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The Weirdest Planes Ever Built

27 June 2022

The Weirdest Planes Ever Built

They have wings, an engine, and have carried millions of people to destinations all around the globe for the last century. So, they are all the same, right?

Well, yes. However, that has not stopped engineers creating some weird and wonderful creations that go against the traditional designs that are used in day-to-day aviation.

Whether it was an ill-judged idea, or an innovation that changed the course of history, is here to guide you through a selection of bizarre inventions that have graced our skies.

  • Super Guppy

Designed in part by the globally known Airbus brand back in 1965, the Super Guppy first appears to be a ballooned commercial plane, with no redeeming design features that would even allow for a safe flight.

But, this odd design has a purpose, and that's for carrying outsize cargo. And during an era where the space race was heating up, the Super Guppy was an important piece of the jigsaw during America's all-conquering Apollo program.

  • Edgley Optica

Designed in the late 1970s by British manufacturer, Edgley, the Optica was an observation light aircraft that looks like the lovechild of a helicopter and a Cessna airplane.

For the time, the plane was extremely futuristic looking with its dragonfly stature and separated cockpit at the front of the craft, giving the pilot an incredible 270° view. This was definitely a wacky concept that paid dividends from the drawing board to realisation.

  • Northrop Tacit Blue

When you were a kid and drawing on your school notepad, the Northrop Tacit Blue is probably a design that you came close to replicating. With its rectangular and uninspired shape, the stealth prototype designed by The U.S. Air Force wasn't exactly a head turner.

Created in 1982 with the intention of demonstrating how observable an aircraft could be at low altitude, looking for further defence innovations as the USA and the Soviet Union was reaching the final stages of the long-winded and incredibly tense Cold War era.

  • Kalinin K-7

Designed in 1933 by the Soviet Union, the Kalinin K-7 was a heavy experimental aircraft that was designed and used just once, with the purpose of being the largest heavy bomber in the world at the time.

In civil transport mode, it could carry 120 passengers and up to 7,000kg of mail. However, only one was ever built and it sadly crashed, marking the end of one of the largest, heaviest and weirdest designs ever created.

Have you ever had any weird plane experiences in person? Let us know. And if the weird world of planes has inspired you to take to the cockpit, can send you skyward with Vintage Flying Experiences, Balloon Flights, and Aerobatic Flights.

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