01/31/2008. This was the first of four F-5G fortotypes. Although not acquired by the USAF they received the USAF serials 82-0062 to 82-0065 (c/n GG.1001, GI.1001 to GI.1003).
Derived from the F-5E, the private venture tactical fighter was heavily redesigned and had the original two 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) s.t General Electric J85-GE-21B turbojet engines replaced by a single 16,000 lb (7,257 kg) s.t General Electric F404 low-bypass turbofan. First flown by Russ Scott from Edwards AFB, California, USA, on August 30, 1982, it achieved Mach 1.04 (771 mph, 1,241 kmh).
The type was redesignated F-20 in November 1982, the second prototype was flown August 26, 1983, while the third flew for the first time on May 12, 1984. These three aircraft received a civil registration, N4416T, N3986B and N44671 respectively.
The first aircraft was lost while flying a demonstration at Suwon in Korea on October 10, 1984. While making a climbing roll the plane stalled and crashed, test pilot Darrel Cornell did not eject and was killed. The second aircraft was lost while flying a similar maneuver during a demonstration practice (for the Paris Air Show later that month) at Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, on May 14, 1985, killing the pilot, David Barnes. In both cases G-force induced pilot loss of consciousness was the suspected cause.
The fourth prototype was not finished and although in 1981 the full-scale mock-up showed the fake serial 71983, indicating the first production aircraft intended to be delivered in July 1983, the type did not go into production. The third aircraft is preserved at the California Science Center, Los Angeles, California.