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 […]

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 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 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 […]