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Now the X-48B made its first flight, reaching the 2.300 meters and flying for well 31 minutes (the aircraft was controlled from the ground).
L’ YF-23 Black Widow II the aircraft was proposed by the consortium Northrop / McDonnell Douglas to respond to the competition called ATF (Advanced Tecnical Fighter) American held by the Air Force.
The program, conceived in the early '80s served to find a superior class of aircraft the F-15 Eagle (to replace the same). The competition also participated in the consortium Lockheed – Boeing – General Dynamics with an aircraft named YF-22 which turned out to winner.
The first prototype flew in August dell'YF-23 1990, in advance of a month compared to competing YF-22.
The choice of the prototype occurred in April 1991, when, after various consultations Air Force Secretary Donald Rice announced the winner, that the YF-22, who took the name of F-22.
Currently the prototype YF-23 is found in various museums to the memory of a “war” giants of American aircraft: The first prototype is currently awaiting restoration lies in a hangar at the USAF Museum in Ohio; The second prototype, for years after being exposed to the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne (California) under conditions of rapid deterioration, It was restored again by the same Northrop.
See flying a YF-23 was something sensational: it was a plane by the lines unconventional, with a rhomboidal plan and tail “to V” fully mobile totally useful to control the aircraft.
But why was not the chosen race?
Although it was a stealth aircraft, fast and secure, But it was less maneuverable dell'YF-22; Also the system of missile in the one compartment bilge ventral most intimidating for some people: In fact, one break could bankrupt an entire mission.
It was developed in the late '40s but, although two prototypes were built, you never came to mass production.
How then could bring relief to these giants of the air or manforte? Of course at that time there were no or refueling in flight or hunting so fast and so powerful that provide assistance and escort in a very short time. It was necessary to carry a parasite aircraft that can operate in case of need: was born the idea of’XF-85.
The idea was not new aircraft parasites: both the Germans and the Russians had brought about solutions. The Americans themselves had devised the F9C-2 Sparrowhawk, a fighter embarked on a blimp.
What became of the XF-85?
Well, after the first tests, we quickly realized that the docking maneuvers were very complex for the testers of’XF-85: train a common pilot was a very challenging undertaking.
Also, also because of the shape in plan of the aircraft the XF-85 proved to be very maneuverable, and therefore vulnerable in case of fighting against enemy aircraft operated.
The program was then deleted 24/10/1949.