Freak Show: This Video Shows The Weirdest Experimental Aircraft Of The 1920s, 1930s, and Earlier!


Freak Show: This Video Shows The Weirdest Experimental Aircraft Of The 1920s, 1930s, and Earlier!

When it comes to the mechanical achievements of mankind, the achievement of heavier than air flight has been one of the most profound. Just think of how reliant we are in so many aspects of life on airplanes these days. Some for work, some for travel, some for war, and some of the shuttling of goods around. The most awesome thing is that like the automobile industry that went through a wild period of seemingly unabashed innovation, airplanes did as well and the majority of the experimental ones were insanely bad. This video is all about those…and a few shocking successes as well.

We cannot even begin to describe some of these things. Airplanes with spinning spindles instead of propellors, guys with wings strapped to their back jumping off bridges, and a couple of actual flying machines that we’d choose the electric chair over than actually leaving the ground in.

The successfully designed freaks are our personal favorites here. From the Granville “tail forward” design to the Italian “barrel” airplane, we were kind of cheering for the underdogs in those scenes.

This whole thing is crazy.

Press play below to see some of the most bizarre failed (and successful!) airplanes –


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One thought on “Freak Show: This Video Shows The Weirdest Experimental Aircraft Of The 1920s, 1930s, and Earlier!

  1. Matt Cramer

    Interesting how some of them seem to managed to not really catch on but not really go away either – compare the Granville Tail Forward to a Beechcraft Starship, for example.

    I’d seen a shorter clip of the Sky Car and its pumping umbrella before, and it looked like an obvious bad idea – the long clip makes it look even worse! For bad ideas, it’s hard to tell which is worse, the Sky Car or the guy who had somebody chasing after his bicycle trying to light the rocket with a match.

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