Air Enthusiast 1998-01
S.Harding - Flying Jeeps
The VZ-8P[B] during its first non-tethered flight. With its sharply-angled rear duct, twin turbine engines, powered landing gear and crew ejection seats this machine was arguably the most advanced and most capable of the Army’s ‘Flying Jeeps’.
Soon after the Army accepted the VZ-8P, the machine’s piston engines were replaced by a single Turbomeca Artouste IIB turbine, the exhaust shroud of which can be seen extending from the vehicle’s port side.
Briefly tested by the US Navy as the Model 59N, the VZ-8P used floats borrowed from the US Coast Guard during water-landing trials. After its return to the Army the machine was fitted with a TPE331 turbine in the place of the Artouste.
Designer Frank Piasecki flying the first VZ-8P during an early test. The machine featured a raised and slightly angled aft propeller duct intended to reduce airflow interference effects from the front duct.
The first of the Army’s two VZ-6s prior to delivery. The machine’s general layout was similar to the VZ-8. The sectioned vanes attached to the duct tops controlled the machine’s direction of travel by deflecting the slipstream.
The first VZ-7 in hovering flight. The machine’s single shaft turbine engine was carried on the rear portion of the rectangular central keel and drove four propellers.