The Vultee V-1 was an airliner powered by a single 735 hp Wright Cyclone R-1820 engine. With seating for eight passengers, it could fly up to 1,000 miles (1,610km) at a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet. First flight took place on 19 February 1933.
Airplane Development Corporation manufactured the airliner. Never heard of them? They eventually became AVCO Aviation Manufacturing Corporation, then Vultee Aircraft Corporation. Finally, they merged with the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation to form Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, or Convair for short.
Vultee V-1 Video
Following on from the last video about the German Rohrbach Roland, this time we head over to the USA for a look at the Vultee V-1. This short video runs for 44 seconds and shows a private version heading off on a double transatlantic crossing in 1936.
Apparently this attempt to fly New York to London and back was referred to as the “ping pong” flight. All the extra spaces in the fuselage were filled with ping pong balls, so the aircraft would float if it had to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean.
The only difference between the one in the video and the airliner is that it has fewer windows. The American Airlines version has four windows on each side, one for each passenger – such luxury!
Passenger services commenced in 1934, where it became the fastest airliner then in service, and ceased in 1936. US regulations were updated at this time, restricting the use of single engine airliners, so the airlines had to switch to twin engine planes.
There were 25 Vultee V-1s built between 1933 and 1936, with American Airlines operating at least 10 examples. Bowen Airlines of Texas also used this aircraft.
Curiously, some were fitted with guns and bomb racks in the Spanish Civil War. Today there is one remaining at the Shannon Air Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia which you can visit.
Have you ever heard of the Vultee V-1? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image from SDASM Archives via Wikimedia Commons.