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The Incredible, Impossible, Fake Airliners of YouTube

There is no such thing as a sextuple-decker Airbus A380. Obviously. You don’t have to be an aviation expert to realize this sort of monstrosity could never get off the ground. Still, whenever I see one pop up on YouTube, I basically have to click it. That’s the reason it even exists at all.

Impossible planes—Photoshopped Frankenstein aircraft with dozens of engines or ludicrous, bulbous fuselages—are all over YouTube. A quick search of “world’s largest plane” will turn up dozens. Watch any one and you’re like to find a montage of stolen, uncredited clips, slathered in dozens of ads and uploaded by shady accounts with names like “STORM FORCE” or “Techno Blog.” Even with low-res video, egregious watermarking, and annoying pop-ups, these videos con their way into millions of views thanks in large part to the lie of their thumbnails.

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Extreme and misleading cover art is a tale as old as YouTube. It used to require meticulous planning and shooting back when YouTube automatically selected thumbnails from a video’s actual footage. But now that YouTube allows custom thumbnails that don’t need to reflect a frame from the actual video, lying takes a lot less effort.

Big Planes, it turns out, are remarkably easy to lie about. Many of the world’s actual largest actual planes look pretty unbelievable even without editing. The bulbous foreheads of the Airbus A300-600ST Beluga or the Aero Spacelines Super Guppy look a lot as if someone inflated them with software. The enormous Stratolauncher does look an awful lot like two smaller planes Photoshopped together. NASA’s craziest X-planes look like someone copy and pasted in about a half-dozen extra propellers. On top of all this, the sheer blue background of a clear sky and the relatively blandness of an airliner’s body makes it easy for even inexperienced Photoshoppers to create pretty believable modifications with little actual skill.

And so the fake planes are legion. In my travels across cyberspace as a Popular Mechanics blogger, I have discovered a few distinct families. Come with me on a journey.

Decked-Out Disasters

In real life, multideck airplanes top out at a maximum of two decks. Emirates has toyed with the idea of a triple decker but seemingly seriously and also in jest, but for now no such thing exists. In fact, air travel is trending toward smaller planes.

Fake planes, however, can have as many as six or seven decks, turning them into stretched-out flying flounders.

AIRBUS A380 – The Biggest Passenger Airplane in The World—34,084 views

YouTube
MostShokingVideosHD

10 Abnormally Large Airplanes That Actually Exist—4,669,510 views

YouTube
TheRichest

6 of The Largest Aircraft Ever!—10,982,570 views

YouTube
STORM FORCE

Biggest Aircraft – Airbus vs Antonov vs Boeing vs Ilyushin vs Lockheed – Largest in The World—853,695 views

YouTube
STORM FORCE

World’s Biggest Airplane—71,940 views

YouTube
MeniThings

AMAZING Top 6 BIGGEST Airplane Ever In The World 2017—307,746 views (an actual photo of an Airbus Beluga with Photoshopped windows)

YouTube
Mp3Centres Chanel

Top Biggest Airplanes Airbus – Antonov – Boeing – Lockheed – Largest Airplanes in the World!—77,393 views

YouTube
STORM FORCE

The Biggest Passenger Airplanes in The World 🌟 Antonov An-225 Mriya 🌟 Антонов Ан-225 Мрія—208 views

YouTube
Techno Blog

NEW Biggest airplanes in the world 2017—1,603 views

YouTube
Techno Blog

6 More Largest Airplanes!—133,627 views

YouTube
STORM FORCE

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Multi-Engine Monstrosities

Another way to blow a plane way out of proportion is simply to add more engines onto the wings. In real life, engine record-holders include the WWI-era Dornier Do X flying boat with its 12 propellers and the octo-engined B-52. In bizarro YouTube world, those numbers climb much higher.

This article was reblogged from Popular Mechanics.

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