Most Ugly Aircraft

Aerodynamics wasn't a well-understood science in those days.
As mentioned on many spitfire threads, it was only in the early 30s when the likes of Prandtl started dabbling in it, that planes 'as we know them' started getting built.

Ludwig Prandtl - Wikipedia

If you look at the list of students, you'll see a fair few who went on to great things, in both aeronautics and automotive design,
As the early "aircraft" were made with "string & chewing gum" . . . O.K. . . . wood and canvas, it is understood that it was wood-working, joinery, firms (#) that were employed to build them and actually lift the designers ideas off the page, and into the air.

Looking at the enclosed cabins of some of the early (French) designes, one can clearly see the influence of what they might have been building the rest of the time . . . greenhouses, "orangeries", etc..

(#) that would be a sensible use of available skills. At the time the only other skilled artisans, would have been blacksmiths, and they were busy expanding the use of the heavier material with which they were familiar, by developing bi-tri-cycles, and the automobile.
 
Last edited:
As the early "aircraft" were made with "string & chewing gum" . . . O.K. . . . wood and canvas, it is understood that it was wood-working, joinery, firms that were employed to build them and actually lift the designers ideas off the page, and into the air.

Looking at the enclosed cabins of some of the early (French) designes, one can clearly see the influence of what they might have been building the rest of the time . . . greenhouses, "orangeries", etc..
Yep.
The days of flying as a novelty, hence the huge picture windows in the wings, etc
Makes for extreme fugliness.
Only when the understanding of power v drag as speed increased came aboutthat they started streamlining.
Gotta love the 'make it up as you go along' approach.
 
Yep.
The days of flying as a novelty, hence the huge picture windows in the wings, etc
Makes for extreme fugliness.
Only when the understanding of power v drag as speed increased came aboutthat they started streamlining.
Gotta love the 'make it up as you go along' approach.
Talking of windows in the wings there is the Junkers G.36:

serveimage-42.jpeg
 
I think that it is a great shame that most of the Luftwaffe 46 heaps didn’t get built.
Our chaps would have had great sport knocking these aerodynamic abortions out of the air whilst flying their MB5’s, Sea Fury’s, Spit 21’s and Hornets. Not to mention the various jets that had engines that worked.
 
I actually rather like this. It has a definite 1930s art deco / Steam Punk look

I expect it is piloted by Captain Nemo.
Rather like an F-4, proof that anything will fly if you give it enough power.
 
I actually rather like this. It has a definite 1930s art deco / Steam Punk look

I expect it is piloted by Captain Nemo.
Rather like an F-4, proof that anything will fly if you give it enough power.
On it's mishap laden sales flight to New York, the trip took over 7 months, it caught fire and had yto be repaired and spent most of the flight in ground effect until they went through a drastic weight stripping exercise.

It's the kind of aircraft where the pilot piped his throttle orders to the engine room:





We don't need no stinking throttle bank...

On it's initial passenger proving flights, the passengers were herded from one side of the aircraft to the other to assist banking.

Despite the RAF having a partly Naval heritage I'm sure there's agreement that "All hands prepare to come about"* shouldn't be an appropriate airborne command....




* although the Captain on a Belfast proving flight on route to Gan did get in trouble for sending the signal "Captain and crew doing well... No signs of scurvy yet..."
 
I actually rather like this. It has a definite 1930s art deco / Steam Punk look

I expect it is piloted by Captain Nemo.
Rather like an F-4, proof that anything will fly if you give it enough power.
Needless to say, the French attempt at something similar just looked wrong...

Latécoère 521.jpg


It was even uglier from head on...

Latécoère 5212.jpg
 
I understand that it was designed as a lifting body/flying wing machine.....



But the fuselage shape seems out of kilter with other contemporary ideas on the same lines...

Wiki claims it's a forrunner of the Blended Wing Body:

In design terms the G-38 foreshadowed the Blended Wing Body design currently being developed by both NASA and Boeing as an alternative to traditional tube and wing aircraft configurations.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
S The NAAFI Bar 48
Mighty_doh_nut Now That's What I Call NAAFI Bar 89
M Officers 25

Similar threads

Top