Ever since the Wright Brothers invented the first successful airplane in history, planes have evolved. These days, it seems that plane manufacturers have tried to be as creative as possible by incorporating some of the most unique features on their planes.
Besides developing the technology on their planes, manufacturers have also experimented with different designs for planes. Some of the designs were very appealing while others were a surprise to see. It's not only some planes that have taken on a strange design; some helicopters have followed suit.
Since some things are hard to believe unless they’re seen, we decided to glean photos of some of the most peculiar plane and helicopter designs.
20 Dornier Aerodyne
The man responsible for this plane was Alexander Lippisch. The Aerodyne was a designation of a wingless VTOL unmanned aircraft. Dornier built it on behalf of the Federal German Ministry of Defense. Lippisch was involved with the team that built it. The plane's first flight was on 18 September 1972.
19 Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
S-64 Skycrane is a twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter and was the civil version of the United States Army's CH-54 Tarhe. Presently, the S-64 Skycrane is manufactured by Erickson Inc. S-64 Aircrane. Erickson names each S-64, with the most famous one called Elvis, which is used for fighting fires in Australia.
18 Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar
If you thought that this plane was out of a science fiction movie, nobody would argue with you. Its unique design is what makes this aircraft so appealing to look at. Only two models were built, and the project cost $10 million. The aircraft had a top speed of 34 mph. It definitely was unique in many ways.
17 Bartini Bariev VVA-14
Robert Bartini was responsible for the design of the VVA-14, and he envisioned the take-off of the plane to be vertical, according to Business Insider. The project was eventually scrapped after two prototypes were built. The remaining prototype is on display at the Russian Air Force Museum in Monino.
16 Northrop Tacit Blue
Only one Northrop Tacit Blue was built as a technology demonstrator aircraft to show that low-observable stealth could operate close to the forward line of battle with a high probability of surviving. Northrop Tacit Blue had its first flight on February 5, 1982 and retired in 1985. Northrop viewed the project as very important to its legacy.
15 Boeing A160 Hummingbird
Boeing has gotten a reputation for building some of the best airplanes on the market, but not many people are aware that the company also has produced helicopters. This helicopter is an unmanned aircraft that has a top speed of 160 mph. The design incorporates technology not often used.
14 Scaled Composites White Knight Two
Sometimes, the truth can be stranger than fiction. Who would ever have thought that you could get two planes for the price of one? This prototype was a quad jet cargo aircraft used to lift the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to release altitude. Although the two planes connected looked cool, only one was produced.
13 ELM-2075 Phalcon
When have you seen a plane with such a nose? It's not often that you'll see a plane with this peculiar design, but the ELM-2075 Phalcon contains a radar system that companies such as Boeing and others in India have acquired. Defence Aviation reported that India bought three Phalcom systems for $1.1 billion.
12 LTV XC-142
The XC-142 was a tiltwing experimental aircraft and that was designed to determine the operational suitability of vertical take-off. This aircraft's first flight was on September, 29 1964 as it took off vertically but changed to forward flight and eventually, the XC-142 landed vertically. NASA is the primary user.
11 McDonell XF-85 Gobin
Don't let the size of the package fool you to believe that this plane doesn't provide a great performance. Sometimes, big things come in small packages. The XF-85 Gobin has a top speed of 664 mph. That's surprising considering that this plane took flight for the first time on August 23, 1948.
10 Handley Page Victor
It seems that the British wanted a really fast plane, so they designed the Handley Page Victor to reach a top speed of 649 mph. The plane's first flight took place on December 24, 1952, and the manufacturer built 86 examples. The plane was a strategic bomber that was retired in 1993.
9 Kaman K-Max
Long gone are the days when all helicopters are designed in the conventional manner that we've become accustomed to. Kaman Corporation, an American manufacturer, is responsible for building this helicopter that costs $5 million. K-Max contains intermeshing rotors and lifts a payload of over 6,000 pounds.
8 Hughes XH-17
The history behind this helicopter is quite interesting. According to Avistar, the XH-17 started as a ground test stand for a tip-jet powered rotor systems. Then the company got a contract to transform it into an aircraft. The huge rotors were made to provide a huge lifting capacity, so Kellett Hughes attached it to stilt-like legs.
7 Lockheed Martin P-791
This aircraft looks more like a blimp than an experimental aerostatic and aerodynamic hybrid airship. Its first flight happened on January 31, 2006. The manufacturers revived the P-791 after losing the contract with the U.S. army and upscaled it to carry 20 tonnes of cargo for their new contract with a Canadian company, according to Flight Global.
6 Vought V-173
Otherwise known as the flying pancake, Vought V-173 was an experimental aircraft, built as part of the Vought XF5U 'Flying Flapjack.' The plane's design contains a circular airfoil with large-diameter propellers, found on the wingtips. The plane could reach a speed of 138 mph and had its first flight in 1942.
5 Mil V-12
Considering this helicopter is 121 feet long, it's regarded as one of the longest helicopters ever built. The manufacturer completed the first prototype in 1968. The great thing about this helicopter is that it exceeded the manufacturer's design expectations that resulted in it setting numerous records that still stand today.
4 Piasecki H21
Frank Piasecki was responsible for the design of the H21, which received the nickname the Flying Banana. H21 took to the skies for the first time in 1952, though it was introduced in 1949, but retired in 1967. This helicopter was built for multi-mission and used skis, floats, or wheels.
3 Sikorsky H-5
If you're looking for a helicopter that provides plenty of cabin space, then the H-5 isn't the plane for you. Despite the cramped cabin, Sikorsky H-5 proved to be successful since the manufacturer made more than 300 units. H-5 took the skies for the first time on August 18, 1943 and was used by the United States Air Force.
2 PZL M-15 Belphegor
Although the M-15 Belphegor isn't the most visually appealing airplane, its manufacturers built 175 examples. The manufacturers built it during the Soviet Union days for farms and agricultural collectives. The name Belphegor came from the plane's strange looks and noisy engine. The word Belphegor has a nasty connotation.
1 Sikorsky CH-37C Mojave
When the United States Marine Corps needed a heavy-lift helicopter in the 1950s, they commissioned Sikorsky to deliver. The result was a CH-37C Mojave. At the time it debuted, the CH-37 was the largest helicopter in the Western world. It was one of the last helicopters to use piston engines.
Sources: businessinsider.com, flightglobal.com, aviastar.org, defenceaviation.com