Author Topic: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)  (Read 142 times)

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Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« on: September 29, 2022, 09:43:10 AM »

Aizawa-Shinoda, formerly the individual companies known as Aizawa Aircraft Company and Shinoda Hikoki, has long been one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in Daitō and certainly the largest manufacturer of military aircraft within the country. Known for such aircraft as the M4 and the J11, both of which were revolutionary when they were new, it has often been seen as being on the cutting edge of military aviation. However, one aircraft that they made holds a special place within the hearts of many an enthusiast, that being the J7, a derivative of the now-replaced J6. As it has aged, the Imperial Daitōjin Air Force has sought an aircraft comparable to it, something which will be cheap enough to field in large numbers but with improved capabilities over its predecessor. It is for that reason that Aizawa-Shinoda has been contracted to build the J14.

(OOC note: From this point onwards, information is classified)

In order to avoid the exceptionally slow and expensive research and development seen on the J11 and A9, the Ministry of War issued the following guidelines for the vehicle's development a few years ago:
   1.) "A very fast project definition process. A sensible low-risk hard- and software solution is chosen and frozen within a year. Regular software updates are planned. A 1-year PD phase seems almost impossible if there were to be competition between A-S and Zayasu. The acquisition approach is to be a Government-directed prime contractor and engine supplier (Uechi Technologies, on the grounds that the J-119 will remain in production throughout the program). Then a Wraith Works-like programme against a well-defined, but small, set of mandatory requirements, with freedom given to the main contractor to choose sub-contractors. The Government will specify the weapons fit, digital interfaces for datalinks and weapons, and all other sub-contractors to be selected by prime. The contract will be incentivized for rapid delivery, with stage payments for demonstration of successful integration of specific sensors and weapons systems. This approach should meet IDAF objectives for timeliness, while ensuing a reasonable sharing of risk between Government and Industry."
   2.) "Move fast enough to minimize pork-barreling. Bypass politicising the project through the removal of competitive element — all primary components sources decided at a very early stage unilaterally (and the same with secondary sources in the case of serious issues with primary contractors). As an alternative solution, 3D printing away from conventional factories could partly solve the pork barreling issue."
   3.) "The smallest, lowest tech production line possible is used. Plans are made for rapid expansion if large export orders are received."
   4.) "Existing technologies used for engines, sensors, and materials. Existing components are further simplified where possible."
   5.) "A lower density design with surplus volume, surplus electrical generation. Minimum onboard computer intelligence and maximum data-linking."
   6.) "A simple fuselage shape with surplus volume that could potentially accommodate a game-changing advance in propulsion technology."
   7.) "Less emphasis on low radar signature than on the J11 and A9."
   8.) "3D printing used to maximum effect. Additive manufacturing. The application of 3D aerodynamic modelling to blended shapes."
   9.) "Accelerated multiple prototype/test aircraft project concentrates on reliability and upgradability. Large test fleet is kept throughout aircraft’s left to robustly test updates."

The J14 will serve as a multirole fighter, a capable long-range, supersonic, maneuverable aircraft for both the beyond- and within-visual range environments, although it will, by design, be capable of filling numerous roles for the Air Force. With that out of the way, we can now move on to the design itself.

The wings are based on those of the J7. The cranked arrow has an inboard section of increased sweepback, creating a controlled high-lift vortex without the need for a foreplane. The wing is efficient at high speeds aiding in creating a faster fighter than, for example, the Rokkenjiman RK-80N. The RK-80N's slowness is a disadvantage for the beyond-visual range mission. The wing also allows ample room for fuel (a higher hull fraction than for the J11) and external hardpoints (one notable issue that requires long rang is the likely ability of certain potential supercruising OPFOR stealth aircraft to outrange the J11s). The wing loading is lower than the RK-80N for most given configurations. Rather than emphasizing an extremely high speed that is rarely met (as is the case with the AS-51 Cobra and the RK-74 Imperatrix), the J14 is very comfortable achieving speeds in the Mach 1.8-2 range, rather like the Achkaerinese Raptorwing. The J14 is designed, at least in its initial variant, for unreheated supersonic performance at Mach 1.4 and by using reheat for acceleration, up to Mach 2.

On agility, the large wings grant it an exceptional instantaneous turn rate, and energy maneuverability should be up there with low wave drag and a good T/W. As primary design is for BVR, sustained turn performance is less important. Internal weapons are carried in intake trunking weapons bays, cutting into the lower wing fillets. Weapons will include new generation long range air-to-air missiles. The engines considered were the J110-ZD-129, offering commonality with the J9 but lacking sufficient thrust or the J135, which suffered technical issues. As a result, the chosen powerplant was instead the J119 of the J11. This would allow the engine to remain in production and would also benefit the J11 Kotsu fleet. Owing to this fact, the J119 was selected for use aboard the aircraft, with the earliest ones borrowing their engines from a few of the J11s as the simplified engines are brought into production, temporarily grounding said J11s, though only for a few months.

Primary sensors aboard the vehicle will be the Uechi-built AN/APG-77 AESA as well as the Aizawa-Shinoda-built AN/AAQ-36 EOTS and AN/AAQ-34 DAS. The cockpit is a step back from the A9, which is seen by many as having been a bit ahead of the state-of-the-art in some aspects. It was criticized for its absent HUD and the lack of feel and unreliability of inputted commands relating to the touchscreen-centric approach. The J14 cockpit addresses both issues, featuring a widescreen HUD in conjunction with a Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, a cheaper option than the J11 helmet system.

With modern infrared missiles almost guaranteeing a kill before fighters enter gun-range, a gun may seem an archaic inclusion, and certainly, this was a concern that was raised. However, there are several reasons that the J14 has its gun. The first is simply political: Gunless fighters have a poor reputation, while the second is practical: The J14 will inevitably end up performing Close Air Support missions. As a result, the venerable M-18 Kōjin will be mounted in the aircraft's starboard wingroot. It is, of course, not ideal to use supersonic-optimized fighters for CAS, and ideally the J14 will be complemented by new or existing subsonic aircraft better suited to the mission. With all of that out of the way, we can now begin to chronicle the development of the J14 Raijū, from testing of its individual components to it entering service.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2022, 04:40:27 AM by Daitō »
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Re: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2022, 03:19:13 PM »
CLASSIFIED
IRP Date: 05-18-2022

AIZAWA-SHINODA TESTS ENGINES FOR J14 PROTOTYPES


   Aizawa-Shinoda has conducted a series of tests on the J119 engines set to be used on first two XJ14 prototypes, formally given the long designations Type-82 98-Shi Jikken-yō rikujō sentōki (Experimental Land-Based Fighter) I & II, respectively. During the tests, the engines, which were lent by the 11th Fighter Wing in Anamizu Prefecture, Tsukishimadō, were put through their paces in order to check for any defects and to determine their suitability for use on the XJ14s. Marking the first of several milestones, it was one that was fully expected to go as intended as the engines themselves are not, by any means, new.

   In other news, although the airframe isn't intended to make use of radar absorbent materials such as those used on the J11, A9, and P6, the Air Force has recommended that Aizawa-Shinoda create a third prototype in order to test Ceramic Radar Absorbent Materials (C-RAM) ahead of its implementation on the planned P10 Stealth Bomber and in the Air Force's Jisedai no seikūken and the Navy's A-XX programs. This request has been made as the Air Force wishes to test the materials before the P10 enters service later this decade on a functional aircraft, with the XJ14, owing to its reduced radar cross-section provided by its shape, being seen as a cheaper option for testing which would not take any aircraft out of operation long-term and would provide a starting point for an additional variant of the aircraft when it goes into production.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 07:11:09 AM by Daitō »
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Re: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2022, 06:34:00 AM »
CLASSIFIED
IRP Date: 06-18-2022

J14 SENSOR SUITE DELIVERED


   Uechi Technologies delivered the first batch of its AN/APG-77 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system last week. First employed aboard the A9 Umikotsu, the radar is one of the best currently in use on Mundus. Despite initial plans to avoid using certain systems used aboard the A9, Aizawa-Shinoda has determined that the system, alongside the AN/AAQ-36 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) and AN/AAQ-34 Distributed Aperture System (DAS), will provide for greater survivability of the aircraft at a marginally higher price than if the GUNDAN pod had been installed. It will also lend itself to having a lower RCS should experiments with C-RAM prove fruitful, as the system is largely internal. As the first airframe is built over the next few months, basic testing of the systems will proceed as planned.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 06:18:49 AM by Daitō »
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Re: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2022, 02:26:28 PM »
CLASSIFIED
IRP Date: 08-29-2022

Construction of XJ14 Prototype begins


   Having brought together everything necessary for the XJ14, Aizawa-Shinoda has begun construction on the first vehicle, Type-82 98-Shi Jikken-yō rikujō sentōki I. The aircraft, nicknamed "Haiiro taka" or "Gray Hawk" by the engineers, is set to fly in October should everything go as planned and has been given the registration number AS141XJ. Its sister, AS142XJ, is set to begin construction next month and will enter use in November. Finally, the third aircraft, AS143XJ, is anticipated to begin construction in November and will hopefully fly in early 2023, NET January but more likely in February. The Imperial Daitōjin Air Force has assigned test pilots Maj. Hisamoto Ibayashi, Capt. Jinzaburō Daigo, and Capt. Hisato Yashiki to fly the prototypes starting in October.
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Re: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2022, 07:31:02 AM »
CLASSIFIED
IRP Date: 10-09-2022

Construction of XJ14 Prototype completed, conducts first tests


   Aizawa-Shinoda completed the construction of Type-82 98-Shi Jikken-yō rikujō sentōki I "Haiiro Taka" late last month, pulling on the latest in 3D printing technology to help speed up its production. Haiiro Taka has subsequently undergone its first round of testing, first of its flight control surfaces and its various subsystems. This was followed up by a number of takeoff runs starting on the 5th and concluding earlier today. The tests will continue until the 15th, at which point it is expected that the vehicle will begin flight tests on the 17th. The rapid construction of Haiiro Taka by the team at Aizawa Shinoda's Wraith Works has prompted a revisal of estimates on when the second and third prototypes could enter testing, with AS142XJ now expected to begin testing later this month and AS143XJ to take flight in December.
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Re: Building the Raijū (J14 Development Thread)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2022, 12:18:07 PM »
CLASSIFIED
IRP Date: 10-09-2022

XJ14 AS141XJ takes flight


   Piloted by Maj. Hisamoto Ibayashi, the first XJ14, AS141XJ, has taken to the skies for the first time. In a series of test flights over the course of the day, he demonstrated the aircraft's ability to take off, remain on station for multiple hours, and return safely to the airfield in Nichinan Prefecture, San'indō. The aircraft is scheduled to begin tests to qualify it for aerial refueling and then attempt to go supersonic for the first time later this week. It is anticipated that the J14 program will be disclosed to the public later today, however, details on it will remain minimal until the time comes that the vehicle is ready for export.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2022, 06:09:55 PM by Daitō »
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