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"STRAIGHT UP" 
Convair XFY-1 "Pogo" 

by Caz Dalton

 

Convair XFY-1 "Pogo" 
BROWN FIELD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 1954 
JAMES E. "SKEETS" COLEMA

 

Model Subject: Convair XFY-1 "Pogo"

Kit Used: Kovozŗvody Prostjov (KP), kit number 33

 

Background

 

 

Convairís XFY-1 (Model 5) was a radical experimental single-seat fighter evolved from a program to examine the feasibility of operating tail-sitting, vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft from small platforms on ships. The single prototype built competed with Lockheedís XFV-1, but both projects proved the concept was flawed due to pilot disorientation with the planes in the vertical position.

The aircraft featured wings of modified delta planform and immense vertical surfaces (the ventral tail being jettisonable to permit an emergency landing if necessary). The XFY-1 rested on small castoring wheels at the tips of the wings and vertical tailplanes. The pilotís ejection seat was mounted on gimbals, which permitted it to tilt up 20 degrees when the aircraft assumed the vertical attitude.

Power was provided by a 5,850 shp Allison YT40-A-6 (pending availability of the planned 6,955 shp XT40-A-16) driving counter-rotating propellers. Proposed armament comprised four 20 mm cannon in the wingtip pods and forty-eight 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets in pods on under wing mounts outside the propeller arc, but the prototype was never armed.

The XFY-1 effected its first vertical take-off and landing on August 1, 1954 and its first transition flight on November 2, 1954. Although flown for over 40 hours in tests, severe piloting difficulties led to an abandonment of the program.

The surviving prototype of the Convair XFY-1 "Pogo" is currently stored at Smithsonianís NASM Garber storage facility in Silver Hill, Maryland. For years it served as the gateguard for NAS Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia. It was here that I first saw the "Pogo" during the 1960's.

 

 

Modifications and Additions

 

Interior

The interior was built out-of-the-box with exception of adding the seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The belts were cut from sanded masking tape and the buckles cut from True Details American Belt photoetched set.

 

Exterior

The exterior was likewise built straight out-of-the-box, with exception of replacing the two long pitot tubes with two sizes of hypo tubing as the kit pieces were bent and broken and could not be properly repaired. I shortened the oleos on the castoring wheels so that the model would sit lower, as the weight of the plane would cause the oleos to rest almost flush with the wing and vertical plane tips.

 

 

Painting and Decals

 

This model was constructed under the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid). With that in mind I decided to use Polly-Scale Metalline paints for the metal finish. The vertical tailplane tips were first painted Polly-Scale Night Black along with the propeller blades, spinner, and masked canopy pieces.

The black was then masked on the vertical tips and anti-glare panel and the entire model was airbrushed with Polly-Scale Bright Silver. Once dried, a few panels on the vertical tails and fuselage undersurface were masked and sprayed Polly-S Bright Aluminum. The difference is very subtle and can be seen in bright light better than a lighted room. I removed all masking except for the anti-glare panel and shot the model with a coat of Min-Wax Polycrylic Clear Gloss to protect the fragile metal paint and prepare a surface for the decals. The prop blades and spinner were also painted clear gloss at this time.

The propeller tips were first done with yellow trim film decal cut to four-inch scale (.055 in). Since this was a little too translucent for my liking, I carefully hand painted the yellow decal tips with Tamiya Flat Yellow once the decals had thoroughly dried. The kit decals were used with exception of the National Insignias, which were taken from a SuperScale sheet for modern US National Insignia. Various vents were done with black decal trim film, with the NACA duct being done with black and silver trim film.

Once all the decals had dried I gently washed the model and gave it a thin wash coat of Polycrylic after masking the interior and anti-glare panel. The propeller assemblies were also given a wash of Polycrylic. All recessed wing and vertical tail controls were given a wash of India ink after the final gloss had dried. The flat interior panels in the intakes were carefully hand painted with Polly Scale Night Black, as were the exhausts, which also received a dusting of light gray powdered pastel. The lower fuselage intake was painted black prior to its attachment to the prepainted black outline on the lower fuselage assembly.

Navigation lights were given a drop of kristal kleer and then painted clear red and clear blue as required once the kristal kleer had completely set up.

After I built this model, I was able to find a copy of Steve Ginterís monograph on the "Pogo". Since this book had pictures containing a boarding ladder, I scratch-built one from styrene rod after first drawing front and side profiles on index card stock. The two figures were from Hasegawa and were installed to give some sense of scale to the model.

 


Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Caz Dalton
Page Created 31 May, 2000
Last updated 26 July, 2007

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