-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Curtiss XP-55 Ascender

Project 914 Archives (Steve O. Reno collection)

This is 42-78845, the first of three XP-55s built. It was destroyed on November 15th, 1943 during stall testing.

The following was taken from THIS page on Joe Baugher's website...

On November 15, 1943, test pilot Harvey Gray was flying the first XP-55 (42-78845) through a series of stall tests when the aircraft suddenly flipped over on its back and fell into an uncontrolled, inverted descent. Recovery proved impossible, and the plane fell out of control for 16,000 feet before Gray was able to parachute to safety. The aircraft was destroyed in the ensuing crash.

Quite remarkably, one of these aircraft survives today... 42-78846 is part of the NASM's collection, although it has been in the possession of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo (Officially known as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum) for several years and has been restored for display by that outfit.

Learn more about the XP-55 here.


  1. Jeez who would have thought?

    If you stall a plane with the engine in the back(tail heavy anyone?), it MAY start falling backwards and it MAY be impossible to flip the dart,I mean airplane, over.

    I WANT ONE!!!!