Taken at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) the interesting image in this post shows the first Northrop F-5F that piloted by Hank Chouteau performed the first flight on Sep. 25, 1974.
The F-5F was the two-seat trainer version of the company’s F-5E Tiger II and featured a completely new fuselage.
The F-5 is an agile, highly maneuverable, reliable supersonic fighter, combining advanced aerodynamic design, engine performance and low operating costs. More than 2,600 were built by Northrop Grumman and under co-production and licensing agreements with Canada, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
From the F-5’s first delivery in 1964 to its final one in 1989, every aircraft was delivered on schedule, at or below the contract price, and with performance as promised. Approximately two-thirds of the original production F-5’s remain operational in 26 countries, including the U.S. The U.S. Navy operates the F-5 in its adversary squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) used the F-5 in a similar training role.
Since two-thirds of F-5 user countries also operate F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15s or Mirage aircraft, the F-5’s role has shifted from a prime fighter to a lead-in trainer. Many of the international F-5 operators are considering (and some have committed to) basic structural life extension programs and avionics/subsystems upgrade packages to obtain an effective lead-in trainer with a modest investment.
Photo credit: Edwards History Office photo / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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