Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin

Model: unknown

Name: Rising Star

Type: Research aircraft

Date: 2009

Status: Experimental

Country: United States

Service: U.S. Air Force / NASA

Designation: X-55


Lockheed's Rising Star was evaluated by NASA and the USAF as the X-55A but failed to gather enough interest from the military. Its test pilots dubbed it the "Fighting Salmon", as an evocation of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, but it was also an evocation of "Fish" Salmon (the pilot who flew Lockheed's first vertical riser, the XFV-1), and probably also the flying fish kind of appearance of the aircraft...


The Rising Star originally started as a pic of two F-16s of the Thunderbirds flying belly to belly... (see below right) although it's really hard to tell from the end result that it could have started from that photo!

I blended them in, and then bits and pieces from other F-16s were incorporated. The name of course echoes the original name that the company requested for their original XFV-1 (later dubbed the "Salmon" from its test pilot).

This time around I chose to do a magazine advertisement, it's a lot more fun that way...

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