Tr 3b Astra

The A-12 Avenger II was envisioned by McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics as an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber for the U.S. Navy and Marines.  

Shrowded in secrecy at the time of development in 1.983, the A-12 reportedly gained the nickname “Flying Dorito”.  

Concept drawings and mock-ups show a flying wing design in the shape of an isosceles triangle, with the cockpit near the apex.

Development of the A-12 was hampered by problems.  

The project was cancelled in January 1.991 by then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney when the estimated price of each plane allegedly hit $165 million.  

The cancellation was said to be a breach of contract, resulting in years of legal wrangling.  

In 2.009, a court finally ruled in favour of the government and ordered the contractors to pay more than a $2 billion in charges, but the battle ranges on to this day.

After the cancellation of the A-12 Avenger II the Navy purchased the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.  

While there was never a full scale prototype, an earlier (1.976 – 1.984) classified General Dynamics technology demonstrator called Model 100 (funded under the have key program) may have paved the way for the cancelled A-12.  

It has been suggested that this aircraft remains secret due to the ongoing legal issues.  

The A-12 has also been linked to a secret plane called Sneaky Pete, which may or may not be the Model 100, or a development thereof.  

We were able to locate one A-12 mock-up thanks to those savvy online explorers at Virtual Globetrotting.

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5 Most Secret Military Aircraft