posted on Nov, 10 2003 @ 04:56 AM
F-19 - No such animal. It is officially undocumented, but generally assumed that the F-19 designation was skipped in 1982 in order to honor the
Northrop F-20 (qv) with an even "next-generation" number.
Striving to keep pace with technology, Testors hit the market with an F-19 kit based on eyewitness reports from "usually reliable sources,"
research, gut level guesswork, and patterned it after the smooth-surfaced Lockheed SR-71. By May 1986 their kit was on hobby shop shelves and nearly
700,000 were sold in 18 months. However, somebody had pulled a plug in the Pentagon.
Stealth technology at the time was one of our military's worst-kept secrets, and it was assumed that F-19 had been reserved for that department.
There was so much speculation that the USAF, with uncommon humor, even roped off a vacant plot at the 1988 Edwards AFB Air Show with a sign
identifying the "F-19 Flying Frisbee." But when the much-heralded stealth fighter was designated F-117A and was anything but smooth, the F-19 idea
lost most of its lustre, and folks generally accepted that the designation had been purposely skipped when F-20 showed up.
Yet, much like with those little green men they scraped off the Roswell landscape, folklore and wishful thinking took hold, and there came many
reports from "usually reliable sources" who saw the real Testors F-19 flying around in remote desert regions usually off-limits to reliable sources.
(Because of the popularity of the designation, the USAF Museum's Internet page lists a "Lockheed F-19 CSIRS," but its link connects the F-117A.).