Crazy Military Vehicles That Died as Prototypes [Slide Show]

When it comes to transporting troops, no idea has seemed too outlandish to be considered by the military

By Jeremy Hsu

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When German submarines threatened Allied shipping lanes during World War II, the U.S. government ordered a huge flying boat capable of carrying 750 troops or two Sherman tanks safely across the Atlantic Ocean.....[ More ]


A flying saucer–shaped vehicle built by Canada's Avro Aircraft, Ltd., was originally supposed to become a supersonic, vertical takeoff and landing fighter-bomber for Canada. But the U.S. military took over the project to build a futuristic hover vehicle during the cold war after the Canadian government dropped the increasingly expensive program.....[ More ]


Brave test pilots willing to stand on a flying platform above two counterrotating helicopter blades could fly the HZ-1 Aerocycle, an experimental vehicle designed to allow Army soldiers to scout future battlefields at more than 100 kilometers per hour.....[ More ]


During the cold war the Army commissioned a cybernetic, four-legged walking machine that stood three meters tall, could move heavy loads over rough terrain and had enough power to push 450 kilograms across a concrete floor.....[ More ]


The Vietnam War led to U.S. military interest in vehicles that could navigate Southeast Asia's marshy terrain and rivers. Such need gave rise to the Navy's experimental Riverine Utility Craft, a Chrysler-produced vehicle that moved around marshy environments by using two aluminum rotors resembling Archimedes’ screws.....[ More ]


​Boeing's Phantom Works proposed the world's largest aircraft as a sea-skimming plane capable of carrying up to 1.3 million kilograms of cargo, or the equivalent of 17 U.S. M-1 battle tanks. The Pelican Ultra Large Transport Aircraft could travel 18,500 kilometers at a cruising speed of 240 knots without refueling by flying as low as six meters above the water.....[ More ]


An amphibious transport vehicle with inflatable tank treads was designed to roam across both land and sea. A small experimental prototype of the Captive Air Amphibious Transporter (CAAT) used air-filled treads moving around a standard tank tread setup to float and swim to shore as well as move across beaches and climb over low walls.....[ More ]

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