June 14-16, 2024

RickenBacker International Airport Columbus, Ohio

Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter


The Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter is one of the most enduring military aircraft designs ever introduced, Northrop Grumman Corporation’s F-5 tactical fighter series continues to serve four decades later. The F-5’s initial flight was July 31, 1963, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The F-5 combined high-performance light afterburning engines, and the “area rule” in the design of a supersonic high-performance fighter.

The F-5 is an agile, highly maneuverable, reliable supersonic fighter, combining advanced aerodynamic design, engine performance and low operating costs. More than 2,600 were built by Northrop Grumman and under co-production and licensing agreements with Canada, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.

Approximately two-thirds of the original production F-5’s remain operational in 26 countries, including the United States. The U.S. Navy operates the F-5 in its adversary squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises. The U.S. Air Force used the F-5 in a similar training role.

Since two-thirds of F-5 user countries also operate F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15s or Mirage aircraft, the F-5’s role has shifted from a prime fighter to a lead-in trainer.

AQRD supports the heritage of the USAF by honoring it flying, demonstrating, and displaying its Northrop F-5’s. The F-5 is just a small part of AQRD’s enduring support of our veterans and the USAF supporting its maintainers, engineers, and war-fighters.

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