KIT: Sword 1/72 Chance-Vought V-173 'Flying Pancake'
KIT #: 72018
PRICE: $19.98 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Short run kit with resin and vacuformed parts


The V-173 was designed in the early 1940s as a technology demonstrator for a circular planform aircraft. The idea was to get both high flight speed and low landing speed in the same airframe. First flying in late 1942, the V-173 was able to show its remarkable STOL (Short Take Off/Landing) abilities. Given a head wind of 28 mph, the aircraft could rise into the air vertically. Despite its low powered engines, it was capable of speeds higher than similarly powered aircraft.

This brought a great deal of interest from the US Navy, who directed Chance-Vought to build two upgraded and combat capable XF5U aircraft, which were completed in late 1945. However, problems getting the proper propellers meant that test flying would not begin unitl 1948. By then, turbojets were the coming future and these aircraft were destroyed without ever leaving the ground and along with them went the circular wing design.


Sword provides a single sprue of injected plastic , two vacuformed parts for the upper and forward canopy, and several resin bits for the more delicate sections. A rather complete cockpit is provided in resin as are the prop spinners, prop blades and some other small bits. All of my prop blades have holes in the resin near the tip so will have to be filled prior to painting and use. 

The detail level on the rest of the plastic parts is quite good and that includes the fabric representation on the fuselage halves. Once you get away from the cockpit bits, there really is little more to the airframe itself.

The instructions are quite good with four well detailed construction steps. Color information is provided where needed. There are markings for two planes, which is really the same aircraft with different styles of insignia. The color of the plane is yellow uppers and silver undersides so I guess this could be considered a 'yellow wing' aircraft! Decal look just fine and should work quite well.


Overall it looks like a nice kit and if you want to see a build-up of it, I suggest you visit Allan Wanta's nice built article. What ever happened to Allan as I've not heard from him in ages.

Thanks to Sword for providing the kit.

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