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Author Topic: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter  (Read 94517 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #120 on: December 07, 2014, 02:55:06 pm »
It repeats in text and drawing the story that the airplane should fit inside a C-5.

I do not know if I told the story here before, but back in the days when I was a language instructor in the French Armée de l'Air (as part of my national service) our  students ranked from young aspiring student warrant officer up to colonels. At night, after supper at the mess, we would often go for a drink with some of our students and after a couple of glasses, tongues would loosen and we would hear the occasional anecdote from a former presidential pilot or a Normandie-Niemen squadron leader. That was in 1988-89, about the time when the F-117 was first revealed.

One of the officers told us that during a visit on a Spanish Air Force base during the Libyan crisis, he had witnessed some cloaked aircraft being unloaded from a C-5 Galaxy (that would have been 1986). The conclusion that he was able to draw from the episode, his own questions to his Spanish colleagues and how it fitted in the chronology of events was that initially the US had deployed a stealth fighter in the Mediterranean for use against Khadafi's MiGs (so as to end the matter quickly and safely by benefitting from the effect of surprise) but that it was later decided to go for F-14s instead. When the F-117 was revealed in 1989, he believed that this was proof that his story was correct... Now of course we all know that the F-117 is NOT a fighter and would be terrible in any air combat situation, and besides an F-117 wouldn't easily fit in a Galaxy... So what secret aircraft, capable of swift air-to-air combat and fitting within a C-5, did he see exactly?

On a side note (not related to the stealth fighter) another officer claimed that during these operations, American aircraft sent  from England, which theoretically had to go around the Iberic Peninsula (i.e. Spain and Portugal, since non-NATO aligned France would not allow for them to fly over French territory) had in fact been allowed unofficially by the French government to fly over the Western Pyrenees at night. Yet another officer claimed that some French bases in the Southern Alps area had routinely let American aircraft transit during these events. It's always difficult to prove such things of course, but when enough separate testimonies add up, they can end up giving a pretty coherent picture.

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #121 on: December 07, 2014, 04:49:08 pm »
Very interesting indeed - thanks for sharing! -SP
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Offline quellish

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #122 on: December 08, 2014, 11:36:20 am »

One of the officers told us that during a visit on a Spanish Air Force base during the Libyan crisis, he had witnessed some cloaked aircraft being unloaded from a C-5 Galaxy (that would have been 1986). The conclusion that he was able to draw from the episode, his own questions to his Spanish colleagues and how it fitted in the chronology of events was that initially the US had deployed a stealth fighter in the Mediterranean for use against Khadafi's MiGs (so as to end the matter quickly and safely by benefitting from the effect of surprise) but that it was later decided to go for F-14s instead. When the F-117 was revealed in 1989, he believed that this was proof that his story was correct... Now of course we all know that the F-117 is NOT a fighter and would be terrible in any air combat situation, and besides an F-117 wouldn't easily fit in a Galaxy... So what secret aircraft, capable of swift air-to-air combat and fitting within a C-5, did he see exactly?




EL DORADO CANYON was to be the combat debut of the F-117, but it was decided not to use it at the last minute. According to persons who were with the program at the time, no aircraft left the US to participate. It's certainly possible that the C-5 was carrying support equipment for the F-117s, or that it was carrying something else.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #123 on: December 08, 2014, 01:55:18 pm »
EL DORADO CANYON was to be the combat debut of the F-117, but it was decided not to use it at the last minute. According to persons who were with the program at the time, no aircraft left the US to participate. It's certainly possible that the C-5 was carrying support equipment for the F-117s, or that it was carrying something else.

Thanks quellish. Following your comment I checked on the web for more info and the story of how they withdrew from using the F-117 at the last minute confirms the story I'd heard. I also found that what I'd been told back in the early 1990s about the use of F-117s in Panama has since been officially acknowledged, which I wasn't aware of.

Offline famvburg

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #124 on: December 09, 2014, 07:04:46 am »
ISTR AW&ST reported the use of the F-117 in Panama, but I may be remembering wrong.

Offline thefrecklepuny

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #125 on: December 09, 2014, 09:42:46 am »
ISTR AW&ST reported the use of the F-117 in Panama, but I may be remembering wrong.

I also read about the F-117 being used in Panama. Apparently 2,000lb unguided bombs were employed.

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #126 on: December 11, 2014, 10:42:46 am »
http://www.f-117a.com/Panama.html

The Panama mission (JUST CAUSE) has been public for a long time.
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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #127 on: December 11, 2014, 12:16:19 pm »
http://www.f-117a.com/Panama.html

The Panama mission (JUST CAUSE) has been public for a long time.

I'm not disputing the fact that it's been known and discussed for a while. I was talking of its being officially acknowledged; this 2003 page definitely was not official!

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #128 on: December 11, 2014, 04:23:25 pm »
It was world news on TV when it happened. -SP
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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #129 on: December 11, 2014, 04:30:04 pm »
It was world news on TV when it happened. -SP

I don't live in the US so I don't know exactly what was shown or said on TV back then.
However I vividly remember all commentators and journalists both on TV and in the press back in 1991 describing the F-117A's sorties over Baghdad as the type's first operational use.

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #130 on: December 11, 2014, 04:50:11 pm »
I'm afraid they were wrong. To the best of my recollection both ABC World News and CNN in the U.S. covered F-117s in Panama. -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #131 on: December 12, 2014, 03:56:56 am »
Oh, okay. Can a mod perhaps remove this string of useless posts on Panama? I'll edit my initial post accordingly. Thanks.

Offline tacitblue

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #132 on: December 19, 2014, 11:35:33 am »
I have a hard time believing in the f 19 stealth fighter.  For starters the USA would not need to send super secret invisible fighters to deal with Libyan migs.  They could have sent over some t6 texans with 50 caliber guns for that job!

Secondly work backwards the timing for when the program was started to when the hypothetical airplane entered service.  LOCKHEED still couldn't design the atf to be an effective fighter and Northrop was still experimenting with curved shaping.


Offline Dynoman

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #133 on: December 19, 2014, 04:31:51 pm »
Oddly enough, the US Air Force National Museum lists the "Lockheed F-19 CSIRS" in its "Aircraft Fighter Designations."
http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/research/aircraft/fighter/index.asp
 
Second column, fifth from the bottom.
 
Maybe a joke, someone entered the info not realizing the designation wasn't real, or maybe F-19 was used during development of the F-117A?
 
The picture is, I believe the CSIRS by Mark Kopp. How accurate the aircraft is that reflects the CSIRS study aircraft concept I don't know.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: F-19: artists impressions of the Stealth Fighter
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2014, 05:27:08 pm »
Considering the style of the artwork and the company's practice at that time of incorporating the design number into the paintings, I think it is a safe bet to assume that this image depicts the Northrop N363. This number is perfectly coherent with the Northrop design number chronology, placing it in 1983.

However, the would-be F-19 demonstrator, if ever built, would have been prior to that, presumably around 1981, which has led some to believe that it may have been related to another Northrop design, the smaller scale THAP demonstrator, rather than the full-scale operational CSIRS in the picture. But then a whole lot of theories and conjectures have been associated to this whole matter, so that in the end it's hard to know what to think.

One thing I know for a fact:
>> The F-19, whether built or merely planned, could NOT be the F-117A for the simple reason that the latter was always meant as a pure low altitude ground attack platform, not a fighter. The unofficial secret F-"century" series types could be anything: attack, fighter, recce... but the regular F- series was for fighters/pursuits/interceptors or whatever.

One thing I have seen (even saved, but then lost in a computer crash):
>> In the early 2000s, the webpage of an industry subcontractor (whose name I forgot) listed the projects they had been involved in, and for each of them, provided a small recap of the aircraft's performances. Surprisingly, they listed the "F-19" as a program they'd worked on and provided a whole set of specs that was clearly for a fighter and had nothing to do with the F-117A. Now why would they do that? I could not say.

One thing I very much believe:
>> With stealth being completely new and unproven, the USAF likely didn't put all their eggs in one basket and must have considered several configurations for testing and possibly several companies each working on a different type of design. Perhaps there were only Have Blue and Tacit Blue, perhaps there could have been a couple more test planes in-between that are still unheard of. But of course if there ever were such planes, they probably were failures and/or crashed, otherwise we'd have heard about them and they'd be in a museum by now. They might also have been company-financed prototypes, hence the lack of obligation by the DoD to go public about them and the lack of desire from the companies to brag about failed projects.