Multi-Winged Planes Are Aviation History's Most Amazing Failures

Aircraft makers tried a lot of different designs before settling on the two-winged planes and jets we're familiar with today. Inventors toyed with the idea of a multi-winged aircraft — often fashioned from incredibly complicated structures — before discarding it. Here are some of their most amazing failures.

The Philips Multiplanes from 1904, 1907 and 1911

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The Blériot III with two elliptical closed wings, built by Louis Blériot and Gabriel Voisin in 1906. It failed to fly.

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The D'Ecquevilly Multiplane, designed by the Marquis d' Equevilly, a Navy engineer in 1906-1907

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The Cygnet (or Aerodrome #5), an experimental aircraft with a wall of 3,393 tetrahedral cells instead of wings, built by the Canadian Aerial Experiment Association in 1907.

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A Bousson-Borgnis Triplane from 1908

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The Dufaux triplane, a Swiss experimental aircraft built in 1908 by Armand and Henri Dufaux

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The Humphreys Waterplane, the earliest hydro-aeroplane, built in 1908-1909.

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A helicopter by Wilbur R. Kimball, 1909

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The first special military airplane ever built, designed by Capt. Jean Dorand in 1909

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The Zerbe Multiplane with five wings and two props, built in 1910

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The Seddon Mayfly, a tandem biplane, designed by Seddon and Hackett in Wolverhampton, England, 1910. It was the world's largest at the time, but never flew.

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The Jacobs Multiplane, designed and built by Henry William Jacobs between 1910 and 1912.

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The Geary Circular Triplane, 1911

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The Howard Huntington multiplane from 1912 (or 1914) with six tandem mini-wings.

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The 77 ft (23.45 m) long Caproni Ca.60 Noviplano, a flying boat with eight V12 engines and nine wings. It was destroyed on first flight on 4 March 1921, when it reached the altitude of 195 ft (60 m) over Lake Maggiore in Italy then dived and crashed.

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(via Wikimedia Commons, Teihengaku and Avia DejaVu)

The world's first successful human-powered aircraft, the Gerhardt Cycleplane, developed by Dr. W. Frederick Gerhardt in 1923.

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(via Wikimedia Commons)

DISCUSSION

AtomicSamuraiRobot
Atomic Samurai Robot

I've seen worse designs.