Mankind is in a never-ending arms race against himself, other nations, religions and whoever is deemed a threat to existence. This leads governments to spend enormous amounts of money on even the craziest of ides, often leading to ridiculous weapons that eventually disappoint or simply never get developed.
Lunar Nuclear Bomb
Also known as Project 119-A, the plan was to Nuke the moon to boost public morale in the United States after the Soviet Union took an early lead in the Space Race. This was never carried out, because they figures putting a man on the moon was better than trying to blow it up.
Iceberg Aircraft Carrier
Also known as Project Habakkuk, the Brits developed a plan during World War II to construct an aircraft carrier out of pykrete (a mixture of wood pulp and ice). It took them some time, but developments in the war effort and realizing what a huge waste of resources it might be sunk the idea.
The Flying Dorito
The A-12 Avenger II was also known as the flying Dorito. It was to be an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber replacement for the Grumman A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marine Corps; The development of the A-12 was troubled by cost overruns and several delays, eventually being cancelled in 1991 after wasting more than $5 billion on the project.
Soviet Doomsday Device
Some say it’s a myth, but in the early 1990s several former high-ranking members of the Soviet military and the Central Committee of the Communist Party in a series of interviews to the American defense contractor BDM admitted the existence of the Dead Hand, making somewhat contradictory statements concerning its deployment.
What is it? Possibly still fully operational, a nuclear-control system that can automatically trigger the launch of the Russian Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) if a nuclear strike is detected by seismic, light, radioactivity and overpressure sensors, creating a fail-deadly deterrence.
The Un-landable Plane
Instead of having an aircraft take off only from carriers, the US government wanted fighters on all their ships. From that, the XFV Salmon was born, a plane with landing gear on its tail. After development and some thinking, the plan to have a fighter jet on every ship was scrapped, because pilots couldn’t land backwards. The jet was also much slower than other contemporary fighters and was too complicated to fly.
Intruder From the Future
Imagine a bomber, designed to carry atomic bombs, that can fly at an altitude of 15 miles and three times the speed of sound. The B-70 Valkyrie was supposed to be the aviation dream from the future, but while it was developed, the improvements of high-altitude surface-to-air missiles, the change to low-level penetration bombing, the program’s high development costs, and the introduction of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) led to the cancellation of the B-70 program in 1961. Two prototypes were eventually used; one of them crashed following a midair collision in 1966.
The XF-84H was an experimental turboprop aircraft, powered by a a turbine engine that was mated to a supersonic propeller. Too many aerodynamic decencies and the fact that it was the loudest aircraft ever made; the sound of its engine starting up could be heard 25 miles away, along with blowing out eardrums and causing severe nausea among the ground crews led to its cancellation.