From: Sni Klor | Posted on Gamefaqs: 4/22/2002
EASA X-02 (YF-25A)
Single Seat Multirole Fighter.
The United States Navy created in 1991 a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a replacement for its venerable but aging F-14 Tomcats, and a long range Interceptor that can assist the new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and provide carrier-based air-superiority. This design was to incorporate low observables technology, variable wing geometry, thrust vectoring and supercruise exceeding that of mach 1.7. This plane was to be highly maneuverable for increased life in dogfighting situations and carry the newly respawned AAAM missle for BVR engagements as well as the new Raytheon-Hughe AIM-9X Sidewinder 2000s.
In 2001 the contract was awarded to EASA for the production of the F-25. Other contractors such as Northrop, Grumman, and McDonnell Douglas were considered but EASA's switchblade idea seemed to be the best solution. EASA was to create 3 Prototype Versions for future testing and experimentation.
In the winter of 2004 EASA's YF-25, government and civil code X-02, emerged. This prototype became known as the navy interceptor article 02, and was most frequently used by the X-02 name. The first prototype to arrived out of EASA's doors was a light-grey/grey painted version. This version logged on several flight hours until numbers 02-02 and 02-03 came out. Model 02 was coloured black with highlights of grey while the last prototype was grey with the EASA logos emblazoned on its wings. During testing O1 recorded a supercruise of mach 1.87 and a top speed of over mach 2.5. Successful testing of EASA's new revolutionary switchlade configuration was successful. May 2005 brought the successful testing of the 3D vectored nozzles and the test launch of the AAAMs.
Many unique design features include new switchblade wings and variable trapezoidal "ruddervators" similar to those seen on the earlier YF-23 prototype that flatten out during supersonic cruise. Rudder action is not aerodynamically controlled on this plane, instead the 3D thrust vectoring nozzles on the new GE F-129 engines handle all of the planes yaw control. The use of canards, a Forward Swept Wing (FSW) design and thrust vectoring makes this plane highly maneuverable. Average takeoff weight is 55,000 pounds.
The X-02's unique wing design owes itself for better low speed control at higher angles of attack and lower landing and takeoff speeds that are connecting with carriers. The X-02's switchblade wings also dual up as decreasing width for better storage. The X-02 uses high strength thermalplastics and Boron fiber on the joints and doors of the variable geometry wings, where much stress is induced at high speeds. These doors also double up as flaps during takeoffs and landings.
This design lends itself to many low-observables features such as masked air intakes, internal bays for weapons, a blended fuselage, and many other aspects that reduce its chance to show up on radar and infrared tracking devices, and the stealth concept of same angles. The use of internal bays is a stealth one too. It has one large payload bay down the fuselage and two smaller "pop-up" bays behind the air intakes.
All-composites wing; high proportion of composites and welded aluminium-lithium alloy in remainder of airframe. Extensive use of radar-absorbent coatings.
The X-02 uses the high thrust, variable bypass (like the earlier GE 120 engines) General Electric F-129 turbofans, with three-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles for increased maneuverability. The F-129 engine uses a high temperature core and high-tech combustion parts, as well as a variable bypass design that allows it to act more like a turbofan at low speeds and more like a turbojet during supersonic cruise. Despite all of this, this engine has 40% less major parts and is easier to repair and maintain. The specific dry output of this engine is 30,000 lbs st. and during afterburning in the area of 42,500 Lbs st.
One pilot only, uses new ACES III ejector seat.
Standard Gun is GE's M61A2 "Vulcan" gun, same as found on F-22, with 950 rounds. Fuselage internal bays generally houses 6 AAAMs (AIM-155), but can hold a variety of other weapons such as precision guided munitions and a submutions dispenser, as well as the AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.
Four AIM-9X Sidewinders are put into the two smaller "pop-up" bays behind the air intakes for close range engagements.
Wingspan (Unswept): 18.59m (61'0")
Wingspan (Swept): 11.58m (38'0")
Length: 21.92m (71'0")
Height: 4.38m (14'4")
Wings Gross: Classified
Wings, swept: Classified
Wings, unswept: Classified
Weights and Loadings: Classified
Weight, empty: 16,550kg (36,500 lbs)
Weight, Normal TO: 24,940kg (55,000 lbs)
Weight, Max TO: 34,010kg (75,000 lbs)
Max power loading: (NTO) 0.640lbs/lbs st
Max TO: 0.882lbs/lbs st
Range: 2000 miles