Day Thread of the Bad Airplanes

Look, people are heavier than air, it was always going to be an uphill battle. Please take a moment to appreciate the brave insanity of our forebears, creators of such mighty aircraft as–

The Fokker V.8!


Capable of seating 1⅔ Red Barons.

The Zerbe Sextuplane!


Sextuple the wings, sextuple the fun!

The Phillips Multiplane I!


What if a Venetian blind, but plane?

Jesus Christ, the Phillips Multiplane II!


Wikipedia tells me this actually flew, and no, you’re lying.

AEA Cygnet II!


This thing looks like a five-dimensional Toblerone, turn it off. TURN IT OFF!

Caproni Ca.4!


This one doesn’t seem so bad until you see the man for scale in the corner.

The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.10!


Four wings and an aloe strip for an even-closer shave.

The Johns Multiplane!



Wikipedia describes this one as “unable to maintain controlled flight.”

The Zerbe Air Sedan!


Hey, it’s our old friends at Zerbe again!

The Air Sedan was piloted by Tom Flannery on its first and only flight in 1919 at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The aircraft took off and quickly climbed to 100 ft (30 m), flew approximately 1000 ft (300 m) then was significantly damaged during landing.[3] One report states: ” After that Zerbe left town never to be heard of or seen again. (He died in New York in 1921). What happened to the abandoned damaged plane is unknown”.[3]

And, last but not least, the Caproni Ca.60!


Amazingly, there were no fatalities in the crash that destroyed it.

As you can see, heavier-than-air flight is unreliable at best, which is why airplane development was fully abandoned by 1925. Perhaps we’ll try again someday.