Bell XV-3 Convertiplane (1955)
About the Design
Unlike the Hiller X-18 that tilted its entire wing to achieve the convertiplane effect, the Bell XV-3 tilted only its twin rotors to switch from helicopter to conventional aircraft mode. (This same method would be employed three decades later by the Osprey HV 22A, the world's first operational tilt-engine aircraft.) Designed in 1951 and first test-flown in August 1955, the Bell XV-3 actually achieved vertical-to-horizontal flight on dozens of occasions, sometimes in as little as 10 seconds. The second of only two prototypes was lost in a wind-tunnel accident in 1965.
About the Kit
Hobby-Time, a small-time balsa and plastics company that went belly-up in 1965, released this Bell XV-3 kit in bagged, blister pack, and hard-box versions. This model is from the boxed release, circa 1962.