LTV L450F

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L450F
LTV L45ØF.jpg
Role Reconnaissance aircraft
Manufacturer Ling-Temco-Vought
First flight February 1970
Primary user U.S. Air Force
Developed from Schweizer SGS 2-32
Developed into LTV XQM-93

The LTV L450F, also known as the L45ØF,[1] was a prototype quiet reconnaissance aircraft, developed by Ling-Temco-Vought in the late 1960s for use in the Vietnam War by the United States. Based on the airframe of a Schweizer 2-32 sailplane, the aircraft flew in 1970, and was developed into the XQM-93 reconnaissance drone before the project was cancelled.

Design and development[edit]

Developed as a follow on to the Igloo White program, the L450F was intended to provide a quiet reconnaissance and communications relay aircraft.[1] Under a $1 million USD contract by LTV Electrosystems, the L450F was developed from a Schweizer SGS 2-32 sailplane, modified by Schweizer to LTV's specifications.[1]

These modifications included stronger wing spars, thicker wing skin, installation of a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine driving a three-bladed propeller, and main landing gear based on that of the Grumman Ag-Cat agricultural aircraft.[1] An alternative configuration, using a piston engine, was also proposed.[1]

The prototype L450F first flew in February 1970, but was destroyed during its third flight, on 23 March that year, the pilot successfully bailing out. A second prototype was then completed and flown, successfully completing the testing program, and a third prototype was ordered as the unmanned XQM-93 drone, under the Compass Dwell project. Four examples of the XQM-93 were contracted for by the United States Air Force, however the Compass Dwell project was subsequently cancelled.[1][2]

Operational history[edit]

March 27, 1972 Donald R. Wilson reached the altitude of 15 456 m (50 708 ft) in horizontal flight flying the remaining L450F, registered N2450F, setting a new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale international record, Class C-1c, Group II[3] (Powered aeroplanes, take off weight 1000 to 1750 kg, turboprop). This record still stood as of 27 March 2012.

Aircraft on display[edit]

The second L450F on display

The Vintage Flying Museum at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, Texas, has an L-450F on display, but it is disassembled, on a trailer and not airworthy. [4]

Specifications (prototype)[edit]

Data from Janes[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (pilot)
  • Length: 29 ft (8.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 57 ft (17 m)
  • Empty weight: 2,400 lb (1,089 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,600 lb (2,087 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,300 pounds (1,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-29 , 778 shp (580 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hartzell

Performance

  • Cruising speed: 105 mph; 169 km/h (91 kn)
  • Range: 5,996 mi; 9,649 km (5,210 nmi)
  • Endurance: 24-30 hours
  • Service ceiling: 52,000 ft (15,850 m)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 28:1
  • Rate of climb: 2,600 ft/min (13 m/s)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jane's 1971, p. 344-345
  2. ^ Goebel, Greg. "The Prehistory of Endurance UAVs". VectorSite. Accessed 2010-06-18.
  3. ^ "Fai Record File". Fai.org. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  4. ^ John Zapp (1944-01-06). "AIRCRAFT at the Vintage Flying Museum a 501c(3) museum located at Meacham Airport (KFTW) in Fort Worth, Texas". Vintageflyingmuseum.org. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 
Bibliography
  • Taylor, John W.R. (ed.) Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1971-1972. London: Sampson Low Marston & Co, 1971. ISBN 0 354-000-942.

External links[edit]

Media related to LTV L450F at Wikimedia Commons