There are some sleek and elegant aircraft out there and some pretty ugly ones too!  Despite gaining nicknames such as the Flying Bathtub and the Flying Potato, many of these amazing flying machines did a great job in furthering our understanding of spaceflight.  This is the story of the Lifting Body aircraft.

Three of the NASA experimental lifting body aircraft.


The Mig105 Spiral, nicknamed the Flying Shoe.


Images shown under creative commons licence with thanks to NASA and Bernhard Gröhl.