October 02, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (XFV-1)

We return, briefly perhaps, after an extended hiatus...

The unconventional, tail-sitting Lockheed XFV-1 was the prototype for a proposed U.S. Navy vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) point-defense interceptor. Designed to take off vertically, transition into conventional wings-level flight and then transition back to the vertical for landing, the airplane was powered by a 5,850 horsepower turboprop engine driving a pair of huge, three-bladed contra-rotating propellers. Fitted with a temporary undercarriage, the XFV-1 was first flown in a conventional mode at Edwards on June 16, 1954. Although, while in flight, it did demonstrate successful transitions from conventional into the vertical mode and back, its engine lacked sufficient power to guarantee safe VTOL operations and the whole concept of tail-sitting aircraft was soon abandoned in favor of designs employing vectored jet thrust.

- Photo and text via Edwards AFB

Posted by JohnL at October 2, 2005 11:08 PM | TrackBack
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