Within the Nineteen Fifties, the US Air Pressure was fascinated by growing a VTOL plane and awarded a contract to Hiller Aviation, already identified for his or her work with helicopters, to develop an experimental automobile.
Hiller was tasked with constructing a VTOL plane that might carry a complete payload of 8000 lbs, together with 35 fight troops or autos and gear of equal weight, have an working radius of 425 miles, a cruise velocity of 300 mph, and the flexibility to hover at 6000 ft. It was additionally speculated to be controllable within the occasion one engine failed and be capable of make a “managed crash” touchdown.
Whereas the preliminary plan known as for a four-engine plane, the X-18 was designed to have solely two, almost certainly as a result of it was a check platform for tilt-wing VTOL know-how and never a manufacturing automobile. Such a automobile, the Ling-Temco-Vought XC-142, would later be developed and examined based mostly on the insights gathered from the X-18 program.