Author Topic: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 379 times)

Online Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« on: April 01, 2018, 08:02:29 PM »


The Bell P-59 Airacomet is famous as the first U.S. jet fighter.



Far less known is the aircraft it spawned, the XYP-59SW Super Airacomet.



Late in W.W. II, allied spies had managed to steal top-secret German swept-wing research.



Bell Aircraft was approached to implement the new technology and they decided the fastest way to do this was to tweak an existing design. Using their P-59 Airacomet jet as a starting point, soon the swept-wing XYP-59SW Super Airacomet took flight.



While the production version ended out sharing only 63% commonality, one could almost be forgiven for mistaking the XYP-59SW for its older brother, so close was the resemblance at some angles.





By 1946, a service-test batch of Super Airacomets had been been delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces for evaluation.







The timing couldn't have been better because starting in mid-1945, the allied air effort was under grave threat.



Many allied squadrons reported being attacked by strange, glowing unidentified flying objects  that seemed to have impossible flight characteristics. This odd phenomenon would become known as the Foo Fighter.



While it may seem silly in hind-sight, the U.S. military took it very seriously at the time. Even the U.S. Navy looked into physiological causes of visual illusions experienced by aviators under the auspices of their Bureau of Marine Medicine (BUMMED).



Despite the best research efforts, the U.F.O. attacks increased as the air war over Europe ground on. Clearly something had to be done. What was desperately needed was a Foo Fighter fighter.



Fortunately, the XYP-59SW Super Airacomet was available and thought to be able to go high and fast enough to deal with this other-worldly foe. The 40356th Composite Squadron was soon flying aggressive interdiction missions.



While the tail code letters may appear to be a sly way of giving the enemy the finger, they actually designate that this aircraft was part of the top-secret Foo Unit created to counter these attacks.





The U.F.O. onslaughts tapered off as the war in Europe ended and the source of these mysterious aircraft was never determined.



The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet Foo Fighter fighter and the Foo Fighters themselves would soon be forgotten except as a small footnote. Music fans who are also students of history are understandably confused.



To this day, few know about the XYP-59SW Super Airacomet Foo Fighter fighter and the so-called "experts" just say "Fooey!" about the whole thing.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 08:30:10 AM by Brian da Basher »

Online Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2018, 08:34:18 PM »
This all started with a 1/72 Amodel Bell XP/YP-59 Airacomet a good friend sent me recently (thanks a million, hamsterman!). Isn't that box art great?



The decals are even better and include those hard to find RAF prototype-Ps-in-a-circle which I will jealously hoard for the right project.



The kit itself is a bit challenging as it's more like a short-fun err short-run kit in that there are no locating pins. Also, in an attempt to allow one to build all of the prototype versions, construction is modular. If you follow the instructions, the fuselage consists of twenty separate pieces which is most of the 26 parts I ended up using to complete this model.



The conversion was fairly easy as I just swapped out the Amodel wings and horiz stabs for ones from an Italeri F-84F. I was surprised how well they fit.



Unfortunately, I lost the F-84F gear doors and was forced to improvise with some card stock.





It took me about two days to get this far which isn't bad.



The only other mod was swapping out the needlessly complex kit burner cans with spare prop-shaft grommets. As each kit burner can is made up of three small pieces, this simplified things nicely. Here's how it all looked before paint.



Speaking of paint, the old hairy stick was trotted out again and filled with a lot of Model Masters acrylic Gray Primer.



The canopy was tinted on the inside with Model Masters Insignia Blue and the anti-glare panel on the nose done with Model Masters Olive Drab. The exhausts were painted in Jet Exhaust and the guns with a home-made gunmetal mix.



The only kit decals I used were the wing-walks and small data placard. The markings and Screaming Eagle titles were swiped from a Minicraft B-17G. The serial numbers were from a Special Hobby P-80 and the fuel caps & FU codes came from spares.



It took me four days to complete this model due to the simplicity of the mods.

Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" (U.S. penny for scale):





I'd like to thank Mr Tomcat for moderating this GB and graciously allowing an extension which gave me the time to post this. I'd also like to thank Bill for the kit (I couldn't have done it without you!) and the rest of you playing along or just stopping by to look.



I hope you enjoyed the XYP-59SW Super Airacomet Foo Fighter fighter and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history that's disappeared like some kind of optical illusion.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 08:32:32 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 09:04:29 PM »
That really looks quite good with swept wings Brian --- well done!

Offline buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
  • Accurate Scale representations of fictional stuff
    • Club and my stuff site
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 09:22:29 PM »
Man! you are just on fire this Group Build. Right in your sweet spot by the looks of it

Great work. Again.

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 09:46:47 PM »
Superb model and backstory!!  I commend your ability to blend diverse pieces so well.

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 01:40:25 AM »
Good!
And you are right: as the XP-86/F-86 made this evolution, the P-59 could have, also.

Offline Frank3k

  • Excession
  • Formerly Frank2056. New upgrade!
    • My webpage
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 02:22:47 AM »
Awesome build, Brian - it looks like a natural progression, if the P-59 had been allowed to evolve.

For a second, I thought you had added a vectored thrust exhaust, until I saw that it was only the pad for the display stand...

PLUS - you built and finished an AModel kit! They really don't get any easier to build, but they're the only game in town for many subjects.

Offline ChernayaAkula

  • Was left standing in front when everyone else took one step back...
  • Global Moderator
  • Putting the "pro" in procrastination since...?
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
<...> The decals are even better and include those hard to find RAF prototype-Ps-in-a-circle which I will jealously hoard for the right project.<...>

Have Xtradecal got a sheet for you!  :icon_beer: LINK!
Cheers,
Moritz

"The appropriate response to reality is to go insane!"

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 09:17:11 AM »
Whod thought of swept wing P-59?  Now we all know who.  Surprised how well P-59 fuselage wears swept wings. :o  Looking good Brian, you done it again.  :smiley:

Offline pigflyer

  • If reality is real, give me whatif. Really?
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 04:11:36 AM »
How very logical.  The build and (most of) the story just work so very well.  Yet another first class Da Basher history paper.
 :icon_alabanza:

Ian
If I don't plan it, it can't go wrong!

If it's great, I did it. If it's naff, I found it.

Offline John Howling Mouse

  • The King Of Absurdia
  • I have met my Muse and she is made of styrene.
Re: The XYP-59SW Super Airacomet - A Foo-ey Tale in 1/72 Scale
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 08:59:22 AM »
As always: a great concept executed with your incredible skill (you make it look easy).  Just one question, though: how long did it take for you to pen that Wikipedia entry on 'Foo Fighters'?   ;)
A big 'thank you' to whoever it was that invented the OptiVisor!