Manufacturer: NORTHROP

Model: P-1200 / P-1260

Name: Hydra / Hyena


Date: 1983

Status: Projects only

Country: Unites States

Service: U.S. Air Force

Designation: none


Northrop proposed the P-1200 Hydra design as an all-out attack/fighter, the ultimate combat machine that would re-use a great amount of parts existing on the Cobra/Hornet design. The Hydra was to be very fast (three large jet engines), very maneuverable (added wing area and a central fuselage that was blended to add to the lift surfaces), heavily armed (eight underwing pylons and four bomb bays). The USAF didn't want an über-fighter and politely turned down Northrop's proposal before any work on a prototype could be started.


The Northrop Hydra was done in jest, and was never meant to be a serious-looking aircraft project... It was just too crazy a project to even deserve a backup story, and yet I realize I did write one just above! I guess the beast could fly, but the justification for a tri-fuselage three-engined fighter would be difficult to find...

An asymmetrical variant designated the P-1260 Hyena (see below right) was also devised at the same time and dedicated to the one and only Tophe, world champion of asymmetrical aircraft designs...

Viewers' comments:
  • Now that's light some wing-loading, fly it at high altitude and you'll out-turn damn near anything, design it with some aeroelastic tailoring and you won't bleed off too much speed down low and fast. (KJ_Lesnick)
  • Tophe is loving the Hyena VERY MUCH. I have immediately added her/it to my asymmetric Web-site [link] featuring once more a Stargazer creation... Thanks again! (Tophe)
  • Thanks, I think something just blew in my brain trying to get my head around those pics. Nice and completely different! (anthonyp)
  • I decided to take a look at this since I'm looking for inspiration for my first foray in aircraft design in almost a year, and I'm starting to think about designing a craft with a similar layout. Reminds me of the crazy designs of Yukikaze, and your asymmetric design is even wilder than the Hydra. The world of Yukikaze is probably one of Burt Rutan's dreamlands. (ONI-Defense)

My comments:

I think they are wilder! LOL Thanks for your comment.