The Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was a prototype fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force. It was entered in the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program in the early 1980s, but lost out to the Lockheed YF-22, which entered production as the F-22 Raptor.
Two YF-23 prototypes were designed and built by Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the ATF selection program, which concluded in 1990. One prototype was powered by twin Pratt and Whitney YF119 turbofan engines, while the other was installed with two General Electric YF120 turbofan engines. The YF-23 employed stealth characteristics and was capable of supersonic cruise flight without afterburner. The aircraft achieved a speed of Mach 1.8 during the program.
There was no official USAF nickname for the YF-23A, thus the Northrop YF-23A team personnel chose the name “Black Widow II” to commemorate the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, the first American aircraft specifically designed as a night fighter.
In April 1991, the Air Force selected Lockheeds YF-22 design for full-scale development. According to the USAF, factors in the selection for production of the F-22 were better design for maintainability, greater potential for future development, and slightly lower cost. Supporters of the YF-23 believe that the YF-23 should have won the ATF competition due to its agility, stealth and greater fuel capacity.
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Scale: 1/48 scale model, Wing Span: 10.63 In., Length: 16.5 In.