Tuesday, February 26, 2013

1958 Ford Volante

1957 Ford Volante concept car model

Although the day when there will be an aero-car in every garage still may be far off, Ford research designers developed this 3/8-scale model to show how such a vehicle might look.

Named the Volante, the model was not operable but represented a design concept of a vehicle that possibly capable of operating either in the air or on the ground. The tri-athodyne concept called for ultra-sophisticated use of the ducted fan principle, employed in a unique manner.

The front rotor featured two sets of contra-rotating blades in conjunction with two opposite-rotating, multi-bladed fans in the rear. This system theoretically cancelled out all propeller torque characteristics, with the result that aerodynamic tail surfaces were not needed.

The Volante would be controlled by a system of adjustable lateral and longitudinal vanes, which would allow complete maneuverability in all directions.

The tri-ducted fan arrangement also inspired Ford designers to take full advantage of the delta-shaped aerodynamic configuration.

In 1958, Ford built several 3/8-scale concept car models, including the Volante, which supposedly could use three fan motors to levitate from a parking place and take to the air. But the most amazing of these models was the Nucleon. What may have looked like a Continental kit sitting on the large and flat rear deck was the cover for a small nuclear reactor that would power the car through the Atomic Age.

Source: Ford Motor Company

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