Horton Aircraft Corporation Wingless
The Horton Wingless aircraft was invented by William Horton of Huntington Beach, California in 1952. He called the strange-looking plane “wingless” because he claimed the entire craft was a simple air foil with vertical fins and utilized all surfaces for lift. Unfortunately, Horton did not have the money to develop it, but was able to get into a partnership with billionaire Howard Hughes and Harlow Curtis.
The aircraft was a welded steel frame covered with a fabric skin and powered by two Pratt and Whitney R985 radial engines. Instead of a long high aspect ratio wing the fuselage was to create the lift and tip plates which he called ‘sealers’ were to tip losses that otherwise plague such airfoils. Essentially it was a highly-modified Cessna UC-78 with a more airfoil-shaped fuselage than wing.
The aircraft logged around 160 hrs of flight time before Bill Horton had a falling out with Hughes. Horton was railroaded to prison.
Although this innovative prototype flew successfully, no backers were attracted. The venture failed not because the airplane didn't fly, but because Hughes wanted to take full credit for the patents and production rights, which Horton refused to allow. Hughes sued Horton which effectively stopped any further development of the aircraft. Hughes managed to have the prototype and partially-constructed production version moved to the bone yard at the south end of the Orange Co airport and deliberately burned.