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Road to Top Gun — Update: Bret Becker’s North American XB-70 Valkyrie flies!

Road to Top Gun — Update: Bret Becker’s North American XB-70 Valkyrie flies!

So, after a rebuild of an old project, Bret Becker successfully test flew his Top Gun entry, the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie. Check out this great flight shot taken recently at the Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, OH. Great going Bret! See ya at Top Gun!


Intended to be the ultimate deep-penetration nuclear equipped strategic bomber, the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie looks like it jumped off the pages of a Buck Rogers pulp-fiction comic book. The six-engined bomber was capable of reaching speeds in access of Mach 3 while flying at an altitude of 70,000 feet. The XB-70’s maiden flight was on 21 September 1964 and it first flew supersonic  on its third test flight on 12 October 1964.

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What a great subject for a Top Gun aircraft and Bret Becker thought he’d give it a try. Since learning to fly in the early ’90s, competing at Top Gun has always been on his bucket list.  So this year Bret is very excited to make it a reality and plans to get his feet wet competing in the Sportsman Class.


Originally from Los Angeles, Bret have been living in Dayton, Ohio for the past 2 years.  He was blown away by the XB-70’s presence seeing it for the first time in the USAF Museum in Dayton.  He had been planning to build one from scratch and reached out to his friend and fellow modeler Ray Cannon of Hemet, California for advice.  Ray had built an XB-70 in 2001.  He had limited success with the model and it spent many years in his basement after sustaining flight damage. He wanted to see it fly again but had lost motivation.

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Bret was able to acquire the model and spent the past year restoring the model to flight condition.

Here are some specs:

Length: 8 ft.

WS: 56 in.

Weight 25 lbs.

The construction is of  balsa and ply with a painted fiberglass finish. Power comes from  four Schubeler HDS-30 (70mm) EDF units mated to Tenshock 1540-9 motors, and fed by YEP 80 amp ESCs and one 6S 4500 LiPo pack per fan.  The landing gear are Robart 550 series, and Bert is using a  Futaba 14 channel radio system.

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Photos from inside the museum were taken by Victoria Thomas including some of Bret and his fiancé Wendy.

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Add a Comment
  1. Awesome! Can’t wait to see it at Top Gun ! Congrats Bret. I´m looking forward to meet you there!

  2. How cool! My favorite aircraft, always wanted to see a flying model made. I hope some flying video of it will be posted.

  3. Love it. Would really like to see it fly someday.

  4. Hey pilot am wetting to buy it when you are Tired with it
    Enjoy your flying.

  5. I bet it’ll even go faster than Frank’s Escalade! Beautiful!

  6. Good luck Bret!

  7. Hi, I used to fly chase on the B-70 program as a motion picture cameraman.. I have quite a few still pictures of the
    B-70 in flight… One of the rare photos is, when the nose gear got stuck into the nose wheel door and was subsequently unstuck with a paper clip… Give me a e-mail address and I will send you some shots….
    Also if you think I am pulling your leg, go to Google, Type in Movies, then my name Chuck Colwell and you see some of the Hollywood movies I shot as Director of Photography…….
    Cheers, Chuck, Good Luck at Top Gun

    1. Mr. Colwell, I’m a published author. I’m Italian. I’m writing my second book on Hollywood B-movies. I’d be happy to ask you some questions concerning your films with the late Raphael Nussbaum. I’m also looking for “vintage” photos. If you are interested to participate, feel free to reach me at my email address at your convenience:

  8. Love it. Please post video of it flying

  9. John Lockwood

    Was stationed at Edwards 1965-1966 working at what we called the ‘old base’. Our facility was about quarter mile of end of runway. From our roof we saw many of the flights made and somewhere I have a series of takeoff pictures taken with the cheap camera I had at the time. Imagine a crystal clear morning – blue sky with a tan desert environment. This magnificent white aircraft taxies about two miles to your left and turns to the runway. In the distance is a dot in the sky that grows larger and as it approaches black smoke pours from the back of the XB-70 as it starts it’s takeoff roll. About half way down the runway the dot has caught up with the XB-70 – it is the chase plane – a B-58 Hustler, with wheels down, which had taken off previously. Together as the XB-70 lifts off they passed our building with the roar of ten engines in full afterburner. It was a slight one never forgets.

    Congratulations to Ray for starting the project and to Bert for seeing it thru – Has been on my dream wish for decades and look forward to the videos of it flying.

  10. Congratulations Bret! Hope to see you and the XB-70 at the EDF Jet Jam.

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