First flew on March 17 1966, the Vertical and/or Short Take-off and Landing (V/STOL) Bell X-22 experimental aircraft featured four tilting ducted fans. Last flight was on 1988 and the sole survivor is at the Niagara Aerospace Museum in New York
Bell, May 19, 2020 - In the 1960s, when the U.S. Navy decided to expand its advanced technology portfolio to include dynamic, VTOL aircraft, they consulted with a world-renowned company that was currently exploring this innovation – Bell Aerospace.
With our team’s ever-pioneering spirit, Bell was already developing a similar prototype. This aircraft flew with three blade propellers mounted on four wings and showcased vertical and/ or short take-off and landing (V/STOL).
During takeoff, the propellers would tilt upwards or at 45 degrees, demonstrating a new type of aircraft movement that could handle short runways. This revolutionary vehicle – the best of its time - was known as the Bell X-22.
The Bell X-22 model continued successful flights into the 1980s, even though the original program was canceled. It is currently on display at the Niagara Aerospace Museum in New York. As for the technology, its concept lives on through our Bell Nexus 4EX, another vehicle that demonstrates the possibility of duct and propeller technology.
Exploring new ways of enhancing vertical take-off and landing aircraft is a journey our teams have embarked on since our very beginning. Today, this mission carries on.
Discover what our teams are doing to continue the legacy and develop VTOL aircraft for consumers, warfighters and customers across the world.
About Bell: Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.
We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.
Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.
About Textron: Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.