Zimmerman's Flying Pancake
If all the developments of the American engineer Charles Zimmerman had found practical application, a considerable number of elderly women would have been guaranteed a heart attack. In the 1930s, he began the development of a disc-shaped vertical take-off aircraft. I must say that such attempts have been made before. So, in 1911, Chance Vout built an umbrella plane that did not make a single flight. A similar monoplane was constructed in the UK, but it crashed shortly after it left the ground.
Chans Vout's Umbrella
In Italy, Guido Talley worked on a disc-shaped aircraft. During his life, the man designed several dozen vehicles that were not destined to surf the air spaces. The discoid plane was tried to be created in Germany.
Project Guido Talley
However, the most successful was the project of Charles Zimmerman. As planned by the engineer, the wings of ultra-low elongation were to end with screws that would turn in the direction opposite to the rotation of the air whirlwinds, descending from the wing. To avoid the Talas and Vout fiasco, the engineer intended to place the engines in such a way that the flow created would wash the upper and lower planes of the wing. "Flying pancake" successfully took to the air. Interest in the revolutionary idea showed US naval forces. They have allocated a large amount for development. As a result, Zimmerman designed a light-engine aircraft V-173, which first flew in November 1942. Total on account of this machine - almost 200 flights.
The model was distinguished by elongated landing gear; thanks to them, the propellers did not touch the ground during takeoff. The power of two synchronized engines was 80 liters. with. The length of the aircraft - 8.13 meters. The diameter of the screws is 5.03 meters, the take-off weight is 1400 kg. With a headwind of 46 kilometers per hour, the V-173 could fly up vertically. The car was called the Zimmerman Skimmer. The first flight was made by Boone Guyton; he later repeatedly said that this episode was the most interesting in his career. And no less exciting: the pilot reported that a revolutionary invention could destroy his life. The fact is that during takeoff, the control stick did not obey. Guyton barely had the strength to deflect it with both hands and take control of the plane. The model had flaws, including poor visibility and strong vibrations. At the same time, experts noted the maneuverability of the car and predicted her long “career”.
The brainchild of Zimmerman was the prototype for the experimental Vought XF5U fighter. The power of two radial engines XF5U was 1350 liters. with. He was supposed to reach speeds of more than 800 kilometers per hour.
A promising project turned due to the transition to jet technology. All of their remaining days, the XF5U was stagnating at the aeronautics museum in Washington. But the story of “flying saucers” is not over. So, in Canada, Avrocar was developed, or, as it was called, the “flying jeep”. Much to the regret of the designers, the device could only rise by 1.5 m. At a higher altitude, Avrocar came out of obedience and wound from side to side. Canadian engineers could not solve this problem, and the financing of the project was closed.
Jetpack: James Bond Accessory
This device has a special place in the freak show of unusual aviation projects. Backpack behind his back, allowing you to get off the ground - a subject that you would rather expect to see in a comic book than in real life. The development of an exotic aviation project is associated with the name of the American engineer Thomas Moore. It is not known how he managed to knock out 25 thousand dollars on him, but the fact remains: the jet vest was designed and could lift the pilot above the ground for a few seconds. He worked on hydrogen peroxide. At the same time, the consumption was high - for a flight of 15 seconds it took 9 liters of hydrogen peroxide. Later, Wendell Moore developed a compressed nitrogen pack (and became his first pilot). The result of long-term experiments was a flight at a height of 5 meters for a full 3 minutes. The invention looked impressive, but I didn’t have to think about a long flight.
Jetpack demonstrated to the general public. However, it remained unclear whether it would bring practical benefits. It was rumored that it could be used for reconnaissance flights. In 1984, pilot Bill Sutor flew a jetpack at the opening of the Olympic Games. At present, the development of such devices continues. But experts say in one voice - the jet pack will not become a mass means of transportation due to security problems and high cost. But he repeatedly "lit up" in the movie - in particular, in the James Bond film of 1965. The famous spy, of course, could not do without such an original means of transportation.
Evacuation using an inflatable aircraft
Goodyear Inflatoplane owes its appearance to the Cold War. The inflatable aircraft was designed by a “daughter” of a famous tire manufacturer. The customer of the rescue "Goodyear Inflatoplane" was the American army. The plane intended to be used for the evacuation of the military. It was designed in just 3 months. The cockpit remained a “hard” element of the aircraft, while the fuselage and wings were made of two layers of rubber and a nylon net between them. A total of 12 devices were designed in different versions. The maximum speed was 113 km / h, length - 5.97 m.
The Goodyear Inflatoplane model has not been applied in practice; during one of the flights the plane lost control and collapsed, the pilot died. After that, the program was closed.
Aerodin Dornier E-1 against manned aircraft
The German company Dornier, founded in 1914, specialized in the construction of hydroplanes. During the war years bombers were created here. The Dornier E-1 vertical takeoff drone stands apart in a series of these projects. It was based on the ideas presented by the German aircraft designer Alexander Lippish. Dornier E-1, which resembles a hairdryer, was distinguished by its soft fit. However, the project was completed in 1972 - in the eyes of the military leadership, the aerodin was losing to manned reconnaissance aircraft.
Theoretical work on the creation of an aerocycle left by Charles Zimmerman. In his opinion, the pilot could keep this device in a vertical position due to a sense of balance. In the late 1950s, De Lackner created the HZ-1 with a 40-liter engine. with. The screws rotated in opposite directions so that the platform stood exactly and the flight did not become the last for the pilot. During the tests, difficulties in management were noted. In addition, the aircycles were noisy vehicles, and the effectiveness of their use in wartime was questionable. As a result, the program was closed.