Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Marx Pull Rudder Jet - NACA D-558-1 Skystreak?

Just yesterday, quite by chance, I came across an article for an experimental aircraft, the D-558-1 Skystreak. When I saw the picture I said,"I know that plane! That's the Marx pull rudder jet!" When you look at the pictures you'll see why because the toy bears a striking resemblance to the aircraft. The prototype was a very early turbo-jet design with the first plane being built in 1947 as a joint project first conceived in 1945 by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, in conjunction with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).  As jet aircraft go it was quite slow and only reached Mach 1 (the speed of sound) once. However, unlike other test aircraft like the X-1, it could sustain transonic speeds for sustained periods of time which provided useful handling data for aircraft performing in the high-subsonic range. The D-558-1 was retired in 1953 and as chance would have it, its successor, the D-558-2, looks quite similar to the large Marx Supersonic plane covered here on Dec 14, 2011 and 21 Dec, 2011. Both of the toy planes were made in the early 1950s and Marx had a distinct proclivity for featuring the latest and greatest technology in its toys. Now of course the toy may not actually be modeled after the D-558-1 and there are some distinct differences between the toy and the prototype, especially the placement of the toy's wing in relation to the wheels but personally I think it's a fairly good match. The toy measures 6 1/4"L x 401/8"WS x 1 5/8"H. Enjoy!

Courtesy NASA

The Marx logo is on the tires not on the plane