Here at Jalopnik we love crazy failed cars, but we love crazy failed aircraft even more. Here are the ten of the wildest.
10.) De Havilland Comet
This was the world's first commercial jetliner. It should have been a success, but structural issues related to the rectangular windows caused three crashes. The Comet had to be redesigned, giving up ground to planes like the Boeing 707.
9.) Republic XF-84H
It's not uncommon to get sick when you're in a plane, but when you're near a plane? Yes, the "Thunderscreech" was so loud and so powerful (it created what was like a continuous sonic boom at idle) that it induced vomiting in flight crews simply standing near the plane. The propellor rotated at supersonic speeds and could be heard for 25 miles.
Suggested By: Odlid llubder, Photo Credit: Bill Larkins
8.) Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose"
Due to wartime restrictions on aluminum this plane was made from birch (despite the name) and designed to carry troops across the Atlantic. It has the largest wingspan in aviation history, but only flew once in November 1947.
7.) HZ-1 Aerocycle
This "one-man helicopter" was supposed to be a regular fixture of the postwar battlefield, but proved much too difficult to control. Ah, the crazy days of the Cold War.
Suggested By: T off the New, Photo Credit: US Army
6.) Caproni Ca.60
Would you be surprised if I told you this nine-wing flying boat built in 1921 crashed on its first flight after just reaching 18 ft off the water? I didn't really think so.
Suggested By: Haze, Photo Credit: Public Domain
5.) McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
The Goblin was designed to deploy from a B-36 to protect the large bomber from enemy interceptors. It was a good idea, but it wouldn't have been much of a foe to the enemy fighters so it was scrapped after two prototypes were built. It is undoubtedly, the cutest aircraft ever made.
4.) Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee
Similar to the HZ-1 Helicopter, the VZ-1 was essentially a flying platform that the operator controlled by shifting their body weight. It actually worked reasonably well but couldn't fly more than 33 ft above ground, making it impractical for the battlefield.
3.) Convair NB-36H
Insanity is installing a nuclear reactor to power an airplane. Theoretically it could fly for many weeks, but the project was scrapped for being absurdly expensive.
2.) Goodyear Inflatoplane
Shockingly enough, this inflatable rubber plane made by Goodyear actually worked but the US Army failed to see the usefulness of a rubber plane in combat. I don't have the slightest idea why.
1.) Kanlin K-7
Could anyone but the Soviets made an airplane like this? This was made in the early '30s when the Soviets tried to assert their greatness by building the biggest, baddest planes they could.
It is hard to stress how large this 53,000 pound flying fortress was. Here it is making humans look like ants.
The K-7 crashed on its 11th flight, killing 15.
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Top Photo Credit: Smithsonian Channel via YouTube