Monday, February 2, 2009
Blast From The Past, F-89 Scorpion
When I first started looking for information on the F-89 what amazed me was the number that were built 1050 total, an absolutely staggering number of aircraft compared to today’s 183 F-22 build.
The F-89 was a twin-engine, all-weather fighter-interceptor. The Scorpion was crewed by a pilot in the forward cockpit and a radar operator in the rear who guided the pilot into the proper attack position. The first F-89 made its initial flight in August 1948 and deliveries to the Air Force began in July 1950 The major production model was the F-89D, which first flew 23 October 1951 and entered service in 1954. It did not have a cannon but instead mounted a Hughes E-6 fire control system with AN/APG-40 radar and an AN/APA-84 computer. Armament was two pods of 52 2.75 in (70 mm) "Mighty Mouse" FFAR rockets, a total of 682 were built.
On July 19, 1957,The Scorpion did what no other fighter had done. It fired a nuclear tipped Genie test rocket Three hundred and fifty F-89Ds were converted to "J" models, which became the Air Defense Command's first fighter-interceptor to carry nuclear armament.
The Scorpion left active duty in 1959 but continued to fly on with Air National Guard units until 1969
Wing Span: 60 feet
Length: 53 feet, 10 inches
Height: 17 feet, 6 inches
Weight: 47,719 lbs. maximum
Armament: Two AIR-2A Genie air-to-air rockets with nuclear warheads plusfour AIM-4C Falcon missiles
Engines Two Allison J35 engines with 8,000 lbs. of thrust each; with afterburner
Maximum speed 630 mph
Cruising speed 465 mph
Range 1,000 miles
Service Ceiling 45,000 feet