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A difficult airplane to fly, to land, and to keep together. But it did have an impact on the auto industry.
The Chance Vought F7U Cutlass was inspired in part by the swept-wing, tailless aircraft research that was recovered from German aircraft manufacturer Arado after World War II. It was quite unlike any other plane in the sky, and looks to modern eyes like it would be more at home in an episode of Star Blazers. It had no tail, and its enormous swept wings, with an area of almost 496 square feet, were almost as long from leading to trailing edge as from root to tip. Its enormous nosegear, which tended to collapse during carrier landings, placed the pilot 14 feet in the air. It also racked up a lot of accidents. In 1957, Chance Vought analyzed major accidents in the Cutlass, and found that for 55,000 hours of cumulative flight time there had been 78 accidents, with 25% of the airframes lost. It had the highest accident rate of all swept-wing Navy fighters.
F7U-3M flown by Lt Cdr Jay Alkire approaches the USS Hancock. The landing signal officer can be seen sprinting to safety seconds before Alkire’s Cutlass strikes the deck. Alkire was killed in ensuing crash.
While the Cutlass was no hit with Navy fighter pilots or Navy brass, it was a hit with the public. Its radical styling made it popular with model hobbyists, and Oldsmobile appropriated the name for its 1954 Cutlass sports coupe.
The first Oldsmobile Cutlass was an experimental sports coupe designed in 1954. It rode a 110 in (2,800 mm) wheelbase and featured a dramatic fastback roofline reminiscent of its jet fighter inspiration. The body was made with reinforced plastic, and it sported swivel seats and copper-toned glass. The Cutlass was powered by a stock V8. Its platform was quite similar to the later compact F-85, which was not introduced for seven more years.
But that wasn’t the only influence the Chance Vought Cutlass had on the automotive world. The swept wing and dual vertical fins of the aircraft also inspired the hood ornaments that would grace the 1955 and 1956 Chevy Bel Air.
Source: Jalopnik Oppositelock
We’re used to seeing Alfa Romeo Spiders in varying states of preservation in almost every part of the country, but when was the last time you saw an Alfetta sedan?
Produced from 1972-1987, the Alfetta was Alfa Romeo’s popular compact (by American standards anyway) sedan, the Alfetta wasn’t available in the U.S. for very long. Nor did it sell particularly well compared to the GT and GTV6 Coupes. Looking back, we’re surprised Alfa Romeo managed to stick around in the U.S. market for as long as it did, the long-lived Spider being its main source of sales for years on end. The few sedans that Alfa did market in the U.S. weren’t especially strong sellers, and their appeal was largely confined to the two coasts.
The TSA, America’s tireless army of blue-shirted warriors tasked with protecting us from sexy women, disabled children, airline pilots and Rand Paul, are about to offer a sweet deal if getting groped isn’t your bag.
Wired reports that starting this fall, every traveler will be eligible for the TSA’s PreCheck expedited screening program, which allows “trusted travelers” at participating airports to skip the line, keep their shoes and coats, and leave their laptops and liquids in their bags.
We’ve heard blasé dialog about Mach numbers from fighter pilots in movies, but do you know what Mach numbers actually mean? Among other things, it means that two planes going at Mach 1 can actually be going at very different speeds.
Ernst Mach was a brilliant nineteenth century scientist who came up with good work in pretty much every field he deigned to study. He worked in optics and in cosmology, but his most famous contribution had to do with the speed of sound, and what happens when objects exceed it. He wrote a paper describing the speed of sound and the shock wave produced at supersonic speed. He even got a picture of the waves produced when a bullet broke the sound barrier.
Look at this magnificent bastard right here. John Bender, of Hilliard, Ohio built two of these, apparently.
“I went to all the auto shows and whatnot and wanted my own dream car,” Bender said. “So I just decided to build one.” He employed a 2.3-liter Ford Pinto four-cylinder, but placed it in the center of the car’s chassis. The Pinto’s front sub-frame went under the front of the Ben-Dera, then a pair of leaf springs and the Pinto’s rear axle kept the rear of the car from dragging. Fiberglass panels over a tubular space frame constituted the outrageous body. The second car used a 2.8-liter V-6 from a Mercury Bobcat, dismissed the three fins on the back and added air conditioning. Bender said he started the four-cylinder car in the early to mid-1980s and spent about three years and $40,000 on it. The second took less time because he already had the molds developed. “I was going to sell them (he advertised them for $19,750 as recently as seven years ago), but wasn’t able to find a buyer,” Bender said. “I got worried about people suing me.”
Car and Driver did a great writeup on the man and his machine back in 1998:
Peace and love in a world full of junk.
sorry for the delay. i went to get milk for my coffee and there was a long line.
Lauren Rosenberg claims Google Maps led her to walk from one Park City, Utah, address to another via Deer Valley Drive, a rural roadway also known as Utah State Route 224. In a lawsuit filed in district court in Park City, Rosenberg claims Google is to blame for a car striking her on the road, an accident she says has cost her $100,000 in medical bills. Continue reading “Woman Hit By Car Sues Google Maps Over Directions” »