Image: wikipedia commons

World War II really kick-started the military buildup we live with today.

Those early days of advanced flight were a heady time for U.S. military planners who enjoyed robust economic growth and big government spending.

Many of the aircraft here seem bound only by physics and imagination.

Not knowing what the new technologies were capable of, and lacking computers on which to test the models, prototypes of all kinds were developed.

From one-man helicopters for patrolling the nuclear battlefield, to jets launched from submarines and ships — the only thing the aircraft have in common here — is that none of them made it into production.