Brown SC: Diamonds were not forever.

This bizarre aircraft was built in Missouri in 1931 and was the brainchild of a guy called Ben Brown. This pusher design was powered by a 95 hp Cirrus Mark III and had a “Bellanca-like” strutted tandem wing  with joined wingtips that form a sort of diamond-shaped wing. Ailerons on the wingtips and elevons on the forward wing, close to the fuselage.  It seems it was test flown, but no data is available about that or about its fate.

Boxy yet alluring.

Photo and main source of information: the great Aerofiles place.

Ricci R.4: Pensare in Grande.

The Ricci R.4 was a transatlantic double-hull quadriplane seaplane project which appeared just after the end of WW1. This huge catamaran was designed to be powered by eight engines of a nominal power of 5000 hp. The cabin, seen here between the two inner wings, has two levels able to carry around 155 passengers. It was  conceived to offer a luxurious service worthy of the great liners of the time.

Photo Source.

Lippisch Delta IM: Alpha of the Deltas.

Alexander Lippisch coined the name “Delta” and also had the honour of building the first practical delta wing aircraft. His Delta IM flew in 1931 as an evolution of his previous work on tailess gliders, and in particular as a powered version (30 hp Bristol Cherub III) of his Delta I. The result was both nimble and easy to handle as we can observe in this charming video. The only example built was destroyed in a 1933 crash, but the seed was already sown.

Photo: ©Alex Stocker.

Convair XFY Pogo: STAY AT HOME !!!

Learning to walk before you run. The Pogo getting ready for its indoors tests inside the humongous dirigible hangar at Moffett Field, California (June, 1954). The aircraft was suspended from a tough cable which was attached to the propellers hub. Other cables were attached to the wings and fins to stabilise the prototype. The whole idea proved to be a failure; the XFY’s props generated too much turbulence and the tests continued outdoors.

….., but you are not a Pogo. Keep Safe.

HS Harrier T.52: High on believing.

Patented by Swiss test pilot Heinz Erwin Frick (Bae) in 1982, the Skyhook concept was conceived to operate Harriers from smaller ships. Thanks to a crane, the Harrier would have been caught in midair by an appropriately equipped ship and armed and refueled, even in rough sea conditions. It had no takers.

An old friend demonstrating the validity of this pretty smart idea with a clever and quite economical rig.

Others tried…

Nanchang J-12: Resting Places (XXXII).

The Chinese J-12 was one of the two designs ordered by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in the late 1960s as possible replacement for the MiG-19/J-6. The aircraft which made it first flight in 1970 was a tiny single-engine lightweight fighter equipped with a swept-wing. The basic design proved unsatisfactory during tests, and three examples of an improved more powerful version followed. To no avail, the resulting J-12I was still both underpowered and underarmed. Those were the reasons, plus the availability of the J-7 -a MiG-21F copy-, why this project was cancelled in the late 1970s.

The weathered, but proud, J-12 on display at the China Aircraft Museum. Kinda cute “sport” fighter.