Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Muroc Models
Kit ID RD6 7209
Type Rockwell RPRV-870 HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) N/A
Unit Joint NASA/USAF
Date 1979-1983
Aftermarket parts used None
Other detail added Scratchbuilt skids
Model built by Chuck Holte
Date Completed June 2020

The Rockwell RPRV-870 HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) is an experimental remotely piloted aircraft produced for a NASA/USAF program to develop technologies for future fighter aircraft. Among the technologies explored were close-coupled canards, fully digital flight control (including propulsion), composite materials (graphite and fiberglass), remote piloting, synthetic vision systems, winglets, and others.

Two aircraft were produced by Rockwell International. Their first flights took place in 1979, and testing was completed in 1983.  One HiMAT is currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and the other jet is at the Armstrong Flight Research Center, adjoining Edwards AFB CA.

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length:5 ft (6.86 m)
  • Wingspan:6 ft (4.75 m)
  • Height:3 ft (1.31 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,370 lb (1,529 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 4,030 lb (1,828 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric J85-21 turbojet
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,960 km/h; 1,218 mph

 The Muroc 1/72 scale resin kit of the HiMAT aircraft is well molded, flash free and accurate in scale dimensions.  Main parts include the one-piece fuselage and wings with winglets, two canards, two vertical stabs, tail/exhaust, engine inlet along with resin sprues of associated skid landing gear, inlet and outlet covers, etc.  One single page, non-illustrated, assembly/instruction sheet and a four-view scale decal and painting instruction guide in color.  Decals are well sized and accurate to available photos and appear to be ALPS-printed on one continuous film/sheet.  Individual decals must be cut to size. 

A quick build with minimal assembly, save the canards which are butt-joined to the forward fuselage and the vertical stabs to the twin tail.  The skids are pretty much unusable.  I scratch built most of mine and they look acceptable in the display case.  If I were to build it again, I would do it “skids-up” and mount it on a stand (not included).

I spent ~4 hours on it in total.  Most of that was painting and decaling.  An enjoyable little build resulting in a model of an unusual NASA/USAF unmanned flight research vehicle.  I bought the kit directly from my friend David Newman, the owner-operator of Muroc Models, at:

Model and images by Chuck Holte.