Saw this modified F5 in the Museum at Titusville, Florida in April;
It is still in NASA colours, so was obviously used for some kind of research. Can anyone suggest what that large nose is all about?!
This is the F-5 Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator (SSBD), an F-5E modified by Northrop Grumman under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Quiet Supersonic Platform. It was the first aircraft to demonstrate that the shockwave signature could be altered by shaping the aircraft - hence the wierd-looking forward fuselage.
Check these sites:
I believe its work was then taken on by NASA's "Quiet Spike" F-15.
My wings are like a shield of steel.
Put all that boom shaping stuff together in a whole plane and you get this beauty of a beast - the Skunk Works-designed Quiet Supersonic Transport, or QSST...