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Lockheed XF-90 Penetrator

by Fotios Rouch

Lockheed XF-90 Penetrator


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With further development, Kelly Johnson's XF-90 Penetrator could have been a great jet had it not been canceled. Westinghouse could not provide decent engines for the aircraft on time and the F-86D ate its lunch.

It was common knowledge that both Lockheed XF-90 prototypes were used as dummies and destroyed in nuclear explosion tests after their project was canceled. Apparently, one has been recovered from the site and will be returned for restoration to the USAF museum.

This is a very sexy plane straight out of the era when jets had personality.



Collect-Aire's 1/48 Scale XF-90

The Collect-Aire kit is a great representation of this plane.

It is mastered by my favorite Russian maker. His work will become readily recognizable after you buy a few of the kits mastered by him. The resin pieces are molded in the states and the resin quality is very good. It has to be because this is a natural metal aircraft and all defects will show.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

There is enough detail for the cockpit area and very little is needed to spruce it up (seatbelts, a couple of wires, etc.).



The kit offers the airbrakes in the deployed position. The wheel bay doors can be shown in the completely open position with all the actuators present. The air intakes offer nice detail and are smartly executed. The rudder comes as a separate piece so you can position it.



Construction and Painting


In general, the kit fits very well and very little putty was required.

The plane was sprayed with a few coats of heavily diluted automotive lacquer and polished in earnest with very fine polishing cloths starting from 3200 all the way to 12000. Once I could practically see my face in the finish, I used Alclad II shades to deliver the natural metal finish. The plane had some polished aluminum panels, especial at the front fuselage. Those were done per Alclad II instructions with an undercoat of gloss black.



At the end I used some SNJ powder to blend and tone down all the metal shades. Not too much rubbing because it will take off the Alclad II. Also I chose not to polish things too much. Real airplanes do not look like that since Aluminum goes dull fast. The decals provided are very close to what the prototype had in the photos I have gathered.

For references I used the old Airpower issue pictured and the August 2002 Flight Journal.





In general this was a very pleasing project of a plane that I don't think we will ever see in injected form. It looks great next to its kin from the same glorious era of jets.

Very highly recommended as a kit. If you have some metal finish experience, go for it. This is probably the only way to have an XF-90 in your display case!



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2002 by Fotios Rouch
Page Created 22 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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