Through the Ages F-5 Freedom Fighter

Through the Ages F-5 Freedom Fighter vintage style poster art.

The F-5A and F-5B “Freedom Fighter” and the F-5E and F-5F “Tiger II” are part of a supersonic light fighter family, initially designed in the late 1950s. Being smaller and simpler than contemporaries such as the F-4 Phantom II, the F-5 cost less to both procure and operate, making it a popular export aircraft. The F-5 started life as a privately funded light fighter program in the 1950s. The design team wrapped a small, highly aerodynamic fighter around two compact and high-thrust GE J85 engines, focusing on performance and low cost of maintenance. Though primarily designed for the day air superiority role, the aircraft is also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. Though the USAF had no acknowledged need for a light fighter, it did procure roughly 1,200 T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were directly based on the F-5A.

It has served in a wide array of roles, being able to perform both air and ground attack duties; the type was used extensively in the Vietnam War. The F-5N/F variants are in service with the U.S. NavAL/Marine forces as an adversary trainer. Approximately 500 aircraft are in service as of 2014.

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Design by Michael Ross

Location: New Orleans, LA
Michael spent his childhood reading such literary classics as “Sgt. Rock” and “Enemy Ace”, spending hours copying the illustrations. He later received a B.A. in Art and still uses his comic book influence along with his love of history and aviation in his work.

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