HaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2069 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 10939 times:
The XF-85 Goblin would definitely be a contender, which is why it didn't enter service. The test pilots had enough trouble with it that they determined a normal Air Force line pilot would not be able to handle it. Don't feel like linking a picture of it atm, but it was the parasite fighter to be carried under the B-36 mothership. It actually did trials dropping from and reattaching to the B-29.
The Ryan XV-13 Vertijet was quite difficult, at least in landing and take off phase.
The Kestrel and early Harriers (up to the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B) were also known to be very difficult.
JumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2462 posts, RR: 50 Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10752 times:
I know from pilots who have flown the MD11/DC10 who claim that they are a dream to fly and handle well .
I One heard that a captain compared them to flying a fighter.
I think because they handled so well is because of the tail engine given the aircraft great balance.
Thrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2673 posts, RR: 11 Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10716 times:
I've heard that the 747 is among the easiest aircraft fly. pilots have said that the aircraft almost lands itself....I would think that the unusual position of the cockpit would have to make it a little bit unusual to fly at least.
767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 12 Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10695 times:
I didn't include the DC-10 in there. I've heard from reading some old MD books and talking to a couple of Delta pilots about the stability issues when landing...yes, the third engine adds balance, but the MD-11's horizontal stabilizer being so small has been one issue that has plagued the a/c, along with other shortcomings.
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
Thrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2673 posts, RR: 11 Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10679 times:
Actually, I read that the first five 727s in production crashed within months of each other because pilots did not stick religiously to the flight manual. THe 727 is difficult to fly, but among the HARDEST to fly I've ever heard of are the Harrier jets in the military. THose things have crashed so many times it is unbelievable. They have had by far the highest accidental rate of any jet ever built.
JumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2462 posts, RR: 50 Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10639 times:
My apologies for adding the DC10 i know you didn't mention it .
Thrust Actually, I read that the first five 727s in production crashed within months of each other because pilots did not stick religiously to the flight manual
I don't think that was the case .
Excuse me if im wrong here but i didn't think pilots flew aircraft primary on the manuals.
Fanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1895 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 10604 times:
The Convair XV-1 Pogo (and its Lockheed counterpart) was a snap to take off in but landing the thing back on its tail was another matter. The Air Force even added a temporary fixed conventional landing gear, defeating the whole purpose.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
SlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 71 Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10566 times:
One of the problems with the early 727 was that the captains were mostly not experienced with swept-wing aircraft. You simply cannot fly, and especially land, a swept-wing jet like you do a straight-wing recip. For one thing if you get a big sinker going and you pull the nose up, in a swept wing, all you accomplish is to drive the mains into the ground harder. You can change the aircraft attitude but it is not going to do anything about the sink rate.
It had 200 HP at sea level. I never had the privilege of flying it at sea level. It used control paddles on the main rotor head (check out the paddle angle at top center) which used aerodynamics instead of gyroscopic rigidity like you would get with the Bell helicopter stabilizer bars. So above about eight to ten thousand density altitude the control paddles were starting to approach stall angle. It got very sloppy and, frankly, scared me when it got like that. A tip of my hat to those who flew more powerful Hillers at higher elevations.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
Caboclo From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 203 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 10443 times:
I expect the SR-71 and U2 would be in the running. Also the AN-2 has been credited with "training an entire generation of Russian weightlifters." Can't remember what book I read that in. Depending on your definition of "airplane", the Osprey tiltrotor certainly doesn't seem forgiving. You wouldn't think a freighter would be that difficult, but the AN-225 has no fewer than six cockpit crewmember stations. And I'll second the motion for the F-104; forget the "engine with wings" analogy, that was just an engine with control surfaces!
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11433 posts, RR: 81 Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10431 times:
The flight envelope of the U-2 is so limited that a variance of a few knots either way of cruise would cause a stall or the wings to fall off. Pilots land the things on bicycle landing gear with wings longer than the fuselage and are unable to see the ground once they are below 50 feet (they have to use a high speed chase car with another pilot at the wheel radioing position information). Because they fly at ultra high altitude they have to do all of this wearing a very bulky pressure suit, and they do this all for 12 to 16 hour flights.
I think that probably qualifies this as the most difficult aircraft in regular service to fly.
Thrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2673 posts, RR: 11 Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 10242 times:
Jumbojim747, actually, it is the case. Pilots discovered they had to use the flight manual to avoid 727 crashes like the first five accidents. It is quoted in one of my airplane books. BTW, wasn't the first five 727s in production that crashed...but five 727s in the early stages of production did crash within months of each other. they were the first five 727 accidents. BTW, why is the Harrier so hard to fly? i have read over 50% of their accidents have been attributed to pilot error.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 8740 posts, RR: 52 Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days ago) and read 10229 times:
The harrier is an inherently unstable airplane to fly. It was designed that way. The way that it redirects air flow downwards is a hassle for pilots to deal with. On the early versions, computer systems were not sophisticated enough to handle all of the difficulty associated with learning. This is compounded by the fact that very few pilots get the necessary hours on the plane. In the early years there were so many failures and problems that less experienced pilots started to get less and less time on the plane. Some pilots got something like 4-6 hours of time in the plane per month on a plane that deserves 5 times that much for just minimal practice. The harrier is an unforgiving plane. Small mistakes can lead to full losses. It is a plane that requires a lot of practice, and unfortunately in budget controlled militaries, there aren't enough resources to properly train and fly all of them at top condition.
The new joint strike fighter will hopefully alleviate these problems with the addition of the lift fan in addition to directing airflow downwards. It is a much more stable design and also will have sophisticated computer systems to help control it.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!