Martin X-24B Lifting Body (1969)
About the Design
After the relative failure of its X-24A lifting body, Martin Aircraft stripped the test aircraft down to its bare essentials and, in 1973, rebuilt the vehicle as the X-24B. Although virtually identical on the inside, the planes could not have looked more different on the outside. Whereas the original X-24 was stubby, smooth and bulbous, its "B" variant was larger and arrowhead-shaped -- a configuration that turned out to be significantly more stable.
In August 1975, the X-24B -- after being carried aloft by a B-52 bomber -- landed on a conventional airstrip, marking the first time a lifting body had made such a landing. Its last flight was in November 1975, after which it was retired. The X-24B was the last experimental lifting body built for NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
About the Kit
This 1/72 model of the X-24B is from the French Mach 2 kit, which came with scale replicas of both the X-24A and the upgraded X-24B. Like most Mach 2 kits, the plastic and the details were both rather soft. Flash was a problem, as was the fit of the cockpit canopy.
The model was built from an original issue