Quantum Leap and the X-2


2011 Update: The Quantum Leap X-2 mockup is now being restored by the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA. Thanks to restoration team member Tom Dozier, check out photos of the restoration in the X-2 Photo Album.

Sam and the X-2In March 1989, NBC first presented it's television show "Quantum Leap" in a two hour pilot episode. Interestingly, this episode had another star in its cast - the X-2. Eerily following the 1956 time frame as Toward The Unknown did, it's the story of scientist Sam Beckett who leaps back into time, into the life of X-2 pilot Hank Stratton. Mucho thanks to the writer who dug deep enough to actually incorporate the X-2 into a late eighties TV show!

There are computer animated scenes of the X-2 flying, as well as vintage film of the mothership carrying up the X-2. My favorite scene has Sam and AL (another character in the series) walking around a mockup X-2 in Edwards' 1830-R hangar. The mockup is still around at the Planes of Fame museum in Chino, California. When it was last seen a few year back, it was disassembled outside, and wasn't in the best of shape (they also have the X-1 mockup from The Right Stuff, and a real D-558II).

X-2 mockup at Planes of Fame museumThis episode is available on DVD around the Internet. I have found that the sources are drying up a bit, since this show isn't as known as it used to be. I would recommend it to any X-2 fan!

Additional photos of the X-2 mockup

To read more about the X-2 episode (first season) and the series, visit:

Thanks to J. Goto for the below extra information!
"This e-letter concerns the X-2 prop used in the series pilot of QUANTUM LEAP. I met the show's production designer Cameron Birnie at the 1993 QUANTUM LEAP Convention and asked him about it.

Originally, the Douglas D-558-2 "Skyrocket" on display at the Chino Planes of Fame air museum was to be dressed up to look like the X-2. However, Don Bellisario, the show's creator, turned down this idea. He felt that if he could tell the difference between the two aircraft, other people could too.

The X-2 was constructed out of fiberglass and foam, based on photographs of the aircraft, in the span of about 10 days.

When the Chino museum acquired the prop (with the ground transportation dolly), the canopy and elevators were missing (presumably lost on the Universal Studios backlot). I was able to see the X-2 prop shortly after it arrived at the museum and was reassembled. At this time, it was in fairly good condition. As with props, they are not made to last. The X-2 sits outside exposed to the elements due to lack of interior storage space.
Hope this sheds some light on your questions about what is considered by some the only full-scale representation of this X-Plane."

"Some additional information on the X-2 used in the series pilot of QUANTUM LEAP. The scenes that show the X-2 in flight (at various angles, not the footage of the actual aircraft) were accomplished by use of a model filmed in front of a bluescreen. The special effects company that did the miniature work, I believe, was called Apogee. This company also did the effects for the Clint Eastwood film FIREFOX."

"While going through the Chino Planes of Fame museum website, they mention a B-50 that was used in the filming of the series pilot of QUANTUM LEAP. The only airframe they have is the fuselage of the "Lucky Lady II" which can be found at the entrance of the museum. Under the museum's ownership, the interior and exterior of this aircraft was restored. It is likely that it was used for the interior shots of the carrier plane. I have not been able to verify this, but since the museum did assist in the production of the episode, and this B-50 is the only one readily available in this area."

Sam and Al

X-2 Home