Northrop F-89E Scorpion

Last revised November 9, 1999






The F-89E was to have been an F-89D re-engined with a pair of 9700 lb.s.t. Allison J71 non-afterburning turbojets. The J71 engines would, it was hoped, give the Scorpion greater power and better fuel consumption, which would result in a much longer range. One F-89C (50-762) was modified as a testbed under the designation XF-89E, and fitted with a pair of 9500 lb.s.t. YJ71-A-3 engines. The air intake was redesigned with a larger capture area and with an additional tip on the upper surface for better high angle attack performance. A pair of large airscoops were fitted underneath each nacelle for cooling purposes. The YF-89E prototype flew for the first time on June 10, 1954. However, the F-89E did not offer much improved performance beyond that of the F-89C/D, and the project was abandoned before anything could reach production. The XF-89E prototype continued to be used as a flying testbed.

The designation F-89E was also applied to a proposed single-seat escort fighter version of the Scorpion. The proposed F-89E was to be powered by a pair of 9100 lb.st. afterburning General Electric J47-GE-21 engines. The wings were enlarged and were fitted with a swept leading edge. The armament consisted of 108 FFARs mounted in a pair of large pods mounted at mid-span on the wings. The main landing gear was stowed inside the pods. The nose was to be altered to carryarmament--alternative arrangements of ten 0.50-inch machine guns, six 20-mm cannon, or six MX-904 rockets were considered. The escort fighter F-89E was projected to have a maximum speed of 688 mph and a combat radius of 1010 miles. The project never got past the design study stage.

Sources:


  1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  2. F-89 Scorpion in Action, Aircraft Number 104, Larry Davis and Dave Menard, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1990.

  3. Fighters of the United States Air Force, Robert F. Dorr and David Donald, Temple Press Aerospace, 1990.

  4. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  5. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  6. Post World War II Fighters, Marcelle Size Knaack, Office of Air Force History, 1986.