fever dreams of VTOL

The Navy longed for a means of air cover for vital and vulnerable merchant convoys. What better way than to launch fighters straight up off the decks of the cargo ships? Landing these flying vego-matics left even veteran test pilots with a bad case of the shakes; that was on several acres of tarmac; now try it on the pitching deck of a ship!

We may note that the Navy conservatively held onto prop driven aircraft because they were proven and more fuel efficient than those new-fangled jets. It wasn't until those British invented steam catapults and angled carrier decks that the Navy gave up on wonderfully impossible designs like these.------------------------------------------------------------
top- a real budget-buster from Leifpeng's flickr site
middle- XFY Convair "Pogo"
bottom- XFV-1 Lockheed "Salmon"
note for all the non-geeks out there- VTOL= vertical take-off and land
Another Cold War benefit of VTOL is you don't need to rely on airbases with their miles of concrete runways; with a big bulls-eye painted on them. Imagine how cool it would be to have one of these stationed in the backyard next to your swing-set! "Hey mister, you want some lemonade!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the top picture is pure fiction - it was an illustration for a Sat Evg Post story by 1950's-60's aviation writer Frank Harvey (1913-1982).

The Convair Pogo was designated XFY-1. The XF-92 was a cONVAIR delta-wing USAF prototype that eventually resulted in the F-102 and F-106 fighters