Air International 1983-09
T.Cleaver - Tigershark update
The F-20, in its grey finish, heads for the wide blue yonder, demonstrating its ability to reach 40,000ft (12 200 m) in little more than two minutes.
Ready for its appearance at the Paris Air Show in May/June, the F-20 flies over the Californian desert.
The F-20 prototype celebrates the first anniversary of its maiden flight on 30 August, 1983. A year of testing has confirmed the excellence of the Tiger shark, but Northrop has yet to secure the all-important launching contracts.
One of the Tigershark's air-to-ground configurations, with five Mk82 bombs on the centreline pylon, two fuel tanks on the inboard wing pylons, two GBU-12 laser-guided bombs outboard and two AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMs.
The first Northrop F-20 Tigershark, and the only example flown up to the time this issue went to press, is shown in the photo in the air combat grey finish in which it was temporarily tested earlier in 1983. It subsequently reverted to the eye-catching red and white finish.
The Tigershark's cockpit is designed to decrease the pilot's workload, particularly during critical phases of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. This photograph shows the HOTAS (Hands on Stick and Throttle) arrangement, and the HUD (head-up display). Other communications between the pilot and the Tigershark's integrated digital avionics system are conducted through the two digital display indicator screens (located at either side of the top of the instrument panel) and through the data entry panel (located just below the HUD).