In 1954, Bell built their Model 65 Air Test Vehicle (ATV) of parts from a number of commercial aircraft. A 1,000 lb thrust Fairchild J-44 missile turbojet engine mounted on each side of the aircraft under the wing could be tilted from vertical to horizontal. A Turbomeca Palouste turbocompressor provided reaction jets at the tail and wingtips for control in hover.

It made its first hover on 16 November 1954 from a platform to prevent the ATV from reingesting its exhaust gases.

The ATV was modified with a wheeled landing gear and made horizontal flights in 1955. It made partial conversions at altitude, but had inadequate engine thrust to complete the transition. Bell ended the program in 1955 in favor of its X-14 (#18), but used this tilt jet experience to develop the Air Force XF-109 V/STOL fighter concept; although canceled before being built, this concept was very similar to the later VJ 101C.

Source: AHS V/STOL Wheel

Overview

Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Bell Aircraft Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Bell Aircraft Corporation

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying

Configuration

Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Convertiplane

Compound type: N/A

Lift configuration: Vectored thrust (x2)

Dedicated control device: Thruster (x6)

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Single seater

Landing gear: Skids

Overall Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Total number of engines: 3

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the Model 65 ATV, provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
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Related Public Resources

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