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 142012
 
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 […]

Mar 232012
 
Bell D188A/Model 2000 VTOL Fighter Mock-up Report—February 1959

In our latest 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 this huge, heavily illustrated mock-up report dating from February 6, 1959. By this time, the Air Force had become a significant partner in the program, […]

Jan 092012
 
Bell D188A/Model 2000 VTOL Fighter Reports—January to February 1959

In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A/Model 2000 (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a pair of Bell reports from early 1959—a Progress Report from January and a report on Experimental Model Programs dating from February 6. In the abstract to the Progress Report, Bell notes that […]

Nov 302011
 
Verticraft Tri-Service VTOL Prototype Transport Aircraft

The Verticraft Verticar was a little known VTOL aircraft design belatedly submitted to the Navy in connection with the Tri-Service Assault Transport competition of 1961. This competition was born of a common requirement by the United States Army, Navy and Air Force for a V/STOL aircraft that could augment helicopters in transport-type missions, specifically a […]

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 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 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, […]

Oct 042011
 
Stiller Helicopter Project of 1928

On January 1, 1928, brothers I. and J. Stiller, both of whom were engineers living in Radom, Poland, filed a patent in Warsaw for a peculiar helicopter design featuring two small propellers fitted on the upper end of swiveling shafts arranged in parallel. These propellers were driven by an internal combustion engine located between the shafts. […]

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 […]