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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The floating car of the 1950s

It was in 1959 when Curtiss Wright decided to develop a vehicle which called the real possible future car look like some kind of hovercraft to us now. While, the company is known to have been manufacturing aircraft for years when they started the vehicle program. The future vehicle concept called the Model 2500 Air Car has been developed in such a way as the future four-passenger commercial vehicle with the hope of being accepted by the public at that time. 
1959 Curtiss Wright Model 2500 Air Car prototype was built as the future four-passenger commercial vehicle. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3moWGxx)
It can be explained briefly that the Air Car is a compact vehicle with a size similar to a family car which is equipped with a kind of air cushion that allows it to float on the air. The lift power is provided by two 180bhp aircraft engines mounted vertically combined with side and rear air vents allowing it to be maneuvered.
1959 Curtiss Wright Model 2500 Air Car prototype uses 2 180bhp aircraft engines mounted vertically combined with side and rear air vents allowing it to be maneuvered. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3moWGxx)
The two engines mounted vertically at both ends rotate 4 fan blades to create lift and propulsion. Unlike the hovercraft with the large rear fan, however, air from these internal fans is directed through the movable vents located on the each-sides of the vehicle to provide the capabilities to steer, thrust and braking.

Then to make it look similar to a conventional car, the Curtiss-Wright designer gave several features that are common to a car such as dual headlights, taillights, turn indicators, simple bumpers, and even a convertible top on the Model 2500 Air Car. But unlike the pre-development marketing images, the sleek lines were replaced by the huge round box had a two-person cabin inside with the vehicle width of 8' and 29' long.
One of 1959 Curtiss Wright Model 2500 Air Car prototype sat on display at a military museum in Virginia in neater cosmetic form. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3moWGxx)
Then in the early 1960s, the Army Transportation Research Command purchased two Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 Air Cars which were described as ground effect machines (gems). The purchases were for engineering and operational evaluation as part of an ongoing investigation of the vehicle for use in the military.
1959 Curtiss Wright Model 2500 Air Car prototype was located in New Jersey in terrible condition. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3moWGxx)
After several months of testing, the Army decided not to fund any further projects, and it was abandoned in 1961. Because the vehicle was deemed inadequate for all-terrain operations and was never commercially captured.
After all, as a replacement for the car it lacks not only practicality, size, noise and maneuverability but also speed, the best of which will only do 38mph. And the last version of the Curtis Wright Aircar appeared in 1960. And the video below shows that while the vehicle being on the tests at the famous Daytona Motor Speedway.
Both prototypes of the car survived; one of them is in a military museum in Virginia, at least in neater cosmetic form. Another car was located in New Jersey in terrible condition and was sold on the eBay site in late 2015. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARSTYLING | BARNFINDS | THROTTLEXTREME ]
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