Home » Air » Concept Plane Eye Candy: Boeing’s F/A-XX

Concept Plane Eye Candy: Boeing’s F/A-XX

by John Reed on April 16, 2012

While we’re on the topics of new Boeing jets, let’s take a look at the latest evolution of Boeing’s concept for a 6th-generation manned, carrier-launched strike fighter dubbed F/A-XX.

We saw the first drawings of the concept jet in 2010 during the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference in National Harbor, Md. This year’s conference saw the Chicago-based company unveil a model of the plane.

Click through the jump for more pics (forgive the quality, I took them with an iPhone).


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

TMB April 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

What's the in background of picture #2? It looks like another plane design with a bunch of suits standing around it.


Pat April 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

That looks like an F-18.


Andy April 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

look at again, F22 with no tail……..


Andrew April 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

while looking at things again, take another look at the 2 posts you just responded to


Boone145 April 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Thats no F-22, its to narrow in the body section, and the wings are longer and narrower as well. I would say it is a modified F-18.


Andy April 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

This look better than F35 , twin Engine? damn it a bad a$$ looking plane


Guest April 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Hello Andy

Definately the design of this aircraft looks way better than the lemon F-35, twin engines which is the best thing for overwater operations, long range and to improve survivability against engine failure. In my opinion this should be a best replacement for the F-35. For more information, search for Will the U.S. Navy Find a New Aircraft that Can Replace JSF? from defence.professionals.

When I was looking at the F/A-XX airframe design I was thinking that Boeing should add two more features for e.g. extend the tail area to able to have horizontal stabilisers (simliar to the F-15s stabs) and twin tail fins.

Hopefully this should be affordable aircraft to buy and maintain than the F-35.


RCDC April 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Let it fly! Will this be flying on our territorial airspace, South Korea or Kuwait?


Hunter76 April 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

6th gen manned fighter?

Hyper-expensive fodder for next gen unmanned air wing.

Main thing is the industrialists and politicians will have been paid off.

The US cannot afford to lose the uav race. Even small powers such Iran can mass-produce uavs.


blight_ April 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Iran is a telecom leader with plenty of bandwidth to command and control these babies?


Hunter78 April 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Iran has the same amount of bandwidth as everyone else.

Command and control will be based on 3 primary methods, which can mixed as desired:

Narrow beam com (eg, lasers);
Wide beam complex burst mode frequency shifting;
Autonomous operations.

Much of that can be put on a pc board.


Jim37F April 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

you really think a pilot remotely flying an aircraft hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away with only a tv screen to see whats going on, or worse, some piece of software is going to be able to defeat a trained and experienced pilot anytime in the near future?


Belesari April 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

OK for all the idiots who are going to start spewing "BUT MANNED IS THE PAST THE FUTURE IS UAV's!!!!!!" Stealth was a MOVIE. Cool movie but a movie none the less.

Right now one of our hardest problems is to

OK just so its clear….


Any vehicle capable of going toe-toe with a modern or hell let alone a 4th or 5th gen fighter is going to cost as much if not more than said fighter.

They are also 30 or more years away atleast. If anything we will see them become the back seat drivers on the future aircraft. For EW and other jobs.

This has been your serving of reality…..thank you calm the f**k down.


Andrew April 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm

But my Iphone talks to me!!!! Surely I could get it to fire an AMRAAM with some added Objective C in there somewhere.


EJ257 April 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Pilot: “Fire the AMRAAM”

Plane: “You want to ram him. Is this correct?”


blight_ April 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Fox One!

You have selected: Guns.


asdf April 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

you need to buy an app for this

Thomas L. Nielsen April 17, 2012 at 2:09 am

Actually, I think it will be more something like this:

Plane: "Enemy aircraft on approch vector. Enemy Air Defence Sites coming active in sectors Alfa and Foxtrot"

Pilot: "Activate laser PDS and countermeasures, and give me full offensive control"

Plane: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

And if you don't get the reference, you need a cultural upgrade :-)

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen


blight_ April 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Then the real bottleneck comes down to using a natural language syntax that is relatively clear, but takes time to communicate.

There's a real appeal of AI, but…

joe April 17, 2012 at 3:03 am

<An operating system update has been downloaded.>
<Computer will now automatically restart.>
"Oh, Shiiiiiiiiiiiii…….."


tiger April 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm

We have human pilots that smack into mountians And fall out of the sky into Apartment buildings……..


Jim37F April 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

mechanical problems wont be solved by removing the pilot


Hunter78 April 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Yes. they will. All the systems involved in maintaining the pilot are gone. All the overbuild to increase survival are gone. All the extra weight no longer has to be dealt with.


Jim37F April 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

So your saying removing the pilot will remove engine problems too?

stephen russell April 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

FA 36? FA 45.
New designation.


ajspades April 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Looks amazingly similar to the X-44 MANTA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_X-44
Guess there are no copyrights on aircraft design.


Mars HQ April 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

This looks cool on the surface, but what engines will are expected to power this concept, and what is the expected weights and dimensions of this concept?

Are those twin F414 EDE? F110 or F100? What's the empty weight and length?

It would appear to have capacity for longer endurance and better range than F-35, which would of course be a positive.

But I must confess that while this looks good, I'd highly encourage Boeing to simultaneously propose a radical concept redesign of the Super Hornet, similar in scope to the F-16XL concept. Boeing could seek NASA and DARPA assistance and under a joint research.

A radically improved Super Hornet platform with dramatic improvements in drag reductions, improved range and reduced RCS would be an interesting 'generational bridge' concept until 6th gen can better mature and until policy makers can get a better handle on what exactly can be afforded and what should be deployed as a 2040 US Tactical fighter.

Off the shelf and currently being developed systems and avionics from an already existing international supply chain could be incorporated into a next-gen architecture, rather than trying to reinvent a brand new supply chain with new avionics, etc. Simply, cherry pick the most superior globally available systems or soon to be available and integrate them into the platform for a superior cost-effective product!


tiger April 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Where is the rudder? Yes, the marvels of flight computers are nice , but I'd like to have one.


tiger April 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I Guess I'll have wait for Generation 7 to see a VF-1 Veritech "Valkyrie" fly? http://www.kent.net/robotech/mecha/rdf/veritech.shttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VF-1_Valkyrie


Larry Chase April 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

the more High priced it is the merrier the armed services are when we have to foot the Billhow much about 1.8 Billion possibly just another toy for them last time it was the Raptor


Brian Black April 17, 2012 at 2:55 am

What this needs is a STOVL version.


asdf April 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

no, a VTOL would be even better


FtD April 17, 2012 at 3:11 am

next gen already? what about the still in development 5th gen F35??


passingby April 17, 2012 at 5:19 am

they will probably cancel it after spending 200 billion more.


octopusmagnificens April 17, 2012 at 4:58 am

The air intakes appear outdated, a F-18 copy.


passingby April 17, 2012 at 5:18 am

it's OK. they can change it with some additional funding in the production phase. 99.95 billion at the most.


sam April 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

why do we need another expensive stealth plane why not just a realy realy good normal fighter that we can mass produce


asdf April 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

nice plane or not, augustine's law is well on the way


Michael April 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

The intakes are not diverterless?


johnysmith May 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm

a RFI has been launched to look into the new US Navy fighter to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler in the 2030s. http://airsoc.com/articles/view/id/4f901041c6f8fa


Ronaldo April 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I heartily agree !


oops April 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm



So? April 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm
moose April 17, 2012 at 1:03 am

This is what can be designed if you let the Navy take lead on it and keep the USAF looked in a closet until time to buy some.


Thomas L. Nielsen April 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

"Designed", yes. Built? Let's just say I want to see some hardware before I go all gooey inside.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen


PMI April 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

It's a wooden model.


asdf April 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

30 years in the future, there will be a lot to do in africa, believe me. oil issues et al, as the usa will receive most oil from there. and what's the continent where civil wars start when they discover any natural goods (read: money)?


blight_ April 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The Lite version only fires Sidewinders. Buy Pro to get AMRAAM's.

Then there's the advertisement subsidized version, but sometimes in the middle of dogfights you have to watch an advert…


PMI April 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

That track record belongs almost entirely to McDonnell Douglas. The line was up and running before the merger.


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