Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

The Northrop N-63 was an unconventional VTOL turboprop tailsitter aircraft proposal submitted to the US Navy’s convoy fighter competition of 1950, which ultimately produced the Convair XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon. It was a single-seat high performance fighter designed to protect convoy vessels from attack by enemy aircraft, and for vertical unassisted takeoff from, […]

Martin Model 262 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Project of 1950

Martin Model 262 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Project of 1950

The Martin Model 262 was an unconventional turboprop VTOL aircraft proposal submitted to the US Navy’s convoy fighter competition of 1950, which ultimately produced the Convair XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon. It was a swept-wing aircraft with triple vertical tails powered by an Allison XT-40-A-8 turboprop engine driving 16 ft contra-rotating propellers. The launch […]

Goodyear GA-28A/B Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

Goodyear GA-28A/B Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

This book provides a detailed overview of the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation GA-28A/B, one of the submissions to the US Navy convoy fighter competition of 1950, which ultimately produced the Convair XFY-1 and Lockheed XFV-1 VTOL aircraft. The GA-28A was a three-quarter scale prototype of the convoy fighter, while the GA-28B was the full scale design […]

Douglas Model 1186-C 1/72 Scale Resin Kit by Sharkit

Douglas Model 1186-C 1/72 Scale Resin Kit by Sharkit

Several months ago Renaud Mangallon of Sharkit was kind enough to send me a complimentary 1/72 scale resin kit of the Douglas Model 1186-C, which is based on the drawings and information found in my book, Secret Aerospace Projects of the U.S. Navy: The Incredible Attack Aircraft of the USS United States, 1948-1949. The cover art […]

Flight Tests of the Prototype Grumman F6F-5K Target Drone (1946-7)

Flight Tests of the Prototype Grumman F6F-5K Target Drone (1946-7)

This article reproduces the “Final Report on Flight Tests of Prototype F6F-5K High Speed Target Drone with Eclipse-Pioneer P-1K Auto-Pilot,” Report No. R-0168, produced by the Naval Air Material Center, Naval Aircraft Modification Unit located in Johnsville, Pennsylvania in 1947. The following paragraphs reproduce the main conclusions of the report, a high resolution version of […]

NACA and the Convertible Aircraft, 1945-9

NACA and the Convertible Aircraft, 1945-9

The convertible aircraft, a vehicle which can function either as a direct lift, rotary aircraft or as fixed wing airplane, with conversion from one to the other type as required, has long been a dream of aeronautical inventors. Combining the vertical flight capacity of the helicopter with the greater efficiency in forward flight of the […]

Higgins-Bellanca Cargo Model 39-60 (1944)

Higgins-Bellanca Cargo Model 39-60 (1944)

This article reproduces the original specification document for the Higgins-Bellanca Cargo Model 39-60 of 1944, an enormous transport aircraft designed for the USAAC which combined an elegant blended wing-fuselage with a twin boom tail assembly. According to various sources, this project began in 1941 and was also referred to as the “HC-57,” with the HC […]

USAAF Evaluation of Navy SWOD Mk 9 Bat Glide Bomb (1945)

USAAF Evaluation of Navy SWOD Mk 9 Bat Glide Bomb (1945)

The U.S. Navy’s “Special Weapons Ordnance Device” (SWOD) Mark 9 “Bat” glide bomb was one of the world’s earliest fully-automatic, target-seeking “smart” weapon systems. The Bat was a development of the “Pelican” glide bomb, which was equipped with a Receiving Homing Beacon (RHB) that required a radar beacon to illuminate the target. The Bat had […]

Convair Generalized Supersonic Bomber (GEBO) II Studies (1951)

Convair Generalized Supersonic Bomber (GEBO) II Studies (1951)

The Forth Worth Division of Consolidated Vultee (Convair) Aircraft Corporation initiated conceptual studies of a supersonic bomber for the USAAF in October 1946 under the Generalized Supersonic Bomber (GEBO) program. This was followed by GEBO II in March 1949, under which Convair further refined the concept. This article presents excerpts from Convair Report Nos. 3 […]

Martin 246 Naval Attack Aircraft Proposal (1949)

Martin 246 Naval Attack Aircraft Proposal (1949)

The aircraft shown in the brochure at left is the Martin 246, a jet attack aircraft submitted to the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) on an unsolicited basis in 1949. Its chief characteristics were its inverted gull wing and T-tail, the latter being a popular design choice at Martin in this period. According to […]

Stroop "X-Wing" Convertible Speed Planes (1935-9)

Stroop “X-Wing” Convertible Speed Planes (1935-9)

Robert C. Stroop is one of the many obscure Depression-era aeronautical inventors who created innovative if somewhat impractical designs that, for various reasons, never saw their full potential. The author has unable to uncover much about the background of Mr. Stroop apart from a few interesting facts. In surviving correspondence with the Army Air Corps, […]

Bell XF-109 VTOL Fighter Brochure and Mock-up Inspection Program (1959)

Bell XF-109 VTOL Fighter Brochure and Mock-up Inspection Program (1959)

In our final article in a series on the Bell D188A/Model 2000 (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L—both spurious designations invented by the Bell marketing department) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a brochure and mock-up inspection guide dating from February 1959. A preview of the brochure is shown to the left; it is remarkable for being […]