The Goodyear Inflatoplane
The Goodyear Aircraft Company, a branch of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, created this inflatable aircraft for the United States Army. Goodyear completed a single-seat and a two-seat version. The Inflatoplane’s surface comprised of two rubber materials attached by nylon threads. It took less air to inflate this aircraft for minimal operation than to fill a single car tire. On February 13, 1956, the Inflatoplane first flew. One flight, Army aviator Lt. Wallace piloted the Inflatoplane. In flight, a control cable detached and a wing shifted up against the propeller. Air released from the plane. An aluminum wing smashed Wallace in the head. The aircraft descended into a shallow lake. Neither Wallace nor the aircraft survived. The Army officially cancelled the project in 1973. Two of the 12 Inflatoplanes built showcase at museums.