RA-10-10 Perigrine Total Air Superiority Fighter

RA-10-10 PhotoGallery

During my trip to Quebec, I took with me a drawing pad, a good pencil and a ruler. I decided I would draw up a few designs so I would have something to start with when I got home. Those few designs turned into twenty, and one of the most intriguing of the designs was the RA-10-10. Originally just RA-10 (RyanAircraft Design 10), I made a revised version of the drawing, in color (available at the photo gallery), designated RA-10-10. Differences were that the original RA-10 was going to be strictly a Mach 3 interceptor, maneuverability and range be damned! The -10, however, had a much more broad and useful role: ASF. The aircraft was to be agile, fast, and possess terrific range and combat radius. This, as you can imagine, poses a few major design problems. The first of which is the maneuverability aspect. How do you create a fighter that you want to go 2,000 mph agile? The engines alone add a lot of weight, and structural bracing adds weight as well. The key was in wing area, although that in itself adds tons of supersonic drag. I needed to create an aircraft with a large amount of wing sweep, large wing area but not too much wing as to make it too dirty. This was tough. The aircraft would handle like a turkey if it wasn't for the relaxed stability. The aircraft is built around relaxed stability. Thank you FBW!

The next innovation in the aircraft was the fold-away canards. I identified right off that if I wanted to give the aircraft the maneuverability I needed, a standard delta configuration was not going to cut it. But the canards also posed a problem. Mach 3 is a strange boundary, and I was positive that it wasn't going to be too kind to thin canards in the front of the aircraft. It would probably kill roll control by bathing the entire rear of the aircraft in shockwaves. Variable geometry saved the day. By making thin, long canards, the aircraft would be able to maneuver well at low speeds. The canards would retract into the nose before Mach was broken. The original prototype, YRA-10-10, had these thin canards. Problem is, they were too thin. It was worried that they would not survive the test of time during high-stress flight. Also, even though high-speed maneuverability was good with canards stowed away, it was clear that the agility would be much improved in the 300mph-500mph range if canards could be extended, which they could not be because of G limitations. This would not do. RA-10-10, the production version, features broader canards of shorter length. Also, when retracted, two little canardletts poke out of the fuselage, bathing the fuselage in a shockwave, greatly reducing drag.

Powerplant and Avionics

The immediate choice of powerplant was the domestic RJ-84-1200 afterburning turbofan, the newest development of the original RJ-84 vector-thrusting turbofan. This was chosen as it gave a lot of commonality to the RyanAircraft fleet, and it has an exceptional reliability and service life record. Also, with 30,000 pounds of thrust each, it was plenty of engine. With a combined 60,000 pounds of thrust, the RA-10-10 WOULD be Mach 3 capable if this performance could be upheld through super-sonic speeds. This meant a complex (and therefor heavy) variable-geometry inlet would be needed. Even though the inlet added quite a bit of weight, the large wing area still allowed for a very low wing-loading. Although vector-thrusting nozzles were given trial in place of the improved canards, the vector thrusting killed Mach 3 performance by lessening the efficiency of the engine. Radar was a look-down, shoot-down module capable of detecting targets up to 150miles and obtaining lock at 60miles. The FBW system is controlled by two ratheon computers, the same as used in the F-22A. The computers run the exact same data at the same time, as if one should fail the aircraft will not falter at all, the second will pick up where the first left off immediately. Handling is precise, more precise than even the Mirage 2000 or the F-16.


Max Speed (@ altitude) 2,000knots (Mach 3.3)
Max Speed (@ Sea Level) Mach 1.2
Max G-Load 10 to -4 gs (G limiter for pilot)
Take Off / Landing Speed 130knots
Maximum Ceiling 90,000ft
Full Afterburner @ 50,000ft 3,000+ NM, Mach 3.3
Supercruise @ 35,000ft (from Mach 3) 4,000+ NM, Mach 2.7
Supercruise @ 35,000ft (90% mil thrust) 5.3 Hours Loiter Time, Mach 1.2
Length 62ft
Weight (empty) 33,000lbs
Weight (max TO) 110,000lbs
Weight (fuel) 40,000lbs
Warload 5,000lbs

As the graph shows, the specs are pretty damn impressive. Although a relatively heavy aircraft (opposed to aircraft such as the F-30A or F-48A), the RA-10-10 is incredibly agile, able to even out turn both of the former aircraft. This is attributed to the massive amount of thrust and tremendously huge wing-area, not to mention the relaxed stability and maneuvering canards. Also, the TO and landing speed is lower than you might expect from and aircraft of its size. The canards help lower it a great deal, and if they can pop the nose up, the excess thrust pushes the aircraft skyward, even before the wings are creating quite enough lift. The short TO ability lets it operate from a great number of airfields, and even from damaged airfields.

Future Roles and Operation

Unfortunately, all the performance comes with a large price. The aircraft is fairly expensive, costing a little more than the new F-22A. For this reason, you can completely discount export buyers. If put into operation, however, it will prove to be the most capable and deadly fighter the skies have ever seen.

A variant that is being considered is the RA-10-30 Satellite Killer. Although using almost the exact same airframe, the aircraft will feature quite a strange upgrade: A third engine. There is room for a third engine between the two existing engines, and by installing it the aircraft's high-altitude performance will be increased greatly. Although it can fly straight and level at Mach 2.8 at 90,000ft, for truly successfully launching an Anti-Satellite Missile altitude ranging into the 130,000ft area would be optimal. Along with the third engine, most unnecessary avionics would be stripped, as well as the twin cannons to conserve weight. Only the required amount of fuel for the short flight would be carried, and some talk of a reaction control system for low-air flight is being considered, to give last-minute course corrections before missile release. This is a highly specialized role and it is unknown if it will progress past the design stage.

Another obvious variant is a high-altitude, high-speed recon aircraft, as its performance is very similar to the much more complicated, much older SR-71 Blackbird, in terms of speed and altitude. This would be an easy retrofit, with maybe only the addition of advanced recon pods being attached to the belly.

A more odd role considering the aircraft's design would be strike and attack. Although this is slightly conflicting with Mach 3, as any sort of bulky stores would cause massive supersonic drag, but the great low-speed handling has sparked a bit of interest for ground attack. The design being considered would remove the variable geometry inlets, giving it a max speed of around Mach 2, fixed, larger canards would also be added to give even greater low-speed maneuverability, and a beafier gear for rougher-fields.

Similar to the attack aircraft is a carrier-based fighter being looked at. Along with a much more strengthened, larger gear, the aircraft would feature variable geometry inlets, but of a simpler design. Larger, fixed canards would also be featured, and would be around 60 degrees sweep, so high-speed performance is still preserved. It is speculated that the aircraft would probably be able to break Mach 3, if not get very close to it, and would retain much of the same performance of the original, land-based design.


Originally the loadout was going to be two R-01 Cannons, as in the F-48A. As the speed in which the cannon would be employed was considerably higher, it was ascertained that a faster-firing cannon load-out would be required. The choice was quite unusual, two M61A1 cannons, mounted in the wing root and firing through the LERX. This gave a firing rate of 200 rounds per second, 12000 rounds per minute! This was far more than most aircraft. Each gun is fed off an 800 round drum, so at full firing rate the pilot has 8 seconds of gun fire. A small burst is all that is needed to destroy and aircraft, however, when you consider that a one second pull is enough to send 200 metal objects hurling at the enemy aircraft.

Wingtip-mounted IR missiles are chosen, the standard being the new AIM-9X, the most capable of the AIM-9 series. The standard load-out is four AIM-120Cs, and 4 AIM-9Xs. Although this adds a bit of drag, the aircraft is still capable of Mach 3 flight.


I hope you enjoy the RA-10-10 Perigrine... I sure have. It is easily the best thing to come out of the RyanAircraft Design Bureau, and one of the most capable aircraft ever.

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