an injection-plastic aircraft model kit.
Post WWII, the US Navy began to look forward to the perceived threats of the Cold War and realized that it would need all its carriers for force projection and nuclear-strike roles, and would not be able to offer air cover to rear elements or supply ships. In order to fill that hole, it was proposed that Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) fighter aircraft be developed that could be operated from the decks of smaller ships to protect them. Two designs were devloped, the Convair XFY-1 "Pogo" and the Lockheed XFV-1 "Salmon" (nicknamed after its test pilot Herman "Fish" Salmon). In the event, Convair had its design ready first, and since only one engine was ready complete with the special pumps needed to allow the extended operation in the vertical mode needed for VTOL operation, and also since the design of the Convair aircraft would not allow for "normal" take-offs and landings, the "good" engine was given to Convair while the "Salmon" had to use an unmodified engine which prevented it from being a true VTOL design. For the entire flight-test program, the "Salmon" thus had an ungainly wheeled landing gear fitted so it could take-off and land like a normal airplane.
Valom's kit of this aircraft helps fill a hole in the history of post-war Navy types. While there is a readily-available kit of the "Pogo" out there, all we had until now was a rough limited-run kit of the "Salmon". This kit is far superior to that older release, featuring fine recessed surface detail, a detailed cockpit and the wheeled landing gear. During testing two variations of the tail wheel arrangement were seen, and the instructions cover both. Alternatively, you can of course build the kit as the "tail-sitter" it was designed to be, and leave that ungainly wheel-and-strut arrangement in the spare parts bin. Photoetched parts are included for the instrument panel, belts, rudder pedals and oleo scissors, and two vacuformed canopies are provided. This kit will still require some modeling skills, but nothing beyond the abilities of those with a couple of kits under their belt, and after all, it's a "Salmon"!