American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50 Centennial of by Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller

By Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller

For some time, it appeared the sequence of experimental plane backed via the U.S. govt had run its direction. among the overdue Forties and the past due Nineteen Seventies, nearly thirty designations were allotted to airplane intended to discover new flight regimes or untried applied sciences. Then, mostly, it ended. yet there has been a resurgence within the mid- to past due- Nineteen Nineties, and as we input the fourth 12 months of the recent millennia, the designations are as much as X-50.

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Additional info for American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50 Centennial of Flight Edition

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32 American X-Vehicles: An Inventory X-1 to X-50 Bensen Aircraft Corporation X-25 First Flight: 5 June 1968 Sponsors: USAF Last Flight: 1968 Fastest Flight: 85 mph Total Flights: Unknown Highest Flight: 12,500 feet A small 4-cylinder air-cooled McCulloch piston engine mounted directly behind the pilot powered the rotor system of the X-25A. Three different versions of the X-25 were manufactured. (Bensen Aircraft via the Jay Miller Collection) The X-25 program was begun in response to a perceived need for an emergency egress capability for downed pilots.

The HL-10 was a totally different shape, but shared many common systems with the M2-F2/3 and was also powered by an XLR11. Its first flight was on 22 December 1966, and the HL-10 would ultimately become the fastest and high­ est flying of the manned lifting bodies. 8 mph / 1,291 mph Total Flights: 228 (-I) / 161 (-II) 40,000+ feet / 83,235 feet Highest Flight: The D-558-I used straight wings and a single turbojet engine—the D-558-II used swept wings and the same Reaction Motors XLR11 that powered the X-1 (and many others).

The small size of the cockpit is noteworthy. (Howard Levy via the Jay Miller Collection) The homebuilt Osprey I was ordered by the Navy as the X-28 in response to a study that indicated the potential use­ fulness of a small single-engine seaplane for police-type duties in Southeast Asia. The Naval Air Development Center acquired the aircraft as part of the Air Skimmer program. The only requirements levied on the program were that the aircraft be small, lightweight, capable of VFR flight, able to be manufactured in Southeast Asia without a major tooling investment, and cost under $5,000 when purchased in quantity.

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