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Joseph Marr Gwinn Jr.


The Gwinn Aircar

In 1935 Joseph Gwinn, a World War One pilot and a former Chief Engineer at Consolidated Aircraft Corp. formed the Gwinn Aircar Company in Buffalo N.Y. The prototype of his design was completed after two years of development and was successfully test flown.

The Aircar was designed as a "fool-proof" airplane that would be simple and safe to fly since it would neither stall nor spin. After its first flight in early 1937 it received a Civil Aeronautics Authority Approved Type Certificate #682.

gwinnaircar Photo courtesy of Johan Visschedijk
1000aircraftphotos.com

The Aircar's wings consisted of four panels, each 3'6" x 10' in size. They were bolted to fittings on the fuselage so they could be removed and stored in a garage or hangar when the vehicle was to be used for road travel. It took two men to carry one panel. Power could be supplied to the wheels when the vehicle was used on the road. This required disconnecting the propeller gear box, and hooking up the hydranlic system that supplied power to the wheels. Perhaps it was a cumbersome way to make the change, but for its time it was a remarkable achievement.

Gwinn hired two pilots, Frank Hawks and Nancy Love, to tour the country demonstrating the aircraft. On the 23rd of August 1938, Hawks failed to clear high-tension power lines shortly after taking off from East Aurora, New York. He and his mechanic died in the resulting crash. Gwinn subsequently suspended production and closed the Aircar plant.


For more detailed information on the Gwinn Aircar click on -
http://www.generalaviationnews.com/editorial/

For additional pictures see -
http://www.aerofiles.com/gwinn-x.jpg

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