Questions tagged [stealth]

A set of techniques used by some military aircraft to avoid being detected by enemy air defences.

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Why does the B2 bomber's trailing edge sawtooth shape negatively effect its stealth characteristics?

I read an article about how the new B21 would have (in theory) a W shaped trailing edge, which was the initial shape intended for the B2 before the gust alleviation system was added to the ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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Two low flying large planes made bank turn - not on radar [closed]

On Thursday March 10, 2022, at approx. 7:30pm in Monroe, Connecticut, I witnessed two full sized planes following one another extremely low and then make an incredible bank turn. These planes did not ...
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How expensive is the structural materials on a stealth aircraft compared to its other components?

Well, I couldn't find much information about the prices on the materials used on stealth aircraft, but nevertheless, its huge price tags are often quite obvious. The B-2 bomber, for example, costs 2 ...
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What is the significance of radar cross section (RCS) for air defense?

From the internet or any other medium of information I came to know that some cutting edge stealth aircraft have radar cross sections of a bird (or something similarly small). I don't have the in ...
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3 answers
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Do stealth plane need to turn off its radar to remain in stealth? [duplicate]

If yes, the radar needs to be off, how can it detect enemy plane, locked-one and fire missles? If stealth plane still operates its radar, can enemy planes detect its radar emission and pinpoint it ...
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7 votes
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How does drone reliance on GPS make it 'semi-stealthy'?

I saw this on CNN today. For months, US intelligence and military personnel in Iraq have been raising alarms about the risk to American forces from these newer, more sophisticated Iranian-made drones....
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1 vote
1 answer
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How do Luneberg lenses hide a stealth aircraft's real signature?

I thought aircraft was supposed to be stealth and not show up on radar under the right conditions. This article says Removable Luneburg lens type radar reflectors are sometimes attached to military ...
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Weapon vs normal aircraft track

I've read that some radars can detect stealth aircraft or aircraft with low radar cross section but are not powerful enough to allow a "weapons" track or allow a missile or another aircraft ...
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6 answers
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Can anti-radiation missiles be used to target stealth fighter aircraft?

What I understand is that anti-radiation missiles are accurate and long range. So, assume that a fighter aircraft is 100% invisible on radar. However, its radar is transmitting energy continuously ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How do airplanes act as corner reflectors despite lacking significant flat surfaces in one of the three necessary mutually-perpendicular planes?

One feature common to virtually all stealth aircraft is that they have vertical tails that are tilted away from actually being vertical (or lack them entirely). This is said to be because the 90° ...
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How does the F-22 Raptor radar reflector work?

The F-22 Raptor (and other stealth aircraft) can be made more visible to radar by using radar reflectors, or in other words, radar cross section (RCS) enhancers. In the comments section of this answer ...
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If stealth aircraft are invisible to radar, then how does their own Air Force manage them or see them in flight?

Air traffic controlling is a significant deal when it comes to air forces. If a stealth aircraft like the F22 is almost invisible as said, it has cross section of very small metal ball. Then, how does ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the role of discontinuous surfaces on the inside and outside elevons of the F-117?

Why are there discontinuous surfaces on the inside and outside elevons of the stealth F-117? Will that not be highly reflective to the radar?
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What are the pros and cons of high service ceilings for fighter jets?

What are the pros and cons of high service ceilings for fighter jets? Can they bypass radars and attack effectively at high ceilings?
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1 answer
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How does maneuvering affect radar detection of stealth aircraft?

Stealth aircraft like the F-22 and F-35 have very low radar cross sections. These planes have angles of their fuselage set-up in a way to deflect radar signals. As far as I understand another stealth ...
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Why are there no stealth helicopters?

There aren't exactly an abundance of stealth planes, but most highly developed countries own one. Why are there no stealth helicopters? If there are, why are they so obscure?
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Do strike aircraft turn off their datalink?

As far as I know, it is normal procedure for aircraft on a strike mission to go into radio silence at a certain point of the mission, as to not give of any unnecessary emissions that could warn the ...
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How do stealth aircraft operate from rough or contaminated fields without ruining their paint jobs?

While thinking about the MiG-29’s dedicated rough-field intakes, I started wondering about rough-field operations for other types of combat aircraft, and, naturally, since most new combat aircraft ...
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How fast do the F-35 weapons bay doors open/close during combat ops?

(YouTube) I came across the following Norwegian F-35 video launching a live missile from its right bay door. Of course, opening the door and launching the missile drastically increases RCS, but it ...
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Why do stealth aircraft generally lose in maneuverability?

Whilst stealthy built aircraft have (or claim to have) many anti-detection systems, they seem to have to compromise on less maneuverability features, and even have to keep their missiles inside, not ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Do vapor clouds increase the radar scross section of an aircraft?

The F-22 is known for its stealth capabilities, which is mostly achieved with an extremely low RCS. Due to its high maneuverability we also see this plane often creating extreme vapor clouds while ...
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What plane is shown here in the movie Rampage?

I'm not sure if its a real life airplane, but I feel like I have seen it somewhere: It looks similiar to the F-117 Nighthawk, pictured below, but it is definitely not this:
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How can a single misplaced screw so massively increase a stealth aircraft's radar cross-section?

In this comment on one of the answers to an earlier question of mine, @CarloFelicione points out how even the tiniest of imperfections can make a stealth aircraft much more visible to radar: A ...
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4 votes
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Why is the F-117A the only plane to use the fully faceted design? [duplicate]

One of the keys to the stealth capability was its faceted design. The concept is that curved surfaces have a larger radar cross-section. The idea of making all surfaces flat to reflect radar away from ...
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11 votes
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How does ATC locate a stealth aircraft if its transponder fails?

Stealth aircraft are built to have near-zero radar visibility, so that, in a warzone, it'll be harder for the enemy to see it on their radars to shoot it down. However, air traffic control also use ...
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57 votes
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Why does the F-117 Nighthawk look different than other stealth planes?

The F-117 Nighthawk has flat angled lines where most later designs (B2, F22, F35) have very smooth lines. Why the difference? Are the newer designs 'more stealth'? Do they use a different design to ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why do many stealth aircraft have a similar shape and design?

I have been playing around on a bunch of programs with stealth planes and their general shape. I know that they are required to be flat and have some sort of special material/paint on to 'absorb' the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
660 views

Were RCS tests performed on the ATF YF-22/YF-23 prototypes?

I know that radar cross-section (RCS) tests were performed on geometric models of both the YF-22 and YF-23 prototype submitted for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, but were the same ...
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3 votes
1 answer
941 views

When is a steep takeoff appropriate?

There are plenty of videos of aircraft performing "steep" takeoffs, such as this one. When, if ever, is this kind of takeoff appropriate. What is the procedure?
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6 votes
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Can the signature of stealth fighters be uncovered, and then used for future detections?

A recent theaviationist.com article speculates that the reason behind the 'Combat Sent' and other SIGINT aircraft escorting the F-35's over Estonia two days ago was to deter Russia from using its ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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How are antennas integrated into stealth aircraft?

In Hephaestus Aetnaean's answer to this question, it is mentioned that the F-117 had no radar detection equipment because at the time it was developed the designers had not figured out how to ...
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If all fighter jets become stealthy, how will they fight each other in the future? In dogfights?

I came across this question on dogfight-capable fighter jets still being made. If all aircraft become so stealthy, how will they fight each other? Only in dogfights, I presume. Or am I wrong?
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16 votes
1 answer
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Is it legal to make a non-military stealth plane?

Just as military camouflage can be legally worn by civilians on most jurisdictions (e.g., in the U.S.), can I create a stealth aircraft for non-military use? More precisely, can I register and fly the ...
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9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Do stealth designs have canard configuration?

Do stealth-focused aircraft have canard configuration? I believe canards have a negative impact on the radar cross section.
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17 votes
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Why don't stealth aircraft designs use podded engines?

Normally, it seems all the stealth designs dont use podded engines like others. Is this just to avoid the radar cross-section?
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25 votes
5 answers
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Was the intended purpose of the F-117 Nighthawk originally a stealth-fighter?

Based on this question, I learned that the F and A-Letters in the naming of (military) aircraft reflects what their intended purpose is. A: Attack (Air-to-ground) F: Fighter (Air-to-air) their names ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Do designers use the same RAM (Radar Absorbing Material) coating across the length and breadth of a fighter aircraft?

I was looking at this image: Image from Wikipedia and couldn't help notice that the RAM coating looks different on the vertical/horizontal stabilizers and wings compared to the fuselage. Given the ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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How do stealth aircraft reduce the Heat Signature?

According to the wikipedia article, a stealth plane requires the following features in order to reduce its radar signature and thermal detection: Reducing thermal emission from thrust Reducing ...
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1 vote
3 answers
701 views

What is the effect of opening airplane bay doors on the radar cross section of the airplane?

How does opening airplane bay doors (especially in the case of bombers), increase the radar cross section of the airplane and make it more visible to the radar? These are usually combined with ...
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

What trade-offs are being made in the design of the planform alignment of stealth aircraft?

Stealth technology uses angles in the aircraft shape, and homogeneous orientation of the surfaces. In the F-22A Raptor wing leading edges, tail surfaces, air intake bypass doors, refueling aperture, ...
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53 votes
7 answers
15k views

Why do fighter aircraft manufacturers still focus on making their planes more dogfight-worthy?

In today's age, when dogfights are simply a relic from the past, why do manufacturers keep on increasing their aircraft maneuverability, in order to make them better dogfighters. It is more ...
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59 votes
5 answers
8k views

How do friendly stealth planes locate each other?

Stealth planes can't be seen (very well) on radar. So one stealth plane should be unable to locate another stealth plane on its radar and vice versa. So how would one stealth plane locate another, ...
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15 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does the F-22 (or any other stealth aircraft) carry chaff?

Considering it is nearly undetectable on radar, it seems like it wouldn't have to worry about radar guided missiles; in addition to this it is sure to have sophisticated jamming capabilities. So why ...
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31 votes
3 answers
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Do stealth airplanes need to limit contrail generation?

Stealth aircraft have low visibility on radar. I assume that they strive to achieve low visibility optically as well, e.g. spend some effort to not stand out too much visually from the surroundings. ...
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24 votes
4 answers
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Do similar angles on a plane make it more stealthy?

I learned in my intro to engineering class at my college that 5th gen fighters (which are stealth aircraft) are designed with similar angles to evade radar. Why is this true? Also, does the angle ...
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