This Day in Aviation History
August 11th, 1955
First flight of the Bell XV-3.

The Bell XV-3 (Bell 200) was a tiltrotor aircraft developed by Bell Helicopter for a joint research program between the United States Air Force and the United States Army in order to explore convertiplane technologies. The XV-3 featured an engine mounted in the fuselage with drive shafts transferring power to two-bladed rotor assemblies mounted on the wingtips. The wingtip rotor assemblies were mounted to tilt 90 degrees from vertical to horizontal, which was designed to allow the XV-3 to take off and land like a helicopter but fly at faster airspeeds, similar to a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.

The XV-3 was first flown on 11 August 1955. Although it was limited in performance, the aircraft successfully demonstrated the tiltrotor concept, accomplishing 110 transitions from helicopter to airplane mode between December 1958 and July 1962. The XV-3 program ended when the remaining aircraft was severely damaged in a wind tunnel accident on 20 May 1966. The data and experience from the XV-3 program were key elements used to successfully develop the Bell XV-15, which later paved the way for the V-22 Osprey….

Wikipedia, Bell XV-3:

YouTube, Bell XV-3 Convertiplane Promo Film – 1960:
Photo from:
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