Click to Watch in HD > Stealth Aircraft documentary | aircraft uses stealth technology to avoid detection by radar.
Watch Stealth aircraft are designed to avoid detection using a variety of technologies that reduce reflection/emission of radar, infrared,visible light, radio-frequency (RF) spectrum, and audio, collectively known as stealth technology. Development of stealth technology likely began in Germany during World War II, the prototyped Horten Ho 229 was designed for twin BMW 003 jet engines but finally powered by twin Junkers Jumo 004 jet engines being described as the first stealth aircraft. Well-known modern examples of stealth of U.S. aircraft include the United States F-117 Nighthawk (1981–2008), the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II.
While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft make it more difficult for conventional radar to detect or track the aircraft effectively, increasing the odds of an aircraft successfully avoiding detection by enemy radar and/or avoiding being successfully targeted by radar guided weapons. Stealth is the combination of passive low observable (LO) features and active emitters such as Low Probability of Intercept Radars, radios and laser designators. These are usually combined with active measures such as carefully planning all mission maneuvers in order to minimize the aircrafts radar cross section, since common actions such as hard turns or opening bomb bay doors can more than double an otherwise stealthy aircrafts radar return. It is accomplished by using a complex design philosophy to reduce the ability of an opponents sensors to detect, track, or attack the stealth aircraft. This philosophy also takes into account the heat, sound, and other emissions of the aircraft as these can also be used to locate it.
Full-size stealth combat aircraft demonstrators have been flown by the United States (in 1977), Russia (in 2010) and China (in 2011). The U.S. military has adopted three stealth designs, and is preparing to adopt the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
Most recent fighter designs will claim to have some sort of stealth, low observable, reduced RCS or radar-jamming capability, but there has been no air-to-air combat experience against stealth aircraft.
World War I and World War II
The Linke-Hofmann R.I prototype. An experimental, German World War 1 bomber, covered with transparent covering material (1917-1918)
During World War I, the Germans experimented with the use of Cellon (Cellulose acetate), a transparent covering material, in an attempt to reduce the visibility of military aircraft. Single examples of the Fokker E.III Eindecker fighter monoplane, the Albatros C.I two-seat observation biplane, and the Linke-Hofmann R.I prototype heavy bomber were covered with Cellon. In fact, sunlight glinting from the material made the aircraft even more visible. Celon was also found to be quickly degraded both by sunlight and in-flight temperature changes so the attempt to make transparent aircraft was not proceeded with.
In 1916, the British modified a small SS class airship for the purpose of night-time aerial reconnaissance over German Empire lines on the Western Front. Fitted with a silenced engine and a black gas bag, the craft was both invisible and inaudible from the ground, but several night-time flights over German-held territory produced little useful intelligence, and the idea was dropped.
Nearly three decades later, a more serious attempt at radar invisibility was tried with the Horten Ho 229 flying wing fighter-bomber, developed in Nazi Germany during the last years of World War II. In addition to the aircrafts shape, the majority of the Ho 229s wooden skin was bonded together using carbon-impregnated plywood resins designed with the purported intention of absorbing radar waves. Testing performed in early 2009 by the Northrop-Grumman Corporation established that this compound, along with the aircrafts shape, would have rendered the Ho 229 virtually invisible to the top-end HF-band, 20-30 MHz primary signals of Britains Chain Home early warning radar, provided the aircraft was traveling at high speed (approximately 550 mph (890 km/h)) at extremely low altitude - 50–100 feet (15–30 m).
IIn the closing weeks of World War II, the US military initiated Operation Paperclip, an effort by the US Army to capture as much advanced German Wunderwaffe weapons research as possible, and also to deny that research to the advancing Red Army.