Ryan X-13 Vertijet

Ryan X-13 Vertijet

Between 1955 and 1958, the Air Force tested two X-13 vertical takeoff fighter demonstrators in response to an emerging demand for aircraft that could operate independently of nuclear-vulnerable airfield infrastructure. The lightweight designs took off and landed in a vertical orientation from a mobile launch and recovery platform, eliminating the excess weight of landing gear. This approach proved to be impractical from the pilot's perspective and the aircraft lacked the performance to be an adequate interceptor. While the Vertijet was an improvement over the other so-called "tailsitters" like the Convair POGO, it's operational profile has since been regarded as a technological dead-end for vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.