The YF-23A "Black Widow II" was the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas team's entry into the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition. The four-way ATF competition pitted the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23A "Black Widow II" team against the Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22A "Lightning II" team. The Pratt & Whitney YF119 engine competed with the General Electric YF120 engine. At the end of the competition, the YF-22A "Lightning II" and the Pratt & Whitney YF119 engine were the winners.
The YF-23A "Black Widow II" was a supersonic "Stealth" fighter. Along with its Stealth capabilities, the YF-23A was designed to "Supercruise". This meant that the YF-23A "Black Widow II" could cruise supersonic without the use of engine augmentation or "afterburning." The first flight of YF-23A PAV-2 took place on October 27, 1990, with Northrop test pilot Jim Sandberg at the controls.
The YF-23A "Black Widow II" PAV-2 (S/N 87-801) on display at the Western Museum of Flight is on long term loan to the Western Museum of Flight from NASA. YF-23A "Black Widow II" PAV-1 (S/N 87-800) is currently at the USAF Test Center Museum at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The Western Museum of Flight's YF-23A "Black Widow II" PAV-2 used two General Electric YF120 engines. YF-23A PAV-1 used two Pratt & Whitney YF119 engines. YF-23A "Black Widow II" PAV-2 was delivered in October 1995 to the Northrop Grumman Hawthorne facility where it underwent some preliminary repairs in preparation for formal restoration activities at the Western Museum of Flight.