The Northrop Grumman Corporation is one the largest Air Force Contractors in the world. In the 1980s, two parallel programs were initiated by the US government to arrive at the perfect Stealth fighter jet that could eventually become a backbone of the USAF. One was the Lockheed Martin’s famous F-22 jet while the other was Northrop’s YF-23. Both programs arrived at a conclusion almost a decade later and the Air Force was asked to carry out an evaluation of both aircraft and find out which one suited it better.
The Northrop YF-23 was evaluated as the better stealth fighter of the two with the plane being virtually invisible to the enemy radar due to a curved design adopted by the company. The F-22’s design was quite futuristic too, but it tended to appear in more sophisticated radar systems on and off and thus, its stealth ability was compromised. The Air Force had a hard choice to make. Either they had to go with the most complete stealth fighter ever made or select the F-22 that was an overall better maneuverable aircraft. They chose to stick with the F-22 and thus the YF-23 or the Black Widow II was discarded and is now part of an aviation museum. It would have been interesting to see the kind of impact the jet had in the Air Force set up. Maybe, the F-25 program would have been better off if based on the YF-23 instead of F-22 itself. Here is an amazing video of its inception: