Following tests with the barebones C400, the next step was to build a “real aircraft”. Clearly and unequivocally employing German knowledge (von Zborowski), the C.450-01 Coléoptère (Beetle) was designed to be a vertical take-off and landing (VOL) aircraft with posible future interceptor applications. This stunning annular-wing artifact only made nine flights and in the last one (Jul. 1959) it crashed; the test pilot Auguste Morel was gravely injured. Unstable and dangerous, the accident report claimed that its configuration and systems weren’t at fault….. yet the program was cancelled.
Relatively rare rear end photo. Evident here are its annular wing, household Atar jet engine, small winglets and “kiddy cart” landing gear wheels. It was an incredible aircraft.