It was going to be the biggest, fastest and most heavily armed fighter in the air. The North American F-108 Rapier, designed in response to a U.S. Air Force preliminary study of Oct.
via The North American XF-108 Rapier | Defense Media Network.
This aircraft like many others died as the threat the Soviet Union represented became better understood. But the technology for this fighter went on, the missile and radar were the basis of the F14 Tomcat’s Phoenix fleet defense system, stil an amazing system even though the system, utterly compromised by the Iranian’s who had bought the system during the Shah’s reign, was rapidly retired as soon as the AMRAAM and newer airborn phased aray radars became available.
The Tomcat is in my opinion one of the iconic fighters of the twentieth century along with the F4 Phantom, the F86 Sabre, P51 and Spitfire…and no I’ve never found the fighters of WWI or pre WWII particularly attractive…though the Beechcraft Staggerwing is probably the most beautiful aircraft ever built.