Convair 49 Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) (1967)
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 Kit
Released in April 2009, this was the first model kit of the Convair 49 ever produced. Mastered and cast by Anigrand Craftswork of Hong Kong exclusively for Fantastic Plastic Models, the kit contained 53 resin pieces, including a full complement of twin rotors and control vanes as well as a cockpit and clear resin canopy. The model could be built with the cockpit either in-line with the rotor core or slanted at a 90-degree angle. Both U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps decal sets were provided.