Rockwell International's first XFV-12A V/Stol Naval fighter prototype is to begin tethered hovering trials in the Nasa Langley lunar landing training rig during the autumn. Rolled out late in August 1977, the aircraft uses an augmented-flow vertical lift system which diverts exhaust gases from the modified 30,000lb-thrust Pratt & Whitney F401-PW-400 turbofan. Spanning 28ft 6 1/4in, the XFV-12A is about the size of an A-4 Skyhawk and has an estimated maximum level speed in excess of Mach 2.
All five of Bell Helicopter Textron's Model 222s, which have now amassed a total flying time in excess of 600hr. International and American customers have now placed over 120 purchase options on the type, which also forms Bell's entry in the US Coast Guard SRR (Short Range Recovery) competition, the aircraft entered being nearest the camera in our picture.
Following extensive testing, Grumman American Aviation's GA-7 Cougar four-seat twin has been granted a Type Certificate by the FAA. Powered by a pair of 160 h.p. Lycoming O-320-D1D engines, it has exceptional single-engine performance and a maximum speed of 200 m.p.h.
On September 7, 1977 the prototype of Switzerland's ultra-light Aviafiber Canard-2FL sailplane made its maiden flight, with Ernst Ruppert in control. Launch can be achieved either by rolling downhill or by foot, the pilot drawing his legs in and closing leg doors and canopy after take-off. Flying prone, he controls his speed within the 23-62 m.p.h. range by sliding back and forth on a board. Landing is made on a retractable front skid. The aircraft weighs 95lb empty.