Unusual Aircraft Designs We Didn’t Know Exist
Have you ever wondered how planes looked like in the beginning? Well, let us tell you, they were pretty weird. Many of them were built to prove a point or to advance the science of aerodynamics.
Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the journey of history’s strangest aircraft that ever flew the sky.
These are some of the most bizarre designs to ever make it to the prototype and take flight. These “babies” were made with a lot of creativity, determination and effort.
It’s amazing what kind of things can get airborne.
Top 10 fascinating history machines
1. The Stipa – Caproni (1932) – experimental Italian aircraft designed by Luigi Stipa
This unusual, chubby plane was developed in Italy and it looked like a flying barrel.
Making it more bizarre was barrel-shaped fuselage, with the entire interior of the fuselage being a gigantic fan which gave it a strange Looney Tunes appearance.
2. Vought V-173 (1942) – also known as “The Flying Pancake”
The Flying Pancake looked like a ray with two propeller shafts emerging from either side of the round fuselage. This unique designed airplane made more than 190 flights and accumulated 131 hours of flight time. It was built during the Second World War and had near vertical take-off.
Vought V-173 taking-off.
3. Leduc 0.10 (1947) – research aircraft from France
As you may already know as aircraft enthusiasts, Leduc 0.10 was the world’s first plane that was powered by ramjet (a form of air breathing jet engine that uses the engine’s forward motion to compress incoming air without an axial compressor). Ramjets are incapable of producing trust at the zero speed of air, so Leduc couldn’t take-off on its own.
The scientist had come across an interesting solution to the Leduc 0.10 flying mechanism problem, watch in the video below.
4. Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig (1954) – known as “Flying Bedstead”
This “naked” and strange looking machine was a pioneer of vertical take-off. The jet pipes were mounted closely to minimize pitch and roll. The pilot was on top of the rig on a steel platform.
To see how flying looks like in “The Flying Bedstead” watch the video below.
5.SNECMA Coléoptère (1959) – single person aircraft with annular wing
This aircraft looked like a space ship and was designed to take-off and land vertically requiring little space. SNECMA made 8 successful flights (max 800 m). The ninth flight was fatal, the plane was crushed, but the pilot managed to escape with an ejection (150m).
For more info watch SNECMA C 450 01 Coléoptère below.
The second prototype unfortunately didn’t come to life because of the lack of funding.
6. Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar (1959)
This is the closest looking NLO made by humankind. This amazing machine was conceived as a part of the secret project during the Cold War. Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was imagined as a fighter plane, but ended up being high-performance helicopter.
If you are interested in seeing Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar in action, watch the video below.
7. Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy (1962)
The Pregnant Guppy was the first aircraft that could replace ships as outsized cargo transporter. This whale looking machine was used for transporting the rocket boosters, therefore the need for the “big belly”.
8. Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep (1962)
Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep was a prototype of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Although the Airgeep was intended to operate within a few feet of the ground, it was also capable of flying at several thousand feet. The VZ-8 Airgeep successfully passed its testing phase with the ability to glide to soaring heights of 914 m, just incredible.
The funny looking machine was quite a unique, watch video about Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep for more details.
9. Bell X-22 (1966) – developed as U.S.A research aircraft
Bell X-22 was sponsored by the US Navy. Because of its unique design with a ducted fan system, it can lift off like a helicopter. The Bell X-22 led to the commercial variant of the V-22 Osprey aircraft.
Bell X-22 vertical take off experimental plane test.
10. Bartini Beriev VVA-14 (1972) – Caspian Sea Monster
Designed to be able to take-off from the water and fly at high speed over long distances,but also have the capability of “flying” efficiently just above the sea surface. After Bartini’s death in 1974, the project slowed and eventually drew to a close, the aircraft having conducted 107 flights, with a total flight time of 103 hours.
To see more, check out “Strange Aircraft“.
It's about Oddball Aircraft
More things for you to discover:
Since the beginning of aviation, thousands of planes have crashed, but sometimes when an air disaster strikes, pilots can react on time and prevent the final catastrophe. The following is a selection of plane disasters that had safe landing. US Airways A320 landing on the Hudson River. The most famous and successful emergency landing of […]» Find out More
Attack helicopters emerged during the Cold War years when they proved to be the key component to victory in battlefield. Today’s attack helicopter has two main roles, to provide direct, close air support for ground troops and to destroy enemy armor concentrations (anti-tank role). What are the best attack helicopters? These are currently the best attack […]» Find out More
Following a series of tragic incidents there is understandably a lot of fear that surrounds air travel, but nevertheless- flying is safe. Compared to other forms of transportation,j traveling by car is 100 times more deadly than flying in an airplane. Here are some of the facts about plane safety, you should know about, before you […]» Find out More
Although we often think airplane crashes are horrible and unsurvivable events, the survival rate of plane crashes from 1983-2000 was 95.7%. You can dramatically increase your chances of surviving even severe plane crash by knowing simple facts and making little changes. Be prepared, but not scared. Things you need to be aware of You only […]» Find out More
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is the most advanced airplane ever built. It had an important role in a history as a spy plane. SR-17 “Blackbird” is a long range, strategic reconnaissance aircraft. This sleek and stealthy Air Force plane is still the fastest plane that has ever flown and was never hit by a missile. […]» Find out More
What happens when an aircraft is no longer needed? Have you ever wondered where do planes go to rust? Aircraft graveyards often called boneyards are home to retired aircraft waiting to be recycled or reused. Dry climate The best aircraft locations for graveyards are places with dry climates because dry air reduces corrosion of aircraft […]» Find out More
1. Inside Loop/Outside Loop The Inside loop is the easiest of all stunt moves, it’s a vertical circle in the sky. Any RC Airplane with elevator is capable of looping. The Outside loop is also called a bunt. It’s an inside loop with the airplane inverted, so that the top of the plane faces outwards. It can […]» Find out More
Can you imagine life without air travel? Today, aviation allows people to experience new adventures, visit new countries, relax on far away beaches, build business relationships as well as to connect with family and friends abroad. The beauty of aviation is bringing people and countries together. How much do you really know about aviation and […]» Find out More
Humans have always sought to take over the air to gain an advantage in war. Initially, the military uses of flight were mainly focused on gaining a bird’s eye view of the battle field. Early attempts saw the use of manned kites in China and Japan to spy for military intelligence and communication. Also some […]» Find out More
Did you know that 85% of plane crashes are caused by pilot error? Statistically speaking, flying is still the safest way to travel. No matter how the advanced technology is, there is always one element that is impossible to control: the human element, because human are prone to making mistakes, although the major pilot error […]» Find out More
Paul Allen – MIG 29 Fighter Jet Paul Allen, co-founder of the Microsoft has bought his own MIG 29 Fighter Jet worth 13.5$ billion. The MIG 29 has a max speed of 1,518 mph and a range of 1,500km. The Sultan of Brunei – Boeing 747-430 The sultan has a brand new, Boeing 747 for […]» Find out More
“Every flight that has disappeared had its own story”, said the editor of the The Aviationist , David Cenciotti. Airplanes have been disappearing for decades, whether in remote areas of the ocean or mountain regions. Many planes have gone missing, especially at the so called Bermuda Triangle. A series of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle […]» Find out More
It’s hard to say, what the best fighter plane of World War 2 was, but we certainly can say that a few stood out during that historical period. To make it easier, we need to refine it further, depending on different characteristics, such as: longer effective range, best high attitude fighter, damage resistant aircraft etc. […]» Find out More
These are the most shocking airplane crashes caught on camera. Despite the fact it looks bad, people actually survived some of these plane crashes. Video shows these plane crashes: Air France Flight 296/Airbus A320-111 – 06/26/1988 – Fatality: 3/136 US Air Force Czar 52/B-52 Stratofortress – 06/24/1994 – Fatality: 4/4 Hawkins & Powers Aviation Tanker […]» Find out More
For so many years, people have dreamt about flying. Many have tried, but wasn’t until the Wright brothers, that Man was able to take a flight. If you are plane enthusiast, you’ve certainly asked yourself, how you can become the next great, airline pilot. Word of warning Do not enter this profession unless you are […]» Find out More
1. Saint Maarten in the Caribbean – Princess Juliana International Airport This is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean. Due to the short runway length (7,150 feet), planes on their final approach need to fly over the beach at minimal altitude, and over a part of the fence and the road. Because of it, […]» Find out More
Best Rated Games
Become the pilot of helicopter crane. Fly and clean the way by removing the obstacles from the ground for an ambulance.» Find out More
The enemy has sent their best fighter pilots into our air space. You have to fight them back. The goal of each stage is to take out every single enemy. To do this, you will have to shoot down the enemies while flying around and avoiding their attacks. To control your fighter plane, use the […]» Find out More
Fly your airplane in this fast race game. Collect as many yellow stars and avoid enemy planes along the way.» Find out More
Take the stick and fly through the rings in Flight 3D Aerobatics. Try different challenges and keep your eye on the fuel. Have fun playing realistic controls.» Find out More
Skies of War 2 is about fighting against Enemy in Air and on the Ground. If you played the first edition than you already know everything there is to know. When you collect enough money you can buy a new Aircraft. Commands: Mouse for moving, SPACE for mini map, Buttons for Shooting.» Find out More
This game is played in turns like Chess. You need to outsmart the enemy aircrafts, get at their tails and shoot them. SteamBirds is very interesting game to play. Controls Mouse controls, with some keyboard shortcuts (mouseover buttons to see)» Find out More
Burning Skies is World War 2 airplane shooting game. Lead your missions, attack and defeat your enemies.» Find out More
Target accurately as many airplanes as you can. You only have thirty ammo so be careful with targeting. For game controls use keyboard arrows.» Find out More
Fly your Potty Copter through all obstacles. You must successfully reach the finish line. Make the best distance and try to pick as many shields as you can.» Find out More
SteamBirds is an exciting aerial-dogfighting action/strategy that you play in turns. From a top-down perspective you manage your squadron of aircraft and take on growing numbers of enemies — complete with boss fights, special abilities, powerups, and lots of flashy explosions! Controls Completely Mouse Driven. Click on things with Gold Circles!» Find out More
Launch your spaceship and stay alive for as long as possible. Use arrow keys to control your UFO.» Find out More
Enjoy this classic arcade helicopter game. Destroy all the enemies and collect powerups. Have fun playing this helicopter shooting game.» Find out More
You need to occupy enemy bunkers. This game is played with mouse only..» Find out More
Protect your base and destroy the enemy. Enemies come in waves. Controls: ASDW or Arrow keys to move Use Mouse to shoot, left click to fire. SPACE to build and repair ground artillery.» Find out More
This is the extended version of a famous game “Skies of War”. You’ll start with Focke Wolf and enjoy more airplanes in this sequel of a post iron war game. GAME CONTROLS: Mouse – Move / Shoot. R – Make a full roll. CTRL – Helicopter hover-mode. C – Chnage Weapon.» Find out More
Potty is back. Your job is to jump far, do maneuvers and more. Move with Arrow Keys» Find out More
Play this exciting strategy game. The Few Dogfights is a fighting airplane simulator. Direct the flight paths of your planes and defeat your enemies.» Find out More
Play Super Pilot game. This is side scrolling-shooting game. Try to destroy other planes along the way.» Find out More
This sequel provides better graphics and more destinations. You are the airport manager who takes care of boarding, planning and airport control. Enjoy» Find out More
Explore the world of Future Race. This high-speed racing game will test your driving skills. You must select your driver and finish track in top 3 in order to qualify for the next challenging level. Upgrade your space hovercraft and earn money. You can choose between 3 different difficulty modes.» Find out More