The Vertical Takeoff of EWR VJ 101C Fighter Prototype in 1963

The Vertical Takeoff of EWR VJ 101C Fighter Prototype in 1963

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There have been many impressive military and defense jets built over the years, and here you can watch as an EWR VJ 101C fighter takes off vertically back on April 10, 1963.

The jet itself was a prototype and was never further developed, but it was an exciting prospect nonetheless. It managed to exceed the speed of Mach 1 a number of times before it suffered a crash in 1964.

Germany's vertical takeoff jet

German companies Bolkow, Heinkel, and Messerschmitt put their design teams together in 1959 to create and develop a Mach 2 VTOL interceptor for the Federal German defense ministry.

This is how the consortium, Entwicklungsring Süd, known as EWR, put together the one-seater EWR VJ 101C VTOL experimental aircraft. It boasted a high-wing monoplane configuration, with light alloy construction, had retractable tricycle landing gear.


The EWR VJ 101C's first prototype was flown for the first time on April 10, 1963, and managed to reach the speed of Mach 1 a number of times before crashing on September 14, 1964, following a vertical takeoff. The second prototype provided greater takeoff and landing power, offering its first hovering flight on June 12, 1965. Just a few months later, the aircraft managed to switch from vertical to horizontal flight and back again, however, its development was later discontinued.

There were a number of plans for VTOL jets to be produced, however, none of them saw the true light of day. Regardless, here is a fascinating video of the EWR VJ 101C taking off vertically in 1963. It's a sight for sore eyes.

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