The world is full of unusual versions of common items. Aircrafts are not exempted. Here are some examples of unusual looking aircrafts.
The Halton Meteor was an aircraft with an unusual wing structure designed in the 1920s. Unlike a conventional flying machine, the aircraft did not have a tail assembly consisting of the tail wings and a fin with a rudder. Instead, a fin with the rudder was fitted under each wing. One propeller was attached to the front and the back of the fuselage of the aircraft. The propellers were turned by two Bristol Cherub III engines. The aircraft had a wingspan of 43.93 feet and weighed 722 pounds. It could fly at the maximun speed of 120 mph.
The Martin SV-5D was an aircraft without wings. Instead, the fuselage was designed in such a way to be used as a wing to provide lift. The aircraft was designed by the Martin Company for the Spacecraft Technology and Advanced Re-entry Tests project of the United States Air Force.
The Martin X-24A Marietta was another wingless aircraft. Like the Martin SV-5D, the body acted as the wing. The aircraft made its first flight when it was launched from a B-52 in 1970. The X-24A had the length of 24 feet and 6 inches, wingspan of 11 ft and 6i inches, height of 9 feet and 7 inches.
The aircraft was powered by 1 XLR-11 four-chamber rocket engine. It could reach the maximun speed of 1,036 miles per hour.
The Chance Vought XF5U-1 was another aircraft which did not have the normally expected wing structure. The aircraft was powered by Two Pratt & Whitney R-200-7 engines. It had a width of 32 feet and 6 inches, a length of 28 feet and 7½ inches, and a height of 14 feet and 9 1nches. It could fly at the maximun speed of 388 mph at 20,000 feet. The aircraft was also known as the ‘Flying Flapjack‘.
The Hiller Flying Platform was an experimental flying machine where a pilot stood on it as it flew like a helicopter. It was developed for the Office of Naval Research.
Another flying platform was the X-Jet developed by Williams Research. The aircraft was powered by a WR19 Jet Engine. You can now see an X-Jet at the Seattle Museum of Flight, and another one at the USAF Museum in Ohio.
Have you seen a vehicle which can be used as an automobile as well as an aircraft? The Aerocar was one such vehicle. This unusual vehicle could be quite easily converted into an aircraft from a car and from a car to an aircraft. One Lycoming engine was used to drive the wheels when it was used as a car and the propeller which was located at the tail when it was used as an aircraft. The wings and other parts required for flying were placed on a trailer to be towed while the unusual vehicle was on the road.
The Convair Pogo was unusual experimental VTOL, a kind of aircraft that takes off and land like a helicopter. The aircraft had a set of delta wings. Unlike a normal aircraft, the Pogo was placed vertically like a rocket. It also had an unusual propeller structure consisting of three propellers. An Allison YT40-A-16 turboprop engine with 5,500 horsepower turned the propellers. In 1951, the US Navy ordered one Pogo.
Have you seen an aircraft which is a combination of two aircrafts? The North American P82 Twin Mustang was actually two P51 Mustangs joined together. The aircraft was designed for long flights during the night. When one pilot was growing tired, the other pilot could relieve him. Each of the two propellers was driven by an Allison 12-cylinder V-1710-G6 engine. The aircraft had a wingspan of 51 feet 3 inches and a length of 39 feet. The aircraft could reach the maximun speed of 475 miles per hour. The P82 Mustang first flown on June 15, 1945.
The Germans also had unusual aircrafts during the Second World War. The Arado Ar E555 was one such aircraft. An experimental aircraft, the E555 was considered a “Flying wings” aircraft due to the shape of it. Instead of the usual wings configuration found on a normal aircraft during that time, the E555 had delta wings more commonly found on modern jet fighters.
The Blohm & Voss BV P.215 was another unusual German aircraft for the Second World War. It had a pair of swept wings and did not have any tail assembly. Instead, a fin with the rudder and a tail wing was under each of the main wings. The aircraft had a wingspan of 47 feet and 3 inches, the length of 38 feet 1 inches, and a height of 16 feet 5 inches. The BV P.215 could reach the maximun speed of 541 miles per hour.