The Inflatable Airplane and 25 Other Bizarre Aircraft That Actually Flew



DVICE has a slideshow of 26 strange aircraft that, although oddly designed, actually flew. Among them is the Inflatoplane developed by Goodyear in 1956. This plane had an inflatable rubber body. It was small and light enough to be moved in a wheelbarrow. The engineers hoped that this plane could be dropped behind enemy lines for downed pilots to use to escape:

The Inflatoplane's performance was comparable to that of a a J3 Cub. The airplane was wheeled out like a wheelbarrow and inflated in about 5 minutes using less air pressure than a car tire. The two-cycle 40-hp Nelson engine had to be hand-started and held 20 gallons of fuel.

The Inflatoplane carried a maximum weight of 240 lb., had a range of 390 mi., and an endurance of 6.5 hr.s. Its cruise speed was 60 mph. Take off distance on sod was 250 ft with 575 ft needed to clear a 50-foot obstacle. It landed in 350 ft on sod. Rate of climb was 550 ft per min. Its service ceiling was estimated at 10,000 ft.


Link via DVICE | Video of Inflatoplane

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