Synopsis by Sarah Ing
The history of aviation tells some unbelievable tales. None are more far-fetched than the ideas behind Strange Planes: Vertical Take-Off. Frustrated with the need for runway space and the often cramped conditions of war, aircraft designers got clever. Using tilting wings and engines, jet nozzles and the aircraft itself, vertical take-off was a favorite theory. In several cases, the planes did actually fly. The Osprey, with its tilting rotor, took flight in the 1980s. As did the French tail-sitter, back in 1959. Even more interesting are the plans that were made, but failed.