Stealth Home.
Physics of Stealth.
German Designs.
U.S. First Generation Designs.
Modern Designs.

Why stealth?  I know a little about it from working on the F-22 Raptor for two years

in the U.S. Air Force but I wanted to

know more.  I wanted to learn how a plane

as big as a F-22 Raptor or B-2 Spirit can have the radar cross section of a bird. For that matter, I wanted to know how a radar cross section was derived and how radar worked in the physical world.



To the left and below are some pictures of me when I was in the Air Force posing around a F-22 Raptor at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.


The F-22 Raptor is the premier fighter in the United States arsenal and I talk about it in depth in the Modern Design section of this site.

Stealth, what is it? According to Hollywood, it is a system that can be turned on and off.  When on all of the cockpit lights go red and the aircraft completely disappears from radar.  While this is a fun way to think of stealth technology it is completely wrong.  

Stealth is achieved by the combination of multiple characteristics of an aircraft.  The characteristics that make an aircraft stealthy are:

1. Shape of the Aircraft

2. Heat dissipation of Exhaust

3. Skin of the Aircraft

4. Electromagnetic Countermeasures

The heat dissipation is essential to evade heat seeking weapons and infrared early warning systems.  The skin of the aircraft refers to the paint that is used on the aircraft that can absorb radar signals.  The Electromagnetic Countermeasures are measures taken by the aircrew to mask, or hide, their radio signals.  While all of these characteristics are important to the overall stealth of the aircraft, the most important characteristic that a stealth aircraft requires is what is called the “stealth shape.”  This will be the main focus of this site.



Class Info:


Michael Lowe

Physics 212X F03

23 November 2009