Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
How do you explain the Y/F-17 Waynos...?? It was after all the beginning of the F/A-18...
The YF-17 is one of the reasons I came up with my theory about the X-35 designation and its purpose in hiding the YF-24.
The YF-17 was not intended as the starting point for the F-18, it was built in competition with the YF-16 for the USAF and Northrop fully hoped to see
the 'F-17A' entering service in place of the F-16A but it was not to be, the F-18 then grew out of the YF-17 after it lost out in the USAF's LWF
competition; therefore the US prototypes that were built and intended to result in an operational combat aircraft being developed directly from them
YF-14 - Entered service as the F-14A
YF-15 - Entered service as the F-15A
YA-9 - Lost out in the A-X competition and remained a prototype
YA-10 - Won the A-X competition and enterd service as the A-10A
YF-16 - Won the LWF competition and entered aervice as the F-16A
YF-17 - Losing LWF competitor, stayed a prototype but used as basis for F-18
YF-22 - Winner of ATF, now in service as the F-22A
YF-23 - Loser of ATF , remained a prototype, (may yet appear as FB-23)
Right, now anticipate the JSF competitors are coming along and this conversation takes place in the corridors of power;
"Nice planes, they are going to be the YF-24 and YF-25 yes?"
" But wait! there is already a YF-24 in existence so they will have to be the YF-25 and YF-26 yes?"
"No, wait! The YF-24 is top secret and we don't want any clue that it exists, a missing number is rather obvious, what shall we do?"
"We can stick them in the X plane sequence and pretend that they aren't really prototypes at all?"
"OK, that works for me, X-32 and X-35 are free, whatsmore, we can keep the number for whichever one wins and just change the X for an F, that will be
so far out of sequence the YF-24 can stay secret and everybody will accept that F-32 or F-35 makes sense because they will be used to the X plane
designation by then"
"Excellent work Hank, now go get me a coffee".