These X-Planes were so cool, and were so many planes that I never seen or heard about, that they are worth their own page. X Planes are research planes, some end up as production planes, some never do. But just like the research Dassault VTOL Mirage III.V (capable of Mach 2!), even if those planes never went in production, the mere fact that they were able to exist and be the first to achieve something new, was very cool (hell, today's F35 cannot even reach the Mach 2.2 speed from France's 1965 VTOL Mirage III.V ).
Anyway, the Wright Patterson USAF Museum has an impressive list of flying machines that were cramped in a small hangar waiting to be moved to their 4th exposition hall slated to open in 2016. This was part of the presidential tour, but honestly seeing the presidential planes was a waste of time compared to the other side that had all those X-Planes. I was on a timed 45mn tour and I cried murder when I was told I had to go back on the bus off the secure base, and back to the museum. I signed right up for another tour and went back to the temporary hangar and spent all my time on the X-Plane side.
There are many other things in that museum, they are in the main page Wright Patterson USAF Museum.
This XH-26 Jet Jeep uses pulsejets to turn the main rotor. It was demeed too noisy though.
The avrocar. Is this for real?
Huge turbine in the middle
XF-85, what a strange beast. A parasite fighter carried by bombers
Tacit Blue tested stealth technology
P-75A, dual in line prop, sleek design, but it wasn't successful
Way before the Osprey, the XV-3, the first tilt rotor aircraft
P-80R Shooting Star
XV-6A Kestrel, VTOL prototype before the Harrier
XF-91 Thunderceptor, variable incidence wing prototype
AQN-34L Firebee jet drone
The F-107A has a huge air intake on top
The NC-131H was a weird beast, it was designed to feel like other planes for pilot training
trainee pilots go in the front, instructors go in the upper rear and can change the plane's characteristics
the wings have rudders used to simulate other planes and/or tough crosswind landing conditions
Bell X-1B, sound barrier breaker
North American X-10
The X-24A is also a weird beast, used to test gliding conditions back from space (later used by space shuttle)
OMG, the Douglas X-3 is pointy, designed to test high speed high altitude conditions in 1952
another pre-space shuttle near-spacecraft, the Martin X-24B
like baby bird hiding under the mother :)
XF-36 tail less plane used to test fly by wire without a tail
So many planes piled up...
cool nose and fat prop
Misssiles and bombs:
Some special planes I kept for the end, starting with the YF-12A and its drone:
the rascal was a supersonic missile with nuclear warhead
The D-21B was meant to be a drone carried on top of the YF-12A which later became the SR71
I'm not good enough to tell you how the YF-12A differs from the SR71
The Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was a contender for the soon to be F22, but the YF-22, from lockheed won:
it's a cool looking plane though
Now, the highlight for me was the XB-70 Valkyrie, which I was not even aware of (shame on me). When I thought that the US had nothing close to the concorde since they cancelled their SST project for cost reasons, the XB-70 was a Mach-3 capable bomber that is quite impressive and not that much smaller than a concorde. Sadly it was cancelled due to lack of strategic need for a Mach-3 bomber, but a couple of prototypes were used for lots of test flights:
6 engines, just to be sure...
The Darkstar was a high altitude drone:
many separately actuated tail surfaces, like lots of small elevons
The Ryan X-13 Vertijet, VTOL prototype (too complex to be practical though):
long wings indeed...
ready for launch :)
And that was it for the X-Planes stored at the Wright Patterson USAF base. More cool planes than I have ever seen in such a short time. Hopefully they'll look good in their new location in Hangar #4, the new addition to the museum opening next year.