Note: This aircraft is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The gallery will close until further notice beginning May 1, 2013, as part of budget reduction requirements due to sequestration.
The tilt-wing XC-142A was an experimental aircraft designed to investigate the operational suitability of vertical/short takeoff and landing transports. Such an aircraft would permit rapid movement of troops and supplies into unprepared areas under all-weather conditions. An XC-142A first flew conventionally on Sept. 29, 1964, and on Jan. 11, 1965, it completed its first transitional flight by taking off vertically, changing to forward flight and finally landing vertically.
Tilting the wing and engines skyward permitted vertical takeoff like a helicopter and then the wing and engines were gradually tilted forward to provide the greater speed of a fixed-wing aircraft in forward flight. The engines were linked together so that a single engine could turn all four propellers and the tail rotor. In tests the XC-142A was flown from airspeeds of 35 mph backwards to 400 mph forward. XC-142As were tested extensively by the Army, Navy, Air Force and NASA.
The aircraft on display -- the only remaining XC-142A -- was one of five built. It was flown to the museum in 1970.
SPECIFICATIONS: Span: 67 ft. 6 in. Length: 58 ft. 2 in. Height: 25 ft. 8 in. Weight: 41,500 lbs. maximum Armament: None Engines: Four General Electric T64s of 3,080 hp each Serial number: 65-5924 Other registrations: NASA 522
PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed: 400 mph Cruising speed: 235 mph Range: 820 miles Service ceiling: 25,000 ft.