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작성자레몬이 조회 34회 작성일 2021-02-01 14:50:31 댓글 0

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A Plane Without Wings: The Story of The C.450 Coléoptère

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Throughout the 1950s, aircraft designers around the world began developing a unique aircraft configuration, called a tail-sitter. Unlike conventional airplanes, tail sitting planes rested on their tails and used engine power alone to lift off the ground before transitioning to vertical flight, and returning to land vertically once again on their tail. The configuration, although technically challenging to develop, would allow aircraft to operate without runways, fundamentally changing how and where air forces could use their aircraft.

In the early 1950s French aerospace firm SNECMA (Société nationale d'études et de construction de moteurs d'aviation) began developing wingless test rigs to prove the viability of the tail sitting concept. At the time, American firms were also developing tail sitting prototypes of their own, But SNECMA would take it a step further by developing a tail sitting aircraft with a highly unconventional annular (cylindrical) wing. The cylindrical wing promised greater efficiency over a conventional wing by eliminating wing-tip vortices. It would also be more compact, further reducing the space needed for vertical take-off and landings. French designers also theorised that a cylindrical wing could eventually be engineered to function as a ramjet engine, propelling the aircraft to supersonic speeds.

The C.450 Coleoptere was constructed in 1958, with tethered flight testing beginning in early 1959. By May, the unconventional plane had achieved its first successful unassisted hover, even reaching altitudes of 800 meters. Despite early successes during flight tests, flaws soon emerged in the aircraft’s design. The Coleoptere proved extremely difficult to pilot. An innovative pilot seat could swivel 90 degrees, but pilots still struggled to judge the aircraft’s distance from the ground while landing. Without a conventional wing to provide resistance, the Coleoptere also had a tendency to slowly spin on its axis.

On July 25, 1959, the Coleoptere performed it’s 9th test flight. This time, the pilot was to transition the aircraft from vertical to horizontal flight, a challenging procedure that would mark a huge milestone for the program. The Coleoptere lifted off successfully, but during its transition, it suddenly became too inclined and slow-moving to maintain altitude. The aircraft started tumbling back to earth as the pilot struggled to regain control, barely managing to eject at the very last minute. The Coleoptere was destroyed.

A second prototype of the Coleoptere would never be built. By the 1960’s it was clear that the tail sitting configuration was a dead-end. It was simply too much of a compromise when it came to payload and range, and far too difficult to pilot. It was clear that vectoring thrust, allowing the aircraft to remain horizontal, was a more practical and safer solution.

Link to the Mustard Store:
https://teespring.com/stores/mustard-store

Video and imagery supplied by Getty Images: https://www.gettyimages.ca/photos/video

Music used in this production (reproduced under license):
Intro Song: “Uniting Discovery”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/140540110-uniting-discovery-dramatic-urgent-orchestral

Song 2: “Future Science Technology” - https://audiojungle.net/item/future-science-technology/21684172

Song 3: “Documentary Emotional Drama” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/136851259-documentary-emotional-drama-no-drums

Song 4: “Uniting Discovery”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/140540110-uniting-discovery-dramatic-urgent-orchestral

Outro Song: “The City Dont Sleep”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/85819012-city-dont-sleep-no-vocals

Thanks for watching!

This Plane Tried To Do The Impossible: The Caproni Transaereo

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Research and writing in collaboration with Tomás Campos.

In June of 1919, two daring British aviators made the world's first successful non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean from North America to Europe using a modified Vickers Vimey airplane. In just 16 hours, they achieved what up until that point, required days to accomplish by ocean liner. John Alcock and Arthur Brown’s transatlantic flight was celebrated around the world as a monumental achievement, but regular passenger carrying flights were still decades from becoming reality.

In 1919 flight was still in its infancy, and knowledge about aerodynamics and the mechanics of flight were still rudimentary. But a pioneering Italian aircraft builder named Giovanni Battista Caproni was convinced that he could design an airliner to fly passengers from Europe to America. But unlike Alcock and Brown’s heavily modified Vickers Vimey airplane, which carried mostly extra fuel, Caproni’s airliner would have room for 100 passengers and 8 crew members. Numbers that would’ve seemed absurdly ambitious for the era.

Caproni’s giant flying machine was constructed and ready for flight testing in early 1921. Designated as the Ca.60 Transaereo, it was likely the largest aircraft built up until that point. With it’s eight powerful engines and 9 wings arranged in a triple triplane configuration, the odd looking flying boat airliner captured the world's imagination. To many, it would have seemed like a new era of mass air travel was just around the corner. But despite a brief successful test flight sometime in late February or early March, the Transaereo would ultimately prove to be a little too ambitious for it’s time. The Transaereo made two successful flights and only one successful landing. It would take another 20 years before regular passenger flights would begin in 1939 using Boeing 314 flying boat airliners.

Link to the Mustard Store:
https://teespring.com/stores/mustard-store

Music used in this production (reproduced under license):

Intro Song: “Other Sides of Glory”- https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/8pwD4MpnCZ

Song 2: “Quirky Orchestral Background” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/130974091-quirky-orchestral-background

Song 3: “Electro Swing” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/124233980-curiosity-documentary-2-minutes-cinematic-goofy-background-d

Outro Song: “Other Sides of Glory”- https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/8pwD4MpnCZ

Thanks for watching!

This Insane Helicopter Was The Largest Ever Built: The Mil V-12 Story

Sign up for an annual CuriosityStream subscription and you’ll also get a free Nebula subscription (the new streaming platform built by creators) here: http://CuriosityStream.com/mustard

Research and writing in collaboration with Tomás Campos.

The Soviets built some of the largest and most technically advanced helicopters in the world. By 1957, the Mil Mi-6 had already emerged as the largest helicopter ever built, far out-sizing helicopters built in the west. But for the Soviet Union, the need to build a helicopter far larger than even the Mi-6, soon became a matter of national security.

By 1960, American U-2 spy planes conducting high altitude reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union were beginning to uncover the location of the country’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) sites. These first generation R-7 Semyorka ICBMs were being deployed throughout the Soviet Union as fast as possible, but their enormous size and weight meant they could only be delivered to launch sites using trains. The need to build rail lines to launch sites made the ICBM sites easy to spot in U.S. reconnaissance photos.

Keeping the missile sites hidden was a matter of national security. The Soviets devised a bold plan to airlift ICBMs into the vast and remote Soviet wilderness, thereby eliminating the need for rail lines or even roads. This would make it virtually impossible for spy planes to track down missile sites hidden in over twelve million square kilometres of forests. But to make the plan work, the Soviets would need to build a helicopter with at least twice the lifting power of the Mi-6.

Design studies for the new enormous helicopter began in 1959, with the Soviet Council of Ministers formally approving development in 1962. But development of such an ambitious helicopter would progress slowly, as various configurations (single rotor, tandem and transverse) were studied. Construction of testing-rigs, transmission systems and mock-ups began in 1963, and construction of the first prototype started in 1965. The new prototype would be designated as the Mil V-12 (with plans to designate the production version as Mil Mi-12). The first test flight in 1967 ended in failure as the V-12 crashed back to earth sustaining minor damage due to oscillations caused by control problems. A second test flight a year later proved the helicopter's airworthiness.

The V-12 would go on to break numerous world records for lifting capacity, but it’s fate had already been sealed by a rapidly changing strategic situation. The introduction of spy satellites, and the development of new lighter and mobile ICBMs made hiding nuclear missiles strategically irrelevant.

In 1970, the Soviet Air Force refused to accept the V-12 into state acceptance trials, due to a lack of need. Although a second V-12 prototype would be constructed in 1972, there were simply too few scenarios that would require such a large and complex helicopter. In 1974 development of the V-12 was cancelled and the Mil Design Bureau shifted efforts to designing the Mil Mi-26, the largest helicopter to enter service.

Select footage courtesy the AP Archive:
AP Archive website: http://www.aparchive.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/aparchive and https://www.youtube.com/c/britishmovietone

Special thanks to Nick Arehart for helping clean up our audio:
https://twitter.com/airhrt_

Link to the Mustard Store:
https://teespring.com/stores/mustard-store

Music used in this production (reproduced under license):

Intro Song: “Space Cinematic”- https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/59892651-space-cinematic

Song 2: “Yet Another Chase” - https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/XLXfWzuSYN

Song 3: “The Board Is Set” - https://www.epidemicsound.com/track/gkfdJo7Mdp

Song 4: “Grim March” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/58960465-f-giovannangelo-grim-march-accompaniment-only

Song 5: “Like the Wind” - https://www.pond5.com/royalty-free-music/item/58960501-f-giovannangelo-wind-accompaniment-only

Song 6: “Synthwave Industrial Technology” - https://audiojungle.net/item/synthwave-industrial-technolgy/26517275

Thanks for watching!

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