VT-173 Flying Pancake

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by fishBait, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. fishBait

    fishBait Member

    Just saw this on the news. The VT-173 Flying Pancake restoration in North Texas has been finished. They showed it being moved into the Frontier Air Museum in Dallas. It will be on display there until it is moved to the Smith Natl Air Museum at Dulles.

    Also showed old film of it flying back when it was being tested.

  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Yes, boy did that thread cause some problems someplace else. An interesting plane, that flew well, but it's engines made outdated. It would have been interesting to see fly with Jet engines but in reality, everything about it would have been needed to be redesigned, as the planes forte was how slow it could fly, not something looked for in a fighter.

    The Vought XF5U seemed like a better incarnation of this beast. It was a pig though and vibrated so badly, it was never flown. Same Gearbox problems. Modern materials and computer related aerodynamic studied have produced aircraft that are lifting bodies. It was kind of ahead of it's time. It also had propellers, which were being phased out of most new aircraft for the role intended.

    It's good that these guys restored this plane, a piece of history. If it could be made to carry six people or so, and with a different prop arrangement, an STOL aircraft like that we be great to fly and better for General Aviation, but it will never happen. The Piper Warrior I flew carried 4 people, went faster, and with only one engine, and easier construction, again you can see why craft like these were destined to failure.


  3. arkon

    arkon Member

    at the time it was originally planed it would have have been a world beater. if it had gotten more funding and support it could have been put out sooner. there was no other aircraft that could have matched its speed and its loiter time during that period. yes it would have bben outdated a few years later by the advent of the jet engine as a fighter ,but up until that time as it was designed it was top notch.
  4. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Um, the reasons this plane was delayed was that the gear boxes for the reduction drives for the propellers was atrocious, and even crept up in the later proposed models that had jets driving the props. This was why it was never flown. If the later model (which was built) did not have those problems, the craft may have been made, but this was 1947, and the gear boxes vibration problem had still not been worked out. This plane was a dog. There is a lot of mystique surrounding this plane, but in reality, even with the engines of the original wooden one, a Piper TriPacer would have run wings around it, and that had one engine of slightly larger displacement.

    If the plane had anything to it, other than being one of the many designs tried out when the Gub'ment threw money around like grass seed, the design would have been revisited. :)

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