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 DAN DAVIS


Bell X-22


The X-22's history goes back to the Tri-Service V/STOL Transport Program that addressed needs of the Army,
Navy, and Air Force. One goal of this program was to develop a small number of prototype V/STOL transport
aircraft that used different concepts and to perform operational evaluations of their usefulness. While the Air
Force was interested in the tilt-wing concept, such as the XC-142, the Navy faced tougher problems caused by
shipboard compatibility requirements. Studies showed that a duel tandem ducted fan configuration permitted a
shorter wing span for a given weight, allowing a stubbier design that could fit on existing carrier elevators and
would eliminate the need for complex wing folding mechanisms. The duct around each of the four props also
would improve propeller efficiency and provide a safety benefit to personnel working in the cramped
environment of a ship's flight deck.

Bell X-22

 

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