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Posted 10/30/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The F-109 designation was initially assigned to what was to become the McDonnell F-101B. After the two-place version of the "Voodoo" was redesignated, the USAF reassigned the designation to Bell Aircraft Corp. Model D-188A. The project, sponsored by both the USAF and U.S. Navy, called for a vertical takeoff and landing interceptor capable of speed in excess of Mach 2.

Although the aircraft never got beyond the mock-up stage, it had some unusual design features. The aircraft was to have eight J85 turbojet engines; a pair of engines was mounted on each wingtip in a rotating nacelle, and the other four engines were mounted in the fuselage -- two horizontal in the aft section and two vertically in the forward fuselage to provide downward thrust for hover and low speed flight. The wingtip nacelles were designed to rotate through a 100-degree arc; horizontal to 10 degrees past vertical, allowing the aircraft to fly a backward hover.

Type Number built/
XF-109A 0 Reached mock-up stage only

TECHNICAL NOTES (mockup configuration):
Armament: Four 20mm cannons, 108 2.75-in. rockets and up to 4,000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Eight General Electric J85-GE-5 turbojets of 2,600 lbs. thrust each at military power and 3,850 lbs. thrust with afterburner (only the wingtip and aft fuselage jets were to be equipped with afterburners)
Maximum speed: Approx. Mach 2.3
Range: 2,300 miles ferry range and 1,350 miles combat radius
Service ceiling: Approx. 60,000 ft.
Span: 23 ft. 9 in.
Length: 62 ft.
Height: 12 ft. 9 in. with wingtip nacelles in level flight position
Weight: 23,917 lbs. gross takeoff weight
Crew: One

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