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Aviation / Aerospace


Lockheed L-169


Carrierborne Long-Range Fighter Proposal [ 1948 ]



The promising, yet unsuccessful, Lockheed L-169 was proposed to the United States Navy in the post-World War 2 years as a carrierborne long-range fighter.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/21/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

GO TO SPECIFICATIONS [+]
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Lockheed engineers drew up plans for their "L-169" project aircraft in 1946-1947 to satisfy a United States Navy (USN) interest for a high-performance, long-range fighter utilizing a delta-wing planform. The resulting design was to feature a single-seat cockpit set over the nose in the usual way with swept-back, large-area blended wing-body planform powered by a pair of turbojet engines buried within the center of the fuselage - this in a traditional side-by-side arrangement. Like other project aircraft of the time, the L-169 was not advanced beyond its paper stage.

The design direction of the blended wing-body delta-wing meant that internal storage volume was considerably increased over that of contemporary fighters while also allowing the outward appearance of the fighter / interceptor to remain very clean, enhancing inherent control / stability due mainly to greater surface area at play. Internally, a pair of Westinghouse 24C series turbojets would be fitted until Lockheed's own L-1000 series jets came online - promising greater performance than the original Westinghouse installations. Coupled with its aerodynamically-refined shape, the L-169 was to have been an agile, high-performance aircraft suitable for the long-range fighter role.

The overall arrangement revealed a sleek offering from Lockheed with many conventional parts making up the sum. This included a retractable tricycle undercarriage for ground-running, an arrestor hook located under the tail for carrier-based landings, and a cruciform tail unit with mid-mounted tailplanes along a single vertical fin structure. The pilot had a commanding view out over and to the sides of the nose thanks to a three-piece canopy and elevated position though views to the rear remained mostly obstructed due to the large surface area of the planform.

The estimated combat range of the fighter was an impressive 1,000 miles to 1,450 miles depending on engine fit and operating altitude. Beyond this, maximum speed would have reached 740 miles-per-hour with a service ceiling beyond 35,000 feet. Rate-of-climb was 11,900 feet-per-minute. Structurally, the airframe has a running length of 44.5 feet and a wing span of 35 feet. Base weight was rated at 17,000lb with an MTOW reaching 21,730lb.

As a fighter / interceptor type, the L-169 was to feature a formidable battery of 6 x 20mm automatic cannons, either placed under the nose (three per fuselage side) or in the wings. In either case, this provided the fighter with an exceptional solution against enemy aircraft and ships prior to the age of the missile. Beyond this, no other armament was mentioned in the proposal.

The general shape of the L-169 was successfully tested as a subscale wind tunnel model with promising results. Even Lockheed championed the idea that a flyable prototype could be made available as soon as 1948 to help win over the Navy. Despite this and an official design review, the project was not evolved by the Navy's BuAer department and fell to the pages of history.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
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Specifications



Service Year
1948

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
CANCELLED
Development Ended.
Crew
1

Production
0
UNITS


National flag of the United States United States (cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Interception
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
Special-Mission: Anti-Ship
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.


ARMORING
Survivability enhanced by armor allocated to protect pilot / crewspaces and / or critical operating systems.
MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
WING SWEEPBACK
Mainplanes, or leading edges, features swept-back lines for enhanced high-speed performance and handling.
FOLDING WING(S)
Mainplanes are designed to fold, improving storage on land and at sea.
HIGH-SPEED PERFORMANCE
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
HIGH-ALTITUDE PERFORMANCE
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
SUPER PERFORMANCE
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
MARITIME OPERATION
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
PILOT / CREW EJECTION SYSTEM
Assisted process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to eject in the event of an airborne emergency.
CREWSPACE PRESSURIZATION
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
RETRACTABLE UNDERCARRIAGE
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.


Length
44.5 ft
(13.55 m)
Width/Span
34.9 ft
(10.65 m)
Empty Wgt
16,998 lb
(7,710 kg)
MTOW
21,738 lb
(9,860 kg)
Wgt Diff
+4,740 lb
(+2,150 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Lockheed L-169 production variant)
monoplane / mid-mounted / delta, tailed
Monoplane
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mid-Mounted
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
Delta, Tailed
The delta planform features a conventional tailplane arrangement which enhances control.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Lockheed L-169 production variant)
Installed: ORIGINAL: 2 x Westinghouse 24C turbojet engines of unknown thrust output.
Max Speed
739 mph
(1,190 kph | 643 kts)
Cruise Speed
553 mph
(890 kph | 481 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+186 mph
(+300 kph | 162 kts)
Ceiling
44,997 ft
(13,715 m | 9 mi)
Range
969 mi
(1,560 km | 2,889 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
11,900 ft/min
(3,627 m/min)


♦ 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


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Lockheed L-169 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
PROPOSED:
6 x 20mm automatic cannons fitted under the nose or in the wing leading edges.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0


L-169 - Base Project Designation.


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