Aurora 1/48 XF-90

KIT #:
REVIEWER: Chuck Horner


A/C History:

  1. 2nd Lockheed fighter design after P-80

  2. 1st flight – June 1, 1949

    1. under powered. J-34 never produced advertised power

    2. Designed around Westinghouse J-34 (in development).

    3. Unsafe to use Muroc (laster Edwards) paved runways

    4. 10-mile dry lake bed and JATO

    5. But could exceed Mach 1 in slight dive.

  3. Afterburners added to 2nd prototype

    1. Some help but used too much fuel and reduced range.

  4. Kelly Johnson (Lockheed chief designer) recommends cancel

    1. To meet design requirements - redesign with larger engine, but add 12-18 mons, and obsolete!

  5. Air Force cancels August 1951

    1. 1st prototype scraped; 2d to A-bomb tests

  6. AT 2200-foot mark to test damage by bomb

    1. Minor damage after 2 blasts

    2. Wreaked on 3rd blast – move to desert.

  7. Recovered by AF Mus in late 1990’s


  1. Publicized as “next great Air Force Fighter” by Lockheed, Westinghouse and even Air Force.

  2. To 1950 public – the ultimate futuristic design.

  3. Blackhawk comics – 1940-1972 - Private Air Force

    1. fighting enemies, villains and monsters

    2. F-90 1950- 1964

  4. Detroit car stylings cues

    1. General sleekness, Swept back fins, dual exhausts and intakes, etc

    2. 1956 Oldsmobile hood ornament

  5. Plastic Models

    1. 1952 –Hawk models – 1st all styrene plastic model in US

    2. 1952 – Aurora copies

      THE KIT

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.

The Model

  1. Original 1955 boxing with bogus landing gear and rockets

  2. Apologies to die-hard kit collectors for ruining a perfectly good collectable by --- building it.

    1. Sanding off raised makings

    2. Cockpit – old Squadron Resin T-33

    3. Landing gear wells, gear, gear doors

      1. Main gear doors – Mono F-100D

    4. Blocked intake

    5. Adding exhaust & weight to front

    6. Alclad silver – no scribing. Tamiya Laq. shading

    7. Scanned 70-yr old decals to get Lockh. Logo

The Base

  1. Plexiglass scrap -- painted – for gen use

  2. Figures:

    1. Pilot – Rev/Mono F-84E

    2. Ground crew – Mono B-25

    3. Equip- Modify from 1980’s ESCI ground equip kit

      1. 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.

Chuck Horner

28 April 2023

Copyright All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page

Back to the Previews Index Page