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 […]

Aug 092011
 
Consolidated PB2Y-3 Coronado with Integral JATO Motors (1944)

The image gallery above reproduces a report by Consolidated Aircraft Company dated February 15, 1944 summarizing the findings of a series of take-off tests made on a production PB2Y-3 Coronado airplane fitted with special “jet” propulsion motor equipment for assisted take-off. (These were not jets in the modern sense but small rocket motors). The jet motor units, of […]

Aug 022011
 
Bell D188A VTOL Fighter Reports—December 1956 to February 1957

On December 13, 1956 Bell Aircraft Corporation submitted a report to the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) outlining power plant and configuration improvements to its original D188 VTOL fighter proposal of October 1, 1956. The report is significant because it contains the earliest known configuration of the D188A (more commonly known as the XF-109/XF3L, […]

Jul 182011
 
Bell D188 Jet VTOL Fighter for the US Navy—Wind Tunnel Report

In our third article on the Bell D188 VTOL fighter, we present a wind tunnel report submitted by the company to the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) along with the lavish proposal brochure covered in Parts 1 and 2. Approximately 10 hours of wind tunnel testing was performed at the MIT Naval Supersonic Laboratory on […]

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 […]

Jul 022011
 
Bell D188 Jet VTOL Fighter for the US Navy—Proposal Brochure (Part 2)

The gallery above reproduces the second portion of the Bell D188 jet VTOL fighter proposal brochure dating from October 1956, specifically the Aerodynamics, Structures and Weights, Flutter Investigations, Systems, Vulnerability, Accessibility and Maintenance, Producibility, Base Support Equipment, Growth Potential, Development Program, and Conclusions sections of the report. Also included at the end of the gallery […]