Aviation Humor

Interesting Video Features YF-23 First Appearance on the World Stage

The clip also features what the news media had to say at the time about the YF23 and the YF-22, the competitor that became the F22 Raptor.

Taken in the summer of 1990 the interesting video in this post shows YF-23 first appearance on the World Stage and first taxi tests.

The clip also features what the news media had to say at the time about the YF-23 and the YF-22, the competitor that became the F-22 Raptor.

The YF-23 prototype was one of two aircraft designed and built by the contractor team of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) selection program.

The aircraft was the result of the work of 1000’s of aerospace experts working for 60 subcontractor companies in 31 states, supporting the $700 million investment of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas in creating the ultimate jet fighter was revealed to an astonished world.

Two YF-23 prototype aircraft were built. After the Air Force selected the YF-22, both YF-23 prototypes were transferred from Northrop to Dryden. There were no engines in the two aircraft, and NASA had no plans to fly the YF-23’s in any research program.

NASA had planned to use one of the two aircraft to extensively study strain gage loads calibration techniques, while the other would remain in storage at Dryden. However, both aircraft remained in storage until the summer of 1996 when the aircraft were transferred to museums.  The YF-23A Prototype Air Vehicle 2 (PAV-2), serial # 87-0801, is on display at the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, CA, on long-term loan from NASA. YF-23A PAV-1 (87-0800) is currently at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Dayton, Ohio.

Both YF-23 prototypes were designed and built by the contractor team of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter selection program, which concluded in 1990. The YF-23 was unofficially known as the “Black Widow II,” a reference to the WWII-era Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighter.

Photo credit: Northrop / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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