"The History of the XV-15 Tilt Rotor Research Aircraft from Concept to Flight"

Martin D. Maisel, Demo J. Giulianetti, Daniel C. Duga
The NASA History Series


....       Actual size is 11 x 8.5-inches

The History of the XV-15 Tilt Rotor Research Aircraft from Concept to Flight

Martin D. Maisel, Demo J. Giulianetti, Daniel C. Duga
The NASA History Series

A comprehensive and detailed documentation of more than 40 years of effort at the NASA Ames Research Center designing this unique class of aircraft.  

The tilt rotor aircraft combines the advantages of vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, inherent to the helicopter, with the forward speed and range of a fixed wing turboprop airplane.  NASA sees the tilt rotor as a new type of vehicle that will provide flexibility for high-speed, long-range flight, coupled with runway-independent operations.

The text covers scientific and engineering work by NASA, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Boeing Helicopter Company, Platt-LePage Aircraft Company, Transcendental Aircraft Corporation, and the U.S. Army.  It takes the reader through the entire history, culminating with the first production of the V-22 Osprey, built for the U.S. Marine Corps, and the BA609 by Bell-Augusta.

This fine book takes the reader through the early ideas of Leonardo da Vinci through the search for an aircraft with Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.  There is abundant historical data about numerous innovative flying machines devised during the 1920s and 1930s, and German projects by Focke-Achgelis and Focke-Wulf.


The book includes illustrations from the 1930 flying machine patent of G. Lehberger, as well as the convertible aircraft patent of Haviland H. Platt (1955).  There are also several artist renderings of designs conceived but never built.  

It covers dozens of V/STOL experimental aircraft and prototypes, including:

  • Fiat G 95-4
  • Lockheed XV-4B
  • British VTOL-P.D. 16
  • Short PD 49
  • Lockheed VTOL F-104, XV-4A, AAFSS, Stowed Rotor, CL-379
  • Short SC 1
  • French VTOL Mirage III-V
  • British P-148
  • German VJ-101 C
  • Dornier De 31
  • EWR/Republic US/FRG
  • VFW VAK-191B, VC-400
  • McDonnell Model 177, XV-1
  • Hughes Stopped Rotor
  • Fairey Rotodyne-Y
  • Miller "Transonic"
  • Sikorsky SS-57 (XV-2), Stowed Rotor
  • N.A.A. Transport
  • G.E.-Ryan XV-5A
  • Vanguard-2C Omniplane
  • Russian HOOP
  • Piasecki Compoound
  • Bell XV-3, X-22A, X-14
  • Curtiss-Wright X-19, X-100, 300
  • Boeing Verton-76 VZ-2, Vertol
  • NORD-Cadet 500
  • Douglas-Doak X-16
  • Canadair CL-84
  • Vought-Ryan Hiller XC-142
  • Hiller X-18
  • Fairchild 224 VZ-5FZ
  • Robertson VTOL
  • Ryan-02 VZ3-RY
  • Collins Aerodyne
  • Chance-Vought ADAM
  • Mikoyan V/STOL
  • Hawker P-1127 XV-6A

You'll read about how the XV-3 tilt rotor emerged from the Army/Air Force convertiplane program of the 1950s, and the evolution of tilt rotor, tilt wing, lift-fan, and direct lift versions.

Even more detailed history--and remarkable photographs--cover the evolution of the XV-3 program, which began in 1951.  Flight tests are described in great detail, explaining the problems of stability.  All of the NASA wind tunnel investigations are explained, again with nice photos of the numerous proprotos and stop/fold rotors tested.  Aircraft design and simulation is also related.

The text also provides a history of NASA Ames Research Center, and the people involved in these tests.  Engines, transmissions, fuel cells, flight controls, emergency egress ("seat ejection") systems, data acquisition, wind tunnel tests, ground tiedown tests, and first flights are all described in great detail.  Even Navy participation is discussed.  

You will learn the engineering theory and practice required for hover performance, aeroelastic stability, short takeoff requirements, flow visualization, sidestick controllers, acouistics, composite proprotor blades, etc etc.  You'll also read about the various "incidents" and crashes that happened--door strikes, in-flight engine failures, tree strikes, gear down conversion, oil vent incident, bird strikes, and blade cracks.  The Paris Air Show of 1981 is also covered.

The book's appendices provide the most complete and detailed aircraft descriptions that we've seen.  These include photos, aircraft characteristics, and fine engineering drawings.  

Other appendices also list all the key personnel involved in these great projects--if you worked on one of them, your name is probably here!

Finally, there's a lengthy (14-page) chronology of people, inventions, aircraft, projects, and progress, a llist of awards and records, a "photo gallery," a 21-page bibliography, and a detailed index!  There are more than 100 rare illustrations and figures, and a three-page list of technical acronyms.

We offer this digital reprint, printed with a high-resolution laser printer on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  219 pages, 11.0 x 8.5-inches, and quality bound.


Priority Mail Postage US $3.85.          Airmail Postage International US$ 7.70.

For details about ordering your copy, click here.

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