F-5E 160792 #21
This a/c starts the numbering sequence of the original USN F-5Es. It is a veteran machine that has seen service with most of the Navy units that have flown the Tiger II. While in service with VFA-127, this a/c was painted in an overall gloss black scheme with red markings, akin to the "MiG-28s" from the movie Top Gun. Carpena Decals has markings for this a/c on their sheet #48-37.
Note that this a/c has the flatter "duckbill" nose, and wing leading edge extensions (located just in front of the intake). Combined, these two options offer better turning capability over the ex-USAF a/c. Also note that it lacks the tail top antenna.
#21 is painted in standard F-5 air superiority scheme, but the colors are different. The standard scheme is used on export Tigers of Switzerland, South Korea, Sudan, and Chile. The base gray is considerably lighter, and the upper and lower grays are much darker, than on the air superiority scheme. However, the pattern is the same. Note that the upper gray is darker than the lower gray. This is the only Saints a/c in this scheme. A pilot told me that during ACM this scheme sticks out like a sore thumb in the summer, but is deadly over patchy snow in the winter.
F-5E 160794 #22
Another veteran Navy a/c, #22 sports a three tone wrap-around gray scheme, which is similar to #00, but is completely different in the tail area. The duckbill nose can be seen to good effect.
F-5E 160795 #23
Another long time Navy a/c, #23 has a paint scheme similar to #02. I believe this was the first a/c to use the "brown tiger" scheme. Unlike a/c in the "gray tiger" scheme, it does not wrap-around, with the bottom color being the same as the upper base color.
While this is an original USN Tiger, note that it has the round USAF style nose cone. This is most evident in the photo from the front. Editor's note: this aircraft was originally in the desert wraparound scheme as seen below.
F-5E 160796 #24
This a/c has received another version of the Saints three-tone wrap-around paint scheme. It is also an original USN machine.
F-5E s/n? #25
I have seen this a/c, but have been unable to photograph it. It looks to be in a similar scheme as #24.
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