XSL-01 Moon Ship Glider (1957)
About the Design
The XSL-01 (Experimental Space Laboratory Number 1) was designed in the mid-1950s by aerospace engineer Ellwyn E. Angle. Formerly associated with the Bell X-1 and X-5 projects, Angle was working for a new spaceflight startup company, Systems Laboratory Corporation (SLC) in Sherman Oaks, California, when he was put in contact with Revell Models in nearby Venice, Ca., which was interested in original designs for its expanding line of space-related model kits.
Angle conceived a multi-stage launch system topped off with a three man atomic-powered glider/lander that would touch down vertically on the moon and then land like a conventional airplane upon its return to Earth.
The XSL-01 enjoyed its one and only release in 1957; lost molds reportedly prevented it from ever being reissued. The Moon Ship glider was released separately in 1957, and again in 1969 as part of the funky "Space Pursuit" set.
About the Kit
The Fantastic Plastic version of Ellwyn E. Angle's XSL-01 Moonship was released in July 2011. Scaled up to 1:72 from the original 1:96, the simple five-piece kit was mastered by Scott Lowther and cast by BLAP! Models. The JBOT decals lovingly reproduced the original 1957 decal set.
For simplicity's sake, the model was solid cast and did not include an interior, as did the original Revell kit. Also, windows were represented by decals. The landing skid was depicted in its retracted position.