CF-5D Freedom Fighter

CF-5D Freedom Fighter

  • Manufacturer: Canadair
  • Model: CF-5D Freedom Fighter
  • Tail Number: N805FF

Maybe the effort to create an economical, disposable, low-maintenance aircraft is to blame for the smallish jetʼs derisive nickname, “Tinkertoy.” But with a top speed approaching Mach 1.3, the CF-5D is at least deserving of the moniker, “Supersonic Tinkertoy.” Introduced in 1968, Freedom Fighter for the Royal Canadian Air Force was seen as a step backward, and it was considered an aircraft not up to snuff with Canadaʼs advanced aviation industry. Still, it would receive many upgrades and revisions over its service life, and was committed to protecting NATOʼs northern flank. As a training aircraft the CF-5D earned great respect for its handling, response and visibility. The concept of providing a low-cost, low-maintenance jet for forces not well equipped or technically well endowed did have some merit, and many Freedom Fighters were produced for the Netherlands and Norway.


  • Wing Span: 25' 10"
  • Length: 47' 2"
  • Height: 13' 2"
  • Max Speed: 978 mph
  • Gross Weight: 20,390 lbs
  • Power Plant: 2 x Orenda-built GE J85-15 turbojet
  • Thrust: 2,925 lbf (13.0 kN) ea
  • Afterburner: 4,300 lbf (19.1 kN) ea


  • Guns: 2 x 20mm Pontiac M39A2 cannons in the nose
  • Bombs: 7,000 lbs
  • Missiles: 2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
  • Rockets: 2 x CRV7, LAU-10 or Matra rocket pods