Lockheed F-96 Brightstar

At the end of the 1940s the USAF was looking for a replacement for the Lockheed P-80 and early F-86 jet fighters. Lockheed offered what was in effect a scaled up P-80. In 1950 a contract was awarded for 4 prototypes of what was designated the Lockheed F-96 Brightstar.


On 3 November 1952, the first F-96A prototype conducted its first flight. The design of the prototypes had initially featured both Fowler flaps and a leading edge slot; this slot was discarded as unnecessary after trials with the prototypes and never appeared on subsequent production aircraft. Triangular fences were added near the wing roots during flight testing in order to improve airflow when the aircraft was being flown at a high angle of attack. A small batch of F-96A prototypes completed design and evaluation trials with series production of the F-96B beginning in 1953.


In total 1268 F-96s were delivered to the USAF. On top of that more than 800 were exported to the UK, Germany, Holland, Taiwan and Italy. The last F-96 was withdrawn from active service with the USAF in 1964.



Last updated: 13/08/2017