Artifacts on the Road

A gallery of traveling air- and spacecraft loaned out by the Smithsonian.


Vought V-173 "Flying Pancake"


This flapjack with propellers is the Vought V-173. The 1940s-era test plane is not as crazy as it looks. As we wrote in our May 2012 issue, "the -173 made nearly 200 flights that proved its superb low-speed handling, boosted by the huge three-blade propellers." Timing killed the "Flying Pancake" though, when turbojets were introduced shortly after. The airplane was recently restored by the Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation and is now on loan to the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.

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