Manufacturer: Ryan

Model: unknown

Name: Fireshark

Type: VTOL jet fighter


Status: Operational

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Air Force

Designation: F-109A


The Ryan F-109A Fireshark was the U.S. Air Force's only OTO (Oblique Take Off) fighter, an enlarged (and more elegant) development of the radical X-13 Vertijet VTO prototypes.

The F-109A took off on a slanted ramp and landed conventionally. 80 examples of this version were produced.


Here is a case when the aircraft that looks like an eggplane is actually the real-life one! For those who may think the Fireshark looks a lot like the Vertijet, you need to compare it with the photo I used as a basis (below right) and hopefully you'll see there was virtually no element untouched.

New skies had to be added to the rear, a different cockpit was snatched from an XV-5A Vertifan, the markings are from an F-106A Delta Dart, the tail fin reworked from a different Vertijet picture, fuselage was lengthened, nose was lengthened, wing was enlarged...

The name "Fireshark" was made up using Ryan's "Fire-" prefix (used in many of their products) and "-shark" which was part of the name "Dark Shark", another Ryan model. Also please note that the designation "F-109" was considered for a USAF variant of the Vertijet (among others).

Viewers' comments:
  • OMG!!!! You've done a LOT of work on this!!!! :D It's truly amazing, because even for me who is pretty familiar with the X-planes, I still a first lookover didn't realize just how much work you have done here to get this image. It's exactly the fact that it really doesn't initially look like catches one so off guard! Wow!! My hat's off to you and a hearty congratulations on some fabulous art here!!!! :D (dinobatfan)
  • Supersonic-môôôô ! ^^ (Jean Barbaud)
  • Great addition to the F-centuries family (this is my favorite one of them)... And thanks to have included the source, to appreciate your creative huge work. (Tophe)
  • Yours looks a LOT better than Ryan's version Stephane!  Thumbs Up Bow I always thought the X-13 looked as if it had missed the hook and landed hard on its tail at some time. The longer fuselage and nose makes all the difference. (PR19_Kit)
  • love the little Ryan design, looks plausible too as a productionised Vertijet  Thumbs Up (TsrJoe)

My comments:

I'm fully aware that I've already used the designation F-109 for my USAF Avro Arrow... Sorry about that, unused designations are pretty hard to come by!