Ah, the Flying Pancake. Yes, I like it myself, but it had serious engineering issues. Also, a pilot tells me an aircraft you can't stall is very unpleasant to fly because it feels very mushy and you feel you have no real authority over it.steve wrote:if you want to see a really odd looking one check this out: http://sfstation.members.easyspace.com/xf5u-1.htm
(another of my all time favorites).
Warthog is not ugly to me, either. I love its utilitarian form. I love aircraft that are not 'styled' but look the way they look because they have to perform a certain function. Functional aesthetics rules.
To my eye, flying boats are the most beautiful aircraft of them all. They were difficult to do, as you had to marry a boat and an aircraft, but when it worked, it worked wonderfully. Also, I love the very idea of a flying boat -- the freedom it offers etc. So very romantic.
The most incredible aircraft I have ever seen was a PBY Catalina converted into a flying motorhome in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Inside it was fitted out like a classic yacht. Many flight systems were improved and it had two specially designed very sleek speedboats hanging from below the wings, which could be lowered to the water and used as tenders to get to the ground.
There was a report about it in the Flying magazine many, many years ago, mocking Hugh Hefner for converting a Boeing 737 into a flying gin palace and suggesting that there are much greater ways to spend your money on a flying home.
The owner talked about going fishing to Canadian lakes or Alaska -- he was obviously on very good terms with his pilot, another fishing enthusiast. The downside was the engines -- big radials gulping expensive fuel at an incredible rate -- and comparatively ancient flight systems that required a permanent crew of two and made flying longer distances a bit of a chore.
Boy, what a beautiful piece of kit.