Aurora 1/48 XF-90
2nd Lockheed fighter design after P-80
1st flight – June 1, 1949
under powered. J-34 never produced advertised power
Designed around Westinghouse J-34 (in development).
Unsafe to use Muroc (laster Edwards) paved runways
10-mile dry lake bed and JATO
But could exceed Mach 1 in slight dive.
Afterburners added to 2nd prototype
Some help but used too much fuel and reduced range.
Kelly Johnson (Lockheed chief designer) recommends cancel
To meet design requirements - redesign with larger engine, but add 12-18 mons, and obsolete!
Air Force cancels August 1951
1st prototype scraped; 2d to A-bomb tests
AT 2200-foot mark to test damage by bomb
Minor damage after 2 blasts
Wreaked on 3rd blast – move to desert.
Recovered by AF Mus in late 1990’s
Publicized as “next great Air Force Fighter” by Lockheed, Westinghouse and even Air Force.
To 1950 public – the ultimate futuristic design.
Blackhawk comics – 1940-1972 - Private Air Force
fighting enemies, villains and monsters
F-90 1950- 1964
Detroit car stylings cues
General sleekness, Swept back fins, dual exhausts and intakes, etc
1956 Oldsmobile hood ornament
1952 –Hawk models – 1st all styrene plastic model in US
1952 – Aurora copies
One never knows where a new project will lead you. The XF-90, although a somewhat obscure design and a short history, spread its influence across many areas.
As an afterthought, I included the XF-90 title in an order of Ginter Publications. I knew of the airplane and even built a kit as a kid, but didn’t know the details.
Original 1955 boxing with bogus landing gear and rockets
Apologies to die-hard kit collectors for ruining a perfectly good collectable by --- building it.
Sanding off raised makings
Cockpit – old Squadron Resin T-33
Landing gear wells, gear, gear doors
Main gear doors – Mono F-100D
Adding exhaust & weight to front
Alclad silver – no scribing. Tamiya Laq. shading
Scanned 70-yr old decals to get Lockh. Logo
Plexiglass scrap -- painted – for gen use
Pilot – Rev/Mono F-84E
Ground crew – Mono B-25
Equip- Modify from 1980’s ESCI ground equip kit
Tow Vehicle – 1948 or 49 Chevy Suburban
1st Lt. Henry King
29th FS, 412 FG, Project Comet – May, 1946
While flying between Project Comet stops of Chanute Field, Ill. and Tinker Filed, OK, King and flight leader Maj. Sam Sears, became lost and made an emergency landing on a very small private strip in Missouri. Both aircraft over-ran the short runway, Sear’s being damaged but King’s came to a safe stop in the grass beyond.
Fuel and a support crew were sent from Scott Field, ILL. “Blunder-Bus” was rolled out onto Highway 61 and took off from that stretch of road. Sear’s plane was disassembled and trucked to Scott Field for repairs.
28 April 2023
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