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, […]

Feb 282012
 
Proposal for Improved Bell XP-77 (1944)

The gallery above reproduces “The XP-77 Airplane,” a report by Bell Aircraft Corporation dating from around June 1944 found in US Army Air Force (USAAF) files held in National Archives II in College Park, Maryland. The report is both a review of the development work done on the Bell XP-77 wooden light weight fighter and […]

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 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, […]

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 […]