Science: The Vertijet

A long-term dream of airplane designers, the jet-powered vertical take-off plane, became an official reality last week. The Air Force announced that Ryan Aeronautical Co. has test-flown successfully its jet X-13 VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), putting it through all its paces after 18 months of partial tests.

The X-13, named the Vertijet. is a small, delta-winged job that takes off from a suspended position, hanging from a framework like a bat. Last week Test Pilot Peter F. Girard, sitting on his back with his face to the sky. started its powerful jet engines....

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