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Airplane History XF5U


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The_Wild_Weasel #1 Posted 11 April 2018 - 04:36 PM

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Im an avid reader of anything WW2 , planes/tanks/ships, so its always interesting to share some info.

 

Today's topic

Flying "pancake" 

Starting in the 1930s, Vought engineer Charles H. Zimmerman began experimenting with disk-shaped aircraft. The first flying model was the V-173 , which took to the air in 1942. It had problems with the engine gearbox, but overall proved to be a strong, highly maneuverable airframe that was virtually stall-proof. While his company was churning out the famous F4U Corsair, Zimmerman continued to work on a disk-shaped fighter plane, which eventually became known as the XF5U.

Navy specifications for the new fighter indicate that it was anticipated to far surpass other aircraft available at the time. Using two huge Pratt & Whitney engines, the fighter was expected to reach a high speed of around 885 kilometers per hour (550 mph), with a landing speed as low as 32 kilometers per hour (20 mph). In order to give the airframe strength while keeping the weight down, the prototype was built with a material called Metalite, which consisted of a thin sheet of balsa wood laminated with aluminum. However, the engines experienced numerous problems, and World War II ended before the aircraft could be fully tested.

Vought pursued the project, but by the time it was ready for testing, the Navy had decided to focus on jet aircraft. With the Navy contract gone, Vought attempted to scrap the XF5U, only to find that the Metalite construction refused to be destroyed—dropping a wrecking ball on it only ended with the metal ball bouncing off. After a few more attempts, the airframe finally buckled, and blowtorches were used to burn the rest of it



SonicPariah #2 Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:06 PM

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View PostThe_Wild_Weasel, on 11 April 2018 - 04:36 PM, said:

Im an avid reader of anything WW2 , planes/tanks/ships, so its always interesting to share some info.

 

Today's topic

Flying "pancake" 

Starting in the 1930s, Vought engineer Charles H. Zimmerman began experimenting with disk-shaped aircraft. The first flying model was the V-173 , which took to the air in 1942. It had problems with the engine gearbox, but overall proved to be a strong, highly maneuverable airframe that was virtually stall-proof. While his company was churning out the famous F4U Corsair, Zimmerman continued to work on a disk-shaped fighter plane, which eventually became known as the XF5U.

Navy specifications for the new fighter indicate that it was anticipated to far surpass other aircraft available at the time. Using two huge Pratt & Whitney engines, the fighter was expected to reach a high speed of around 885 kilometers per hour (550 mph), with a landing speed as low as 32 kilometers per hour (20 mph). In order to give the airframe strength while keeping the weight down, the prototype was built with a material called Metalite, which consisted of a thin sheet of balsa wood laminated with aluminum. However, the engines experienced numerous problems, and World War II ended before the aircraft could be fully tested.

Vought pursued the project, but by the time it was ready for testing, the Navy had decided to focus on jet aircraft. With the Navy contract gone, Vought attempted to scrap the XF5U, only to find that the Metalite construction refused to be destroyed—dropping a wrecking ball on it only ended with the metal ball bouncing off. After a few more attempts, the airframe finally buckled, and blowtorches were used to burn the rest of it

 

:honoring:

MARS_REVENANT #3 Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:13 PM

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Whenever I fly the Pancake, I feel like this...

http://thechive.com/...ck-magic-video/


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Steel_Raine #4 Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:33 PM

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Here's an interesting documentary about the history of the pancake I'd thought I'd share. enjoy!

(No idea why it started from the middle)

 

 


Edited by Steel_Raine, 11 April 2018 - 05:34 PM.


SonicPariah #5 Posted 11 April 2018 - 06:24 PM

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View PostMARS_REVENANT, on 11 April 2018 - 05:13 PM, said:

Whenever I fly the Pancake, I feel like this...

http://thechive.com/...ck-magic-video/

 

That pilot must have gone deaf from all the Stall Alarms.

FreeFOXMIKE #6 Posted 11 April 2018 - 08:44 PM

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Flight testing of the V-173 went on through 1942 and 1943 with 190 flights, resulting in reports of UFOs from surprised Connecticut locals.[6] Charles Lindbergh piloted the V-173 during this time and found it surprisingly easy to handle and exhibiting impressive low-speed capabilities

 

On one occasion, the V-173 was forced to make an emergency landing on a beach. As the pilot made his final approach, he noticed two bathers directly in his path. The pilot locked the aircraft's brakes on landing, causing the aircraft to flip over onto its back. Remarkably, the air frame proved so strong that neither the plane nor the pilot sustained any significant damage

https://en.wikipedia...ki/Vought_V-173

 

 


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hoom #7 Posted 12 April 2018 - 03:50 AM

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I had always thought the XF5U was a turbo-prop, was fairly surprised relatively recently to find it had radial piston engines, also that they never actually flew it.
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas le SerB.




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