Boeing X-32

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Boeing X-32
USAF X32B 250.jpg
Boeing X-32B at takeoff
Type: Prototype of a multi-role fighter
Design country:

United StatesUnited States United States



First flight:

September 18, 2000


Flight tests ended in 2001

Production time:

Was never mass-produced

Number of pieces:


The Boeing X-32 is a technology demonstrator that competed against the Lockheed Martin X-35 technology demonstrator in the Joint Strike Fighter program .


The requirements for the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) were created in the Joint Advanced Strike Technology program. The X-32 competed against the X-35 developed by Lockheed Martin . On October 26, 2001 it was decided that the construction contract for the future Joint Strike Fighter should be awarded to Lockheed Martin, whereupon the further development was stopped.

The design of the X-32 was relatively unusual - especially when compared to the more conventional X-35 - and had large, delta-shaped wings that were very thick and therefore stable and could hold over 8,000 kg of fuel. Later designs saw a more conventional combination of - still one piece - swept wings and elevators at the stern. The fuselage hangs under the wings like a box open at the front and back. At the front opening is the angular air inlet for the engine, which is mounted relatively far forward in the fuselage. To the side of the air and engine bay are the avionics and in the middle area the two weapon bays, each with space for a JDAM and an AIM-120 AMRAAM . The main landing gear is retracted into the wings, the nose landing gear under the air intake. The aircraft should have stealth properties , but be produced relatively cheaply, which was achieved through this unusual design.

The engine used is a Pratt & Whitney JSF119-614, a modified version of the F119 of the F-22 . The rectangular nozzle can be closed for short and vertical landing. The complete thrust is then deflected downwards by two swivel nozzles placed at the center of gravity. There are several control nozzles in the bow, stern and wings for stabilization.

Three versions of the X-32 were designed. The basic model for the US Air Force , a version for the US Navy with reinforced landing gear, larger wings and catch hooks as well as the version for the US Marines , which can take off briefly and land vertically ( STOVL version).

Boeing built two airworthy machines. The first flight of the technology demonstrator X-32A took place on September 18, 2000 from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base . The X-32B, which demonstrated the short take-off and vertical landing capabilities, had its maiden flight on March 29, 2001. It was smaller than the X-32A. The transition to hover was first tested on June 24, 2001, the first vertical landing was on June 27, 2001 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The X-32 is smaller, faster and more maneuverable than the X-35, but it could carry less payload. The flight tests of the X-32B, for example, were carried out with a shortened air inlet in order to save weight. The cockpit had high-resolution screens for control purposes, and many functions could be controlled by voice commands or display reflections in the pilot's helmet.

The X-32A is currently in the National Museum of the United States Air Force ( Dayton , Ohio ) and is being restored. It was decommissioned on February 3, 2001 after more than 60 missions and 50 flight hours. The X-32B had completed 78 test missions and 43 flight hours by its decommissioning on July 28, 2001. Since March 31, 2005, the X-32B is in the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum ( Maryland issued) in addition to the X-35C.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data X-32A Data X-32B
crew 1
length 15.47 m 14.03 m
span 10.97 m 9.15 m
Wing area 54.8 m² 46.82 m²
Wing extension 2.19
Wing loading
  • minimum (empty weight): 186 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. take-off weight): 414 kg / m²
height 5.28 m 4.02 m
Empty mass approx. 10,200 kg
Max. Takeoff mass approx. 22,700 kg
g limits −3 / + 9 g
Top speed Mach 1.5 or 1593 km / h (with afterburner at optimal altitude)
Service ceiling 16,700 m
Use radius approx. 1100 km with two 900 kg bombs
Engine a General Electric YF-120-FX
or a Pratt & Whitney JSF119-614 - turbofan engine
  • with afterburner: 155.69 kN or 178 kN (GE engine)
  • without afterburner: 124.59 kN
Thrust-to-weight ratio
  • maximum (empty weight): 1.56
  • minimum (max.starting mass): 0.7
Armament a 27 mm Mauser BK 27 cannon with
approx. 5400 kg weapon load in two weapon bays and external suspensions

See also


  • Claudio Müller: Airplanes of the World 2002. Verlag NZZ, Zurich / Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-613-02196-X .

Web links

Commons : Boeing X-32  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Description on p. 40 (X-32). (PDF; 1.2 MB) Retrieved April 8, 2013 .