RS Models 1/72 XP-79B Flying Ram Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2016||Manufacturer||RS Models|
|Subject||XP-79B Flying Ram||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||92111||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy construction||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34.95|
The Germans were not the only ones pursuing a rocket-powered fighter during World War II. While Alexander Lippisch was working on what would become the Me 163 Komet, Jack Northrop was also looking at a fighter based upon his flying wing designs. Northrop developed the XP-79 concept which was a single-place fighter powered by a rocket motor and placed the pilot in the prone position for better G-force tolerance. When the aircraft's proposed rocket motor continued with development problems, the aircraft switched over to two Westinghouse turbojet engines for power and the prototype redesignated as XP-79B. By the time the XP-79B was ready for its first flight, World War 2 was over. Nevertheless, the aircraft launched for its first (and only) flight on 12 September 1945 and during a slow roll, the aircraft departed controlled flight and crashed, killing its test pilot. The project and the second prototype were cancelled.
I was surprised to see this kit show up in the Cybermodeler Online labs as this kit was first released several years ago and was written up elsewhere as a limited edition kit. Evidently RS Models didn't get that memo as this kit and the rest of RS Models' line is now being imported into the North American market by Stevens International.
The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on one parts tree plus one small tree of clear parts. The layout of the aircraft is similar to the Ho 229 with the pilot housed between the two turbojet engines. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Basic cockpit
- Positionable landing gear
The kit provides markings for the following aircraft:
- XP-79B, 43-52437
- P-79B, 43-52582 (notional)
- P-79B, AH077, RAF (notional)
While I'm not certain where the 'Flying Ram' designation came from, this kit does represent a short-lived concept fighter that might have transformed jet fighter development had the aircraft survived flight test. This kit adds an interesting subject to your scale flightline as this wasn't a notional design, this aircraft did fly (though not very long).
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!