F-89 Scorpion

F-89 “Scorpion”
F-89, Scorpion
The F-89 was a twin-engine, all-weather fighter-interceptor designed to locate, intercept, and destroy enemy aircraft by day or night under all types of weather conditions. It carried 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. Northrop produced 1,050 F-89s. The aircraft were used to train radar observers at Connally AFB, TX. On July 19, 1957, a Genie test rocket was fired from an F-89J, the first time in history that an air-to-air rocket with a nuclear warhead was launched and detonated. 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 on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum (from the Maine Air National Guard in July 1969) was the last F-89 aircraft remaining in service with an operational unit. It is painted as an F-89J assigned to the 449th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ladd AFB (Fairbanks), Alaska in the late 1950s and carries insignia red arctic markings.

Specifications:
Span: 59 ft. 10 in.
Length: 53 ft. 8 in.
Height: 17 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 47,700 lbs. loaded
Engines: Two Allison J35s turbojets of 7,200 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
Armament: Two AIR-2A Genie air-to-air rockets with nuclear warheads plus four AIM-4C Falcon missiles
Crew: Two
Cost: $1,009,000

Performance:
Maximum speed: 627 mph
Cruising speed: 465 mph
Range: 1,600 miles
Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft

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