Kit #AA2015. 1/72 scale. Highly-detailed resin kit with decals. In 1957, NASA investigated the problems associated with a missile's nose cone on re-entry from space. By modifying a cone shape, the concept of a lifting body was created, so that aerodynamic lift could be produced to fly back from space rather than plunge to the earth. This study led to the design known as the M-2, a "M"odified half-cone, rounded on bottom and flat on top, with twin tail-fins. This configuration allowed the lifting body to land on a runway rather than parachuting into the ocean. In 1962, NASA built the first lifting prototype, the unpowered M2-F1. With the success of M2-F1 program, NASA signed contract to Northrop to build the M2-F2. The first glide flight was tested in 1966. The following flights were successful until the 16th flight at Edwards AFB, when a control accident took place on landing, that resulted in a crash and pilot injuries. Northrop disassembled and repaired the M2-F2 and it returned to service as the M2-F3. In 1970, U.S. Air Force joined in the NASA program. The Air Force pilot tested several powered flights and the M2-F3 made the first supersonic flight in 1971. The M2-F3 completed 27 flights and then retired at the end of 1972. The kit includes instructions for scratch-builging the M2-F3 variant.