The Lockheed XFV-1 was a 'tail sitter'. This was the nickname
given to some of the research aircraft of the 1950s which
were the first to experiment with VTOL (Vertical Take-Off
and Landing). It was hoped that in the near-future similar
aircraft could be carried aboard Naval vessels other than
Tail sitters, as the name suggests were designed to sit
vertically on their oversize tailfins, and take-off and
land in this orientation.
The XFV-1 first flew in March of 1954, piloted by Herman
'Fish' Salmon. During the XFV-1 project he was to be the
sole test pilot - hence the unofficial 'Salmon' designation
for the aircraft.
Despite the theoretical ability to take-off vertically,
during all 32 test flights the XVF-1 used a clumsy fixed
undercarriage because the VT40 contra-rotating turboprop
was not considered reliable enough for the stresses of
a vertical take-off, transition to horizontal flight and
a vertical landing.
The transition to vertical flight and back to horizontal
flight was however accomplished a few times during test
Due to the immense amount of skill required to fly the
XFV-1, the US Navy soon realized that the aircraft was
completely impractical for operating in anything other
than perfect conditions - and even then only in the hands
of the most experienced of pilots. The project was canceled
only one year after the Lockheed XFV-1 first flew.
Similar and related vehicles:
Convair XFY-1 POGO