Oddball Aircraft in History

Andy44

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I remember years ago seeing a photo in a magazine of a weird black fighter jet that had four engines, two under each wing. It was supposed to be a night fighter or something, had a straight wing, didn't look very fast, but was very stately looking, if that makes any sense. 2-man crew was seated side-by-side. The four engines were presumably early post-war jobs that had the usual underpowered performance issues.

I had searched for years to figure out what that plane was, and I finally found it: The XF-87 Blackhawk, built by Curtis-Wright.

iu


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Apparently this was that company's last gasp, and when the USAF canc'd the contract the company went under. But it's a pretty airplane, looks more like some kind of bomber or maybe even some kind of civil patrol plane than a fighter.

Discuss. And...

Name some of your favorite oddball aircraft or spacecraft that just didn't make it to the mainstream.
 

Thorsten

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Heh... I've been busy tagging aircraft in our repository with metadata, and one aircraft creator has a thing of the exotic designs... I couldn't believe what people came up with in the course of history...

Let's start with this one - the Convair B36 Peacemaker

six turnin' and four burnin' - combined piston and jet propulsion

Convair_B-36_Peacemaker.jpg


Oh well, it sort of did make it to the mainstream, though the concept was abandoned soon. But here's another nice one - the Caproni Stipa:

Stipa-Caproni_front_quarter_view.jpg


Very efficient propeller inside that duct... though... you know... the design isn't optimal either.
 
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Linguofreak

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From the thread title, I thought for sure the aircraft you'd bring up would be something like the Ass-ender (by the same company).

The XF-87 doesn't look too unusual for its role: When planes were still mostly gun-armed and radar was a heavy and expensive piece of equipment, it paid to have fighter aircraft specialized for combat in nightime/low-visibility conditions, and these generally ended up being a lot heavier and more light-bomber-like than daytime fighters. Consider the P-61, which the XF-87 was a candidate to replace.
 

Urwumpe

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I would add the F7U "Ensign Eliminator" Cutlass there:

F7U-1_CVB-41_launch2_1941.jpg


A very advanced design with very underpowered engines.
 

Linguofreak

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While its use on the P-38 gave the configuration enough fame that we tend not to think of it as "oddball", let's do take a moment to acknowledge that twin-boom construction (shared by a few other aircraft, including the P-61 that I mentioned above), is really rather oddball.
 

Andy44

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Do concept aircraft count, or does there have to be a physical airframe somewhere in the program/design's history?

Let's try to limit it to at least aircraft that got to the mock-up stage, such as the X-20 Dyna Soar, which was on the verge of being built when it was killed.

---------- Post added at 02:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:47 AM ----------

I would add the F7U "Ensign Eliminator" Cutlass there:

F7U-1_CVB-41_launch2_1941.jpg


A very advanced design with very underpowered engines.

Ah yes, the "Gutless Cutlass". It's interesting how many futuristic looking jets of the early post-war years couldn't live up to their own good looks due to anemic power plants.

While its use on the P-38 gave the configuration enough fame that we tend not to think of it as "oddball", let's do take a moment to acknowledge that twin-boom construction (shared by a few other aircraft, including the P-61 that I mentioned above), is really rather oddball.

Even though it made it to production and saw action in Korea, I count the F-82 Twin Mustang as a twin-boom (twin-fuselage really) oddball.

iu
 

boogabooga

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XF-87 looks normal for its time in the late 40s- after the turbojet had caught on but before the advantage of swept-wings did. Just slinging jet propulsion onto an airframe still having WWII design philosophy. Consider also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_B-45_Tornado

And as Linguofreak points out, this is an era in which radar-equipped aircraft were with few exceptions multi-engined and very often just converted bombers or ground attack planes. (Mosquito, Ju-88, Do-217, Beaufighter, etc.)

My nomination for most-oddball aircraft in history:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_XF5U
 

Thorsten

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If you look into early VTOL attempts from today's perspective, you sure get the giggles...

Convair Pogo

Convair_XFY-1_in_flight.jpg


Convair_XYF-1_Pogo.jpg


"Landing was also a problem, as the pilot had to look back behind himself during a landing to properly stabilize the craft."

Yeah, I guess trying to hit your carrier while looking over your right shoulder can spoil your day in rough seas...
 

Linguofreak

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If you look into early VTOL attempts from today's perspective, you sure get the giggles...

Convair Pogo

Convair_XFY-1_in_flight.jpg


Convair_XYF-1_Pogo.jpg


"Landing was also a problem, as the pilot had to look back behind himself during a landing to properly stabilize the craft."

Yeah, I guess trying to hit your carrier while looking over your right shoulder can spoil your day in rough seas...

The only aircraft to ever need a backing alarm!

Beep beep beep beep beep!
 

PhantomCruiser

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One of my favorites, the Martin P6-M SeaMaster. The hangar used for the project is now AIMD at Patuxent River NAS.

P6M-SeaMaster-Powering-Up1.jpg
 

perseus

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The Nord 1500 Ggriffon was an experimental aircraft type propelled by a ramjet designed and built in the mid-1950s by the manufacturer owned by the French state Nord Aviation.

It was part of a series of programs that sought the development of a fighter, for the French Air Force, with flight capabilities at speeds of Mach 2.

21_1.jpg


n1500griffonii-1.jpg


Griffon%2Bfactsheet1%2B800.png


Nord_1500_Griffon_II.JPG
 

Notebook

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Conventional looking aircraft, but one of the few jet powered flying boats:


Something slightly more unusual:
 

perseus

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RSR (see R-020). Though the RSR was derived directly from the 2RS, it differed in having augmented bypass turbojet engines (low-ratio turbofans) and strengthened landing gear for conventional full-load take-offs..


Design OKB-256 P.V.Tsybin
Type RSR
Function strategic reconnaissance
Crew 1
Dimensions & Weight
Length (ignoring nose probe), m 27,4
Wing Span, m over engines 10,23
ignoring engines 7,7
Aspect ratio of wing 1,67
Wing area, m2 64
Overall height, m 4,75
Equipment weight, kg 1850
Вес констpyкции планеpа, кг 4050
Take-off weight, kg 21000
Empty weight, kg 7700
Landing weight, kg 9200
Power-plant
Engine 2 ТРДД Д-21
Trust, kgf take-off 4500-5000
M=2,5 at altitude 20 km 2200
Engine weight, kg 2200
Fuel weight 10700 (12000)
Performance (project)
Speed, km/h (M=) max 2800 (2,65)
cruise 2,56
landing 220
Range, km 3760
Practical ceiling, m 26700
Dinamic ceiling, m 42000
Take-off run, m 1200 (1300)
Landing run, m 1350 (1200)

1_2.jpg

rsr_3.gif


Look similar to the Project Skylon

aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzAxNC82MzAvb3JpZ2luYWwvaW50ZXJzdGVsbGFyLXNwYWNlLXRyYXZlbC1jb25jZXB0cy1hZHJpYW4tbWFubi0yNy5qcGc=


660px-Skylon.svg.png


---------- Post added at 06:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:23 PM ----------

Henschel Hs P.75

This 1941 aircraft design was to be a possible successor to the Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter. Although of a unusual configuration for that time, there were advantages (and disadvantages) to its rear wing/forward canard construction.
The Hs P.75 featured a tapered fuselage, with the slightly swept-back wings being mounted mid-fuselage and set back to the rear of the aircraft. The widened fuselage was designed to house the Daimler Benz DB 610 engine, which were two DB 605 engines joined side-by-side, .

hsp75cut.gif

aop75-2.jpg

Crew: 1 pilot
Length: 11.3 m
Wingspan: 12.2 m
Height: 4.3 m
Surface area: 28.4 m²
Weight charged: 7500 kg
Maximum take-off weight: 3,600 kg
Power plant: 2 × engine V12 DB 613 ..
Power: 3500 HP each.
Propeller diameter: 3,2 m
performance
Maximum operating speed (Vno): 790 km / h
Roof of flight: 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
Armament
Cannons: 4 × 30 mm Mk108 cannon located on the hill.
 

Andy44

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Thinking again on the F-87, it was given the name "Blackhawk", but presumably because it didn't go into production the name was later recycled for today's H-60 family of helicopters (made famous in the book and film "Blackhawk Down".

The US Army has a habit of naming helicopters after American Indian tribes. The Huey's real name is officially "Iroquois", the Apache, the Choctaw, etc.

I'm guessing the F-87 was named because it was a "night fighter" and got the black paint job, similar to the P-61 Black Widow.
 

boogabooga

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I'm guessing the F-87 was named because it was a "night fighter" and got the black paint job, similar to the P-61 Black Widow.

Plus it was made by Curtiss, who named (or had named for them) most of their fighter aircraft something "Hawk" going back to the 1920s:

Hawk, Warhawk, Mohawk, Tomahawk, Kittyhawk, Hawk 75, Seahawk, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk etc...

Granted, most of those are P-40 derivatives.
 

Urwumpe

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Of course, in the late war, the German ideas became a bit more extreme:

ghtrb-7.jpg


Focke-Wulf Triebflügel.

I am pretty sure, who can build a quad rotor drone could also make this one fly....

Of course, Il-2: 1946 players also know the similar Heinkel Lerche:

Heinkel_Lerche.jpg
 
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