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Big-wing F-5s and F-5G/F-20 alternative designs

BillRo

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In 1978 Northrop Advanced Design was at work developing the single F-404 engined F-5 which became the Tigershark. Lee Begin was working in the F-18L project but was scandalized that Northrop would consider a single engined fighter. He had us F-18L guys do this design for a SuperTiger with a shoulder wing (more pylons and stores capability) and a cobra LEX and inlet. We did not succeed in selling the idea except for the improved rearward visibility which appeared on Tigershark.

BillRo
 

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overscan

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Thats a real beauty of a design. More so than the F-20, IMHO, and in some respects perhaps more useful as an F-5 successor.
 

Pioneer

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overscan said:
Thats a real beauty of a design. More so than the F-20, IMHO, and in some respects perhaps more useful as an F-5 successor.
I second that!!!!!!!!

Was the wing-area greater than that of the F-5E (a major shortfall of the later F-20 Tigershark)?
The additional hard points would have been a big advantage, making it a far more versatile!
Do you have a 3-view drawing of this SuperTiger design – so as to give a greater comparison to the F-5E/F-20?????????????????
I think this SuperTiger design with a single GE F404 would have been a winner

As a fan and advocate of the Lightweight Fighter principle
Regards
Pioneer
 

r16

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ı was under the impression that there was a similar stage between the F-5 and F-18 , but as I more impressions than knowledge this is by no way a critisism.
 

Archibald

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You mean the P.610 (I think that was the name of this project, but at the time the engine was the less powerfull YJ-101)
 

Kadija_Man

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Haven't the Iranians done something very similar with one of the aircraft they've derived from the F-5?
 

LowObservable

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Interesting - the first time I've seen a derivative aircraft produced by keeping the outer wings and forward and aft fuselage, and installing a new center-section.
 

BillRo

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I don't have a 3-view but there is probably enough in the rest of this picture series to derive one from an F-5E drawing.
 

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flateric

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Probably the best post of the month. Bunch thanks!
 

Just call me Ray

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Is it just me, or is the horiz stab on the high-wing version larger too?
 

Weaver

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Wasn't there an earlier high-wing F-5 (without the big LERX) called the N.300? It's in ASP - Fighters IIRC.
 

BillRo

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If you look at the high wing model you can see breaks fore and aft of the wing. We had another F-5E model with cuts each side of the center section, pulled the nose and tail off and plugged them into the new center section to demonstrate the concept; not much more work than designing a new fuse for a single engine. So the tail was unchanged.
 

Pioneer

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Thanks for the additional views BillRo!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Creative

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Sigh, what could have been :( She's a beauty, thanks for sharing that :)
 

Pioneer

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Hello gents

Always been a big fan of the concept and designs of 'Lightweight Fighters'
One of these designs which I favoured and unfortunately did not materialise was the Northrop F-20 Tiger Shark.
One of the down falls of the F-20, by Northrop designers & engineers was the issue of incorporating a much more powerful General Electric F404 turbofan engine - which significantly improved thrust (and thrust-to-weight ratio), but failed to incorporate a greater wing area to complement this boast in power. I have read in a few text that Northrop was working on a wing of increased wing-area to fix this off balance.

Does anyone know of or have drawing/details of this proposed larger wing design by Northrop?
Or is anyone handy enough with drawing or CGI to create what it would have looked like when compared to the F-5E Tiger II type wing?

Thanks in advance
Pioneer
 

prolific1

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I suppose I could make a 3 view with sufficient reference. I just wrapped up a profile of a Griffon inside of a week. I could also make a cutaway but that would take too long (40+hrs minimum) to do for "fun."
 

Sundog

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Wasn't construction on a fourth F-20 with the larger wing already started when they canceled it? Man, that was sooooo long ago.
 
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Ian33

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In the Warbird Tech (44) F-5/F-20/T-38 book, there is no mention of a bigger wing. It does state that the leading and trailing edge flaps needed a re-design to increase turn rate, but nothing about needing a larger wing at all.

I had a look as its packed with great bits about the aircraft, but alas no larger winged pics / text.
 

mz

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This is just one example of what was done there, the high-wing F-5G:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4513.0.html
 

TinWing

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Sundog said:
Wasn't construction on a fourth F-20 with the larger wing already started when they canceled it? Man, that was sooooo long ago.
As I recollect, the definitive F-20 was supposed to a wing area of 200 sq. ft. as opposed to the 186 sq. ft. of the F-5E/F and the initial F-20 prototypes.

I'm not sure how the additional wing area was obtained? I believe the leading edge root extension was increased in size, but I think that span remained constant? What about wing chord? Was it increased?
 

Pioneer

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I suppose I could make a 3 view with sufficient reference.
I would very much appreciate both your time and effort! Lets see what info/specifications this great site can dig up!

I could also make a cutaway but that would take too long (40+hrs minimum) to do for "fun."
Thanks - but as much as it would look great - 40hrs is a few days of ones life!

Wasn't construction on a fourth F-20 with the larger wing already started when they canceled it? Man, that was sooooo long ago.
You may be right with the fourth prototype under construction!
You are correct in saying it was so long ago! 'Showing my age now!
I remember as a kid at school writing a letter (that how long ago it was - writing and not typing ;D)
to Northrop & to my suprise receiving an envelope full of F-5G / F-20A drawings, picture and specifications.
I still have the broachers somewhere - I will endeavour to find them!!!

Thanks for your efforts everyone.
I will try to find more info in my books that are all packed away!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Stargazer2006

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Assuredly one of the best posts of the week/month!!!

Any explanation as to why the high-wing version shows a shorter fuselage?
 

Sundog

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Stargazer2006 said:
Assuredly one of the best posts of the week/month!!!

Any explanation as to why the high-wing version shows a shorter fuselage?
I was thinking for lower weight and that it was possibly optimized for transonic maneuver capability, but I'm just guessing. It seems to me this probably didn't progress, because Northrop wanted to sell the F-18L, but that's just another guess on my part as well. It is a very nice looking plane.
 

supacruze

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Sounds like an Insider...
Bill, since you sound like you were working on this project and have first hand knowledge... I have a question....
I have always been curious as to why Northrop persisted with developments of the F-5 given the saturation of the market at the time (F-16, F-18, Mirage 2000).... what was Northrop's rationale or strategy?

thanks... :)
 

ron m

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There was a study done with a larger wing F-20. This was to increase the turn rate. It was to keep the same span, but increase the chord of the wings and flaps. This would have decreased the wing loading, but hurt the aspect ratio. If I remember correctly, they were looking at a 240 sq ft wing. It was not considered an ideal solution, but the program died before more studies were done.
Ron
 

circle-5

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Before the big-wing F-20, there was the big-wing F-5. As shown on this factory model, this allowed for extra hard points and extra bombs. There was probably more to it, however... Note USN markings and arresting hook. Those big wings were probably designed to fold up.
 

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Sundog

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Another one I haven't ever seen before. Thanks for sharing. :)
I feel for those little J85's and that load-out. "I think I can, I think I can..." ;)
 

AeroFranz

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The navy model picture shows spoilers for direct lift control while on the glidepath.
 

taildragger

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My understanding, not based on any inside knowledge, is that the F-5G/F-20 was to be an export fighter with less offensive capability than the F-16 or F-18. This was encouraged by the Carter administration, which was reluctant about arms sales anyway, but was probably particularly motivated by the need to arm Taiwan in a way that minimized upset to the newly recognized PRC. GD responded to the same requirement with the F-16/79 which probably would have been less attractive to small airforces just because it was so obviously a deliberately second-rate aircraft for allies that couldn't be trusted with the good stuff.
The F-20 was a bet on continuation of the Carter foreign policy. A bigger wing would have confered a greater turnrate but also increased the payload/range capability and so moved it out of the intended market niche. When the Reagan administation liberalized arms sales, that niche largely disappeared and the F-20 wound up in a competition with the F-16 for which it wasn't intended.
 

OM

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taildragger said:
My understanding, not based on any inside knowledge, is that the F-5G/F-20 was to be an export fighter with less offensive capability than the F-16 or F-18. This was encouraged by the Carter administration, which was reluctant about arms sales anyway, but was probably particularly motivated by the need to arm Taiwan in a way that minimized upset to the newly recognized PRC. GD responded to the same requirement with the F-16/79 which probably would have been less attractive to small airforces just because it was so obviously a deliberately second-rate aircraft for allies that couldn't be trusted with the good stuff.

The F-20 was a bet on continuation of the Carter foreign policy. A bigger wing would have confered a greater turnrate but also increased the payload/range capability and so moved it out of the intended market niche. When the Reagan administation liberalized arms sales, that niche largely disappeared and the F-20 wound up in a competition with the F-16 for which it wasn't intended.
...This sums up part of a 1983 lecture we were given in NROTC on why the Carter Misadministration was such a clusterfrack where the US national defense and geopolitical force disposition was concerned. Almost point-for-point where the F-5G/F-20 was concerned, including the disparity between the Tigershark and the Falcon being due to the simple fact that they were never intended to be competitors.

...That being said, I've still always had a major admiration for the Tigershark, and was probably as disappointed as any other fan of this bird when it didn't sell. I still believe it would have been the perfect opportunity to arm our allies with what was essentially a new fighter without a) giving them used hand-me-downs or discards, and b) giving them something better than we had just in case some bunch of Islamic idiots seized power and decided to play stupid intelligence swapping games like the Iranians did with the F-15 parts to the Soviets.

...On a more personal note, I wish I still had a copy of a December 1982 issue of the unit's newsletter, where I'd mocked up a great fake ad for the Tigershark using a photo from Air Farce magazine and some discarded 50's clipart from a Subgenius punk flyer I'd done for a local band. The ad presented the Tigershark as "The perfect family attack fighter, one that even Mom could fly!" Alas, the unit never kept copies of the newsletter in the library archives, and the few former midshipmen I keep in irregular touch with never kept theirs either. I may try to recreate that faux ad one day, because it got a lot of laughs at the time.
 

Sundog

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With all due respect, you'll find the USAF wanted to sell F-16's, and not F-20's, because that drove down the price of the F-16, making them cheaper for the USAF as well. The fact that all most of those countries needed was the F-20 and not the F-16 was largely irrelevant.

In much the same sense that many countries buying F-35's would be able to get by just fine with Gripens.
 

shivering

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How did the Iranians get ahold of F-15 parts? I assume
you mean F-14 parts....?
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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shivering said:
How did the Iranians get ahold of F-15 parts? I assume
you mean F-14 parts....?
Yeah, haven't heard about Iranian F-15's, only F-14's.
 

taildragger

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Sundog said:
With all due respect, you'll find the USAF wanted to sell F-16's, and not F-20's, because that drove down the price of the F-16, making them cheaper for the USAF as well. The fact that all most of those countries needed was the F-20 and not the F-16 was largely irrelevant.

In much the same sense that many countries buying F-35's would be able to get by just fine with Gripens.
Thanks for whatever respect is due. Had there been a second Carter term, the USAF desire to spread F-16 costs over export sales (probably anticipated by Northrop - they'd been exporting for a while afterall) wouldn't have mattered. The F-20 would have had a niche market protected from F-18s and real F-16s. I haven't seen a comparison, but I'm skeptical that the F-16/79 approach of inserting a lower-thrust, older generation engine into a great dogfighter achieved better results overall than inserting a higher-thrust, later-generation engine into a good dogfighter (even with the small wing). And, as mentioned earlier, an F-16/79 buy would have carried a stigma for the purchasing nation and airforce (like a diesel-engined Corvette, due no respect).
 

flateric

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To all:
Nazis are scumbags. Neo-nazis are scumbags. Will you call all the German nation scumbags then? No.
Iranian islamic leaders and head of state? Well, scumbags for me and for many. All the Iranian people? No.

I hope you read me. SPF never was, and will never be a place for such things. Check twice before you posting stuff like this.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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flateric said:
To all:
Nazis are scumbags. Neo-nazis are scumbags. Will you call all the German nation scumbags then? No.
Iranian islamic leaders and head of state? Well, scumbags for me and for many. All the Iranian people? No.

I hope you read me. SPF never was, and will never be a place for such things. Check twice before you posting stuff like this.
I naturally agree. I don't exactly remember what I wrote; I didn't mean to hurt anybody personally or collectively, but if anything I wrote could be misunderstood or if my lame efforts in humour were in bad taste, I humbly accept the edits.
 

OM

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shivering said:
How did the Iranians get ahold of F-15 parts? I assume
you mean F-14 parts....?
>sigh<, yeah I meant the Tomcat.
 
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