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Thread: Weird flying machines!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Weird flying machines!

    Recently, I found some scans from "Jane's All the Worlds Aircraft" 1960 vintage and I thought of sharing them with you.
    Really weird stuff , but aviation history nevertheless.
    Unfortunately they don't fit in one go, so bear with me.I will post them in pairs.
    The knowledgeable , feel free to post your opinions as for what they are.
    I will post the types and specs later.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Already there!
    Here's No 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Already there!
    And No 3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Already there!
    And No 4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    West Sussex
    2 is an Aerocar, isn't it? I believe one of these things is actually airworthy in the US.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Already there!
    Ok,Here is No 1

    The Model 2500 Air-Car is a 360 h.p. four-passenger vehicle which travels at speeds up to 60 m.p.h. (96 km.h.) at a height of about 10 in. (0.25 m.) over any kind of unobstructed surface, with a maximum gradient of 6%. It entered production in November, 1959, after considerable testing of the prototype, and is offered for off-highway use.
    The power plant consists of two 180 h.p. Lycoming VO-360-A1A engines, reduction gear and fan, with car-type silencer. It produces an air cushion pressure of approximately 1/10 Ib./sq. in. (.007 kg./cm.²) under the vehicle to support it clear of the ground.
    Propulsion is by bleeding off some of the air and releasing it at low pressure and low velocity through louvres disposed around the vehicle's body. This system makes it possible to steer the Air-Car in any desired direction, to turn it on its own axis and bring it to a halt. The controls are simple ami are use.l only for movement in any direction and braking.
    DIMENSIONS.—Length 21 ft. (6.40 m.) Width 8 ft. (2.44 m.)
    WEIGHT.—Loaded weight 2,770 Ib. (1,256 kg.)
    PERFORMANCE.—Cruising speed 38 m.p.h. (61 km.h.) Operating height above surface 10 in. (0.25
    m.) Max. altitude at which it can be operated 7,000 ft. (2,130 m.)
    2 is an Aerocar, isn't it?

    Yes, the beauty herself!
    So, here is No 2:

    The Aerocar is a convertible aeroplane and road vehicle which incorporates a number of features not previously introduced in craft of this type. It is completely roadable, being able to tow its wings-tail assembly as a trailer behind the automobile section.
    The four-wheel automobile section accommodates two seated side-by-side and encloses in the rear portion a Lycoming O-320 or O-340 engine which provides front-wheel automobile drive and drives a pusher propeller aft of the tail unit.
    The road wheels are driven through a special "fluid drive" eystem, and the propeller shaft is also driven through a unique new "dry fluid drive" which uses steel shot as the energy transmitting medium. The latter results in smooth and vibration-free operation of the long propeller shaft.
    A three-control flight system is combined with the automobile controls, the same wheel being used for both. Conventional clutch and foot brake pedals are provided, together with three forward speeds and reverse in the wheel drive.
    The flight section consists of a pair of wings and a rear fuselage section which carries the tail and encloses the drive for the pusher propeller.
    When the flight section is detached from the body, the wings, which have retractable trailer wheels inset in the leading-edges of the roots, may be folded to each side of the tail section and the flight section towed tail first behind the automobile section. The change-over from road transport-ation to aircraft can be accomplished with-out special equipment by one person in 5 minutes and all component locks are fool-proof. It is impossible to start the engine until all components have been properly engaged.

    TYPE.—Two-seat roadable aircraft.
    WINGS.—Braced high-wing monoplane. Single streamline section bracing strut each side. NACA 43012 wing section.
    Aspect ratio 6. Constant chord of 5 ft. 8 in. (1.73 m.). Dihedral 2°. Incidence 6°.
    All-metal structure. Wings are detachable for towing and have retractable towing wheels in roots. Plain metal ailerons.No naps Total
    area of ailerons 20 sq. ft. (1.86 m.²). Gross wing area 190 sq. ft. (17.65 m.²)
    FUSELAGE.— Metal structure, covered with glass-fibre. Rear portion [U][B]detachable.Forward portion capable of operation as automobile.
    TAIL UNIT.—Cantilever structure of "Y" configuration. All-metal structure. Trim-tab in each elevator.
    Tailplane span 8 ft. (2.44 in.)
    LANDING GEAR.—Non-retractable four-wheel type,with steerable front wheels.
    Gabriel hydraulic shock - absorbers.
    Aerocar wheels, size 4.50 X12.
    Tyre pressure 22 lb./ (1.55 kg./cm.²).B.F. Goodrich brakes. Wheel track 5 ft. 2 in. (1.57 m.). Wheelbase 6 ft. 8 in. (2.03 m.)
    POWER PLANT.—One 143 h.p. (de-rated) Lycoming O-320, or 153 h.p. (de-rated) Lycoming O-340 four-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine, driving a Hartzell Type HA 12 UF two-blade pusher propeller, diameter 6 ft. 4 in. (1.93 m.). Normal fuel capacity 24 U.S. gallons (91 litres). Provision for one 16 U.S. gallon (60.6 litre) auxiliary tank. Oil capacity 1 U.S. gallon (3.8 litres).
    ACCOMMODATION.—Two seats side-by-side in car-type cabin.
    Baggage space 14 cub. ft. (0.40 m.³).
    Provision for radio.
    DIMENSIONS (Aircraft).— Span 34 ft. (10.37 m.) Length 21 ft. 6 in. (6.56 m.) Height 7 ft. 6 in. (2.29 m.)
    DIMENSIONS (Automobile).— Length 10 ft. 4 in. (3.15 m.) Height 5 ft. 4 in. (1.62 m.)
    trailer length 15 ft. (4.57 m.)
    Overall car/trailer length 26 ft. (7.92 m.) Max. width of trailer 8 ft. (2.44 m.) Max. height of trailer 8 ft. (2.44 m.)
    Weight empty (auto) 1,100 Ib. (500 kg.) Weight empty (aircraft) 1,500 Ib. (680 kg.) Designed useful load 600 Ib. (272 kg.)
    Baggage 100 Ib. (45 kg.) Trailer (wing and tail) 400 Ib. (181 kg.) Flying weight loaded 2,100 Ib. (952.5 kg.) Wing loading 111.0 Ib./sq. ft. (53.7 kg./m.²) Power loading 14.7 Ib./h.p. (6.67 kg./h.p.)
    PERFORMANCE (Aircraft, O-320 engine).— Max. permissible speed 139 m.p.h. (224
    km.h.) Max. level speed at S/L. 117 m.p.h. (188 km.h.)
    Max. cruising speed 100 m.p.h. (160 km.h.) Economical cruising speed 97 m.p.h. (156
    Stalling speed 50 m.p.h. (80 km.h.) Initial rate of climb 610 ft./min. (185 m./min.)
    Service ceiling 12,000 ft. (3,660 m.) Take-off run 600 ft. (183 m.) Take-off distance to 50 ft. (15.25 m.) 1,250
    ft. (380 m.) Landing distance from 50 ft. (15.25 m.)
    1,000 ft. (305 m.) Range with max. fuel, no allowances, 300
    miles (480 km.)
    PERFORMANCE (Automobile).— Max. road h.p. 40 Max. road speed 67 m.p.h. (108 km.h.) at 2,700 r.p.m.
    Practical road cruising speed 55 m.p.h
    (88.5 km.h.) Practical speed with wings in tow 45-50
    m.p.h. (72-80 km.h.) Road acceleration to 67 m.p.h. (108 km.h.)
    in 440 yds. (400 m.) Road range 300 miles (480 km.) Road turning radius 15 ft. (4.57 m.)
    Road fuel consumption 15 miles/U.S.gallon (5.3 km./litre)

    I believe one of these things is actually airworthy in the US.
    Any info?Pictures in present /recent condition?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    West Sussex

    Seems like there's one still going.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    On your nerves
    Pictures 5 and 6 are excellent! Finally a pic of a Goodyear Inflatoplane in flight, i've been trying to find one for years. Excellent!

    For the other ones, i'd need my books to find out which XV's they actually are... but i won't cheat for this time.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Already there!


    Macky42, thanks for the link.

    Arthur, the inflatoplane is my favored also.Read to your heart's content.

    As for the rest here they are:

    No 3
    The Gyrodyne Model 55 in a single-seat ground cushion vehicle of the annular jet type, powered by a 72 h.p. Porsche four-cylinder engine. It was developed under a U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics contract and flew for the first time in October, 1959.
    The basic fuselage structure of the Model 55 consists of the modified forward portion of an XRON-1 Rotorcycle, including the pilot's seat, control column, rudder pedals and throttle. The pilot's longitudinal, lateral and directional controls are of the conventional helicopter type. The throttle control is located to the left of the pilot in the position of the collective-pitch control in a helicopter. The cyclic stick and the rudder pedals are connected to a series of vanes located in the annular jet exit.
    The vehicle's air duct is bell-shaped and is constructed of aluminium spinnings. The engine is located to the rear and drives an axial-flow fan of 1.025 pressure ratio. Beneath the fan the air is ducted to an annular jet in the periphery of the base and to radial slots in the base. The annular jet produces the elevated static pressure underneath the base which provides lift augmentation. The radial jets tend to compartmentize the pressurized air beneath the base of the vehicle and thus provide positive static stability.
    Diameter of air duct 6 ft. (1.83 m.)
    Overall height approx. 5 ft. (1.52 m.)
    WEIGHTS.—Weight empty 535 lb. (243 kg.)
    Max. loaded weight 800 Ib. (363 kg.)
    PERFORMANCE.— Operating height above ground approx. 6 in. (15 cm.)

    (Specs for No 4,the "Flying platform" coming soon)

    Nos 5-6

    The Goodyear Inflatoplane is a light aircraft with a completely pneumatic airframe. The wing and tail assemblies are made of a rubberised fabric developed by Goodyear and called Airmat, which consists of two layers of nylon fabric joined by thousands of dropped threads. When inflated the layers of nylon are forced apart, the threads being stretched taut to maintain the correct surface contours. The fuselage is of simple rubberised airship fabric. The entire aircraft when deflated can be transported in a truck, jeep, trailer or aircraft (for air-dropping). It can be inflated from a compressed air bottle or by manual pump. Maximum inflation pressure is 7 lb./ sq. in. (0.49 kg. cm.²) for the single-seat version, and 8.5 Ib./sq. in. (0.60 kg./ cm.²) for the two-seat model.
    The Inflatoplane has a horizontally-opposed air-cooled two-stroke engine, mounted above the rear of the wing and driving a two-blade wooden tractor air-screw.
    Flying controls ere conventional and the rigidity of the wing is such that
    it will support the weight of a man on each side immediately outboard of the bracing struts.
    Since the original prototype flew in 1956, several improved versions have been developed under military contracts, with both open and enclosed cockpits and alternative wheel and single hydroski landing gear. On those models, a compressor can be fitted at the back of the engine to maintain pressure in the airframe even when a number of .30 in. calibre bullets have pierced the fabric.
    The two current versions of the Inflatoplane are :—
    Model 466 (XAO-2G1). Two-seater with 63 h.p. McCulloch 4318E engine.
    Model 468 (XAO-3G1). Single-seater, with 44 h.p. Nelson H-63A engine. Five built for U.S. Navy, five for U.S. Army.
    DIMENSIONS (Model GA-466).— Span 28 ft. (8.5 m.) Length 19 ft. 8 in. (8.0 m.)
    DIMENSIONS (Model GA-468).— Span 22 ft. (6.7 m.) Length 19 ft. 8 in. (8.0 m.)
    WEIGHTS (Model GA.466).— Weight empty 290 Ib. (130 kg.) Weight loaded 740 Ib. (336 kg.)
    WEIGHTS (Model GA-468).—Weight empty 225 Ib. (102 kg.) Weight loaded 550 Ib. (250 kg.)
    PERFORMANCE (Model GA-466). Max. speed 70 m.p.h. (112 km.h.) Cruising speed 55 m.p.h. (88 km.h.) Stalling speed 43 m.p.h. (69 km.h.) Rate of climb at S/L 500 ft./min. (152 m./min.)
    Service ceiling 6,500 ft. (1,980 m.) Take-off run (grass) 390 ft. (120 ft.) Endurance 5.4 hours.
    PERFORMANCE (Model GA-468).— Max. speed 72 m.p.h. (115 km.h.) Cruising speed 60 m.p.h. (96 km.h.) Stalling speed 37 m.p.h. (59 km.h.) Rate of climb at S/L 550 ft./min. (170 m./min.)
    Service ceiling 10,300 ft. (3,140 m.) Take-off run (grass) 250 ft. (76 m.) Landing run (grass) 350 ft. (107 m.) Endurance 6.5 hours

    FAIRCHILD M-224-1 U.S. Army designation: VZ-5FA
    Under development for the U.S. Army, the M-224-1 is an experimental vertical take off aircraft employing the deflected slipstream technique.
    It began its tethered flight tests on November 18, 1959.
    TYPE.—VTOL research aircraft.
    WING.- Braced high-wing monoplane,.
    Single streamline section bracing strut each side. Wing section NACA 4415. Aspect ratio 5.62. Constant chord of 5 ft. 10 in. (1.78 m.). No dihedral. Incidence 5°.
    All-metal structure, covered with aluminium sheet. Aluminium ailerons outboard of aft slotted flaps. Total area of ailerons 34.2 sq. ft. (3.18 m.²). Total area of conventional inboard aft flaps 35.5 sq. ft. (3.30 m.²). Total area of VTOL flaps 126 sq. ft. (11.71 m.²). Gross wing area 191 sq. ft. (17.74 m.²)
    FUSELAGE.—Welded steel-tube structure, fabric covered.
    TAIL UNIT.—Braced monoplane type, with tailplane mounted at tip of fin. Wire and strut bracing. One-piece horizontal surface with variable incidence. Two small four-blade propellers provide control in vertical and low-speed flight.
    Areas : fin 16.75 sq. ft. (1.56 m.²), rudder 11.25 sq. ft. (1.04 m.²), tailplane 61.12 sq. ft. (5.68 m. ²). Tailplane span 18 ft. 6.3 in. (5.65 m.)
    LANDING GEAR.—Non-retractable tricycle type, with tail-skid for VTOL operation at high angles of attack. Fairchild oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers, manufartured by Aircraft Engineering Products, Inc. Goodyear main wheels and tyres. Wheelbase 11 ft. 7 in. (3.53 m.)
    POWER PLANT.—One 1,024 s.h.p. General Electric YT58-GK-2 shaft-turbine engine, driving four Hartzell three-blade metal airscrews, diameter 8 ft. 5 in. (2.56 m.). Airscrew pitch controlled by means of collective-pitch lever.

    No 8

    In February, 1957 the U.S. Air Force awarded Hiller an initial contract for the development of a twin-engined tilting- wing convertipane to be designated X-18.
    This had to be capable of vertical take-off and landing, as well an high forward speed.
    Although it is the largest of the higher-speed VTOL aircraft so far built in the United States and is unconventional by present standards, its construction has not required the use of a large number of completely new and unconventional
    com-ponents.The X-18's wings, trans-missions, airscrews, engines and
    systems arc essentially the same as those used in conventional fixed-wing aircraft, and the prototype has, in fact been designed around the fuselage of a Chase YC-122 transport, at considerable saving in time and cost. The Allison T40 turboprop engines and their Curtiss-Wright 16-foot six-blade eontraprops were obtained from the now abandoned U.S. Navy VTOL ''tail-sitting" aircraft programme. A standard VVestinghouse J34 turbojet, mounted in the rear fuselage, is provided with an extended tail-pipe and jet-diverter for pitch control in vertical flight.
    The high-set wing is designed to pivot through 90 degrees for vertical take-off, so that the airscrews work in a similar way to the rotors of a helicopter. During cruising flight, the X-18 looks and works like a conventional twin-engined transport aeroplane, but with much less wing area than is usual.
    When airfields are available, it is able to operate as a conventional fixed-wing transport with increased payload.
    The X-18 flew for the first time, as a conventional aeroplane, at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on November 24, 1959.
    WINGS.—High-wing cantilever monoplane. NACA 3015 section. Aspect ratio 4.36. Incidence varying from 4° normal to 90° at maximum tilt. Vertical take-off setting 87". Conventional all-metal structure. Wing tilted by two hydraulic actuators, one on each side of fuselage beneath front spar, driven from engine gearboxes, wing rotating around 35% chord line. Actuators interconnected by cross-manifolding so that either one can operate wing in an emergency. Normal hydraulically boosted ailerons.
    CONTROL SYSTEM.- -Standard transport type wheel and rudder pedals. Alechanioal "mixer" unit permits the same control movements to be used throughout the entire transitional regime from vertical to horizontal and back to vertical flight, functioning proportionally according to the wing-tilt angle. Pitch control changes from tailplane and elevators in horizontal flight to jet-diverter in vertical flight: yaw control from rudder in level night to ailerons in vertical night; and roll control from ailerons in level flight to power-plants in vertical night. Flight controls have stability augmentation built into roll and pitch axes; hydraulic boost is used in ailerons and jet diverter ; servo tab boost on rudder. Only additional control in cockpit is the lever to tilt the wing. Wing is mechanically locked in down position, and hydraulically locked in intermediate positions.
    POWER PLANT.—Two 5,850 e.s.h.p. Allison T40-A-14 turboprop engines driving six -blade Curtiss-Wright electric contra-rotating airscrews, 16 ft. 1 in. (4.9 m.) diameter.
    One Westinghouse J34 turbojet engine (3,400 Ib.—1,540 kg. s.t.) in rear fuselage
    with extended tailpipe and jet-diverter for pitch control in vertical flight.
    Span 48 ft. (14.64 in.)
    Length 63 ft. (19.21 m.)
    Height 24 ft. 7 in. (7.5 m.)
    WEIGHT.—Loaded 33,000 Ib. (14,982 kg.)
    PERFORMANCE (estimated).
    Max. speed in level flight (limited by fuselage streamlining) 250 m.p.h. (400 km.h.)
    Max. speed at which wing may be tilted 178 m.p.h. (285 km.h.)


    Last edited by Zippo; 26th May 2003 at 20:34.

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