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Rockwell XFV-12A

Rockwell XFV-12A

Rockwell XFV-12A

The Rockwell XFV-12A was a prototype aircraft from the 1970s. Built for the US Navy, it was conceived as a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft designed to operate from small aircraft carriers without the need for steam catapults, runway or arresting gear.

The Pratt & Whitney F401-PW-400 turbofan generated up to 30,000 lbs of thrust and featured thrust vectoring vents which would direct the engines power downward during takeoff and landing. This allowed for vertical movement and hovering capabilities.

Unfortunately, due to the fact the XFV-12A was blighted by budget and technical difficulties, the aircraft only made tethered flights while suspended from the NASA Lunar Lander gantry located in Virginia.

By the late 1970s the US Navy declared that it had learned everything it could from the XFV-12A program. The project was canceled shortly after.

If the Rockwell XFV-12A had made it through to production it would not only have been hugely expensive, but also one of the most radical aircraft in the world.

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