Home ENGINEERING Convair Model 49 Helicopter Concept

Convair Model 49 Helicopter Concept


In this episode, we’re unraveling the secrets of the Convair Model 49 – the aircraft that’s as enigmatic as that one time we tried to understand fashion trends from the ’70s. Oh, and did we mention we’ll sprinkle in some keywords about Vietnam, the US Army, and helicopter design? Because why not?!

source.image: Found And Explained

The Convair Model 49 was an ambitious proposal for a transforming, heavily-armed, fire-support aircraft for the US Army. It was intended to be versatile, rugged and quick-to-deploy, but with the ability to loiter or hover above the battle zone ready for action.

Propulsive power came from turbine engines driving counterrotating propellers within the shroud.Three turboprop engines mounted on the annular wing drove the propellers through a series of shafts and gearboxes, like a helicopter’s powertrain.Three fully elevating and traversing ball turrets housed two 7.62-millimeter machine guns and a 30-millimeter autocannon—or extra guns and a small rocket launcher.


Essentially a “flying tank,” the Model 49 would be able to launch and land vertically like a helicopter, fly horizontally like an airplane, hover, and even operate as a moveable weapons platform while on the ground.From groundbreaking design to “Why on Earth would you even attempt that?” maneuvers, the Convair Model 49 brought its A-game to the aviation circus. We’ll break down the highs, the lows, and the moments that made us appreciate stable aircraft designs more than ever before. It’s like the aviation equivalent of watching someone juggle flaming torches on a unicycle – equal parts impressive and “What were they thinking?!”