Convair XFY-1 Pogo
From 1949 the US Navy actively pursued a policy of VTOL research. The results were two prototypes, the Lockheed XFV-1 and the Convair XFY-1 Pogo. Both aircraft were of the ‘tail-sitter’ concept and powered by the 5500-shp (4101-kW) Allison T40-A-6 turboprop driving large contra-rotating propeller units. These provided more thrust than the weight of the aircraft, making possible VTOL operation.
The XFY-1 was a swept delta design with large dorsal and ventral fins, all four surfaces of this cruciform arrangement carrying castoring wheels to support the aeroplane vertically on the ground. This arrangement of flying surfaces made it impossible to fit the XFY-1 with the same type of conventional landing gear as the XFV-1, so Convair received the only example of the T40 turboprop cleared for VTOL operation. The Pogo made its first free VTOL flight on 1 August 1954 and in October made its first transition from free vertical to horizontal flight and back. The flight test programme was very successful in overall terms, but like that of the XFV-1 confirmed that exceptional piloting was necessary for such a tail-sitter type.
The aircraft had little castoring wheels on their fins on which they stood, towering nearly 12.2 m (40 ft) above the ground, and wingtip weapon pods.
The Pogo was equipped with a custom-fitted clamshell 'hangar' which locked around tile aircraft and made it independent of airfield facilities so that it could be stationed anywhere.
Extensive tethered tests from a special rig were followed by a first vertical take-off and landing on 1 August 1954. Testing continued with a series of similar vertical flights before the first complete transition from vertical to horizontal flight and vice versa was accomplished on 2 November 1954. Although some 40 flight hours were accumulated by two prototypes of this experimental fighter, its development was abandoned.
The aircraft did not get beyond preliminary testing.
Engine: 1 x Allison YT40-A-6 turboprop, 4362kW / 5500-shp
Wingspan: 8.43 m / 27 ft 8 in
Length: 10.66 m / 34 ft 12 in
Wing area: 32.98 sq.m / 354.99 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 7371 kg / 16250 lb
Empty weight: 5345 kg / 11784 lb
Max. speed: 982 km/h / 610 mph
Ceiling: 13320 m / 43700 ft
Armament: 4 x 20mm cannon (proposed) or 46 x 70mm rockets