Rockwell XFV-12

The Rockwell XFV-12 was a prototype supersonic United States Navy fighter which was first built in 1977. The XFV-12 combined the Mach 2 speed and AIM-7 Sparrow armament of the F-4 Phantom II in a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) fighter for the small Sea Control Ship which was under study at the time. On paper, it looked superior to the subsonic Hawker Siddeley Harrier attack fighter. Unfortunately, it proved unable to produce enough thrust for vertical flight, even with an installed engine with more thrust than its empty weight, and the project was abandoned. The Harrier would serve with the Marines as a successful naval vertical landing fighter, but plans to replace it with the short takeoff and vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II which promises to combine the firepower and performance of a supersonic fighter with vertical flight. In the end technical and budgetary problems caused a series of delays to the XFV-12 program.

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