In late 1961 General Electric won an US Army contract to develop their fan-in-wing concept. Not being an aircraft manufacturer company GE subcontracted the actual production of the two VZ-11 (later renamed XV-5A) to Ryan Aeronautical. Obviously GE did supply both the engines and the actual lift fan system. The inboard section of each wing contained a 5-foot diameter fan than provided the vertical lift. A smaller fan on nose also in addition to provide additional lift also served as pitch control. When not in the vertical fight mode hinged doors covered the wing fans and louvers did the same with the nose one.
The test flight operations of these two prototypes started in 1964 and they proved to be tragic. Both XV-5A’s crashed killing their test pilots. The second prototype was later rebuilt and improved as the XV-5B and continued the program until retired in 1971.
Ryan Chief Test Pilot W. L. “Lou” Everett “taming” a XV-5A wind tunnel scale model. Sadly, he lost his life in the real one.