GG1001 was the first Tigershark. It was the F-5G 'engine change only' and was fitted out with an F-5E nose and avionics. On rollout it was called simply 'Tigershark' (this was while Northrop waited for official approval of the F-20A designation from the Pentagon) and was given the USAF tail number 82-0062. It had the flashy red and white paint scheme. In the fall of 1983, after the Paris Air Show and GI1001 began flying, it was repainted in air superiority grey with a lighter grey underbelly and an extremely ugly pyramidal F-20 logo on the vertical stabilizer. The logo was quickly changed match GI1001 - a the clean italic 'F-20' on the tail and a smaller italic 'F-20 Tigershark' on the nose.
In the face of increased USAF hostility to the F-20, the aircraft was given the civilian registration N4416T. It was repainted yet again the silivery 'BMW grey' scheme after the rollout of GI1002 in May 1984 and prior to departing for the Farnborough Air Show in August 1984.
GG1001 began flight test in August 1982, and had logged 240 flights by end of April 1983, including evaluation flights by 15 pilots from 10 potential customer nations. First 100 flights at rate of 10 per week, with a maximum of six sorties in one day and 14 sorties in a single week. During the period, only 4 of 244 departures were canceled, a mission reliability rate of 98.3%. Causes for the aborts were a hydraulic leak in a landing gear strut, a leaking aileron actuator seal, a control and augmentation system built-in test equipment failure, and a faulty roll gyro.
The aircraft flew 51 sorties in the first 21 days with a reliability rate of 100%, including 22 consecutive flights with no maintenance discrepancies. The goal of the early testing was to clear the flight envelope sufficiently to allow customer pilots to fly the aircraft. Even with the 16,000-lb thrust test engine, climb and acceleration were better than predicted, and fuel endurance was significantly better than predicted.
Longest flight on internal fuel was 2 hours 12 minutes, and 3 hours 1 minutes with a 275 gallon external tank. Handling has been excellent with the longitudinal flight control system. Mindful of having reversed its tradition of building only twin-engine aircraft for safety reasons, Northrop was striving to make the F404-100 engine have an in-flight shut-down / failure rate one tenth that of the F404-400 used in the twin-engine F-18.
The test engine had to removed once for foreign object damage after 178 flights and 115 flight hours. The engine was replaced, then repaired and available as a spare within a few days. The first 17,000 lb thrust engine was installed in GG1001 after return from the Paris Air Show.
January 1980 - Northrop RWA (Risk Work Authorization) funded for full go ahead.
January 1980 - Long lead time material procurement initiated.
January 1980 - Systems and components lab tests initiated.
March 1980 - Redirection of Northrop design to Engine Change Only.
March 1980 - F-5G Tool design initiated.
March 1980 - Initial F-5G Work Breakdown Structure issued.
April 1980 - Production Development Center contractor selected.
April 1980 - Start of F-5G engineering/operations drawing release negotiations.
April 1980 - Initial US Air Force 1/10 scale F-5G high speed wind tunnel tests concluded.
April 1980 - F-5G Program Directive 1 issued to provide basic philosophies, assumptions, and direction. Program Directives 2 and 3 followed in April 80, and Program Directive 4 in May 1981.
May 1980 - Program Directive 2 issued, authorizing RWA (Risk Work Authorization) coverage for procurement of 41 F-5G shipsets of common F-5E/F-5G raw material.
July 1980 - F-5E/F-5G common drawing release.
July 1980 - F-5G tool fabrication initiated.
August 1980 - F-5G Program Directive 5 issued to establish a Corrective Action Plan for possible tooling problems on early F-5G aircraft.
August 1980 - F-5G Program Directive 6 issued to hold in abeyance the ground rule on deferral of non-mandatory and rate tooling pending outcome of a tooling policy review.
August 1980 - F-5G Program Directive 3 issued to establish use of PROCAT with model designation "GG".
August 1980 - F-5G Program Directive 4 issued to release the Program Master Operating Schedule.
September 1980 - Program Directive 7 issued (configuration management) to define ground rules on nomenclature, configuration management plan, configuration board, and F-5G common drawing release.
October 1980 - First major F-5G subcontracts issued (ATCS - AMAG - ECS - FCES).
November 1980 - Fabrication of first F-5G aircraft begun.
January 1981 - F-5G revised program master schedule approved , including both F-5G -1 and F-5G -2 configurations.
April 1981 - F-5G-1 Air vehicle Preliminary Design Review.
June 1981 - Program Directive G81-1 issued to document a freeze of the configuration of the F-5G-1 air vehicle GG 1001.
December 1981 - Program Directive G81-3 issued to document the freeze of the configuration baseline and establish a critical change order procedure.
This extended the handling of design changes on GG1001, 1002, 1003, 1004 to ensure the most efficient incorporation of changes.
January 1982 - Program Directive 13 issued, This revised planning for manufacture and use of the F-5G-1 flight test aircraft, GG 1004, and its conversion to F-5G-2 flight test aircraft GI-1001.
This redirected the GG1004 subprogram and resolved the difficult schedule conditions imposed by the multiple uses planned for the aircraft. Instead it would just be completed as the first F-5G-2.
March 1982 - Program Directive 18, Functional Fixture Requirements for the F-5G-1 and F-5G-2 programs issued.
This Program Directive established the requirements for a functional fixture in support of program criteria published in Program Directive 17. It directed that manufacturing material resources be minimized as much as possible while supporting functional fixture requirements.
May 1982 - Program Directive 26, F-5G program redirection. Cut back to a two aircraft program (GG1001 and GI1001).
May 1982 - Program Directive 25, planning for manufacture and use of F-5G-1 flight test aircraft.
This was issued to clarify activities scheduled for aircraft GG1001, which include participation in the 1983 Paris Air Show, spin susceptibility tests, and refurbishment for sale in the F-5G-2 configuration.
August 1982 - Program Directive 27, configuration for first flight of GG1001, issued.
By this time a management directive had come down to stop referring to the aircraft as the F-5G, but rather only the "Tigershark".
August 1982 - GG1001 Tigershark roll out at Hawthorne.
August 30, 1982 - First flight of GG1001 Tigershark at Edwards Air Force Base.
January 1983 - F-20 GG1001 completed 100th flight.
March 1983 - Program Directive 35, Paris International Air Show .
This was issued to provide configuration definition of the F-20A operational display at the Paris Air Show of 1983.
May 1983 - GG1001 flies at the Paris Air Show, through June.
July 15, 1983 - 300th flight of GG1001.
July 18, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by USAF pilots.
July 25, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Saudi pilots.
August 15, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Indonesian pilots.
August 22, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by New Zealand pilots.
August 29, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by German pilots.
September 5, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Portugese pilots.
September 19, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Moroccan pilots.
First Quarter 1984 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by USN pilots.
September 26, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Swiss pilots.
October 17, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Korean pilots.
October 24, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Austrian pilots.
November 7, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Brazilian pilots.
November 14, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Yugoslavian pilots.
December 5, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Bahrainian pilots.
December 12, 1983 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Colombian pilots.
First Quarter 1984 - Demonstration flights of GG1001 by Greek pilots.
September 1984 - Farnborough Air Show. The F-20 flight display was the hit of the show.
October 10, 1984 - Korean GG1001 crash. Darrel Cornell killed.
GG1001 crashed at Suwon Air Base in South Korea during a tactical performance demonstration. Northrop Chief Test Pilot Darrell E Cornell was killed. Cornell had just completed a simulated strafing run at an altitude of about 300 feet when he pulled the aircraft up to an altitude of 1500 to 2000 feet, began a roll, and extended the landing gear and flaps. The roll was not completed and the aircraft continued inverted in an arc and struck the ground. The turn-in pull-up over the runway, and 360-degree aileron roll during which the landing gear was extended, had been part of the standard F-20 flight demonstration performed by Cornell at air shows on the nearly-completed F-20 world tour. The maneuver usually ended with the aircraft about 1,000 feet near the downwind end of the runway from which a base leg was entered for landing.
Cornell was thrown clear from the aircraft on impact. The demonstration was being performed before South Korean military officials, including the Chief of Staff of the Korean Air Force. GG1001 and GI1002 had arrived in South Korea on October 8, the last stop in a series of visits to 19 countries. The two aircraft were to have returned to Edwards Air Force Base on October 12.
July 1985 - Official report of GG1001 crash in Korea issued, finding no aircraft malfunction.
Back to the F-20A Tigershark Home Page
© Mark Wade, 1997 - 2006 except where otherwise noted.
Please contact us with any corrections, additions, or comments.