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Curtiss VF-11A

Jet-Powered Fleet Defense Fighter Proposal

United States | 1947

"The Curtiss VF-11A was the second of three designs put forth by the company to hopefully satisfy a future USN fleet defender requirement."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Curtiss VF-11A Jet-Powered Fleet Defense Fighter Proposal.
1 x Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet afterburning engine developing 5,000lb thrust with 1 x Rocket booster motor generating additional 1,000lb of thrust for short-term, fast-acceleration to reach interception altitude.
677 mph
1,090 kph | 589 kts
Max Speed
50,033 ft
15,250 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
25,000 ft/min
7,620 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Curtiss VF-11A Jet-Powered Fleet Defense Fighter Proposal.
30.0 ft
9.15 m
O/A Length
30.0 ft
(9.15 m)
O/A Width
8,708 lb
(3,950 kg)
Empty Weight
10,240 lb
(4,645 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Curtiss VF-11A Jet-Powered Fleet Defense Fighter Proposal .
6 x 5" (127mm) High-Explosive (HE), fin-stabilized aerial rockets fired from lower left side of nose assembly.
Notable series variants as part of the Curtiss VF-11A family line.
VF-11 - Base Fighter Proposal of 1946.
VF-11A - Revised proposal with squared-off vertical tail fin and single Rolls-Royce turbojet engine.
VF-11B - Revised proposal showcasing more traditional fighter design mainplane wing arrangement; outward-canted V-style tail unit.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/06/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The road to the United States Navy's next fleet defense fighter went down many paths after the close of World War 2 (1939-1945) where prop-driven types dominated carrier decks. The service was beginning its needed transition to turbojet-powered forms and the Curtiss concern attempted to supply the branch with its next fighter by undertaking a few proposals to help satisfy the future need. Work in 1946 produced three similar results all related to the VF-11 initiative, these included "VF-11" itself (detailed elsewhere on this site) as well as subsequent designs in "VF-11A" and "VF-11B". While none of the offerings were selected for further work, they still provide an interesting look into the design direction aeroplane-makers were headed in during the early stages of the Cold War period (1947-1991).

The earlier VF-11 utilized a "tailed delta-wing" planform, resulting in an arrow-like shape with its singular rounded rudder fin set dorsally. The pilot was positioned at the nose in the usual way and the twin-engine arrangement (side-by-side) was aspirated by twin air intakes to either side of the cockpit. Proposed armament was six 5" high-velocity aerial rockets launched from a port at the nose's lower left side and ground running was to be made possible through a retractable, wheeled tricycle arrangement.

This approach was somewhat changed with the introduction of VF-11A. The same general form-and-function of the aircraft was retained save for the switch to a single-engine layout set to feature the promising, in-development British Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet engine over the original Westinghouse 24C pairing. This single engine was expected to deliver a thrust output of 5,000lb and, for its aspiration, the intakes of VF-11 were reworked for the needed flow. Like the VF-11, the VF-11A would also utilize a short-burn, rocket booster accelerator to achieve the required time-to-altitude. Beyond this, the tail rudder fin was slightly redesigned to feature a clipped tip (instead the original's rounded shape).

As with the VF-11 before it, the equally-promising VF-11A went nowhere and ended its days as a "paper airplane" alongside VF-11 and VF-11B. The VF-11B that followed and was a mostly complete rework of both designs in that conventional swept-back mainplanes were added and a "V-tail" tailplane arrange replaced the original's single fin.

In any case, the USN eventually took on stocks of the Douglas "Skyray" and McDonnell "Demon" jet fighters for its fleet defense needs.

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Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Curtiss Aeroplane Company - USA
National flag of the United States

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Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Curtiss VF-11A Jet-Powered Fleet Defense Fighter Proposal Specifications and Pictures.
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