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  1. After the D-558-I Skystreak (link & link) Jet Model Aircraft Design Studio (JETMADS) is to release a 1/32nd Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket resin kit - ref. 355821 Source: https://www.jetmads.com/product-page/1-32-d-558-ii-skyrocket V.P.
  2. The motivation for this build was a local model club meeting as the theme was "multi-engine". My primary project wasn't going to be ready in time, so I hatched this crazy idea to do a model in a day. The kit used was a 1994 SSP reissue of the original 1955 issue Revell D-558-2 Skyrocket. This kit was done back in the day when Revell was all over the map on their scales. The model scales out to about 1/65 scale. While not quite 1/72, it would like quite at home next to a couple Matchbox cars I suspect since 1/64 is a common diecast scale. So, work started at about 5 AM on Wednesday morning as I began work by painting a stand for it in Tamiya metallic black (it is an Aurora Moebius stand as the kit didn't come with a stand) and by a little before 6 PM, I was adding the finishing touches by running a fine line black pen into the panel lines to pick them out a bit. I admit the model is not perfect as there are some minor issues in spots. My kit also didn't have the clear window parts, so I had to use some Micro Krystal Klear to make them (and a day later one of the windows is STILL drying). But I like the results in any event. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Douglas Skyrocket, it was a late 1940s US Navy design intended to help break the sound barrier. The D-558-I Skystreak was intended to explore speeds up to Mach 1 while the D-558-II was intended to explore speeds beyond mach 1. The aircraft made use of German swept wing innovations and it was developed as a rival to the US Army Air Force's Bell X-1 (the USAF split off in 1947). Both planes were developed at a time when the aerospace race was between two miltary agencies as opposed to two countries. Defense budgets were very lean back then in the immediate post war years as the prestige of record breaking could help prop up the budget when the time came. Defense budgets didn't begin to climb until after the start of the Korean War and the noticeable cooling off of East West relations which began the cold war. The original design featured a hybrid powerplant as it had a jet engine intended for takeoffs and landings and a rocket engine (of the same design as used on the Bell X-1) for its speed run. Unfortunately, the jet engine was underpowered and combined with the tiny intakes and bent tailpipe in the bottom of the fuselage, the plane was a heavy slug. Lack of decent fuel tankage for the rocket engine meant that the aircraft could barely hit mach 1 on its speed runs. But on the times it did this (especially close to the ground where the air was nice and thick), it was very exciting to watch. The Revell kit represents this configuration. Midway through the program, the decision was made to remove the jet engine from at least one of the three planes built, increase the fuel tankage for the rocket engine and air drop it from a B-29. During several test flights, Douglas test pilot William Bridgeman took the Skyrocket to up to Mach 1.8 before the plane was turned over to NACA for research work. A few years later, NACA test pilot Scott Crossfield became the first man to break Mach 2 in the rocket only powered D-558-2 Skyrocket. The Skyrocket lead to several innovations which found their way into production military aircraft.
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