F-5E Tiger II
After much anticipation, our F-5E Tiger II has finally arrived. Through our continuing partnership with the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum received its latest acquisition on February 1, 2006. The aircraft safely arrived by flatbed tractor/trailer driven by John Ivan of Gage Transportation. Our dedicated crew of volunteers has started preparing the plane for display. Thanks go out to Dick Ryan, John Fitzgerald, Fred Boyle and Facility Manager Henry Buchy for their hard work.
Initially designed by Northrop as a lightweight supersonic fighter in the early 1960’s, the United States Navy and Marines used the F-5E as an aggressor aircraft to hone the skills of fighter pilots and pilot/radar intercept officer teams. One distinction of the F5E is even though it has an arrestor hook, it is not carrier suitable. The hook would only be used in emergencies at land-based airfields. The single-seat version of the F5E is capable of mach 1.6. There are still some F-5’s serving in front line duty with foreign air forces.
Our F-5E last served with the “Snipers” of VMFT-401, 4th Marine Air Wing (MAW) at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona in an aggressor squadron. The museum now has examples of all three aircraft that were seen in the movie Top Gun. Come see the F-5E Tiger II, A-4 Skyhawk and F-14 Tomcat.