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Joe Caputo
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Lindberg 1/48 Convair XFY-1 VTO “Pogo”

June 26, 2017 · in Aviation · · 17 · 3.6K

Trivia question: What post WWII US Navy aircraft had no tail hook or wing walks?

Thanks to Jaime, I finally took this one from the stash and got busy. What was supposed to be a "group" build, sort of went by the wayside, with a couple of the others eventually joining in. Still, it was a good time sharing notes, and observations on the kit, and of the actual aircraft.

According to my references, there were 3 of these planned, but only one ever flew. I chose to do mine like the one at the National Air and Space Museum, in Suitland, Md., because of the variation in colors.
What should (and was) have been a simple kit, took much longer than planned because the more I got into it, the more little changes I made. I had read that it had never made a flight with the canopy closed. While this proved incorrect, I had already opened the cockpit, added instruments, and side consuls, while enlarging the seat and replacing the pilot. Clipping off the tip of the "bottom" tail was another nuance in most photos. Just little things that took time.
Obviously the paint job was simple, but effective. At least good enough to fill a space on my shelf. Apparently this kit was released with different sets of decals. Mine was simple, and without the Convair logo, however I couldn't find reference for quite a few of the "stencils"/warning decals, and so, left them off.
For me it was a fun build, although sometimes wore my patience, and, yes, those big props do counter rotate !

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. There used to be a comic strip, back in the 50s - "Buzz Sawyer" - about a navy pilot who was involved in testing all kinds of new Navy stuff. Taking the Pogo aboard a ship was one of the story lines. Another was carrier-qualifying the F4H-1 Phantom. Anybody else remember that strip?

    Nice work on an airplane that always interested me as a kid. Too bad you can't find the old Aurora Lockheed VTOL model any more.

    • Tom, yes, he and his buddy Roscoe Sweeney. I used to read it every chance I got, I remember he flew the F4D, and this project they called the "Midjet" which was supposed to land on a mattress type landing strip. I thought that strange.

      The Aurora Lockheed "Salmon" (no, really!) VTOL had the largest rivets I've ever seen on a kit. a friend had it, it also had a real thick canopy and a solid cockpit with the pilot head and shoulders molded to it. It almost made Lindbergs Pogo look high tech. I shudder to think what an unmade one would go for.

      • LoL! Bernie, I remember kits where the pilot was just a head sticking out of a solid chunk of plastic! Hilarious! I suppose those kitmakers never anticipated the way kits & modelers have evolved over the years. I don't miss any of those old kits. (Much. Only those few that are of something no longer made.)

  2. Good looking Pogo. I DO remember Buzz Sawyer. Built this kit as a kid and remember using Vaseline on the gears to make them turn better.
    Thanks for the memories.

  3. Nice lookin' build, mean Joe. I like what you've done with it.

  4. It's hard to believe anyone would ever "volunteer" to take this thing off the ground! I still consider this one of the ugliest aircraft ever conceived - though you did do the model justice...

    • Greg, only one pilot did, their test pilot "Skeets" Coleman. I also think it was the inspiration for that bizarre Monogram thing, "The Flying Flapjack". That came and went quickly, I recall. I actually saw one on line the other day, in someones photo of his work area. Possibly on that OTHER SITE. Aurora also had that mini jet that took off and landed from a platform set on its edge X-19 ? I only ever saw one of those, and it got away. Worth some SERIOUS money, last time I heard.

      • That's the Ryan X-13 Vertijet. It didn't have landing gear of any type. It had to back down and catch a hook on a gantry that was on a trailer. Supposedly then they could transport it just about anywhere. It's on display at the USAF Museum. (Last I saw it was hanging on a wall in the X-plane hanger behind and off to he side of the XB-70. No doubt moved into the new hangar by now.)

        • I guess both prototypes survive. The other is in the San Diego Air and Space Museum. I should add initial flights of the Vertijet did have a fixed landing gear for initial flight testing.

  5. Looks good Joe! I love that metal finish. Where are the bombs and rockets? 🙂

  6. Great job! I don't think that it's any uglier then the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin. I'm guilty too, I remember Buzz Sawyer .

  7. Good looking build Joe...sorry I did not get mine done.

  8. The only reason that only one flew is that Convair had the only YT-40 that could run in the vertical position at the start of flight testing. They were able to have it simply because the Pogo could not land in a conventional manner while the Lockheed XFV-1 could with a fixed landing gear so they needed it in order to fly. Skeets Coleman, Fish Salmon and Pete Girard and Lou Everett (the two pilots for the X-13) all had nerves of steel !

  9. Joe, I actually think its a wonderful looking airplane, when its flying level !
    I love the huge prop, but sitting on its tail is just wrong ! As for the model, nicely done.

  10. The Pogo is a wonder of fabulous looking lines. If you want a shock to your system, have a look at the XF-85 Goblin. That is one ugly fellow. Great to see a number of old models being built, not only the latest tech.

  11. Nice work, Joe!

    I used to have this kit ages ago, but gave it up back in 1986 or so to Mike Dario. While lacking in detail, i actually thought the shapes were pretty good for its time, plus i was fascinated by the contra rotating propeller. I recently paged thru the Ginter book written by Skeets Coleman and aside from the landing aspect, the plane otherwise flew very well; in fact possibly the most successful implementation of the Allison T-40 engine (great idea in theory, but not the most reliable powerplant as you know). Its too bad Lindberg didn't follow this on with an F2Y Sea Dart in the same scale.

  12. Great subject Joe and lovely work! - looks great in its NMF.
    Love the step ladder - can you imagine getting into it?

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