Ryan XV-5 (VZ-11) Vertifan VTOL Fighter Prototype (1964)
About the Design
American experiments with Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) concepts that had begun in the 1940s and 1950s continued into the 1960s with, among other projects, this fan-in-wing design developed for the U.S. Army by General Electric -- which was responsible for the engines -- and Ryan Aircraft, which had developed such earlier VTOL test platforms as the X-13 and the VZ-3. The XV-5 eschewed the earlier tail-sitter and tilt-fan/tilt-wing concepts in favor of vertical-lift fans built directly into its wings and nose. These fans featured louvers that could be moved to direct the flow of air, and could be shuttered altogether during horizontal flight.
The contract for the XV-5 was signed in 1961, the first of two prototypes delivered in 1964. The first prototype crashed in 1965, the second in 1966, but was rebuilt as the XV-5B and transferred to NASA which continued testing and development until 1974.
About the Kit
This beautifully detailed 1/72 scale resin kit was produced by Anigrand Craftswork of Hong Kong in 2003. It could be built with its fan blade doors open or closed. On the downside, its landing gear bay doors were inaccurate (at least compared to actual photos of the plane), and its decal sheet was somewhat incomplete (Again, compared to historical photos). But it still made for a fine-looking and inarguably unique model.
This model was built from an original issue.