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Other changes for production F-20's can be traced back to a comment made by an Air Force logistics general at a logistics meeting. Northrop was touting, as usual, the high reliability and low maintenance of the F-20 compared to other aircraft. The general finally burst out in frustration "You just don't get it. I have to man squadrons according to mil standards. The only way for your low maintenance to translate to savings for me is to eliminate airman specialties". This meant going through the official USAF specialty codes and looking for what unique specialties were hardly required and could be eliminated through changes in the aircraft. So the original F-20 had a hydrazine starter for air restarts and ground emergency scrambles from remote locations. This made the starter compact, lightweight, and capable of being loaded with hydrazine and then waiting, inert, for months or years before being called into use. But hydrazine was nasty stuff, toxic. It required special fueling trucks, and most importantly, a USAF specialty code. So for the production F-20 Northrop decided to go with a jet fuel starter - much heavier and maintenance-intensive, but using the same fuel that powered the aircraft itself.

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