Thursday, August 29, 2013

Curtiss Wright 2500 “Bee” Air Car

A whimsical dream or true possible future of the car, well in 1959 Curtiss Wright decided to develop a ground effect vehicle, to you and me a sort of hover craft. There was even interest from the military so much so that two vehicles were built. But unlike the pre-development marketing images the sleek lines were replaced with a rounded off box and it was big, very big 8’ wide and 29’ long and still only had room for two.

The reason was the two 180bhp aviation engines to either end turning 4 blade fans to create lift and propulsion. Unlike a hover craft with a huge fan to the rear the air from the internal fans was directed through moving vents all around the sides providing steering, thrust and braking!!!!!  It also lacked the flexible skirt which restricted its hovering height to about 6-12”s which meant it’s off road capabilities was also restricted. The Army finally stopped the project in 1960 and with that production never got going. After all as a car replacement it was lacking not only in practicality, size, noise and manoeuvrability but also speed, as best it would only do 38mph, but check out the video's below and judge for yourself.


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1 comment:

  1. My Dad was an engineer on this project at Curtiss Wrighat from 1959-1961. He was responsible for the design of the louver system used for forward, reverse and side control. As a kid I saw the air car up close.

    Rick Flickinger


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