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date of publication: 20-11-2014

Transmission engine vehicle


In 1949, the Continental Aviation and Engineering Corporation received a contract from the Bureau of Ships to design and construct a prototype lightweight . The vehicle was assembled using aluminum alloy plate ranging in thickness from 3/16 to 3/8 inches. Delivered in 1950, the vehicle was powered by the Ford GAA engine with a three speed transmission.

The prototype LVTPX1 built by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton

It rode on a torsilastic suspension with 12 road wheel stations per side. The empty weight of 26,000 pounds exceeded the Bureau Ships specification by 8,000 pounds effectively reducing the cargo capacity to zero. Only limited testing was performed, but the maximum speed was estimated to be 25 miles per hour on land and about 8 miles per hour in water. A fuel capacity of 660 gallons provided an estimated cruising range of 250 miles on land and 100 miles in water.

Under the direction of the Bureau of Ships, Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton initiated a program in 1949 to develop an improved track for heavy amphibious vehicles. Included in this program was the construction of a prototype vehicle designated as the LVTPX1. The hull of this vehicle was welded from steel armor plate using a double wall construction. This design provided spaced armor giving protection equivalent to 7/8 to 11/4 inch thick armor at approximately two thirds the weight of a single thickness plate. Also, non-critical items could be stowed between the two shells providing additional space inside the vehicle ().

An hydraulically operated ramp was located at the rear and two manually operated, double folding, cargo doors were on top. The bow was cut away on each side to improve the driver's vision when operating on land. The LVTPX1 was powered by the Ford GAF, V8, liquid-cooled engine developing 500 gross horsepower. The T900, six speed, semiautomatic transmission was installed initially, but it was replaced later by a Torqmatic transmission engine vehicle.


The torsilastic suspension had seven road wheel stations per side and it was fitted with Type VIII center guide tracks 20 3/4 inches in width. With a crew of four, the vehicle weight was 66,000 pounds including apayload of 7,000 pounds. The contract for the prototype was terminated in June 1952 and only limited testing was performed. The maximum speed was 23 miles per hour on land and 6.3 miles per hour in water. The estimated cruising range was 600 miles on land and 100 miles in water.

Another unsuccessful development program in 1951 was the LVTUX1 built by Baldwin-Lime-Hamilton for the Bureau of Ships. This unarmored was driven by the 500 horsepower Ford GAF engine using the T1200, eight speed, automatic transmission engine vehicle. The torsilastic suspension had ten road wheel stations per side and rode on 20 5/8 inch wide Type XIX tracks. The welded steel hull had an inverted V bottom and an internal tubular framework. Three men were accommodated in an enclosed cab at the front.

The original design weight objective was 30,000 pounds, but the completed vehicle weighed 54,000 pounds empty. An hydraulically operated ramp at the rear was of two piece construction. When loading or unloading, it unfolded to provide a small angle of approach. Only a few tests were completed prior to the termination of the contract. The maximum speed was estimated to be 30 miles per hour on land and 5 miles per hour in water. The cruising range was expected to be 300 miles on land and 100 miles in water.


Another ill-fated LVT was the 76mm gun carrier produced by the Marmon-Herrington Company in 1951. This one was not completed before the contract was terminated and it was consigned to the LYF Museum at Camp Pendleton. The hull of the vehicle was constructed of an aluminum alloy ranging in thickness from 3/4 tol 1/2 inches. The Ford GAF engine and the Jered Model 900 transmission engine vehicle were proposed, but they were never installed. The torsilastic suspension had eight road wheel stations per side. The vehicle was armed with a turret mounted 76mm gun.

FMC submitted a proposal to the Bureau of Ships in 1951 for a new LVT based upon the components of the T59/T59E1 armored infantry vehicles. Designated as the LVTPX2, five prototypes were built between 1952 and 1955. Three types of power trains were evaluated. These included two Cadillac Model 331 engines (pilot number 1) or two GMC Model 302 truck engines (pilots number 2 and 3) each with Ну dramatic transmissions. As on the armored infantry vehicles, the engines were mounted with their transmissions, one in each sponson.

Pilot number 4 was powered by two Chrysler V8 engines coupled to Powerflyte transmissions. Prototype number 5 was fitted with two modified Chrysler Model G24A engines and it was considered to be the production pilot. The engines powered the vehicle through the two automatic transmissions connected to the controlled differential in front as on the T59. The front mounted sprockets drove the 21 inch wide T91E3 tracks that were fitted with side wings for water propulsion.

The torsion bar suspension had five dual road wheels per side. The cargo compartment was fitted with aluminum alloy top covers and an hydraulically operated rear ramp. Emergency escape hatches were provided in each side. The weight of the LVTPX2 was 44,000 pounds including a 7,000 payload. The maximum speed was 35 miles per hour on land and about 5 miles per hour in water. The vehicle was type classified as the LVTP6, but it was not put into production. The driver was located in the left front of the hull with a roof hatch. The vehicle commander in the right front hull was provided with the small G-l cupola armed with a single .30 .