Ryan X-13

From the placard:
The X-13 was designed to test the idea of vertical takeoff, transition to horizontal flight, and return to vertical flight for landing by jet aircraft. Equipped with a temporary tricycle landing gear, it was first flown conventionally on December 10, 1955, to test its overall aerodynamic characteristics. It was then fitted with a temporary "tail-sitting" rig and on May 28, 1956, flown from the ground in a vertical position to test its horizontal qualities.

The airplane made history on April 11, 1957, when it completed its first full-cycle flight. It took off vertically from its mobile trailer, rose into the air, nosed over into a level attitude, and flew around Edwards AFB, California, for several minutes. It then reversed the procedure to vertical flight and slowly descended to its trailer for a safe "landing." The X-13 on display, one of two built, was the Vertijet which made the full-cycle flight on April 11, 1957. It was transferred to the Air Force Museum in May 1959

Previous series Back to main index Next series