Vought V-173: The Delicious Pancake

Vought V-173: The Delicious Pancake

The proof of concept aircraft for the Vought XF5U “Flying Flapjack” fighter, The V-173 was a brainchild of noted aeronautical engineer Charles Zimmerman. A flying saucer before its time, the Flying Pancake showed remarkable low-speed capabilities and promised high maneuverability with greater structural strength for its intended developed version. Sadly, that project was cancelled just after the end of WWII.


Robert Esnault-Pelterie: The forgotten Innovator.

Robert Esnault-Pelterie: The forgotten Innovator.

REP introduced:
– All-metal airframes
– Cantilever (internally braced) wings
– Radial air-cooled engines.
– Stick control system
– Tandem-wheel landing gear.
– and ailerons (patented by Matthew Piers Watt Boulton though)
Space travel interested him too; both writing and experimenting (he lost 3 finger during an explosion) and was even an advocate of nuclear energy in this area.
Obviously he deserves more acknowledgement.

Photo: the 1909 REP No 2bis

Planet Satellite: Aircraft on the Rocks

 Planet Satellite: Aircraft on the Rocks

Designed just after the end of WWII to be the epitome of new technologies and looks in light aircraft contruction.The Satellite was designed by Major J.N. Dundas Heenan with a partnership with…..the Gordon Gin an Black Label Whiskey makers.The Satellite was magnesiun built, had pretty streamlined fuselage that had pusher aircrew moved by an amidships located Gipsy Queen engine,”butterfly” tail and a retractable tricycle undercarriage situated in a reinforced keel. It only made 2 flights before cancellation: 1 hop that damaged lightly the undercarriage and a second one where during a quite mild landing the supposed reinforced keel cracked by the force of the landing.The fuselage was later used in the Firth FH.01/4 Atlantic.

Hispano AviaciĆ³n HA-1112-M1L “Buchustang”: Quite an actor.

Some of the Buchones dressed up to play as P-51 Mustangs in the classic “Patton” filmed in Spain. In the end they weren’t used in the movie due to some airworthiness bureaucratic problems, but not before the great Perico Santacruz and Colonel Fernando de Artega flew two of them from Biarritz to Barajas without any problems or ill effect due to their fake air scoops….., they were returned to UK by truck.

Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi: Low-cost suicide.

Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi: Low-cost suicide.

Easy to built,mantain and fly and above all expendable were the objetives of this Shimbu (suicide) aircraft. Designed to be built by semi-skilled labour using steel,wood and tin, the Tsurugi had the ability to accept any radial engine of 800Hp to 1300hp,and was equiped with simple and crude instruments.The production models were to be fitted with two solid-fuel rockets,one over each wing,to boost its speed during the terminal attack dive.The flight trials revealed poor ground handling and poor flying characteristics,and the modifications delayed somewhat its posible combat debut.Nakajima produced 104 and none of them,thankfully, were used in anger.