May 29, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (De Havilland Buffalo)

I apologize for the approximately month-long hiatus in this feature. Let's kick it off again with a bit of an odd duck suggested by Alan Brain.

We start with the conventional, versatile cargo/transport airplane, the De Havilland DHC5 Buffalo. Here is a typical shot of the aircraft:


(Image from

In the 1970s, NASA contracted with Boeing to modify the DHC5 to investigate new technologies for STOL aircraft.

Boeing rebuilt the plane with new avionics, new wings and tail, and a quartet of jet engines mounted above the wing to generate "upper surface blowing" in order to increase lift. The plane made its maiden flight at Boeing's Seattle plant in 1978, then flew to Ames for continued flight tests. The short takeoffs and quiet operations of the aircraft yielded much information for application in both civil and military design. One intriguing series of tests led to a successful landing and takeoff from an aircraft carrier-- the first four-engine jet plane to accomplish this feat.


The result was quite interesting:

TARV02P05_12.jpgC8A Buffalo Augmentor
TARV02P05_09.jpgClose-up of top-mounted jets

Full-sized, restricted, and watermarked photos available here.

Posted by JohnL at May 29, 2005 02:19 PM
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