Low Budget Bomber

Bomber or ...never landing commercial airplane.

When I made the page about parasites in the section "Weird ones" I read about the theory of Vogt. He proposed to couple two airplanes to a large ones wingtip. This way the two airplanes got a free ride. Experiments with this had problems due to one major factor: the up-and-town-movement of the wingtips.

I am sure that we can re-use the concept under better circumstances. When I was tinkering on the idea of parasites, I tinkered that much that it didn't lead to a new fighter, but to a new bomber and large commercial airplane (but please read on a bit more to understand how the concept works). The base is a combination of a cheap made B2 and two stealth F-22 fighters. If you lost interest due to the word "stealth", please, read on. The concept has also possibilities in the non-stealth (and cheaper) sector.

Yes, yes, I know, I used F18 models. Sorry, didn't find F22 models for my 3D-software on the internet.

When I saw a picture of the used B-36 in the MX-1016 project and Tom-Tom project I saw long and narrow wings. Seeing the pictures and reading the known problems I ran to my books and looked at a picture of a B2. And yes, the wings are not so narrow and look more rigid. So the B-2 would not have those flapping wings. But the B-2 has another problem that meant its death. It is toooo expensive. But would it be possible to make it less expensive? I think yes. Let me explain.

The B-2 is a rather secret item, but some writers had a guess at what could be found inside the bomber. Bill Sweetman writes in his book "Stealth Bomber" that it would possibly use two rotary weapons launchers. Those are surely an expensive item in the B-2. The rotary system itself is expensive and the system has all different launching and guiding equipment for all the weapons that fit in the barrel. Sounds like costly electronics. Are they necessary? I think no. Please, read further.

We could combine a B-2 and two F-22's. F-22s have themselves laser- or radar-guided weapons. Let's fill the bomber with ordinary non-guided bombs. I hear you thinking: "ordinary bombs, why?" The experience in the Kosovo-war showed us that most guided weapons were not so reliable anyway. If a target is rather large (harbor, large factory, military airport and so) you could bomb them like the "Dam busters"-squadron did in WW 2. After their famous bombing on the dams they started to use the "Grand Slam", a very heavy bomb for those days (a Lancaster could only carry one of those), on other military targets. They were able to drop this bomb from high altitudes and still have a very good aiming. One mission tells about the bombing of a factory while they didn't touch the cafeteria that was standing near the middle. Sorry, guys (and girls) but I lost my book about the squadron so I cannot give you exact figures. Anyway, what they did around 1940 should be possible now. Now we have aiming devices that can look through clouds and darkness. And you would only need one aiming devise. Not like the current B-2 who has many.

Let's imagine a mission. The three airplanes take off separately. They couple in the air. They fly to the target. On their way a fighter can leave the combination and use his guided missiles on a target (radar installation, bridge, hangar) on their way to safeguard the mission. The fighters leave the bomber near the target to protect it from hostile airplanes. The bomber has to fly over the target and drop the bomb(s) using the aiming device. The bomber returns, the fighters guard the bomber on the way back. Once in free space they couple again.

Separation. The fighters start their hunt. This time at the range of the bomber!

The fighters did protect the bomber at the range of the bomber. Not at their own range!
This combination could also be used to extend the range of the fighters. But here you need to fill the bomber with fuel instead of bombs. The bomber "carries" the fighters over a longer range and functions at the same time as an external fuel tank. Near the target the fighters leave the bomber and use their guided weapons to attack their target. After the attack they couple with the bomber who already started his flight to the home base.

The stealth-ability of both planes could make sneak-attacks possible.

I know already about one problem that the combination F22-B2-F22 could have. The B-2 has sweptback wings. The F-22's are placed near the tail of the B-2. When they control their plane to keep in line with the B-2 wing they could force a moment that could alter the pitch of the B-2. Maybe a new bomber should be designed. But I have not the experience or knowledge to start that project.

At non-stealth design, this sort of combinations also has a future. It saves a country fuel during a war. Fuel sometimes controls a war. Other non-stealth combinations can "easily" be designed using a bomber with a rigid wing. If possible a bomber without sweepback of the wings. But I leave this up to you to find combinations. If you find a combination, give me a sign. I will list them. But please state why you thought about this combination. So... go combination hunting.

Just a quick sketch I made to show a less stealthy variant. Maybe lesser budget?

Let the chasers chase.

In non-weapon design, it could be a commercial liner, which almost never lands. The center section would be a large passenger transport. The tip-airplanes would be smaller passenger transports. The idea is to keep the center section in the air over a looong distance. A long airfield would be necessary at the beginning and at the end of the trip. There would be no need for fuel stops. The tip-airplanes take off from smaller airports. They carry passengers, luggage and fuel. Once connected they open a corridor between both airplanes. Passengers can board the large airplane or leave the large airplane and land at the airfield of the smaller airplane. The airplanes should have long airfoils to make such a corridor in the wing possible. I hope that using this way smaller airfields give "access" to larger airplanes. It would make a de-centration (less airplanes on a airfield) of the air traffic possible, because the larger airplanes would no longer need to land on the many in-between airfields. It also could make a looong flight with many in-between landings shorter in time, since there no longer would be in-between landings. I still have some questions about the way stability will be maintained when the cargo is shipped from one airplane to the other. Anyone an idea how the combination will react?

I know that this commercial idea doesn't use the theory of Vogt to the max. The tip-airplanes don't stay at the tips. They only connect a short time. But the idea of tip coupling gave me this idea. [Editor (Koen)]: I changed my idea about this. The best benefot would be if the "loaders " (orange) would stay attached and travel with the large passenger plane. How could it be done? I guess it only can be done if the airports on the line of such a large commercial airplane use the loaders as common goods. So, the loader from Brussels flies to Berlin and takes the next flight back to Brussels. The crew can use the empty seats on normal flights to get back to Brussels. It will be hard to organise this, I know. And organizing is not my best thing. But... there might be some bright mind out there who can think about a possible solution.

The non aggressive edition of the idea.

This basic idea is now already a few years on my site. Recently i thought up this new edition of the idea. A UAV edition.

It is based on the idea that making three times a small thing can sometimes be easier than making one time something big. And ...here we get a extra bonus. Later more on that.

Basic idea: Create a UAV that can have two types of interior. One is filled with fuel tanks. The other has fuel, but also weapon bays.

Together they can fly further due to the increases wing efficienty or the fact that the UAVs at the outside don't need to use their engine at cruise speed.

The three UAV's in cruise flight

In cruise flight only the center part uses its engine.

The two UAVs that carry weapons start their decent for the attack.

Now ...you ask me ...what is the bonus here? Well, a buyer can start with the regular UAV with weapons (for close-by attacks) or the UAV with fuel capacity (for surveillance). If they started to appriciate the idea of this UAV, they can order one or two new ones to get a two or three modules UAV-train. It is like being able to buy a 1/3 Eagle Eye or Predator.

And ...another bonus is ...that it is harder to aim at a small target than it is to aim for a big one. In other words ...Might be that before you even see these UAVs coming, you are already in the range of the UAV-weapon. These UAV are very hard to defend against.