Thread: F-19A Specter
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Old 05-15-2006
JCoyote JCoyote is offline
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Originally Posted by UZI4U
No, that aircraft does not exist, nor any other aircraft that goes by the name 'F-19'. F-19 was skipped on request from Northop, so that their new Super F-5 would get the much-cooler number "F-20".
This was one of the designs suspected of being the stealth fighter before the actual stealth fighter was formally unveiled. There was a period there some people may forget where we knew we had such a weapon, but didn't know exactly what it looked like. This design was commonly thrown around as a result of that ignorance. In fact, it might be interesting to find out exactly who originally came up with the concept. Was it a failed stealth fighter proposal? Was it disinformation to confuse data about the real fighter? Or was it just the work of an artist's imagination? I even have a model kit somewhere that was for a theorized Soviet stealth fighter that well obviously was impossible.

Originally Posted by UZI4U
There are several craft that have replaced the SR-71, but none of them were ever known as 'Aurora'.
Aurora was an item on a congressional funding bill that was unidentified but in the place where aircraft research would have been back in what... 1987? Somewhere in there. At that point, various high altitude high speed unrevealed prototypes that were witnessed started being referred to as "Aurora". It is quite possible that there was an Aurora program, but also just as possible that the name got changed after that. A bit like if the Kingfish program was continued (with the less capable but useful SR71 getting the press coverage) odds are it would not have been under that name anymore. Also, being just as likely a program as a particular plane, it could also be that Aurora was never a specific plane, but a program producing a variety of high speed high altitude prototypes.

Although nothing seems to have gone into scale production... it is quite possible that given the speeds some of these craft would be capable of and the need for intelligence only they could provide... that they never would go into tracable scale production. The world becomes a pretty small place when you go hypersonic. When 4 to 6 craft could fulfil the requirements for intel gathering needed from the craft, I wouldn't expect the things to get past the "prototype" stage. Ever. In which case, aircraft designs could be tested, used for recon, and retired after years of useful service without ever being declassified. Ever.

At least, in the current situation, that's how I'd do things.
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