Northrop YF-17

Prototype fighter aircraft designed by Northrop Aviation

The Northrop Aviation YF 17.
photo: NASA

The Northrop YF-17 was a lightweight fighter aircraft of the Northrop Corporation. It was designed for the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program of the United States Air Force. The YF-17 was picked for the new Naval Fighter Attack Experimental (VFAX) program. The aircraft did not successfully enter production.

Manufacturer:
Northrop Grumman
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1972 to: 1974
ICAO:
YF17
Price:

Specifications

Avionics:
Engine:
2x General Electric YJ101-100
Jet
Power:
14,400 pound-force
Max Cruise Speed:
1150 knots
2,130 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
Travel range:
2,400 Nautical Miles
4,445 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
60,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
50000 feet / minute
254.00metre / second
Take Off Distance:
Landing Distance:
Max Take Off Weight:
13,894 Kg
30,631 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
Max Payload:
4,369 Kg
9,632 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
16.92 metre - 55.51 feet
Tail height:
4.42 metre - 14.50 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
0.9 metre - 2.95 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
10.67 metre - 35.01 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets
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Description

In 1971, the United States Air Force’s Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program was announced. As a response, the aircraft manufacturer Northrop reformed the P-530 into the P-600 that would be given the designation YF-17A. Although the P-530 was for multi-role operations, the P-600 was intended to be purely an air-to-air demonstrator, and in consequence, the cannon’s position was changed from the bottom part of the fuselage to the higher portion.

The Northrop YF-17’s airframe was mainly built of aluminum in a typical semi-monocoque structural system, however, more than 408 kg of it was made of graphite and epoxy composite. The aircraft has an external length of 16.92 meters, an exterior height of 3 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 0.9 meters.

The cockpit is equipped with an ejector seat that inclines at eighteen degrees. It also features a bubble canopy for a wider and unobstructed view and a head-up display that provides important data. The slim wings had a wingspan of 10.67 meters and a wing area of 33 square meters and were constructed of composite face sheets over a Nomex honeycomb core. The leading edge as well as the trailing edge were also of the same construction as the wings. A speedbrake made of composite was positioned on top and in the middle of the engines.

The YF-17 was powered by two General Electric YJ101-100 engines. It was an afterburning turbofan specifically developed for the aircraft with a maximum thrust rate of 14,400 lbf each. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,150 knots at 40,000 feet. It has a travel range of 2,400 nautical miles and a service ceiling of 60,000 feet. The rate of climb is 50000 feet per minute. The YF-17 has a maximum takeoff weight of 13,894 kg and a maximum payload of 4,369 kg. The aircraft was armed with a 1×20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles.