Asymmetric Aircraft
December 13, 2005 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Asymmetric airplanes may look weird, but the idea isn't just for the luftwaffe anymore: Burt Rutan has done one too. Not counter-intuitive enough for you? How about an asymmetric helicopter?
posted by phrontist (17 comments total)


relevant ask me.
posted by delmoi at 5:08 PM on December 13, 2005

Oh yes, all credit goes to JMOZ!
posted by phrontist at 5:11 PM on December 13, 2005

There is a cool looking asymemtric twin prop used by native american flyers in Crimson Skies for the xbox. Fun game set in an alternate universe where the prop plane has taken over the cars place in the 1920's USA.
posted by batou_ at 5:48 PM on December 13, 2005

Though these aircraft aren't necessarily asymmetric, your post reminded me of Luft '46. And your first two links aren't working so well, do you have any other asymmetric aircraft links? Some of these may be asymmetric, but not on purpose.
posted by Fat Guy at 6:31 PM on December 13, 2005

any other link for whatever that luftwaffe plane was? the geocities site is boned.
posted by shmegegge at 6:39 PM on December 13, 2005

helicopters are usually asymmetric... look at the tail.
posted by wumpus at 6:47 PM on December 13, 2005

Partial mirrors courtesy of the WayBack machine:
Asymmetric airplanes
the luftwaffe
posted by fvw at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2005

Thanks for the recognition, phronist, but if you look at the thread, I think adamrice deserves most of the credit.
posted by JMOZ at 7:04 PM on December 13, 2005

Somewhat tangential,L-01 The Political Implications of the UFO Phenomenon and the “ET” Myth RA mp3 discussion of advanced aviation design,flying wing and disc. 45 min, pedantic,informative lecture.
posted by hortense at 7:32 PM on December 13, 2005

I'm pretty sure this has been posted in the past.. but while the main links are down, here is something that is also tangential, but kind of neat:
fantasy planes
posted by edgeways at 7:59 PM on December 13, 2005

Asymmetric discus-launched model glider (about halfway down the page).

Within RC aeromodelling, there are sailplanes, and within sailplanes there are hand-launched sailplanes. The recent innovation there is the "Discus Launched Glider" that is launched via a peg in the wingtip. The vast majority are symmetrical winged, but a few folks have attempted to make asymmetrical wings to allow a faster launch speed (and more height).

Further discussion thread: Asymmetric wing DLG @ RCGroups
posted by benATthelocust at 9:24 PM on December 13, 2005

Found this this morning on Wikipedia about the Nazi attempt at a forerunner to the B-2 bomber. Wing-body design with radar-absorbing materials. Definitely interesting.
posted by Ryvar at 9:32 PM on December 13, 2005

Yeah carbon impregnated plywood,first stealth plane! this is also discussed in the L.01. I think.
posted by hortense at 9:49 PM on December 13, 2005

Thanks, Ryvar, I can't beleive I never heard of the Ho229 before. The designers appear to have been geniuses. The Ho XVII proposed design would have thrown an interesting twist into the war if they could have been produced in significant numbers.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2005

Perhaps even more audaciously bizarre than the assymetric aircraft were radially symmetric aircraft (designed for VTOL). The USAF never tried anything quite this bizarre, but they did have some experimental planes after the war that seemed influenced by it.
posted by adamrice at 9:40 AM on December 14, 2005

Man, that last one looks like a nightmare. Okay, you've got these three ramjets out on the pylons that look vaguely shaped like propellor blades - and the thing's supposed to spin at what RPM to get it into the air?

Okay, aside from the plumbing linkages (and I'd dearly love to see how they propsoed to manage THOSE) I can just see your bearings seizing up as your 'wings' are rotating at 3000 RPM or so... and all of a sudden your fuselage is spinning at the same speed.

Be kind of tough on the pilot, I'd think...

According to the documentation, they never built a full-scale one. I can imagine the relief of the test pilots on hearing that news.
posted by JB71 at 12:05 PM on December 14, 2005

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