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The best unwanted fighters of all time

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posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 07:10 PM
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This one is a bit different, it doesn't deal with cancelled projects, but rather ones which were offered by manufacturers and the planned customer just went "No thanks" This doesn't include aircraft which lost in competitions like the YF-17 and YF-23, but rather concentrates on aircraft where buying NOTHING was the preferred option, despite the obvious greatness of what was on offer.

In 99% of cases aircraft are rejected in this way because the plane being offered was rubbish, but in a few cases it was an excellent machine but the money wasn't there or some other reason not specific to the aeroplane itself was the cause. Now this is a very open field and rather than post a top 5 I thought I would just offer up some alternatives and we can maybe choose a top 5 somewhere down the line.

I propose -

Dassault Super Mirage 4000 -



the first rival fighter (allowing for the fact that the Su-27 was unknown) to acheive the performance of the F-15, a big twin engined air superiority fighter, it flew in 1979 and saw the first practical application of canards to a European fighter for manouverability reasons and had a blistering performance. For financial reasons France decided it had no requirement for a fighter as good as that and it then came close to being produced for Saudi Arabia but French domestic disinterest put them off and they went for F-15's instead.

Northrop F-20 Tigershark



- a real puzzle to me is this one, after selling hundreds of weedy J-85 engined and underperforming F-5's all over the world, Northrop redesigned it around the excellent F404 engine and gave it mach 2 performance and the most up to date avionics fit then available and went on to build THREE! The mind boggles, of course USAF disinterest played its part here and there was also a sense that the F-20 was watered down in some way when the F-16 (used by the USAF) was the real McCoy, very sad.

Hawker P.1121



- Much has been written, and a lot of it by me, about how the British Govt killed off the UK industry by forcing the RAF to do without several world beating aircraft, well sometimes the RAF was just as capable of screwing things up all by itself.

The P.1121 was a very attractive looking aircraft with an F-16 type chin intake set well back under the fuselage and thin wings based on the Hunters. It was a single seat single engined machine designed by Sidney Camm (Fury/Hurricane/Tempest/ Hunter/Harrier - hey, the guy knew his stuff!) and was in the same size and performance bracket as the F-4 Phantom which was being built to an identical timescale.


So confident was Camm that the world needed a fighter bomber in this class that Hawkers were persuaded to build it at their own expense, despite the RAF saying it didn't want it. with the prototype almost complete in late 1957 the Govt intervened and ordered Hawker to stop work, Hawker asked if they could at least fly the prototype, the Govt said no because that would cost £1m for no return because there was no market. There is no doubt, with hindsight, that the P.1121 was a BRILLIANT piece of design and engineering and would have become one of the all time classic British aircraft. the F-4 Phantom meanwhile limped to over 5,000sales in this non-existant market, including more than a few, of course, for the RAF.






[edit on 22-11-2005 by waynos]




posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 07:26 PM
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The F-20 was an awesome aeroplane but found no customers....PITY
AS the MIRAGE 4000 was also a sweet aircraft but also found no customers.



posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by Jezza
The F-20 was an awesome aeroplane but found no customers.



The F-20 did have customers. Problem is that the US State Department wouldn't release the technology used to construct the wing box outside the US. The Tigershark was to be license built in Singapore. I saw Chuck Yeager fly the F-20 at Miramar in 1983.


NR

posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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Saegeh-80 is very heavily upgraded and I think we all can agree that its basiclly the F-20.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:57 AM
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I propose the - AIDC Ching-Kuo

The Ching-Kuo is an indegineous fighter developed by Taiwan in cooperation with major US aerospace industries. The Indigenous Defensive Fighter (IDF) was named after the late Taiwanese president Ching-Kuo.

Basically when the US allowed the companies to export the F-16, production numbers of this fine aircraft dropped to 70/80, it simply wasn't wanted any more. This is what happens when a drunk USN F-18 starts messing around with USAF F-16
A thing of beauty.





- Phil



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 05:23 AM
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Good call
I was wondering not too long ago what happened with that fighter, a production run of about 70 is a stunning success compared to the others though, don't you think?


I thought of another one,

Martin Baker MB 5


Considered by many to be the best all round piston fighter developed during WW2 the MB-5 was fast (faster than the Meteor F.1 and F.2 jet fighters) very manouverable and boasted the best rate of roll recorded by the RAE (who tested ALL fighters not just British ones). It wasn't just about speed though, it was also the easiest handling fighter thanks to its torque free handling via the counter rotating prop, later adopted by several other types and it was also praised by the RAE for its easy manufacture, repair and maintainance (always the achilles heel of the Spitfire). Although its list of attributes were many and its shortcomings almost non existant the end of the war coupled with the coming of the jet age spelled the end of the MB 5.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 06:12 AM
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Hmmm, I wonder can I expand this (very dodgy expansion) to include TSR2...?


After all, F-111 were used to 'replace' it, and they were originally seen as heavy fighters (of some weird description)



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 07:32 AM
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If we are going into this terrortory I have to add the Ryan XFR Fireball to the mix. Reciprocating engine in the front and a jet in the tail.




posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 08:13 AM
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I have never really liked the F-5 much but i do like the F-20 Tigershark. The YF-23 was a good plane even though it lost. Why dont they make 2 seater ATFs?.

There was also a twin tailed mock up of the Eurofighter once, The BAE P.110 and the ACA. The Typhoon should have been that way to start with, Maybe ATF it up. Will Europe have an ATF/JSF programme of thier own?

www.eurofighter-typhoon.co.uk...






[edit on 23-11-2005 by Browno]



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 09:16 AM
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Browno, the Typhoon IS our ATF and we are full partners in JSF.

I don't know too much about the Fireball, did it ever reach squadron service?

The TSR 2 is one of the planes I specifically want to exclude here (along with the YF-23 etc) because there are many threads about them already, thats why I want to distinguish between planes that LOST a competition (ie YF-23/YF-17 etc) or planes that were officially requested and later cancelled (TSR.2, RAH-66 etc) and these which are meant to be planes their designers WANTED to build but nobody wanted to buy.

Like I said before, this is normally because such designs turn out to be rubbish but I think there is some mileage in looking for planes rejected in this way that were really pretty damn good. Maybe the Ching Kuo doesn't quite fit this description on second thoughts but such as the MB-5, Mirage 4000 and P.1121 are exactly what I'm after. Surely there are more like this?



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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Ok I have been hunting in my books and found a few others.

Focke-Wulf FW 187

A Focke-wulf version of the ME110 concept, it was reported to have far better performance when compaired to the ME110. The prototypes ended up protecting the Fockewulf factory when they were rejected.



Heinkel HE 100

This was one of the competitors for the fighter comp with the ME109, it had the fastest speed of its day but its cooling system was rather difficult to repair.



Heinkel HE 280

This was the first combat ready jet for germany and first flew in 1941, if it had of went into production, we could have had problems.



Bell P-59A Airacomet

The first attempt for the US interms of a jet powered fighter jet. it didn't amount to much, after the first 12, they were converted for training and it didn't do well there.



FMA IA 27 Pulqui

The first South american jet aircraft produced, development started in 1947 and was abondoned in 1960, its performance was crap, for lack of a better word.

Sorry can't find a picture :/

North American FJ-1 Fury

First US jet aircraft to make use of German Research technology, not to mention the first jet fighter to make a first jet to do a tour at sea, only 30 were built, service of 2 years...



Alright thats me for the minute.... there is one us aircraft thats name escapes me at the minute and it is starting to bug me. Will reply when i can find it in my libary.

- Phil



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:14 PM
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Howdie,

Thought of another, the A-12, the replacement for the aging A-6, same, it would have made one hell of an aircraft.



The other aircraft I am trying to remember the name of is, well it basically has a VERY curved layout, the whole aircraft has wonderful lines, it basically has 2 engines, mid wing aircraft, I want to think that it was designed by bell for some reason.... it was developed just before the end of world war 2, any ideas?

- Phil



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by gooseuk
FMA IA 27 Pulqui

The first South american jet aircraft produced, development started in 1947 and was abondoned in 1960, its performance was crap, for lack of a better word.

Sorry can't find a picture :/



Have one on me, nice list




The Pulqui II ( utterly unrelated to the Pulqui I ) was designed by Kurt Tank and was the closest flying relative of the much drooled over Ta 183


[edit on 23-11-2005 by waynos]



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by waynos

The Pulqui II ( utterly unrelated to the Pulqui I ) was designed by Kurt Tank and was the closest flying relative of the much drooled over Ta 183


[edit on 23-11-2005 by waynos]


I definitely had pics of that thing flying (Ta 183), it was in Soviet Russia though I think.

Damn bloody hard drive crashes



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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There is a book, just published this week, called 'Soviet Secret Projects - Fighters since 1945' I have a copy on order and hopefully those pics you mention sould be in there. I have never heard of this though. May I ask if you are sure they were pics of the Ta 183 or could they have been one of the rival designs that lost out to the MiG 15? For instance the Lavotchkin prototype had a very similar layout.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 01:49 PM
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Is this what you are describing? The McDonnell XP-67 'Moonbat'





posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 03:30 PM
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Great Find Waynos!

Thats the one, I thought it was a rather good looking design. Shame that it just didn't live up to its performance.

I honestly can't think of any more fighters for this list at the minute, I suppose you could include the Pogo?

Convair XFY-1 Pogo

Both Convair's XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed's XFV-1 Salmon resulted from the same design contest held in 1950 to design a vertical takeoff fighter aircraft, and they embodied a number of design similarities including sharing the same power plant and contra-rotating propellor unit, gimballed pilot's seat and caster wheels on the aerofoil surfaces.



- Phil



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 06:01 PM
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IAI Lavi
Started in 1980 as a multi-role combat aircraft to replace Israel's aging A-4 skyhawks and F-4 phantoms
In my opinion it was a beautiful aircraft and would have been Israel's first completely home grown fighter aircraft, saddly it faced fierce competition from the F16. With the US government putting on pressure and with little hope of any export orders it was scrapped. Only two aircraft remain....


...... one of which is at the Israeli airforce museum just outside Be'er Sheva, I visited it over the summer, unfortunately i cant seem to get my own pics working.


Refueling




Jensy



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
There is a book, just published this week, called 'Soviet Secret Projects - Fighters since 1945' I have a copy on order and hopefully those pics you mention sould be in there. I have never heard of this though. May I ask if you are sure they were pics of the Ta 183 or could they have been one of the rival designs that lost out to the MiG 15? For instance the Lavotchkin prototype had a very similar layout.


I'VE FOUND THEM!!!

Thank god for back-up's


Now, can I upload pic directly onto the site here?



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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Originally posted by gooseuk
I propose the - AIDC Ching-Kuo

The Ching-Kuo is an indegineous fighter developed by Taiwan in cooperation with major US aerospace industries. The Indigenous Defensive Fighter (IDF) was named after the late Taiwanese president Ching-Kuo.

Basically when the US allowed the companies to export the F-16, production numbers of this fine aircraft dropped to 70/80, it simply wasn't wanted any more. This is what happens when a drunk USN F-18 starts messing around with USAF F-16
A thing of beauty.

- Phil


I think that in era that it was created was very wanted. U.S. embargo is very sensitive political weapon against every foreign customer (for example Iranian F-14). It is the reason, why are some countries developing their own planes (Pakistan with FC-1 ...).




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