While there are many airplane designs that truly take your breath away, yes, designs that take your breath away, there are also designs that should not be able to fly or at least look as if they will never leave the ground. These are completely bizarre airplanes. These airplanes go from a simple sketch on the paper to something that really flies and that is a dream come true for every designer. What we don’t understand is even at the times when technology was available, why come up with such designs. Check out this list of ten weird aircraft designs to know what we mean. Enjoy the read.
10. DORNIER DO 31
This particular airplane was a West German jet transport built by Dornier. It was an experimental Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL). It was built in order to meet a NATO specification for tactical support. This project was cancelled due to high costs and a range of technical problems in the year 1970 and probably for good cause. It just would have become an easy target for the enemy groups owing to its size.
9. ALEXANDER LIPPSICH’S AERODYNE
This was another VTOL aircraft designed and researched by Alexander Lippsich. He was a German aerodynamics engineer. This was perhaps one of his more interesting concepts. This particular plane should have been able to achieve super-sonic speed. The lift and propulsion were to be generated by two co-axial shrouded propellers. This particular plane was developed between 1968 and 1971 and it actually flew in the year 1972.
8. HYPER III
This guy was an American build built at the NASA flight Research Center in California. The wings had no flaps, ailerons or any other controls surface. It was launched from a helicopter at 10,000 feet in the year 1969. It glided for around 5 kilometers, turned around, came back and successfully landed. The program was cancelled at the total flight time this guy ever made was three minutes.
7. BARTINI BERIEV VVA-14
The VVA stands for Vertikal’no-Vzletayuschaya Amphibia and it was developed in the Soviet Union during the 1970s. it was designed so that it could take-off from the water and a fly at high speeds and cover long distances. The purpose of this plane was to fly at high altitudes but it had the ability to manage low flights as well. It was designed by Robert Bartini.
6. AMES-DRYDEN (AD)-1 OBLIQUE WING
This program ran from 1979 to 1982. This particular aircraft flew a total of 79 times before the program was shut down. Burt Rutan was the designer of this plane and it was built by Ames Industrial Co. The aircraft retired on the August of 1982 and only one such plane was ever built. Of course by now you would have guessed that this plane originated from the United States.
5. B377PG (SUPER GUPPY)
This guy is also known as the Super Guppy. It was a large cargo aircraft with a really wide body. If you guys remember the Pregnant Guppy, well this one was its successor. It was produced by Aero Spacelines and five of these were built with two variations. This plane took its first flight on the 31st august of year 1965. In order to fit in cargo, the head was removed which could easily be put back again.
4. GRUMMAN X-29
This was an experimental aircraft which was built in order to test a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces and few other technologies. The aerodynamics of this particular one were really unstable which did increase agility but required the use of fly-by-wire control. Only two of these were ever built by Grumman and it took its first flight on the 14th December in 1984.
3. MCDONNELL DOUGLAS X-36
This prototype was designed to fly without any tail surfaces which are used on most aircrafts these days. This guy took its first flight on the 17th May of 1997 and only two of these were built. The maximum speed it could ever reach was around 234 mph.
2. BERIEV BE-200
This was a multipurpose amphibious aircraft. It was designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company and manufactured by Irkut. This guy could take off from water and it was seaplane. It was marketed as being designed for search and rescue missions, maritime patrol, cargo and passenger transportation and firefighting.
1. SCALED COMPOSITES PROTEUS
This was a tandem-wing high-endurance aircraft. It was designed by Burt Rutan in order to investigate the use of aircrafts as high altitude telecommunications relay. It could carry a lot of payloads and was extremely efficient. It could orbit a certain point for more than 18 hours. This particular aircraft is still in service. It is manufactured by Scaled Composites and it took its first flight on the 26th July of 1998.