The Strangest Airplanes To Have Ever Been Built

Snecma Flying Coléoptère (C-450)

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The French company Snecma established the Coléoptère (C-450), meaning beetle. Like a beetle, the design intended for vertical take-off and landing. To me, this aircraft’s appearance resembles a stocky rocket.

Auguste Morel, the pilot, propelled the C-450 off the ground in 1959. The aircraft rolled uncontrollably and fell. Morel’s flying skills stabilized the aircraft and avoided disaster. On the ninth flight, a lack of visual awareness and poor instrumentation hindered Morel. The aircraft inclined too slowly. The C-450 couldn’t maintain altitude. Morel lost control. Morel ejected. The C-450 crashed. Morel survived. He suffered severe injuries that ended his racing career. After the incident, C-450 lost all funding for a new prototype.