back American postwar aircraft

American postwar aircraft


Northrop F-20 (F-5G) Tigershark

Northrop developed the F-20 "Tigershark" as an improved version of the F-5E intended for foreign military sales (FMS). The aircraft first flew on 30 August 1982 and compiled an impressive performance, reliability and weapons delivery record. During its flight test program, the F-20 fired the AIM-7 "Sparrow" and AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 "Maverick" air-to-ground missile, 2.75" folding fin aerial rockets (FFAR), dropped MK82 bombs, and fired rounds from a 30mm gun pod in addition to the two internal M-39 20mm cannon.

The F-20 was never considered for USAF service and the US Navy decided to buy F-16s for its aggressor aircraft program. These two facts essentially doomed the F-20 FMS program. Although the test program demonstrated the potential of the F-20, countries tended to buy the F-16, in part, because it was used by the USAF and USN (and the F-20 was not).

General characteristics
Power plant One General Electric F-404-GE-100 afterburning turbofan
Thrust with afterburner 17,000 lb 75.62 kN
Max. speed 1,557 mph (Mach 2,1) 2,506 km/h
Ceiling 55,000 ft 16,765 m
Initial climb rate 50,300 ft/min 15,331 m/min
Max. range 1,715 miles 2,760 km
Combat radius 345 mil 555 km
Fuel capacity internal tanks 677 US gal. 2,563 lt
with ext. tanks 1,502 US gal. 5,686 lt
Wingspan 28 ft 8.53 m
Length 46 ft 6 in 14.17 m
Height 13 ft 10 in 4.11 m
Wingarea 186 sq. ft 17.28 sq. m
Weight empty 11,220 lb 5,090 kg
combat 15,060 lb 6,831 kg
max. takeoff 26,290 lb 11,925 kg
Armament Two20mm cannons in nose, two AIM-9 Sidewinder guided missiles  on wingtips, under wings up to 8,000 lb (3630 kg) weapons or external tanks.

Jirka Wagner


Copyright All Rights Reserved