Aircraft Designation Questions

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Kryptid

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Unread post27 Feb 2009, 16:23

Ah, interesting.

4) As one progresses through the fighter designation numbers (F-14, F-15, F-16, YF-17, F-18....F-20), it becomes apparent that the designation of "F-19" was skipped over. Why was this? Perhaps there was an F-19 in the works but it was cancelled?
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Guysmiley

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Unread post27 Feb 2009, 18:25

Kryptid wrote:Ah, interesting.

4) As one progresses through the fighter designation numbers (F-14, F-15, F-16, YF-17, F-18....F-20), it becomes apparent that the designation of "F-19" was skipped over. Why was this? Perhaps there was an F-19 in the works but it was cancelled?


Most popular explanation is that it was either intended for what became the F-117, or it was a "honey-pot" for misdirecting people looking for information on the F-117.
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TC

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Unread post27 Feb 2009, 20:28

Guy's right. Smoke and mirrors was all it was. Testors had the famous F-19 model on the market for a few years in the mid 80s. This was to become the top selling model kit of all time, and it created a media frenzy. People were doing all they could to find out information on the new F-19 Stealth Fighter. Some so-called "aviation experts" even wrote books with all of the specs, as if this aircraft actually existed. There was even a Congressional hearing as to how and why the information on the U.S.'s first Stealth Fighter could have been leaked.

Of course, at the same time, there was a group at Tonopah who were watching NBC News and laughing their @$$es off...

I'd say that the "F-19" was one of the best cover stories/hoodwinks/rope-a-dopes of all time.
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post27 Feb 2009, 22:14

Yeah, it's funny though that the Nighthawk jumped back to the 1950s-60s for its Century series style number of 117. I wonder who came up with that idea? If we ever get past the 50 mark in the near future, we will have a lot of numbers to skip this time around!
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TC

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Unread post27 Feb 2009, 23:13

The -117 designation was to further the ruse. Rumor has it, that numbers 112 through 116 were Americanized designations of captured MiGs. Therefore, the F-111 was the highest aircraft designation that Joe Six Pack thought that the U.S. had until 1988. If one didn't know there was an aircraft designation past the F-111, then you certainly wouldn't look all the way to 117 for the next designation.

Some would say that the "F" designation was a ruse in and of itself. The official explanation, was that Congress wouldn't fund a "Stealth Attack Jet", however, they would fund a "Stealth Fighter".

The unofficial explanation, was that fighter types wouldn't be interested in applying for a "Stealth Attack Jet" assignment. However, a "Stealth FIGHTER" assignment sounds very attractive.

Is this true? I couldn't say for certain. There will always be a portion of that program that will remain in the black.
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 00:11

Personally, I find the attack community more appealing- dual role platforms like the F-16 enhance that capability. 8)

However, stealth technology attack platforms make the missions VERY attractive. Especially so in performing a Wild Weasel type mission profile, I can't wait to see an F-35A variation for that job!!!

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 00:46

I think a portion of the rationale for some of the "oddball" designations had to do with the fact that something had to go into the pilot's IFR (individual flight record or formerly the Form 5) to document flying time (for currencies, training events, etc.)

The pilot also needed this for pay or to get an airline job when he got out.

I don't believe the IFR was classified any higher than OBO, if that, although any aircraft associated with the designations could be. Things may have changed though.

And I could be wrong totally.

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TC

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 01:22

StolichnayaStrafer wrote:Personally, I find the attack community more appealing- dual role platforms like the F-16 enhance that capability.


Two things to caviat there:

1) You have to understand a fighter pilot here. The pointy end types didn't want to fly an "A-" anything, especially your "Not a Pound..." type fighter pilots. Hence, the "F-117" instead of "A-14". Well, that, and the aforementioned Congressional funding.

2) The F-16 shall NEVER be considered an attack airframe! Multi-role strike fighter, yes, but attack jet, NO!...and remember, all instructions or procedures prefaced by the word "Shall" are mandatory. :wink:
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StolichnayaStrafer

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 02:16

Jeesh, I said DUAL role in reference to the F-16- sorry I didn't say MULTI role!

Nuts to you, I would have flown the SPECIAL A-16 Fighting Falcon- I loved it in Europe One camouflage- LEAPIN' LIZARDS!!! 8)

:P

Hope you have a great weekend though, TC. I love all of our flyers of course... that's why I love Weasels best of all.

First in, last out- I want EVERYONE to make it back!!! :crazypilot:
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Roscoe

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 05:06

Northrop was building the F-5G and wanted to make it sound more modern than an upgraded F-5. F-19 was next, but Northrop petitioned for F-20 (20 sounds better than 19) and it was approved. Nothing else involved.
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TC

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 07:46

Weasels the last out?...Maybe if this were Linebacker II. Not much that the Weasels can do against one man out there carrying one MANPAD tube...but that's a story for another thread, class.

Thanks for setting us straight Roscoe. D@mn, when the true story is told, it makes some of our posts up there sound like we need tinfoil hats. :lol:
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ptplauthor

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Unread post28 Feb 2009, 21:54

For some reason, I'm having deja vu, but oh, well

Could the -117 have been given such a high number to cover it as a Russian jet (MiG-23=YF-113 supposedly), and by the way, didn't the Century Series stop with the F-106 or is this another thing I've mislearned?

And to go with what TC said, I've seen some Nighthawk pilots say that they wouldn't have picked the jet if it hadn't had an "F" designation, and so it was given one....the irony of that is that they ended up training in the A-7 before the first -117s showed up, and even then there weren't many to go around.

From a sourced (FWIW) article on Wikipedia: (The first source is: Jay Miller's Lockheed F-117 Stealth Fighter , the second is from a History Channel show that I have seen myself about the technology behind the F-117.) I just want to point out the sources so you don't shoot the messenger a/k/a ME for posting another thing from Wikipedia.

As with other exotic military aircraft types flying in the southern Nevada area, such as captured fighters, an arbitrary radio call of "117" was assigned. This same radio call had been used by the enigmatic 4477th "Red Hats/Red Eagles" unit that often had flown expatriated MiGs in the area, but there was no relationship to the call and the formal F-19 designation then being considered by the Air Force. Apparently, use of the "117" radio call became commonplace and when Lockheed released its first flight manual ("dash one"), F-117A was the designation printed on the cover.[1*]

A recent televised documentary quoted a senior member of the F-117A development team as saying that the top-notch fighter pilots required to fly the new aircraft were more easily attracted to an "F" plane, as opposed to a "B" or "A" aircraft.[2*]


the Wikipedia references are 21 and 22 on the site, I switched them for the post.
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TC

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Unread post01 Mar 2009, 00:44

PT, The Century Series did end at F-106.

-107, -108, and -109 were prototypes which were cancelled.

F-110 was the original AF designation for the F-4.

F-111, of course, was the 'Vark, leaving -112 through -116 supposedly for the captured MiG designations.
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Kryptid

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Unread post04 Mar 2009, 09:12

5) Are NATO reporting names still given to Russian aircraft today? You know, along the lines of "Blackjack", "Flanker", "Condor", etc.? If the Sukhoi T-50 ever takes to the air, will it likely be given a NATO reporting name?
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ptplauthor

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Unread post04 Mar 2009, 14:40

5) Are NATO reporting names still given to Russian aircraft today? You know, along the lines of "Blackjack", "Flanker", "Condor", etc.? If the Sukhoi T-50 ever takes to the air, will it likely be given a NATO reporting name?


Yes, NATO still does assign codenames (the Su-47 is "Firkin"). I'd guess NATO would assign the codename sometime in the months following the T-50's flight.
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