If the USAF would not have chosen a version of the Navy's F4 Phantom as its primary fighter through 1960s to mid-1970s, what would it have chosen?

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1st Lieutenant
Feb 5, 2021
The 727 is my all-time favorite passenger jet. Go Boeing!

It was the first plane I ever flew on, Oct 1974. Braniff, El Paso to D/FW. Dad had fun telling me to watch the wings flap, which they sorta did, scaring my little eight-year-old brain.

I'd prefer a 747 any day of the week. The wings don't flap, amongst other creature comforts.


Senior Airman
Mar 16, 2014
The US didn't "hate" the F-5, the F-5 was designed as a low-cost export day fighter and the USAF at the time didn't see an immediate need for it.
Also... the F-5A & F-5B (as introduced in 1962) were NOT air-air fighters per-se... they were strike fighters, with only rudimentary air-air capability (ranging gunsight only, no true air-air radar).

It was only with the introduction of the F-5E/F (with its Emerson Electric AN/APQ-153 multi-mode pulse-doppler radar) in 1972 that it became a really capable air-air fighter.

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