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Mortyman
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Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:16 pm

Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Super interesting

It has no fuselage and can carry huge oversized cargo like an american pickup truck, It was designed to Switch to military operations in a heart beat, and was even able to load nearly 200 passengers - sometimes even not at the gate!

And best yet, it was cheaper than any other equivalent plane of its time.

But this strange concept was never built



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-DM2eJIS9k

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Flatbed
 
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Polot
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:21 pm

Sounds like an aerodynamic nightmare.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:39 pm

Polot wrote:
Sounds like an aerodynamic nightmare.


this and weight disadvantage. The design is much havier than a tube design.
 
Noshow
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:49 pm

So the cargo must be packed for jet cruise speed, rain, snow, ice, minus 50 centigrades and low pressure?
 
twaconnie
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:22 pm

Also would be a maintenance headache.
 
2175301
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:50 pm

I think the idea would have been better as a slow speed turboprop with height restrictions. Yes, aerodynamically poor with a high fuel consumption; but very fast to load and unload.

Extend a cabin shield back to encompass the 1st few feet of cargo would reduce aerodynamic drag a fair amount.

The military is less worried about fuel consumption.

As a higher speed jet at higher altitudes... I just don't see it.
 
kalvado
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:58 pm

If you think about it, idea was realized to some extent.
Shuttle-carrying 747 is one instance.
VM-T used in russian shuttle program is another one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myasishchev_VM-T
Although both instances limited to specific and somewhat aerodynamic cargo.
https://64.media.tumblr.com/a174bf298c6 ... 1_1280.jpg
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 6:58 pm

Noshow wrote:
So the cargo must be packed for jet cruise speed, rain, snow, ice, minus 50 centigrades and low pressure?


Per the Wikipedia article it was to have a removable fuselage for normal operations.

Only oversized cargo would have the fuselage removed. I would assume in those situations you wouldn’t be cursing at FL350 and .80. If you’re hauling oversized military equipment you would be doing it for the convenience of a relative speed much greater than ground transport. I.e. advancing a unit across a large bay or around a mountain range. You might only need 12-15,000 feet and a couple hundred knots; which would be better than an alternative days long drive.

Clearly it didn’t work out but the idea itself isn’t terrible; there’s just no need for it when other designs can accomplish the same plus much more.
 
kalvado
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:00 pm

2175301 wrote:
I think the idea would have been better as a slow speed turboprop with height restrictions. Yes, aerodynamically poor with a high fuel consumption; but very fast to load and unload.

Extend a cabin shield back to encompass the 1st few feet of cargo would reduce aerodynamic drag a fair amount.

The military is less worried about fuel consumption.

As a higher speed jet at higher altitudes... I just don't see it.

What about aerodynamic asymmetry? That can be a show-stopper.
 
DIJKKIJK
Posts: 1912
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:03 pm

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:04 pm

It could have been useful as a special purpose freighter for carrying oversized cargo. Maybe a one-of-a-kind machine like the An-225.
 
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armagnac2010
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:27 pm

Good to see common sense sometimes prevail and this thing remained a project.
 
petertenthije
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:33 pm

The soviet union had the VM-T Atlant.


The hold of the Airbus Beluga is unpressurized, so theoretically a version for outsized cargos should be possible without the cargo bubble?
 
11C
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 10:36 pm

Noshow wrote:
So the cargo must be packed for jet cruise speed, rain, snow, ice, minus 50 centigrades and low pressure?


All good points. And some of those sample loads look like a potential nightmare in icing conditions.
 
johns624
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:31 pm

I take it that this Kelly Johnson wasn't involved in the design???
 
USAirKid
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 4:45 am

Ya know... This perhaps isn't the worst idea..

Although to make it practical, what if they went about it by designing containers so they have a curve and fairings that can be attached to aerodynamically smooth the small gaps between containers? Ideally this'd result in a better structure to cargo ratio, since you wouldn't have the structure of the container and ontop of that the structure of the airplane.

The thing to consider though is if the additional structure needed on the flatbed and containers, outweighs the structure that gets to be removed...
 
FlyingHonu001
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 5:46 am

That video is hilarious... Imagine seeing your brandnew bulldozer /shovel being delivered on that contraption exposed to the elements at cruising altitude :raincloud: :biggrin:
 
Flaps
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2000 1:11 pm

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:13 am

I would think this craft would carry a hefty weight penalty when engaged in "normal" operations.
 
Noshow
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:20 pm

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:19 am

I was always hoping the An-225 would carry outsize cargo aside from Buran. But they never do it still having the humps to mount external cargo. Stratolaunch could be used for something similar. Say, fly ready made housing containers to some Antarctic research station or even drop them there by parachute if there is no place to land.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:54 am

I have no earthly idea how you’d be able to calculate your performance not knowing how much parasitic drag is being created by the shape of the payload. Fuel burn en route would be a total mystery until you’d flown for an hour. I love this kind of thing because it’s a glimpse of the strength of recreational drugs the Lockheed boys were getting into on those weekend desert forays in the 1960s and 1970s. Born too late!
 
petertenthije
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Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 11:31 am

cedarjet wrote:
I have no earthly idea how you’d be able to calculate your performance not knowing how much parasitic drag is being created by the shape of the payload. Fuel burn en route would be a total mystery until you’d flown for an hour.
Back then fuel was cheap. Besides, this would be primarily a military venture and they don't care about costs or efficiency anyway.
 
nycbjr
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:45 am

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:09 pm

petertenthije wrote:
The soviet union had the VM-T Atlant.


The hold of the Airbus Beluga is unpressurized, so theoretically a version for outsized cargos should be possible without the cargo bubble?


anyone else see Lockheed constellation in the fuselage?
 
kalvado
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Tue Nov 30, 2021 7:35 pm

cedarjet wrote:
I have no earthly idea how you’d be able to calculate your performance not knowing how much parasitic drag is being created by the shape of the payload. Fuel burn en route would be a total mystery until you’d flown for an hour. I love this kind of thing because it’s a glimpse of the strength of recreational drugs the Lockheed boys were getting into on those weekend desert forays in the 1960s and 1970s. Born too late!

Fuel burn may be a secondary issue, ability to accelerate on takeoff and climb out may be the first one to encounter.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4823
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Aircraft that never was ... The Lockheed Flatbed

Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:42 pm

cedarjet wrote:
I have no earthly idea how you’d be able to calculate your performance not knowing how much parasitic drag is being created by the shape of the payload. Fuel burn en route would be a total mystery until you’d flown for an hour. I love this kind of thing because it’s a glimpse of the strength of recreational drugs the Lockheed boys were getting into on those weekend desert forays in the 1960s and 1970s. Born too late!


I don’t think that was a concern lol. This is the same, or direct descendants (if they were young engineers) of the generation where strapping yourself into an untested, unproven rocket was acceptable. Human crash test dummies were lined up and down the ranks of the military. If you have more power available, just keep pushing until it flies. There were no accountants to rate your takeoffs for fuel efficiency. You flew the airplane, until it didn’t.

Notice we have a much safer, albeit very boring, aviation industry now compared to the cowboy days of the 50’s-70’s.

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