Watching the video "America's Top 10 Ugliest Aircraft" from Youtube:

At around 7:40 into the video when discussing the Vought Pirate, there are a few seconds of a picture where the Pirate was flying in formation with another aircraft that I personally find gorgeous.

What is the aircraft in this picture? enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I'd say it's a Vought F7U Cutlass. $\endgroup$
    – Urquiola
    Jan 30 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


F7U-3 (source)

The "ugly aircraft" from your video is a Vought F6U Pirate, the aircraft furthest from the camera: you saw it flying in formation with Chance Vought Cutlass F7U-1, no. 124419, the fifth production aircraft. Note the deep fin extensions on the underside and the long nose instrumentation boom.

The picture below was taken by aviation photographer William J Balogh, with the nose painted white with a red arrow, possibly at the Detroit National Air Races in 1951.



F7U-3 During a test flight in February 21 1951 (source incorrectly says it's a F7U-3)

The white nose design seems to have been removed at some point when the aircraft was assigned to the Flight Test Division at NAS Patuxent River (below)



This plane, piloted by John Starr Hill, crashed on landing on 23 October 1953 at Patuxent River and was written off. (note - the record says 1 fatality, but the pilot was not killed.)

(Despite the same Modex number (and what the caption says) this is not the same aircraft depicted here at Ft Lauderdale in a rather sorry state in 1978, which is a F7U-3 / 129582.)

  • $\begingroup$ The more I look at this plane, the more it looks taken from an 80s cartoon like G-Force. $\endgroup$
    – SDH
    Jan 30 at 5:59

It's a Vought F7U Cutlass, "a United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter and fighter-bomber designed and produced by the aircraft manufacturer Chance Vought. It was the first tailless production fighter in the United States as well as United States Navy's first jet equipped with swept wings and the first to be designed with afterburners."

Here a picture of the tail number 415:

enter image description here

Apparently the unique design wasn't that good since "Over one quarter of all Cutlasses built were destroyed in accidents; this high rate of accidents led to the type being withdrawn during the late 1950s despite having been in service for less than ten years."

Wikipedia has plenty of information about it.

P.s.: even if I'd have also chosen the F-35 at the end, anyway the X-32 on the opening picture of the video is in my opinion not that ugly 😉


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