August 2014

2014 AugustConvair XFY-1 Pogo

The Convair XFY-1 Pogo was the first fixed wing (non-rotorcraft) VTOL aircraft to take to the air. The Pogo was not only a unique airframe configuration, but also pushed the boundaries of turboprop engine-airframe integration with its powerful Allison YT-40-A-14 engine capable of 5,850 shp. This power plant consisted of two turboshaft engines connected via a single gearbox.

During this period (early 1950s), the U.S. Navy only had one YT-40 engine with the proper lubrication system capable of hover flight, and the Pogo received the installation. The first pilot to fly the XFY-1 was Lt. Col. (USMC) James F. “Skeets” Coleman. The first flight of the XFY-1 took place at NAS Moffett Field, now the site of NASA Ames, Mountain View, California. Tethered flights were conducted inside the historic Moffett’s Blimp Hangar No. 1 before the aircraft flew outside the hangar and untethered for the first time on August 1st, 1954.

The Pogo was the first VTOL aircraft to perform a transition from vertical to horizontal flight and then to a vertical landing. This was accomplished on November 2nd, 1954. This historic event took place in NAAS Brown Field, a former US Navy base south of San Diego.

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