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.
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.
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?
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!
wait we are in the century of stealth air craft, why they need to make a plane even more targetable?
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?
Hmm… a nice shower of fuel for the pilot when even the smallest bb hits those tanks.