Ever since that fateful Wright brothers’ flight in Kitty Hawk, the race to build cutting edge planes has driven engineers to design some of the most absurd flying machines. From tiny planes to full on flying saucers and tanks with wings strapped on, it would seem there is nothing humans haven’t tried to build. Some of these creations creations actually did very well – though most failed spectacularly.
15. Avro VZ9 Avrocar
In honor of UFOs, this Canadian company sought to make an actual flying saucer with the capability to zip through the atmosphere at an astonishing Mach 3.5. Unfortunately, there is a reason this craft remains in our imaginations. Generating enough heat to melt its instruments, the project was cancelled in 1961.
14. Antonov A-40
Built in 1942, the Soviet Union strapped wings and a tail to an A-40 to make it the world’s first gliding tank. Test runs proved it to be a very easy machine to pilot while in the air and the pilots even drove it back to base after the test ended. Sadly, it only ever reached the prototype stage.
13. Aero Spacelines’ Pregnant/Super Guppy
Though not the last comically oversized plane, the Pregnant Guppy was the first of its kind. It was specially crafted to transport pieces of the Saturn I rocket and, despite its hilarious shape, performed its duty well. Aero went on to build four more, one of which is still in use today by NASA.