Re: Bird of Prey

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Message posted by quellish (Member since 06/26/2008) on March 02, 2023 at 17:16:52 PST:

Bird Of Prey did have an impressive degree of RF signature reduction. Some informed sources have suggested a frontal RCS value of -70dbsm or more. So much that yes, it would have been seen visually before it was detected by radar. That is why at least some effort was made to reduce the visual signature. You can see some evidence of this by the counter shading scheme used when it was in flight test. If I recall correctly it is not the same on display today.

Visual stealth has been an ongoing effort for many, many years. HAVE BLUE was originally to have a visual signature reduction system, that was deleted during development as the RF and IR signatures were considered higher priority. The visual signature reduction system was a variation of "Yehudi lights" tested in the 1940s and later in the early 1970s as part of COMPASS GHOST on a modified F-4. Since then nearly every US stealth aircraft has had some thought given to visual signature reduction - wether through active or passive systems.

In general active optical signature reduction involves matching the luminance of the aircraft to background. Some articles have suggested covering an aircraft with LCD panels or some kind of screen, which is not necessary or useful. "Meta materials" or carbon nanotubes would also probably not be helpful. You don't need a Predator-like "cloaking screen" to be effective.

In Reply to: Bird of Prey posted by Hansblix on March 01, 2023 at 22:24:05 PST:


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