Convertable Jet Helicopter (Mar, 1948)

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Convertable Jet Helicopter
By GILBERT PAUST

WHEN you see a plane standing on its end in the sky—or on the ground—this will be the one!

A radical new design, just granted a patent, is an airplane that can stick its nose up and act like a helicopter.

The craft has a plane’s wings, ailerons and enclosed fuselage. Three wheels extending straight back to the rear allow vertical takeoff and sit-down.

Contra-rotating co-axial props, larger than usual ones but smaller than rotors, lift it off the ground. Once in the air the pilot noses over and the same props pull it horizontally, like any ordinary plane. There’s an extra window in the floor for the pilot to see through when flying vertically. Seats are adjustable according to the plane’s position.

The new design allows use of small wings— which means increased efficiency at high speeds. A pitch-changing mechanism makes it unnecessary to shift gears and gives the props a big bite that increases speed.

The engine is located behind the pilot, and its jet provides useful thrust.

8 comments
  1. Wikipedista says: August 30, 200710:22 am

    For what is intended to be a U.S. Mail helicopter there’s no space for cargo transport.

    Cheers,

  2. Firebrand38 says: August 30, 200710:51 am

    The funny thing is, Lockheed actually built this plane http://www.sun-n-fun.or… but it never worked out.

  3. Thundercat says: August 30, 200712:54 pm

    of course it never worked out, its impossible to see where you are landing!

  4. Firebrand38 says: August 30, 20072:14 pm

    The Convair version of this concept actually transitioned from vertical to horizontal flight and back, but the test pilot wasn’t too happy about it. See http://www.nasm.si.edu/… for details.

  5. shadaik says: August 31, 20077:32 am

    That’s actuallly derived from a German experimental plane in WW II, although that was rocket-driven:
    http://www.fiddlersgree…

  6. Firebrand38 says: August 31, 20072:56 pm

    No, I think it’s closer to this one http://www.luft46.com/h…

    It was designed to take off and land as a tail sitter, the rocket plane “landed” by having the pilot and plane parachute down separately.

  7. Firebrand38 says: January 28, 200811:29 am

    Thundercat I guess that this pilot wasn’t told that it was impossible http://www.airspacemag….

  8. Sirscott says: April 2, 20081:26 pm

    The reason it says “US mail” but doesnt have any cargo space is because , like many other cold war projects, this is a clear military aircraft (a VTOL fighter) that has been dressed up as a civilian aircraft to shield americans from the panic they would create if they thought their front yard would actually become a Airforce landing strip

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