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Old Viper Tester

Northrop Flight Test: F-20 Tigershark #1 (image heavy)

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F-20 Tigershark #1, USAF serial number 82-0062, civil registration N4416T. At Edwards AFB for testing done by Northrop Test Operations division.

 

September 1982, with flight test nose boom. They don't show up well, but there are pitch and yaw vanes mounted on the forward tip of the left wing missile rail. The measurements from these vanes were being calibrated against the measurements from the nose boom so they could replace the nose boom with a production radome and still collect sensitive yaw and pitch data during stability and control testing.

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 16cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 12cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 10cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 19cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 18cr

 

The two rough fairings near the top and middle of the vertical tail are strain gauges and the associated wiring covered with "speed putty" - not usually painted over so neatly, if painted at all.

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19820903 11cr

 

October 1982, Edwards AFB Open House. Flight test nose boom removed in favor of the "shark nose" radome.

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19821024 27cr

 

January 1983

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830113 31cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830113 29cr

 

Enlargement of the above image

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830113 29cr1

 

July 1983, back in the "Coca Cola" scheme with her Paris Salon registration number 339. The mid-tail strain gauges have been removed.

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830715 38cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830715 32cr

 

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19830715 38cr1

 

September 1983. USAF serial number replaced with the civil registration.

N4416T northrop KEDW 19830912 17cr

 

Orange indicates flight test unique equipment or modifications.

N4416T northrop KEDW 19830912 14cr

 

October 1983, on Edwards Runway 22.

N4416T northrop KEDW 19831028 33cr

 

May 1984, in the middle of the "test fleet"

F-20 Test Fleet northrop KEDW 19840512 30cr

 

F-20 Test Fleet northrop KEDW 19840512 33cr

 

F-20 Test Fleet northrop KEDW 19840512 22

 

Original canopy configuration

N4416T northrop KEDW 19840512 24

 

For comparison, the production canopy configuration on ship on #2, N3986B.

82-0062 northrop KEDW 19840512 23

 

82-0062 was lost in a fatal G-induced Loss of Consciousness (G-LOC) crash during a demonstration tour in South Korea, 10 October 1984.

 

Thanks for looking,

Sven

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Brilliant, thanks for those, one of the prime "should of been" aircraft ever I reckon. Not hard to imagine these in various air forces schemes.

Steve.

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Very nice pictures as usual, thanks again for sharing !

Glad to see pictures of the whole F-20 fleet, more so as IIRC 2 out of 3 were later lost.

Those were the years when I started getting interested in aviation and I remember well the buzz created by this aircraft. Today I am much more skeptical about the F-20 and I can see the reasons why the program failed, but still this was a very good looking aircraft !

I noticed there's a T-38 with an unusual scheme in the background of some of the pictures, was she a Northrop owned aircraft in their colours ?

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5 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

I noticed there's a T-38 with an unusual scheme in the background of some of the pictures, was she a Northrop owned aircraft in their colours ?

It was actually a Northrop owned F-5F, N3139Y. It was primarily used for safety and photo chase of the F-20, but was also used for RF-5E test missions.

 

N3139Y northrop KEDW 19820903 06cr

 

Edited by Old Viper Tester

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A superb record of the testing phase Sven! A lot of unseen images and I bet a few publishers would love to have seen these for their books.

 

The F-20 would have been a great asset for a few Air Forces around the world, especially going against the trend of "large, 2-seat" systems that were all in-vogue at that time.

Thanks for posting these!

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5 hours ago, Old Viper Tester said:

It was actually a Northrop owned F-5F, N3139Y. It was primarily used for safety and photo chase of the F-20, but was also used for RF-5E test missions.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful ! With the Italeri kit back in the shops it's an interesting subject for a model.

Thanks for posting the picture !

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