Since I have no money to borrow the names of certain aircrafts, I decided it's better to think of my own. But because I have no experience with drawing or designing complicated machinery, I wanna ask if there's anyone who has experience making fictional vehicles. I'm not going for ultra futuristic fighter jets but a mix of modern or scientific. I just don't want the design to look goofy
4$\begingroup$ I don't believe the military will come after you for using their aircraft in your graphic novel. Though on the other hand those guys have fighter jets so perhaps best to not make them mad. $\endgroup$– DaronApr 18, 2022 at 22:53
$\begingroup$ Do you want names, or do want designs? For names, anything goes. There was a Hurricane, there is a Tornado: so you have a Whirlwind, a Reshabar, a Flurry, a Scirocco etc. If you are looking for unused designs, there are plenty of experimental fighter aircraft which didn't make it to production, or beautiful aircraft developed in unusal places; my favorite (for looks) is the Persian Aurora. $\endgroup$– AlexPApr 18, 2022 at 23:11
1$\begingroup$ There are so many different classes of aircraft that this becomes a really broad and undefined question. That being said, there seems to be some correlation in real-life between form, function and name: Warthogs are bristling with armaments and pretty ugly, Hawkeyes are for surveillance with hi-res radar et al., Hercules is heavyweight, fighters always seem to have names like Talon, Hawker Harrier, Raptor, Eagle, Typhoon, Tornado. You get the point. You could just use initials and numbers like some. But what sort of thing are you after? $\endgroup$– Angry MuppetApr 18, 2022 at 23:11
1$\begingroup$ "if there's anyone who has experience making fictional vehicles" tip: try MS Flight Simulator 2020. There's an API and a design model built in. You can do funny things with the SDK provided, e.g. Eggman's scenery -- Note: Blender skills required ! -- $\endgroup$– GoodiesApr 18, 2022 at 23:38
Google image search "popular science" and planes.
Popular Science has always loved to have theoretical planes on its cover. And I love those theoretical planes. They are all supposed to be possible planes that would not outright provoke guffaws on the part of lay science enthusiasts. It seems to me that is what you are striving for.
This is just what fit in one window. There are more. Google them up and pick your favorites!
1$\begingroup$ How would that resolve the licensing problem? $\endgroup$– o.m.Apr 19, 2022 at 4:34
$\begingroup$ @o.m. - I did not see a licensing problem in the OP. Is it implied? I do not think getting inspiration from magazine covers requires a license. $\endgroup$– WillkApr 19, 2022 at 14:33
$\begingroup$ The OP has "no money to borrow the names" which sounds to me as if he wants to license something for his IP. $\endgroup$– o.m.Apr 19, 2022 at 15:53
$\begingroup$ @o.m. - " no money to borrow the names of certain aircrafts, I decided it's better to think of my own". I took from this that the no money piece you noted led the OP to give up on any licensing idea, and instead make something up. Thus he is appropriately on WB Stack where stuff gets made up and licensing advice is not on offer. Images were offered as jumping off points for the making up of realistic stuff. $\endgroup$– WillkApr 19, 2022 at 16:13
I would do a bit of research into different types.
For example create categories based on the wingtype/shape and specific role. Then compare the similarities within each category. The builders wanted these similarities for a reason, so you should add them too to make the frame work. You can simply take two or three craft and create an average craft based on them. The rear fins slanted differently on all planes you've got? Take the average slant and draw that. Or literally take the wings of one and the body of another etc.
If you really want to absolutely avoid copyright and dont care too much about realism, you can mix-and-match between categories. Like mixing the stealth fighter layouts with a Canard style wing.
You can also use Willk's answer and build further on prototypes that were never completed or abandoned. The forwards swept wing for example was too unstable during testing, but you could say your world has solved it. Now you can make a forwards swept F-22 or MIG variant, unique and yet recognizeable for their purpose and inspiration.
I think your question shows a misunderstanding of trademarks and copyrights.
- A real aircraft may be protected by trademarks and similiar rules. If you sell airliners, you cannot call them Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and even Boing 878 Hopeliner could be problematic.
That doesn't stop you from mentioning the Dreamliner in a story, as in "by her body clock, it was midnight when the Dreamliner touched down at LAX, but outside the sun was shining." It might be problematic if you disparage a product when it isn't clearly fiction, unless there are facts to back this up. "The 737 MAX had problems with the avionics," for instance.
- A fictional aircraft may be protected by copyright of the work of fiction where it appears. Copyright is often much easier to get than a trademark. But copyright does not protect the name or shape of a fictional aircraft, it protects the text or the picture. They key would be not being a derivative work under copyright rules.
- You can use copyrighted artwork for free if the copyright holder grants you that right, e.g. with a creative commons license. You would have to read things carefully -- you might be required to list the artists, or you might be restricted to non-commercial use only.
If you plan the commercial use of your work which uses other work, you need a legal department or copyright lawyers on retainer, especially if you plan to sell internationally.