air craft military Aircraft Military

Beauty or Beast? The Intriguing Story of Boeing’s X-32 Stealth Fighter

The F-35 Lightning II is gradually becoming a significant part of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as its allies’ forces. However, before its production and proliferation, it had to compete head-to-head with the Boeing X-32 fighter concept.

In the 1990s, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) contract competition marked a drastic shift in the structuring of U.S. air power. In contrast to past fighter contracts, the JSF aimed to find a jet that could perform multiple tasks adequately, simplifying procurement, training, and maintenance.

The JSF also aimed to streamline the force structure of the entire network of U.S. allies, with the same JSF serving multiple countries, improving network connectivity.

Four proposals were submitted for the JSF, with two chosen for prototype testing. The first airframe was the F-35’s ancestor, the Lockheed X-35, and the second was the Boeing X-32, which was deemed unattractive due to its unusual engine intake, bloated fuselage, and delta wing configuration. Although Boeing’s primary objective was not to create an attractive airplane, they emphasized the X-32’s low manufacturing and lifecycle costs to win the JSF contract.

However, the X-32’s flight tests were not streamlined, with mechanics having to reconfigure the aircraft between Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) and supersonic modes, unlike Lockheed’s entry, which could reconfigure mid-flight. As a result, the JSF evaluators favored the X-35, and the X-32 was not produced, with only two ever built, one in the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the other at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.

Related Posts

Cutting Ties: Turkey’s Solo Journey to Supercharged F-16s – Enhanced Radar, Advanced Missiles, and Independent Upgrades

The situation regarding Turkey’s acquisition of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets undergoes weekly fluctuations. It is probable that Turkey will internally enhance the fighters. Here’s What We Know: In…

Unleashing the VENOM: F-16 Fighter Jets Transformed into Cutting-Edge Experimental Drones

The US Air Force is seeking 1,000 guided unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to complement sixth- and fifth-generation fighters. In preparation for this endeavor, the Air Force plans to…

Next-Generation Dominance: US Navy’s Secretive F/A-XX Fighter Program to Supplant F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with $11.554bn Investment

The U.S. Navy is seeking over $11 billion by fiscal year (FY) 2028 for the development of the F/A-XX aircraft. This is the first time the service has…

Falling Short: US Air Force’s Critical Test Failure of Hypersonic AGM-183A ARRW Missile on B-52H Stratofortress Nuclear-Powered Bomber

On 13 March 2023, the US Air Force carried out another trial of a hypersonic missile. It has been discovered that the trial resulted in a lack of…

Mission Compromised: Shocking Revelation – Less than 30% of US F-35 Lightning II Fifth-Generation Fighters Combat-Ready

The Ministry of Defence is facing recurring issues with its fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II jets. Only a fraction of the aircraft are fully operational. Here’s What We Know:…



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *