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Author Topic: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...  (Read 43484 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2013, 03:34:51 pm »
Fred Smith, president of Frederick-Ames Research Corporation at Novi, Michigan, USA, designed a small single-seat sporting aircraft called the EOS (after the Greek goddess of the dawn) [N10AE], which first appeared in an incomplete form at the 1973 EAA Fly-in at Oshkosh. On its maiden flight on April 25, 1974, the 55 hp Hirth 650 cc engine seized and the aircraft crash landed, causing extensive damage. Despite some restoration work, the aircraft was abandoned through lack of finance.

 In early 1978 the project was revived, with a modified Volkswagen motor car engine in place of the original engine. First flight of the reworked aircraft was in mid-1978, piloted by Robert Bishop. By August 1978 the EOS had completed about ten flying hours, and further modifications to the aircraft had been made. Eventually the release of plans and/or kits was never realized, and the prototype remains the only example ever built.

More info (and another pic) at 1000aircraftphotos:
http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/SmithRon/11610.htm

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 03:58:29 pm »
The Halsmer Aero Car [N9085C] was built in 1959 by Joseph L. Halsmer of Lafayette, Indiana was one of the numerous attempts at building a roadable aircraft (and it is quite remarkable that this Seaboard World Airlines captain and father of 11 children could find any time at all to get this airplane built and flown!)

 The Aero Car was a high-wing monoplane with two engines in a tractor-pusher configuration, a tri-cycle gear and tail booms. Helsmer built this machine over a two-year period, and later converted into the single-engine pusher Aero Car 3 presented in 1963 (see photos below), powered by a Continental C-85-12 engine.

Halsmer also built a high-wing two-seater [N12043] (possibly the Aero Car 2) with a uni-twin arrangement of two 65 hp engines driving two counter-rotating props.

Also see: http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/GauthierDavidJ/7493.htm

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 04:09:13 pm »
The Heuberger-Rinker H-5 Stinger [N3638G] was yet another one-off, built at Tucumcari, New Mexico. This two-seat aircraft powered by a 140 hp Lycoming O-290-G engine was an original design by Lawrence K. "Larry" Heuberger, who started its construction around the early 1960s. Prior to completion the project was acquired (around 1968) by Bud Rinker of Santa Barbara, Cal., who almost certainly did some limited testing in 1970. This truly one-of-a-kind aircraft still exists in pretty good condition, as shown in photo below.

More pics and discussion here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5158.0
More pics in hi-res at: http://whotalking.com/flickr/Heuberger-Rinker

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 04:28:38 pm »
The Horton HW-X-26-52 Wingless [N39C] was a highly-modified Cessna UC-78 Bobcat with a more airfoil-shaped fuselage than wing — although the original airframe's lines were really not apparent in the finished product! It was Horton's second experiment (the first being a single-engined lifting-body type [N87698]) and was designed and built by Bill Horton in a three-way partnership with Howard Hughes and Harlow Curtice (of General Motors fame). The aircraft was not of riveted construction but was a welded steel frame covered with a fabric skin and powered by two Pratt and Whitney R-985 radial engines.

The Wingless failed not because the it didn't or couldn't fly... Actually it logged around 160 hrs of flight time before Bill Horton had a falling out with Howard Hughes. The latter wanted to take full credit for the patents and production rights, which Horton refused to do. To prove that money talks, Hughes slapped a law suit on Horton that effectively stopped any further development of the aircraft until this day. Hughes managed to have Horton railroaded to prison on trumped up charges and to get both the prototype and its partially constructed production version moved to a bone yard and destroyed.


Much more info and lots of pics in this forum's fascinating thread about William Horton's wingless designs, built and unbuilt:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5996.0.htm

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2013, 06:24:02 am »
The Carma VT-1 Weejet [N8209H] was one of the rare civilian jet prototypes developed in the 1950s and  the first jet aircraft in the small plane field submitted to the CAA. It was designed and built by Harold Dale, a project engineer with North American who was working on the F-100 at the time. Like many other enthusiasts working in the industry, he set out to conceive his ideal jet trainer in his spare time.

Dale's project was a mid-wing cantilever monoplane of aluminium alloy structure, with slotted flaps, leading edge intake ducts, semi-monocoque fuselage, upwards opening doors, butterfly tail unit and retractable tricycle landing gear. It would have side-by-side seating in front of the wing for clear visibility all around. It should have a slow landing speed and a comfortable cruising speed of 350 mph. To help him in his task, Dale got assistance from his wife Eleanor, who also had an engineering degree and handled much of the mathematics, administration, etc. The name chosen was the Weejet 800 (WE=Harold and Eleanor), the 800 meaning the power class of the licence built Turbomeca Marboré II engine of 880 lb thrust.

 The Carma Manufacturing Co., a local aircraft parts manufacturer, heard of the design and got involved in the project and offered to built the aircraft. Construction started at Tucson in the second half of 1954 and five people worked one and a half years on it. First flight took place on March 30, 1956, with Harold Dale at the controls. During the following weeks further test flights were made by another pilot, except for the spin tests; the aircraft handled and performed well.

Now designated the VT-1 Weejet, it was proposed  on March 25, 1956 to the US Navy, who showed some interest and decided to evaluate it at Patuxent, but before delivery of the aircraft, the spin tests had to be performed. Unfortunately, during the final spin test USAF pilot Doneby inadvertently activated the trim tab into full nose-down position, lost control while trying to recover and had to bail out. Later data was found thrown clear of the wreckage, showing the spin tests were a complete success. However, the Weejet crashed and burned, and all work was interrupted.

A variant designated the Weejet 1300 was considered in June 1957, powered by two Fiat model 4002 centrifugal flow engines with 650 lb thrust. However the Temco's TT-1 Pinto was eventually procured by the Navy and both Dale and Carma probably didn't have the financial backing that could have enabled them to make that project come alive.


Much more about the Weejet (a lot of the above info comes directly from the second link—walter's great site):

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 06:30:44 am »
The Peterson Hi-Hopes [N5960V] was an open single-seater built by Peter Peterson of Davenport, Iowa. Powered by an 85 hp Continental C-85 four-cylinder horizontal-opposed air-cooled engine, it was flown in September 1960. It had a wingspan of 20 ft. and was 17 ft. long.

More about the Hi-Hopes: http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/GauthierDavidJ/7641.htm

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 06:38:55 am »
Despite its superficial resemblance to a Pitts S-2, the Panzl Pan 1 [N11ZL] is an original 1987 homebuilt experimental biplane that won the EAA's Champion Custom Plans Built award at Oshkosh in 1990. It was substantially damaged on March 18, 2003 during impact with terrain following a forced landing attempt near Vernal, Utah.  The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, received minor injuries.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2013, 07:10:50 am »
Dewey Eldred's Flyer's Dream [NX36282] was a very original prototype floatplane designed by Dewey Eldred and Sol Fingerhut. Built in 1946 in Willoughby, Ohio, it featured an automobile-like nacelle mounted on top of a 30-ft span W-shaped wing placed in lowermost position. Its tail was mounted at the end of twin-booms extending attached to the rear of the floats. It used a 125 hp engine and first flew June 4, 1946.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2013, 07:39:40 am »
The OMAC-1 was a 6-8 seat canard pusher business aircraft introduced in 1981. OMAC Inc. was founded in 1977 in Reno, Nevada, by Carl Parise and Larry Heuberger. The name stood for "Old Man's Aircraft Company". Two prototypes were built: the first one [apparently unregistered] was powered by a 700 hp Avco Lycoming LTP 101-700A-1 engine and first flew on Dec. 11, 1981, while the second one [N81PH] used a 700 hp Garrett TPE331-9 and flew on February 19, 1983. It was 30 ft. long and had a wingspan of 35 ft.


Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 07:46:50 am »
The OMAC company moved in 1985 to Albany in Georgia and worked an improved production version, the Laser 300 [N301L] which first flew on July 29, 1988 (pictures showing an aircraft registered "N300L" are only promotional artist's views). The aircraft apparently failed to attract any orders and was no longer heard of. Other similar projects tried to find their niche on the business aircraft market, such as the Avtek 400, the AASI JetCruzer 500, the Beechcraft Starship or the Piaggio Avanti but only the latter two enjoyed any degree of success and reached production stage.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 08:02:26 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2013, 08:14:20 am »
The Advanced Composite SUA-7 (for Sport Utility Aircraft, 7 seats) [N3061L] was designed by Andreas Montgomery and William K. Regester and built in the early 2000s (the company was known as KLS Composites at the time). The aircraft was mostly made of composite materials and designed to accept automotive V8 engines, such as the GM (Chevrolet) 502 V8 engine that was installed on the prototype. It was presented at the 2003 Fly-In but not flown until a few months later.

After disappointing performance on its early flight testing, the wings were discovered to be inadequate and a new pair of wings was fitted in 2005. On the first day of test flying with the new wings the nose gear got broken, and further improvements were made. From then on the SUA-7 flew amazingly well, but the money behind the company pulled back and the plane has been sitting on the tarmac since.

More on the SUA-7: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10888.msg133616.html#msg133616

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 08:35:26 am »
The Larkin Aircraft Corporation was set up by Keith Larkin in the mid-sixties  in Scotts Valley, California.

The Larkin KC-3 Skylark [N1LA] was a single-engine amphibious  two-seater homebuilt aircraft, a pusher-style design with a single 100 hp Volkswagen air-cooled engine above and behind the fully enclosed cockpit. The cockpit seats two occupants in side-by-side configuration, with a large Plexiglas canopy curving around both occupants. The landing gear is a tricycle arrangement with the nose gear positioned at the foremost point of the nose and the two main gear semi-recessed into teardrop-shaped fairings on the lower sides. The fuselage and landing gear were internally supported with an aluminum tube keel.

The tail was a twin-boom arrangement attached at the trailing edge of the wings, allowing clearance for the pusher propeller above and within the booms. The booms were attached to the wings and connected at the rear, between twin vertical stabilizers, by one single-elevator surface. One unique feature of the airplane’s structure was the use of a square tubular aluminum keel which was responsible for the loads from the landing gear and the main fuselage. The Skylark was also capable of amphibious operation when fitted with an optional V-shaped lower hull made out of fiberglass. Only one aircraft was built and flown, circa 1972-73.


More on the Skylark:

Offline Archibald

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2013, 10:12:52 am »
Edward Lanier "Paraplane".

http://www.1000aircraftphotos.com/PRPhotos/LanierParaplane1.htm

 The Lanier (father and son) were convinced they had invented the best thing since bread came in slice. In fact they just re-invented Handley Page flaps of 1919... in the 40's.
They were aparently inspired by... ice cream cones inherent stability.  :o
At least they build extremely-odd looking aircrafts that were detailed in Le Fana de l'Aviation 371 (year 2000).
The one below is one of the most "reasonable" designs they come by. Imagine the others.  ::)

Conservatoire de l'Air et de l'Espace d'Aquitaine
http://www.caea.info/en/plan.php

Profanity: weaker mind trying to speak forcefully

Political correctness: just bury your head in the sand for the sake of appeasement and "peace for our time"
- https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Dassault#Affaires_

Offline Bill Walker

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2013, 12:19:44 pm »
I hope we can include non-US obscure aircraft in this thread.  Here is the third prototype Trident Trigull, c.1978, at Victoria, BC.  Thats me on the left, without grey hair.

It looks a lot like a Seabee, because it was orignially designed by the same man, Spence Spencer.  He developed a home built based on the Seabee, called the Spencer Aerocar, in the 1960s.  The Trigull started as a productionized Aerocar.

Bill Walker

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: All those weird and wonderful postwar U.S. one-offs...
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 12:54:31 pm »
I hope we can include non-US obscure aircraft in this thread.

Canada is fine of course. I have taken a habit of filing Canadian and American aircraft in the same general directories myself, anyway.

Let's keep this thread strictly for Northern American types though. Let's also exclude rotorcraft (I'll create a separate topic) so that it doesn't become too generic...