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Bell X-22

The Bell X-22 (also codenamed D-2127) was a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) research aircraft with tilting ducted propellors. It was initially created to fulfill a US Navy brief.

Two prototypes were constructed, and the first flight tests were conducted in March of 1966. Unfortunately, after a heavy landing the first prototype was damaged beyond repair. The second Bell X-22 however flew up until 1984 when it was retired, it now resides in the Niagra Aerospace Museum in Niagra Falls, New York.

During its operational lifetime the Bell X-22 was used in tests for all three branches of the US military, as well as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA. Its final role was as a VTOL research aircraft operated by Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory.

Powering the Bell X-22 were four 1250 horsepower GE turboshaft engines mounted in the rear wing stubs. The four ducted fans were connected to a common driveshaft. Top speed of the Bell X-22 was 316 mph (509 km/h).

A feature of the Bell X-22 which proved useful from the outset was its variable stability system. This allowed researchers to alter the flight characteristics to simulate other VTOL aircraft.

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Bell X-22
Bell X-22

Bell X-22
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