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Northrop N-102 Fang

Lightweight Fighter Design Study

Northrop N-102 Fang

Lightweight Fighter Design Study

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Northrop N-102 Fang existed as nothing more than a design study for a jet-powered lightweight fighter - the requirement was fulfilled by the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter series.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1953
MANUFACTURER(S): Northrop - USA
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United States (design study only)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Northrop N-102 Fang model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 41.01 feet (12.5 meters)
WIDTH: 22.97 feet (7 meters)
HEIGHT: 13.78 feet (4.2 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 9,921 pounds (4,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 16,314 pounds (7,400 kilograms)
ENGINE: Various fits proposed including 1 x General Electric J79 turbojet engine.
SPEED (MAX): 1,420 miles-per-hour (2285 kilometers-per-hour; 1,234 knots)
RANGE: 621 miles (1,000 kilometers; 540 nautical miles)
CEILING: 55,774 feet (17,000 meters; 10.56 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 5,500 feet-per-minute (1,676 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



PROPOSED:
80 to 100 x 1.5" aerial rockets held in wingroot compartments.

Alternative Weapon Kits Proposed:
2 x 20mm cannons
2 x 30mm cannons
2" aerial rockets
Conventional drop bombs
Nuclear payloads

Provision for external fuel tanks also planned.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• N-102 "Fang" - Base Project Name; mockup completed.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Northrop N-102 Fang Lightweight Fighter Design Study.  Entry last updated on 3/30/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The rise of the turbojet engine after World War 2 (1939-1945) led to a new Golden Age for military aircraft development. Aircraft could now be made more aerodynamically efficient and exceed previously dreamt about speeds (supersonic) while presenting warplanners with an all-new approach to waging conventional wars. Beyond the jet engine, swept-back wings were another consistent quality of these aircraft and many designs were drawn up to fulfill an plethora of requirements being put forth by various powers of the world.

In the United States, various fighter designs emerged during the early Cold War period - some were successful while many languished as paper drawings or mockups before seeing cancellation or total abandonment. Northrop revealed its N-102 "Fang" light-class fighter in the early 1950s in response to a USAF need and the compact fighter exhibited the calling cards for fighters of the day - sweptback wings and a streamlined fuselage.

Engineers elected for a relatively basic configuration which sat the pilot at front behind a short nosecone assembly and under a largely unobstructed canopy. There was to be good over-the-nose viewing from the pilot's position due to the downward angle of the nose section. A single split air intake was seated along the fuselage's ventral line under the cockpit which gave the fighter a somewhat deep-body appearance when viewed in its side profile. While engineers favored a twin-engine approach for power and reliability, a single-engine design was presented for simplicity of construction, ease of maintenance and lower procurement cost. Power would come from a General Electric J79 series turbojet buried within the fuselage (the Wright TJ31B3 - a license-built Armstrong Siddeley "Sapphire" - was the original thought). The empennage consisted of a single vertical tail fin with horizontal planes set along the sides of the aircraft's rear - though the original thinking settled on a Vee-style tail arrangement ("butterfly") but this feature was dropped in 1954. A tricycle undercarriage rounded out the design's presentation.

One of the more notable qualities of the Fang was its sharply-pointed wing mainplanes (delta-wing) which sat at shoulder-height along the fuselage sides. These assemblies ended at an extreme point to promote a triangular shape and these mainplanes were additionally given slight anhedral beyond their midway point. The main landing gear legs would recess into the wing mainplanes while the nose accepted the retracting nose leg.

Compared to its peers, the Fang was very compact. Thought was given to versatility and the airframe was designed to accept one of four available jet engines at any one time to suit mission requirements - a rather forward-thinking design quality. Proposed armament was to be 80 to 100 x 1.5" aerial rockets held in wingroot compartments but, like the various engine fits, this could be changed to suit the mission need. Kits of 2 x 20mm and 2 x 30mm cannons were proposed as were 2" rocket sets, bombs and a nuclear delivery capability.

While the N-102 was never furthered beyond some drawings and a mockup form (its entire life was in project form only), the design was said to have influenced the upcoming F-5 "Tiger" lightweight fighter program some. USAF authorities instead went the route of selecting a Lockheed submission for its high-altitude day-fighter requirement, this becoming the F-104 "Starfighter".




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1500mph
Lo: 750mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (1,420mph).

    Graph average of 1125 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Northrop N-102 Fang's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Roles
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Interception
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Maritime/Navy
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Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
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Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
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Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft external fuel tank
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