Ryan Bola de Fogo

Design of the FR-1 began in 1943 because early jet engines had sluggish acceleration. Ryan received a contract for three XFR-1 prototypes and one static test airframe on 11 February 1943 with the first two prototypes delivered in 14 months.

The first XFR-1 made its first flight on 25 June 1944 without its jet engine, but this was installed shortly afterward. The second prototype first flew on 20 September 1944. A total of 66 were built for the US Navy but they were too late for the war and quickly overtaken by pure jets.

In 1947 the Brazilian Air Force was looking to acquire their first jet aircraft. They looked to buy the Gloster Meteor but negotiations were difficult as Brazil lacked foreign currency to pay for them. Ryan saw an opportunity and bought back the surplus FR-1s from the US Navy.

The aircraft were refurbished and sold to Brazil for 1.2 million gallons of rum. The Fireball served in the Brazilian Air Force until 1950 but suffered from poor maintenance and had a very low availability.

-        Czech Model, 1/48

Last updated: 01/01/2023