War is something that tends to create urgency in the hearts and minds of the ones who are involved in it. Same could be said about World War II which is regarded as the most disastrous of all the wars that this planet has ever seen. In order to best armies of their opponents, many countries came up with their own ingenious military arsenals. However, none of these military assets were built without any experimental assets at first.
Same could be said about the fighter jets that emerged ear the end of World War II but before them, there were many other aircraft as well. Not all of them could be considered a great breakthrough in the history of aviation engineering instead some of them were bizarrely shaped but nonetheless were created.
For our readers, we have gathered a list of the bizarre warplanes from World War II (part 1).
Blohm & Voss BV 141
From the start of World War II, the German military was in need of tactical reconnaissance aircraft to provide the German forces with the necessary information for their military operations. Two companies were put up for this job among which one was the Blohm & Voss which created their asymmetric Blohm & Voss BV 141.
The engineers of the aircraft cleared up the right side of the aircraft in order for the pilot to have an unparalleled field of vision. This was true for the right and front sides of the aircraft.
Luftwaffe instantly liked the test flight of this aircraft and ordered nearly 500 of it. However, during an Allied bombing attack, one of the main factories of Focke-Wulf were destroyed which prompted the German governed to give 80 percent of Blohm & Voss factories to their main contractor, Focke-Wulf.
Still in the tiny space Blohm & Voss built nearly 35 of their Blohm & Voss BV 141s but all of them suffered complete destruction during the war.
Horten Ho 229
Horten Ho 229 is another unusual project from Nazi military which was made at the end of the war by incorporating there use of jet technology. By 1943, Luftwaffe and German military were regretting the decision for not developing a similar B-17 type long-range bomber and to correct their mistake they placed a contract for devotement of an aircraft which could carry nearly 1000 kg of bombs for a range of 1000 kilometers at a speed of no less than 1000 km/h.
To reply to this demand, Horten Brothers came up with a flying wing type aircraft by experimenting on many aircraft gliders. After many experiments, they came up with an unpowered glider aircraft design which was similar to that of a bomber. The project was given to another company and with a little remodification; jet technology was installed in it and named it as Horten Ho 229.
At that time, B-17 did not have the stealth technology incorporated in it but Horten Ho 229 with its flying wing design was an accidental first-ever stealth fighter aircraft of the world.
In the 1930s, the engineer of the Vought started to work on a disk-shaped aircraft which after completion in 1942 took its first flight. With slight problems in its engine gearbox, the aircraft proved to be a sturdy one with high maneuverability.
The project was further pursued by the Vought Company but by that time Navy already had plans to pursue the jet technology based aircraft.
The Vought V-173/XF5U-1 was so sturdy in its design that it was nearly impossible to destroy it by Vought. When metal ball was dropped on it, it simply bounced off. In the end Vought dismantled the aircraft piece by piece and destroyed there remaining parts with blowtorches.
Boulton Paul Defiant
Out of all the aircraft we presented today, Boulton Paul Defiant is the one that actually saw service and considerable one at that. Unfortunately, the aircraft resulted in the death of several young pilots.
The aircraft was built under the design speculation that an aircraft with all of its weapons concentrated in the power turret would be able to make their way into the bomber formations and cause damage from the side. This turret was supposed to allow the pilot to have a long range of firing power without the need of gunnery. The pilot would alone be able to put the aircraft into an ideal firing position.
The Boulton Paul Defiant proved to be a success on its first few missions as German foes saw it similar to the Hawker Hurricane and attacked the aircraft’s rear. However, German forces soon realized the farce sand started attacking the Boulton Paul Defiant from either front or from beneath. This led to massive losses of both aircraft ad pilots. Nearly whole squadrons of Boulton Paul Defiant were destroyed by German forces in the Battle of Britain.
Later Boulton Paul Defiant was subjected for night fighter squadrons and it proved to be a success for a while when it sneaked up on enemy bombers during night missions.
Bell YFM-1 Airacuda
During the World War I and World War II, many of the world militaries were concerned with a need of strategic bombing. At that time an Italian general said that it was impossible to defend against any mass bombing from enemy forces and that bomber always find a way to get through any defense. To counter this problem, many militaries started working on a project called “Bomber Destroyer”. The first in this regard was the British Defiant from Britain’s side while form German’s side, it was Bf-110. As for American’s concept of a Bomber Destroyer was in the result of Bell YFM-1 Airacuda.
The Bell YFM-1 Airacuda was the first entry of the Bell Company into the military aircraft industry. The aircraft was n usually one with it’s 2 forward firing 37 mm M-4 cannons which were mounted near the pusher engines and the rear propellers.
Each cannon of the aircraft was manned by an individual gunner and could only have five clips. To make the aim, the gunner would first use the tracer firing machine guns to help them set the aim for cannon fire.
The aircraft with its unusual weapons system was thought to be a great escort for the B-17 bombers. However, the testing’s of the aircraft proved to be less than helpful in its expectations. The Bell YFM-1 Airacuda was not all fast and could hardly keep up even wit the speed of the bombers. In addition to this, the gunners due to their position were unable to escape their position in an emergency as the propellers were right behind them and escaping through their position would be a death sentence.
Still, USAF bought 13 of these aircraft but none of them ever saw any real combat.