Northrop F5 Tiger II Flight Characteristics

Aircraft Flight Characteristics

F-fE Flight Manual Aircraft Specifications - August 1, 1980 version


The overall dimensions of the aircraft with normal tire and strut inflation are:

Tiger II Schematic
Length 48 ft 2 in 51 ft 8 in
Wingspan (with wingtip launcher rails) 26 ft 8 in 26 ft 8 in
Height 13 ft 4 in 13 ft 2 in
Tread 12 ft 6 in 13 ft 6 in
Wheelbase 16 ft 11 in 21 ft 2 in

Aircraft Gross Weight

The average gross weights, including pilot (one pilot F), full internal fuel (JP-4), oil and no ammunition, are as follows:

With wingtip launcher rails (no pylons) 15,050 lb 15,650 lb
With wingtip launcher Rails and full centerline 275-gallon tank 17,250 lb 17,850 lb


System or condition Max airspeed Remarks
Canopy open, ground operation 50 KIAS
Deploy drag chute 180 KIAS Nosewheel must be on ground.
Flap system (whichever is less)
Cruise 550 KIAS/.95 IMN
Maneuver 550 KIAS/.95 IMN
Full 330 KIAS/.85 IMN
Hook arrestment speed Note: The arresting hook system is an emergency system. Limiting speeds do not mean that arrestment should be avoided at any speed when emergency arrestment is required.
BAK-9 160 knots
BAK-12 160 knots
BAK-12 (dual)
Single mode 144 knots
MA-1A modified 125 knots
Landing Gear Extend or gear Doors Open 260 KIAS
Landing lights failure 300 KIAS
Lower Gun Bay Access Door 580 KIAS WARNING Airspeed above 580 KIAS may result in doors opening and possible engine damage from FOD.


The aircraft is a high-performance, multipurpose tactical fighter with a primary mission of air superiority in the aerial combat maneuvering (ACM) environment. Maneuvering flaps are used to increase wing lift, delay buffet onset and generally improve the maneuver capability of the aircraft. Maneuvering flaps should be selected when initiating a maneuver above 1 g flight and the flaps retracted in less than 1 g flight. Flaps should be retracted when accelerating because of the reduced drag.

The two-axis (pitch and yaw) stability augmenter system provides improved flight characteristics. The aircraft can be maneuvered through-out the flight envelope with the augmenters disengaged with minimal degradation of flying qualities.

The aircraft can maneuver to the structural limiting g-load above 360 KIAS. Below 360 KIAS, the aircraft is aerodynamically lift-limited rather than structurally limited, and maximum lift capability is attained near stall AOA. Stall occurs at approximately 24 units AOA and is characterized primarily by the onset of wing rock and/or yaw oscillations (see STALLS). In most cases, full aft stick will produce AOAs above stall with a resultant increase in drag. In general, buffet onset (13 to 14 units AOA without flaps, 15 to 17 units AOA with flaps) can be used as a guide to indicate when maximum sustained level turn performance is attained.

Maneuvering and handling qualities are degraded at lower airspeeds; therefore, a minimum of 300 KIAS should be maintained except for instrument approaches, maximum range descents, landings, and tactical maneuvering. The objective for establishing a minimum airspeed is to maintain a satisfactory energy state (i.e., “G” available) that will provide desired recovery response if an undesirable flight parameter is encountered below 15,000 ft AGL.