Anigrand #AA3005 1/144 X-Planes VTOL Special Set

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Product Code: AA3005


Kit #AA3005. 1/144 scale. This is a highly-detailed set of resin VTOL X-Plane kits, complete with decals, and including the Bell X-14A, the Bell X-22A, the Hiller X-18, and the Curtiss-Wright X-19.

Bell X-14A: The Bell X-14A was a slapped-together aircraft designed as a proof-of-concept demonstrating the transition between vertical and horizontal flight using vectored thrust. Powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Viper turbojet engines (later upgraded to General Electric J85 jet engines) with trust deflectors on the aircraft’s center of gravity, it was able to use these to transition from vertical take-off to horizontal flight, and back to vertical for landing.

To keep costs down and speed construction, the open cockpit all-aluminum aircraft’s wings, ailerons and landing gear came from a Beechcraft Bonanza, and the tailcone and empennage came from a Beech T-34 Mentor .First flying in 1957, it was used by NASA until 1981. Neil Armstrong – the first man to walk on the moon – used this aircraft as a lunar landing trainer before transitioning to the Lunar Module. In 1971, the aircraft was upgraded with more modern J85s and digital fly-by-wire control systems. Twenty-five test pilots flew the X-14 with no serious incidents or injuries.

The aircraft is currently undergoing restoration as part of a private collection at Indiana’s Ropkey Armor Museum.

Bell X-22A: With four ducted fans, mounted on four stub wings and powered by four gas turbine engines, the Bell X-22 was a proof-of-concept tilt-rotor transport aircraft capable of landing and taking off like a helicopter but flying at turboprop air transport speeds. In this, it was an early predecessor of what ultimately evolved into the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.

The first prototype crashed after five months of testing; the fuselage was stripped for parts before being turned into a simulator for training. The second prototype had the fault corrected, flying first in 1967. It was later given to Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory for further testing after NASA was finished with it. Its last flight was in 1988.The ducted fan concept was abandoned until used by the VTOL F-35B stealth strike fighter.

The aircraft is currently on display at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.

Hiller X-18: Nicknamed the “Propelloplane” in what has to be one of the worst PR decisions ever, the Hiller X-18 was another step toward what ultimately became the V-22 Osprey. Instead of the engines pivoting, the entire wing pivoted from horizontal to vertical. Stanley Hiller Jr. started the design in 1955, and the plane flew four years later, USAF s/n 57-3078. To speed construction of this proof-of-concept test aircraft, the fuselage from the Chase YC-122 Avitruc was used; the turboprop engines came from the Lockheed XFV-1 and Convair XFY-1 vertical take-off fighters.

First flying in late 1959, on its 20th test flight at Edwards AFB in July of 1961, the plane went into a spin – while control was eventually regained, the plane never flew again, but the problem led to solutions found on the Osprey. The aircraft later became a tethered test vehicle and pilot trainer. The program was scrapped three years later, but two vital lessons were learned and applied to the XC-142A tilt-wing VSTOL aircraft (available as Anigrand AA-2028), which lead to the V-22 program – cross-shaft connection between engines, allowing single engine flight, and direct propeller pitch control.

Curtiss-Wright X-19A: Looking like a sleek business jet aircraft from the 50s or 60s, the four-propeller tilt-rotor Curtiss-Wright X-19A evolved out of an earlier Curtiss-Wright private-venture design. IT was powered by two fuselage-mounted Avco Lycoming T-55-L-5 turboshaft engines, which drove four tilting propellers. Engine exhaust gas was used to enhance vertical flight and hovering capabilities.

With the landing and take-off capabilities of a helicopter, and with a top speed of more than 450 mph, the aircraft offered high-speed point-to-point VIP transportation, or the shipping of urgently-needed supplies. The #1 prototype aircraft first flew in 1963, and crashed in 1965, leading to the program’s cancellation. The second prototype is being restored by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

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