Bell ATV (Air Test Vehicle), 1954 - (scan - 1996)

Bell lost convoy fighter contract (won by tail-sitter designs from Convair and Lockheed) but convinced that tail-sitter approach was impractical. After not getting USAF funding for horizontal-attitude design which they had proposed, Bell Chief Aircraft Engineer, Stan Smith, obtained $100,000 of Bell funds Apr 53. Designed Model 35 using Schweizer 1-23 sailplane fuselage and empennage, Cessna 170 wing, Bell 47 landing gear, and French ground power unit engine for vertical flight reaction thrust via ducts and nozzles in wing tips and tail. 6 Fairchild engines (with 5-hr service life) supplied by Air Force for $1 each. First flights of N1105V culminated Jun 54 with compressor failure on right engine which severed fuel line and destroyed tail while Joe Cannon was testing it. Repaired, was successfully flown by Dave Howe 16 Nov 54 and partial transitions to horizontal flight performed with engines left in vertical position. Apr 75, conventional Cessna landing gear installed, and vertical and horizontal flights were made by Howe.

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