Northrop YF-23 Black Widow airplane model. Two YF-23 prototypes were designed and built by the contractor team of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the US Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter selection program, which concluded in 1990. During the ATF program, one YF-23 was powered by twin Pratt and Whitney YF119 turbofan engines, while two General Electric YF120 turbofan engines were installed in the other prototype. Featuring a diamond-shaped planform, two large, sharply-canted ruddervators, and a serrated aft profile, the high performance aircraft was larger than the F-15 it was designed to replace. The YF-23 prototypes are 67.4 feet in length and have wingspans of 43.6 ft. The YF-23 employed stealth characteristics and was capable of supersonic cruise flight without afterburner. The aircraft achieved a speed of Mach 1.8 during the program.
There was no official USAF "nickname" for the YF-23A. The Northrop YF-23A team personnel chose the name "Black Widow II" -- commemorating the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, the first American aircraft specifically designed as a night-fighter.