Tuesday, February 10, 2009
| STANDARD DATA: Seats 2. Gross wt. 2,050. Empty wt. 1,400. Fuel capacity 24. Engine 135-hp Lycoming.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 110. Cruise mph 100. Range 300. Ceiling 12,000. Initial climb rate 500. Takeoff run 655. Landing roll 300.
This convertible airplane/automobile was not the only attempt in the late 1940s to create a roadable aircraft, but it is probably the most familiar. It was first flown in 1949 and was originally powered by a 135-hp Lycoming that could produce 140 hp for takeoff. A Hartzell ground-adjustable prop was standard equipment. Later models utilized the 143-hp Lycoming. The first six Aerocars produced were used for demonstration purposes. The aircraft is made up of an automobile section and a flight section that includes a pair of rigidly braced wings and a tail assembly. The engine, located behind the seats, provides frontwheel drive for the automobile and powers the pusher propeller aft of the tail unit. When the flight section is detached, it can be towed by means of wheels inset in the wings. The Model I was replaced by a Model III that incorporated an improved fiberglass body and retractable wheels. The Model II was a non-roadable version that made use of the same wing and tail assembly as the Model I.