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The Most Difficult Plane To Fly  
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Posted (10 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 19022 times:

For all you pilots out there, what in your opinion is the most difficult plane to pilot?


Fly one thing; Fly it well
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 18999 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



I've heard the Wright Flyer has this "honor".


2H4




Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 19024 times:

I would imagine that Concorde would be most difficult plane for pilots to fly.



Airliners.net of the Future
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2121 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 19010 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.



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offline767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 hours ago) and read 18895 times:


From what I've read, the MD-11 is actually not an easy aircraft to land and fly due to the small horizontal stabilizer.
Regards



Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2465 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (9 years 12 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 18823 times:

767-332ER
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.



On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11955 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (9 years 12 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 18819 times:

I've heared that the F-16 is difficult to land. Never had the honour to find out...

Thom@s



"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4898 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (9 years 12 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 18808 times:

The Cessna 172M is hard for me to fly. Mainly because I only flew it once and I would freak out if the plane made the slightest bank Laugh out loud


Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 18787 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.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineB741 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 716 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 18774 times:

I heard the B-26 and F-104 were difficult. Probably most fighters, as you need to keep up the practice.


Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
User currently offline767-332ER From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 18766 times:


JumboJim,

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.
Regards



Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 18750 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.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineCougarAviator From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 349 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18728 times:

I'm told the 727 was a difficult plane to land. I was told this by a 767 Captain, who used to fly 727's.


Failure is not an option.....
User currently offlineLuxair From Netherlands, joined Jan 2001, 853 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18725 times:

I think that we can add the Mitsubishi MU-2 on that list too!!


Marvin Lee Cooper
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2465 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (9 years 12 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 18710 times:

767-332ER
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.
Cheers



On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlineAdamWright From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 18677 times:

I've been told by Regional Pilots that the EMB-120 is one of the hardest planes to learn.

-Adam


User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2002 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (9 years 12 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 18675 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
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (9 years 12 months ago) and read 18637 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.

Personal hardest to fly was the Hiller OH-23B.

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Photo © Tom Turner


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.
User currently offlineCaboclo From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 18514 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!


Freight dogs have more fun
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 19, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 18502 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.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2185 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 18399 times:

Here is the XF-85 Goblin you were talkiing about HaveBlue


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Photo © AirNikon


Weird! Nuts

Tom



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3638 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (9 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 18394 times:

I don't know about the most difficult plane to fly, but I have great respect for tailwheel pilots. They are very hard to get used to landing.

User currently offlineThrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2690 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 18313 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.


Fly one thing; Fly it well
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9701 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 18300 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!
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 18299 times:

My CFI flys for AA on 757/767 and is scared of the Bus AA use!  Smile

25 Post contains images BA380 : i agree with September 11 that Concorde would be the most difficult to fly. First you would have to subtely attach some working engines, then secretly
26 Aa777jr : above post is lame i've accutally read reports online of former BA and AF Concorde pilots, now flying 747 or A340, that say, the Concorde was a joy to
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