×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) X-36


Unmanned Fighter Technology Demonstrator


United States | 1997



"The remote-piloted Boeing X-36 technology demonstrator was developed to further research in a tailless fighter design."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Boeing X-36 (formerly McDonnell Douglas) was a unmanned technology demonstrator and served NASA (Ames and Dryden Research Centers) through some 31 total flights. The program sought to evaluate a tailless fighter design for possible military application and featured a unique wing planform to accomplish the requirement. By all published accounts, the program was a complete success, furthering research into future tailless aircraft design as well as improved maneuverability, pilotless design and airframe survivability. With design work beginning as early as 1989, a pair of flyable aircraft were eventually built for the program beginning in 1994 using "rapid prototyping" techniques.

On the whole, the aircraft featured some conventional qualities such as its forward-set cockpit and internal turbofan engine but was an inherently unstable design. Its wing arrangement was largely unconventional and included forward canards near amidships with the main wing assemblies at the rear of the airframe. Control was through a variety of facilities including Fly-By-Wire (FBW), specialized correcting software, canards positioning and thrust-vectoring at the engine exhaust port. As a tailless aircraft, it lacked any vertical tail surfaces. The single engine installation was aspirated by a pair of intakes at the front of the layout, one fitted to either side of the fuselage near the cockpit. As a remotely-piloted design, the X-36 also lacked a "true" cockpit as the operator piloted the aircraft from a Ground Control Station (GCS). Since the cockpit did not require space and facilities to support a human pilot, the entire aircraft was designed at 28 percent scale to control costs, speed up development and provide better access to key internal components. The X-36 was, therefore, only representative of a possible future fighter design.

The airframe was given a running length of 18 feet, 2 inches with a wingspan of 10 feet, 4 inches and height of 3 feet, 1 inch. A Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 1,250lbs was listed. Power was served through 1 x Williams International F112 series turbofan engine developing 700 lbs of thrust and this provided a maximum speed of 235 miles per hour with a service ceiling nearing 20,500 feet.

The initial test vehicle went airborne for the first time on May 17th, 1997 on what would begin a 25-week long evaluation period. Once their useful data-collecting days had ended, the two aircraft were delivered to museums - one to reside at the National Museum of the United States Air Force (Wright-Patterson AFB) in Dayton, Ohio and the other for display at the Air Force Test Flight Center at Edwards AFB, California.

The X-36 was constructed by Boeing Phantom Works of The Boeing Company of its St. Louis, Missouri facility. The product and program was a partnership held between Boeing and NASA through a 50/50 cost-sharing split.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Boeing X-36 Unmanned Fighter Technology Demonstrator.
2 x Williams International F112 turbofan engines developing 700 lb of thrust each.
Propulsion
233 mph
375 kph | 202 kts
Max Speed
20,013 ft
6,100 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Boeing X-36 Unmanned Fighter Technology Demonstrator.
0
(UNMANNED)
Crew
18.2 ft
5.55 m
O/A Length
10.3 ft
(3.15 m)
O/A Width
3.1 ft
(0.95 m)
O/A Height
1,235 lb
(560 kg)
MTOW
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) X-36 family line.
X-36 - Base Project Designation; two vehicles constructed, since retired.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) X-36. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 2 Units

Contractor(s): Boeing Phantom Works / McDonnell Douglas / NASA - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (233mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
2
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) X-36

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
X-PLANE
UNMANNED
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) X-36 Unmanned Fighter Technology Demonstrator appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
MODERN AIRCRAFT
X-PLANE AIRCRAFT
DRONE TECHNOLOGY
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)