Many of the finest aeroplanes ever made were consigned to the scrapheap of history. Sometimes they were defeated in evaluations by superior opponents. Sometimes bribery, intrigue or plain bad luck killed these unlucky warriors. Here is a mouth-watering selection of ten fighters which didn’t make it to squadron service.
Despite being faster and stealthier, the YF-23 was turned down in favour of what became the F-22 Raptor. A real shame, as USAF missed out on one of the best-looking fighters ever made (as opposed to the F-22, which looks like an F-15 that hasn’t been taken out its packaging).
9. Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow
The phrase ‘Canadian superfighter’ sounds odd, but that’s what the CF-105 was. Fast, long-ranged and fitted with advanced avionics, it would have proved formidable. It is still mourned by Canadians today, leading to the bizarre recent proposal for a production line to be opened in the near future.
6. Dassault Mirage 4000
The Mirage 4000 was a scaled-up Mirage 2000. It had twice the power and would have been enormously capable. It would have been in the same class as the F-15E.
5. IAI Lavi
4. Northrop F-20 Tigershark
2. North American YF-107
1. Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III (Reader’s choice, suggested by Rowland White)
If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy the Top Ten best-looking British aircraft: https://hushkit.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/hush-kit-top-ten-the-ten-best-looking-british-aircraft/
..or our exclusive article on Britain’s P.1154 STOVL fighter: https://hushkit.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/the-hawker-p-1154-britains-supersonic-jumpjet/