infobox Aircraft
name = VAK 191B
type = VTOL strike fighter
manufacturer = VFW

caption = VAK 191B displayed next to a Dornier Do 31 transport
designer =
first flight = 20 September 1971
introduced =
retired =
produced =
number built = 3
status = Retired
unit cost =
primary user = Luftwaffe
more users =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The VFW VAK 191B was an experimental German VTOL nuclear strike fighter. The design was intended to lead to a replacement for the Fiat G.91.

Design and development

The VAK 191B was produced by the German company Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW). Initially, Fiat of Italy was also involved but dropped out in 1967, though it remained as a major sub-contractor. VAK was the abbreviation for "Vertikalstartendes Aufklärungs und Kampfflugzeug" (V/STOL Reconnaissance and Strike Aircraft).

Propulsion was provided by a Rolls-Royce/MTU RB.193-12 vectored thrust engine for both lift and cruise which was augmented by two vertical lift engines.

The program was begun in 1962 to replace the Fiat G.91 ground attack fighter with a VTOL aircraft but NATO requirements changed and it became a technology demonstrator. Three VAK 191B aircraft were flown in the flight test program between 1970-1975 making 91 flights. The first hovering flight was made in Bremen on 20 September 1971. The first transition from vertical flight to horizontal and vice versa was achieved on 26 October 1972 in Munich. The prototypes were used to test some of the concepts in what was to become the Panavia Tornado programme, including 'fly-by-wire' technology.

The VAK 191B was similar in concept to the British Harrier, but was designed for a supersonic dash capability (Mach 1.2-1.4) at medium to high altitudes. It was judged that having a single engine would create too much drag, but the two lift engines were dead weight in cruise, and the small cruise engine gave a poor thrust to weight ratio. It also had very small highly loaded wings. By contrast, the Harrier had a much higher thrust to weight ratio, it was effective as a dogfighter, and had larger wings which were put to good use in rolling short takeoffs.


* An example of the VAK 191B can be seen at the Deutsches Museum at Schleißheim near Munich. [ [http://www.deutsches-museum.de/flugwerft/sammlungen/senkrechtstarter/vak-191/ Deutsches Museum, VAK 191B (German language)] Retrieved: 16 March 2008]
* The second remaining VAK 191B is part of the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung ("Military technical collection") at Koblenz, Germany. [ [http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/Europe/Germany/Koblenz/Wehrtechnische_Studiensammlung.htm www.aviation museum.eu] Retrieved: 16 March 2008]
* The third VAK 191B was reported as being put into storage in 1976, its current location is not known. [Jackson,1976. p.144.]

pecifications (VAK 191B)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?= plane
jet or prop?= both
ref={X-Planes and Prototypes}Winchester, Jim, "X-Planes and prototypes", Barnes & Noble]
crew= 1
length main= 16.40 m
length alt= 53 ft 7 in
span main= 6.16 m
span alt= 20 ft 3 in
height main= 4.30 m
height alt= 14 ft 1 in
area main= 19 m²
area alt= 204.44 ft²
empty weight main= 5,562 kg
empty weight alt= 12,236 lb
loaded weight main= 8,507 kg
loaded weight alt= 18,715 lb
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 9,000 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 19,800 lb
more general=
engine (jet)= Rolls Royce/MTU RB 193-12
type of jet=
number of jets=1
thrust main= 45.2 kN
thrust alt= 10,150 lbf
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
engine (prop)=Rolls Royce RB 162-81 F 08
type of prop=
number of props=2
power main= 26.5 kN
power alt= 5,587 lbf
power original=
max speed main= 1,108 km/h
max speed alt= 594 knots, 684 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main= 400 km
range alt= 216 nm, 246 mi
ceiling main= 15,000 m
ceiling alt= 49,200 ft
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

ee also


similar aircraft=
* Hawker Siddeley Harrier
* Hawker Siddeley P.1154
* EWR VJ 101
* Yakovlev Yak-38

* List of fighter aircraft
* List of military aircraft of Germany

see also=
* VFW-614




* Jackson, Paul A. "German Military Aviation 1956-1976". Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-904597-03-2.

External links

* [http://www.paulnann.com/images/pn_w1797.jpgPaul Nann, Photo of VAK191B]
* [http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Braas/7424.htm Photo of lineup of three VAK 191Bs]
* [http://jpcolliat.free.fr/vak191/vak191.htm VAK 191B (French language)]
* [http://www.vstol.org/GermanVSTOLFighters.pdf V/STOL Fighter Programs in Germany: 1956-1975]

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