Note: This aircraft is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Click here for requirements to visit this gallery.
The X-13 was designed to test the idea of vertical takeoff, transition to horizontal flight and return to vertical flight for landing by jet aircraft. Equipped with a temporary tricycle landing gear, it was flown conventionally on Dec. 10, 1955, to test its overall aerodynamic characteristics. It was then fitted with a temporary "tail sitting" rig and on May 28, 1956, it was flown from the ground in a vertical position to test its hovering qualities.
The airplane made history on April 11, 1957, when it completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. It took off vertically from its mobile trailer, rose into the air, nosed over into a level attitude and flew for several minutes. It then reversed the procedure to vertical flight and slowly descended to its trailer for a safe landing.
The X-13 on display, one of two built, was the Vertijet which made the full-cycle flight on April 11, 1957. It was transferred to the museum in 1959.
SPECIFICATIONS: Span: 21 ft. Length: 24 ft. Height: 15 ft. Weight: 7,200 lbs. maximum Armament: None Engine: Rolls-Royce "Avon" of 10,000 lbs. thrust Serial number: 54-1620
Maximum speed: 350 mph Minimum speed: 0 mph Service ceiling: 20,000 ft.
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.