Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Was There Ever a YF-24?

Was there ever a YF-24? The US Air Force says no. "Our historians said there is no record of there ever having been a YF-24," says Lt Col Max Despain, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon. "Perhaps it's being mistaken for an X-24 which wasn't a fighter?"

That said, this old bio for a former test pilot, Colonel Joseph A. Lanni lists such an aircraft--which is curious. So there remains a small possibility a YF-24 might have been squirreled away somewhere out in the desert in Nevada. I say that because Lanni, according to his bio, commanded a classified flight test unit between July 1995 and June 1997.

While the entry in the bio might be a typo, it was certainly not the X-24 that Lanni flew. The Martin Marietta X-24A flew during 1963 to 1975, which was well before Lanni became an Air Force pilot. It's also not likely that Lanni flew the Northrop YF-23 either since he was assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida during the time those jets were flying.

So, what exactly the YF-24 is or was is still kind of a mystery. Your guess is as good as mine.

Intriguing. Not sure I buy it, but the link included in the article is most likely a typo.  Still an interesting idea that some group attempted to get something built that was a fighter prototype.  It'd also explain why Boeing beat out McDAC for the JSF prototype contract.

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