Ryan XV-8


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.

XV-8 "Fleep"
XV-8A Fleep Prototype - GPN-2000-001271.jpg
XV-8 "Fleep" tested in the Full Scale Tunnel at Langley, 1962
Role Experimental STOL Aerial Utility Vehicle
Manufacturer Ryan Aeronautical Company
First flight 1961
Number built 1

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.[1][2][3][4][5]


General characteristics

  • 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, 56 kn)
  • Range: 120 mi (193 km, 100 nmi)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ Folding frame for transport
  2. ^ Specifications
  3. ^ Specifications Archived 2007-08-17 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ DCIT performance report, 1964
  5. ^ January 1965 performance report

External links

  • Popular Mechanics article by Ryan test pilot Lou Everett