15 Incredible Aircraft and Innovative Aerial Vehicles

– [Reacher] Aircraft have been around since the Wrights brothers
first flew at Kitty Hawk And people have been
designing new ones ever since. (upbeat rock music)
Some fly low, some fly high and some don’t end up flying at all. I’m Reacher, and today we’re bringing you 15 unusual aircraft. (upbeat electronic music) – Thank you for watching Minds Eye Design. – [Chandni] Number 15. – [Reacher] Aaron Flying Ship Limited specializes in
manufacturing and developing wing and ground craft, holding the record for
the longest successful WIG craft operation at almost 500 miles. The M80 can carry two
crew and six passengers. It can reach a top speed
of 125 miles per hour at just under 500 feet in altitude with the ability to take off and land in waves up to six feet high. On the water, it can still achieve a speed of 62 miles per hour. (upbeat guitar music) – [Chandni] Number 14. – [Reacher] A composite
construction microlight, the Snark is the creation of Bill Barber. He completed four different models before coming up with the
fifth model, the HA3-B. Constructed from Kevlar and carbon fiber, the propeller-powered aircraft featured elevated tandem seating in front of a shoulder-mounted wing. The 80 horsepower engine
allowed it to cruise up to 128 miles per hour
at a range of 650 miles. (lively electronic music) – [Chandni] Number 13. – [Reacher] The Colomban Cri-Cri prototype was flown for the first time in 1973. Designed for experimental
aircraft builders, the plane was built according to the plans distributed by its designer. In 2010, a Cri-Cri, using two
25 horsepower electric motors and only 75% of its power, broke the speed record
for electric aircraft by traveling at 162 miles per hour. According to the engineering firm, if it wasn’t for the
stress on the airframe, it could have gone over
220 miles per hour. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number 12. – [Reacher] The Elitar Sigma
is a high-wing monoplane with a front, top-mounted power plant and conventional tail design. The primary airframe structure
consists of two beams, lower and upper, that are fixed to a pylon and attached to each
other by a forward strut, giving it a wing span of 32
feet and a length of 20 feet. It can reach a maximum
speed of 150 miles per hour with a range around 400 miles. (lively electronic music) – [Chandni] Number 11. – [Reacher] What started with
the first flight of the H2X in 1997 evolved into the Hawk 4 which saw its first flight
two years later in 1999. Measuring in at 22 feet in length and 10 feet in height, the
aluminum and composite body houses a cabin with room to seat the pilot and three passengers. Although it can easily be
mistaken for a gyrocopter, it’s actually a gyroplane which derives its main difference in the affixed airplane-like wings. One of the advantages
of this is the ability for it to take off or land in a span of less than 50 feet. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number 10. – [Reacher] A collaboration
between aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel, the University of Ulm, fuel cell specialist Hydrogenics and the German Aerospace
Center Institute of Engineering and Thermodynamics, the HY4 took off on its first official flight
from Stuttgart Airport in Germany in 2016. This is the world’s first
four-seat passenger aircraft powered solely by electric propulsion and a hydrogen fuel cell system, making it environmentally
friendly, silent and safer. (lively electronic music) – [Chandni] Number nine. – [Reacher] Initially conceived
in 1982 by Charles Ligeti, the Ligeti Stratos was
built between 1984 and 1985. The company was set to produce 20 aircraft in the spring of 1987, but during a short test flight of a highly modified production version, the airplane stalled during landing and Ligeti was killed, causing the venture to end a few months later. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number eight. – [Reacher] Before the
Northrop Corporation joined forces with the
Grumman Corporation, there was an aircraft
named the Northrop N-9M which you probably could have mistaken for a B2 stealth bomber at first glance. As for the aforementioned N-9M, it came from the mind of Jack Northrop in a series of one-third scale prototypes that, like others on this list, lost its first version and
a test pilot to a crash. Three more models
followed, all with a length around 18 feet, a wing span of 60 feet and a height of just six and a half feet. But unlike modern aircraft,
this one had propellers instead of jet engines. All told, it could hit a maximum
speed of 260 miles per hour with a range of 500 miles. (lively electronic music) – [Chandni] Number seven. – [Reacher] Another design
of Northrop Grumman, the Firebird was one of the last aircraft designed by Burt Rutan. First taking flight in 2010, it can be flown either manned or unmanned. Powered by a flat-six piston engine, it’s designed to fly for up to 40 hours at a top speed of 230 miles per hour. It has a wing span of 65
feet, a length of 34 feet and has hardpoints to carry weapons although it’s currently unarmed. (uplifting electronic music) – [Chandni] Number six. – [Reacher] This next entry has the honor of the coolest name on the list. It also has the honor of being
the most out of proportion in regard to its size,
having a 69-foot wingspan, a 15-foot fuselage, if
you can call it that, and a height of three and a half feet. Originally intended to
be a remotely piloted reconnaissance vehicle for
high-threat environments, it can stay in the air
for up to eight hours at a flight ceiling of 45,000 feet. The first prototype took its maiden flight in early 1996, but crashed
just a few months later on its second outing. The only surviving one to
have reached the flight stages is now housed at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. (mellow electronic music) – [Chandni] Number five. – [Reacher] Trying to get
into the light airplane market in 1974, Rohr Industries
produced the FanJet, a low-wing delta made of
fiber-reinforced plastic. Both the vertical tail and wings fold for transport and storage while its nose wheel
fairing doubles as a rudder. The cockpit has side-by-side seating with a single stick mounted in the middle, giving access to both the
copilot and the pilot. Due to financial trouble,
the project ended with only one prototype
having spent time in the air. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number four. – [Reacher] Rutan’s best
selling design, the Long-EZ, is a stretched out version of the VariEze. Meant to be easy to build, it was also completely customizable. This option has become an advantage, allowing some of the
aircraft to set records for distance and speed. It has a wing span of 26 feet, a top speed of 185 miles per hour and a range of just over 2,000 miles. Around 12,000 plans for the E-Z sold with costs varying due to customization. (mellow electronic music) – [Chandni] Number three. – [Reacher] Another of the many aircraft by legendary aerospace
engineer Burt Rutan, the Variviggen has the distinction of being his first full-scale design. The original prototype, which
was built in about 1,500 hours over a four-year span,
had a 19-foot wing span with a fuselage just short
of that at 17 feet in length. The cockpit had room for two people with a cargo capacity
just under 700 pounds. It had a 300 to 400 mile range, depending on the flight speed which maxed out at 165 miles per hour. Although the company sold
over 600 sets of blueprints to home builders, the current estimate puts the number of working
models at less than five. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number two. – [Reacher] The ill-fated Pond Racer, built by Scaled Composites, was ahead of its time
on engine technology, running a pair of 300zx VG30 engines that required preheating of
coolants and all the oils. The approach speed at landing
was the same as an airliner at 161 miles per hour. But it didn’t have flaps to slow down, making it extremely difficult to land. Designed to be the cleanest
prop-driven plane in history, the choice of engine was the
primary cause of its demise. In 1993, it caught fire and threw a rod, landing away from the
airport and killing the pilot which ended an excellent
idea for an airplane. (upbeat electronic music) – [Chandni] Number one. – [Reacher] SpaceShipTwo
is a suborbital space plane intended for use in the
as-yet-to-be-seen industry of space tourism. Designed by Scaled
Composites and manufactured by The SpaceShip Company,
the SS2, in its current form, is air launched by another
aircraft named White Knight Two. The 60-foot-long aircraft
has a wing span of 27 feet with room for two crew and six passengers. The single hybrid rocket engine is capable of reaching speeds
up to 2,500 miles per hour with a flight ceiling around 50 miles. The first version of the
craft, the VSS Enterprise, broke apart during a test
flight in October 2014, killing one of the pilots. The subsequent model, named the VSS Unity, was first revealed to the
public in February 2016 with its maiden voyage taking
place in December 2018. Initial ticket prices were $200,000, but since then have increased
and stayed at $250,000. As of yet, there is no word on when the first commercial
flight will take place. (lively electronic music) – Hi everyone, and thank you for watching. I’m Chandni with Minds Eye Design. We’d love to hear your feedback. So please some comments below, and let us know your
favorite from this video and why you liked it. If you have an idea for a future video, leave another comment and let us know. Then if we use your idea,
we’ll give you a shout out in that video. But don’t leave yet. Keep watching because there’s more. (upbeat rock music) (mellow guitar music)