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Controversial stealth aircraft canopy for sale on eBay?


December 28, 2011

The cockpit canopy reportedly made for the failed A-12 Avenger II attack aircraft, which i...

The cockpit canopy reportedly made for the failed A-12 Avenger II attack aircraft, which is now for sale on eBay (Photo: Seth Kettleman)

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Twenty-eight years ago, the United States Navy decided that it wanted a field replacement for its A-6 Intruder ground-attack aircraft. A team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics won the contract to design the plane, which would be an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based stealth bomber, known as the A-12 Avenger II. Its first flight was planned for December 1990, but technical difficulties and cost overruns kept the team from meeting that deadline. By January 1991, in fact, the Secretary of Defense cancelled the program due to breach of contract. A legal battle between the Navy and McDonnell Douglas ensued, and continues to this day. Now, however, it's possible to own a literal "piece" of the story - a cockpit canopy reportedly made for the A-12 is for sale on eBay.

According to an article posted on The Dew Line blog, the canopy was first found for sale on the website by surplus aircraft parts dealer Seth Kettleman. It was advertised as being an A-12 canopy, and he ended up winning it in an online auction, with a bid of US$2,300. According to Kettleman, serial numbers and other manufacturing data on the canopy verify that it was indeed manufactured for the A-12.

An artist's impression of the A-12 Avenger II attack aircraft

The canopy had been sent to GovDeals about two months ago by Purdue University, where it had been languishing in an aviation department hangar for over 15 years. Apparently, no one seems to know how it got there.

Anyhow, should you think that the canopy might look good in your rec room, you'd better do some serious budgeting - Kettleman has set its eBay Buy-it-Now price at US$620,238.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth

Not really applicable maybe with big-ticket items such as this thing, but as far as buying/saving on eBay in general goes:

Use a site like to set up saved searches. You get an e-mail whenever a matching item is listed. Especially good for "Buy It Now"s that are priced right.

Try a misspelling search site like to hopefully find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers might not ever see them.

If you see an auction that you want to bid on, use a sniping service such as to bid for you. It'll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.

28th December, 2011 @ 04:50 pm PST

Nice... expensive scrap metal.

Mr Stiffy
28th December, 2011 @ 04:54 pm PST

Custom super powerboat builders have been sourcing f16 canopies for years. Seems like thosekind of people with an insane amount of money would buy them...

28th December, 2011 @ 07:56 pm PST

Considering what collectors have paid for SR-71 parts,etc.,

it is within reason that somebody in that strata will

show the dough to take it home.

It is crazy,too,

what people will pay for rags with oil stains

(art,so called).

Never underestimate what people will pay for

"the only one".

29th December, 2011 @ 08:25 am PST

I don't need a spare

Jay Finke
29th December, 2011 @ 10:09 am PST

Wow, I didn't know they actually got far enough to make an entire canopy for the 'flying Dorito'! I bet it would have been formidable had they actually been able to make it work...

29th December, 2011 @ 12:12 pm PST

This and a bunch of computer graphics = the next direct to video Sci-Fi "thriller". ;)

Gregg Eshelman
29th December, 2011 @ 10:27 pm PST

Up to $620,000+ on 1/1/2012

Would have made a great solar racer, but not at that price.

1st January, 2012 @ 02:17 pm PST

I saw this very canopy in the summer 1991 in the education labs at the Purdue airport. That's very interesting to finally find out what it was supposed to go to. I wonder if the composite leading edge mold in the same room came from the same project.

22nd May, 2012 @ 03:07 pm PDT
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