The A-12 Avenger II “Flying Dorito” Has Wings Again!

In 1991 the US Navy Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program and the associated subsonic McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II two-seat stealth attack aircraft was cancelled. The program was plagued by delays and huge cost overruns. The design was simply way too ahead of its time!

A model of the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II two-seat stealth attack aircraft at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (2019)
A model of the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II two-seat stealth attack aircraft at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (September 2019)

Unfortunately the “Flying Dorito” never took flight and all that remains is the original mock-up aircraft that until very recently, sat in a bit of a sad state at the back of the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas, without wings (they were laying nearby). At the start of 2020, the museum has put them back on the mock-up and now it looks more like the model aircraft you can see inside the museum! Although just a mock-up, the A-12 Avenger II looks the real deal!

McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)
McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)
McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)
McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)

I recently swung by Meacham Field Airport to take a look but it was pretty late in the day and I had to settle for a glimpse of the mock-up through the airport fence. When compared to my pictures from my visit to the museum in September 2019, you can really see the difference!

The full scale McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up airframe at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Meacham Field Airport in Fort Worth, Texas (September 2019)
The full scale McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up airframe at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Meacham Field Airport in Fort Worth, Texas (September 2019)
Looking through the fence from the street at the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up airframe at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Meacham Field Airport in Fort Worth, Texas (September 2019)
Looking through the fence from the street at the McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up airframe at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum, Meacham Field Airport in Fort Worth, Texas (September 2019)
McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)
McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II mock-up with the wings reinstalled at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum in Texas (February 2020)

To read more about the cancelled ATA program, please take a look at my earlier post: What Might Have Been – The A-12 Avenger II.

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