Friday, May 8, 2020

Goodyear GA-468 Inflatoplane (XAO2G-1)–Part I

Goodyear_AO-3_Inflatoplane_in_air This original concept of an all-fabric inflatable aircraft was based on Taylor McDaniel's inflatable rubber glider experiments in 1931. Designed and built in only 12 weeks, the Goodyear Inflatoplane was built in 1956, with the idea that it could be used by the military as a rescue plane to be dropped in a hardened container behind enemy lines. The 44 cubic ft (1.25 cubic meter) container could also be transported by truck, jeep trailer or aircraft. There were at least two versions. It took about five minutes to inflate to about 25 psi (170 kPa); at full size, it was 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m) long, with a 22 ft (6.7 m) wingspan. A pilot would then hand-start the two-stroke cycle, 40 horsepower (30 kW) Nelson engine, and takeoff with a maximum load of 240 pounds (110 kg). On 20 US gallons (76 L) of fuel, the aircraft could fly 390 miles (630 km), with an endurance of 6.5 hours. Maximum speed was 72 miles per hour (116 km/h), with a cruise speed of 60 mph. Later, a 42 horsepower (31 kW) engine was used in the aircraft.

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