The F-89 was a twin-engine, all-weather fighter-interceptor designed to locate, intercept, and destroy enemy aircraft by day or night under all types of weather conditions. It carried a pilot in the forward cockpit and a radar operator in the rear who guided the pilot into the proper attack position. The first F-89 made its initial flight in August 1948 and deliveries to the Air Force began in July 1950. Northrop produced 1,050 F-89s.
On 19 July 1957, a Genie test rocket was fired from an F-89J, the first time in history that an air-to-air rocket with a nuclear warhead was launched and detonated. Three hundred and fifty F-89Ds were converted to “J” models which became the Air Defense Command’s first fighter-interceptor to carry nuclear armament.
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center was responsible for all communications and fire control systems on the F-89. The Scorpion on display was delivered to the USAF in February 1955 and delivered to the 63rd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan. It served with various units before being retired from the 119th Fighter Group (ANG) at Fargo, North Dakota in 1966. It was delivered to the Museum in 1983 for display.
Span: 59 ft. 10 in.
Length: 53 ft. 8 in.
Height: 17 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 47,700 lbs max.
Armament: Two AIR-2A Genie air-to-air rockets with nuclear warheads plus four AIM-4C Falcon missiles
Engines: Two Allison J35s of 7,200 lbs. thrust ea. with afterburner
Serial Number: 53-2463
Maximum speed: 627 mph.
Cruising speed: 465 mph.
Range: 1,600 miles
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft.