Taking a cue from the latest terrific issue 9 of the fanzine ANDERSONIC, which includes an excellent article on X-Planes and Century 21 by Vincent Law, I have taken a very close look at one of the X-Planes mentioned: the Russian SPIRAL, a direct response to our good friend and SWORD stalwart, the X-20 Dyna Soar. What specifically caught my eye is the 50 50 mothership designed to carry the Spiral into space. It bears a remarkabloe resemblance to the as yet unidentified SWORD Re-Entry Task Force 1. Both are pictured below for comparison (TF1 is the Tarheel version courtesy of Astronit)
The similarities from the tip to the bubble canopy are clear particularly the ridged pointed nose, the front landing gear and the location of the bubble. Now admittedly the Spiral 50 50 has a different wing form and is carrying a combined fuel tank and small Spiral glider on its back , where Century 21 have installed a dorsal wing, but these aside I think it's a likely source. It was a contemporary of the X-20 Dyna Soar and C21 toy designers will have seen both in the aviation press they were no doubt browsing through for ideas over coffee. Here are some more pictures of the Spiral 50 50 mothership.
Spiral pictures c/o Wikipeadia, and Aerospaceguide.net
And You Tube come up trumps again
And finally, again signposted by the highly recommended Andersonic fanzine, here is a 50 50 model flying and crashing in the Captain Scarlet episode TREBLE CROSS around 6.30 minutes coutesy of You Tube