Designer Frank Piasecki flying the first VZ-8P during an early test. The machine featured a raised and slightly angled aft propeller duct intended to reduce airflow interference effects from the front duct.
Soon after the Army accepted the VZ-8P, the machine’s piston engines were replaced by a single Turbomeca Artouste IIB turbine, the exhaust shroud of which can be seen extending from the vehicle’s port side.
Briefly tested by the US Navy as the Model 59N, the VZ-8P used floats borrowed from the US Coast Guard during water-landing trials. After its return to the Army the machine was fitted with a TPE331 turbine in the place of the Artouste.
The VZ-8P[B] during its first non-tethered flight. With its sharply-angled rear duct, twin turbine engines, powered landing gear and crew ejection seats this machine was arguably the most advanced and most capable of the Army’s ‘Flying Jeeps’.