Guy Cassaday (Vehicle Designer) discusses finding the inspiration for the 1986 Conquest X-30, the challenges involved in building it (including the rear landing gear), a cost reduced landing hook for the U.S.S. Flagg, and how automobile model kits made their way into the mold.
The 1986 Conquest X-30 was inspired by the Grumman X-29. Guy saw a tiny, black and white photo of the X-29 in Time or Newsweek and "that sparked the idea for me to create the X-30." The X-29 was an experimental American aircraft that tested forward-swept wings and canard control surfaces. The two Grumman built X-29s were flown by NASA and the United States Air Force from 1984 through 1991.
The image gallery below shows Guy Cassaday's early "X-26A" fighter jet illustrations. These pencil, pen and marker illustrations show the progression from loose, gestural drawings to tight line art that starts to consider the engineering challenges ahead. These illustrations show many ideas that were cost reduced out of the design, such as side fuselage lights, wing tip lights, variable sweep rear wings, and an arrestor hook for landing on the U.S.S. Flagg. The last two sheets show decal designs and include the insignia that would be used for the Conquest X-30. Roll over the images below to find out more, or click the images to enlarge them.
The Conquest X-30 was Guy Cassaday's first model build at Hasbro. He began by forming the shape out of wood. Then he used a vacuform machine to pull styrene down over the wooden shape. Then he cut the styrene pieces and began assembling the model. Once he had a working model that he was happy with, he turned it over to the model shop for slight adjustments. The model shop created duplicates for Toy Fair, for sales samples, and for engineering. Roll over the images below to find out more, or click the images to enlarge them.
Guy discusses where some details were lost in translation between design and engineering. He discusses the dynamic between designers and engineers at Hasbro in the mid- to late-1980s, and learning to get over these missteps.