The Daftest Aircraft


Well, we've had the best looking aircraft, the ugliest aircraft, so how about the daftest? - to kick off we have the Rotary Rocket, a fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) manned spacecraft cunningly disguised as a 21st century windmill

Or how about the Perkenalkan ‘Black Knight Transformer’.... It's a tad confused, is it a truck?? is it a helicopter? Not even it's makers are sure..... and more importantly, what's the bloody point of it?

Bonus points to the most lethal to it's crew or innocent bystanders - double bonus points if you can correctly identify what class A drugs the designers were ingesting when they came up with the concept.


Which is why the Germans went down the real VTOL route - the EWR VJ 101... I wonder if they drew straws to see who would be the (un)lucky test pilot?




Guns on the front you say? That would be a bit silly old boy.

The Defiant wasn't the problem, it was the theory that it was designed to. It was envisaged that there would be mass attacks by German bombers across the North Sea, unescorted because of the distances involved. The Defiants would then be able to position themselves in a blind spot and blast away while being immune to the bombers defensive fire. This theory didn't allow for a typical shabby Nazi trick, invading France allowing it's bombers to attack across the Channel with fighter escort.

Having said that, there is no excuse for the Roc.


Once more with value added German engineering, the Bachem Ba 349,
A vertical take-off point-defense rocket-powered interceptor, one you can’t land in, but instead the pilot parachutes back to earth along with the reusable engine – trouble is, the one and only time they tried it, it killed the poor bugger at the controls.


Pemberton Billing PB31. Designed for anti-Zeppelin ops, it overcame the problem of having to climb quickly to height by having a large fuel capacity, enabling it to mount standing patrols of up to 18 hours duration.

Problems being:

1. It had no means of knowing when a Zeppelin was nearby, unless one was illuminated in a searchlight beam from the ground, or by its own searchlight.
2. It was too slow to catch any Zeppelin which didn't fly past it at the same altitude
3. The engines would overheat after a couple of hours use, making the long duration standing patrol a tad tricky.
4. Its rate of climb was rather poor - so any Zeppelin which adopted the usual manoeuvre to avoid an intercepting fighter, namely dashing for height, stood a decent chance of being back in Germany before the PB31 got up there (granted, most defending fighters couldn't reach either, but they at least got to the height in time to see the airship run away)

You'd not think it was the grandfather of