Illustration for article titled What Plane Prototype Was Never Given A Chance To Succeed?

We’ve been flying for over a century now, and, while our arms are so very, deeply fatigued, we’re kind of in an aircraft-design rut. Sure, there’s very very good reasons for this involving “science” and “math” and “reality” other killjoy concepts, but there were so many other novel ideas out there. What’s your favorite that never got a chance?

For me, I think the giant, passenger-carrying flying wings have to be it. It seems like we were promised those were the Next Big Thing pretty much every decade since the 1930s, but they never really seemed to happen. I guess they were too wide for most airports or just too radically different to fly, but they sure seemed to offer some volumetric advantages, and, if you believe the old promo films, lots of other advantages as well:

Oh well. I guess we’re still stuck in narrow metal tubes for the time being.

But to hell with what I think — what’s your favorite aircraft that never really got a fair shake?


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