Vought XF5U "Flying Pancake" to Dallas museum

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Thorlifter, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Flying Pancake Takes Up Residence at Dallas Love Field | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

    The newly-restored Flying Pancake, or V-173, has a new home in North Texas for the next decade.

    The aircraft, recently restored by Grand Prairie's Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation, will spend the next 10 years at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field Airport.

    The aircraft is on loan from the Smithsonian's Air Space Museum, who handed the aircraft over to Grand Prairie's Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation in 2003 so that it could be restored.

    For the next eight years, 55 men would put in 25,000 hours returning the one-of-a-kind, legendary aircraft to its former glory.

    "She came to us tattered and torn ... it looked like a mess. And it was, it was a big mess. Now, she's finished just like she was when I saw her in 1941-42 in Stratford, Conn.," said Hank Merbler, CEO of Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation, who saw the Flying Pancake's maiden flight.

    The Flying Pancake was designed by Charles H. Zimmerman in 1942 and was an experimental plane built to be a proof of concept for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) as part of the Vought XF5U "Flying Flapjack" World War II U.S. Navy fighter aircraft program.

    The aircraft featured an "all-wing" design consisting of a flat, somewhat disk-shaped body (hence its name) that looked a lot like a flying saucer.

    The first flight was on Nov. 23, 1942 with test pilot Boone Guyton at the controls. Flight testing of the V-173 went on through 1942 and 1943 with 190 flights, resulting in widespread reports of "flying saucers," according to the museum. After 131.8 hours in the air, and only one minor crash, the final flight for the Flying Pancake was on March 31, 1947 -- nearly 70 years ago.

    The plane was delivered to the Dallas museum Tuesday morning during a pancake breakfast, naturally. Those welcoming the aircraft included aviation enthusiasts and members of the Vought-173 Restoration Team, WWII Veterans and Frontiers of Flight Museum supporters.

    The aircraft will be officially dedicated at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on April 16.
     

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  2. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Quite a radical design. Thanks for the post, Thor. Used to see these in kid's books from the 40's flying along side Curtiss XP-55 and McDonnell XP-67 and Northrop Flying wings and even something that looked vaguely like an XP-80. These were depicted as designs that would bring humans to the edge of spaceflight!
     
  3. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    too bad it didn't get into flight test. It would have been interesting to see if would have worked. I don't think it was applicable to jets in the that the props were required to reduce induced drag through spill over.
     
  4. eagledad

    eagledad Member

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    Hello

    I have attached some data on the "Flying Pancake". Note that the data was calculated.

    Eagledad
     

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  5. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Cool looking plane. 8)


    Wheels
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It was definitely an unusual design. That era seemed to have quite a few of them.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #7 tomo pauk, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
    Cool plane, to say at least :)
    BTW, the Flying pancake is not the XF5U, but the V-173. The XF5U, Flying Flapjack, was powered by two R-2000s, the V-173 was powered by two Continental A-80 (80 HP each).
    The Flapjack was scrapped :(
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    DOH!!!! Thanks for catching my mistake Tomo Pauk. It is the V-173 that is in Dallas and the pic I posted is the correct plane. I have no idea why I put XF5U in the title. :crazy:
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome that they've restored it.
     
  10. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful may not be mosts 1st though of this 'kite', but still, ...for me it is up there; in pushing concepts, ideas and tech/mechanicals, and helping the myth around that late 40's crash in New Mexico...
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    No probs, Thorlifter :) I've made a mistake myself - the Flapjack was to use two R-2000, turboed. I'll edit the post above.
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Certainly a unique craft, cool to see one going on display.
     
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