The Boeing X-32 is a concept demonstrator aircraft that was designed for the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator, which was further developed into the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
In this Article, we will share with you Videos of Boeing X-32 JSF Take-Off & Vertical hover Landing
Due to the heavy delta wing design of the X-32, Boeing demonstrated STOVL and supersonic flight in separate configurations, with the STOVL configuration requiring that some parts be removed from the fighter.
The company promised that their conventional tail design for production models would not require separate configurations. By contrast, the Lockheed Martin X-35 concept demonstrator aircraft were capable of transitioning between their STOVL and supersonic configurations in mid-flight.
The first flight of the X-32A (designed for CTOL and carrier trials) took place on 18 September 2000, from Boeing’s Palmdale plant to Edwards Air Force Base.
On 29 March 2001, the X-32B STOVL version made its first flight.
A modified version of the -614C engine, known as the F119-PW-614S powered the STOVL aircraft. In normal flight, the -614S was configured as a conventional afterburning turbofan.
However, in the STOVL mode, a butterfly valve diverted the core stream exhaust gases to a pair of thrust vectoring nozzles located close to the aircraft’s center-of-gravity. Forward of these nozzles, a jet screen nozzle provided a sheet of cool bypass air to minimize hot gas recirculation. There was also a pair of ducts leading to roll nozzles near the wing tips. Two pairs of ducts fed the Aft-pitch yaw nozzles and the Forward pitch nozzles.
The afterburner was unlit, with no gas flow during Lift. The X-32B achieved STOVL flight in much the same way as the AV-8B Harrier II with thrust vectoring of the jet exhaust. A smooth Transition (between STOVL and Normal modes) was obtained by maintaining a constant engine match, facilitated by the control system algorithm maintaining a fixed total nozzle effective area. Thus the engine was unaware of various nozzles being opened up and closed off to complete the transition.
Basically, the F119-PW-614S was a Direct Lift engine, whereas the Lockheed Martin STOVL team used a more complex and riskier alternative, known as the F119-PW-611, which comprised a remote shaft-driven lift fan powered by the main engine. However, this generated more lift thrust than possible with only direct exhaust gases. A successful design would have a greater payload, and thus longer range than a simple thrust vectored turbofan.
On 26 October 2001, the Department of Defense announced that the Lockheed Martin X-35 won the JSF competition. The X-35 was developed into the production as Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.