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Bullethead

The Museum of Diseased Imaginings

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The Museum of Diseased Imaginings is a weird and wonderful place. Of special interest to OFFers is the entire wing devoted to WW1 Aerial Oddities. Some of the most bizarre things ever to see the light of day, and perhaps even fly, are housed there. I ask all who have toured this facility to post up pics from their visits, as the place is so huge that nobody can ever claim to have seen it all.

 

I'd like to begin this virtual tour with a couple of things I saw in the Dual Monarchy's collection. Here we have the Aviatik 30.17 heavy bomber. This contraption had 2x Daimler engines mounted transversely inside the fuselage, each engine driving 2 props via complex shafting and gearing. What is most strange about this creature is that it was reported to have flown rather well, except it was prone to stalling on landing approach and crashing, which is what happened to the several prototypes of this sort.

 

post-45917-029486900 1298777751.jpg

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Also in the Dual Monarchy collection are these 2 beasts from Lloyd. The single-engined machine is the 40.05, while the bomber is the 40.08.

 

Lloyd seems to have been adamantly opposed to allowing the pilot to see ahead. While this was a common feature of its designs, these 2 examples carried this feature to its extremes. The 40.05 was built in the days before synchronization, which didn't come to the Dual Monarchy until 1917. Lloyds solution was to raise the upper wing so that the observer, enclosed in the nose compartment, had a 360^ field of fire over the top of the prop. To do his observing job, the observer relied on windoews in the side of the nose. The pilot sat in the skinny part of the fuselage immediately behind the observer's fairing.

 

I got this picture from Austro-Hungarian Army Aircraft of World War One, by Grosz, Haddow, and Schiemer. I liked their caption so much I left it on the pic here. They also supplied the caption in the pic above of the Aviatik 30.17.

 

The 40.08 was an attempt to duplicate the Caproni bombers that were then raiding the Dual Monarchy. The specification demanded copying the basic configuration of a 3-engined plane with 1 central pusher and 2 tractor engines on tail booms. Being thus constrained, Lloyd had to find other ways of expressing its creativity and this was the result. Despite being ahead of the tractor props, the nose gun was still on a raised turret to keep the pilot from seeing ahead. Lloyd went even further this time, however, by putting the pilot between the upper 2 wings and tail booms, so he couldn't see up, down, or sideways, either. I suppose they grudgingly put the tail assembly below the fuselage at Flars' insistence that the pilot at least had to be able to see backwards. Then, of course, the whole contraption had to mounted on exceptionally tall landing gear to make room for the vertical bomb bay beneath the pilot.

 

In this pic, the machine is undergoing engine testing, hence the tail is up on jacks. The tail was supposed to be on the ground, but as you might expect, it didn't stay there when the machine was trying to move. In fact, after nosing over a number of times during taxi tests, the machine was scrapped.

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post-45917-044414300 1298778333.jpg

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Well, on during my studies at the Museum I ran across this.

th_SopwithLongRangTractorTriplane.jpg

 

 

 

A 1916 Sopwith Long Range Tractor Triplane. A multiplace escort fighter aircraft.

 

Beard

Edited by Burning Beard

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Well there is the venerable Breguet IV, which looks like the Breguet III, (pictured) with a goiter.

 

Breguet_III.jpg

 

And there's the wonderfully quirky Borel Torpille

 

1913BorelTorpille.jpg

 

Or the Euler Military triplane

 

1913Eulermilitarytriplane.jpg

 

Most of these are just prior to the war, not sure if they count

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Well there is the venerable Breguet IV, which looks like the Breguet III, (pictured) with a goiter.

 

Ah yes, the horrifically ugly Breguets. But despite their lack of appeal, I have to respect them not only for their advanced features (however chaotically assembled) and their important operational work. These things were mostly made of metal (including their props), had true tricycle landing gear (not just a nose-over preventer), variable incidence wings (which functioned as flaps), and fully flying tail surfaces. That is, instead of separate rudder and elevators, the entire tail unit pivoted on a U-joint at the end of the fuselage proper.

 

Plus, a plane like this arguably saved France (or conversely, is responsible for the whole 4 years of stalemate). IIRC, Mssr. Breguet himself flew a Br.IV on a recon mission in August 1914, and it was he who spotted the gap between the German armies which the "taxicabs of Paris" subsequently exploited.

 

Still, looking at this machine makes me almost turn to stone :lol:

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The Bleriot Collection of the MDI also contains a number of freaks.

 

It seems that being the 1st to fly across the Channel gave Bleriot a taste for celebrity. Despite having updated versions of his famous monoplane in widespread use at the start of the war, he wasn't content. And no generic scout or 2-seater would do, either. Fortunately, the French Air Force wanted a heavy bomber, so Bleriot devoted himself unsuccessfully to this project for the remainder of the war, producing a large number of huge, expensive freaks that did nothing but kill test pilots.

 

The Bleriot 67 was his first attempt, built in 1916. The most amazing thing about this beast was that its 4x 100hp Gnomes could get it off the ground at all. Unsurprisingly, its performance fell far short of specifications and it ultimately crashed. Undeterred, Bleriot built a slightly larger version (the Bleriot 71) in 1917, with 4x 220hp Hissos, but it also proved to have inadequate peformance and lost the competition to Farman and Caudron products (which themselves ultimately proved unsuccessful). This plane also crashed, although this was due to avoiding a collision during landing approach.

 

With the failure of the Farman and Caudron bombers, Bleriot tried again in 1918 with the Bleriot 73, with 4x 300hp Hissos. This machine was the least lovely of the lot. It crashed on its 1st flight due to a gust of wind blowing off the landing path, which speaks volumes for its lack of power and responsiveness, and huge amount of drag. A modified 2nd prototype was begun but mercifully cancelled at the end of the war.

 

The final member of this ill-starred family was the Bleriot 74. This 1919 project put the surplus wings of the 2nd Bleriot 73 on a grossly fat, tuna-shaped fuselage that nearly filled the whole gap between the wings. This was intended as an airliner. Luckily for the air travel industry, this machine revealed a fatal weakness in the tail during testing, so only managed to kill one person instead of its intended 56 passengers.

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post-45917-088308400 1298822185.jpg

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Oops. Forgot to mention that the above pics of Bleriots and their captions came from French Aircraft of the First World War, by Davilla and Soltan.

 

 

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When Bleriot went for big and ugly he didn't mess around.

 

 

I have to say I'm a big fan of the AVRO company, but even I have limits to that. I present, from the British corner of the Museum, a rather brutishly conceived design by an otherwise sage designer.

 

The AVRO Type "G"

 

avro_g.jpg

 

 

What was he thinking? As if the one off type "F" couldn't have been expanded upon, at least it was better looking.

 

And a counter part from the Central powers side would be the Rumpler Cabin Taube, but I'm not finding an image of one.

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Ah I found something even more hideous, and it's French, who out excelled themselves with yucky designs in the 20's and 30's.

 

I give you the Albessard Tandem monoplane. First off how is this a monoplane, it's got tandem main wings with rear tail surfaces?

 

1912Albessard.jpg

 

 

And the elusive Etrich cabin Taube, OW! my eyes..

 

 

1912EtrichVIII.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Looking further along the French aisle of the MDI's exhibits, you'll come across the De Monge 1918 Experimental. Note the date of 1918, by which time the basic parameters of sound aircraft design had been inscribed on the tombstones of countless previous failures, so that a man just coming into the trade could have avoided the obvious mistakes. But this didn't stop De Monge from reinventing disaster.

 

De Monge's job was designing props for other people's airplanes (mostly SPADs), but he just KNEW he could design a plane of his own, if somebody with more money than sense gave him the chance. He had, after all, built a parasol monoplane in early 1914 for Concours Securite', where a prize went to the safest design. De Monge had focused on eliminating the effects of gusts as much as possible, so built his plane with a "wobbly wing". IOW, the wing was loosely attached to the fuselage with springs and bungee cords so that gusts rocked it back and forth without disturbing the fuselage. At least in theory. Needless to say, De Monge didn't win the contest,

 

Finally, in 1918, De Monge convinced a certain Buscaylet to finance a new project, shown below. This machine's wings were only fastened on at the front spar, allowing the trailing edges to blow as the wind decreed, except for a variable incidence control on the upper wing. This, however, wasn't the plane's worst feature. The prop was amidships, requiring a bulky rear undercarriage to hold the rear fuselage and tail onto the plane. Also note the long boom extending forward from the upper wing carrying a canard elevator, which in use no doubt flexed the wobbly wing alarmingly, and the fully moving, center-pivot vertical tailplanes. I have no idea what the strange cowling on the nose was for. Unsurprisingly, the French air force wasn't interested.

post-45917-060490100 1298839572.jpg

Edited by Bullethead

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Some nitwit always comes along and thinks they can improve upon an old discarded idea.

 

Since Alberto Santos-Dumont gave up on the 14Bis back in 1908, you think normal aircraft designers would understand the problems inherent with putting your vertical direction control surfaces up front.

 

The Gilbert Canard

 

 

1912Gilbert.jpg

 

 

 

And for those of you who think the Roland Whalefish CII was an original design..

 

I say Nien! Ein Englischer Fabrikrappten The Piggot Bipe..

 

1912Piggott.jpg

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The Gilbert Canard

 

:rofl: Look, Mama, the Bleriot is flying bass-ackwards :grin:

 

The Piggot Bipe..

 

Kinda makes you wonder about the strength of the wing-fuselage joints if they had to put an interplane strut flush up against the fuselage side......

Edited by Bullethead

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:rofl: Look, Mama, the Bleriot is flying bass-ackwards :grin:

 

 

 

Kinda makes you wonder about the strength of the wing-fuselage joints if they had to put an interplane strut flush up against the fuselage side......

 

 

Shades of the 'Tipsy Nipper' in Those Magnificent Men...

 

The Piggot..

 

Makes you wonder about the whole fuselage structure and if the wings spars are actually connected to the longerons, I mean otherwise it's kind of a neat looking airplane.

 

I'm tempted to make one for my SDOE-FW-WWI pioneering mod.

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Here is something no doubt inspired by over-consumption of absinthe (and probably LSD as well). I've never seen anything more deserving of inclusion in the MDI. I'll let the article speak for itself. This again is from French Aircraft of the First World War, by Davilla and Soltan.

 

BTW, I highly recommend this book to anybody with an interest in WW1 aviation.

post-45917-064046400 1298908128.jpg

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Here is something no doubt inspired by over-consumption of absinthe (and probably LSD as well). I've never seen anything more deserving of inclusion in the MDI. I'll let the article speak for itself. This again is from French Aircraft of the First World War, by Davilla and Soltan.

 

BTW, I highly recommend this book to anybody with an interest in WW1 aviation.

Cool, a LeRhone rotary powered giant maple seed...:lol:

 

What the hell was it doing in a lake?

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My God, those designs just keep getting more and more horrible! :suicide2:

 

I love the expression of the brass hat sitting on this "helicopter". He's scratching his chin as if wondering "WTF was the government thinking spending money to finance this crackpot idea?!?!?!??!"

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DESIGNED BY IDIOTS......................

 

FLOWN BY HALF-WITS....................

 

CRASH AND BURN..........................

 

By all means, fly right out of here.  Feel free to not come back too unless you become capable of adding something constructive and mature to the dialog.  Thanks.

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