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Bell XP-59A Airacomet

The XP-59A, America’s first turbojet-powered airplane. On October 1, 1942, as Bell test pilot Bob Stanley completed the final series of high-speed taxi tests, the aircraft's wheels lifted off from the surface of Rogers Dry Lake and, for the first time, an American turbojet became airborne. The official first flight took place October 2. (U.S. AIr Force Photo courtesy AFFTC History Office)

The XP-59A, America’s first turbojet-powered airplane. On October 1, 1942, as Bell test pilot Bob Stanley completed the final series of high-speed taxi tests, the aircraft's wheels lifted off from the surface of Rogers Dry Lake and, for the first time, an American turbojet became airborne. The official first flight took place October 2. (U.S. AIr Force Photo courtesy AFFTC History Office)

Murdoc was unfamiliar with the XP-59A Airacomet. When the test planes were on the ground, they were sometimes fitted with a false prop to disguise their true nature. Below is a photo apparently showing an XP-59 fitted with one:

XP-59A Airacomet fitted with false propeller

XP-59A Airacomet fitted with false propeller

Murdoc seems to remember an episode of the old Wonder Woman televsion show where a jet prototype was shown. At the time I thought it was a bad mock-up of a P-80 Shooting Star, but now I wonder if it was actually an XP-59.

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