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What Is A BAD Plane?  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19509 posts, RR: 58
Posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4737 times:

So often I hear people say that this or that is a "very good aircraft." I rarely hear of any aircraft in service as being a "very bad aircraft."

Can we think of any that merit that title?

I can name a few (but in many ways they did very well). The Comet 1, which had a tendency to just fall apart in mid-air and the DC-10 which liked to run critical hydraulics lines next to whirling fan blades... and the DC-10's ingenious design whereby cargo could efficiently be unloaded through the cargo door at altitude by waiting for it to open in-flight  Sad.

Any other examples?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePiskoto From Cyprus, joined Nov 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4652 times:

A319! It handles turbulence with its own 'excellent' way...  scared 

User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2679 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4475 times:



Quoting Piskoto (Reply 1):
A319! It handles turbulence with its own 'excellent' way...

the A319 is so bad during turbulence?



אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently offlineSkytroll From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4345 times:

The A346 although a gorgeous aircraft also handles itself in its own unique way during turbulence.


"Oh the glamour"
User currently offlineNicoEDDF From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1099 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4109 times:



Quoting Skytroll (Reply 3):
The A346 although a gorgeous aircraft also handles itself in its own unique way during turbulence.

I assume it is safe to say, that EVERY aircraft handles itself in its own unique way during turbulence. If that is good or bad behaviour is merely subjective sensation, no?


User currently offlineAvallillo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3958 times:

It is difficult to speak of "good" and "bad" airplanes, because we have to figure out just what makes an airplane "good" or "bad". To a pilot, a good airplane is one that performs well, handles well and predictably throughout the flight envelope, and (at least to an airline pilot!) pays well!!

To the airline, a good airplane is one that is economical to operate and rarely breaks down. Nowadays, any airplane that burns 20% less fuel would be good by that standard, regardless of what it looks like!

To a passenger, a good airplane is one that does not have a high publicity history of mishaps, and has extra legroom, but most of all, regardless of the foregoing, offers a rock-bottom fare.

And, of course, to an aviation enthusiast or hobbyist, a good airplane is one that looks cool, or even beautiful. My hat is always off to the 707-300 on that score! And the Constellation!

All of the post WWII airliners that originally had problems due to state-of-the-art issues of aircraft design or training (aircraft such as the Comet I, the Electra, the DC-6, the Constellation, the Martin 202, the B-727) were developed into exceptionally "good" airplanes. Each of the above is still flying today, somewhere in the world, with the sole exception of the 202, which was redesignated the Martin 404 after redesign of the main wing spar. So even a "bad" airplane may become a good one!

The DC-10 was and is a "good" airplane, as its long history with a great many airlines has demonstrated. All jets run critical hydraulic lines right into the engines, since the hydraulic pumps are located on the accessory drive, in the guts of the engine. The lines you are probably referring to, in the Sioux City accident, were not only in the center engine, but also in the general tail section - where they needed to be to work the elevator and rudder! That was a massive uncontained engine failure. AA had one on the ground at LAX not too long ago, on a 767, and the results were equally destructive. So is the 767 a "bad" airplane? The A-300 that was hit by a missile over in Iraq suffered a similar loss of all hydraulics, so that must be a "bad" airplane too.

No big jet I ever flew ( 707,727,A300-600, 757,767, C-5, C-141A) had hydraulic fuses in the lines. If I recall correctly, the DC-10 was supposed to get them after the Sioux City accident, but since I never flew that jet, I don't know if it worked out that way.

The Door problem you mention is, on the other hand, a valid comment, although two occurrences in a 30+ year service history is hardly the makings of a "bad" airplane. Actually, this reflects a disturbing trend in commercial aircraft manufacture since the 1970's. When the Lockheed Electra was found to have had a design problem with whirl mode flutter in the late '50s, the manufacturer spared no expense to -first- find the cause of the problem in one of the most intensive investigations ever mounted in the aftermath of an airline crash, and - second - fix the problem, all at its' own expense. There were no attempts to shift the blame onto the pilots, the airlines, or even the CAA/FAA, who had set the standards for certification, all of which the original Electra had passed by overwhelming margins. Lockheed decided to fix the problem rather than fix the blame.

Things had changed by the time that the DC-10 came rolling off the lines in the early 1970's. Douglas made only what could be colorfully described as a half-assed modification to the cargo door in the aftermath of the first door incident in DTW. Rather than fix the problem right the first time, they apparently chose to go the quick and dirty route, and they ultimately paid a heavy price for doing so.

We saw much of the same attitude in the aftermath of the A-300 crash at JFK (AA 587). Airbus shamefully, in my opinion, spent most of its time blaming the pilot rather than trying to fix the problems in the rudder system itself, and problems there were! But the Bus is still a good airplane - I flew it myself for 9 years and never encountered a problem with it. Just my luck, perhaps.

In the end, any airplane that gets you where you are going safely is a "good" airplane. The "great" ones do it in style, and are a delight to handle in the air. Best of all time ? My vote is for the 727-100.


User currently offlineN6238P From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3873 times:

Off the top of my head I can come up with a few planes that could be considered bad aircraft and this is kind of going away from commerical flights but the MU-2 with 1 engine is pretty much been known to be a death sentence. The plane itself is a very good airplane but in certain situations, this plane likes to crash. The high number of crashes is reason for the SFAR to fly the MU-2.

The Antonov 70 was another plane that had alot of problems which eventually led to the cancelation of its program.

ATR 42's seemed to turn into lawn darts when going through icing conditions. I guess thats a good way to earn the bad aircraft title.



To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19509 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3799 times:



Quoting Avallillo (Reply 5):
To a passenger, a good airplane is one that does not have a high publicity history of mishaps,

Well I would argue that a plane crash is bad for the pilot, the airline, AND the pax. Really, there are very few people who benefit from plane crashes.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3758 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
Really, there are very few people who benefit from plane crashes.

You mean aside from lawyers and the media, right?

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineTango29 From Ireland, joined May 2006, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3754 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can we think of any that merit that title?

My vote goes to the BAE ATP, a horrible noisey uncomfortable shitbox of an aircraft.

Cheers!



Flown: A300,310,319,320,321,332,333,346,380, B720, 727,732,733,734,735,738,741,744,752,753,763,772,773
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6313 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3751 times:

Hmmm...from an aerospace engineers point of view...as long as it stays in the air it's good!  Smile

With that legit point of view, I don't see any truly BAD aircraft out there now. At least past some yahoo's kit a/c that is made out of Elmers school glue and waffles.


User currently offlineRichM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 798 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Interesting thread, but I do think Avallillo's post does pretty much sum it up, but it's still interesting to hear of any negative views regarding different planes imo.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
Well I would argue that a plane crash is bad for the pilot, the airline, AND the pax. Really, there are very few people who benefit from plane crashes.

Depends how you look at it. Often it takes a plane crash for safety changes to be made, this will benefit all future passengers who will fly on the respective aircraft type.


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2796 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3708 times:



Quoting RichM (Reply 11):
Depends how you look at it. Often it takes a plane crash for safety changes to be made, this will benefit all future passengers who will fly on the respective aircraft type.

True... a lot of them were disasters waiting to happen... and luckily they don't happen again.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 10):
as long as it stays in the air it's good!

Yep! Although I'm sure with the 380, 787, 350 etc our standards would be a little bit higher.


User currently offlineSNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3693 times:

Quirks and slight disadvantages aside, we may never be able to define a truly BAD aircraft as (ideally) most of them never make it off the drawing board!

 Silly

~SNAFlyboy


User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2340 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3665 times:

Comet I is a no brainer. I've never admired the ATR 42/72 series for its high vulnerability in ice conditions. The AE crash in '94 hits close to home because many of the people on board lived around my area.

Most of all, I have never been a fan of the 737 classics. IMO, it's a very plain, dull, vanilla airliner family. Not pleasing to the eye in the least. Loud, but no much power. No steep take offs, no grace. Performance wise, it's a gas guzzler, has poor range, and it has a major design flaw in the bio as well. I miss the 732s for nostalgia, but won't lose any sleep after all the 733/4/5s are retired.

Quoting Avallillo (Reply 5):
No big jet I ever flew ( 707,727,A300-600, 757,767, C-5, C-141A) had hydraulic fuses in the lines. If I recall correctly, the DC-10 was supposed to get them after the Sioux City accident, but since I never flew that jet, I don't know if it worked out that way

Domestic airlines had until 1993 to install the fuses on their DC-10s. The fuses were also quickly added to the MD-11 design following the UA 232 investigation.

Quoting Avallillo (Reply 5):
Douglas made only what could be colorfully described as a half-assed modification to the cargo door in the aftermath of the first door incident in DTW. Rather than fix the problem right the first time, they apparently chose to go the quick and dirty route, and they ultimately paid a heavy price for doing so.

Actually, an adequate mod was already in place. Unfortunately, the Turkish jet had yet to receive it at the time of the accident.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3658 times:

As a passenger, a CRJ-100/200 is a bad airplane - most cramped airplane I've ever been on (and sadly, I've been on dozens of these planes in the past few years; and to think I was excited to fly one for the first time in 2003...what was I thinking...)

User currently offlineHorizonGirl From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 807 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3644 times:



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 15):
As a passenger, a CRJ-100/200 is a bad airplane

In my experience, the CRJ-100//200 is comfortable enough, although you are most likely
much taller than I. Surprisingly I found the window placement to be the worst thing about this aircraft which is actually one of my favorites. One thing that I have noticed is that on some aircraft the window placement was not very well though out, or it was but the seats aren't comfortably lined up with them. On the CRJ-100/200 you pretty much have to bend down to look out of them which can get painful on longer flights. The problem was even worse on AC's Embraers where the windows are much too far ahead to look out of comfortably. Aside from bad safety records or frequent types of mechanical failures particular to an aircraft, I think that just those small flaws that make the aircraft uncomfortable to fly on are enough to land it on a person's "bad" list.

Devon



Flying high on the Wings of the Great Northwest!
User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3600 times:

The MD-80. Perhaps it's really isn't a bad plane, but I have many bad memories in a MD-80. So in my mind it'll always bring up bad thoughts. Specifically on AAL from DFW to the west coast. "Bistro" meal service. I bet the bag cost them as much as the sorry excuse for a sandwich they put in that thing. Absolutely no IFE. It's probably what drove me to buy my first ipod. 2nd Gen 10gb firewire only.

[Edited 2008-06-08 18:20:42]

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Bad could be defined by a pax in terms of Leg room,comfort,turbulent flight etc.
But a bad plane may not be the dangerous one  Smile
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2796 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3567 times:



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 18):
Bad could be defined by a pax in terms of Leg room,comfort,turbulent flight etc.

Things like leg room and comfort are really up to the airline and what they do with it.


User currently offlinePiskoto From Cyprus, joined Nov 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3496 times:



Quoting LY777 (Reply 2):
the A319 is so bad during turbulence?

Oh yes it is!
From my experience, for someone who is ''afraid'' of planes and/or is his/her first time inside it, it is better to fly an A330/340 or an 777 to get used of the idea of a smooth flight!
I tried it, it works, trust me!


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3488 times:



Quoting Jgarrido (Reply 17):
The MD-80. Perhaps it's really isn't a bad plane, but I have many bad memories in a MD-80. So in my mind it'll always bring up bad thoughts. Specifically on AAL from DFW to the west coast. "Bistro" meal service. I bet the bag cost them as much as the sorry excuse for a sandwich they put in that thing. Absolutely no IFE. It's probably what drove me to buy my first ipod. 2nd Gen 10gb firewire only.

How does the meal service make the plane bad? Would the Bistro meal have tasted better on a 737?  Yeah sure


User currently offlineCyatUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 810 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3481 times:



Quoting Piskoto (Reply 20):
Oh yes it is!
From my experience, for someone who is ''afraid'' of planes and/or is his/her first time inside it, it is better to fly an A330/340 or an 777 to get used of the idea of a smooth flight!
I tried it, it works, trust me

I take it you would never fly on a E145 or BAe 146 then...they are much smaller than the A319. Not to mention any of the Fokkers...



CY@Uk
User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3463 times:



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 21):
How does the meal service make the plane bad? Would the Bistro meal have tasted better on a 737? Yeah sure

I wouldn't know. I never had the bistro service in a 737. The only time I was on a 737 with AAL I got upgraded to 1st class.  Smile As I stated myself. I have lots of bad memories while being in MD-80 hence in my mind it was a bad airplane.


User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6313 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3406 times:



Quoting Elite (Reply 12):
Yep! Although I'm sure with the 380, 787, 350 etc our standards would be a little bit higher.

Nope...from an aero engineer PoV, still, as long as it flies, it's a good plane  Smile


25 Levent : Well... I recently flew in the Junkers 52, which is stinky at start-up, noisy, shakey, not too comfortable and has no air-conditioning. I suppose to t
26 Piskoto : I flew E145 ON THE SAME DAY when I flew the A319 as well, it was my connection! On E145 the flight was smooth and despite the snow , I didn't feel an
27 CYatUK : Pure coincidence. There is no evidence to suggest that the A319 is worse in turbulence compared to other aircraft. What is true is that effects of tu
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