Northrop YF-23 "Black Widow" Stealth Fighter Prototype (1990)
About the Design
In the early 1980s, military planners within the Reagan Administration recognized the need for an Advanced Technical Fighter (ATF) to replace the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the early 21st Century. In 1986, the Defense Department pit two American aerospace giants against each other to produce such a plane. Lockheed's candidate was the YF-22 Raptor. Northrop/McDonnell Douglas's entry was this plane, the YF-23 Black Widow. Both planes incorporated the latest in advanced aeronautics, including composite materials, lightweight alloys, high-power propulsion system and stealth radar-evading avionics.
Lockheed and Northrop/MCD both built two prototypes of their ATFs, one with General Electric engines, the other with Pratt & Whitneys. The first of two YF-23 prototypes was rolled out in June 1990 and flight tests began almost immediately. Although some considered the YF-23 to be the superior aircraft, it was Lockheed that ultimately won the ATF contract.
About the Kit
Testors' release of its 1/72 YF-23 ATF model occurred almost simultaneous with the unveiling of the Black Window itself. It was a sleek, well-engineered kit that built up into an impressive display piece.
The model was subsequently released in the mid-1990s with new box art by Testors' overseas sister company, Italeri. Although the Testors kit has long been out of production, the Italeri version is still readily available.
This model was built from the original Testors issue.