The Kaman K-16B was an experimental vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft that was constructed by Kaman Aircraft for the United States Navy in 1959 to evaluate the tiltwing concept. Converted from a Grumman Goose amphibian, the K-16B underwent extensive wind tunnel and tethered testing, but was not flown before the project was terminated in 1962.
|The K-16B with wing at full tilt|
|National origin||United States|
|Primary user||United States Navy|
|Developed from||Grumman G-21 Goose|
Design and developmentEdit
During the late 1950s, there was extensive interest in the vertical takeoff and landing concept for aircraft, with multiple experimental types ordered to develop the technology for potential service. The United States Navy contracted with Kaman Aircraft of Bloomfield, Connecticut to build a testbed based on the company's 'rotorprop' concept for tiltwing aircraft, using a Grumman JRF-5 Goose amphibian and other existing parts to reduce the cost and time necessary. The fuselage and tail of the Goose were mated to a new tilting wing and engine configuration; the maximum angle of incidence allowed was only 50 degrees; the rotorprop was expected to provide sufficient thrust to allow VTOL operations despite the low angle.
Delivered in late 1959, the K-16B underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, along with some tethered hops, to evaluate the tiltwing configuration's aerodynamic characteristics. Flight testing was originally anticipated to begin in the fall of 1960, however these preliminary tests continued into 1962. That year the project was cancelled with the aircraft having not conducted its first free flight.
- Crew: 2
- Length: 38 ft 4 in (11.68 m)
- Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
- Height: 19 ft 2 in (5.84 m)
- Empty weight: 6,500 lb (2,948 kg)
- Gross weight: 8,000 lb (3,628.74 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric YT58-GE-2A turboshafts, 1324.9 hp (988 kW) each
- Propellers: 3-bladed Kaman, 14 ft 10 in (4.5 m) diameter
- Maximum speed: 200 mph (321.9 km/h, 173.8 kn)
- Range: 250 mi (402.3 km, 217.24 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,876.8 m)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Swanborough 1964, p.50.
- Jane's 1959–1960, p.331.
- McGowen 2005, p.180.
- "Kaman K-16B". New England Air Museum. Windsor Locks, CT. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- "Kaman K-16 in 40x80 Foot Wind Tunnel at Ames Research Center". Photo A-29884-2. NASA Ames Research Center. 19 September 1962. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
- McGowen, Stanley S (2005). Helicopters: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-468-7.
- Taylor, John W.R. (1960). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1959-1960. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. ASIN B002G60XF8.
- Swanborough, Gordon (1964). Vertical Flight Aircraft of the World. Fallbrook, CA: Aero Publishers. ASIN B009FNYH16.
- Media related to Kaman K-16B at Wikimedia Commons