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The preliminary specification, sent to aircraft manufacturers on 28 August , required two engines and an armament of six guns, either 0.

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The aircraft was to be armed with aerial rockets stored internally and six guns split between two flexible mounts, four guns forward and two in the rear. Each mount's guns were to be automatically controlled by radar. The N, designed by Jack Northrop , was a slim-bodied swept-wing aircraft with a two-man pressurized cockpit and conventional landing gear. The horizontal stabilizer was mounted just above the junction of the vertical stabilizer with the fuselage and had some dihedral.

A contract for two aircraft, now designated the XP, and a full-scale mock-up was approved on 13 June, although construction of the mock-up had begun immediately after the USAAF announced that the N had been selected. The inspectors believed that the radar operator needed to be moved forward, closer to the pilot, with both crewmen under a single canopy , the magnesium alloy components of the wing replaced by aluminum alloy , and the fuel tankage directly above the engines moved.

Other changes had to be made as wind tunnel and other aerodynamic tests were conducted. The swept wings proved to be less satisfactory at low speeds, and a thin straight wing was selected instead. Delivery of the first prototype was scheduled for November , 14 months after the inspection. It was moved halfway up the tail, but its position flush with the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer proved to cause extra drag through turbulence and reduced the effectiveness of the elevators and rudder.

Moving the horizontal stabilizer forward solved the problem. Another inspection of the mock-up was held on 17 December, and the inspectors suggested only minor changes, even though the fuselage fuel tanks were still above the engines. Northrop's efforts to protect the fuel tanks were considered sufficient, as the only alternative was to redesign the entire aircraft. The XP had a thin, straight, mid-mounted wing and a crew of two, seated in tandem. The slim rear fuselage and the high-mounted horizontal stabilizer led Northrop employees calling it the Scorpion—a name later formally adopted by the Air Force.

The thin wing had an aspect ratio of 5. A further advantage of the straight wing was that it could accommodate heavy weights at the wingtips. These were clamshell-style split ailerons , which could be used as conventional ailerons, as dive brakes , or function as flaps as needed.

NORTHROP F-89 SCORPION

The delivery date of the first aircraft was scheduled 14 months July from signing and the second 2 months after that. Initial flights were made with conventional ailerons, decelerons not being installed until December.

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The evaluators were qualified night-fighter pilots, radar operators, and experienced maintenance non-commissioned officers. The pilots were not impressed with any of the aircraft and recommended procurement of an interim aircraft that resulted in the development of the Lockheed F Starfire from the training version of the Lockheed F Shooting Star.

The F proved to be the fastest of the three contenders, [16] although it was in last place in cockpit arrangement and ease of maintenance. The Air Force subsequently canceled the production contract for the F to free up money for the Scorpion. By November the second aircraft was virtually complete, but the Air Force was concerned about the design's poor thrust-to-weight ratio and decided to implement a weight-reduction program, as well as upgrading the engines to the more powerful Allison JA fitted with an afterburner.

The new nose added 3 feet 0. It was redesignated YFA to better reflect its role as a pre-production testbed to evaluate equipment and changes planned for the FA production aircraft. The aircraft was essentially complete by February Shortly afterward, the aircraft crashed on 22 February, killing the observer, when flutter developed in the elevator and the subsequent vibrations caused the entire tail to break off. Construction of the production models was suspended until the reasons for the accident were discovered. Engineering and wind-tunnel tests revealed that the geometry of the rear fuselage and the engine exhaust created flutter-inducing turbulence that was aggravated by the high-frequency acoustic energy from the exhaust.

Fixes for the problem involved the addition of a "jet wake fairing" at the bottom rear of the fuselage between the engines, external "ice tong" mass balances for the elevator, pending the design of internal mass balances, [18] and the addition of exhaust deflectors to the fuselage to reduce the turbulence and the consequent flutter. Production was authorized in January , [21] with the first production FA flying in September Los Angeles Times.


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Atglen, Pennsylvania. Nuclear Weapons Accidents", Lulu Publishing, www. Retrieved on Lifeboat In Danger's Hour. Retrieved: 5 October: October Cudham: Kelsey Publishing. Retrieved January 29, Archived from the original on December 21, Associated Press. Daily News. New York. Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

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UK Parliament. Army Aircraft Since Wadhurst: Wadhurst History Society. The Tactical Air Network. Retrieved September 12, Helsingborgs Dagblad — hd. Banshees of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Nuclear Weapons Accidents", www. Retrieved: 11 August Archived from the original on 31 July Stamford: Key Publishing. La Grande Evening Observer. March 4, [Monday]. The San Bernardino Daily Sun. LXIII The evaluators were qualified night-fighter pilots, radar operators, and experienced maintenance non-commissioned officers. The pilots were not impressed with any of the aircraft and recommended procurement of an interim aircraft that resulted in the development of the Lockheed F Starfire from the training version of the Lockheed F Shooting Star.

The F proved to be the fastest of the three contenders, [16] although it was in last place in cockpit arrangement and ease of maintenance.

The Air Force subsequently canceled the production contract for the F to free up money for the Scorpion. By November the second aircraft was virtually complete, but the Air Force was concerned about the design's poor thrust-to-weight ratio and decided to implement a weight-reduction program, as well as upgrading the engines to the more powerful Allison JA fitted with an afterburner. The new nose added 3 feet 0.

It was redesignated YFA to better reflect its role as a pre-production testbed to evaluate equipment and changes planned for the FA production aircraft.

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The aircraft was essentially complete by February Shortly afterward, the aircraft crashed on 22 February, killing the observer, when flutter developed in the elevator and the subsequent vibrations caused the entire tail to break off. Construction of the production models was suspended until the reasons for the accident were discovered. Engineering and wind-tunnel tests revealed that the geometry of the rear fuselage and the engine exhaust created flutter-inducing turbulence that was aggravated by the high-frequency acoustic energy from the exhaust.

Fixes for the problem involved the addition of a "jet wake fairing" at the bottom rear of the fuselage between the engines, external "ice tong" mass balances for the elevator, pending the design of internal mass balances, [18] and the addition of exhaust deflectors to the fuselage to reduce the turbulence and the consequent flutter.

Production was authorized in January , [21] with the first production FA flying in September Only 18 FAs were completed, which were mainly used for tests and trials, before the type was upgraded to FB standard, with new avionics. Despite repeated engine changes, problems persisted, compounded by the discovery of structural problems with the wings that led to the grounding of the F and forced a refit of -A, -B, and -C models.

The major production model was the FD, which first flew 23 October and entered service in Armament was two pods of fifty-two 2. The subsequent FH, which entered service in , had an E-9 fire control system like that of the early F and massive new wingtip pods each holding three Falcons usually three semi-active radar homing GAR-1s and three infrared GAR-2s and 21 FFARs, for a total of six missiles and 42 rockets.

Problems with the fire-control system delayed the -H's entry into service, by which time its performance was notably inferior to newer supersonic interceptors, so it was phased out of USAF service by The final variant was the FJ. There were no new-build FJs, but -Ds were modified to this standard. Data from Scorpion with a Nuclear Sting [56].