|Hello and welcome! Growing in an aviation family, I've always been drawn to airplanes, and with a lot of free time recently, I've been scouring the internet looking for all the aircraft that could have gone into service, or in some cases, should have gone into service! Below I shall start my list of aircraft that could have been. I will break this into chapters by country, and add more planes to each chapter as I have time to. Now please, sit back and enjoy.|
Chapter 1: United States of America.
The Northrop F-20 Tigershark.
Empty Weight- 13,150 lbs (5,090Kg)
Power plant- 1 X GE-404 Turbofan engine, producing 17,000 lbf or 76Kn
Armament- 2 x 20mm Pontiac M39a2 Cannons in nose, 280 rounds each.
Five external hardpoints capable of 8,000lbs(3,600Kg) of ordnance.
Initially the F-5G, the F-20 was Northrop corporations entry into the USAF FX Fighter program that occurred during the Carter administration. The F-20 was a major competitor to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, when compared some reports showed that compared to the F-15 or F-16 and other front line designs, the F-20 would require 53% less fuel, require 52% less maintenance, and had 63% lower operating and maintenance costs. Alas, the F-20 project would be killed by neglect from the airforce as it did not promote the fighter much, or at all in some cases. Many countries would have purchased the F-20 if the U.S. had adopted it, but the Airforce chose the F-16 instead, some say for purely political reasons. After six years with no sales the F-20 project was cancelled with three prototypes built and a fourth almost complete. The project cost 1.2 Billion U.S. dollars.
A video detailing some of the aspects of the F-20:
Its predecessor, the F-5 Freedom fighter, was featured in the hit Hollywood movie 'TopGun' as the fictional MiG-28 Fighter.
Its single GE-404 engine provided a 70% increase in thrust over the F-5s two GE J-85 turbojet engines.
The F-20 could carry the Aim-7 Sparrow series of missile in its prototype stage, whereas the F-16 A and B had to be modified to carry it.
The General Dynamics F-16XL
Crew- 1 or 2 depending on model. (Production were planned to have 2)
Empty Weight- 22,000 lbs (9,980Kg)
Power plant- 1 x GE F110 Turbofan engine, producing 17,000 lbf or 76.3Kn
Armament- 1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan gatling gun.
Twenty-seven hardpoints capable of 15,000lbs(6,800Kg) of ordnance.
Featuring a 'cranked arrow' design, the F-16XL is truly a unique and beautiful machine. The F-16XL was originally born as the F-16 SCAMP or F-16 Supersonic Cruise And Maneuver Prototype. In March 1981, the USAF launched the Enhanced Tactical Fighter program, designed to find a replacement for the aging F-4 Phantom and F-111 Aardvark aircraft. The General Dynamics F-16XL and the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle were the top two candidates. The F-16 out did the Eagle in almost every attribute except for a single very important feature, supercruise. In the end the USAF chose the Eagle as conversions of older F-15B's into F-15E's would cost less than the conversions of F-16B's into XL's. As with most cancelled aircraft projects, fingers began pointing at the politicians. The two existing XL's were mothballed but later retrieved by NASA for testing. NASA still operates the XL's and hopes to use them for many more years to come.
Video for the F-16XL:
The increase in wing and fuselage size brought on by the cranked arrow design gave the XL some improved features. It increased fuel capacity by 82%, the XL could carry twice as much ordnance as the base F-16 and could carry it 40% farther. The cranked arrow design also gave it an astounding number of 27 hardpoints.
Empty weight- 13,800 lbs (6,259Kg)
Power plant- 1 x Pratt & Whitney F401-PW-400 turbofan engine, producing ? lbf or ? Kn
Armament- 1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan gatling gun.
Four hardpoints capable of carrying either two AiM-7 Sparrows and two AiM-9 Sidewinders or four AiM-7s.
Developed in 1977 as a competitor to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier aircraft the XFV-12 was designed to keep the Mach 2 speed and AiM-7 carrying capability of the F-4 Phantom II and put it into a VTOL platform. The aircraft design looked solid on paper having a better air-to-air capability than the Harrier and the ability to fly supersonic. Unfortunately the aircraft was never powerful enough to achieve vertical flight even with augmentations and a better engine. Eventually the project was cancelled and the U.S. Marine Corps chose the Harrier, however, the XFV-12 stands out for its radical and visionary design.
Picture(Unable to find video):
To cut down on production and development costs the XFV-12 borrowed parts from other aircraft. Such as the cockpit from an A-4 Skyhawk and the intake of an F-4 Phantom II.
Because of its unusual design the XFV-12 wouldn't have been able to carry weapons underneath its wing, it could only carry four missiles under its fuselage.
The canards on the XFV-12 were 50% the size of the main wing, effectively making the XFV-12 a tandem wing aircraft.
Boeing YF-23 Black Widow II
McDonell Douglas A-12 Avenger II
|Chapter 2: Russian Federation/USSR (CCCP)|
Yakovlev YAK-141 (NATO Reporting name 'Freestyle')
Empty Weight- 25,683lbs (11,650Kg)
Power plant- 1 x MNPK Soyuz R-79V300 Lift/cruise turbofan, producing 24,300lbf or 152Kn
Lift engines- 2 x RKBM RD-41 turbojets, producing 9,300lbf or 41.7Kn each
Armament- 1 x GSh-301 30mm cannon, 120 rounds.
Five external hardpoints capable of 5,733lbs(2,600Kg) of ordnance.
Yakovlev's YAK-38 VTOL aircraft NATO repoting name 'Forger' Was seen as an interim aircraft by the Yakovlev design bureau, created to gain experience in the VTOL area. The Soviet navy wanted an aircraft with better capabilities than that brought with the Forger. The result was a contract given to Yakovlev in 1975, the project would bring the 'project 48' which would later turn into the YAK-141. The aircrafts demise came after one of the two flying prototypes landed roughly and ruptured a fuel tank, causing it to catch fire. Though the prototype was repaired, the navy cancelled funding. In response the Yakovlev group entered an agreement with Lockheed Martin corporation which was working on its now famous F-35 JSF. The YAK-141 would not live despite this agreement and the surviving aircraft would be put on display.
Video for the YAK-141 Freestlye:
The YAK-141 was featured as a late game enemy in the video game 'Over-G Fighters'.
The YAK-141s VTOL system is the inspiration for the F-35Bs and much of its technology has been used by Lockheed Martin for their F-35B Lightning II.
The YAK-141, like its predecessor the YAK-38, featured an automated ejection system,or AES. This system on the YAK-38 saved atleast two lives during the planes early years.
MiG MFI Project 1.44 (NATO reporting name 'Flatpack')
I'll do this one tomorrow when i'm not so tired...
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