The F-22 Raptor’s Bizarre Evolution – No Tail, Pure Thrust Vectoring

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The F-22 Raptor’s Bizarre Evolution – No Tail, Pure Thrust Vectoring | World War Wings Videos
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Manta.

The F-22 Raptor has a wonderful design but its production was very short lived with a little less than 200 units produced. It is not really a good idea to let go of a great idea because they always find a way to be useful. Such is the case of the X-44 Manta which was developed from the design of the F-22 Raptor.

The X-44 Manta is a conceptual aircraft that was based on the design of the F-22 Raptor. This jet used a delta-shape in order to show what the jet can perform without tailpipes included on the airframe. The main idea of the X-44 Manta was to use thrust-vectoring as the sole source of control for the aircraft.

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“Thrust vectoring—the ability to turn the jet exhaust—allows an aircraft to create forces with its engines similar to the forces created by aerodynamic surfaces such as flaps, rudders, and stabilators.”

– American X-Vehicles: Centenial of Flight Edition

It had an innovative design but the Manta never got off the ground and funding for the program was halted in 2000. The X-44 remains just an idea, but it is still an interesting concept to consider.

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