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Northrop Grumman's "forgotten" advanced tactical fighter leaves museum and could be heading for bomber contest
Northrop Grumman's long-abandoned YF-23A advanced tactical fighter (ATF) is emerging as the possible basis for a surprise contender for the US Air Force's interim bomber requirement.
The company recently retrieved the second of the two YF-23A "Black Widow II" prototypes (PAV-2) from the Western Museum of Flight in Hathorne, California, ostensibly for repainting for display at a forthcoming Northrop Grumman-backed air fair in August. However, the restoration is also thought to include several changes, including new cockpit displays and other possible cosmetic modifications.
Northrop Grumman confirms restoration of the General Electric YF120-powered PAV-2 is taking place, but declines to comment on whether the revived YF-23A is linked to any USAF proposal. But sources close to the studies, which were kicked off by the USAF's recently issued request for information, say Northrop Grumman now includes a YF-23-based "regional" bomber concept among its raft of proposals and that the USAF "is interested".
Until now, the company's offerings are known to include an upgraded B-2, X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) -based studies and possible designs based on its quiet supersonic technology programme. The distinctive, rhomboid-winged YF-23A lost out to Lockheed Martin's YF-22 in the ATF competition in 1991, but proved a valuable technology testbed for Northrop Grumman, which gave it all-aspect stealth. The company says it "drew upon a wide range of experience for its response to the interim bomber RFI, and the YF-23 is one".
Originally posted by waynos
Just to be clear, I'm not disputing that Northrop Grumman have expended some effort on producing an FB-23.
What I am disputing is that the model (and now drawing too) is it. I maintain that it is just too old fashioned in every area of the airframe that has been changed from the originial, and distinctly un-old fashioned, YF-23.
That is someones concept of an FB-23, clearly, I just don't think that it is Northrop Grummans concept.
Number built/Converted: 2
Remarks: ATF; lost to YF-22
Span: 43 ft. 7 in.
Length: 67 ft. 5 in.
Height: 13 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 54,000 lbs. takeoff (YF-23/ATF design spec)
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100's of approximately 35,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner or two General Electric F120-GE-100 turbofans. Engine competition won by Pratt & Whitney.
Originally posted by waynos
Nice to see that me and seekerof were correct. The article states 'the outline shape' and also mentions 'distance' from the 'actual proposal', proving that this was a rough guess. It must have been at least fairly close though to make them so twitchy about it.
Incidentally, the impression is 'Flight's' own based on the model, not based on the actual (apparently secret) design
Originally posted by jonesey_dude
Intelgurl, thanks for the post, i knew that the YF-23 project was never truely dead, Now that this has come up, I wonder if Boeing are stilladjusting that awesome fighter that lost out to the F-35 for the JSF project, cant remember the name though...
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Whichever one it is whether its the FB-23 or FB-22 they need to get them developed both would be great and I think we need a fighter bomber because frankly we don't have any true F/B type of aircraft right now.
Originally posted by intelgurlThe X-32A was moved to the Air Force Museum in Dayton OH in April of this year (2005).
Originally posted by intelgurl
There's another mystery surrounding the YF-23's that I'm trying to get to the bottom of...
87-801 (PAV2) that was at the Western Museum of Flight is now at Northrop.
BUT - I'm curious as to what happened to #87-800 (PAV1), it was at Edwards, then in spring 2004 a C-5 came to pick it up. Paperwork said it was going to WP AFB for some sprucing up but it never arrived according to sources at WP.
What happened to it?
I have contacted a person I know at Northrop and he says that 801 is definitely at Northrop but he knows nothing about 800.
My gut feeling tells me that it is at Northrop Advanced Development.