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Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Tue May 22, 2001 4:33 pm

I was just thinking about all of the proposed planes that never made it beyond clay mock-ups and the prototype stage. Some of these planes may have been successful, others were ill-conceived. What I want y'all to do is post info about planes that never were for one reason or another. Here is my contribution:

In the mid-1960's Piper Aircraft Company was looking to build a new mid-sized light twin based on the Cherokee Six, sized between the Twin Comanche and the Aztec. This plane would later become the Seneca, but before it came out Piper did something rather odd. The original plane was a tri-motor. The first prototype flew with the Cherokee Six's 250hp Lycoming O-540 in the nose with two 115hp Lycoming O-235s on the wings. This design was horribly flawed, with the center engine out the 235s could not keep the plane flying. Still bent on the tri-motor design Piper decided to use the 150hp Lycoming IO-320, which had been successfully used in the Twin Comanche. Again not enough power with an engine out and windmilling. In order to reduce costs Piper fitted the tri-motor with fixed pitch props, which furthered the problems of an engine out. In 1972 Piper finally released the Seneca I, this time powered by two Lycoming IO-360s producing 200hp, and later the Seneca II and on were fitted with two Continental TSIO-360s. Nobody really knows why Piper toyed with the tri-motor for so long... the last tri-motors that were in people's minds was the Ford Trimotor and the Junkers Ju-52, the extruded aluminum machines probably would not have left a desirable past on a Piper tri-motor.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 12:14 am

how about the RB-211 powered 2 engine trident or the super stretched BAC-111
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 12:22 am

The four-engine DC-9 (yes, that was considered).
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 4:58 am

The VC11 was the Vickers solution to the 1-11 specification. It was to be a scaled down VC10 with 4 Spey's. Imagine the noise
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 5:05 am

Vickers had also proposed several scaled-up VC-10 designs, the most noteworthy being one consisting of three (yes, 3) standard VC-10 fuselages arranged in a V pattern, the center one (with the cockpit) jutting out ahead of the other two. The two outboard fuselages retained their T tails, with six or eight Speys strapped between them. The original VC-10 (Standard and Super) was one of the most beautiful designs to have graced our skies, but I am glad this oddball never made it beyond scale drawings....
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 5:09 am

Yuck! Imagine someone had to submit those bluprints to the superior.

I'm glad flying wing didn't get thru in the past. At least in future if they make it, they can put PTVs linked with outside camera, but flying those in '60s without ptv would have been awfully dull.
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RE: Plane Designs That (thankfully) Never Were...

Wed May 23, 2001 7:55 am

Re the original post, I wonder if Britten Norman looked that one over before producing the bigger, more powerful, Trislander.

As to the question, the most tragic "kill off" of all time for the British industry and an aircraft that would have offered B707-320 range, in service, 4-5 years ahead of time was the Vickers V1000. Too much political and BOAC interference killed it shortly before the prototype was due to be rolled out.

In retrospect killing off the aircraft, which had a great deal of commonality with the Valiant bomber may have been a lucky stroke as the Valiants all suffered wing corrosion and were withdrawn from service long before their planned life was over.


Apart from the Valiant nose at Bruntingthorpe, does anyone know of any other significant Valiant "bits" in existence?

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