover.
lynx318 2
Yep, there is that.
lynx318 1
Why Area 51, groom lake, skunkworx which is the publicity shot venue for nutters? What about Area 6 where the real secret stuff is.
paul gilpin -1
US announce new jet.
rusha and china spies expose theirselves trying to find new jet.
rusha and chana spend billions to start new jet program.
US sits back and watches what rusha and china build.
US reverse engineers rusha and china design.
pay backs are heck.
paul gilpin goes on amazon. buys sixth generation jet. prime delivery.
Greg Zelna 8
I cannot remember any designs we copied from either Russia or China, I can remember plenty of the US designs they copied, though...
Tom Bruce 3
think gilpin is "tongue in cheek"
bentwing60 1
The 'art of sarcasm and irony' is lost to many.

Did you ever work an SR?
Robert Cowling -3
Why not. They aren't paying for it. Just add it to the deficit. Brilliant...
bentwing60 1
As long as I get 'Jack' out of them proppin' up wall street, I guess I have no objections to the use of 'fiat money' to add to the national defense.

In the 80's FL 450 was great, cause you could go anywhere 'direct' cause there was nobody else there! The real deal was when your state of the art loran (Arnav 40) died from P ststic or the mid continent 'gap' and RNAV became a guessin' game, otherwise known as, could I get a heading for that while I reprogram the Box!

Frank Lewis -1
Russia and China are already looking for some American that will take a million or two to sell out the country and get the plans. After all this is the USA and nothing matters but money that I get in order to buy a big house and a M-B.
Peter Scott -1
You may recall that Putin recently gave the Turks a new missile defense system last year. It is designed to identify and destroy F-35 fighters. It came out before the F-35 fighter did! Look on the bright side. The F-35 looks pretty at air shows and might be able to do a job in some primitive 3rd world countries. Let's hope this new fighter is a little more 'unannounced'.
Henry Ziemba 3
Just because a new missile defense system comes out doesn’t make the F-35 obsolete.

Like all modern fighter planes, it’s systems are designed for upgrades. Depending on how the new missile defense system works, it may be a new box, reprogramming, or change in tactics, though most likely some combination of the above.

It’s like ECM: it works until the other side gets corresponding ECCM, and the cycle repeats.

This will be true with ANY weapon system. The question is only how long the hops will last, and how much they’ll cost.
One year from the drawing board to flight testing? Yeah, right.
Greg S 4
Where in the story is that claim made?
different article, sorry.
Jim Myers 0
Obviously you didn't even read the article.
Obviously you only read this one article.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Brian Baker 7
Like my Drill Sergeant said, "If flies had guns, frogs wouldn't f*ck with them."
Dave Alan 2
One who saves money on his army will feed the foreign one soon.

-from a commenter
Ron Fallon 1


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