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A-12 Avenger II

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
A-12 Avenger II
An artist's concept of the A-12 Avenger aircraft
Type All-weather stealth attack aircraft
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics
Status Cancelled
Primary users United States Navy
United States Marine Corps
Number built 0; mockups only
Unit cost US$165 million

The A-12 Avenger II was an American aircraft program from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics intended to be an all-weather, stealth attack replacement for the A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marines. The aircraft suffered numerous problems throughout its development, especially with the materials, and when the projected cost of each aircraft ballooned to an estimated US$165 million, the project was cancelled by then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in January 1991.

The Navy shifted to buy the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which has replaced the A-7, A-6, and the F-14.

Artists' conceptions and mockups of the craft revealed a flying wing design in the shape of an isosceles triangle, with the cockpit situated near the apex of the triangle. The aircraft was designed to have two General Electric F412-GE-D5F2 turbofans (each producing about 13,000 lbf (58 kN) thrust and was equipped to carry up to two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, two AGM-88 HARMs and a full complement of air-to-ground ordnance, including Mk 82 bombs or smart bombs in an internal weapons bay. The A-12 gained the nickname "Flying Dorito".

False UFO?

In the mid-1980s a round of UFO sightings had occurred, and many of them involved "triangular-shaped" objects; a repeated set of sightings in southern Nevada around dusk was seen and filmed by laymen and skeptics alike, turning out to have been the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter before it was officially released to the public. A blurred rendition of the above artist's conception of the Avenger II also made the rounds as an "official" photograph of a UFO; further photographs of triangular UFOs with similar lines to the Avenger II have lead some to wonder if the aircraft had actually moved into test flight status. [1]

Specifications (A-12 Avenger II)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 37 ft 10 in (11.5 m)
  • Wingspan:
    • Unfolded: 70 ft 3 in (21.4 m)
    • Folded: 36 ft 3 in (11.0 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 3 in (3.4 m)
  • Wing area: 1,308 ft² (122 m²)
  • Empty weight: 39,000 lb (17,700 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 80,000 lb (36,300 kg)
  • Powerplant:General Electric F412-GE-D5F2 non-afterburning turbofans, 13,000 lbf (58 kN) each


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