Republic XR-12A-RE   Rainbow     (41-91003)


                                        Elsewhere in my narratives I lament the fact that U.S. manufacturers were prone to taking photo-
                                        graphs of their products before military serials had been applied, thus making the true identification
                                        of any specific machine almost impossible.  In the image above, acquired from Republic in early
                                        1948, even the stars and bars had not yet been applied.  I suspect that it depicts the second of
                                        the two Rainbow prototypes (the first was 41-91002), the above machine having had its first flight
                                        on 12 August 1947.  The aircraft was designed as a long range photo-reconnaissance machine as
                                        far back as 1943 and, in fact, its first designation had been XF-12. This was changed in 1947 to
                                        XR-12.  A civil version of this sleek, pressurized beauty was also envisaged.   The first prototype
                                        crashed on take off from Eglin AFB in 1948 while the aircraft above wound up at the Aberdeen
                                        Proving Grounds as an Army artillery target.