Nov 222011
 
Bell D188A/Model 2000 VTOL Fighter Reports—September to December 1958

In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A/Model 2000 supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present more primary documents concerning this aircraft in a chronological sequence, specifically Bell progress reports and correspondence in the September—December 1958 period. In the paragraphs below, we reproduce the abstracts of each report, which can be read […]

Nov 162011
 
Lockheed P-80A for the U.S. Navy (1945)

The photo gallery above depicts a Lockheed P-80A ordered for evaluation by the U.S. Navy in 1945. The aircraft carried Lockheed Aircraft Serial No. 1028/Navy Serial 29668; modifications include the addition of an arresting hook, catapult hooks and holdback. The photos were taken on December 5, 1945, likely at the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, […]

Nov 062011
 
Bell D188A/Model 2000 VTOL Fighter Reports—April to August 1958

In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present more primary documents concerning this aircraft in a chronological sequence, specifically Bell progress reports and correspondence in the April—August 1958 period. First we have a Bell Progress Summary from April 11. Since the […]

Oct 232011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Documents—February to March 1958

In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present more primary documents concerning this aircraft in a chronological sequence, specifically Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) correspondence and a detailed Bell armament report from the February—March 1958 period. First we have a memorandum […]

Oct 182011
 
USAF Air Materiel Command Design 938A Penetration Fighter Study of 1948

The concept of a “penetration fighter” evolved towards the end of WW II, when the USAAF anticipated the need for new class of jet fighter aircraft for the long-range escort of its strategic bombers. In 1946, it ordered the McDonnell XF-88 and Lockheed XF-90 to meet this requirement; the following year it would also order […]

Oct 122011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Mock-up Summary Report—January 1958

In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a Mock-Up Summary Report from January 1958. The first portion of the introduction to the report is reproduced below. The configuration inspection of the Bell D188A VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) Aircraft took place at the Bell […]

Oct 122011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Reports—December 1957

In our seventh article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a pair of Bell reports from December 1957, along with some internal BuAer correspondence critiquing the design. The first document is Progress Report No. 5 dating from December 15, 1957. At the time, […]

Sep 182011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter—Design Data Summary, November 1957 (Part 3)

In our sixth article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present the final portion of a huge Bell design data summary from November 1957, which features 63 drawings of the aircraft and its various components. Please click through the gallery above to view these […]

Sep 132011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter—Design Data Summary, November 1957 (Part 2)

In our fifth article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present the second portion of a huge Bell design data summary from November 1957. To view the report in detail, please click through the image gallery above, which reproduces the Structures and Weights, Systems, […]

Sep 052011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter—Design Data Summary, November 1957 (Part 1)

In our fourth article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a Bell design data summary from November 1957. Due to the large size of this document, we have broken it into three separate parts. On June 28, 1957 Bell Aircraft Corporation […]

Aug 302011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Reports—September to November 1957

In our third article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter, we present a letter and two progress reports on the type dating from September through November 1957. The first document presented in the image gallery above is a letter from E.G. Bull, the Bureau of Aeronautics Representative (BAR) […]

Aug 202011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Brochure—July 1957

In our second article in a series on the Bell D188A (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter, we present a brochure dating from July 1957, in which the design has evolved from the five-jet configuration presented previously into a six-jet aircraft, though the general overall layout is similar to the earlier study. In the opening […]