The next-generation fighter from the United States has specifications so insane that NASA just had to get involved. This fighter is known as the X-44 MANTA and is being developed with the current most advanced fighter jet in the world – the F-22 Raptor – as its testbed.
The X-44 MANTA is expected to be the United States’ go-to fighter to keep other sixth-generation fighters in line – and serve as a constant reminder to Russia just who is the king of the skies. So in this video, we’ll be taking a look at all there is to know about this American sixth-generation fighter of the future that has been under development for over 20 years.
The Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis No-Tail Aircraft) was an American conceptual aircraft design by Lockheed Martin that has been studied by NASA and the U.S. Air Force. It was intended to test the feasibility of full yaw, pitch and roll authority without tailplanes (horizontal or vertical). Attitude control relies purely on 3D thrust vectoring. The aircraft design was derived from the F-22 Raptor and featured a stretched delta wing without tail surfaces.
Design and development
The X-44 was designed by Lockheed Martin to demonstrate the feasibility of an aircraft controlled by vectored thrust alone. The X-44 design had a reduced radar signature (due to lack of tail and vertical stabilizers) and was made more efficient by eliminating the tail and rudder surfaces, and instead using thrust vectors to provide yaw, pitch and roll control.
The X-44 MANTA design was based on the F-22, except without a tail and incorporating a full delta wing. The X-44 MANTA would have a greater fuel capacity than the F-22, due to its larger delta wing design. The MANTA was designed to have reduced mechanical complexity, increased fuel efficiency and greater agility. The X-44 MANTA combined the control and propulsion systems, using thrust vectoring. Funding for the X-44 program ended in 2000.
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