Convair 49 (1967)
Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) Concept
Production Run: 2009-2012
About the Design
In 1965, the U.S. Army asked America's major aircraft companies to submit proposals for an Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) to provide cover for ground troops in hostile territories. While most companies responded with conventional -- albeit advanced -- helicopter designs, Convair's San Diego division returned with something truly unique: A closed-wing, shrouded rotor VTOL with heavy on-board weaponry and an articulated cockpit.
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.
Said by Convair engineers to be easier operate than a conventional helicopter, the Model 49 was deemed far too radical to warrant further development.
About the Model