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Hiller X-18

Hiller X-18

Hiller X-18

The Hiller X-18 from 1959 was the first ever tilt-wing aircraft to fly. Its design precedes all VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) tilt-wing aircraft. And although it never got past the prototype stage itself, the information gathered throughout its short flying career contributed to several other important VTOL research programs.

The X-18 first flew in 1959, piloted by George Bright and Bruce Jones. Although the X-18's wings could be rotated through 90 degrees to allow for vertical or horizontal flight, they were never rotated past 35 degrees - except during tethered ground tests.

In 1960, after just 20 flights, a propellor governor failed mid flight. Thankfully the crew managed to land safely, just. But after this lucky escape the X-18 was grounded. Four years later it was scrapped.

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Convair XFY-1 POGO
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Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon
Curtiss-Wright X-19
Bell X-14
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