Aircraft makers tried a lot of different designs before settling on the two-winged planes and jets we're familiar with today. Inventors toyed with the idea of a multi-winged aircraft — often fashioned from incredibly complicated structures — before discarding it. Here are some of their most amazing failures.

The Philips Multiplanes from 1904, 1907 and 1911

(via Flying Wings)

The Blériot III with two elliptical closed wings, built by Louis Blériot and Gabriel Voisin in 1906. It failed to fly.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

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The D'Ecquevilly Multiplane, designed by the Marquis d' Equevilly, a Navy engineer in 1906-1907

(via Flying Machines)

The Cygnet (or Aerodrome #5), an experimental aircraft with a wall of 3,393 tetrahedral cells instead of wings, built by the Canadian Aerial Experiment Association in 1907.

(via San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives)

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A Bousson-Borgnis Triplane from 1908

(via Flying Machines)

The Dufaux triplane, a Swiss experimental aircraft built in 1908 by Armand and Henri Dufaux

(via Flying Machines and Pionnair-Ge)

The Humphreys Waterplane, the earliest hydro-aeroplane, built in 1908-1909.

(via Flying Machines)

A helicopter by Wilbur R. Kimball, 1909

(via Skaterscafé)

The first special military airplane ever built, designed by Capt. Jean Dorand in 1909

(via Flying Planes)

The Zerbe Multiplane with five wings and two props, built in 1910

(via Water and Power)

The Seddon Mayfly, a tandem biplane, designed by Seddon and Hackett in Wolverhampton, England, 1910. It was the world's largest at the time, but never flew.

(via Flying Machines)

The Jacobs Multiplane, designed and built by Henry William Jacobs between 1910 and 1912.

(via The Aerodrome)

The Geary Circular Triplane, 1911

(via Wright-Brothers)

The Howard Huntington multiplane from 1912 (or 1914) with six tandem mini-wings.

(via The Aerodrome)

The 77 ft (23.45 m) long Caproni Ca.60 Noviplano, a flying boat with eight V12 engines and nine wings. It was destroyed on first flight on 4 March 1921, when it reached the altitude of 195 ft (60 m) over Lake Maggiore in Italy then dived and crashed.

(via Wikimedia Commons, Teihengaku and Avia DejaVu)

The world's first successful human-powered aircraft, the Gerhardt Cycleplane, developed by Dr. W. Frederick Gerhardt in 1923.

(via Wikimedia Commons)