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(X)F-11
November 1948 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

November 1948 Air Trails
November 1948 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

The Aviator (Leonardo DeCRAPio) - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough it looks a lot like the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Hughes Aircraft's F-11 was designed to be an aerial photo-reconnaissance platform during World War II, and was much larger than the P-38. Eccentric millionaire and accomplished aviator Howard Hughes served as the test pilot for the XF-11 prototype, which ended up crashing into a couple houses just outside the airport (shown in "The Aviator" movie). Only two were ever built. Interestingly, somewhere I have an article in either an American Modeler or another Air Trails magazine what tells the tale of pilot who during World War II used a specially equipped P-38 to take low level, high speed flight photographs of German troop movements along the western side of the English Channel in the run-up to the D-Day invasions. That story will be published here on Airplanes and Rockets as soon as I find it.

F-11 / XF-11

f-11, November 1948 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets

This sleek, twin-engine, twin-boom airplane, especially designed for photo-reconnaissance work, is a product of Hughes Aircraft Corp., Culver City, Calif., and was pretty much of a hush-hush project for a while. It burst into the limelight when its prototype, equipped with eight-bladed contra-rotating propellers, crashed during one of the trial flights with Howard Hughes acting as test pilot. The accident was due to a sudden reversal of pitch of the rear right propeller unit which imposed such a severe yaw on the airplane that it became uncontrollable. Hughes miraculously escaped death but was laid up in hospital for several months. As a consequence, the second prototype, illustrated here, now undergoing test flights at Wright Field, has conventional, four-bladed, Curtiss electric reversible-pitch propellers. The plane is of all-metal construction with a wing span of 101 ft. 4 in., and a length of 65 ft. 5 in. Weight empty is: 37,200 lbs., gross weight 47,500 lbs. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-37, 28-cylinder engines developing in excess of 3000 hp at take-off. Maximum speed is in the neighborhood of 425 mph, service ceiling is 44,000 feet, and range is 5000 miles. An interesting feature of the XF-11 are the spoiler ailerons like the ones used on the Northrop P-61. This permits use of full span flaps on the wing with the result that the plane stalls at only 80 mph. The XF-11 carries a crew of two, seated side-by-side in a pressurized cockpit, second member acting as co-pilot, camera operator, and navigator. The slim fuselage nacelle houses up to eight aerial cameras which can be operated either from the Plexiglas nose or the cockpit.

XF-11 - Airplanes and Rockets

Hughes XF-11 - Airplanes and Rockets

Hughes X-11 - Airplanes and Rockets

Hughes Aircraft XF-11 - Airplanes and Rockets

Hughes Aircraft X-11 - Airplanes and Rockets

 

 

Posted March 7, 2015

About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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