Lockheed F-19 Stealth Fighter Concept (1986)
About the Design
In the mid-1970s, Lockheed and the U.S. Air Force began work on a radar-evading strike aircraft under the code name HAVE BLUE. By the early 1980s, word about this Top Secret project had leaked to the aviation press. Although specifics were vague, it was known that the plane employed a shape that deflected radar waves, had recessed engines with special cooling exhausts to minimize its infrared signature, and had a skin of radar-absorbing composites.
Based on what it purported to be "inside" information, Testors released this conceptual "F-19" in 1986. Garnering massive media attention, the design became the shape of the mysterious "Stealth Fighter" in the public's mind -- until the actual Stealth -- the F-117 Nighthawk -- was unveiled in 1990. As it turned out, Testors' sleek and low-profile Stealth looked not a thing like a highly angular, faceted F-117 it was meant to portray.
About the Kit
Thanks in large part to the media hoopla that surrounded its 1986 release, Testors' F-19 Stealth Fighter went on to supplant AMT's U.S.S. Enterprise as the best-selling model kit of all time. It was later re-released by Testors' European sister company, Italeri, and also released in 1/72 scale under both labels.
This model was built from an original 1986 issue.