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.