EEA VJ 101

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
EEA VJ 101
VJ 101 C-X2 in the Deutsches Museum in Munich
Type: Experimental VTOL - fighter
Design country:

GermanyGermany Germany


Development ring south

First flight:

April 10, 1963


Flight tests ended in 1968

Production time:

Was never mass-produced

Number of pieces:


The EWR VJ 101 was a jet-propelled , vertical take-off , supersonic German experimental aircraft of the Entwicklungsring Süd ( EWR ), a joint venture of Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugbau GmbH , Messerschmitt AG and Bölkow GmbH . The designation VJ stood for "experimental hunter". Originally, the machine was to be developed into a VTOL successor for the F-104G Starfighter . These plans were later dropped, as was the VAK 191 B project by VFW-Fokker.


The intended flight performance for the VJ 101 was initially based on the demands of the Federal Ministry of Defense for a conventionally launching interceptor and chase from September 1956. These demands were considerably expanded on October 30, 1957. Added to this were both all-weather suitability and VTOL properties. Further additional requirements date from July 4, 1959, which can be summarized in the formula: VJ 101 performance = F-104 performance + VTOL . In September 1959, the EWR Süd then presented the final concept of the VJ 101C, a concept that had already been followed in a very similar way by the Bell Aircraft Corporation in the development of the Bell D188A , which was also later abandoned . On September 11, 1959, the main contract was signed, which not only provided for the development, production and testing of four experimental aircraft, but also the construction of four suspension rigs ( test rigs ).

VJ 101 A

Even after the founding of the EEA South on February 23, 1959, the Heinkel and Messerschmitt companies continued to work on their own projects VJ 101 A and VJ 101 B until autumn 1959. The VJ 101 A is the last version of the Heinkel He 231 , which was developed over several years of work until it was ready for construction. An important point in the design was the consideration not to use separate lift drives for the VTOL phase. The VJ 101 A6 was a duck- style shoulder- wing aircraft with six Rolls-Royce RB engines installed in swiveling nacelles. 153 equipped with a total thrust of 107 kN (10,884 kp). During the vertical take-off, the takeoff weight was 9,600 kg. Mach 2 should be reached at an altitude of 20,000 m.

During the planning, there was a lively exchange of ideas with the British company Short Brothers , which was working at the same time on the VTOL test aircraft Short SC.1 , which first flew on April 2, 1957.

VJ 101 B

In contrast, Messerschmitt's VJ 101 B was a middle- wing aircraft with a delta wing and a conventional tail unit. The fuselage of the project designated P1227 had an approximately rectangular cross-section. Almost the entire space between the cockpit and the tail unit was required for the power plant, which consists of four lift-cruise engines of the type RB. 153 and a type RB lift engine. 162 existed. To generate lift thrust, the gas jets of the four RB.-153 engines were deflected downwards. A version P 1227/2 with two separate lift engines was also examined. The takeoff weight should be 7,000 kg, and at an altitude of 18,000 m Mach 2.5 should be reached.

VJ 101 C

The VJ 101 C, ultimately built by the Entwicklungsring Süd, combined the essential features of Heinkel and Messerschmitt's designs.

The VJ 101 C had trapezoidal wings, a conventional tail unit and swiveling nacelles with two engines each at the tips of the wings. Two more lift engines were built into the fuselage to supplement the thrust of the four main engines when hovering.

The VJ 101 C was a single-seat shoulder-wing aircraft with a length of 17.30 m, a height of 4.13 m and a wingspan of 6.61 m. The maximum take-off weight was 6,100 kg. The aircraft had a total of six Rolls-Royce / MAN Turbo RB 145 engines, each with 12.2 kN thrust (without afterburner ). Two of them were housed in gondolas at the ends of the wings . These gondolas could be swiveled into a vertical position for take-off and landing.

The maximum speed was 1,254 km / h (Mach 1.05). This made the VJ 101 C the world's first super-sonic whiz kid. Other aircraft developments with these capabilities were at about the same time the Dassault Mirage IIIV and later the Jakowlew Jak-141 . These aircraft also all remained prototypes. It was not until more than 40 years after the first flight of the VJ 101 C that the Lockheed Martin F-35 B, a vertically taking off and landing aircraft capable of supersonic flight, was developed to production readiness.

Two prototypes of the VJ 101 C were built: the X1 (registration number D-9517) and the X2 (registration number D-9518). Test pilot Hans-Friedrich (Fred) Rammenee was involved in the flight tests. On April 10, 1963, the X1 succeeded in its first hovering flight in Manching, with EEA chief pilot George Bright at the helm . The first normal take-off took place in August, the first transition (transition from hovering to level flight) on September 20th of the same year. The first supersonic flight (Mach 1.04) took place on July 29, 1964. On September 14, 1964, the machine was destroyed by a defect in the flight controller, whereby Bright was able to save himself with the ejector seat, but was injured.

The three-legged landing gear had extremely long suspension travel to cushion the expected hard landing bumps. The nose wheel was not steerable: the pilot could steer the aircraft with the help of the separate main landing gear brakes.

The nacelle engines of the VJ 101 C-X2 had afterburners , and a new flight controller was tested. The first transition of the machine took place on October 22, 1965.

In 1968 the project was stopped. The VJ 101 C-X2 is exhibited in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Plans for a further developed model VJ 101 D did not get beyond the drawing board stage.

Technical specifications

VJ 101 C-X2 in the Deutsches Museum in Munich
VJ 101 C-X2 in the Deutsches Museum in Munich
First prototype of the VJ 101 C
Parameter Data VJ 101 C-X2
crew 1
length 15.7 m
span 6.61 m
height 4.13 m
Wing area 18.6 m²
Empty mass 4420 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 7700 kg
Marching speed ? km / h
Top speed 1,320 km / h (Mach 1.14) at an altitude of 1,000 m
Service ceiling 18,500 m
Range 3,800 km
Engines six Rolls-Royce RB145R turbo jets with 15.80 kN each

See also


  • H. Redemann: V / STOL weapon system VJ-101. Flug Revue, February 1972

Web links

Commons : EWR VJ 101  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. DGLR report 2000-01 “The German vertical take-off aircraft” ISBN 3-932182-10-3 , German Aerospace Society, 2000, page 89
  2. FliegerRevue December 2010, p. 67, EWR VJ 101 C collection series