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Beating Gravity - Ryan X-13 Vertijet

Enlarge image (will open in a new window)After their investigations of a tail-sitting VTOL aircraft in 1947 and later evaluation of two J33-powered test rigs, Ryan was contracted to build the X-13 research aircraft. The X-13 was intended to take off vertically, being suspended from a mobile trailer by a hook under the forward fuselage.

The delta-winged design first achieved conventional take-off and flight on 10 December 1955 with temporary landing gear attached. By 1956 it had made vertical take-offs, and simulated landings by engaging the hook below the nose on a nylon cable.

The X-13 made its first transition from vertical to horizontal flight and back to a vertical landing in April 1957. VTOL control was achieved by a combination of thrust deflection and thrust variation.

Two prototypes were built, and both were preserved when the test program finished.

Ryan X-13 Vertijet data:
POWERPLANT:
One Rolls-Royce Avon RA.29
Mk. 49 engine of 10,000 lb
(4534 kg) st

MAXIMUM SPEED:
350 mph

MAX. TAKEOFF WEIGHT:
7,313 lb (3317 kg)

WING SPAN:
21 ft 0 in (6.4 m)
LENGTH:
23 ft 5 in (7.14 m)

HEIGHT:
15 ft.

OPERATIONAL RANGE:
192 miles

SERVICE CEILING:
20,000 ft.

Related links:

More about the Ryan X-13 Vertijet from the Edwards Air Force base website.


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