AvroCar VZ-9 (1959)
About the Design
In 1952, Avro Canada began development on what it hoped would be a circular-wing subsonic VTOL fighter, one capable of speeds of up to 300 mph and able to reach altitudes of 10,000 feet. It wasn't long before both the U.S. Army and Air Force got involved, providing funding for two prototypes.
Powered by three J96-T-9 turbojets, the VZ-9 "AvroCar" began tethered test flights in 1959. Although the AvroCar was further modified and tested until 1960, it was never able to operate beyond the "ground effect" of its jet exhaust or achieve speeds of more than 35 mph. In 1960, the AvroCar was abandoned.
About the Kit
This was Sharkit's second AvroCar model, the first being a 1:72 version released in 2002. Although the AvroCar is usually seen with two pilot stations -- one for the pilot, the other for the co-pilot -- this particular kit included only the pilot's position and canopy blister. (This was the configuration for some of the plane's earliest test fights.)
To make the model more symmetrical -- and thus aesthetically pleasing -- we acquired a second vacuform canopy, which we installed over what would be the co-pilot's station.
This model was built from an original issue.