Standard helicopters are that rare Trapper Keeper doodle that actually worked. As early as ancient China, and up through Leonardo Da Vinci, history seemed to agree: Flying through the air like a giant insect with spinning-blade wings would be fucking sweet. The main hurdle was controlling the damn thing: Every time they tried to build one, the body of the air craft would spin right along with the blades.
But by WWII, the Germans had finally done it, using a second propeller to create helicopters that could safely fly from point A to point B. Hitler looked at the package of bad assery, and decided that the whole thing just wasn't quite crazy enough. And so the Nazis decided to spice things up with a bunch of ramjet engines.
Not to address the helicopter's inherent problems with steering and torque, mind you, but rather to address the problem that helicopters would look far awesomer if they had fire breathing engines strapped to the tips of their whirring sword-wings.
Uniformed men have masturbated to this picture
The Focke-Wulf Triebfluegel, or "powered wings interceptor," used a simple two-step process to get off the ground. The pilot would pray to whichever particular deity he held dear and then fire off the ramjet engines at the end of the rotor blades. What happened next can best be demonstrated with one of those Mexican spinning fireworks. Ole!
Now imagine a version scaled up one hundred times and attached securely to the aircraft you are flying. Seems reasonable, right?
Of course strapping rockets to the blades didn't make the helicopter any easier to control. The project was scrapped when they realized that the jetcopter's design required the pilot to land it while facing the sky with the ground behind him obscured by a whirling blur of flaming metal. That's right, the idea of rocket tipped blades was so awesome that they put the jetcopter into development without ever considering how to land the damn thing.
4Flying Aircraft Carrier
Experiments with aircraft that carry other aircrafts have been going on ever since someone realized that a big blimp could carry a small plane, and that this was awesome. While the whole blimp craze didn't really catch on for some reason...
...experiments continued with more conventional aircraft. The Russians started things off with that doomed looking contraption up there in the header image, which had smaller planes hanging off of it like Christmas tree ornaments. Uncle Sam tried to get in on the action with the airship USS Akron. When that failed, the U.S. assessed the situation and decided that the name and the aircraft were not badass and ridiculous enough respectively, and launched The XF-85 Goblin.
The "XF" stands for "This plane looks like a turd."
This oddly shaped plane was dropped out of a B-36's bomb bay, presumably hoping to confuse enemy ground control when pilots reported back that "The big plane is shitting little planes."The Problem
Proving that humans and B-36 bombers aren't that different after all, it was much more difficult for the aircraft to un-shit the Goblin. The first time test pilot Ed Schoch attempted to get the plane back into the belly, the trapeze hook they were trying to snag him with smashed through his canopy, knocking him unconscious and tearing away his flight helmet. Luckily Ed woke up before an unscheduled air/ground interface, at which point he managed to land the crippled aircraft on skids, a dangerous maneuver made necessary by the fact that the Goblin was designed without landing gear. Way to think ahead guys!
Four out of the six test flights ended up with similar white-knuckled crash landings in the desert, which wasn't exactly great for attracting pilots to the program, which left Ed Schoch to fly all six missions, meaning he either had a death wish or he fucked the wrong guy's wife. Either way, we're surprised he managed to fit his balls in such a tiny aircraft.
America scrapped the idea, concluding that planes simply weren't big enough to land another plane on. Russia, being Russia, arrived at a different conclusion...
The Kalinin K-7 parked on what used to be a forest.