Let me introduce you to a wonderful little craft from the dawn of the Atompunk Age and the Cold War, the Convair XY-1 Pogo:
The Convyair XFY-1 is another of those fantastic designs which emerged just after the end of the Second Word War and the beginning of the Cold War.
An experimental aircraft, if it would have been adopted for military service, it would have provide first line of airborne defense and reconnaissance capability for ships and convois operating without aircraft carriers, as it could theoretically be launched from any ship, military or civilian that was big enough. To be able to be launched from any ship, the Pogo was designed to be a VTOL aircraft, which explains the strange and memorable shape.
Ultimately, only three Pogos were built in 1954 and only one of them flew before the project was scrapped.
The cancellation had several reasons:
- The design was relatively light since it had to be able to be carried by regular freighters without specially reinforced decks. The light airframe proved unstable at higher speeds
Handling and especially landing proved complicated.
- Only the most experienced pilots would have been able to operate the Pogo safely, which made the planned one ship – one Pogo unrealistic.
- The rapid advancement in jet engine technology and the tremendous speed advantage of jet fighters against the Pogo cancelled out its effectiveness as an interceptor.
So, the Pogo remains a footnote in the anals of aviation, just like Lockeeds parallelly developed VTOL fighter, the Lockheed XFV, which I will feature next.
Luckily, there is still footage around of the Pogo being tested, enjoy!
And these are the general stats of the craft:
Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.8 m)
Wingspan: 27 ft 8 in (8.4 m)
Height: ft in (m)
Wing area: 355 ft² (33 m²)
Empty weight: 11,139 lb (5,060 kg)
Loaded weight: 14,250 lb (6,470 kg)
Useful load: 13,250 lb (6,016 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 16,250 lb (7,370 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Allison YT40-A-14 turboprop engine, 5,100 shp (3,803 kW)
Propellers: 3-bladed contra-rotating propellers
Maximum speed: 474 mph (412 kn, 763 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
Range: ≈500 mi (308 nmi, 805 km)
Service ceiling: 37,500 feet (11,440 m)
Rate of climb: 9,980 ft/min to 20,000 ft (3,045 m/min)
Max. wing loading: 38.1 lb/ft² (186 kg/m²)
Minimum power/mass: 0.34 hp/lb (560 W/kg)
Guns: 4 × 20mm (0.79 in) cannon, or
Rockets: 48 × 2.75 in (70 mm) Mk 4 Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets