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Why did the French design such ugly planes prior to and into WWII?


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I personally take great offence at that magnificent example of aerial pulchritude, the Blackburn Blackburn*, being dragged through the mud of a discussion on aircraft 'ugliness'! For shame! The Seamew was a bit of an eyesore, I'll admit, but I still rather like it. It has character.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

 

*The aeroplane so beautiful they named it twice.

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3 minutes ago, fightersweep said:

Stipa Caproni. Now, I'm not quite sure if this is either an ugly aircraft, or the sort of thing you see sitting outside Tesco that you stick 50p in to keep a toddler amused for a couple of minutes. I'm seriously leaning towards the latter.

The Stipa. It actually flew. Amazing. Although I believe you had to put 75p in it to get the motor going.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

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IIRC the designer of the Potez 630 was arrested by the Germans after the fall of France in 1940 on charges of industrial espionage as his 630 series was so similar to the Messerschmitt 110

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4 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

What's you problem with the highly acceptable-looking Potex 630/631?

Nothing at all; I cited the Potez 63.11 as pictured in Heather Kay's message 2 postings down from yours.

Richard

Edited by Richard502
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4 minutes ago, Learstang said:

The Stipa. It actually flew. Amazing. Although I believe you had to put 75p in it to get the motor going.

75p? So at 50p per minute, this get's you better value for money...

 

50349563791_5846b05c25_z.jpg

 

Of course the Caproni may offer more mileage for 75p. I'm guessing that Stipa Caproni replica must be in a museum in Italy somewhere. Maybe I should pack 75p and a toddler and head off to Italy for some flight performance trials.

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48 minutes ago, John Masters said:

Gorgeous...lovely lines, stylish.  Up here with the snazziest of aircraft...

 

Morane-Saulnier 225

 

50349530426_321ed9cd27_c_d.jpg

 

 

Well, as they say in France, ça a de la gueule!

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1 hour ago, fightersweep said:

Seamew! Good call. I'm suprised Shorts had the gall to put their name on the side of it.

 

Then there's this....

 

50349672407_b2f8931cd3_z.jpg

 

Stipa Caproni. Now, I'm not quite sure if this is either an ugly aircraft, or the sort of thing you see sitting outside Tesco that you stick 50p in to keep a toddler amused for a couple of minutes. I'm seriously leaning towards the latter.

Looks like there are bits or DFW Floh and Link Trainer in there

 

Put me in mind also of the later Caproni Campini N.1

Edited by JosephLalor
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The Amiot 143 has always struck me as having been initially designed as a flying restaurant. That would be a terribly French thing to do and the diners would have had a fantastic view as they ate. If the Hampden was the "Flying Suitcase", then the Amiot must have been the "Flying Wardrobe". At least I know what an attempt to design an aircraft on an Etch-a-Sketch would look like...

 

50349902002_5faf3f6f74_z.jpg

 

I'm off to Kingkit to buy one of these beauties for the Heller GB! Marvelous! 

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Thank you, 'work in progress'. That explanation helps, My word the guy down the back of the Mosquito must have been cramped for space. Much like the Hornet I suppose. 

 

Umm - I thought the Sea,mew looked marginally less ugly than the Blackburn B54  which lost out to the Gannet. Blackburn were good at ugly - the Buccaneer & the Shark were amongst their few bonny aircraft. 

 

Like 'fightersweep' I have a large stash of old Heller kits of French pre WW2 aircraft because they are so intriguingly different and ignore aerodynamics as we now know it.

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34 minutes ago, leyreynolds said:

And after all this you must note that the French still have an aircraft industry while the UK has become merely subcontractors to same.

Hardly.  In the civil field, Airbus UK designs and builds the wings for all Airbuses, far from 'merely subcontractors'........ 

 

In the military field, we can never agree with the French......on anything. We're fierce rivals and currently developing our own 6th gen fighter projects.

I should know, having spent 35 years 'in the business'.....

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6 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

For ugly you can't beat the Short Seamew:

 

800px-Short_Seamew_landing_on_HMS_Bulwar

Mind you the Seamew just looks like a Breguet Alize that's been on a diet. 

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The Seamew has one thing going for it. It has one of the best spoonerism names ever applied to an aircraft. 
 

The ‘Me Spew’! 🤢 

 

Instant classic! 😀

 

 

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1 hour ago, MilneBay said:

AW Ape. Perhaps the most aptly named aircraft ever.

Pretty ugly but quite an advanced design - (ground adjustable) variable geometry. I wonder if "Ape" is an acronym lost in time? Aerodynamic ??? Experiment or did they have an AW Chimp and AW Gorilla?

 

The aircraft was designed to be "infinitely" adjustable: The fuselage could be lengthened or shortened, different fins and tailplanes could be fitted, the incidence angle of both the tailplane and the wings could be altered and the wings could be additionally changed in stagger, rake and dihedral. However, it could not be converted to a monoplane configuration, nor be fitted with a more powerful engine. Additionally, the entire tail was a single unit and the incidence angle of the tailplane could not be changed without also changing that of the fin.

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It wasn't just their aircraft that were ugly, their battle rifle the MAS 36 has to be the ugliest firearm ever made although in practice 'twas the epitome of bolt action battle rifles incorporating all that was good that went afore.

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8 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

... I wonder if "Ape" is an acronym lost in time? Aerodynamic ??? Experiment...

Hi!

 

My first thought from first glimpse of the Ape was that perhaps RAE used it to do "simulations" in real life instead of trying to analyze and calculate.  Sort of ultimate mechanical aerodynamics program/computer (solver was the word I was after). I like the idea but pity the eventual test pilot.

Aerodynamics Prototype Experimental = APE ?

 

CHeers,

Kari

Edited by Kari Lumppio
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8 hours ago, 825 said:

Mind you the Seamew just looks like a Breguet Alize that's been on a diet. 

With the Gannet being the fat sister of the Alize. What a family!

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11 hours ago, leyreynolds said:

And after all this you must note that the French still have an aircraft industry while the UK has become merely subcontractors to same.

Touché!

 

I design aircraft parts (in the UK) manufactured out of metal from Germany (or carbon fibre not from the UK - can't say where from!) for an Italian owned company using French design tools :)

 

This thread has opened my eyes to some VERY ugly aircraft! In fact, I wish I had kept them closed

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