Test Flying the XF-90

Considered one of the most appealing fighters ever built, Lockheeds XF-90 enjoys a first-rate reputation with aviation enthusiasts something of a surprise, given that only two were ever built. While researching and writing Lockheeds Missing Link for our June/July 2008 issue, authors Jorge and Karen Escalona compiled rare footage of the XF-90 at Muroc (now Edwards) Air Force Base in California in 1949. The footage, which has no sound, includes scenes of the first XF-90 prototype being trucked to Muroc, and a brief glimpse of engineers attaching ribbonlike strips to the wing to gauge airflow patterns during preflight tests. Also seen are ground crews affixing Jet-Assisted Takeoff (JATO) canisters to the aircraft (to provide additional thrust) before Tony LeVier, Lockheeds chief test pilot, takes it for a spin. The Escalonas write: The XF-90s dashing good looks earned it movie-star status throughout the 1950sfar beyond its operational lifeattracting readers and advertisers to prominent aviation periodicals and comic books of the time. Video: Courtesy Jorge and Karen Escalona (3:45)

Latest Videos

Preview thumbnail for video'The Avenger's Transformer Moves
The Avenger's Transformer Moves (1:12)
Preview thumbnail for video'Everybody’s Favorite Trainer
Everybody’s Favorite Trainer (1:44)
Preview thumbnail for video'To Honor the Doolittle Raiders
To Honor the Doolittle Raiders (1:55)
Preview thumbnail for video'Mission Accomplished
Mission Accomplished (2:59)
Preview thumbnail for video'P-38 Lightning in Flight
P-38 Lightning in Flight (0:15)
Preview thumbnail for video'Saved in the Nick of Time
Saved in the Nick of Time (1:00)
Preview thumbnail for video'A Fighter Pilot’s Dream
A Fighter Pilot’s Dream (1:00)
Preview thumbnail for video'An A-26 Invades an Avenger Gathering
An A-26 Invades an Avenger Gathering (1:03)
Preview thumbnail for video'Test Flying the XF-90 Now Playing
Test Flying the XF-90 (3:45)