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Consolidated-Vultee (Stout, Hall, Convair) flying cars

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

A friend passed along some scans from the San Diego Air & Space Museum which included a number of Convair designs I was not aware of. First off is the Model 103...

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Mark Nankivil

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...and the Convair Model 116...

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Stargazer2006

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Wow! Didn't know many of these pics! Thanks for sharing.

The Model 103 was originally called the Stout Skycar, a design which was taken over by Convair.

The Model 116 was called the ConvAirCar. So was the later Model 118, the last flying car project by Convair, seen below. It had a 25.5 hp Crosley engine in the rear powering the plastic bodied 4-seat car and a 190 hp Lycoming O-435C on the 34.5 ft. wing for flight. It flew on Nov. 1, 1947 and is reported to have flown poorly, with cruise speed of only 125 mph (200 km/h). It crashed three weeks later due to fuel starvation. Though the crash was non-fatal, Convair had their hands full with military programs at the time, and the program was cancelled.

Main sources:
https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/library/documents/2009/Jul/35587/Nuts%20and%20Bolts%2009-01.pdf
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6129306/description.html
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Thanks Stargazer - you saved me a lot of hunting to determine what the following pics were of.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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The Artist

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Mark Nankivil said:
Greetings All -

A friend passed along some scans from the San Diego Air & Space Museum which included a number of Convair designs I was not aware of. First off is the Model 103...

Enjoy the Day! Mark

Mark,
I believe you have another picture of this one. I'm sure there's an 8x10 inch black & while shot in the stuff I've loaned you. If not, let me know and I'll look for it.

Mike
 

Mark Nankivil

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Here we go - my scanner is back up and running (started having withdrawal symptoms!) so here's Mike's photo. I've seen this referenced both as the Convair 103 and as the Spratt-Stout Model 8 SkyCar so the file name reflects that.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Stargazer2006

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Beautiful picture! Thanks! Indeed the aircraft had both identities, being started as a Spratt-Stout and then taken over by Convair...
 

Stargazer2006

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Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft (soon known simply as "Convair") worked on a series of prototype flying cars:

  • Model 103 (formerly known as the Spratt-Stout Skycar)
  • Model 111
  • Model 116 ConvAirCar
  • Model 118 ConvAirCar

The crash of the Model 118 prototype marked the end of the company's research in the personal flying car concept.

I will do a new topic for each of these models, but first here is the first one of them all, the Model 103 (photos from the San Diego Air & Space Museum gallery on Flickr).
 

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Stargazer2006

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The Convair Model 111 was Consolidated-Vultee's second attempt at designing a flying-car for the post-war market (photos from the San Diego Air & Space Museum gallery on Flickr):
 

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Tophe

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I confirm: a Convair Aircar of those years was a twin-boomer. See below.
The fins match your 4th picture but the integrated wheels do not it seems.
In the text, what is the meaning of "helicopter"?? (and of "cwt"?)
--The source is "The Aeroplane Spotter Vol.IV No.93 page 218 --
 

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Stargazer2006

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Interesting... I think this was merely a pre-project for what eventually became the Model 118 ConVairCar, a proper car with detachable wings, boom and tail.
 

kenneth

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the photo of the four wheeled twin boom aircraft in the first post is that of a Stout (of Ford TriMotor fame) SkyCar II
 

Stargazer2006

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kenneth said:
the photo of the four wheeled twin boom aircraft in the first post is that of a Stout (of Ford TriMotor fame) SkyCar II

Thanks for noticing. The Stout Skycar II was indeed redesignated as the Convair 103, precursor of the Model 106 Skycoach.
 

Jos Heyman

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Does anybody have info and a pic of the Stout Skycar III (note: III, not I or II). All I know is thqat only one was built and that it was tested by the USAAF as UC-107 in 1943.
Technical spec were: span: 43', length 24', 1 Lycoming O-290, max. speed: 118 mph
 

Stargazer2006

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Unfortunately, the SKYCAR III is the only that I've never seen any photograph of.

Four separate and very different Stout Skycar models existed:
  • SKYCAR (one built: X10899, used by Stout as a personal plane for several years)
  • SKYCAR II (one built: NX22446, converted for USAAF tests as the XC-65)
  • SKYCAR III (one built, possibly similar to SKYCAR II, modified in 1942 for tests as the C-107)
  • SKYCAR IV (one built, a.k.a. the Spratt-Stout Model 8 > led to the Convair Model 103)
 

Stargazer2006

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The patents related to the Convair 118 ConvAirCar can be found here:
  • Theodore P. Hall 1951 2 562 491 Flying Automobile Consolidated Vultee 118 ConVairCar
  • Theodore P. Hall 1952 2 619 184 Automobile Vehicle Adapted to Be Airborne
  • Theodore P. Hall 1952 2 619 301 Flight Component for Ground Vehicles Adapted to Be Airborne
... while the following patent, though granted at the same time as the first, relates to an earlier 1945 Hall design:
  • Theodore P. Hall 1951 2 562 490 Convertible Car-Airplane
 

EEP1A

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Stout XC-107 is one of the very few illusive USAAF/USAF “C” aircrafts before the re-designation in 1962. I have been very much interested in finding reliable information regarding XC-107 and recently I recalled that the excellent Andrea Parsch’s site on designation has official document with comprehensive list of aircraft description sometimes with 3 view drawings, issued at the end and just after the WW II.
The original document titled “MODEL DESIGNATION ARMY AIRCRAFT” (11th edition published by Commanding General Army Air Forces, January 1945) and (12th edition June 1946) can be seen from this address;
http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/original-docs/index.html


The followings are taken from those documents:

Description regarding Stout XC-107;

(from page 59 of the 1945 edition)
MODEL XC-107
MFR. STOUT
SPEC. NO. 103
QUT. 1
POWER PLANT MFR. Lycoming
MODEL O-290
CHARACTERISTICS Two-place, mid-wing, pusher type monoplane. The pilot and passenger are seated in the nose of a nacelle, the engine being installed in the rear to drive a pusher propeller. The wing is attached to the nacelle aft of the cabin and the tail surfaces are supported by two booms which are attached to the wing. A 25-gal. fuel tank is provided. The airplane is constructed largely of low alloy steels and plastic materials to determine the useful load – 623lbs. Radio receiver R.C.A. AVT-15, transmitter R.C.A. AVR-20-1. (Stout Model Skycar IIIA).

(from page 37 of the 1946 edition)
AIRCRAFT MODEL & MFQR. XC-107 “SKY CAR” STOUT
QUANTITY 1
SPEC. NUMBER 103
DESCRIPTION Experimental military model of Stout “Skycar III”, two-place, pusher type, twin booms, powered with Lycoming O-290 engine.


For reference, description regarding Stout XC-65 are as follows:

(from page 57 of the 1945 edition)
MODEL XC-65
MFR. Stout
SPEC. NO. Rep.15
CONT. NO. PO-5530
QUT. 1
POWER PLANT MFR. Franklin
MODEL (blank)
CHARACTERISTICS Pusher type, high-wing, cantilever monoplane made of stainless steel sheet, spot-welded to the frames, employing a four wheel, fixed cantilever landing gear. Tail is carried by twin booms on either side of the propeller. Accommodate crew of two.

(from page 29 of the 1946 edition)
AIRCRAFT MODEL & MFQR. XC-65 STOUT
CONTRACT NUMBER PO-5530
QUANTITY 1
SPEC. NUMBER 15
DESCRIPTION High wing, pusher-type plane, powered with Franklin engine and seats 2 persons side by side. Manufacturer claims spin-proof characteristics and practically automatic control. Has four wheels of which front pair are steerable. Twin-boom type of all metal construction. Crashed and burned (Project dropped).

The 1946 edition has two view drawings of XC-65 (see attachment 1) but none of XC-107. There is no drawings at all in the 1945 edition.
Also there is a famous picture of XC-65.(see attachment 2 from AEROFILE)

Findings from those documents;

1, The XC-107 is a two-place, mid-wing, pusher type monoplane and the tail surfaces are supported by two booms which are attached to the wing.

2. Based on the above description, the external shape of XC-107 is different from the Stout Skycar I or Skycar IV(aka Convair 103) which does not have twin booms.

3, The external shape of Stout XC-107 matches quite well with that of XC-65 (Skycar II) except that the former has “mid-wing” while the latter has “high-wing”.

4, In the popular website “AEROFILES”, there is a three view drawings of a mysterious airplane drawn in 1944, strangely named Skycar IV, uploaded by Eric Blocher, which matches the description of XC-107 up to the point of “mid-wing”. (see attachment 3 from AEROFILE)

5, Therefore I assumed that the above mentioned three view drawings might be the XC-107 itself or at least a close variation of XC-107.


I greatly appreciate any comment on the assumption.

I am very much interested to see other editions of the “MODEL DESIGNATION ARMY AIRCRAFT”. Anyone who owns those documents , please inform me.

Kenji Nozaki (eep1a)
 

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Stargazer2006

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A very interesting subject, Kenji, and some interesting conclusions.

I, too, wish there were more of these “MODEL DESIGNATION ARMY AIRCRAFT” available!
 

EEP1A

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Follow on to my previous post, I am posting some additional information regarding Stout XC-107 Skycar IIIA, XC-65 Skycar II, Skycar I and the designer of them, William B. Stout.

Photo 1; This picture from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives is already uploaded by Stargazer2006 in this thread. I think that this model plane is not the Stout Skycar II (XC-65) nor Convair Model 106 but the Stout Skycar IIIA (XC-107) or Skycar IV, i.e. the “mysterious airplane”. The reasons are; this model plane has mid-wing, shape of the vertical stabilizers, shape of engine nacelle, shape of the main wing.

Photo 2; Stout Skycar II (XC-65) front-left view.

Photo 3; Stout Skycar II (XC-65) rear right view. You can see the only door on the right side.(from p106 of "Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers" by Robert F. Pauley)

Photo 4; Stout Skycar II (XC-65) rear view.

Photo 5; Stout Skycar I rear view., modified into twin-boom style but still with high-wing.

Photo 6; William B. Stout, designer of Skycar series airplane, holding scale model of Skycar II (XC-65) . (from Mechanix Illustrated November 1943. )
You can read the entire article including his bio from this address;
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/william-b-stout-and-his-wonderful-skycar/

Enjoy

eep1a
 

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Jos Heyman

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Interesting discussion.
Fahey's US Army Aircraft 1908-1946, p. 27, refers to UC-107, as 'ordered' in 1943 and subsequently cancelled. So it is interesting to see the XC-107 reference (which makes more sense).
 

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Aerofiles registrations show NX22446 for the Skycar II and NX22448 for the Skycar IV, later the Convair model 103.
For N22447 Aerofiles lists a Cessna 210L, a 1970s aircraft.
Now, I know I go out on a (shaky) limb here and I hate to 'invent' historical data, but could it be that the elusive Skycar III (aka XC-107) was registered as NX22447??????? Does anybody have a copy of the FAA (or whatever it was called then) registration records of the 1940s to check this NX22447 registration?
 

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For reference, Cessna C-106 of 1943 was NX24176.

eep1a
 

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Stargazer2006

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Going through the Modern Mechanics article and such, I came across two 1943 designs which Stout took to Convair:
  • The Aerocar (an enlarged, family-size Skycar)
  • The Helicab (sometimes found as the Helibus)
I have reworked/enhanced the original PopMech artwork and produced the two images below (hopefully) for your enjoyment.
Original pages can be found here.
 

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EEP1A

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Regarding the registration number, I found the other NX number assigned to the Cessna C-106 (or C-106A) which was NX44600. The two C-106s (Actually C-106 and C-106A), produced a few month apart, had the NX number difference of more than 20,400 (44600 vs 24176) and this means that the assignment of the NX number was not sequential at least in 1943, which is reasonable considering the ongoing war.
 

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dan_inbox

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Hall XCP-1 from the SDASM archive.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/36287844591
https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/36424370955

Convertible Airplane - Light Armored Car ? Interesting to imagine what kind of armor and armament was considered.
 

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