The Goodyear Inflatoplane
By James Grahame
The Goodyear GA-466 Inflatoplane was an improbable rubber aircraft designed for the United States Army as a compact rescue vehicle. The idea of parachuting a rubber airplane kit into hostile territory is ludicrous, especially when you consider that you'd need to be a trained pilot with access to a runway to have any chance of making it home.
Still, I suppose a secret agent being held hostage at an enemy airbase might be able to overpower a half dozen ill-trained guards and force them to assemble her 740 lb getaway vehicle at gunpoint. Of course, she'd also have to borrow a few gallons of avgas and evade enemy jet fighters and helicopter gunships while cruising along at a maximum speed of 70 mph.
A total of 12 Inflatoplanes were built between 1955 and 1962 before the Army concluded there was no viable use for such a quirky craft. One of the originals is on display at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, should you have an overwhelming urge to witness such lunacy first hand.
More about the Goodyear Inflatoplane [thanks, Greg Lorincz!]