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Title:Faster Than A Comet - The INCREDIBLE FMA IA 36 Condor!

Discord: discord.gg/WXb565P9nQ New Channel: /channel/UCD3cl0MmX6fGZzeAHt4JWJA Join this channel to get access to perks: youtube.com/channel/UCpM4zrZ9c_apiEj6CApj2yw/join www.patreon.com/foundandexplained The South American nation of Argentina may not be a country that instantly comes to mind when one thinks of aviation and cutting-edge aircraft design. However, the land of the tango and Diego Maradona has had some very interesting forays into experimental aircraft. One of the most interesting examples of Argentinian efforts at aircraft ingenuity was the FMA IA 36 Cóndor. the Cóndor looks like it has a shell covering the back part of its fuselage. Some have likened it a snake shedding its skin. It certainly looks weird, even jarring! There’s something nevertheless quite bold and unusual about this design, which is why I thought it deserved its own video here on Found and Explained. Let’s discover more about Argentina’s Cóndor. The FMA IA 36 Cóndor was to have been a commercial passenger jetliner, destined to be used for mid-range, intra-continental flights by the likes of Argentina’s national airline, Aerolineas Argentinas. It was named after the Andean condor, a vulture native to Argentina and a prominent, even mythical bird in local native culture. Its most striking feature was its multi-engine configuration. The Cóndor would house an annular inlet into which five engines or turbines would be fed. The engines, which were to be Rolls Royce “Nene II” centrifugal-flow turbojets, would be placed in a wraparound conformation that would shroud the back-end of the fuselage. The visual effect was a type of outer shell that encased the back section of the plane. It literally did look like the plane was shedding a part of itself! Odd as it might look to us today, the plane’s engine concept was actually very much a design of its time. The 1950s, literally the dawn of the commercial jet age, saw the advent of super large composite engines that were believed to have excellent reliability. Also, it’s worth noting that the plan was to eventually replace the Cóndor’s five turbojets with lighter, more powerful and fuel-efficient engines. Very importantly, this jetliner was believed to be able to reach a speed of 950 kilometres or 590 miles per hour. That’s impressive when compared to the Havilland Comet 3, the British commercial plane that came later in the 1950s and could achieve a top speed of 780 kilometres or 484 miles per hour. That means the FMA IA 36 Cóndor would have been almost 20% faster than the Havilland Comet 3 had the Cóndor ever been mass-produced. The aircraft had a wingspan of 34 metres or 111.5 feet, with steeply-angled arrow wings. This wing design was thought to enhance performance and economy whilst in flight at high speeds. The plane would have an estimated range of 5,000 kilometres or 3,106 miles, making it perfect for flights between the Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, and other regional destinations such as Lima, Peru, and São Paulo, Brazil. Interior-wise, the plane would have single-aisle configuration that would only be able to accommodate 32 to 40 passengers. It was considered ideal for flying intra-continental, regional routes at that time. We need to remember that international commercial aviation was still relatively nascent in the 1950s. As such, the emphasis was more on having relatively small numbers of passengers fly in considerable, relative comfort, even luxury, rather than the hundreds of people flying in much larger aircraft that is the norm today. The story of the Cóndor is intricately linked to the post-war history of Argentinian aviation. The country’s Air Force began a rapid process of modernization in the aftermath of World War 2, in great part thanks to the country securing the services of a number of now-unemployed aerospace engineers and designers from Germany, Italy and France. By the late 1940s, the government of Argentina had made significant investments in the research and development of aircraft technology. Within just a few years, Argentina was the sixth-largest manufacturer of jet aircraft technology in the world. Work commenced on the Cóndor in late 1951 at the Fábrica Militar de Aviones or Military Aircraft Factory. The FMA was located in Córdoba, which is Argentina’s second-largest city. It was the aeronautical and arms division of the Government of Argentina, wholly subsidized by state funds. It would get sold in 1995 to Lockheed Martin and became Lockheed Martin Aircraft Argentina SA. The 1950s had undoubtedly been the division’s heyday. By 1953, a 1:34 scale wind tunnel model of the FMA IA 36 Cóndor was built, as well as a full-scale fuselage mock-up made of wood. However, it’s fair to say that the FMA IA 36 Cóndor was not Tank’s most shining accomplishment. There are sound reasons to say that…The Many Problems With El Cóndor


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