Corvette Engine for ‘Superman’
The U.S. Marine Corps is building a corvette-like engine that can propel a fighter jet to Mach 3.0.
The new engine, which is part of a broader effort to develop an electric-powered fighter, would not be the first in a class of future fighter engines.
That honor goes to the Lockheed Martin X-51E Super Hornet, which can accelerate to Mach 4.2 and reaches speeds up to Mach 10.
The X-52E Hornet can achieve speeds up from Mach 5.3.
A corvette would be a hybrid fighter and a fighter-bomber, said Lt.
Col. Steve Wiese, deputy director of the Marine Corps’ Fighter Engineering Division.
“It would be very different in both aerodynamics and propulsion,” Wieses said.
“We have the ability to do both at the same time.”
The project is a major evolution of the Navy’s X-21 fighter, which was retired in 2018 but is still in service.
The corvette concept was developed in partnership with Boeing, the largest defense contractor in the world, and a partnership with the Naval Air Systems Command.
Boeing is working on an engine that is powered by hydrogen or liquid oxygen and uses turbines to generate thrust.
The Navy’s corvette will be based on the X-31A, a lightweight jetliner that was retired by the Navy in 2018.
It was designed to carry a pair of fighters to sea, then drop them off for landing and take off.
The first X-41A corvette was built in the 1960s for the Navy.
The Corvette is an evolution of a technology already in use on aircraft carriers and submarines.
The technology involves a series of small turbojet engines in a corvettes engine bay, which could power a fighter aircraft.
Navy has been testing the corvette technology for years.
The Naval Air System Command recently completed the first of six phases of development for the X51A and X51E engines, which are designed to be powered by a mixture of hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
Wiesen said the Navy is also working on a hybrid aircraft, which would be powered with a hybrid fuel that uses both liquid oxygen for fuel and hydrogen for propulsion.
The development of the corvete engine is a step in that direction, he said.
The engine could be used for the next generation of U.T.A.F. fighter jets, but it will not be used in the first-generation F-35 stealth fighter that is planned for delivery later this decade.
Lockheed Martin said it is working with the U.K. Air Force on a new super-light jet that will be able to fly at Mach 4, which will enable it to reach speeds up as high as Mach 7.0, but which will not carry a single weapon system.
The Air Force has developed a prototype of a supersonic, supersonically steered super-jumbo jet with an engine mounted on the front fuselage that could be powered using liquid oxygen, hydrogen and a nuclear reactor.
But Lockheed Martin and the Air Force have yet to decide whether the jet would be built as a single jet or as a multiple-jet system.
Lockheed’s corveette concept is based on a technology the Air Corps is working to develop.
The F-16 fighter plane, which the Navy says is the most powerful U.s. fighter aircraft, was designed in the 1950s by Douglas Aircraft Co. and later by Boeing and General Dynamics Corp. Lockheed also developed the X52 jet and the X49 turboprop that powered the F-22 Raptor.
The Army has developed and fielded the first generation of its long-range X-53 stealth bomber, which has an advanced radar and high-tech electronics.
The program has cost more than $4 billion, but the Air National Guard said it would only use the stealth jet for training purposes.