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"Ekologiya i Progres" (Ecology and Progress) aircraft project

The Russian EKIP/Tarielka.
The ECIP, or Tarielka as it is affectionately known, is based of the aerodynamic hunch that a single flying wing is more efficient than today’s aircraft. Designer Lev Shukin and engineer Alexander Sobko have minimised all external structures leaving only stubby wings and fins for control. Even the engines have been moved inside the cabin to keep the craft as streamlined as possible. The shape of the fuselage provides 80% of the lift. Jet intakes suck air that is then blasted out the back to provide thrust or downward like a hovercraft to create a cushion of air which does away with the need for landing gear. Scale prototypes have flown some what erratically, but have performed well enough to prove for the refinement of the ECIP to continue.

Beyond 2000 (text)
Venik's Aviation Page - EKIP photo gallery

(originally identified as "Lenticular Rocket")

A direct quote from the Pye Wacket data report:
"The tests were made in support of a feasibility study by Convair of the Pye Wacket, a lenticular-shaped, air -to-air rocket. Initial investigations of the lenticular-shaped body by APGC were conducted in Tunnel E-1 of the VKF and are reported in Refs. 1, 2, and 3."

The tests were conducted at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), in Tennessee. It was a bomber defense missile, and it was done by the Pomona, California Division of Convair. This was later merged into General Dynamics.

- September 1959 AEDC report on preliminary supersonic wind tunnel tests of lenticular missile shapes. This study focused on the aerodynamics of simple discs of three different profiles at speeds up to Mach 5.
- March 1960 AEDC report on wind tunnel tests of Pye Wacket lenticular configurations at supersonic speeds. By this time, a subtle wedge-shaped cross-section had been selected. This test series investigated different control surface configurations at various Mach numbers and angles of attack.

The Flying Pancake

VOUGHT-ZIMMERMAN V-173 (1939-1943)

Known as the Zimmerman “Flying Flapjack” or “Flying Pancake” the Vought-Zimmerman V-173 was the most unusual aircraft ever designed for the USN in the 1940s.

This strange “proof of concept” prototype aircraft lacked proper wings and instead opted for a flat circular body to provide the lifting surface. This was based on Charles Zimmerman’s wing patent US # 2,108,093 of 1932 and was researched by NACA in technical report NACA 431.

The V-173 blueprints were shown to the US Navy in 1939 while full scale wind tunnel models were tested in 1940-41, making this a multi-million dollar project that stood a good chance of becoming the world’s first V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing) fighter plane.

By 1942 requests were made for two prototypes of the V-173 for experimentation, designated VS-315. This version would have more powerful engines and given a naval military designation- XF5U-1.

The V-173, however, first flew on November 23, 1942. Soon after takeoff, Boone T. Guyton, Vought's chief test pilot, found the controls sluggish, and had to struggle to make a wide turn back to base. It continued flight testing in 1942-43, sometimes resulting in panicked civilians that reported sighting strange flying machines over Connecticut skies.

Although proving stall-proof, the V-173 overall performance revealed the instability and low maneuverability of the plane; thus, the engineers had to install large unconventional empennages, spoiling the very concept of the circular wing.

The V-173 also demonstrated poor low speed performance compared to other fighters of the time. Due to this, the role of the aircraft became a proposed VTO (Vertical Take Off) recon machine with the blades replaced by tilting rotors.

VOUGHT XF5U-1 Skimmer (1943-1947)

In the summer of 1943, mock-ups of the improved XF5U-1 were made, but due to Vought's obligations with both the Corsair and Kingfisher, the XF5U-1 program proceeded slowly during the war.

The arrival of the jet age during World War II saw the cancellation of the XF5U-1 contract by the US Navy by March 1947, despite the fact that the aircraft was shipped to Muroc, California and was due to take its first test flight later that year.

The XF5U-1 prototype was scrapped, though the V-173 prototype was saved and was given to the Smithsonian.

Text source: Rob Arndt

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