Airmodel 1/72 XF-92
KIT #: AN-062
PRICE: $16.63
DECALS: None provided
REVIEWER: Carmel J. Attard
NOTES: Vac form model with resin parts.


The idea of constructing a delta test-bed in support of the XP-92 programme arose during joint Air Force-Convair discussion held in late 1946. And so in November 1946, the USAF approved construction, stipulating that Convair should develop the aircraft as quickly as possible using components and systems of the existing aircraft wherever practicable. (This aircraft was pretty much based on the work started by  Alexander Lippisch into delta wing aircraft. Ed)

 The ensuing model 7002 represented a cleaner and more authentically appealing design than the rather blunt and barrel-like XP-92. The aircraft had the same wing configuration as the XP-92 and the same wing area. The vertical tail was considerably larger being 76 Sq.Feet. The wing joined the fuselage at mid-position and the fuselage was of circular cross section.

 In their quest for rapid development engineers adopted the J33 power-plant installation from a Lockheed P-80, the canopy and ejection seat of the earlier turboprop Convair YP-81, the nose landing gear of a Bell P-63 Kingcobra, and the main landing gear from a JF-1. To replace the standard elevator and ailerons for longitudinal and lateral control, Convair developed elevon (elevator-aileron) surface to provide longitudinal (pitch) control.

During the summer of 1947 Convair delivered the incomplete model 7002 airframe, to its plant in San Diego for final assembly and in December 1947 the company shipped the 7002 airframe to the NACA Aeronautical Labs of Moffet Field for full-scale tunnel tests.

7002 arrived back in San Diego on 12 the January 1948. Convair conducted vibration and load tests and installed an Allison J 33-A-21 turbojet. On 9th April 1948, the 7002 arrived at Muroc Dry Lake for flight-testing. The company selected its chief of experimental flight-testing Ellis D “Sam” Shannon as 7002 project pilot. Throughout the spring and summer of 1948 Convair technicians readied the Delta for flight. Except for its national markings, only much later did it receive its overall coat of white seen in most photographs.

The aircraft was originally conceived as a point-defence interceptor but the design was later used purely for experimental purposes, however and it led Convair to use the delta-wing on a number of designs, including the F-102 Delta Dagger, the F-106 Delta Dart, the B-58 Hustler, the US Navy F2Y Sea Dart, as well as the VTOL FY Pogo.


The kit comes in a sealed polytene bag containing a sheet of white styrene containing the main kit parts comprising of two fuselage and  four delta wing halves, parts for an alternative engine outlet/nozzle to make the earlier version with a different rear design, and a cockpit canopy in clear acetate in somewhat thick section. Detail parts molded in green resin comes in a separate small sealed bag which consist of an accurate set of wheels, less accurate wheel oleos and also cockpit floor, bulkhead, instrument panel, seat and also in resin are the wheel well doors. These will complete the kit in its scale form.

 I kept the straight wheel legs to which are attached the wheels, but the rest of wheel strut supports to the fuselage I preferred to scratch build from stretch sprue. There is an exploded view among the 6 page instructions and 4 view 72 scale plans proved helpful during the assembly. Two side views suggest different Delta finishes during the aircraft short service life. The early scheme is one which is overall metal finish while the later scheme is an overall white aircraft with silver control surfaces.

 Surface detail of parts is reasonably good but at places panel lines need to be re scored not too deep but can easily be dressed out. For further close up detail particularly to the undercarriage assembly I made sketches from a link where there are lots of pictures of the XF-92 also known as the Delta Dart. 


This is a simple vac form kit suitable for a beginner trying his first hand on vac form kit building and requires the normal preparation of scoring the kit parts outline, snapping them off the backing sheet and sanding down the parts on 180 grit sanding paper; then the rest is an easy going assembly using polystyrene liquid cement. However there are items, which needs to be added, as they are not supplied with the kit. I added an engine outlet interior from a scrap model part and also the same applied to the engine air intake. This was made out of a short piece of ballpoint plastic of size that fits inside, beneath the cockpit assembly.

 Using the link in the reference section, I made sketches of the undercarriage leg construction. Although of awkward design it turned out quite close to scale and with a certain amount of detail. The fuselage and nose wheel wells were built out of plastic card and tailored as close as possible to the photos I used as reference. I also added some metal weight around the nose intake and wheel well area in the event this was needed for a tricycle undercarriage type. With all parts at hand the assembly was complete paying particular attention to the proper appearance of the protruding oleo legs as they stick out of the side fuselage wheel well. Cockpit was painted cockpit green and detail added in black, adding a crew figure strapped to the seat. Nose probe was made of metal pin and inserted to a plastic piece of cross web glued inside the air intake.


The canopy was masked and the kit was painted semi gloss white overall. The wheel wells painted zinc chromate green at an earlier stage while the air intake was red on the inside leaving the nose probe in silver.  Control surfaces (elevons and rudder) were finished in silver. Decals were not provided but suitable ones are readily available from a number of sources.


Ever since my very early days into the hobby I had a soft spot for this early U.S. designed XF-92 Delta research type and at long last Airmodel fulfilled this desire to build the type. It was unique in design and of importance as it opened the way to follow-up successful combat aircraft that benefited from it particularly the F-102, F-106 and B-58.


Carmel J. Attard

March 2013

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