YF-16 prototype number 2 returns home

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Jon

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 17:47

Fort Worth Aviation Museum received the 2nd prototype by flat bed truck from Rome, New York on January 25, 2020. They are looking for help to restore this aircraft. Aircraft spent almost 30 years at Rome. Assuming the photo below was taken at/near Rome as there is snow in the background.

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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 18:13

beautiful
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johnwill

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Unread post30 Jan 2020, 18:48

Welcome home! I'll see you soon. :applause:
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Unread post02 Feb 2020, 22:42

Outstanding!
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habu2

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Unread post10 Feb 2020, 17:16

I went to the Fort Worth Aviation Museum this weekend to see '568. The museum group was very accommodating and allowed me to photograph the jet extensively. A few observations:

After decades of mods and testing at Rome, the airframe is incomplete and in rough shape. The jet is pretty much "empty" as one would expect. No cockpit, no landing gear, no engine. The split nose gear doors remain but the main gear doors appear to be sheet metal covers with odd tacked on fairings in front of the doors. The nose has been modified to accept a production radome, with a fairing added under the fuselage to blend in the radome shape. The outlines of where prototype CFTs were mounted are visible, and in a few places the adhesive used to attach them has has pulled off layers of paint and one can see the original blue/white "cloud" scheme underneath. The rest of the airframe is painted in a metallic Have Glass type of paint. The top of the vertical tail has been modded to represent a production shape. I did not see the tail's dorsal base so I don't know if it is the original YF shape or was also modded to a production (C/D) shape.

The fuselage strakes forward of the wings were cut off (I assume for shipping width constraints) and exposed an interesting find. Wooden shims have been inserted between the bulkhead frames and the outer skin to reshape the upper exterior profile. I don't know if this was done during the original production or later at Rome.

Things that were still original I found interesting - the canopy latch on the port side of the canopy frame was still there. The gun muzzle insert differs from the original production (FSD) piece, the number of slots and holes are different. Also interesting to see how the wing attach brackets differed from the production jets. I believe the inlet is the original but the leading edge has the 'sticky lips' added.

The museum plans to restore and repaint the jet in the red-white-blue scheme and, since the landing gear has been removed, mount the airframe on a pylon. It will be displayed outdoors, as all their aircraft are.

I will upload some pics when I have the time. One very interesting note, one of the museum volunteers I had the pleasure to meet was Rick Oestricher, Phil's son.
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