Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Car That Thinks It's a Plane... Or the Plane That Thinks It's a Car?

Despite some of the admittedly practical ideas behind them, your blogmeister considers 'flying cars' and  'roadable aircraft' to be boring and dull and generally ignores them, as he thinks there are more than enough 'real' aviation-related subjects which are of more interest and greater significance.

However, of all the different examples of this particular breed of wacky flying machine to have been produced over the years, one is worthy of mention in this-here cyber-rag... if only because of where it was built.

During the early to mid 1930s, a number of 'flying cars' had been developed, including the Gwinn Aircar. Designed by former Consolidated Aircraft Corporation employee Joseph M. Gwinn Jr. of Buffalo, NY, two examples of the Aircar were manufactured during 1936 and 1937.






One well-known fella, and a soon-to-be-well-known gal went to work for the Gwinn Aircar Company; Frank Hawks and Nancy Love... both seen here with one of the Aircars...




Hawks was appointed VP of the company and made head salesman. Both he and Love flew as demonstration pilots on a marketing tour which began in 1937 and ended in August of 1938 with the deaths of Hawks and a passenger shortly after takeoff near East Aurora, NY... more on that HERE.

The sole remaining Aircar was subsequently given to Consolidated Aircraft where development continued post-war in the form of the Convair Model 111. Not much came of it, however, and the aircraft was eventually scrapped.


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