We are pleased to offer our Classic Series rendition of the Northrop YF-23 single seat experimental stealth fighter. A unique (and very fast!) experience, the YF-23 has been re-released from our vaults due to popular request. Updated to provide compatibility with current platforms, it represents a great value for the flight simulation enthusiast.
Classic Series: YF-23 Black Widow II
Introducing the YF-23 Black Widow II
In the late 1970's, US officials were becoming increasingly concerned after reconnaissance satellites began spotting the first advanced Soviet fighter prototypes of the Su-27 and the MiG-29. It was widely thought that these new aircraft were about to negate or reduce the previously enjoyed maneuverability advantage of current US fighter aircraft. By the 1981, the US Air Force began exploring possible features for an Advanced Tactical Fighter that would eventually replace the F-15 Eagle. A decision was made that this new fighter aircraft would focus primarily on an air-to-air combat role, and would utilize emerging composite and stealth technologies.
In July 1986, after proposals by five different defence contractors, both Lockheed and Northrop were selected as finalists and given a little over four years to build and test their prototypes, respectively the YF-22 and the YF-23.
An unconventional-looking aircraft, with diamond-shaped wings, a cockpit placed high for good pilot visibility, and an all-moving V-tail, the YF-23 was designed to meet the prototype requirements for supercruise, stealth, survivability and ease of maintenance. Powered by two turbofan engines with each in a separate engine nacelle, numerous stealth technologies were employed, such as S-ducts to shield engine axial compressors from radar waves, and engine exhaust routed through troughs lined with heat-ablating tiles to dissipate heat and shield the engines from infrared homing missile detection.
Interestingly enough, despite the novel appearance of the YF-23, a number of readily available components were used to save on project costs, such as parts from the F/A-18 main landing gear, a F-15 nose wheel, and forward cockpit components from the F-15E.
Two YF-23 airframes were produced: PAV-1, equipped with P&W YF-119 turbofans and painted charcoal grey, was nicknamed 'Spider' and 'Black Widow'. At one point, it featured a red hourglass marking which resembled it's namesake black widow spider, before Northrop management had the marking removed. PAV-2, equipped with General Electric YF120 turbofans, was painted in two shades of grey and nicknamed the 'Grey Ghost'.
During evaluation, the YF-23 tests demonstrated Northrop's predicted performance values. Although maximum top speeds remain classified to this day, sources suggest a maximum speed greater than Mach 2 at altitude and a supercruise speed greater than Mach 1.6. From September 1990 to December 1990, the pair of YF-23 aircraft flew over 50 flights for a combined airtime of 65.2 hours. Ultimately, although the YF-23 had a slight edge in speed and stealth, the competition in the form of the YF-22 was deemed to be more agile and won the competition, entering production as the F-22 Raptor.
Both YF-23 aircraft are found today as museum displays, with PAV-1 displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force near Dayton, Ohio, and PAV-2 currently located at the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance, California.
Notice: The Classic Series YF-23 Black Widow II is not a brand new release. It dates from our early days as an aircraft developer, and as such represents a snapshot of years past. While the aircraft is functional in all listed platforms, it is not designed or coded to our current high MilViz standards. Minor bugs or graphical anomalies on certain platforms may be present.
In addition, this aircraft is offered with installation support only.
System Requirements (Minimum):
Use of this product in any other version of Windows is not supported at this time.
2.6 Ghz or higher
4 GB RAM
DirectX®9 compliant video card or greater
1024 MB video RAM or higher
Hard Drive Space:
1 GB available space
Prepar3d Version 2 (Latest release, with all hotfixes)
Prepar3d Version 3 (Latest release, with all hotfixes)
Use or installation of the products(s) referenced on this page in any other platform than that intended or shown above is not supported and may result in errors or a non-functioning product.
Both PAV-1 & PAV-2 aircraft included, with different engine configurations.
Both 'Black Widow II' and 'Grey Ghost' liveries included.
Additional Thunderbirds livery included (fictional).
Simulated fly-by-wire controls.
High performance flight modeling based on available information.
Low system impact, light on simulator resources.
Easy to fly and operate, with simplified systems and controls.