May 262012
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 […]

Apr 192012
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, […]

Mar 302012
Scherrer Jet Propulsion Airplane Proposal (1943)

Avid students of the history of jet propulsion may be aware of “Jake’s Jeep,” a ducted-fan engine similar to the Campini design that was developed at NACA Langley by Eastman Jacobs and Albert E. Sherman from 1941 to 1943 before being abandoned in favor of superior turbojet technology imported from England. Even a dedicated research […]

Jan 182012
Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track (Project SNORT) Proposal of 1949

The gallery above reproduces an October 1949 report outlining the uses and requirements for the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track (Project SNORT), a facility proposed for the Naval Ordnance Test Station located at Inyokern, California. This would be a straight railway 11 miles long, on which rocket-propelled vehicles would carry various kinds of test items at speeds reaching into […]

Nov 032011
Ljungstrom Internal Propulsion Aircraft Projects (1928)

In 1928, Olof Ljungstrom of Detroit, Michigan submitted a pair of unusual aircraft proposals to NACA which featured boundary layer removal via a primitive form of jet engine, in which a piston engine drove an axial flow turbine blower inside the aircraft. The power plant is reminiscent of that used by the Caproni Campini N.1, […]

Jul 182011
Bell Aircraft Corporation 21st Annual Report 1956

The image gallery above features selected color artwork and photos taken from the Bell Aircraft Corporation Twenty-First Annual Report of 1956. This report was found in BuAer files and likely accompanied Bell’s D188 VTOL fighter proposal. It was illustrated with a few artist’s impressions of VTOL aircraft projects of the period, along with a photo […]

Jul 152011
Bell VTOL Aircraft Projects of October 1955

The document featured in the image gallery above was submitted by Bell Aircraft Corporation to the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) in 1955 in connection with the company’s efforts to land a contract for a VTOL fighter, which it ultimately did with its D188/D188A designs of late 1956. Titled simply as “VTOL: Vertical Take Off […]

May 012011
Bell Supersonic Research Test Aircraft Proposal of 1954

On October 5, 1955, R.J. Woods, an Airplane Design Consultant at Bell Aircraft Corporation, submitted 90 copies of a draft outline of a new “Proposed Supersonic Research Test Aircraft” to John W. Crowley, Associate Director for Research at NACA.  Woods had presented this proposal at a conference at NACA Headquarters the previous spring.  At the […]