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If the N-102 Fang arrived at it's final shape earlier...

KJ_Lesnick

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Though the most common image shown of the N-102 Fang was a design selected after it lost to Lockheed (they continued to try and figure out some role they could pitch to the USAF). My thought was, what if the design went from PD-1590 (2/22/52) which was one of it's earliest designs more rapidly to the PD-2001 (the last iteration, it had a horizontal stabilizer, and was powered by a J79) design by around the same time period that the actual aircraft had reached the tail-less delta with V-tail (somewhere between 7/31/52 to 12/1952)? They were already working on variations of delta-wings, and the only thing that seems iffy would be the conically cambered feature, but NACA had made several reports by 1951-1952* (source below).

I'm curious if such a design could have beaten the F-104 as is, or with a pointier nose?


Source is on page 51-53 if I recall
NASA Contributions to Aeronautics
 

Pioneer

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I'm of the opinion that the N-102 Fang would have been more versatile and much safe than the 'missile with a man in it'.
It would certainly have had more maneuverability against real-world adversary aircraft like MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21's, Mirage III, Hunter, F-86 and F-100.
Another important factor overlooked was the Starfighter's nassecity for a long and expensive runway, which I'm adimit the Fang wouldn't need....

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Pioneer
 

pathology_doc

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With the Fang in service, or at least a thing that's actually flying, is there even a reason for the existence of the F-5? Or do they occupy different niches?
 

Archibald

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I really don't know. At first glance, the N156F was born out of Northrop despair and frustration of the N102 going nowhere. The twin J85s particularly, were to make it much less expensive than the N102 standard jet engines. And it really worked superbly.

But there were also the N156T and a naval variant to fly out the five remaining Independance class CVLs (nine build, two lost, two to France as Lafayette & Bois Belleau).
I have no clue whether the N156N and N156T would exist had the earlier N102 been more successfull...
 

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