Air & Space Museum

Ball-Bartoe Jetwing

Ball-Bartoe Jetwing

Pete Bartoe designed and built the one-of-a-kind JetWing in the mid-1970s. The first test flights were in 1977, and it retired in 1978. The tiny jet flew again briefly in the early 1980s, and came to Wings Over the Rockies in 2007.

This small, single-seat research aircraft explored the technology of increasing lift at low speeds by blowing the exhaust of the turbofan engine over the upper surfaces of the wings.

Airplanes get lift from airflow over and under their wings. Below a certain airspeed, there’s not enough airflow to support the airplane, but lift can be increased by blowing air over the wings.
Being able to fly safely at a low airspeed enables airplanes to take off and land in shorter distances and on rougher surfaces. Many valuable technologies have been developed to allow airplanes to have a high top speed and relatively low landing speed. These include flaps, slats, slots, leading edge devices, speed brakes, and variable-geometry swing-wings.

Engineers had experimented with blowing jet engine airflow over airplane wings or flaps since the 1940s and 50s, but Bartoe’s design differed by directing all of the engine’s output to the wings. This resulted in an aircraft with an astonishing speed range, from a minimum of 40 mph to a maximum of about 400 mph! Its top speed was ten times its minimum speed! (Even today, most jets—airliners, fighters, transports, and bombers—take off and land at airspeeds between 150 and 200 mph.)

Aircraft specifications:
Wingspan: 21 ft 9 in (6.63 m)
Length: 29 ft (8.84 m)
Maximum weight: 3,336 lbs (1,513 kg)
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-1 turbofan
Thrust: 2,200 lbs (9.8 kN)

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Friday Aug 19
10AM TO 3PM
Air & Space Museum

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Friday, Aug 19 | 10AM to 3PM

Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!

Enjoy special activities including:

  • Paper airplane building
  • Flight simulator sessions
  • Select open cockpits
  • Science demos
  • Scavenger hunts
  • And more!

Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.

National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport! Click here to learn more.

Please note: Pricing for MaxFlight and Doron simulator experiences are standard Wings pricing. Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.

Friday Aug 19
10AM TO 3PM
Exploration of Flight

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Friday, Aug 19 | 10AM to 3PM

Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!

Enjoy special activities including:

  • Paper airplane building
  • Spinning helicopters
  • Talk with pilots and explore aircraft
  • Scavenger hunts
  • And more!

Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.

National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at the Air & Space Museum in Denver! Click here to learn more.

Please note: Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.

Saturday Aug 20
10AM TO 11AM
Exploration of Flight

Speaker Series | Aviation Archaeology

Speaker Series | Aviation Archaeology
Saturday, Aug 20 | 10AM to 11AM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight and the Colorado Aviation Historical Society to hear from experts in aviation archaeology and field work.

Presentations will take place at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

This event is included in Exploration of Flight admission.

Pre-purchase tickets

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