Bell X-22

Mark Wright sent these photos of the X-22. He writes:

The accompanying images of the second Bell X-22, BuNo 151521, were taken by myself at the Niagara Aerospace Museum in Niagara Falls, NY in September, 2003. The aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. It is historically significant to its present location, being the last aircraft ever built at the Bell Aerospace Plant in nearby Wheatfield, NY, where many other famous x-planes (X-1 series, X-2, X-5, X-9, X-14) were also manufactured.

The museum is located in the bottom two floors of a small office tower in downtown Niagara Falls, NY. In many ways the facility is much better off than in its previous location, a shopping centre. The X-22, however, was a tight fit in its new location in one corner of the ground floor of the building. The vertical tail and one of the ducted fans have been removed and are displayed separately, as can be seen in the photos.

The photos were printed and the prints scanned at 600 dpi. Because the 2 exterior walls the X-22 is next to are glass (it is visible from outside the museum), there were some lighting and reflection difficulties with some of the photos. It was also difficult to get any distance away from the aircraft, so a couple of the general images were taken with a wide angle zoom lens. All detail images were shot with a standard 50mm lens.

There is a plaque accompanying the aircraft. However, it is sitting in the righthand seat, and the cockpit is closed, so that it is at present practically impossible to read.

One image is of a large model of the X-22 that is also on display adjacent to the actual aircraft. The modelís ducted fans can be made to rotate from vertical to horizontal by pressing a button on the display.

The Niagara Aerospace Museum web site:


Mark Wright

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

March 2004

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