Willy Ley Passenger Rocket (1958)
About the Design
Even as early as the late 1950's, celebrated German-born spaceflight visionary Willy Ley recognized that the only way to make spaceflight practical was to employ re-useable components. His solution was a two-part spaceflight system -- a booster and an orbiter -- with each component being a winged rocket capable of returning to Earth under its own power. He designed two versions of this dual-spacecraft system, the civilian suborbital "Passenger Rocket," seen here, and an "Orbital Rocket" for military missions. Although the actual American Space Shuttle presents a significantly different profile from Ley's decidedly 1950's design, his concept of reusable components proved to be prescient.
About the Kit
The Monogram "Passenger Rocket's" initial release was brief and this kit would remain a coveted and expensive collector's item until it was re-issued in 1996 as part of Revell/Monogram's "Selected Subjects Series." The reissued kit faithfully duplicated virtually every aspect of the 1959 original, including the multi-colored plastic pieces, the decals and Willy Ley box art.
This particular kit is, in fact, an original 1950's-era issue