Brief history

Both Minnesota flying squadrons of the Minnesota Air National Guard flew the F-89 on active air defense missions beginning in the late 1950s. The Northrop F-89 was an early American, subsonic, all-weather, jet-powered interceptor. This aircraft was among the first USAF jet fighters with guided missiles and notably the first combat aircraft armed with air-to-air nuclear weapons (the unguided Genie rocket). The first flight took place on 16 August, 1948 with a total of 1,050 aircraft built. This type aircraft was retired in 1968.



Cost: $988,884
Crew: 2
Length: 53 Feet, 8.5 Inches
Wingspan: 59 Feet, 8.5 Inches
Height: 17 Feet, 6 Inches
Engines: 2 Allison J35-A-35 afterburning turbojets, Thrust with afterburner 7,200 pounds each
Maximum Speed: 635 MPH at 10,600 Feet
Ferry Range: 1,366 miles
Service Ceiling: 49,200 Feet
Armament: 104 X 2.75 inch “Mighty Mouse” folding fin rockets, 16 X 5 inch aerial rockets on underwing racks or 3,200 pounds of bombs, 2 AIR-2A Genie air-to-air rockets with nuclear warheads, 4 AIM-4C Falcon missiles

Interesting Facts

In January 1958, the 109th Fighter Interceptor Squadron took over the F-89H all weather interceptors of a deactivated USAF squadron along with the alert hangers that now house this museum, defending the northern border of the USA from a potential attack of Russian bombers during the Cold War. The defense mission, if needed, called for the pilots to ram their aircraft into invading Russian bombers if all their munitions were expended or malfunctioned, to stop the invading aircraft. The museum aircraft last flew with the Wisconsin Air National Guard and could have very well stood on alert in the very hanger this museum now utilizes. Prior to this aircraft becoming a display aircraft here in Minnesota it was an outdoor display in Harlingen Texas with the “Confederate Air Force” (now the “Commemorative Air Force”).