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Dumbest aircraft ideas to see service

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posted on Jun, 29 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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We all love aeroplanes (well I do) and maybe we tend to think of aircraft designers as superior beings, genii that we are blessed to have on the earth. This idea, you might think, might be justified in the case of people like R J Mitchell, Sidney Camm, Kelly Johnson etc, but, even though they created some of the greatest machines ever seen, even they had clunkers too.

Here then is something I hope will grow into a thread detailing, in a light hearted way, some of the biggest blunders ever to see the light of day. There are thousands of unmade projects, for most of which someone in authority had an epiphany and the utter stupidity of what was being proposed became blindingly apparent and the designer was told to bugger off. More rarely, perfectly good aircraft were discarded for mundane reasons like there was no money left or whatever, but rarer still, some real turkeys actually made it into the air! Apparently, like the ‘Emperors New Clothes’ nobody dare to speak out and mention the silliness of what they were doing in case the silliest person of all turned out to be them.

This thread then is dedicated to those aircraft that truly deserved to be strangled at birth, but weren’t. I don’t mean personal grudges people may bear towards certain planes, like whether the RAF should have bought the F-22 instead of the Typhoon etc But genuine cast iron 100% Turkeys (no offence to anyone from that country)


In fact, this sort of thing;

Boulton Paul Defiant.

a Defiant crew consider a safer career in bomb disposal


Here's a good idea, somebody once thought; lets make a fighter plane in the same class as the Hurricane and Spitfire, we’ll even use the terrific Rolls Royce Merlin engine in it. Then we’ll fit it with a big, heavy and draggy mid upper turret from a bomber and then to finish it off (literally) DON'T give the pilot any forward firing guns to use! That was a pearler, don't you think?

The concept dated from WW1 when the Bristol F.2B was highly successful in the same role and in the early thirties the Hawker Demon carried on in the same tradition, crucially however, BOTH these aircraft did have fixed forward firing guns but did not have a huge metal and glass motorised dustbin on their back. The Defiant was intended to bring the whole idea up to date with the whizzy new cantilevered monoplanes that were taking over the whole of aviation, incorporating all the latest technology like retractable landing gear and stuff. (just think, if WW2 had never happened we’d have made a Jet version by 1950 as well!!)

It is astonishing now to read the publications that date from 1939 and early 1940 and to see how incredibly smug we were that we had created this brilliant new weapon that nobody else had thought of.

Even more astonishingly, at first the Defiant was highly successful! This was entirely due to the Germans (a) mistaking them for Hurricanes and (b) thinking nobody could be stupid enough to build a fighter plane like that and the Defiants gunners easily took out Bf.109's as they swooped down on them from above and behind. The Germans soon learned that we WERE in fact that stupid and the Defiants career as a defender of the realm was over before the Battle of Britain had finished, most of the huge numbers lost going down without managing to even fire their guns. It was more successful, because it was at less risk, as a nightfighter until the Beaufighter replaced it but that doesn’t disguise the fact that it should never have been built in the first place.

So, over to you guys.





[edit on 29-6-2006 by waynos]




posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 02:01 AM
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Waynos
I may be totally off with this, but were the defiant turrets later installed into warships for AA?



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 05:01 AM
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Well, the first one that springs to my mind is the Messerschmitt Me163 Komet!
Let's strap ourselves to a big firework with no landing gear. Now to make it more interesting, we'll have fuel that'll explode on landing, if it hasn't already dissolved the pilot....



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 05:42 AM
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This one would qualify as not very aerodynamic i would guess

or did you mean military service only?



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 06:01 AM
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Maybe some kind of weaponry there??

I cant quite make it out



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 06:32 AM
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I'd say it looks as if its ripped half half of the shell of the vehicle in the background. It and got it stuck to the wing it looks as if its a windoe kinda shape



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 07:52 AM
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I'd say the F-104 starfighter (I actually like it), but it was totally useless. Although that was not the fault of the aircraft or its designers, it was the ones who ordered it and made the requirements that are to blame. I guess it was meant to intercept Tu-16s (which it never had to). But when pitted agains fighters, it was hopeless. Wasn't much good as a bomber either, unless you want to drop nukes (which again it never had to)
Another one I can think of is the Chinese J-8 (the first one, the J-8II turned out to be a decent and cheap, rugged machine). This was a perfect example of why you shouldn't try to fly before you learn to walk.



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:04 AM
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did you ever see that russian plane that flew just about 10 meters over the water. funny that how that idea never took of. lol



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:53 AM
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Let's strap ourselves to a big firework with no landing gear. Now to make it more interesting, we'll have fuel that'll explode on landing, if it hasn't already dissolved the pilot....


Except for the landing gear that sounds a heckuva lot like the Bell X-1, doesn't it? Great minds do think alike.




[edit on 6/30/2006 by Darkpr0]


ISJ

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by andy1033
did you ever see that russian plane that flew just about 10 meters over the water. funny that how that idea never took of. lol


Thats an ekranoplane (sp) but i see your sarcasm there


ISJ

posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 09:32 AM
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Well, only thinking about it for a few seconds, not many dumb aircraft spring to my mind, but instead all i can think of its lots of aircraft that incorporated a dumb element or factor in their design, whether it be poor weapons, poor range, long gestation or something else.

Take the spitfire for example, rubbish from a point of view they were harder to patch up after damage, mainly because their panels were made out of complex curves, and not many flat panels etc.

The Eurofighter typoon, long gestation, excellent capabilities in many areas, but now its basically in-service the new JSF and Raptor are out doing it on so many levels - seems dumb to me.

TSR2 - "well we want to replace the canberra......." never actually did - did they?
Politicians sealed the TSR2's plight and ended up buying a vastly inferior F111, which got quickly replaced - thats dumb.

Thats the way i understand things, i might be factually incorrect, if so correct me



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 09:37 AM
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i like all of these...crazy german designers...


www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...
www.luft46.com...

that will do for now...take a look at the source to see some more crazy designs.

source:
www.luft46.com...

edited to add..most of these didnt see service...but i thought they were fun.

[edit on 30-6-2006 by Heratix]



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 09:46 AM
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Nice addition to this fun thread, Heratix, but I thought this 'Switchblade' design interesting in light of a recent thread here.

www.luft46.com...

I'll be looking through the site you provided.

thanks




posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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Thank you masqua...yes some of those designs are probably very viable..good design..bad timing...i bet some of those could be incorporated with modern technology and materials...but some will never be viable...all i typed was german WW2 plane designs into google...gonna try some of the others maybe..like russian/american/british...but i got a funny feeling none of them will match the german ambition at that time...what do you think caused them to come up with some of these crazy designs...??? necessity?..lack of materials..???

edited to add this 1...


www.luft46.com...



[edit on 30-6-2006 by Heratix]



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Heratix


www.luft46.com...





WTF!? You see how that thing lands, good luck getting it to fly, even more finding someone crazy enough to actually fly the darn thing.



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 06:56 PM
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The Defiant was the crowning glory of British aviation. If only Boulton Paul still made planes




posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by Zanzibar

Originally posted by Heratix


www.luft46.com...





WTF!? You see how that thing lands, good luck getting it to fly, even more finding someone crazy enough to actually fly the darn thing.


I got a funny feeling it was the landing not the flying that would scare aviators...that is not a viable proposition for an airplane...but i had a debate with a friend of mine about the aerodynamics of a saucer in our atmosphere...it would not stand a chance(in our atmosphere).against a normal fighter aircraft that is designed to cut through air velocity and gravity as we have designed modern aircraft to fly..what do you think????????????????



posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:09 PM
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Initial piloted trials were conducted at Lärz in September 1944, the aircraft without power plant being launched from beneath the port wing of an He 111 bomber but crashing when the pilot lost control after inadvertently jettisoning his cockpit canopy. The second flight test on the following day also terminated in the loss of the aircraft.


pilotted bombs??




posted on Jun, 30 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by AGENT_T



Initial piloted trials were conducted at Lärz in September 1944, the aircraft without power plant being launched from beneath the port wing of an He 111 bomber but crashing when the pilot lost control after inadvertently jettisoning his cockpit canopy. The second flight test on the following day also terminated in the loss of the aircraft.


pilotted bombs??



is that another crazy german device??



posted on Jul, 1 2006 @ 03:29 AM
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The swing-wing aircraft depicted is actually remarkably similar to an experimental research aircraft that is flying today.... I forget the sygnificance of the wing swinging in that manner.... but it's an interesting idea.

The forward-swept wing was a good idea, too - however, it has been shown that conventional aircraft materials at that time were not strong enough to withstand the twisting effect..... but that's changed, now - and forward-swept wings actually increase maneuverability, force the flow of air to the root of the wing, increase the lifting power of the wing, and decrease drag........ the only problem is that your structural stress goes WAAAAY up.

The Japanese had one of the first 'guided cruise missiles' - it was a rocket-propelled airplane designed to fly for a very brief moment, shoot down anything the pilot saw as worth the effort, and glide into a ship with a rather large bomb in the nose.

Thank God for the computer.

Edit to add:

The Germans actually had a radio-controlled bomb that would be controled by the bombadier. It was similar to the V-2 in design, and had its advantages.... and disadvantages. The obvious one is that you had to keep the bomb in front of the plane - or turn the plane to see the bomb.... you can also only control one bomb at a time.

Both the Germans and Allies worked on an anti-ship bomb that used a backwards spin to skip across the water for several kilometers, sinking down below the armored belt before detonating.

That was interesting to watch some videos of.

[edit on 1-7-2006 by Aim64C]



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