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Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis, No-Tail Aircraft)

Tailless Combat Fighter Technology Demonstrator Proposal

Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis, No-Tail Aircraft)

Tailless Combat Fighter Technology Demonstrator Proposal

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Lockheed X-44 MANTA existed as an offshoot of the then-soon-to-be F-22 Raptor line - it being a tailless aircraft relying on thrust vectoring for extreme agility.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1999
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Lockheed Martin - USA
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United States (cancelled)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 62.34 feet (19 meters)
WIDTH: 44.46 feet (13.55 meters)
HEIGHT: 16.40 feet (5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 31,967 pounds (14,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 55,116 pounds (25,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 afterburning turbofans developing 35,000 lb of thrust each (estimated).
SPEED (MAX): 1,553 miles-per-hour (2500 kilometers-per-hour; 1,350 knots)
RANGE: 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers; 1,728 nautical miles)
CEILING: 49,213 feet (15,000 meters; 9.32 miles)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
1 x 20mm internal cannon.

AIR-TO-AIR, STEALTH:
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinders short-ranged air-to-air missiles (internal side weapons bays).
6 x AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-ranged air-to-air missiles (Internal ventral weapons bay).

AIR-TO-AIR, NON-STEALTH:
4 x AIM-9 Sidewinder short-ranged, air-to-air missiles (External, underwing, outboard)
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder short-ranged air-to-air missiles (Internal side weapons bays).
6 x AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-ranged, air-to-air missiles (Internal ventral weapons bay).

AIR-TO-GROUND, STEALTH:
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder short-ranged air-to-air missiles (Internal side weapons bays).
2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-ranged, air-to-air missiles (Internal ventral weapons bay).
2 x 1,000lb GBU-32 Joint Direct Munitions (JDAM) (Internal ventral weapons bay).

OPTIONAL, AIR-TO-GROUND, STEALTH:
8 x 250lb GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) (Internal ventral weapons bay) in place of JDAM.

OPTIONAL, MISCELLANEOUS:
2 x 600 US Gallon external fuel drop tanks underwing, inboard.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• X-44 MANTA - Base Project Name; cancelled.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA (Multi-Axis, No-Tail Aircraft) Tailless Combat Fighter Technology Demonstrator Proposal.  Entry last updated on 4/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
During the 1980s, the United States Air Force (USAF) formulated the "Advanced Tactical Fighter" (ATF) program to find America's next frontline combat fighter. This eventually led to a fly-off between the Lockheed Martin YF-22 and the Northrop Grumman YF-23 (both detailed elsewhere on this site). The former won out and the YF-22 was introduced (as the "Raptor") into service with the USAF in December of 2005 - becoming the world's first 5th Generation Fighter platform.

Even while the F-22 was in development, a heavily-modified form of the aircraft was under consideration as the X-44 "MANTA" ("Multi-Axis, No-Tail Aircraft"). This program offshoot was essentially the base F-22 Raptor design sans its tailplanes. The type was seen as a technology demonstrator to test the validity of controlling a combat fighter without traditional tailplanes being fitted. The result, showcased only through concept artwork, was an aircraft that held the front- and mid-section of the original F-22 but carried a "stretched" delta wing mainplane. It was to retain the twin, side-by-side turbofan engine arrangement with thrust-vectoring but lacked the outward-cranked vertical tail fins as well as the horizontal tailplanes.




As it stood, the aircraft would have been controlled solely by the thrust vectoring system coupled with control surfaces found on the wing mainplanes - the hope being that the fighter would have been extremely agile, offer reduced drag and greater efficiency, and keep much (if not all) of its inherent stealth properties intact. The X-44 MANTA was always seen as a possible candidate for a future combat warplane so it would also have held on to the F-22's internal weapons bay. Due to the nature of the delta wing and its large surface area and increased internal volume, the MANTA would have carried more internal fuel and thus increased operational ranges when compared to the F-22.

The X-44 MANTA remained a proposed "experimental" over the course of its short life. Some interest in the product was had by both the USAF as well as NASA but little came of this for the project seems to have died off sometime around the year 2000. The X-44 designation resurfaced in another Lockheed product, this being the "X-44A", a deep-fuselage, tailless unmanned aircraft system used in the development of more advanced drones for the company (including the "Sentinel").




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1600mph
Lo: 800mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,553mph).

    Graph average of 1200 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Lockheed Martin X-44 MANTA's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of a medium-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
Commitments / Honors
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