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Scaled Composites F-44A Banshee (''Pond Fighter'')

By Bispro
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I have always loved the unique design of Burt Rutan's Pond Racer. Too bad that aircraft had a sad ending, I think it really deserved a longer career.

In this image, I envisioned a military derivative, the Scaled Composites F/A-44A Banshee, used by the U.S. Marines in numbers as assault fighters. Banshees typically attack ships or subs in "swarms" of 20 aircraft, using the cannons installed in the propellers and an array of small-sized ordnance.

The "Banshee" name refers to the unique screeching sound of its two engines.


© Stéphane Beaumort / AviaDesign 2012
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© 2012 - 2020 Bispro
Comments17
anonymous's avatar
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ElSqiubbonator's avatar
This actually looks like it could be a really useful plane in a lot of scenarios. Maybe as a "helicopter killer". . .
CrazyGraeHawkatoo's avatar
CrazyGraeHawkatooStudent General Artist
"Pond Racer"?
Bispro's avatar
Of course! I played around with the real-life Pond Racer and turned it into an imaginary combat type...
Or are you asking what the Pond Racer was? If so, please see: stargazer2006.online.fr/aircra…
molond's avatar
molondHobbyist General Artist
The cannons could be Gatling gun barrels mounted around the prop axle and the engines could spin the gun (or constantly spin, no warm up time). I think we are on to something here, quick call the military!
SomeRandomMinion's avatar
Love the forward-swept wings; gives it a futuristic look, even though it's a prop-driven plane.
Bispro's avatar
And it actually flew! (at least the civilian prototype).
Turdy1's avatar
I'm now thinking about making this out of Legos. What aircraft did you use?
Bispro's avatar
It was a real-life racing aircraft, Burt Rutan's Pond Racer. Unfortunately it crashed and killed its pilot.
Actually there is a Lego model for it that was published in a series of booklets done by Rutan's own son Jeff.
Check these links: [link] [link] [link] and especially [link] and [link] (you want N°7 in the series).
Have fun and tell me when you've done it!
Turdy1's avatar
Alright, I will!
perttime's avatar
Googling for "Rutan Pond Racer" should find lots of reference material, including 3 views.
Turdy1's avatar
That's one of the first things I did. It would be done now if I wasn't busy playing Il-2 so much.
Rekalnus's avatar
RekalnusHobbyist General Artist
Somehow, I think Kelly Johnson would be smiling down on this one. ;-)
perttime's avatar
It only needed engines that would keep running.
A couple of moderately sized turboprops should do it. You could mount them further back, so that there's room for the gun between engine and prop. Turboprops are pretty light and compact for the power they deliver.
Bispro's avatar
I believe you're right, the engines would have to be moved further back because the weight of the cannons would definitely jeopardize the balance of the whole aircraft. Larger tail fins would probably also be in order...
anonymous's avatar
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