As y'all know, I like tail-sitting VTOL aircraft and in particular the Convair XFY-1 Pogo (see my flying version here). Scott Lowther just posted about NASA LaRC's rocket-powered aerodynamic testing of the Pogo. As noted, this was a common technique prior to the proliferation of computers and CFD. I have photos of similar test items from NASA Wallops.
From a A new Direction - Wallops Island Flight Test Range The First Fifteen Years pp 361-362 (of the original doc, pages will vary online and in the pdf):
- The tests were run because it was anticipated that the Pogo would go transonic in horizontal flight.
- Starting in June 1951, four test models were flown prior to the first flight of the airplane.
- Deacon booster; 0.133 scale models, tested to Mach 1.2.
- Three of four flights were successful, some with and some without the counter rotating propellers (ack, I already forget whether there were two or only one with).
- The 2' propellers reduces static stability and free-wheeled at 10K rpm.
- The following photo shows tech Ed Matthews and was taken on Oct. 26, 1953