The Northrop F-89 Scorpion was designed as an all weather interceptor and first flew in 1948. It served as part of the North American Air Defense Command. The F-89 was radar equipped and able to locate and intercept enemy aircraft in all weather conditions. Unique wingtip tanks on the F-89D carried folding-fin aerial rockets in the front portion and fuel in the rear portion. The tanks on the F-89J carry only fuel.
The F-89 was the first fighter interceptor equipped to carry air to air nuclear missiles. These missiles, designated MB-1 Genies, were first test fired on July 19, 1957. A total of 1,050 F-89's were built, of which 350 were modified to this role and were designated F-89J's.
The aircraft on display at Castle Air Museum started life as an F-89D which served with the Alaskan Air Command. In 1957, it was modified to a "J" version and served with the Air Defense Command. In 1960, it was transferred to the Air National Guard, serving in Wisconsin and finally Iowa. On its wings, you will see two Genie air to air nuclear missiles that were carried by the "J" version Scorpion. The F-89 was retired from active Air Force service in 1959 and from Air National Guard service in 1969.
By kjfitz @ 2007-03-10 14:57:06