McDonnell's tip jet autogyro, the XV-1, was powered by a single 550 hp Continental R-975-19 nine-cylinder radial piston engine. It drove two air compressors to power the 31 ft three-bladed rotor for vertical lift, and powered a 6 ft diameter two-bladed propeller mounted at the rear of the fuselage for forward flight. A small rotor at the end of each tail boom provided yaw control. Overall length was 50 ft, with a 26 ft wingspan. Empty weight was 4,300 lb which increased to a maximum gross weight of 5,500 lb.

First tether test was in 1954, with the first free flight on 11 February of that year. First transition to horizontal flight was on 29 April 1954. The second of the two aircraft was damaged in autorotation testing in December 1954. On 10 October 1955, the XV-1 exceeded contemporary rotor-wing speed records by hitting 200 mph. With conventional helicopters improving their cruise speeds, however, the program was canceled in 1957.

Source: AHS V/STOL Wheel


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: McDonnell Douglas

Primary manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Compound type: Lift and Thrust

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Rudder (x2)

Dedicated propulsion devices: 1

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Not applicable

Landing gear: Skids

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height:  
Overall Length:  
Overall Width:  
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length:  
Airframe Width:  
Airframe Height:  
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base:  
Landing Gear Track:  
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 2,497 kg 5,505 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne): 2,497 kg 5,505 lb
Max Take-off Weight: 2,497 kg 5,505 lb
Empty Weight: 1,940 kg 4,277 lb
Useful Load: 557 kg 1,228 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.777
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb:  
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE:  
Hover Ceiling OGE:  
Max Level Flight Speed:  
Never Exceed Speed:  
Service Ceiling:  
Range and Endurance
Max Range:  
Max Endurance:  

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 1
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated:  
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 9.45 m 31.00 ft
RPM: 410.0 rpm 410.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Clockwise
Hub Type: Stiff inplane, bearingless, damperless
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord:  
Blade Tip Geometry: Swept Tip-jet
Blade Twist:  
Number of Blades: 3
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 70.14 m² 755.0 ft²
Disc Loading: 35.60 kg/m² 7.292 lb/ft²
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade:  
Tip Speed: 202.87 m/s 665.6 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades:  
Blade Construction: N/A
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area:  
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

Related VFS Resources

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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the XV-1 , provided by public sources across the internet.