Boeing’s Sixth-Gen Fighter

Here’s a little update on this fighter design we showed you yesterday. It is indeed Boeing’s concept for a sixth-gen “air dominance” fighter for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, Daryl Davis, chief of Boeing’s Phantom Works division told me today. The plane, which is still just a concept, would have long-ranger range and fly at “higher mach numbers” (faster) than jets like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and be able to supercruise, according to Davis.

Boeing is funding its own research into sixh-gen fighter concepts since neither the Air Force or Navy is moving to kick off a new fighter program in the near future, said Davis. Pumping it’s own cash into advanced fighter R&D means that Boeing will have existing tech ready for a new airplane design when “the balloon goes up,” added Davis.

This is going to be pretty important in the years to come since, as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told reporters today that the Air Force is going to focus even more on buying proven, existing technologies that meet the service’s actual combat requirements not its “wants.”

Meanwhile, the Phantom Ray UAV is Going Into Storage:

Speaking of new planes built with existing technology, Davis also revealed that Boeing’s stealthy-looking Phantom Ray drone will be placed in storage now that it’s successfully completed its test flights. The company is going to keep the bird in flyable condition with the hopes of dusting it off to contribute to the optionally-manned portion of the Air Force’s long range bomber project — a program Schwartz today said is in development and that the air service will fight to protect it from cancellation during the coming budget cuts.

33 Comments on "Boeing’s Sixth-Gen Fighter"

  1. Nice to see the F36 being a Navy AF jet like F35.
    & reuse Phantom Ray for border Recon roles alone for USBP??
    USCG, Test "swarm" formations with Phanton Ray & carrier landings, takeoffs or make VSTOL.

  2. Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't the phantom ray basically a AF version of the (Navy) X-47B? which if I'm not mistaken is still planned to be apart of the carriers in the future…correct? If so, they're not really "storing" anything….

  3. Phantom Ray was spun off of the X-45, Boeing's J-UCAS entry. The X-47B is an outgrowth of Northrup's entry (the X-47A).

  4. I approve of Boeing using its own money to fund R&D. Hopefully that translates to a shorter timeframe for production and IOC, a lower cost, and a less ridiculous set of features… Better yet if the rest of the defense industry follows suit and we go back to the good old days of acquisitions.

  5. Ideally, Boeing will develop the design to the point of having a technology demonstrator, flying with their own money.

    Sadly, there are two legs to the new idea of purchasing, the aerospace companies have to develop new tech by themselves, so that the government isn't stuck with having to pay for planes through a painful process of trial and error (see F-22, F-35). And the AF has to be willing to purchase a plane from Boeing, if that plane does indeed meet their specifications.

    I can imagine, though I don't want to, the AF having a brand new, very expensive, competition for the F-15/F-22 replacement, in spite of Boeing and Northrup having nearly completed designs.

    Hopefully, the AF will be willing in the future to purchase one of these planes if they get good enough.

  6. I hope phantom ray will be next generation bomber.

  7. God, this thing would have poor maneuverability!

  8. Given the economic situation of the US I highly doubt we will see any new fighter programs being financed by the government soon. Unless they will find a foreign country to buy a reasonable number to fund further R&D.
    Hence I rather see it as a first sign of the days where the US military industry superiority is coming to an end…

  9. does it carry a cannon ? does it super cruise at mach 2.2 & have a top speed of mach 3 does it have 12g maneuverability and also with a combat radius of 2, 000 nautical miles

  10. There is no chance the Phantom ray become a bomber. A concept like this has no chance to survive more than 5 minutes in a defense like China. For the job the bomber must be discret high speed long range plane.

  11. Way to ask the hard questions, Defense Tech! I guess if you brought up the obvious stupidity of this "airplane design" your reporter wouldn't be allowed a second chance to kiss a Boeing executive's ass. One more example of how a wholly controllable media is the key to democracy.

  12. Sharp looking aircraft.
    Still, it seems like manned combat aircraft will be unaffordable in the all-too-soon future. Why keep putting money into manned fighters or bombers? Think of the load already being carried by low performance drones.

  13. Penetrating weapons. Not penetrating aircraft.

  14. It is nice to see our taxes are not wasted. We need more ways to kill. Our 'defense' budget is greater than that of the rest of the world combined. The last time that happened was pre WW2 Germany. Hmmmm.

  15. A twin engine stealthy aircraft would be great for the navy, if they could afford it. Better have a gun and more than 2 missiles though. When the battle becomes Stealth vs. Stealth we aren't going to be able to stuff enough weapons into our aircraft.

  16. I say we quit monkeying around with single-digit-generation aircraft, we need to skip all that nonsense and go right to 10th-generation.

  17. Not going to happen no funds we haven't got our 5th gen fighter going yet. Boeing makes ugly planes too much anyway.

  18. If I had a beer for every vertical-tail-less fighter concept I've seen …

  19. If I were going to build something new and innovative it'd be a line-of-sight UAV system. Put the pilot of the UAV in another aircraft with a focus on high-altitude, high-speed and stealth (maybe edge-of-space, the higher the better) and put a dozen or so pilots in that aircraft to control a few dozen state-of-the-art drones in the sky in the area, whatever the horizon, sortof like AWACS. Pilots would have sleeping quarters and the jet would stay aloft for 72-hour missions. We need some real innovation not just "better fighter jet" innovation.

  20. They have not even put the F-22s and F-35s into wide use. An already there makin plans for another multi million dollar and counting program.

  21. Boeing’s Phantom is a better candidate than F-35 for long range combat role. We probably need 2000 units of this for defense. Russia already have 1000 PAF-FA-50 on the market.

  22. This piece of crap from the company who gave you the YF-23! Oh yeah, they had to hire contractors to design the YF-23. After all, that's why Stonecipher started the "Phantom Works" so they wouldn't have to hire outside people the next time. Too bad that plan failed so miserably. One defense contractor CEO lets the pangs of conscience get to him and he gets fired for banging a lobbyist. Hell, they're lobbyists. That's what they're hired for. Just wait for the next military airplane competition. You'll get a lot worse than the 2 POS options you got for JSF.

  23. "The plane, which is still just a concept, would have long-ranger range and fly at “higher mach numbers” (faster) than jets like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and be able to supercruise, according to Davis.


    The same is true of the F-22.

    It appears that to Boeing, 5th gen is 4th gen without vertical control surfaces.

  24. Same old shit!

  25. Looks expensive as fuck.

  26. After the F-35, tactical planes will be unmanned. You can bet on it.

  27. I can't see a sixth Gen fighter having an on-board pilot. The most limiting part of the fighter will be the human inside. The capability of the fighter will be so much more without the g-force limitations.

  28. Jim Garrison | November 3, 2011 at 1:33 am |

    What is he status of drone vs drone in aerial combat and drone vs conventional aircraft in aerial combat?

  29. If any one has watched the Stealth Movie, the plane looks similar to "EDI" I'm sure this is the way they will go next. Unmanned aircraft with artificial intelligence that you can program in the mission like a tomahawk cruise missle and will probably be able to program in tactical abilities for offense and defense, or be controlled like the UAV's.
    Me, if there going to go UAV style they build planes that don't cost as much so they are easy to replace.
    Problem is there like in the stealth movie then warfare becomes to easy and no consequences for peoples actions and it becomes like a video game.

  30. David Curcione | December 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    The Date is 2050 A,D too the Sixth Geration Figter Will Be built to Hit Speeds of M.3 To M 4 + too!

  31. i think it would some sort of plane that could change its shape during flight

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