You may think that all planes look pretty similar. Once you see these 16 aircrafts, you’ll quickly change your mind.
The Optica is a British aircraft intended to be a low-cost alternative to helicopters. The “bug eye” aircraft was built for slow-speed observation. A total of 23 Opticas have been manufactured, and the construction of two more was started but not completed.
The Short 330 is a small transport aircraft that seats up to 30 people. The design of the aircraft is rather odd, seeing as the fuel is actually stored above the passenger cabin instead of below. As of 1998, there were 35 still in service out of the overall 136 built.
The A5 is a light-sport amphibious aircraft developed by ICON Aircraft. The A5 design was created with a focus on recreation, meaning ICON wants the A5 to compete with ATVs and motorcycles rather than other aircrafts. The first production A5 was delivered in 2015, with plans to build and ship 500 per year by 2017.
Aero Spacelines Super Guppy
The Super Guppy is a wide-bodied cargo aircraft used for hauling unusually large cargo. There were two variants of this aircraft built, the Super Guppy and the Super Guppy Turbine. All Super Guppies are either in service, mothballed or on display.
Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut
The Su-47 Berkut was an experimental jet fighter developed by the Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. The jet featured a forward-swept wing that allowed for superior agility and maneuverability. The Berkut was never mass produced, but Russia is still continuing to develop prototypes.
The Be-200 is an amphibious aircraft designed for fire fighting, search and rescue and passenger transportation. The aircraft can hold 3,170 gallons of water, or up to 72 passengers. The Be-200 is able to scoop water while skimming the surface at 90-95% takeoff speed!
North American XB-70 Valkyrie
The XB-70 Valkyrie is the prototype of the B-70 nuclear-armed strategic bomber. The design of the bomber made it capable to reach Mach3+ while at 70,000 feet in the air — meaning the bomber would nearly be immune to an interceptor aircraft. The introduction of surface-to-air missiles in the late 1950s, however, halted the production of B-70s.
The NASA AD-1 was built off an oblique wing design by Richard Vogt in 1942. The oblique wing can be pivoted obliquely from zero to 60 degrees in the air. The aircraft was only flown 79 times, and is now on exhibit in the “Hiller Aviation Museum.”
North American F-82 Twin Mustang
The F-82 Twin Mustang was the last American piston-engine fighter the US Air Force ordered in to production. The F-82 actually holds the record for longest nonstop flight by a propeller-driven fighter, flying the 5,051 miles from Hawaii to New York.
Horten Ho 229
This prototype fighter/bomber was the first pure flying wing powered by jet engines. The Ho 229 has been retrospectively called “the first stealth bomber” designed, but testing has shown no significant stealth benefits against radar systems. The only surviving Ho 229 airframe has been displayed at the “Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.”
This “flying bathtub” is an unpowered prototype aircraft developed to test the wingless lifting body concept. After 77 flights and 400 ground tows, the M2-F1 sits on display at the “Air Force Flight Test Museum” in California.
The YB-35 was an experimental heavy bomber developed by the Northrop Corporation for the US Air Force. The tail section and fuselage are removed from the aircraft and all payload is within the thick wings. The Air Force initially ordered 200 of these bombers for WWII, but the contract was cancelled when the aircrafts ran in o development problems.
Piaggio P.180 Avanti
The Avanti is an Italian executive transport aircraft with twin turboprop engines. The aircraft features a small forward wing, a conventional tail and main wing, with wing spars that pass the outside of the cabin. The Avanti’s wing design allows for better fuel efficiency compared to other small turbojets.
The VFW-Fokker might not look out of the ordinary at first glance, until you get a look at the engines. The engines are mounted in pods above the wing, instead of underneath. The aircraft was prone to engine problems, and its program was officially cancelled in 1977.
The Bonanza was introduced in 1947 by Beech Aircraft Corporation. The six-seater aircraft has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history. The distinctive “V-tail” design is one of the most notable in aviation.
Scaled Composites Proteus
This tandem-wing aircraft was designed by Burt Rutan to test the use of aircrafts as high altitude telecommunications relays. The Proteus can essentially 'orbit' at over 65,000 feet for more than 18 hours!