The V-8 designation was re-used by the U.S. armed forces to refer to the AV-8 Harrier. This was an unrelated project.
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The XV-8 Flexible Wing Aerial Utility Vehicle (nicknamed Fleep, short for "Flying Jeep") was an improved version of the Flex-Wing. Both aircraft were built by Ryan Aeronautical Company in collaboration with NASA for the United States Air Force and the United States Army and tested in 1961 as a STOL patrol, reconnaissance and light utility aircraft to transport people or freight when a more specialized aircraft is not required or available.
Design and development
The Fleep began as the Flex-Wing. The Flex-Wing had four-wheel landing gear, a smaller nose section behind which the pilot sat, and a single vertical tail/rudder, whereas the Fleep had tricycle landing gear, a larger nose section and a V tail/rudder. The wing was a fabric delta-shaped Rogallo wing with a fold-able frame; the wing was attached to a pod-like cockpit on a four-wheeled cargo platform. It was tested with two tail configurations — vertical fin and V-tail. The aircraft wing could be folded into a relatively small package for transport.
- Crew: One pilot
- Length: 10 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
- Wingspan: 33 ft 5 in (10.18 m)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-360-A, 210 hp (157 kW)
- Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h)
- Range: 120 miles (193 km)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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