Challenge: name an airplane uglier than the Lloyd Luftkreuzer

I personally like the Grumman Duck. It looks like it was intended to do a job, and does it.
Hah!
If you thought the Grumman Duck was ugly, you should have seen the Great Lakes XSG amphibious biplane that lost the same US Navy competition. The XSG configuration was similar, but lacked a huge chunk of fuselage between the rear gunner and the fin. IOW the Great Lakes looked like a Levasseur PL-21 rear-ended a Grumman Duck! XGS had a better field of fire than the Duck, but with only 450 hp. it was too slow.

OTOH Duck has a certain utilitarian charm. That cavernous fuselage was easy to adapt for a variety of roles: recce, spotting fall of shells, search, rescue, medical stretcher patient, target tug, admiral's barge, etc.. A Duck was the last plane to flee the Phillippines with 6 humans on board. See C.P. Romula's book "I saw the fall of the Phillppines (Doubleday, NY, 1943)

Anigrand Craftworks will cheerfully sell you 1/72 scale, resin kits of Great Lakes XSG and the later Columbia XJL-1 monoplane designed to replace the Grumman Duck.
 
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You got a point.



I think it is pregnant with possibilities.

Skyraider APS-20 radars were later installed in Gannets and Shackeltons.

The Royal Navy's AEW version of the AD-1 Skyraider was almost as ugly. Rumour has it that radars were later installed to Shackeltons.
 
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Whats the Italian twin hulled flying boat that flew across the Atlantic with Balbo? (Think thats his name but Italian interwar aviation is not my thing) cant ever decide if its really cool looking or terrible.
 
Whats the Italian twin hulled flying boat that flew across the Atlantic with Balbo? (Think thats his name but Italian interwar aviation is not my thing) cant ever decide if its really cool looking or terrible.
Savoia S.55 - I think it's more cool than ugly. You could tweak the engine cowling and struts to improve appearance, I suppose...;)

 
Beautiful machines AT LEAST 10 years ahead of their time, and that they came out of a country with as many issues as Italy is amazing.
 

McPherson

Kicked


History.

There are certain degrees of "ugly". The plane had a weak tail control build issue never adequately solved, and like many American contemporaries encountered wing to fuselage empenage weaknesses at the join. The wings flexed at the three join points in the crescent curve and that introduced fatiguing that low level flight exacerbated. This is a case where beautiful (and she is beautiful.) hides the "UGLY".

Notably, like the US replacement programs for the B-47, (B-58 Hustler for example.) this bomber had a LOT of test aircraft crashes and a stretched development program fraught with problems and disappointments. Lack of money=lack of resources and a hampered product. End of it all... good aircraft.
 
In that case I give you. The Dehavilland Comet 1

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OTL dH Comet was a pretty airplane and the first jet to enter airline service. I suffered fatigue cracking problems around window frames because the first design was modified to square corners and they learned the hard way about fatigue on pressurized cabins. Remember that Comet was also one of the first passenger airliners with pressurization and they flew much higher (greater pressure differential) than piston-pounding predecessors.
Market timing was critical because by the time that dH solved fatigue problems, the far more Boeing introduced the 707 which out performed Comet. Later versions of Comets flew reliably across oceans, but were too late to sell in huge numbers.

ATL We can also speculate about how Comets' fate might have changed if she easily replaceable engines like Avro of Canada or Boeing.
 
It didn't help that the rivet holes were punched through the skin rather than drilled creating micro fractures that grew and blew out the windows.
 
Cueing off some of the form-follows-function in our ugly/beautiful design discussions; Giuseppi Bellanca's early designs were often kinda angular, ungainly looking craft. However, by all accounts I've read, they were brick-outhouse sturdy and efficient performers. Beauty in action, rather than on the tarmac.
 
Cueing off some of the form-follows-function in our ugly/beautiful design discussions; Giuseppi Bellanca's early designs were often kinda angular, ungainly looking craft. However, by all accounts I've read, they were brick-outhouse sturdy and efficient performers. Beauty in action, rather than on the tarmac.
I'd go along with this. To be truly ugly, the plane has to look like it's been beaten with the ugly stick and have serious issues that affect its usefulness.

The C130, for instance, would never win any beauty contests but it's more than proved its worth over the decades.
 
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