Looks peculiar. How does that plane maintain zero torque with the main engine so far behind?
Very cool, thanks.
I'm glad you appreciate the cool video
And concerning my question, well I know that the main thruster is probably not the only thruster, but I still think that looks peculiar. The main thruster is only one whose exhaust glows in that night vision, and strangely the other ones, not visible, don't appear to be very weak either...
If you look at this picture: [Broken]
you see that in addition to the rear nozzle which is capable of thrust vectoring through basically 90+ degrees (horizontal and vertical) it also has a vertical lift fan (driven by the main engine) just aft of the cockpit which stabalizes the pitch of the craft. There are also roll nozzles toward the wing roots which stabilize, well, roll.
That flap(s) on top allows air to enter the lift fan when required.
As to your other point, the rear is seen because it's very hot, as compared to the fan exhaust. Both have very high velocities and volumes, but the forward fan jet (thrust) isn't nearly as hot as the combustion exhaust from the rear.
Looks like a fancy Harrier.
Some views of the forward fan during takeoff and landing.
The video is a great illustration of the pros and cons of this VSTOL version.
On the one hand, the airplane will do a rolling take off with a good payload if a runway is available and land on a patch of land if no runway remains. Very good for survivability.
On the other hand, the landing involves an afterburner pointing straight down, which ensures a cloud of rocks and debris will get blasted all around the aircraft. In fact, unless the plane has a ceramic patch to land on even on a ship, I think it would melt the deck steel. Does that make for operational effectiveness?
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