Other than the Blackbird family of aircraft, I plan on covering rocket planes, experimental aircraft, any oddball/interesting aerospace items I stumble upon, and prototypes. This is one of my prototype posts, covering the YF-17.
On the left, we have Northrop YF-17 Cobra, Prototype 72-1570. This prototype, one of only two ever made, would eventually be developed into the F/A-18.
The bird on the right is McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet 162417, Snake 407, the first Hornet to see battle.
In the 1960s, the United States Air Force initiated an acquisition program called the Lightweight Fighter Competition (LWF). This competitive prototyping competition pitted two aircraft together, the General Dynamics YF-16, and Northrop’s YF-17. Both aircraft would conduct flyoffs against each other, competing for an Air Force production contract. Our YF-17 actually lost. The YF-16 won the Air Force contract and went into production as the F-16 we know today. Rather than scrapping the losing YF-17, the United States Navy favored the design for carrier use and developed it into the widely used F/A-18 Hornet.
Both of these aircraft are on display at the USS Alabama Battleship Museum in Mobile, Alabama. The museum also contains A-12 #06938, which I’ve covered on multiple previous posts in this project.
Formation parked Sunday. “YF-16 parked with the first full-scale development F-16. The overall length grew by thirteen inches. The nose, which accounts for about three of those additional inches, acquired a slight droop to accommodate the Westinghouse APG-66 multimode radar.”