posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 02:02 AM
Greetings. Just figured I'd start off on this site on this subject. The YF-12 was never to be taken serously at all. It was merely a cover story
for the A-12. Think about it. The Blackbrid series had a horrible fuel leak problem which required them to take off, generate enough heat to seal
the tanks, then meet with a tanker because their fuel tanks would almost be dry. The interceptor's covetted role is to take off and shoot down the
enemy as soon as possible. Only after the mission would time be alotted to refuel. You don't waste time before the intercept gassing your plane up.
The YF-12 may have seemed like a good idea when it was first proposed, but as soon as the A-12 was flying, they realized that, as an interceptor, the
YF-12 would be useless. At best it would have been a one-way fighter. But it could fill the role as cover for the A-12, should any information about
the CIA's new toy came out. 'Oh, we made a simpler version to test the basic design. Thats all it's for.' Some excuse like that. Much like the
U-2, when it was stated it was only for testing systems related to the F-104. That's the story we most likely would have heard, until LBJ opened his
mouth and announced the YF-12, ahead of schedule. Why esle did they run the YF-12 down to Edwards from Groom so quickly. They must have already had
a cover program worked out, but then they had to improvise. Hence, I will never consider the YF-12 a fighter. It was just a cover and a test bed.
Just a really expensive showpiece. Go figure, it came from Groom Lake. Funny, no other interceptor ever came from there....
As for the Tu-128, it fulfilled a role. If it was not built, or the MiG-25 for that matter, the US would have had the biggest fighter, the F-101.
It's performance was not spectacular, but still fill a mission. The Tu-128 was one answer to the problem making a long range interceptor. It just
happen to be a big one. And as for it's armament, a lot of jets at that time did not have the vast weapon loads we see today. Remember, only a few
years earlier, Britian received the Lightning, and it could only carry two missles, a small radar, and just enough fuel to get one hit. The Tu-128
had a large radar and four missles, along with long range, making it more flexible. Britian had a hotrod, Russia had a workhouse. In the end, the
Tu-128 was not flashy, but it did it's job well. If you want pitiful and pointless, try the Gloster Javelin. Same role as the Tu-128, about as old,
not quite as big, but it couldn't even go supersonic. There's one that should have stayed on the drawing board.