In late 1950's, the West Germany issued an requirement for the VTOL fighter, attack and transport aircrafts programme. The idea being that in case of Soviet attack, the VTOL would support dispersal of combat aircraft assets to small and easy concealed operation base. Heinkel submitted the configuration of the tiltjet fighter He.231, attracting interest of the German government. In 1959, Heinkel, Messerschmitt and Boelkow formed EWR to build the aircraft, designated VJ-101. The first prototype X1 made its first horizontal takeoff in August 1963, and became the world’s first supersonic VTOL aircraft in July 1964. It was lost in an accident in September 1964. A month later, the second prototype X2 demonstrated complete transitions from vertical to horizontal flight and back to vertical landing. The X2 continued flight trails until NATO cancelled the program in 1971.