Rockwell XFV-12A

Notes: Experimental HIGH-WING vtol to evaluate thrust augmentation principle (1 CREW) .
  Base model:V-12
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1956-Present
  Basic role:V/STOL
  Modified Mission:Fighter

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
161080 / 161081


Recent comments by our visitors
 Pat Fosness
 Broomfield, CO
Regarding all the negative comments, I am reminded of the Picasso quote: "When you make a thing it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly, but those that do it after you, they don't have to worry about making it and they can make it pretty and so everybody can like it when the others make it."
As with another on this list, my father was very involved with the development of this airplane. Given a decent chance, the story would have been much different. No child take it's first steps without stumbling. But I'm glad to know about the project to work to restore the remains found in Ohio.
12/02/2012 @ 18:05 [ref: 67370]
 dave witter
 huron, OH
the remains of the xfv-12a were recently discovered half buried on the plum brook nasa facility in milan township ohio. not alot remains of the plane except the cocpit area. the ehove vocational school is going to attempt to restore this prototype xfv-12a to flying condition.
04/29/2012 @ 12:39 [ref: 56598]
 Arthur Hu
 bothell, WA
Interesting concept promised a pocket Phantom with M2 and sparrow missle capability plus V/STOL. Too bad a plane with more thrust than weight (ok with afterburner) could not lift itself off the ground, and did not even demonstrate a conventional takeoff / landing. No wonder it make "worst airplanes ever" book list. Crazy venetian blind wings were even proposed for C-130 which would probably have worked even worse. F-35 may be first operational supersonic v/stol if they can work out technical kinks and costs.

03/06/2012 @ 10:40 [ref: 53877]
 Elkhart, IN
My dad was on the design team that designed the XFV-12A aircraft for the Navy. He also helped to design the A-5A/RA-5C Vigilante and the OV-10 Bronco. I am just now beginning to see why he was so secretive at that time in his life. After the Columbus plant was closed, he moved down to Texas and helped on the design of both the XV-15 and the V-22 Osprey. On the V-22, he was able to bring back some plans for the engine nacelles. We lived about a mile or so from the Bell plant and always went out to look to see what V-22 was all about. He also made some trips out to the NAR California plant to help on some other aircraft of the time although I have not found out what, yet. I am thinking it was the XB-70 by a sample of the honeycomb he brought back. He also helped with some Boeing missiles but again, I do not know what. He passed away back in '06. I just added a couple new XFV-12A pictures.
06/26/2010 @ 17:02 [ref: 26731]
 Indianapolis, IN
A word about this aircraft, if u don't mind. Then you guys can go back to your psyco-babbling re-fighting of your versions of world history, ok? The father of a friend was a Navy aircraft tech first working with Douglas & then eventually Rockwell in what he called "a hands-on advisory capacity" at Muroc, among other places. He observed this plane as "never leaving the ground more than a few yards, spending most of it's time doing what appeared to be high-speed taxi tests and bouncing along down the tarmac the last few weeks I was assigned there." (his exact words, not mine). Hope all this helps some. a personal observation: As far as useless, I wouldn't say so- it probably was at least a catalyst for us forcing GB to let us steal the technology, so we could build it under license cheaper (like GE did in 1944 to Whipple).
03/02/2010 @ 20:32 [ref: 25808]
 Virgil H. Soule
 Frederick, MD
Does anyone know what happened to the prototype?
05/20/2008 @ 07:34 [ref: 20959]
 Tulsa, OK
The U.S. Navy cheated us taxpayers when it clampted down on the bad results of the XFV-12A. Other VTOL designers could have benefitted from the details of the XFV-12A failure. Instead, the U.S. Navy apparently put a black-out on the failure of the XFV-12A project. I could never find any technical papers about the XFV-12A.

This all happened in the 1970's. This was not the only project on which the Navy flim-flammed us taxpayers. That was all in the 1970's and 1980's. I trust that the Navy is more honest nowadays.

From a designer of carrier-based airplanes.
01/25/2008 @ 10:04 [ref: 19425]
 , OH
In regards to waiting till 44 to "get into the war" I suggest you re read your history, or I could send you one of our books and you can read it. Afterall, the US DID in fact "join" the war in 39. While the US didnt go on record of doing so, the constant supply of EVERYTHING that kept the alliance alive till we did enter in 41 is about the ONLY thing that kept our rothers across the pond in the war to begin with. I could go on but it isnt nessasary. Point blank, when ANY country gets into trouble the US is asked to bail them out.

Now, as for the XFV, labaling it a failure is a moronic statement. ANY aircraft, useable or not, that teaches you and educates you to make a better aircraft in the future is not a failure. The XFV allowed the udnerstanding of many things that needed to be worked out. In a lot of ways it is like the old racer, the GEE BEE R1/R2... a hard plane to fly, and even harder to land, but it won races.

I have to agree with my fellow Ohioan, and say that like many aircraft, if they had went forward with it and made changes it would have been a very worthy bird.

10/07/2006 @ 11:59 [ref: 14398]
 Robert W. Horn
 Euclid, OH
Ah, what sweet irony!! In trying to research the history of Rolls'efforts to develope a supersonic version of their extraordinary Conway LPR turbofan, I find that the ONLY(!!) reference to such is MY OWN(!!) answer to Greg's statements re the XFV-12. Now to getting back "on thread" (I just LOVE(!!) those "Britishisms"), I must concur that, inntheir pursuit of "Manifest Destiny" OUR(!) imperialistic S.O.B.s were (more or less) equal to your imperialistic S.O.B.s, but must add that such concession does NOTHING(!) to alter, or erase, their common (quasi-) cannine maternal ancestry! As for arriving "fashionably late", you're bang-on with that one too. Indeed, when one tosses in our equally outrageous lack of concern for the Rape of Nanking ("just some asiatics killing other asiatics"), plus, historically, our outright SUPPORT(??) for every tyrant, thug, and butcher, INCLUDING(!!), in the 1930s at least, Adolph Hitler and his nazi regime, as useful bulwarks against the westward encroachment of bolshevism, or, at least "forces in the region, useful to U.S. interests" (INCLUDING "Cousin Saddam" in the "anyone-who-stomps-the-Ayatollah-is-an-S.O.B.- we-can-shake-hands-with" 1980s), the current fit of right-wing hand-wringing about "freeing the suffering people of Iraq" becomes exposed as (for THEM(!!), at least) completely out-of-character hypocracy. As for the XFV-12, I still stand by my original point, which, unlike your political observations, seems to have gone unaddressed in specifics. or is it your actual and honest view that the original struggling, and marginally performing, Kestrel had no potential to "morph" into an AV-8B? I believe it DID!! So why not an "FV-12B, C", etc? BTW, DOES(!!) anyone out there know anything about the "feud" between BS & RR that lead to the Air Ministry declaring that, if they (English Electric, sic. BAC) DIDN'T(!) fit an Olympus into the TSR-2, as opposed to their first choice, a Mach-2+ version of the Conway, the entire (TSR-2) program would be scrapped?

Bob OH
07/10/2004 @ 11:31 [ref: 7792]
 , TX
"masturbating your national egos by playing at God, with the fates of mllions beyond your rainy and dull shores"

In no way does that resemble your occupation of the Philippines then, obviously.

Let's hope you do a better job of liberating Iraq you did of liberating the Philippines in 1898.

Oh, and while we are still very appreciative for the way that you entered the second world war, its a shame that you couldn't have arrived at the start of the shindig, rather than 5 years fashionably late in 1944, for the ground war at least.

At least you showed the japanese "what for" though - especially the part where you let them emasculate the entire american manufacturing industry, selling you high tech wizadry and automobiles from plants built in your own cities.

My, they sure learned THEIR lesson.

Oh, and just to keep things "on thread", the XFV-12a was crap.

07/05/2004 @ 18:32 [ref: 7756]


Recent photos uploaded by our visitors