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Author Topic: William Horton's Wingless designs  (Read 27629 times)

Offline hesham

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Offline Justo Miranda

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 10:04:41 am »
additional pics

Offline Michel Van

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 10:51:25 am »
Wat wend wrong ?

To strange for Aircraft Company ?
Aerodynamic problems ?
or run out of money ?
I love Strange Technology

Offline Retrofit

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 11:27:31 am »
Wat wend wrong ?

To strange for Aircraft Company ?
Aerodynamic problems ?
or run out of money ?


From the TWITT (The Wing Is The Thing) newletter and Danysoar website:
"Horton had designed the airplane in the early 1950s but didn't have the money to develop it.  He then was able to get into a partnership with Howard Hughes and Harlow Curtis, since Hughes obviously had the money for producing the plane.
The venture failed not because the airplane didn't fly, but because Hughes 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 get the prototype and partially constructed production version destroyed.  One aspect of the law suit was a statement the aircraft couldn't fly, which the video obviously shows to not be true.  At one point in time Horton was put in jail because he was selling stock in a company for an airplane that "couldn't fly" and had several violent confrontations with people associated with Hughes and Curtis because of the law suit and resulting injunctions."

Offline Justo Miranda

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 11:28:05 am »
Too long powershafts vibrations

Offline Justo Miranda

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Offline Jemiba

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 11:37:06 am »
At least a proof-of-concept demonstrator flew in 1954.
3-view is from Aviation Week .2.54, where other designs
were shown, too, one of them captioned as "Interceptor-bomber".
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Mark Nankivil

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 02:04:35 pm »
The core of the aircraft in Justo's photos No. 1 thru 3 and the right hand photo in No. 5 is that of a Cessna T-50/UC-78 Bobcat - you can make out the Jacobs radials and associated cowlings in a couple of the photos.  Pretty drastic change in contours :-)

Enjoy the Day! Mark

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 04:48:36 am »
Has anyone heard of William Horton? He apparently did only one real aircraft, the "Swoopy" (see attachment). However, he also designed this car/aircraft crossover vehicle, seen in the flying cars thread:



This Horton has nothing to do with HortEn (a German) but many people misspell the latter like the former, which renders any search pretty difficult!

Funnily, the cockpit design and general shape of the fuselage echo those of the Northrop XP-79B "Flying Ram" fighter prototype, also attached. Any connections here, or only a coincidence?


« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 06:33:39 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Jemiba

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 05:45:59 am »
"Has anyone heard of William Horton?"

At least the team, which published the Aviation Week February 1954 had
heard of him.   ;)
His designs were described as wingless aircraft. Ok, I would rather call them
flying wings, but that's maybe a matter of taste .
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 05:48:28 am by Jemiba »
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Nik

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 05:56:26 am »
Concur.

I don't doubt your sources, but the 'Swoopy' looks remarkably similar to the Northrop 'Rammer' aka 'They Shall Not Pass even when the ammo runs out'...

Uh, and the flying car seems derived from that early, boxy Burnelli with telescopic wings, before they went 'blended wing'...

Or vice-versa ??

Sorry, both the main 'Burnelli' and parent 'Aircrash' sites are too full of righteous indignation for me to navigate...

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 06:21:28 am »
Mystery solved! The first part of the Air Trails page shown at the top is here, and proves there were actually two distinct prototypes:



The only archive of the "skunk works digest" refer to a post by Tom G. which said the following:

Quote
"there was a single modified Cessna UC-78, registered "N39C", and named "Horton Wingless", (Model "HW-X-26-52") c/n "HW-X26-52", by its designer William E. Horton of Santa Ana, California (or Henderson, Nevada ?) The aircraft was equipped with a strange blended-wing fuselage with large wing fences, and was powered by two 225 hp Jacobs (or Wright R-985 ?) piston engines. It flew for the first time in 1951/52, but was destroyed (burned) after no financial backers for its series production could be found, even though it is still registered in the FAA database (FAA type is 056-01-NU)."

The Aerofiles website confirms as follows:

Quote
William E Horton, Santa Ana CA. Wingless 1951 = 2pC flying wing; two 225hp Jacobs and extended driveshafts; span: 40'0". Not truly wingless, but essentially a highly-modified Cessna UC-78 with a more airfoil-shaped fuselage than wing. POP: 1 [N39C]. Although this innovative protoype flew successfully, no backers were attracted, and the project was abandoned, with the plane eventually being deliberately burned.

However, both the initial document I posted and the photos from Aerofiles point to the existence of two separate prototypes, registered as N87698 and N39C.





A member of the RC Groups Forum offers a very interesting illustration by Douglas Rolfe and confirms the existence of two prototypes:

Quote
I have not seen any pictures of N87698 in the air....this is the one that the roadable version in the drawing was based on.
The one that actually flew the most was N39C, which had some retractable main wing panels.





A very interesting webpage from the site Twin Pushers and Other Free Flight Oddities devoted to Horton shows lots of pictures and explains that the first prototype had an accident:

http://home.att.net/~dannysoar/Horton2.htm

The FAA base indeed has kept the #2 prototype in its records, so it's safe to assume that the one that got destroyed was #1... although there is no evidence that #2 still exists.

The same site presents other pictures of the second prototypes and documents the history of the project as well as gives pictures and details about the planned Horton V-12:



Finally, a scale modeler from the RC Groups forum did a nice flying replica of the very first Horton prototype (his webpage is here):

« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 06:58:55 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 06:32:31 am »
An additional link to the Twitt (The Wing Is The Thing) page devoted to the Horton Wingless.

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 06:47:29 am »
Found an amazing video of the second Horton prototype in flight!!! (third part of video)


Offline Skyblazer

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Re: William Horton's Wingless designs
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 06:57:19 am »