Air International 1982-03
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R.Braybrook - From Claws to Jaws
The first of the three flying prototypes of the N-156F Freedom Fighters, here seen carrying a 2.000-lb (907-kg) class practice bomb on the centreline pylon and 150-US gal (568-l) drop tanks on the wings.
The 150th production F-5A at take-off in 1965. USAF serial numbers were carried but, apart from the Skoshi Tiger aircraft, production was entirely for export.
One of the 12 F-5As used by the USAF for the Skoshi Tiger evaluation in Vietnam. Modifications made for this trial would have produced the single-seat F-5C and two-seat F-5D, had production been ordered.
Available for use on the F-5E and F-5G is the new General Electric GEPOD, containing a 30-mm cannon with a firing rate of 2.400 rounds per minute.
The first two-seat F-5F keeps company with an early production F-5E, both carrying AIM-9 Sidewinders at the wing tips.
The enlarged LEX on the late-production F-5E for the Royal Thai Air Force, this aircraft also having the new “sharknose" profile.
From experience with the F-5A, Northrop evolved the F-5E, which has sold in large numbers to many air arms, including both the USAF and US Navy. This example carries the markings of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
For a few specific customers, including the Forca Aerea Brasileira, F-5Es have been produced with small dorsal fin extensions containing the ADF antenna.
The full scale mock-up of the F-5G Tigershark show its major new features, including a single engine, with revised air inlets, a new cooling air intake at the base of the fin, and - as already applied to late-production F-5Es - enlarged leading edge extensions and a flattened, shark­like nose shape.
The full-scale mock-up of the Northrop F-5G Tigershark, the first example of which is to fly this year.
An impression of the Northrop F-5G Tigershark
Northrop F-5G Tigershark
For reconnaissance duty, the RF-5E variant is available, with cameras in a modified nose. This photograph also shows the original LEX shape, compared with the enlarged LEX on the late-production F-5E