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Posted 9/27/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
F-5E Tiger
Northrop F-5E "Tiger II" S/N 73-01640
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Northrop F-5E "Tiger II"
S/N 73-01640

Crew:   One
Engines:   Two General Electric J85-GE-21 turbojets; 5,000 lbs thrust each with afterburner
Wingspan:   26 ft 8 in
Length:   48 ft 2 in
Height:   13 ft 4 in
Weight:   max: 24,675 lbs
Speed:   1,050 mph (Mach 1.63)
Range:   2,300 miles (with external fuel tanks)
Service Ceiling:   50,700 ft
Armament:   Two M-39 20mm cannons; rockets, missiles, and 5,500 lbs bombs loaded externally
Cost:   $756,000

The F-5E was a vastly improved variant of the earlier F-5A "Freedom Fighter" built primarily for foreign military sales. This particular aircraft, S/N 73-01640, was originally a Northrop test/chase jet at Edwards AFB, California, for the first few years of its life until it was called up for duty in 1976 and assigned to the 425th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Williams AFB, Arizona. The squadron was assigned to Luke AFB but because of the similarity of maintenance and parts between the T-38 and the F-5 it was placed at Williams.

TSgt Jay Johnson worked with 73-01640 beginning in 1977. He relates that "the aircraft was painted a green camouflage, not unlike the paint schemes that we saw during the Vietnam War era. In 1982 I was assigned as lead crew chief on 1640. The aircraft had a blue camouflage paint scheme. In 1983 a program was established to paint all of the F-5s a polyurethane grey. 73-1640 was one of the best flying aircraft that the 425th had and it was the best time of my crew chief career."

This aircraft is on exhibit at the museum courtesy of the Mature and Proven Aircraft Directorate of the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB. It is painted to closely resemble the F-5Es flown by the USAF Aggressor Squadrons at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

Thanks to TSgt Johnson for sharing his memories of working on 73-01640.

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