Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beardmore Inflexible

The Beardmore Company (mainly shipbuilders by the 1920s) developed the Inflexible (designed by Adolf Rohrbach) to demonstrate the then-innovative stressed-skin metal construction. Unusually for 1928 it was also a mid-wing monoplane at a time when most large aircraft were still wood and fabric biplanes. The Inflexible's maiden flight proved what many had expected — that the aircraft was too heavy for its three Condor engines. As author Bill Gunston put it, 'although it was incapable of serving any useful role it could at least fly'. Within two years its flying career was over and it was dismantled to save space, ending its days in experiments to investigate airframe corrosion. A related design was the Beardmore Inverness, an all-metal flying boat whose creators had such faith in its airworthiness that it was equipped with two large masts and sails to get it home in the event of a forced water landing.

(Jim Winchester, The World's Worst Aircraft, 2005)


Pablo J. Álvarez said...

All beginnings are difficult, perhaps in those years, men were harder than today. This kind of planes need valor to be piloted.

Lord K said...

Of course a lot of valor was required to fly this monster, but you now, the Inflexible was not as "bad" as it may seem. Unusual as most Rohrbach designs, built to test a very advanced concept, it lived up to the expectations. Nobody ever tried to convert into something practical or to improve its specs - this aircraft was just a testbed and nothing more.

Alcides said...

I'm regularly follow this blog ( it's great by the way) and the other day when I've found something about the beardmore inflexible I tought could be great for dieselpunks. Now I found it here :)
I agree with you, the plane not was great but was not bad either. It was capable to fly!!! I read somewhere the pilot found it very nice to fly. If you see the videos in you tube it's fly well. So, maybe the lack of suppor kill this very good idea.