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! Unfortunately the “Flying Dorito” never took flight and all that… Read More The A-12 Avenger II “Flying Dorito” Has Wings Again!
Finding a Stealth Replacement for the Intruder The Grumman A-6 Intruder was a legendary long-range US Navy attack aircraft that could operate in all weather conditions, day or night. They served from 1963 through to the 1990’s with the US Navy and US Marine Corps and saw extensive combat in Vietnam during the 1960’s and early… Read More What Might Have Been – The A-12 Avenger II
The USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Program commenced in the 1970’s, then continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a development, demonstration and evaluation program for a new USAF fifth generation fighter with stealth technology to complement and eventually replace the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. Lockheed and Northrop proposals were accepted in October 1986 and the… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
By all accounts the 1980’s era Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a great fighter jet that was maneuverable with good short field capability. It was kind of like a super F-5E Tiger II with a new single General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan engine that boosted performance to Mach 2.0 and featured modern avionics, a Hands On Throttle… Read More The Survivors: Northrop F-20 Tigershark – A Formidible but Unlucky Jet Fighter!
In 1972 the USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program was launched to develop a smaller, highly maneuverable, lower cost air combat fighter to complement and conduct roles not suitable for the highly capable but expensive McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle air superiority fighter. This program ultimately pitted two contenders in a fly off, the General Dynamics YF-16… Read More The Survivors: Northrop YF-17 Cobra – The Unwanted Fighter with Quite a Legacy!