A little history

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The AVE Mizar, put together from Ford and Cessna, was one of the great promises of the 1970s, unfortunately it crashed during a fatal test flight and built its builder and business partner. Cars flying in the sky have not filled the sky since, yet.

Although there have been similar attempts in the past, the AVE Mizar, introduced in 1973, was the first serious serious vehicle attempt to create a widespread promising aircraft with operational functionality. We are ten years old at the time after the first series of futuristic utopias of the Jetson family, and the world, but next to them, America has almost vanished from the desire for flying cars. The idea that popped out of Henry Smolinski’s head foretold the advent of the world depicted in the cartoon series: a unique, family-friendly means of transportation on the road and in the air that is in dire need of traffic jams, easier to get to work, and a pleasant pleasant will be the motorized American dream.

Born in Ohio, Smolinski of Polish descent earned a diploma in aeronautical engineering from the Northrop Institute of Technology, and his idea was slapped: he took two separately manufactured series-produced vehicles and put them together as two more or less fitting lego pieces.

Smolinski’s Los Angeles-based company Advanced Vehicle Engineers (AVE) aimed to produce a car dubbed Mizar, using the 1971 Ford Pinto small passenger car and Cessna’s twin-engine, pull-and-push propeller, the 337 Skymaster. based on. The latter excavated part of his nose and torso, and fixed the Pinto to the liberated place to obtain the flying structure, which had a slightly mule but no doubt functional effect.

The Mizar took two years to create, two copies were completed and three other prototypes were under assembly. As a result of the four-seater, one pilot and three passengers could fit in the 8.5-meter-long, 11.6-meter-long aircraft, slightly heavier than the Cessna 337, which could in principle have risen to an altitude of 3,600 meters. Because the car also used the car’s engine to take off, a shorter runway was enough to ascend into the air. During the flight, the car’s engine was then stopped by the pilot, and only the 210-horsepower aircraft engine propelled the Mizar.

After a series of test flights, the first public demonstration took place on May 8, 1973, in the presence of journalists, followed by airport test rolls and then certification test flights by the aviation authorities. It was planned that in 1974 orders would have been started as early as 1974, at a price between $ 18,300 and $ 29,000. The video below was made to convince hopeful buyers with the slogan “Mizar. The means of transport of the future is already here. ”

The first ominous incident occurred on August 26, 1973: test pilot Charles “Red” Janisse noticed in flight that the base of the right wing support, i.e. the part of the stiffener that attached to the car chassis, was broken shortly after takeoff. . As any maneuver threatened to break off the wing immediately, the pilot laid the plane straight on an bean field stretching in front of him.

After a successful forced landing, Janisse simply drove the winged car back to the airport. Two weeks later, another test flight followed, which also sealed the fate of Mizar. This time Smolinski himself was driving the plane, and the same mistake happened: the support of the right wing came off the car. Smolinski tried to turn with the faulty Mizar, and the wing could not bear the increased structural load and collapsed.

The car-flying hybrid slammed into the ground and exploded, Smolinski and his business partner Harold Blake were found dead in the wreckage. During the investigation into the fatal accident, the traffic safety authority found that the design was caused in part by design deficiencies, in part by inadequate components and in part by improper welding. According to 2012’s History’s Greatest Automotive Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors, the Mizar was doomed to fail in the first place: although it was only slightly heavier than the Cessna it was made of, it was powered by one less engine.

The aerodynamics of the Pinto also lagged far behind the streamlined fuselage of the Cessna, and the wheels of the car individually did a lot of damage to the Mizar’s air resistance. So the history of AVE Mizar is over at this point, and it seems we have to wait a few more years for the spread of flying cars.

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