Lockheed Have Blue


Lockheed Have Blue

infobox Aircraft
name=Have Blue
type=Stealth demonstrator
manufacturer=Lockheed


caption=HAVE BLUE on a ground test stand
designer=Lockheed Skunk Works
first flight=December 1st, 1977
introduced=1976
retired=1979
produced=
number built=2
status=Planes destroyed in crashes
unit cost=
primary user=United States Air Force
more users=
developed from=
variants with their own articles=F-117 Nighthawk

Have Blue was the code-name for Lockheed's "proof of concept" (i.e. prototype) Stealth Fighter program which preceded the F-117 Nighthawk production stealth aircraft project. The Have Blue was the first fixed-wing aircraft designed from an electrical engineering (rather than an aerodynamic) perspective. The aircraft's plate-like, faceted shape was designed to deflect electromagnetic waves, making this plane essentially invisible to radar.

Two Have Blue planes were built to test both the flight dynamics and radar returns of the stealth concept. These prototypes flew at Groom Lake, Nevada, between 1977 and 1979. While they appear similar to the later F-117, the Have Blue prototypes were smaller aircraft, about 60% scale, with greater wing sweep and inward-canted vertical tails. The nose of Have Blue prototypes was also sharper and offered a slightly higher degree of stealth compared to production F-117 planes, which had to have a flat windshield to incorporate a head-up display.

During testing of the design, the aircraft was flown near (~100 miles away) to an army radar system, followed at some significant distance by a spotter plane; over a preplanned flight path. The cover story for the technology was that a black box in the nose of the aircraft was able to deflect the radar; whereas obviously the shape of the aircraft did all the real work. Radar only managed to detect the spotter plane; a soldier placed on the ground directly under the flight path had to witness the weird looking plane to verify that the flight had occurred.

The design was inherently unstable about all three axes, control being fly-by-wire adapted from the F-16's single-axis fly-by-wire system. Both aircraft were ultimately lost in the course of testing, the first from a hard landing incident which resulted in the gear being jammed in semi-retracted position and the pilot ultimately being ordered to eject after attempts to persuade the gear to lower and lock proved unsuccessful. The second was the result of an engine fire which severed hydraulic lines, forcing the pilot to eject. The debris from both aircraft was secretly buried somewhere within the Nellis complex. [http://area51specialprojects.com/haveblue.html]

"Even though the test site was in a remote location, our airplane was kept under wraps inside its hangar most of the time. Soviet spy satellites made regular passes, and every time our airplane was rolled out everyone on the base who wasn't cleared for Have Blue had to go into the windowless mess hall and have a cup of coffee until we took off."
— Ben Rich, director of Lockheed's Skunk Works from 1975 to 1991.

pecifications (Have Blue)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
ref=
crew= one, pilot
capacity=
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 47 ft 3 in
length alt= 14.4 m
span main= 22 ft 6 in
span alt= 6.8 m
height main= 7 ft 6 in
height alt= 2.33 m
area main= 386 ft²
area alt= 35.9 m²
airfoil=
empty weight main= 8,950 lb
empty weight alt= 4,060 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 12,500 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 5,670 kg
more general=
engine (jet)=General Electric J85-GE-4A
type of jet=turbojets
number of jets=2
thrust main=
thrust alt= 2,950 lbf
thrust original=13.1 kN
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
max speed main=600 mph
max speed alt= 970 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 600 mi
range alt=970 km
ceiling main=
ceiling alt=
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=32 lb/ft²
loading alt= 156 kg/m²
thrust/weight=
power/mass main= 0.47
power/mass alt=4.6 N/kg
more performance=
armament=
avionics=

ee also

aircontent

related=
* F-117 Nighthawk

similar aircraft=
* Tacit Blue

sequence=

lists=
* List of experimental aircraft
* List of Lockheed aircraft

see also=


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