F/A-20A Hammerhead

A while ago a Royal Danish Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, “TIB” Guilbert, contacted me about making a prototype stealth fighter to demonstrate a concept he described as being a small, but very maneuverable jet fighter with limited stealth capabilities. I did several drafts and kept the project going as a fun pass time when I wasn’t teaching or working with hard deadlines. During June / July 2022 I discovered there was a possibility to implement the model I had created in MS Flight 2020 – and now it’s almost fully functional – it’s lacking a few things in the cockpit, but exterior wise it’s pretty cool – even comes with thrust vectoring and multi rudder controls. Needless to say the Lt. Col. is very happy with the result 🙂

You can check out the F/A-20A Hammerhead exterior test here, as long as you forgive me for being a super bad pilot when I’m steering the plane from that angle

Thrust vectoring and multi rudder controls are functional! 🙂
Modding MSFS is easy in the beginning, but then it gets super detailed and the SDK support is a little flaky at this point ( it is getting better by every update though ).

The aircraft design itself is based on the YF-23 ( you can tell by the pelican tail ) the F-16 ( small size, big engine ) the SR-71 ( the chines around the nose ) and the F/A-18 both in multi rudder functionality, but I also had to lend a great deal from the F/A-18 in MSFS to emulate a jet fighter, especially the afterburner. – and finally the F-35 ( thrust vectoring idea from the B model, nozzle design and the diverterless intakes ). Here’s a few sketches and pics from the development process:

One of the final concepts of the Hammerhead, seen here in “beastmode” with exterior weapons mounted and a Su-75 looming ominously behind it!
A very early concept blueprint
Fusion 360 render after CAD modeling was done ( note the small droptanks – these were later increased in size to hold 300 gallons each ).
Early concept with a very short airframe, this was lengthened ( but only to 12 meters / ca. 39 feet ) which makes the jet extremely agile, but shortens its effective range significantly, hence the droptanks and conformal tanks that are present in most images and videos of the aircraft 🙂
Speed painting of the jet in a FOB ( Forward Operations Base, basically a highway with a fuel truck ) – the silly characters are part of a cartoon universe I’m creating that also uses the jet – you can find out more about that here

Here’s a preliminary study on how the control surfaces would work in conjunction with each other:

3D printed version, I really wanted to know if I could make a DIY kit that would allow users to print their own, paint and display it as a model at home – the landing gear was the hardest part, but it works 🙂

PLA print with airbrushed camo scheme – decals are “stolen” from an F-16 model.

I also did an airflow study, sadly the digital wind tunnel was only able to emulate relatively slow speeds, so the study only really shows that the design would generate lift while on the approach ( which is ofcourse, a good thing 🙂 ):

As you can tell – the canards are missing here, they were added later to ensure the high level of maneuverability that the Lt. Col. requested.
There’s still a few things that need fixing before the jet can be released on the MSFS 2020 marketplace, but hopefully during 2023 it will appear as an item on there 🙂 – naturally we want to syncronize the release with the other related merch and the board game, so stay tuned 🙂

I’ll leave y’all with a short desert test flight 🙂

Low and fast 😀

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