Designed without horizontal stabilizers, the X-4 Bantam had a semi-tailless design that bore some resemblance to Germany's Me-163 rocket plane. The small, twin-jet craft relied on combined elevator and aileron surfaces -- known as elevons -- for pitch and roll control. The role of the X-4 was to explore the transonic speed zone and the problem of compressibility.
Although two Bantams were built, only one proved mechanically sound. It was flown over eighty times by Northrop, Air Force and NACA pilots. They learned that the X-4 was sensitive in pitch, and showed a tendency to "hunt" about all three axes as it approached Mach 1.0. Thus, the X-4's design proved a failure.
Originally printed by Northrop, NACA and the USAF, this handbook provides a glimpse inside the cockpit of this experimental plane. The manual was recently declassified.