Fulton FA-2 Airphibian

The Fulton FA-2 Airphibian was designed in 1946 by Robert Edison Fulton.  After detatching from the wing assembly, the propeller could be removed and the passenger compartment could be driven on the road.  A limited number were built by Fulton and his collegues in Danbury, CT between 1946 and 1950.  This particular specimen, designated N74104, was licensed for flight by the CAA (forerunner of the FAA) in 1950.  It was also licensed for road use by the state of Connecticut.


Manned Maneuvering Unit

Another image from my Christmas trip to the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, this is the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).  The MMU was a backpack-like device that allowed astronauts to move about in space untethered.  The MMU had two adjustable arms with thruster controls; roll, pitch, and yaw were on the on the right and directional controls were on the left.  Propulsion was provided by two tanks of gaseous nitrogen, which could produce a velocity of about 80 feet/second.

The MMU was used in 1984 to recover two communications satellites that did not make it to the proper orbit, and was retired later that year.