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The legacy of the Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter is indisputable, but it all began with a few prototypes. Read more about 59-4988 and its role in bringing about a fighter that has stood the test of time. Get your N-156F/YF-5A PlaneTags today.
The F-5 Freedom Fighter is a lightweight, single seat multi role aircraft, built around two high thrust GE J85 turbojet engines. It was designed from the ground up for high performance, durability, enhanced maneuverability, easy maintenance, and at a low cost. Development began in the 1950’s with a Navy requirement for a new fighter, designated N-156, to serve smaller escort carriers. Although the Navy withdrew its requirement, Northrop continued to develop this aircraft privately. Later, after Congress enacted the Military Assistance Program to provide low cost fighters to less developed nations, interest in the N-156F was renewed. Only two N-156F prototypes were produced by Northrop, 59-4987/8, with a third, 59-4989 being built as a YF-5A.
59-4988 was Northrop’s second F-5 prototype, and was outfitted for unimproved field operations, performing trials on grass runways with single and double tires on the front landing gear. The prototypes performed well in the MAP evaluation against other possible fighters, proving the design a success. The F-5 was chosen and production began by both Northrop and other nations under contract. The F-5 family includes the F-5A and B Freedom Fighters, Skoshi Tigers, the Tiger II, and many variants produced by other nations. The F-5 airframe was also the basis for the YF-17 and F/A-18 Hornet. Its modular approach to maintenance and upgrades has extended its life cycle for decades, and the F-5 legacy continues today.
Don’t miss this chance to add YF-5A PlaneTags to your collection. Celebrate one of the most enduring military aircraft with a small piece of an original prototype to display or carry with you. PlaneTags make the best gift - engrave one and share a piece of aviation history with someone you love.
*Important Notice – Please Read Carefully
PlaneTags are made from actual retired aircraft fuselage, not merely stamped metal. Because PlaneTags are made from real fuselage, each PlaneTag bears the color, thickness, and wear and tear from the portion of the fuselage from which it was cut and it is therefore rare to create two identical PlaneTags. These variations and imperfections are not product flaws. They are part of the beauty of PlaneTags. As a result, you will not have an option to select the color of your PlaneTag. The images on this website are provided for reference only and should not be used as the sole basis for choosing a particular PlaneTag.