Science: Hook to Hook Flight

The Ryan X-13 Vertijet, long rumored and unofficially described, made its official bow at a Pentagon showing last week. Its vertical takeoff, transition to horizontal flight and vertical landing—demonstrated by a movie—were an uncanny spectacle.

In the movie the Vertijet made its entrance riding horizontally on a low, flat trailer encrusted with mechanism. Test Pilot Peter F. Girard climbed into the cockpit, a mechanic closed the canopy over his head, and the X-13's Rolls-Royce Avon engine began its whining roar.

Then the bed of the trailer reared slowly upward like the body of a dump...

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