In 1991 the US Navy Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program and the associated subsonic McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II two-seat stealth attack aircraft was cancelled. The program was plagued by delays and huge cost overruns. The design was simply way too ahead of its time! Unfortunately the “Flying Dorito” never took flight and all that… Read More The A-12 Avenger II “Flying Dorito” Has Wings Again!
Finding a Stealth Replacement for the Intruder The Grumman A-6 Intruder was a legendary long-range US Navy attack aircraft that could operate in all weather conditions, day or night. They served from 1963 through to the 1990’s with the US Navy and US Marine Corps and saw extensive combat in Vietnam during the 1960’s and early… Read More What Might Have Been – The A-12 Avenger II
The USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Program commenced in the 1970’s, then continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a development, demonstration and evaluation program for a new USAF fifth generation fighter with stealth technology to complement and eventually replace the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. Lockheed and Northrop proposals were accepted in… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
By all accounts the 1980’s era Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a great fighter jet that was maneuverable with good short field capability. It was kind of like a super F-5E Tiger II with a new single General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan engine that boosted performance to Mach 2.0 and featured modern avionics, a Hands On Throttle… Read More The Survivors: Northrop F-20 Tigershark – A Formidible but Unlucky Jet Fighter!
In 1972 the USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program was launched to develop a smaller, highly maneuverable, lower cost air combat fighter to complement and conduct roles not suitable for the highly capable but expensive McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle air superiority fighter. This program ultimately pitted two contenders in a fly off, the General Dynamics YF-16… Read More The Survivors: Northrop YF-17 Cobra – The Unwanted Fighter with Quite a Legacy!
There is just something about the Swedish Saab 35 Draken (Dragon) fighter aircraft that has always fascinated me. It is certainly not pretty to look at, yet its long air intakes and tailless double-delta wing design give it a certain stylistic charm. Cold War chic that remained in operational service in European skies for 45 years from… Read More Dragon Knights!
For a small nation, Sweden has a proud and successful domestic aviation industry and the aircraft produced by Saab AB have defended the nation for decades. From their first jet fighter in 1945, through to the modern-day, Saab have developed a series of unique and highly capable jet fighter aircraft for the Swedish Air Force… Read More Saab Jet Fighters – Sweden’s Finest
Any (North American) Rockwell OV-10 Bronco fans out there? It is one of my favourite aircraft. I like the styling of the Bronco and it was a great success story for Rockwell as a light attack and observation aircraft. 360 OV-10 aircraft were produced between 1965 and 1986. OV-10 US Military Service The OV-10 first… Read More Rockwell OV-10 Bronco: The Observation and Counter Insurgency Specialist
During the Avalon Australian International Airshow 2019 (March 1st to 3rd) there was also a Friday night show. The glorious sunset made a great backdrop for the twilight flying displays and then the night program featured massive flare drops, aircraft pyrotechnics and yes, even unplanned grass fires! A crowd favourite was a single pass by a… Read More Avalon Australian International Airshow 2019 Night Show
It was windy, dusty and hot, very hot, at Avalon this year! Temperatures pushed upwards of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and it was not for the feint hearted – heat stroke was apparently a problem in the crowd on the public days (March 1st to 3rd)! I have been to many scorching shows in… Read More Avalon Australian International Airshow 2019