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Lockheed XF-90: Penetration Fighter

Lockheed XF-90: Penetration Fighter Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2020 Title Lockheed XF-90: Penetration Fighter
Author William J. Simone Publisher Ginter Books
Published 2020 ISBN 978-0-9993884-7-1
Format 168 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $39.95


It “seemed”, William J. Simone opines, “to epitomize what a supersonic fighter ought to look like.” And it even entered popular culture through comic books and hood ornaments.

It was Lockheed’s ultimately unsuccessful XF-90 – subject number 222 in Ginter Books’ vast “Air Force Legends” series. And as with every Ginter title, author Simone explores the sleek, futuristic failure in dazzling detail – inside and out.

Contents commence with background notes, “myths”, Air Force specifications for the “penetration fighter” competition, and competitive designs.

How about that compact Northrop proposal? And how about those Lockheed delta-wing studies?

Text swiftly segues to XF-90 structural specifics. How many ribs did Lockheed’s wings sport? You’ll find the surprising answer here.

Flight and scale-model testing comes next. And author Simone methodically and capably chronicles all.

Several manufacturers surprisingly offered XF-90 kits to major and “box” scales. And hobbyists will naturally migrate to Ginter’s modeling notes for capsule reviews of these.

Accuratizing and updating Aurora’s rare 1:48-scale XF-90? You’ll find everything you need here.

Expect some Crackerjack prizes, too. These include capsule histories of competitors McDonnell XF-88 and North American YF-93 prototypes – and coverage of Lockheed’s L-183 swing-wing naval fighter, “a derivative of the F-90”.

Nitpicks? Some.

Why identical Tumbler-Snapper Charlie Shot target schematics on pages 142 and 143? Shouldn’t that be XF-88A 46-526 – not 46-528 – on page 123? The PZL.50 Jastrzab was certainly not “fictitious”. And how can something be “very unique”? It’s either “unique” or not.

But I quibble.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lockheed XF-90: Penetration Fighter. More, please.

With thanks to Ginter Books!