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What Were The Worst Airplane Designs Of All-Time?  
User currently offlineLAX From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 2290 posts, RR: 3
Posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

Commercial or otherwise.

What were the biggest aircraft flops in history?

And what would YOU consider to be the worst design for an airplane ever?

Here's some ideas ..... http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1395.htm

This one's pretty bad......



24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGr8slvrflt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1606 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7080 times:

Avro Tudor: Outdated from the beginning; tendency to crash.

Saro Princess: Also outdated from the start.

VFW 614: Decades ahead of its time.

Concorde: Put politics ahead of practicality.

Martin 202: Fatal weakness of the wings.

Boeing Stratocruiser: Nightmarishly complicated; dropped engines.

Comet: Sadly ahead of its time.


User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7003 times:

What about the Tupolev Tu-144? That plane didn't last very long did it?



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineLHMark From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6963 times:

The Christmas Bullet. Check it out and laugh your ass off. Also, Camproni's reputation was basically wrecked when he tried to staple wings and engines on a houseboat. I forget the designation.




"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6837 times:

Spruce Goose, anyone?

Dassault Mercure (too little range)?

Or perhaps that grandest of British design follies, the Nimrod...

Regards

Ikarus


User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6785 times:

There was a freanch a/c called deux-point......really UGLY m-f!!!!!
Tack för ordet
Michael/SE



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlinePiper737 From Belgium, joined Nov 2001, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6781 times:

BAE-146 :descends like a brick.........and climbs like a brick

User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6777 times:
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BAe146- Hmmm, wonder what that had to do with the topic  Insane

Considering its used worldwide, one might argue that it's design filled its niche.


Perhaps this topic is best suited in tech/ops?



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6768 times:

Anyone know why the B-26 was called the "Widowmaker"???


Carpe Pices
User currently offlineJustplanesmart From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 722 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6744 times:

The Martin B-26 "Marauder" had poor low-speed handling, which became more pronounced as weights increased. As a result, there were many early training losses, resulting in the "Widowmaker" sobriquet and a board of investigation that recommended changes to both the aircraft and the training. The aircraft went on to have a very low loss rate in its career, but the nickname stuck.


"So many planes; so little time..."
User currently offlineAWspicious From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6646 times:

This comes to mind:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nikolai Ionkine



User currently offlinePositive rate From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6564 times:

Spruce Goose- only ever flew once and cost millions to design and build
Convair 880/990- although technically a great aircraft very fast and all but simply too small
Fokker F70/F100- again great planes but too much competition in that market and this aircraft type did not sell anywhere near as well as the F-28 did
DeHavilland comet 1- too far ahead for it's time
DeHavilland Comet 4- by the time DeHavilland fixed the comet 1's problems and brought out the Comet 4 Boeing had brought out the 707 which was far more popular
Douglas MD-11- The aircraft couldn't fly the range that McD promised it could with a full payload


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6511 times:

Are we talking technical or commercial failure? Only fair to highlight technical flaws, as commercial ones are often due to changing external circumtances beyond the designer's control.

The BAe 146 did what is designed to do, as does Concorde, (unlike the TU-144).
what's wrong with the Nimrod? The most effective maritime patrol aircraft in the world.
(Unless you mean the AEW version-that was the result of trying to squeeze the systems into too small an aircraft).

Comet 1 had an unforeseen flaw, the price of pushing the technology envelope.
DH Trident (especially the 3B version), was not the UK aircraft industries finest hour.






User currently offlineLZ-TLT From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 431 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6305 times:

Saunders-Roe Princess
years behind time, the constructos have overslept the progress and built a real dinosaur


User currently offlineUALrampORD From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6280 times:

Anything designed by Airbus....LOL just kidding Smile/happy/getting dizzy

UALrampORD


User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 34
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6270 times:

What about the Bristol Brabazon? that was a rather spectacular flop in the end.

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1062 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6254 times:

The German Democratic Republic (DDR; East Germany) built and prototyped a high-wing jet airliner in the late 50s/early 60s. It appeared to be short or medium haul, was ugly as sin, and not so fine in its handling either, as it crashed during test flights. I wish I could remember the designation, and where I saw those fuzzy photographs of it in all its glory.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6242 times:

There is a book with the title "The World's Worst Aircrafts". I bought it some 6-7 years ago and gave it to a friend who built the world's best model airplane to me.

It mentions about 25 planes from the very beginning of flight, among them several of the planes mentioned here, Brabazon, Pricess, Tu-144, Spruce Goose etc.

But it certainly didn't mention the Blohm & Voss Bv-141 - great plane but ugly looking. Neither BAe-146 - the perfect short field low noise airliner. Neither the Douglass X-3 - test flown with what engines were available, but outdated when the engine manufacturers many years later finally came up with something useful like for instance the GE J-79.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineAirchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6226 times:

The Brewster Buffalo. Underpowered and no maneuverability. The RAF's a/c in the Far East were all wiped out by Japanese Zero's within 3 months.

The Bristol Brabazon. Overweight and underpowered at a time when the first jets could do the same job much more efficiently.



Biggidy biggidy bong
User currently offlineAirchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6215 times:

Prebennorholm:

I've got the book and the Bv-141 is in there. It wasn't a bad a/c...it's just that the Luftwaffe didn't like it because it looked so odd.



Biggidy biggidy bong
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6216 times:

Dear Airchabum, please don't mention the Brewster Buffalo as a bad plane to our friends in Finland. They got a dozen of them in 1939 and used them to down hundreds of Russian war planes during the Winter War.

Sadly the only remains they have of the Buffalo is one tail fin which is proudly on display at the aircraft museum in Malmi near Helsinki.

Those twelve Brewster Buffalos were probably the reason why Russia gave up and didn't include Finland in the Soviet Unien as they did with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 1940. They had no Buffalos.

Regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

Airchabum, sorry for forgetting the Bv-141 in the book.
I gave it away in September 1996 - rusty memory!



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineAirchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6182 times:

Prebennorholm

Ok I forgive you for that...I can't remember what I did this morning! In the book it doesen't mention about the Finns using the Buffalo successfully, but then I suppose they couldn't include it if they had to admit it was actually not that bad. 2 sides to every story as always!

One other one that stands out: the BE.9 Pulpit. A WW1 fighter which had the compartment for the gunner in front of the prop! The gunner would have to hang on for dear life in order not to be sucked in to the whirling blades inches behind him. It never went into production thankfully.

LAX

Great topic by the way.



Biggidy biggidy bong
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6451 posts, RR: 54
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6161 times:

Airchabum, yes, I remember the BE.9 Pulpit from the book.

About the Buffalos in Finland: Sure it wasn't the world's best plane. It had absolutely no business being up against a Spitfire or such. But in 1939 it was a fairly modern fighter plane, and in Finland it was put in the hands of well trained pilots who were trained for air defence.

Their opposition was outdated Russian planes with crews which were trained as cargo pilot carrying bombs. They were sitting ducks for the Buffalo pilots.

Russian fighter escort, if any, was often only the single seat I-15 biplane. They often lost orientation and landed out of fuel on frozen lakes in Finland.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6294 posts, RR: 33
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6071 times:

The Martin B-26 was called "The Widowmaker" because, in the beginning, men didn't know how to fly it. It took the WASPs (women for those youngsters here) to teach them.

Truth.



Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
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