Devilfish
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What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:05 pm

I'm intrigued as to the reasons why the Northrop Grumman F-20 Tigershark did not progress. I also had read that Taiwan was interested in it, but potential sale to them was not allowed. Could an order from Taiwan have started production and export to other air forces? Are there any surviving prototypes?
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N328KF
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:06 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Thread starter):
I'm intrigued as to the reasons why the Northrop Grumman F-20 Tigershark did not progress.

Simple answer: The F-16.
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L-188
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:06 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
Simple answer: The F-16

And more specificly the US Goverment's willingness to allow it to be sold to countries that armed through the MAP program. These countries where buyers of the older F-5 and the F-20 would have been a good follow-on, but these countries wanted more sophisticated aircraft, and the US was willing too send over F-16's.
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ptrjong
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:41 pm

According to Air International writer Roy Braybrook the F-20's wing should have been enlarged - it couldn't take advantage of its engine power when turning hard. He also says the 'kiss-of-death designation' F-5G was retained for far too long.

Peter
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Boeing Nut
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:37 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Thread starter):
What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Three words:

politics, politics, politics.

Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
Simple answer: The F-16.

In some areas, the Tigershark outperformed the Falcon.
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RC135U
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:47 am

The fact that the USAF didn't intend to acquire it also dampened interest from overseas. I imagine it would have made quite an adversary aircraft for the USAF and Navy. Weren't two of the three built lost, with some suspicion that it could pull too many Gs for the pilots?
 
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:37 am

Quoting RC135U (Reply 5):
Weren't two of the three built lost, with some suspicion that it could pull too many Gs for the pilots?

I think you're right.

Taken from this site....

Quote:
Four Tigershark aircraft were started by Northrop at their own expense. The first two were used extensively to fly demonstrations for potential customers. Both aircraft were lost in crashes, one in Korea, the other in Canada. Both accidents were pilot error related to the aircraft being able to outperform the humans who fly them. The third aircraft was set up much more closely to the final production configuration. It was used extensively in testing. It survives today in a California museum. The fourth airframe was never completed.
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Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:24 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
the F-20 would have been a good follow-on, but these countries wanted more sophisticated aircraft, and the US was willing too send over F-16's.

So, those countries not needing the sophistication for basic air defense, but just something to maintain pilot and ground support crew proficiency and skills, could have gotten a cheaper jet fighter in the Tigershark?.....

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 4):
In some areas, the Tigershark outperformed the Falcon.



Quoting RC135U (Reply 5):
it would have made quite an adversary aircraft for the USAF and Navy



Quoting RC135U (Reply 5):
it could pull too many Gs for the pilots

That still boasted impressive perfomance in some areas of its flight envelope.

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 6):
It survives today in a California museum.

Do you happen to know which museum? Thanks.
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vzlet
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 7):
Do you happen to know which museum?

It's in the California Science Center.
"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
 
romeokc10fe
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:44 am

I believe Chuck Yeager did a lot of the flying in the F-20.
 
David L
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:48 am

Quoting RomeoKC10FE (Reply 9):
I believe Chuck Yeager did a lot of the flying in the F-20.

You may be right but I thought it was the F-5 he raved about. Damn - now I'll need to re-read his book.  Smile
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:48 pm

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 6):
Four Tigershark aircraft were started by Northrop at their own expense.

The death of the F-20A Tigershark was simply because it was a company sponsered venture. Northrop did not have any active or retired USAF general Officer running the program, so the USAF saw the program never went anywhere.

The F-20A was the best fighter the USAF or USN never bought.
 
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:53 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 10):
I believe Chuck Yeager did a lot of the flying in the F-20.

You may be right but I thought it was the F-5 he raved about. Damn - now I'll need to re-read his book.

It's true. In fact, I remember Chuck Yeager was quoted as saying the F-20 Tigershark was the best jet fighter he had ever flown.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
The F-20A was the best fighter the USAF or USN never bought.

 checkmark  It's a shame that a pair of F-20's could not have been stationed in each state pre 9/11. With it's reaction time from cold start to FL300 at around one minute, maybe the outcome could have been different.
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BigFish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:07 am

Quote:
It's a shame that a pair of F-20's could not have been stationed in each state pre 9/11. With it's reaction time from cold start to FL300 at around one minute, maybe the outcome could have been different.

You may want to re-read those numbers. There is one aircraft that can get to FL300 in one minute and it's called the Space Shuttle. Aside from that, it wouldn't have mattered if we had a whole squadron flying over New York on Sept. 11th. Nobody knew exactly what was going on, and who was talking to who. The many headed snake wasn't talking to each other.
We got caught with our pants down around our ankles and strained our backs bending over to try to pull them up. That is how we sum up September 11th.
 
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:43 am

Quoting BigFish (Reply 13):
You may want to re-read those numbers. There is one aircraft that can get to FL300 in one minute and it's called the Space Shuttle.

I suggest you do the same. The max climb rate of the F-20 is in access of well over 50,000 ft per minute. F-20 Specifications I agree with the rest of your post, I was just in the "what if" zone.

[Edited 2006-02-28 17:44:33]
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sean1234
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:32 am

That is the RATE of climb at SEA LEVEL. Assuming it is 50,000 ft/min, it might be down 49,000ft/min at 1000 ft, etc., lowering with increase in altitude. 50,000ft/min does not mean it will get to 50,000 from the ground in 1 min.
 
David L
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:46 am

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 12):
Chuck Yeager was quoted as saying the F-20 Tigershark was the best jet fighter he had ever flown

I'll take your word for it. I've lent the book to someone, anyway. Now, if I can just remember who I lent it to.  Smile
 
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:00 am

Quoting Sean1234 (Reply 15):

Duh, I didn't think of that.  footinmouth  I do recall that Northrop touted the fact that the F-20 could go from a cold start to combat level in a minute. ( FL300 I think ) But I think that this time was started from on the runway itself. Still impressive though.
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MissedApproach
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting Sean1234 (Reply 15):

Airplane manufacturers are fond of quoting instantaneous performance figures since they sound more impressive, in the same way that car manufacturers quote peak horsepower even though it's only available at 7500 RPM.
That being said, I don't doubt that the F-20 had a very high climb rate to FL300. As for lack of orders, I would attribute that to short range & lack of payload in addition to what's already been mentioned. As a point defense fighter though, it really would've excelled.
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Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:44 am

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 3):
the F-20's wing should have been enlarged - it couldn't take advantage of its engine power



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 18):
I would attribute that to short range & lack of payload



Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 6):
The third aircraft was set up much more closely to the final production configuration.

Did the final configuration not address the above shortcomings?
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Boeing Nut
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:46 am

Man, I should have checked my own link I posted better. It gives the times!

Scramble order to 29,000 ft took 2.5 minutes.

Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 18):
As for lack of orders, I would attribute that to short range & lack of payload in addition to what's already been mentioned.

It could carry over 4 tons of armament on five pylons.
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MissedApproach
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:52 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 19):



Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 20):

I stand corrected, I guess I should've done a little more homework with this internet thingy. I knew they had fired the AIM-7 in tests, but was unaware that the payload was that high.
I also didn't know that one of the crashes occured at CFB Goose Bay. Here is a copy of the report from the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (predeccessor of the Canadian TSB) http://members.aon.at/mwade/f20crash.htm
Can you hear me now?
 
Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:29 am

Rest In Peace.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © James Reppucci

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MD-90
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:53 pm

According to Air & Space, which did an excellent article on the F-20 a while back, foreign governments wanted to buy what the USAF operated, which was the F-16. When it became available, even though the F-20 was cheaper and in some ways superior, they bought F-16s.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:11 pm

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 6):

I always thought it was a great looking aircraft with good potential. Thanks for the information on the airframes. Nice to know there is one that survives.
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Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:28 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
The F-16
And more specificly the US Goverment's willingness to allow it to be sold to countries that armed through the MAP program.



Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
but these countries wanted more sophisticated aircraft, and the US was willing too send over F-16's.



Quoting RC135U (Reply 5):
The fact that the USAF didn't intend to acquire it also dampened interest from overseas.



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 23):
foreign governments wanted to buy what the USAF operated, which was the F-16. When it became available, even though the F-20 was cheaper and in some ways superior, they bought F-16s.

The F-16 was available long before the F-20. Whatever inherent cost and performance advantage the F-20 had over the F-16 was negated when the U.S. didn't buy the Tigershark, as the huge development costs could not then be spread among a hoped for U.S. order, (which could have started production) preventing unit cost to be lowered, plus there'd be no assured after sale spares and service support. And not placing it in the MAP meant that favorable rates and conditions associated with the program could not be availed of by interested countries, further limiting the market base and causing it to die a natural death.

[Edited 2006-03-09 23:34:51]

[Edited 2006-03-09 23:42:59]
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MD-90
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:42 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 25):
The F-16 was available long before the F-20.

Not for unrestricted sale to foreign governments, it wasn't. That didn't happen until the F-20 was in development.

The other points that you make are very valid as well.
 
L-188
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:32 pm

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 25):
The F-16 was available long before the F-20. Whatever inherent cost and performance advantage the F-20 had over the F-16 was negated when the U.S. didn't buy the Tigershark,

The F-16 was really the first airplane that was offered under MAP that was also being used in the front line by the USAF.

Most other times either the US used obsolecent types such as the F-86, F-100 after they had been replaced in US service or they sold an aircraft that was not in widespread US service-the F-5.

That only changed after Reagan entered office.

If fact GD did fly a dumbed down F-16 prototype that was powered by an older J-79 engine. This was because of concerns over the engine technology going to MAP countries.
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neutrino
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:40 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 26):

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 25):
The F-16 was available long before the F-20.

Not for unrestricted sale to foreign governments, it wasn't. That didn't happen until the F-20 was in development.

The other points that you make are very valid as well.
Quoting MD-90 (Reply 26):
If fact GD did fly a dumbed down F-16 prototype that was powered by an older J-79 engine. This was because of concerns over the engine technology going to MAP countries.

That's right. Because the peanut farmer did not give the green light for the standard F-16, Singapore had to evaluate both the F-20 and the F-16/J-79 with the latter emerging the Winner. Luckily, soon with Reagan in power, the ban was liftrd and Singapore reverted to its preferred choice: the F-16A/Bs.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
Max Q
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:52 am

Love the Tigershark,


It was the epitome of the ultimate lightweight fighter.


Simple as that.
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trex8
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 27):
The F-16 was really the first airplane that was offered under MAP that was also being used in the front line by the USAF.

F104??
Actually was MAP even still around in the late 70s??

Interestingly at the turn of the century AIDC offered the ROCAF a F5E upgrade with a new radar, the GD53 from the IDF (which was in turn really a variant of the F20s APG67) and a single engine. ie a F20!!
 
F27Friendship
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:27 pm

Didn't we have this discussion like a million times already? 

I even remember posting a graph once that compared F-20 with F-16 but I can't find it anymore...
 
checksixx
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:02 am

A reply 7 years later...this thread can't die, like the F-20 can't die! LoL
 
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neutrino
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:56 pm

Stillborn/aborted fighters don't die, they live on in the memories of enthusiasts....
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:39 am

Quoting checksixx (Reply 32):
A reply 7 years later...this thread can't die, like the F-20 can't die! LoL

Two days too early.....

Quoting neutrino (Reply 33):
Stillborn/aborted fighters don't die, they live on in the memories of enthusiasts....

.....a great line for April 1st.....   .


http://www.airpowerworld.info/jet-fighter-planes/northrop-f-20-tigershark.jpg
http://www.airpowerworld.info/jet-fi...lanes/northrop-f-20-tigershark.jpg

The PAF ordering two squadrons would've been a fantastic gag if it wasn't too incredible!   



[Edited 2013-04-01 19:58:00]
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SCAT15F
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:22 am

For the Air Defense role. the F-20 was superior to the F-16, no question about it. The production version with the electro-hydraulic flap actuators would have been superior to the F-16 in turn rate and undeniably quicker on the draw.

This was always about the money, not the best aircraft for the job.

Merging Air Defense Command (ADC) into TAC was the beginning of the end. Pathetic.

Merging TAC into Air Combat Command is even more pathetic.

Basically its all an excuse for a totally offensive oriented Air Force. The defensive portion of the military--the whole purpose for the US military in the first place--accounts for maybe 5% of expenditures. Extremely pathetic.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:53 am

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 4):
In some areas, the Tigershark outperformed the Falcon.

Quite true. I have flown the F-20 in simulation and its very impressive. Its basically as good as the F-16 but faster and with more electronics. This plane was intended mostly for export and was really an excellent craft. Its a shame USAF did not dump some f-16s and order F-20s. When Gulf I hit, this would have been an ideal plane and I am sure there are some NATO members that would have loved to have it. It was considerably faster and more dangerous in the air than a Tornado GR4 of the era.

I do think part of the technology in the F-20 went to live on in the X-29.
 
Max Q
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:08 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 36):

Quite true. I have flown the F-20 in simulation and its very impressive. Its basically as good as the F-16 but faster and with more electronics. This plane was intended mostly for export and was really an excellent craft. Its a shame USAF did not dump some f-16s and order F-20s. When Gulf I hit, this would have been an ideal plane and I am sure there are some NATO members that would have loved to have it. It was considerably faster and more dangerous in the air than a Tornado GR4 of the era.

I do think part of the technology in the F-20 went to live on in the X-29.

Faster than the F16 and the Tornado ?


Thats very quick, how fast was it ?
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GDB
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 36):
It was considerably faster and more dangerous in the air than a Tornado GR4 of the era.

The Tornado GR.4 and the original GR.1, were not designed to be 'fast and dangerous in the air', it was designed and successfully did/still does, strike/attack/recon missions. The GR.4 having updated avionics and the ability to carry systems like the Brimstone anti armour missile, the Storm Shadow long range stand off missile and the Raptor sensor/recce pod.

It's just not a lightweight fighter.
 
L-188
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:24 pm

Ro follow up on GDB thise marjs are really ibtended to be attack aircraft. More apt comparison aircraft woukd be the A-7, Mig-27, SU-22.

I woukd even call the F.2 or F.3 Tornados, the are much more old school interceptors.
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Max Q
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:42 am

Actually I think the Tornado, especially the ADV version was one of the fastest fighters ever at low altitude.


I have seen a photo on another site of an ADV at low altitude indicating over 900 Knots.


Those swing wing fighters and attack aircraft like the Tornado F14 and F111 were very, very fast down low and at altitude for that matter.


Always wondered which would be fastest down low out of the old B1A,F14, F111 and the Tornado.
An interesting match to be sure !
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ThePointblank
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:10 am

It should be noted that the F-16 grew due to a number of added requirements and for growth potential; the F-16's nose area grew compared to the YF-16 as they wanted a bigger radar and more avionics. The F-20 was already at its limits with growth, while the F-16, as demonstrated today, had a lot more room to add new capabilities and systems.

For the simple-point defence role, the F-20 was better than the F-16. However, I don't think it would have held up to the multi-mission taskings that have been taken on by the F-16, or at least not have done them as well.
 
Confuscius
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:20 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Thread starter):
What Killed The...Tigershark?

A Fighting Falcon.
Ain't I a stinker?
 
Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:57 pm

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 42):
A Fighting Falcon.

The first reply beat you to it by 7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days and 15 hours...    ...

.....albeit, if in a slightly different term.  
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neutrino
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 43):
7 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days and 15 hours...
Sus na lang! Why must you be so pedantic.  
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
spudh
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:02 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 40):
fastest down low out of B1A , F14, F111 and the Tornado

I think the official closed circuit record is held by an F104 but that doesn't mean the others are not faster. IIRC the F111 had a max low level speed of Mach 1.3, F14A (B/D may have been higher) and Tornado M1.2. Don't know about B1 but I doubt it was faster than the F111 although I think its engines were specifically designed for high speed at low level so it may have a higher sustained speed than the others.

Legend has it that during exercises with US Forces the Aussie F111's were uncatchable until the F14B/D came on line with the GE engines from the B1

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 41):
The F-20 was already at its limit with growth

I think that was the nub of the issue for any potential US sales. It was still an awesome fighter, one of my all time favorites, you'd think a fleet of 30 or so would have made for an incredible aggressor squadron capable of giving any of the teen fighters a real hard time.
 
Devilfish
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:03 pm

Quoting neutrino (Reply 44):
Sus na lang! Why must you be so pedantic.

   It's just a game Padi and I play.   


But seriously...if the Tigershark were available now with the F414 engine.....

.
http://files.gereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/jet-engine1.jpg


.....and Northrop Grumman could further scale its SABR aesa radar to fit the F-20.....

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Photos/pgM_SC-10151_005.jpg
http://www.northropgrumman.com/Photos/pgM_SC-10151_005.jpg

.....and update its avionics...then the PAF could kiss their Geagle or Gripen dreams goodbye    .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JZnrtB9rRT8


Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 35):
For the Air Defense role.

        

[Edited 2013-04-16 16:27:28]
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ThePointblank
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:45 am

I would argue that the F-16 Block 60 with the GE engines is an incredible aircraft:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/F-16e_block60.jpg

Nothing accelerates like a F-16 with the GE engine, except for the F-22.

Quoting spudh (Reply 45):
I think that was the nub of the issue for any potential US sales. .

Indeed, look at what they managed to get out of the F-16 with the various versions, up to and including the Block 60's. A very potent multirole fighter. And the F-16 will still be a front line fighter for nations without access to 5th gen fighters for years to come.
 
SCAT15F
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:58 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 47):
Nothing accelerates like a F-16 with the GE engine, except for the F-22.

The YF-16 with the Pratt would out accelerate the Block 60, which due to massive weight growth, weighs 19,600 lbs empty.

F-20 with the F414 EPE would out-accelerate the F-22 by a significant margin. 12,500 lb empty weight and 26,500 lbs thrust
 
ThePointblank
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RE: What Killed The F-20 Tigershark?

Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:50 am

Quoting SCAT15F (Reply 48):
The YF-16 with the Pratt would out accelerate the Block 60, which due to massive weight growth, weighs 19,600 lbs empty.

The F-16's powered by the GE F110 is generally accepted as being the better accelerator, because the the F110 engine has more thrust. The GE F110 engine as fitted to the F-16 pumps out 5,000lb more thrust than the PW F100, which in turn means that the engine needs more air.

This in turn required that the area of the air intake be increased, and starting with the Block 30, F-16's fitted with the GE F110 engine have a bigger air intake known as the modular common air intake duct. F-16's with the PW F100 engine continued to use the smaller air duct, known as the normal shock inlet, as the F100 engine could not use the extra air provided by the modular common air intake duct.

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