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Northrop N-102 Fang light fighter

Antonio

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Northrop N-102 Fang Project
Hugh W Cowin
Air Pictorial

X-Fighters
Steve Pace
Motorbooks


Towards the end of 1952, Northrop started work on a lightweight Mach 2 interceptor as a private venture. A two seater trainer variant was also studied. The N-102 design requirements were similar to those of contemporary Lockheed TDN CL-246. CL-246 also was submitted as an unsolicited proposal to USAF (November 1952) but its seductiveness was enough for them to invent a GOR calling for a new lightweight fighter to replace the F-100 (Weapon System 303A).
CL-246 then competed to another proposals and was selected for series production as the F-104 Starfighter.
Unfortunately, I have no info about that rival designs. It seems that Republic design was identified as Model AP-55.

According to Mr Cowin, the Fang was no submitted to WS 303A. It was simple dropped by Northop's directive Tom Jones in favour of the far cheaper N-156 by the close of 1954.

May be Evan can add some additional information...
 

Sentinel Chicken

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pometablava said:
Unfortunately, I have no info about that rival designs. It seems that Republic design was identified as Model AP-55.
I think Republic's AP-55 design was based on their XF-91 Thunderceptor, only with a solid radar nose and NACA-style flush intakes on the fuselage sides ahead of the wing.
 

Antonio

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I think Republic's AP-55 design was based on their XF-91 Thunderceptor, only with a solid radar nose and NACA-style flush intakes on the fuselage sides ahead of the wing.
Thanks a lot for the info Sentinel.

Estimated max speed for the Republic AP-31 (XF-91) was Mach 1,5. If AP-55 was to be a Mach 2 fighter if had to be aerodimically refined (area ruled fuselage). The powerplant would have been a single J79?
 

Deino

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Does anyone know this book ??? ... and in't it the N-102 in the lower drawing !?!

http://www.dataviewbooks.com/

Cheers, Deino ???
 

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elmayerle

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It looks like it very well could be. That one is going to be on my "must buy" list.
 

Antonio

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Thanks Deino ;)

I'm going to buy the book. I want to know more about the Bell jet fighter
 

Sentinel Chicken

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pometablava said:
I think Republic's AP-55 design was based on their XF-91 Thunderceptor, only with a solid radar nose and NACA-style flush intakes on the fuselage sides ahead of the wing.
Thanks a lot for the info Sentinel.

Estimated max speed for the Republic AP-31 (XF-91) was Mach 1,5. If AP-55 was to be a Mach 2 fighter if had to be aerodimically refined (area ruled fuselage). The powerplant would have been a single J79?
That's what I understand, it was the first or one of the first light fighter designs to use the J79 engine. Ultimately the requirements that the N-102 was designed to meet evolved to result in Lockheed's F-104 Starfighter if I remember right.
 

Antonio

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Thanks again, Sentinel

An AP-31 derivative with a more powerful engine could have reach Mach 2 performance..with this data, I think I can try to produce a drawing of the hypotetical Republic AP-55
 

Orionblamblam

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pometablava said:
I want to know more about the Bell jet fighter
The one on the cover isn't a Bell design. It was the BDR patented by Interstate Aircraft.

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app1/bdr.html

All the patents they mention I have. The Twin Liberator is a pretty neato design but was patented by Just Some Guy, not Convair, so it stood effectively no chance of being built.

The "McDonnell design contemporary with and similar to the XP-67 Moonbat, except being of pusher configuration" is actually a design patent for the McDonnell Model 1.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Are there any schematics, drawings, or photos showing the landing gear configuration of the N-102?
 

TinWing

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Sentinel Chicken said:
Are there any schematics, drawings, or photos showing the landing gear configuration of the N-102?
The N-102 mockup - in US Air Force markings - didn't have a landing gear, but the drawings indicate that the nose gear was mounted ahead of the ventral intake. This arrangement would seem to partially obstruct airflow to the engine during takeoff and landing, but it does provide for a long and stable wheelbase - important because the N-102 Fang was also proposed for the Navy as a carrier based fighter.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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I've never heard of a V-tailed version of the Fang. Any other particulars on that design, Scott?

Gotta wonder about that ventral intake BEHIND the nose gear, though........
 

gfi88

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Just seen a unfamiliar Northrop fighter project posted on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=120308919382&Category=86954&_trksid=p3907.m29

Maybe related to N-102 project?
 

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Antonio

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Thanks a lot gfi88!

It looks like a 50-60's design... ???
 

Antonio

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The tail configuration is quite interesting. I'd love to see a pic from the rear. Maybe we could ask the seler for it?
 

Sundog

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It's too bad the vertical tail is broken. It's cool design, none the less.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Nice angles JPC - have any more?!

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Mark Nankivil

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Nice Triton - thanks! Mark
 

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

I had the opportunity to spend two days scanning photos from my friend Gerald Balzer's collection. I was pleasantly surprised to find a folder dealing with the N-102 Fang - more art and photos of the mock up than I could have imagined. So, thamnks to Gerald, here's something to share with the rest of the gang....

First up, artwork!

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Stargazer2006

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Sweet serendipity!!! ;D Thank you so much, Mark.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Great artwork of a cool design. I'm sure Gerald's collection holds some great photos.
 

Pioneer

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As per normal you have once again outdone yourself Mark!!!!!

You have made my day ;D


Thanks

Regards
Pioneer
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks all - just very lucky to do this and find gold at times.

Here's a few more from Gerald's collection...

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Great stuff, loads of detail photos I've never seen before. Would be ideal for an article on the Fang...


The ventral intake is interesting, quite like the British P.1121, but the bubble canopy makes it look much more modern than 1953. Doesn't seem area-ruled however and Mach 2 seems doubtful.
 

archipeppe

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Really great images!
Indeed the Fang looks like more Convair-ish than Northrop...
 

Stargazer2006

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archipeppe said:
Indeed the Fang looks like more Convair-ish than Northrop...
I don't quite agree. There is something of the YA-9 in the front fuselage...
 

archipeppe

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Stargazer2006 said:
I don't quite agree. There is something of the YA-9 in the front fuselage...
Of course, this is quite easy to understand since Fang and YA-9 are both Northrop product (even with 15 years of difference). My opinion was based upon some similiarities with Convair delta fighters of the time in which Fang was proposed...
 

Mark Nankivil

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It would be interesting to "build" a computer model and run it thru a virtual wind tunnel. The leading edge camber - I thought that was a Convair design feature that evolved with their deltas. Did the cambered leading edge instead come out of NACA studies?

The landing gear is awkward but I would love to build an R/C electric ducted fan model of the Fang - would look cool in the air...

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 
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