The X-100 was built primarily to flight test Curtiss-Wright's concept of using propeller "radial force" instead of wing lift for conventional flight. This phenomenon produces a large force at right angles to the airflow as the propeller angle of attack is increased. The X-100 used a 860 bhp fuselage-mounted Lycoming YT53-L-1 driving cross-shafts for the 10 ft diameter tilting fiberglass propellers at the wingtips. At the rear of its 24 ft fuselage, engine exhaust was used for pitch and yaw control in hover; roll control was provided by differential propeller pitch. Wingspan was 16 ft and gross weight was 3,500 lb.


The X-100 first hovered in free flight in September 1959, and made its first short take-off and landing flight on March 1960. Its first (and only) transition from vertical to horizontal was performed in April 1960. Control in hover was weak due to the low exhaust gas velocity. Testing continued until October 1961, sufficiently proving the Tilt Prop concept to the extent necessary to proceed with what would become the X-19.


In 1969, Curtiss-Wright donated the X-100 to the Smithsonian Institution, as an example of VTOL technology.


Source: AHS V/STOL Wheel


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Convertiplane

Compound type: N/A

Lift configuration: Tilt shaft (x2)

Dedicated control device: Other

Crew required: 1-2

Crew seating: Side-by-side

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Overall Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Total number of engines: 1

Engine designation: Lycoming YT53-L-1 turbine

Engine manufacturer: Lycoming Engines

Take-off / rated power: 642 kW (860 hp)

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 1588 kg (3500 lb)

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