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MBB Lampyridae (Firefly)

Supersonic Stealth Fighter Proposal

Germany | 1985

"The MBB Lampyridae was being developed in West Germany as a low-observable missile-minded fighter - the project was eventually cancelled."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/15/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
It is now clear that, during the 1980s, the Americans were not the only power working on low-observable stealth aircraft (embodied by their Lockheed F-117 "Nighthawk" bomber). Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) of West Germany began their own work on a separate entry known under the name of Lampyridae ("Firefly"). However, this project did not see the light of day as an operational fighter for whatever reason. Despite this, the work bears mention for its program goals.

This unique European-originated aircraft featured sharp angles and faceted panels about its design. A diamond-like planform was selected which incorporated a single vertical tail fin, extremely pointed nose and its cockpit canopy conforming to the generally sharp shape. The design was not unlike the "Have Blue" product which preceded the F-117 but apparently was not influenced by the American approach in any way - the two designs emerging from different parts of the world independently. A tricycle undercarriage was a conventional feature of the design. The single engine buried within the fuselage was aspirated through an inverted triangular intake opening under the cockpit.

A wind tunnel model was tested by the Germans in 1985. In 1987, United States Air Force personnel were shown the work which, much to their surprise, followed closely their Have Blue / F-117 projects which were conducted under complete secrecy. Likewise, the German endeavor was also of a secretive nature so the two programs should never have crossed paths. In the end, the Lampryridae's appearance was deemed nothing more than coincidental - a reasoning ultimately accepted by the United States.

Beyond the wind tunnel model was a full-sized mockup but little else of the project came to fruition for the program was abandoned.

Presented performance and dimension numbers on this page are estimated.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly) Supersonic Stealth Fighter Proposal.
Not Available. Sole turbofan engine of unknown thrust output assumed.
590 mph
950 kph | 513 kts
Max Speed
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly) Supersonic Stealth Fighter Proposal.
47.6 ft
14.50 m
O/A Length
21.3 ft
(6.50 m)
O/A Width
7.5 ft
(2.30 m)
O/A Height
8,818 lb
(4,000 kg)
Empty Weight
12,125 lb
(5,500 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly) Supersonic Stealth Fighter Proposal .
Not Available. Though it is though that the fighter would have carried guided/homing missiles of some sort.
Notable series variants as part of the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly) family line.
Lampyridae ("Firefly") - Product Name
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) - West Germany
National flag of modern Germany

[ West Germany (cancelled) ]
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Image of the MBB Lampyridae (Firefly)
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Going Further...
The MBB Lampyridae (Firefly) Supersonic Stealth Fighter Proposal appears in the following collections:
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