Lockheed Model L-200 Convoy Fighter The Original Proposal and Early Development of the XFV-1 Salmon Part 1

Published: August 30th, 2017     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: Jared A. Zichek
Reviewed by: 
Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Retromechanix
ISBN #: 978-0-9968754-4-8
Price: $18.99

Jared Zichek continues his in depth look at the US Navy Convoy Fighter competition of 1950 with this in depth look at the Lockheed Model L-200. As a bit of background, the US at the time was nervous about protecting convoys between the US and its allies after the rough go that convoys had early in WWII. The proposal was a request for a high-performance turboprop fighter to be based on those convoys and to protect them. Five companies participated including Convair, Goodyear, Martin, and Northrop as well as Lockheed. The most famous of this group was the Convair Pogo but thankfully Mr. Zichek has dug in to review the remaining one s and with that, this book focuses on Lockheed's efforts.

The book starts with the design features of the L-200 and one of the primary features is this is a VTOL aircraft meant to sit on the deck of a ship, take off vertically and fly like a normal plane and then return and land vertically. This was the early 1950's and this presented many challenges and many innovations also. There is a great discussion of what was expected as far as take off and landing, armament, and radar required and many other details.

One of the big points the book details well is the pilot and their situation. Since the pilot would be taking off and landing vertically, there was a lot of thought put into his seat and his view. Mr. Zichek goes into great detail using the original prints of showing how their answer was to have a rotatable seat to allow better views while taking off and landing the plane. There is also a nice picture of the cockpit mock up in the book.

Next, there is detail of the requirements for whichever ship the plane was stationed to with drawings of the gantry used for entry, service platforms and the method of moving the airplane to a takeoff position as well as the landing platform. The excellent drawings are accompanied by text reviewing and discussing the reasoning for the design and the thought that went into them.

Also covered are the design tests including wind tunnel data on models, proposed future improvements (including the addition of canards) and armament which was to be carried at the wing tips in two pods with 2 x 20mm cannons each. There is an excellent section on the antennae and radar installation.

A large section is also included where the primary power plant, an Allison T-40A-8 Turboprop. This is fully discussed along with the connection to the counter rotating props. Mr. Zichek goes into depth about ducting for the plane and how the designs were thought out.

The entire airplane breakdown and plane was shown as far as how things attached and were designed along with specifications and all major sub assemblies. Lastly, the wind test models and display models are shown.

This is a fascinating look at a point in aviation history where so many new ideas and theories were tried to meet specific goals. The pictures and drawings are wonderful and the text insightful and precise. Highly recommended to aviation fans everywhere.

My thanks to Retromechanix and Jared Zichek for his efforts to allow us a peek into aviation history.

  • Back cover
    Back cover
  • Cockpit photo
    Cockpit photo
  • Armament Drawing
    Armament Drawing
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages