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Northrop F-5 "Freedom Fighter"

The F-5 "Freedom Fighter" was developed in the late 1950's by Northrop seeking to fulfill the United States and International market interests for a inexpensive, multi-functional fighter aircraft. First flown in July 1959, the F-5 was powered by (2) General Electric turbojets each supplying 5,000 lbs of thrust. Coupled with its light airframe and advanced aerodynamic features the F-5 had a maximum air speed of 1,075 mph (MACH 1.6) and a range of 1,500 miles. Armament consisted (2) 20mm cannons mounted in the nose of the aircraft, (2) "Sidewinder" air to air missiles and up to 7,000 lbs of various bombs, rockets and external fuel pods. Within the U.S. Air Force the role as a fighter was limited due to being over-shadowed by superior aircraft such as the F-4 "Phantom." Although, F-5's were utilized in Vietnam by the U.S Air Force during 1965-1966 and later transferred to the South Vietnamese National Air Force (VNAF) in 1967. However, it was utilized extensively as a introduction jet aircraft trainer and "enemy" aircraft simulator by the U.S. Navy and Air Force air combat training schools. In addition, Northrop had long term success in sales of 2,600 aircraft through military assistance programs to many "friendly" nations.



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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net