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- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 268
- Pure Stock
Ryan X-13 Vertijet
An early VTOL
The Vertijet was one of the first attempts of the US Air Force at a VTOL aircraft. It was actually derived from a though of whether the Ryan FR-1 Fireball would be able to take off vertically, given its greater than 1:1 TWR at low fuel levels. Interested, the United States Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics issued a contract to conduct testing in that area with the interest in submarine based aircraft. This craft was one pat of a larger program. After small tests between 1947 and 1951, Ryan was awarded a contract to develop a full jet powered VTOL aircraft, designated the X-13. Two were built. Interestingly, the craft was just about big enough to hold the pilot in a rotating seat and the Rolls-Royce Avon engine, producing 44 000 N of thrust.
Control was maintained by thrust vectoring in the pitch and yaw directions and small puffer jets on the wingtips controlled roll. Underneath the aircraft was a small hook used for hanging (yes hanging) the craft from the test stand which could be raised or lowered for transport or for testing VTOL capabilities. This hook was also used for
landing the craft during testing. First takeoff (horizontal) occurred in December of 1955. Afterwards, hooking practice was done before the first full flight where the craft took off vertically, transitioned to horizontal flight and back and hooked again in 1957. It was also apparently demonstrated in July of the same year in Washington DC. Development was canceled later that year as no operational requirement existed. Both prototypes were retired to museums.
This aircraft paved the way for future attempts into VTOL aircraft from the US air force.
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