posted on May, 15 2005 @ 01:13 PM
X-25 Discretionary Descent Vehicle (gyrocopter)
This was funny and interesting idea for pilots who needed to eject. Even if the ejection systems work properly the pilot could land on enemy teritory
and be captured. That was the reason why the "Discretionary Descent Vehicle" program was initiated in 1967. During this time the American pilots
suffered heavy loses over Vietnam and many of them were captured and not handled very nice. It was meant to be part of the ejection seat instead of
parachute and allow the helpless crew member/members the option of landing somewhere other than that offered by a parachute descent.
There were three aircraft designated X-25, X-25A & X-25B. The basic X-25 was un-powered and of very basic construction consisting of little more than
an aluminium square cross sectioned structure with a single seat and four post landing gear. Un-powered and designed to operate like a rotorchute,
following ejection and a brief period of descent, the DDVs rotor blades automatically self deployed and aerodynamic forces then rotated the blades. As
rotational speed increased so the gyroscopic forces in turn spread the blades into a conventional flat plane configuration though no control of the
rotor head was provided for the pilot, the only directional control being via the foot pedal controlled rudder.
The X-25A & B on the other hand were variations of Bensens McCulloch powered B-8M and un-powered B-8 Gyroglider with much larger range. This variant
had really interesting specifications, like small helicopter/gyro - speed 60-85 mph and the range was 200-300 miles - that allowed the pilot to land
in South Vietnam or anywhere outside the "hot zone".
The overall DDV program proved an unqualified success. The feasibility of the DDV was proved sound and found to be effective even at supersonic
speeds. Unfortunately for the DDV, the winding down of US involvement in South East Asia ultimately killed off any interest in the program as the
problem of aircrew losses reduced itself to what were judged to be ‘acceptable levels’.
just a model image
[edit on 15-5-2005 by longbow]
Edit: resized image
[edit on 15-5-2005 by Seekerof]