Vertical takeoff fighter aircraft of the Luftwaffe
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May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory All in all, 3, aircraft will be built over a span of several decades, including over 2, for the U. The F will fly until , or the better part of a century, making it one of the longest-lived fighters ever flown. Another is the networking and information sharing system that allows pilots in the air to pass data with one another, other allied forces, and work collaboratively to kill the enemy.
Critics—and government inspectors—have charged the F program with a very long list of problems. There are also, believe it or not, good things about the F program. One of the biggest problems with the F has been acquisition cost. It was also completely unsustainable. Lockheed Martin and the Air Force, through production streamlining, cost saving measures, and bulk pricing have steadily whittling the price down. The good news is that the cost of the jet is still coming down.
A bigger, long term problem for the F is operation costs. In March , an internal Air Force analysis concluded the service might have to cancel orders of of the jets just to afford flying the rest. Another problem stems from a concept known as concurrency. Everyone knew the F program would take years to mature, and that waiting for all of the kinks to be ironed out could delay production.
An agreement was made to begin purchasing aircraft when the design was pretty much finalized, in order to get the production line going, discover efficiencies, and get pilots training on an early version of the jet ASAP. Once the aircraft was fully ready for production, older jets would return to the factory and brought up to the final standard. The problem with concurrency is that it is incredibly complicated, and tacks on additional expenses.
Concurrency has led to another problem: older Fs have far lower readiness rates than newer jets. Planes from Lots 2 through 4 are available only 40 to 50 percent of the time, while newer jets are available 70 to 75 percent of the time. The design submitted by Convair incorporated yet another aerodynamic feature developed by the Germans during the war, the delta wing.
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Its huge delta wings were matched by an equally large dorsal and ventral fin. On the ground it stood on tiny wheels mounted on the trailing edges of its wings and fins. The cockpit was accessible only from a tall scaffold. Power was provided by a 5,hp Allison T turboprop engine driving a pair of huge three-bladed, contrarotating propellers.
The odd-looking XFY-1, known as the Pogo, could take off and land vertically, and hover briefly as it transitioned from normal flight back to a vertical attitude. To land, the pilot had to look over his shoulder while descending vertically, slowing his rate of descent with engine power while controlling the aircraft with the rudder and elevons.
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The Pogo took off for first time, albeit inside a hanger and tethered for safety, on April 19, In that configuration, test pilot Lt. James F. He successfully transitioned from vertical to horizontal flight and back again on November 2. Coleman was the only pilot to fly the Pogo before the program was terminated in August Like the Pogo, the XFV-1 was powered by a T turboprop engine driving contrarotating propellers, and also incorporated a huge propeller spinner that was meant to house the radar.
It acquired its nickname, Salmon, not because of any resemblance to a fish but in honor of test pilot Herman R.
Unlike the delta-wing Pogo, the XFV-1 was fitted with a pair of thin, straight wings that looked as though they had been borrowed from an F Starfighter. Its backward-swept cruciform tail, set at a degree angle to the wings to prevent control blanketing, culminated in a tiny set of castoring wheels. Although Fish Salmon eventually managed to transition the aircraft successfully between horizontal and vertical flight, he never did perform a vertical takeoff or landing. Essentially two gas turbine engines mounted side by side and coupled together via a set of reduction gears driving a single prop shaft, the notoriously unreliable Allison T proved to be a serious handicap to every aircraft in which it was installed.
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Just 13 were built, and they were withdrawn from Navy service after two years due to chronic engine problems. Although Skeets Coleman demonstrated that the Pogo could indeed be flown, it clearly required exceptional skill. Moreover, aviation had advanced since the two tail-sitters had been conceived. By the mids, the estimated top speeds of the Pogo and Salmon, mph and mph respectively, were no longer sufficient to make them competitive fighters. Despite the failure of the U. Perhaps science-fiction films depicting rocket ships taking off and landing vertically inspired the aircraft engineers of the day to find out whether it was actually feasible.