Nukes vs. Airplanes
Between the F-80 and the F-104, a supersonic pioneer fought the Cold War...in its own way.
- By Jorge and Karen Escalona
- Air & Space magazine, July 2008
(Page 4 of 4)
In 2003, a C-5 transport flew the decontaminated XF-90 parts from the Nevada Test Site to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. It will take a year to reassemble the aircraft, says restoration division chief Roger Deere, who will prepare the airplane for exhibition. (While the XF-90 awaits restoration, visitors can see the fighter by taking a special behind-the-scenes tour.)
Although one aircraft on the Nevada Test Site, a B-17 bomber, was rebuilt and flown out, Friedrichs was hesitant to see someone try to fully restore the XF-90. “When you only have one left, you really don’t want to take the chance of flying it and possibly losing it,” he says. Instead, says Deere, “The exhibit will tell the story that the XF-90 has been through three nuclear blasts.” He admits, “It would be a major chore to restore it to a good, decent-looking airplane.” Instead, says Friedrichs, the public will see the XF-90 “exactly as it sat out here in the desert for half a century.”