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Skunk Works ... 75° compleanno ...


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Skunk Works ... alle origini del programma JSF ...

In 1986, a team of Lockheed engineers at the Skunk Works gathered around a board to invent what became the F-35 Lightning II.
At the time, of course, these engineers had no idea that the fruit of their brainstorming would lead to a contract award 15 years later for the most expensive weapons system in history.
Back then, their brief from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency looked to be impossible.
For decades, militaries across the globe had ambitions to develop a fighter that could operate without a runway.
The only viable contender to emerge was the British Aerospace Harrier, later adapted for the US market in collaboration with McDonnell Douglas.
But DARPA had raised the bar: could the Skunk Works design a vertical/short take-off and landing fighter that was as fast as an F-16 and as stealthy as an F-117?
Despite several attempts, nobody had developed a supersonic contender, much less one that was also invisible to radar.
But DARPA had come to the right place.
In keeping with Skunk Works tradition, the team led by Paul Bevilacqua took a lateral approach to solving the problem.
As recounted in a 2009 paper by Bevilacqua in the Journal of Aircraft, the team used a design method known as forced associations (*).
(*) ... la relazione dell' Ing. Bevilacqua (sotto forma di PDF che, purtroppo, non sono in grado di linkare) è reperibile in ... http://www.f-16.net/ ... scrivendo nella finestra di ricerca Genesis of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ...
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