American Single Seat Takes First Flight in 1945
On this day in aviation history, first flight took place for the following:
1945 – Consolidated Vultee XP-81 (single seat, long range escort)
1956 – Antonov An-8 (Soviet-designed twin-turboprop-engine high wing light military transport aircraft)
1949 – CASA C-201 Alocotán
The first flight for this American single seat, long range escort fighter prototype aircraft took place on this day in 1945. The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation experimental aircraft used both a turbojet and a turboprop engines. This engine selection combined the jet engine high speed and the propeller engine endurance. The high-speed turboprop engine would be used for flight and the turboprop would be used for normal flight and cruising. However, due to developmental problems the turboprop engine was not ready to be used with the first flight. A different engine was used and eventually, with the termination of hostilities, the testing and refinements ended in 1947.
The CASA C-201 built by the Spanish Air Force in the 1950s as a transport aircraft. The C-201 was designed with a twin-engine low-wing cantilever monoplane configuration. The cantilever design began to be used for aircraft in 1915 by Hugo Junkers. This design was an improvement on the earlier aircraft wings in a biplane configuration using wires and struts to brace the wings to stay parallel and resist twisting. The monoplane became more desirable as the airflow around one wing could negatively affect the other in a biplane’s configuration. After the first flight of the two prototypes, an order was place for one hundred series aircraft and twelve pre-production aircraft to explore a range of variable equipment. The project stalled due to a limited supply manufacturing capabilities of the engines from within Spain and the imported engine would prove to be too expensive. Ninety-six complete airframes had to be scrapped.