Author Topic: NASA Prop Viper in 1/144  (Read 2938 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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NASA Prop Viper in 1/144
« on: July 29, 2014, 04:17:38 AM »
It was with great interest NASA ordered one of the first production F-16s. Before it could commence work at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, General Dynamics issued an engine recall which grounded the new bird. While it sat waiting for the engine to come back, someone noticed a spare prop was an almost perfect fit. Well aware of the jet's complete lack of low-speed performance, the prop was added and the NASA Prop Viper was born.









Not only was the new test aircraft wickedly fast and maneuverable, but the prop gave it almost STOL-like low speed performance which NASA saw rightly as a bonus in a chase aircraft.







The NASA Prop Viper would gain an enviable reputation flying escort on just about every NASA mission. Pilots universally praised the Prop Viper's performance and during Operation Ipicac, a Prop Viper even became the first NASA aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier (the U.S.S. Vertigo CVE-227).









Thrilled by the success of the Prop Viper, NASA soon began envisioning props on almost everything.



This vision of the future was not to be and these design proposals were cancelled by the budget ax. Sadly, the Prop Viper was axed too and made its final flight in January 1985, ending its career in utter ignominy.



The unique mixed-propulsion test-bed was recycled into 148 toasters and one large ceiling fan. Nothing exists of the Prop Viper today except for these Kodachromes taken by a "space tourist" in 1981.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 04:53:12 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
  • *
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: NASA Prop Viper in 1/144
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 04:37:06 AM »
This project stated by a mistake. Somewhere on the web I read something complaining about the gap between the intake and lower fuselage on the F-16. Well, right is right and I endeavored to procure my own Viper and fix this fatal design flaw. Always frugal, I found one going for less than $5 at the Bros. of Sprue and snapped it up. I wasn't fazed by the challenges some face with the Academy F-16, but I was taken aback when it arrived and I noticed I ordered it in 1/144 scale instead of 1/72.



Undeterred, I found the spare upper fuselage from a Miles Master made a nice new intake. Then I noticed a cast-off 1/144 prop looked like a good fit. Euphoria ensued.













I added a wingtip sensor pod made from sprue and a probe for the opposite side as well as another probe on top the tail which are both re-purposed landing gear parts. The model is brush-painted by hand in acrylics and decals were a mix from spares and my dwindling nameless NASA sheet.





I had a lot of fun on this tiny model which took me about three afternoons from start to finish.





I hope you enjoyed the Prop Viper and a peek behind the curtain of NASA test aircraft.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 04:58:46 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
  • twin-boom & asymmetric fan
    • my models
Re: NASA Prop Viper in 1/144
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 01:32:49 PM »
Delicious addition to the military F-16-with-propeller (pusher):
http://www.nitroplanes.com/81a194-f16c-kit.html
Thanks! Glory to the civilan ones!
 :-*

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: NASA Prop Viper in 1/144
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 02:31:56 PM »
Again your research and corresponding build astound me :)
Color scheme looks perfect.
So far no luck finding info on USS Vertigo  :icon_crap:

Offline Buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
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Re: NASA Prop Viper in 1/144
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 02:41:23 PM »
wow... great story and really nice build.

What was the decal source ?