Thursday, 2 February 2012

Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 Air Car



Developed by Curtiss-Wright in 1959, the Model 2500 Air Car wasn't really a car at all, more a kind of family hovercraft. However, keen to tap into the increasingly extravagant and innovative motor car market of the era, they styled it to look like a car, with headlights, indicators, bumpers and a convertible roof. It was powered by a pair of 180hp Lycoming engines (one at the front and one at the back), driving lift fans that created a foot-tall cushion of air; propulsion came from bleeding air from the fan chambers and blasting it out of the louvres at the sides. Simple in construct, it was a pretty promising idea, were it not for the fact that it really only worked well on perfectly flat surfaces. The military took an interest for a while, but abandoned their own development program as untenable in 1961. An odd footnote in the history of American transportation.
More here.









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