Navy chiefs ordered a full- size flying model to be built to evaluate the flying characteristics of the proposed fighter, and this aircraft, the Vought V-173, made its first flight on 23 November 1942. The V-173 (unofficially dubbed Flying Pancake or Flying Flapjack) was constructed of wood with fabric covering, and had two 80-hp Continental engines driving a pair of 5.03-m (161-ft) propellers. The leading edge was glazed to aid forward and down-ward vision.
The engines of the V-173 were barely adequate, but the Flying Pancake took off in 15 m (50 ft), or much less with a steady wind, and could cruise at 222 kph (138 mph) despite its low power. Guyton and other pilots who flew the aircraft (including Charles Lindbergh) found it impossible to stall or spin, and full control could be maintained even at a 45-degree angle of attack.
The V-173 confirmed that the type offered viceless handling characteristics as well as an exceptional speed range between 20 mph (32 km/h) and 460 mph (740 km/h). The Vought XF5U was based on the V-173.