Eurofighter Typhoon with conformal fuel tanks

Apr 22 2014 - 11 Comments

A Typhoon model fitted with conformal fuel tanks

CFTs (Conformal Fuel Tanks) have always been one of the features Eurofighter was thinking about since the Typhoon was pitched for the Indian MMRCA (Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft) and UAE fighter deals.

It looks like BAE Systems has eventually started the testing that will help to accelerate the clearance process by assessing the aerodynamic characteristics of carrying two fuselage mounted conformal fuel tank at the company’s world class high speed wind tunnel facility in the UK.

Actually, a mock up Typhoon was already fitted with CFTs and showcased at several exhibitions and airshows around the world, including Al Ain, earlier this year, where photographer Luigi Sani took the image below.

Typhoon CFT Al Ain

Image credit: BAe Systems (Top); Luigi Sani (Bottom).

The Typhoon is not only getting the CFTs: testing has also started to integrate air-launched cruise missiles, like the Storm Shadow and the Taurus.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • big john ok

    The typhoon is already a sexy jet, those conformal tanks just dont look right on it.

    • Matthew Morgan

      Was never a huge fan of the delta wing, but dear god do those conformal tanks ruin the aesthetic of the plane.

  • Guillermo

    that tunnel looks to me that is subsonic. As is possible to apreciate the end of it.

    • Roland Lawrence

      maybe super cruise is not possible with the tanks fitted?

  • OG_Locc

    Those things are HUGE. Any info on what the additional range is supposed to be?

  • Gyoz

    Agree… Worst looking conformal tanks to date. Probably the studied different solutions and this ended up being to more aerodynamic.

  • damian poole

    I kinda like how it looks from the front. If im not mistaken they are 2000lt each?

  • theworkingclass

    Fighter jets aren’t made to be beautiful, they are made to be deadly. Is the advantage to their time on station offset by reduced aerodynamic capabilities? How does this affect their radar signatures?

  • Roland Lawrence

    Conformal tanks are a nice way of saying it dosent have the range that it should have. The Typhoon was a lovely looking machine. Not so much now though. Seems like the F15 had it right all along – range, manoeuvrability & weapons!

  • test

    wait we are in the century of stealth air craft, why they need to make a plane even more targetable?

  • TheRedLeaf

    http://defense-update.com/20140416_russian-air-force-receive-new-mig-29s.html#.U1qeNyg5QeA

    It seems as if Europe is not the only customers interested in conformal fuel tanks. Since Israel’s f-16 haunch tanks came out it seems other countries have been interested in extra fuel packaged like this. If speed and maneuverability is the main offset to these aircraft, then is the new incentive for air forces “range” or “time” over/to target?