The Scorpion was designed to fight Soviet bombers back before the Cold War was even a thing. It carries a massive number of rockets for its time and was the world’s first aircraft to carry air-to-air nuclear rockets. Get ready for two different versions of the F-89 Scorpion jet!
F-89B and F-89D, jet fighter, premium, USA, rank V.
Almost immediately after WWII, the Nothrop Corporation began developing an experimental jet fighter-interceptor to meet the new requirements for that class of aircraft. The American interceptor’s primary targets were supposed to be Soviet bombers, so the projected model’s flight characteristics and armament had to meet this objective. At first the two-seater twin-engine jet was developed to have a rather interesting four gun turret. This turret was to be mounted on the aircraft’s nose and could fire on targets either automatically or manually along a vertical plane either forward, up, down or, in some cases, backward. However, when the experimental model of the aircraft was ready, the turret still hadn’t undergone testing yet, so the military decided to install traditional static frontal guns on it, as well as HVARs on the wing pylons. It was with this loadout that the Scorpion F-89A and F-89B went into service. The armament was switched exclusively to rockets somewhat later. To make the change to rockets, the designers implemented an interesting solution: Mighty Mouse unguided rockets were installed on the front of the wing-mounted fuel tanks in such a way that the rocket and fuel sections of this part of the design were separated by a fireproof barrier. This also made it possible to install heavier, more destructive HVARs under the wing. The F-89D or “rocket” version of the Scorpion went on to become the most widespread version of the aircraft in the US air force – 682 of them were manufactured.
Fun fact: The F-89 is famous for having the first American AIM-4A short-range guided missiles (GAR-1), and even MB-1 Genie air-to-air rockets with nuclear warheads!
In War Thunder 1.91 Night Vision we offer two versions of the Scorpion – the F-89B and F-89D – which will become rank V premium aircraft in the US Airforce line. Like the Australian Boomerangs, they are acquired in order. Each modification is interesting in its own way, but they’re especially good together. The F-89B is a typical early post-war jet interceptor. Its not-worst-at-its-rank speed and rate of climb allow it to catch up to any piston-engine aircraft and fight early jets on an even footing. The F-89B is splendidly equipped for hunting other aircraft – its six 20mm M24A1s with a high rate of fire and 1,200 rounds are conveniently located in the front section of the fighter and allow the pilot to fire long, accurate volleys with barely any jams. Traditionally there are several kinds of ammo to choose from, including armour-piercing rounds, which allow you to deal with AA guns and armoured cars.
As for the F-89D, it’s exclusively an assault aircraft designed to deliver concentrated strikes against ground targets. The two unguided rocket launchers installed on the front part of the fuel tanks at the ends of the wings hold 104 Mighty Mouse rockets, each of which contains the equivalent of over a kilogram of TNT. In addition, another 16 HVARs, which fare quite well even against the sturdiest tanks, can be attached to the pylons. This modification has no guns, but why would you need guns when you have SO many rockets?
Both Scorpions will come in handy for various types of battles and situations. Taken together, they completely fill the fighter/attack aircraft niche for air and mixed battles alike. Both modifications gain altitude pretty well and can reach a maximum speed of about 900 km/h. The aircraft come equipped with radar that lets you fix targets along your flight path at a range of about two kilometres. The Scorpion has two engines, each of which has its own oil system, which gives you a chance to escape from combat and reach your airfield with a single engine. The Scorpion’s noteworthy disadvantages include rather fast fluttering at any speed above 900 km/h and insufficient speed to overcome especially fast hostiles when flying horizontally. Watch your altitude and speed, and slice your enemies up with high-speed guns or pelt them with endless rockets – the Scorpion is an excellent and rewarding aircraft for a nice “fan” game!