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The USA has produced a string of experimental aircraft that have tested the furthest limits of aerospace technology. Dragon Warbirds has been reproducing this series of fascinating aircraft, and one of the most eagerly anticipated designs is the XB-70 Valkyrie. Development of the XB-70 by North American Aviation commenced in the late 1950s, and it was a prototype of the B-70 deep-penetration bomber that was supposed to enter the ranks of the US Air Force. The six-engine aircraft was to fly at Mach 3+ speeds armed with nuclear bombs at a maximum ceiling of 21,000m to avoid interceptors. Interestingly, as advanced as the Valkyrie’s technology was, the introduction of high-altitude surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) made the need for the B-70 redundant and the program was cancelled in 1961. Nevertheless, two XB-70A aircraft were built and flew in a battery of supersonic test flights from September 1964 through to August 1969, although one was lost in a midair collision. They contributed to the study of aerodynamics and propulsion of supersonic aircraft, and were of direct benefit to the future Rockwell B-1 Lancer program.
The Warbirds model is made in 1/200 scale, yet it still measures nearly 290mm long and has a 160mm wingspan. It would look impressive on a desk or other prominent display area. The remarkably streamlined and futuristic shape with its canard surfaces and delta wings is mimicked perfectly in miniature. Details such as panel lines are accurately rendered, and the model also includes the landing gear for an alternative pose. This is a long-awaited X-plane model, and Dragon Warbirds has done the subject proud!