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VOl.

II,

C - 1 4 2 Tri-Service transport (one-ninth scale model)

Aircraft capable of landing and taking off A short take-off and landing aircraft (STOL) is
vertically, or with a relatively short ground run, one that takes off and lands-cruising to i t s desti-
are being studied by the National Aeronautics nation meanwhile-from a relatively short runway
and Space Administration in a program called that one expert has defined as a 5OO-foot runway
V/STOL (pronounced VEE-stoll), for vertical or with a 50-foot-high obstacle at each end.
short take-off and landing. Scores of possible V/STOL configurations have
The helicopter i s an example of such aircraft; been studied in this country, and development of
ability to operate from a small airfield i s the several of them has been carried as far as the
basic advantage. flight-test stage. One way to classify the pos-
NASA’s role in the program consists of basic sible types, so that they may be compared, i s by
and exploratory research on behalf of the mili- their method of converting from vertical (or near
tary and the aircraft industry, and applied re- vertical) flight to horizontal flight.
search for development of specific V/STOL The first method i s to TILT THE ENTIRE
types. AIRCRAFT.
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL) The second method i s to TILT ONLY THE
i s defined as one that takes off vertically, ROTORS, PROPELLERS, OR OTHER SOURCES
changes from hovering to forward flight, cruises OF THRUST. The wings, if any, can be tilted
to its destination, then hovers again and lands also, but the fuselage and the pilot remain in the
vertically. same position as when the aircraft took off.
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Five VTOL concepts: (A) tilt rotor, (B)deflected slipstream,


(C) tilt duct, (D) deflected jet, and (E) tilt wing.

The third i s to DEFLECT THE THRUST; the air and inventors in that period put aside any
‘> swept back by the propellers or exhausts i s bent thoughts of tilt-wing propeller V/STOL aircraft
downward, with wing flaps, for example, or and turned to the autogiro and the helicopter,
nozzles. whose rotors could lift aircraft powered b y the
)*
The fourth is DUAL PROPULSlON-to have dif- engines then on hand or expected.
ferent engines (or sets of engines), one for lifting
A rotor, in general, i s a propeller that i s larger
and lowering the aircraft and one for driving it
than usual. Its blades are longer and broader.
horizontally.
I t s lift varies with how much air it can move and
Another way to classify V/STOL aircraft i s ac-
how fast it can move this air. The same amount
cording to the source of thrust. The source of
of lift can result whether you move a large mass
thrust of a particular aircraft may be-( 1 ) rotor(s),
of air at a low speed or a small mass of air at a
(2) propeller(s), (3) ducted fan(s), (4) jet ex-
high speed.
haust(s), (5) a combination of some of these
means. BUT the power consumed varies with ( 1 ) the
Aircraft have been considered that would pair mass and (2) the SQUARE of the speed. So, by
each of these source-of-thrust possibilities with reducing the speed of the air and proportionately
the previously mentioned methods of conversion increasing the mass of the air being moved, the
from vertical to horizontal flight. Before a dis- designer was able to get his airplane up with the
cussion of some of the particular types, however, engines then in existence. This i s why the first
let’s glance briefly at some history of V/STOL re- V/STOL aircraft-the autogiros and the heli-
search in this country. copters-had large, slow-moving rotors.
In 1921, Dr. Albert F. Zahm patented a ma-
In the late 1940’s the introduction of turbo-
chine with a special wing and flap arrangement to
prop and turbojet engines prompted another look
deflect downward the propeller slipstream (the air
at V/STOL airplanes other than helicopters.
moved by the propeller). Here note the two re-
quirements for vertical take-off: first, the propeller V/STOL research by the National Advisory
slipstream must be directed straight down, to pro- Committee for Aeronautics (predecessor of
duce the vertical thrust to lift the airplane straight NASA) began in 1950 with wind-tunnel tests
up; and second, this upward thrust must be and flight research with small-scale models, and
greater than the weight of the aircraft. it has increased rather steadily since. NASA’s
Dr. Zahm’s airplane was never built. It met two largest wind tunnels-one the 40- by 80-
the first of these requirements, but not the second. foot tunnel at Ames Research Center in Cali-
There was then no airplane engine powerful fornia and the other the full-scale tunnel at
enough to produce a deflected propeller slip- Langley Research Center in Virginia-are now
stream that could lift the aircraft. And because devoted largely to VTOL studies. Another
during the 1920’s and early 30’s no big improve- facility i s the 17-foot test section built into one
ments in engine power were expected, designers of the Langley 7-by 10-foot tunnels.
Vol. II, No. 3 Page 3
HELICOPTERS

A substantial part of NASA’s V/STOL work is under certain weather conditions, (5) inefficient
on helicopters. At present the helicopter i s the cruising operation, and (6) slow cruising speed
only operational VTOL aircraft, a t least i n the (less than 200 m.p.h. maximum).
United States.
NASA i s doing research to reduce helicopter
vibration and maintenance problems and t o im-
Because of its relatively low slipstream veloci- prove the flying qualities. One study at Langley
ties and hovering power requirements, the heli- deals with factors involved during the transition
copter is best suited for missions requiring lengthy from steep approach to vertical touchdown and
periods of hovering-such as rescue work involv- during blind hovering with the Vertol YHCl A, a
, ing the lifting of people from the ground in the large modern twin-turbine helicopter. This air-
open air, and for operation from unprepared craft i s fitted with variable-stability equipment,
bases, where higher slipstream velocities cause which allows wide variations in flying and han-
trouble from ground erosion and flying dust and dling characteristics, and with special navigation
debris. and pilot-display instruments that should produce

For this reason the helicopter will probably con-


tinue to be the best vehicle for certain missions in
spite of the disadvantages inherent in i t s design.
Among these disadvantages are (1) mechanical
complexity, (2) higher maintenance costs, (3) vi-
bration and noise, (4) difficult flying qualities
0

Vertol YHCIA helicopter.

McDonnell XV-1 compound helicopter.

significant data on blind or instrument-flight con-


ditions-for other V/STOL aircraft as well as
helicopters.

The “compound” helicopter, which has a con-


ventional fixed wing to improve i t s cruise per-
formance and a separate propulsion unit for for-
ward flight, i s again receiving serious attention
from the U.S. military services. The concept has
been flight evaluated in the past with the McDon-
nell XV-1 and the Fairey Rotodyne vehicles, and
0 Is being studied currently by Bell Helicopter with a
modified UH- 1 helicopter.
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VTOL research models (propeller types).

PROPELLER CONFIGURATIONS

The four-part illustration above shows some of a moderate-size flap that i s effective in low-speed
the models NASA has used i n exploratory re- flight. It combines the best features of the other
search in the propeller VTOL transport field. The models and i s a promising V/STOL design.
t w o models on the left are deflected-slipstream The illustration on page 5 shows a large-scale,
VTOL configurations, and have large flaps to de- tilt-wing general-research model being studied in
flect the slipstream downward and produce the the Langley full-scale tunnel to investigate sta-
lift for vertical take-off and hovering flight. This bility and control characteristics, wing and flap
type i s probably not very promising for VTOL use, loads, and effects of wing and propeller changes
the research indicates, because of the thrust lost for hovering, transition, and forward flight.
when the flaps deflect the slipstream and because Similar studies on other research models have
of certain ground-effect and trim problems, but been completed or are scheduled in the Ames
it works very well in STOL operations. 40- by 80-foot and the Langley 7- b y 10-foot
The model at the upper right i s a tilt-wing type. tunnels.
The wing and propellers are in the position shown Wind-tunnel research model studies of the tilt-
at take-off and landing, and they rotate down to wing VTOL concept have received much of
the normal position in cruising flight. This con- NASA's V/STOL efforts, and the resulting data
figuration i s good for VTOL use, but i s not as contributed to the design of a tilt-wing for the
good for STOL aircraft as the type with large Tri-Service C-142 transport, for the Army, Navy,
flaps. and Air Force. This aircraft, being built b y the
The model at the lower right represents a com- Vought-Ryan-Hiller Companies in combination, is
bination VTOL-STOL machine with a tilt wing and scheduled for initial flight in 1964.
Vol. II, No. 3 Paae 5

Large-scale tilt-wing model in wind tunnel.

DUCTED FAN CONFIGURATIONS termine performance, stability, and control is


scheduled.
A ducted fan i s a propeller surrounded b y a
ring, or duct, which changes the shape of the slip- JET CONFIGURATIONS
stream. Behind the conventional propeller the
Turbine engine technology has reached the
stream tapers to about half i t s original area, a
point that turbojet engines capable of lifting
change that reduces the thrust. Use of the duct
twenty times their own weight are now feasible.
prevents this tapering, so that a given thrust can
A lift as great as that would make hovering pos-
be produced with a smaller propeller. The duct
sible with almost any aircraft configuration the
also serves as a safety device.
designer wished. Because of this and of the an-
The Navy feels that the ducted-fan concept ticipated military requirement for higher-speed
may have special advantages for aircraft carrier V/STOL aircraft, a great many new designs have
use because aircraft with ducted fans tend to be been proposed recently for jet VTOL types.
smaller. For this reason, another Tri-Service However, the use of jet engines for VTOL lift-
vehicle that i s now under development i s the X-22 ing and hovering has some considerable disad-
tilt-duct aircraft. Limited NASA research, includ- vantages. Among them are extra weight, high
ing general wind-tunnel model studies and a han- cost, complexity, a high rate of fuel consumption,
0 dling-quality study, has been conducted on this a great volume of noise, and the fact that the high
concept. Additional wind-tunnel research to de- velocity and temperature o f the exhaust gases

I
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may require special landing pads or ground studies of this and other flying test beds provided
processing. by the military services have thrown much light
Two basic jet types are being studied. In one, on V/STOL flying and handling-quality require-
the engine provides both the lift for take-off and ments.
hovering and the thrust for forward flight. An The first part o f NASA’s program was com-
example of this type i s the Hawker P1 127 de- pleted in 1961. Wing-stall and control deficien-
flected-jet aircraft. In the second type, two cies encountered in that study led to additional
kinds of engines are provided. The Dassault wind-tunnel research, which resulted in modifica-
Balzac i s an example; lift i s provided b y eight tions t o the aircraft. The results of these pro-
Rolls-Royce RB108 engines and thrust by one BS grams should aid in the development not only of
Orpheus engine. NASA wind-tunnel studies of the C-142 but of future, more-advanced tilt-wing
small-scale general research models are under aircraft as well.
way.
The General Electric Company has devel-
,oped a wing-fan configuration in which the
exhausts of the jets necessary for high-speed flight
t
are used to drive large fans and produce vertical
lift. Extensive large-scale wind-tunnel studies,
conducted at the Ames Research Center, have
helped development of the GE-Ryan XV-SA air-
craft, which began flight-testing in 1964. The
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation has developed
another system of fuselage jet thrust augmenters
for VTOL operation. This has been incorporated
in the XV-4A, also undergoing flight evaluation.

FLIGHT RESEARCH PROGRAM

Under a 1958 agreement, seven research


vehicles which the military services had built to
study various V/STOL lift-propulsion concepts
were later turned over t o NASA for research in-
vestigations at Langley or Ames, following func-
tional demonstrations by the manufacturers.
These airplanes were sponsored and financed
by the military services to obtain preliminary in- Vertol VZ-2 tilt-wing model being flown at Langley.
formation on VTOL airplane flying qualities. Re-
search airplanes of this kind are sometimes called
“flying test beds.” Simple and usually crude- Particularly valuable information has been ob-
looking, they provide a relatively inexpensive tained from the X-14 deflected-iet test bed.
means of gathering flight research data. Modified to include variable stability and control
features, it continues to be used as a flight simu-
Most of these aircraft were studied in the lator of the characteristics of other aircraft not yet
NASA full-scale tunnels and several received (or flown or built. Other test-bed aircraft flight-
are receiving) extensive flight research evaluation. tested b y NASA are the Doak VZ-4 tilt-duct, the
The illustration above shows the Vertol VZ-2 Ryan VZ-3 deflected-slipstream, and the Bell
tilt-wing test bed in flight at Langley. NASA XV-3 tilt-rotor aircraft.
Vol. II, No. 3 Page 7

6cx

GE-Ryan XV-5A wing-fan aircraft (artist's conception).

Bell X-22 tilt-ducr aircratf (artist's conception).

STOL be an excellent STOL aircraft as well, and it will


be used as such, for economy and safety reasons,
Although only a small percentage of the NASA unless the particular operating site demands
funds now appropriated for V/STOL research VTOL operation.
goes into STOL work specifically, it should be Specific STOL Aight research programs are
remembered that much of what is learned about under way at Ames on two aircraft. One i s the
0 VTOL aircraft applies to STOL aircraft also. For VZ-3 deflected-slipstream mentioned earlier.
example, the tilt-wing VTOL type i s expected to The other i s the C-l3OC transport airplane that
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. .

Lockheed C-l3OC transport.

utilizes boundary-layer control (in this case, blow- An especially promising example of a STOL
ing of air over the flaps to prevent separation of vehicle i s the Breguet 941 deflected-slipstream,
the airflow) to obtain higher lift and steeper take- inter-connected-propeller aircraft. Recent NASA
offs and landings. In the current program, han- flight and simulator studies indicate that this con-
dling qualities at very low speeds (about 60 cept may have a good deal to offer in applica-
knots) are being evaluated. tions for various military and civil uses.

NASA FACTS Number-Volume I of NASA FACTS consists of all issues published


prior to July 7964 and running from A-62 to 8-2-64. Volume II begins with
NASA FACTS, Interplanetary Explorer Satellites, Vol. 11, No. 7 .

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