In the early days of manned flight, people generally had no clue what they were doing. If two wings could make the contraption fly, more wings must make it soar, right? Our friends at Oobject have assembled 15 of the most grandiose, excessive, and redundant aeroplane wing designs of all time.
1896 Chanute-Avery Multiple-wing Gliding Machine, Katydid
1904 Horatio Phillips Multiplane
His first manned machine, the 1904 multiplane had 21 wings and looked the most conventional, of the three machines he created.
1907 flying Machine, Horatio Phillips
The last of three flying machines built by Phillips, the result is more like a wooden framed building than an aircraft, yet Phillips was the first person to truly understand that science of flight.
1908 Roshon Multiplane
The Roshon and Marquis d'Equevilly multiplanes are considered among the "classic" multiwing designs to emerge from this era.
1908, Marquis d'Equevilly multiplane
1909 Dufaux Tiltrotor
A century before the Osprey became a reality, French aeronauts were already fooling around with the idea of a tilt-rotor design.
1910 Smith Multiplane
1910 Jacobs Multiplane
1910 Zerbe Multiplane
At the Dominguez Air Meet in California in 1910, "Professor J. S. Zerbe brought out his curious appearing multiplane and attempted to take off. As it clattered down the field amid the cheers of the crowd, a front wheel hit a hole and collapsed throwing the machine to one side and damaging a wing…." and had to be removed from the field via hot air balloon. [Arkansas Encyclopedia]
1911 Gibson Multiplane
1914 Howard Huntington Multiplane
This multiwing monstrosity was constructed in Queens NY between 1912 and 1913. The design was later adapted to a single wind design, known as the Huntington Clam.
1919 Zerbe Air Sedan
1920 Johns Multiplane
1921 Caproni Ca.60 flying boat
This 9-wing, 100-passenger prototype was supposed to usher in a new era of Transatlantic flight. During the initial test flight, the plane made it a whole 60 feet into the air above Lake Maggiore in Italy before slamming into the water and breaking apart.
1923 human powered Gerhardt Cycleplane
The first human powered aircraft. And thankfully the last.