Northrop F-89J "Scorpion" The F-86, the USAF's first swept-wing jet fighter, made its initial flight on 1 October 1947.  The first production model flew on 20 May 1948, and on 15 September 1948, an F-86A set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originallydesigned as a high-altitude day fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a fighter-bomber (F-86H).  As a day fighter, the airplane saw service in Korea in three successive series (F-86A, E, and F) where it engaged the Russian-built MiG-15.  By the end of hostilities, it had shot down 792 MiGs at a loss of only 76 Sabres, a victory ratio of 10 to 1.

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 feet 10 inches
Length 53 feet 8 inches
Height 17 feet 6 inches
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 each with afterburner
Cost $1,009,000
Serial Number 53-2463
Maximum speed 627 mph
Cruising speed 465 mph
Range 1,600 miles
Service ceiling 45,000 feet



 Museum of Aviation       GA Hwy 247 & Russell Parkway      Warner Robins, GA 31088       (478) 926-6870