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Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter

Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2016 Title Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter
Editor Jared Zichek Publisher Retro Mechanix
Published 2015 ISBN 978-0-9968754-1-7
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $15.95


Author Jared Zichek is back with the third installment of the Convoy Fighter competition series from the 1950s which led to the construction of the Convair XFY-1 and Lockheed XVF-1 demonstrators. In this series, the author previously covered two concepts that were not selected for flight fro Goodyear and Martin. This title looks at Northrop's concept for addressing the vertical take-off/landing fighter for convoy protection.

Like the Convair and Lockheed designs, Northrop's fighter was also a turbo-prop-powered aircraft turning a six-bladed contra-rotating propeller. The aircraft sat on its tail with struts mounted in the wingtips and vertical stabilizer with a shock-aborbing centerpoint in the fuselage tailcone.

The author has put together the background, concepts, and even the engineering drawings of the Northrop proposal. This makes for some interesting reading to see what might have been, looking at a VTOL design that had promise though the Navy ultimately abandoned their VTOL-based combat aircraft requirement. The Marines would later adopt VTOL, but that came with the advent of the Harrier and that is another story.

If you're an aviation enthusiast or modeler that enjoys looking at the 'what-if' side of aviation, this monograph is worth adding to your library!

You can order this title here and the website also tells you about electronic versions available as well.

My sincere thanks to Retro Mechanix for this review sample!