Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950 (Paperback)
The Northrop N-63 was an unconventional VTOL turboprop tailsitter aircraft proposal submitted to the US Navy's convoy fighter competition of 1950, which ultimately produced the Convair XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon. It was a single-seat high performance fighter designed to protect convoy vessels from attack by enemy aircraft, and for vertical unassisted takeoff from, and landings on, small platform areas afloat or ashore. The N-63 featured a straight wing with pronounced dihedral and a very large ventral T-tail; armament consisted of four 20 mm cannon mounted in large pods on the wing tips. The aircraft was powered by an Allison XT-40-A-8 turboprop engine driving 15.5 ft six-blade dual-rotation propellers. The Northrop convoy fighter was designed to land vertically on a robust central landing strut in a collapsible tailcone as well as small shock absorbers located on the aft ends of the wing pods and vertical stabilizer; these landing support points were spread far apart to enhance stability on the deck. In addition to the N-63, Northrop also submitted the N-63A scale prototype airplane design, a small technology demonstrator powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Double Mamba turboprop. It featured a swappable tail section and auxiliary landing gear which permitted it to take off and land either conventionally or vertically, depending on the proficiency of the pilot. This 48 page publication features 66 illustrations, including detailed schematics, artist's impressions, photos, and speculative color profiles of these remarkable secret aircraft projects, which are sure to appeal to historical aviation enthusiasts and scale modelers alike. It is printed in color throughout on heavy paper stock and has a full color glossy cover. This is the publisher's third book covering the convoy fighter competition, the first two being devoted to the Goodyear GA-28A/B and Martin Model 262, both of which are still available from bookstores worldwide.