Do you know what the history of aircraft is filled with? Amazing designs that have withstood the test of time but at the same time, there are many that can be called the words aircraft designs ever! Flying is one of the safest ways to travel, however we wouldn’t be so sure with the following seven designs of aircraft;
The ME-163 Komet
Closer to the end of WWII, the National Socialist war machine was fully invested and using everything and anything that it could to deter the advancing allies. That is what led to the ME-163 Komet being inducted. It was a rocket-powered, small fighter that was able to travel at a speed of 100 mph. It was faster than any ally fighters but came with its own set of issues. It had limited fuel capacity, and once it was in the air, pilots only had about three minutes to carry out combat. After the three minutes, they had to glide the plane back to base without any power thus making the plane a tempting target for ally fighters. The jet also didn’t feature any kind of landing gear thus causing crashes on a frequent basis.
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 has remained among the most recognizable jetliners of all time. Despite the fact that its design was loved by aircraft fans all over the world, it features a fatal flaw in its early days. This caused the plane to crash much more often than it should have. The crashes involved a 1973 Turkish Airlines Flight 981 in Picardi France, everyone on board was killed. It was soon realized that the problem existed because of the cargo bay door design. The door was designed to open outwards and not inwards. The cargo door would burst open and cause the cabin floor to collapse thus bringing the aircraft down. Once the issue was fixed, the aircraft became one of the most reliable ways to fly!
The Avoidable Tragedy Of Hindenburg
Among the list of famous aircraft design flaws is the terrible Hindenburg disaster. This event was the primary reason why airships didn’t become the future of passenger aircraft. It caught fire and crashed during an attempt to dock in New Jersey in 1936. It was later revealed that the airship was the victim of an electrostatic discharge that had ignited the hydrogen gas within the airship. Although airships switched to inert Helium gas, the airships didn’t quite catch on!
The Christmas Bullet
The Christmas Bullet was a unique prototype biplane that had been the brainchild of Dr. William Whitney Christmas in 1918. The reason why you haven’t ever heard of this plane is that, as an aviation historian puts it, he was ‘the greatest charlatan to ever see his name associated with an airplane.’ The aircraft didn’t have any struts for the sake of supporting the wings. Rather they had been designed so that they could flap similar to a bird’s wings. Both of the prototypes crashed during the first flights.
The British BE-9
A number of amazing and interesting concepts came up during the 20th Century. However, the most interesting concept had to be the Royal Aircraft factory’s B.E.9. The designers of the plane wanted to impart an unobstructed field of view to the gunner and decided to place the gunner at the front of the aircraft. But wait, that is where the propeller is, right? The solution? Place the gunner next to the propeller!
The de Havilland Comet
After WWII, the British aircraft design entered a golden age. During this, a number of highly-advanced designs were put forth. Among such designs was the incredible de Havilland Comet. It was the first ever jetliner and entered service in 1952. However, the cabin windows of the jet were square instead of being the round ones that we have grown accustomed to and this design difference, although tiny, caused three Comets to break up in the air.
The Ca 60 Noviplano
This particular plane was designed in the 1920s and featured a total of nine wings. It was designed to carry a total of 100 passengers and had three set of three wings. The plane reached an amazing altitude of 60 feet during its test flight before it crashed into the water. The pilot survived, however, the prototype was lost to the fire.