The memory balloon is filled to overflowing with rare military aircraft, which seemed to have been created for the sole purpose of seeing if anyone caught their attention.
In particular, Creativity hit a jump in time during World War II and the following years, the earliest of the Cold War.; Although we do not know if the popularization of drugs had something to do with it.
Although this explosion of originality was noticed in all sectors of the aviation, it was the military that were most willing to make designs that had neither head nor foot.
Rare military aircraft that ended in failure
Most of these projects were the equivalent of throwing taxpayer money in the trash, but it’s understandable; Keep in mind that at that time the rivalry between the US, Germany and the Soviet Union was such thatAny innovation could shake the balance, so many military commanders threw themselves headlong into the latest technologies.
But of course, every new technology needs a maturing period, a period that most of these projects did not have; They had to work the first time, because there were literally dozens more projects in the queue.Now let’s go over some of them.
WS-125, the madness of a nuclear aircraft
Nothing better defines the Cold War as the nuclear word. Everything had to be nuclear, including the planes, and both the US and the Soviet Union focused their efforts on creating them. There was only one small problem: Having a nuclear reactor stuck to the rear was not a pilot’s dream.
An airplane was not like a submarine, they couldn’t just put thick metal plates between the engine and the crew; the WS-125 was one of the concepts devised, and even two engines were produced with separate nuclear reactors that would allow the bomber to travel long distances to its target.
After spending a billion on the project there was nothing to teach; another project to present a Convair NB-36H aircraft with a nuclear reactor inside, but this was not functional and the plane worked with normal engines.
In the late 1950s, early 1960s, both projects ended up in the bin.
Saunders-Roe SR.177, jet engine, or why not both?
This model seems born from the mind of someone who is not able to choose between fries or salad as an accompaniment, and decides to mix the two.
The result, in both cases, is intractable. The Saunders-Roe SR.177 had two engines, one jet (jet) and one rocket; the idea was to bring together the best of both worlds, because when it was designed in the 1950s, rocket engines were faster but consumed too much fuel.
SR.177 could fly to the target with the jet engine, and attack by activating the rocket. It sounds good, but the design never quite materializes, perhaps because it was evident that looked like an overweight fighter. In addition, in the years that it lasted, jet engines improved greatly, making the addition of a rocket unnecessary.
Convair F-2Y, supersonic hydroplane what is the worst that can happen?
Seaplanes are not precisely characterized by their elegance or agility; They do what they have to do, which is to land and take off in the water, and that is not an easy task or can be done lightly.
That’s because, once you reach a certain speed, the water is no longer soft and becomes as hard as the hormone. Someone forgot to comment that to the creators of the F-2Y, the first supersonic hydroplane in history. It is also the only one, and there is no prize for those who know how the project ended.
With the nickname Sea Dart, he had two skis that extend as speed increases, allowing takeoff from the water; This was ideal for the military high command, who had doubts about the use of supersonic aircraft on aircraft carriers.
After reaching speeds above Mach 1 in shallow water, the project went ahead, despite all the control, stability and integrity problems it had.
Problems that turned out to be fatal when, In a public demonstration to officers and the press, the plane disintegrated, killing its pilot. The project was closed almost immediately afterward.
Vought V-173, the flying pancake
Look, I am an open-minded person, and I am aware that some planes have strange shapes for various reasons, but I did not invent the Flying Pancake thing, that’s what those who worked called it with L.
World War II was in full swing, and engineers were realizing that aerodynamics was becoming very important; so If wing design was important, why not create an airplane that is a full wing?
The idea of the V-173 is that, as the entire body of the plane was a wing and generated a lot of thrust, I could fly at much lower speeds than normal; even the placement of the propellers was no accident, as they helped minimize disturbances of air flow at the ends of the wing.
This is one of those cases where looks don’t tell the whole story; Okay, the V-173 was far from perfect, since its control was nothing like other aircraft and that puzzled the pilotsBut if it was piloted well, it could even remain floating in the air, and it survived several forced landings.
Despite everything, the concept failed to convince those who should, and ended in oblivion.
Hughes H-4 Hercules, the largest seaplane in history
People from before had an obsession with seaplanes that was not healthy. If we add to that the obsession they had with doing great things, because we have the H-4, which is not only the largest seaplane ever built, but also the largest aircraft in history. In fact, it was so large, so large, that it did not arrive in time for delivery.
In the early years of 2GM, German submarines were wrecking allied supply lines; then some American government came up with the idea that I could avoid it by sending planes instead of ships, and ordered a transport plane that could carry enough supplies and personnel.
By the time the H-4 first took flight, Hitler had already been dead for more than two years; the government was then left with an airplane that cost2 and a half million dollars of the time that did not fly again because, who would dare to fly that thing?
Blohm & Voss BV 141, symmetry is overrated
No, the photo is not of an unfinished model, the BV 141 really was like that.
Due to the importance of aerodynamics in aviation, one might think that the design of an airplane must be symmetrical, so that the air affects both sides of the aircraft equally when it reaches high speeds.
However, there are many planes that show that full symmetry is not absolutely necessary, like the BV 141 that flew at 2 GM, although on the German side. It all started when the German government asked companies for a reconnaissance plane that only needed one engine, somewhat more complicated than it seems.
Hence the asymmetry of the BV 141; On the right are the pilot, the observer and the gunman, and on the left is the engine that powered the device. However, the requirement to use a single engine was too harsh, and by the time an evolution of the BMW engine arrived, the device was little more than useless because they already knew where the enemy was: at the doors.
McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, a stingerless wasp
Do you think traveling in the middle class is hell? How about going into the cargo hold of a bomber? The tiny XF-85 was what was known as a parasite, an airplane that could not take off on its own but was loaded into the B-36 bomber hold.
The idea was release a swarm of these little fighters that will overwhelm the enemy and they would be capable of impossible maneuvers for full-size fighters. However, the designers forgot that the phrase divide and conquer does not refer to yourself, but to the enemy.
The little fighter had ridiculous characteristics compared to those of the Soviet fighters, and they would fall easily even if they outnumbered the enemy; Furthermore, although getting out of the bomber was relatively easy, the problem was going back inside, with an extremely complicated docking process.
In the end, the apparatus recorded just over two hours of flight before all the people involved agreed to forget this idea.
Douglas X-3 Stiletto, the supersonic plane that does not reach Mach 1
Unlike other models on this list, the design of the X-3 was futuristic and stylish, when you see it you realize that it must be a very fast airplane. Unfortunately, it seemed fast, but it wasn’t.
The X-3 was designed in the early years of supersonic aviation as an experimental aircraft to test what it was like to fly faster than the speed of sound. Of course, for that he had to reach that speed first.
The X-3’s engines simply did not have enough power to take the plane to Mach 1 (1,225 km / h), let alone the 3,200 km / h its designers expected. At least the project was not an absolute waste of money, because what was learned from the X-3 was later used in supersonic aircraft such as the F-104.