During World War II several aircraft were given the nickname The Flying Coffin. American soldiers referred to the CG-4A glider as the Flying Coffin not because it was inherently dangerous, but because several of the 15 companies that built them for Uncle Sam also were coffin manufacturers. The gliders were, after all, mostly made from wood.
The B-17 (left), perhaps the most recognizable aircraft of the war, also was nicknamed The Flying Coffin – by the Nazi propaganda machine. The Nazis peppered newsreels with images of B-17s going down in flames. The Allies, on the other hand, regarded the B-17 an extremely durable aircraft capable of sustaining heavy damage and still bringing the men back alive.