Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Worst warplane of WWII ?

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by Skua, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Skua

    Skua New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norway
    via TanksinWW2
    Take your pick. Which aircraft was simply the most unsuccessful warplane of WWII ? Anything that was more dangerous to its own crew than to the enemy.
     
  2. m-7

    m-7 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, home of NASCAR's fastest track
    via TanksinWW2
    Probably the Me-163 Komet, and the Me-263 Comet would be on the list.
     
  3. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    23
    via TanksinWW2
    Fairey Battle light bomber was one of the least successful, not because it was a bad aircraft (it wasn't) but because in France in 1940 it was thrown into low-level attacks against heavy Flak, which it was not designed for. Success was very limited, casualties extremely high.

    Much could be said for many of the planes of the French Air Force in 1940.

    The difference between success and failure is as much a matter of circumstances (i.e. the enemy they were facing, and how they were deployed) as the flying quality of the planes. The Brewster Buffalo was regarded as useless in the Pacific War, but the Finns like it and used it to great effect against the Russians.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and Discussion forum
     
  4. Skua

    Skua New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norway
    via TanksinWW2
    The Brewster Buffalo was far from a total failure. It was not quite up to the standard of the Mitsubishi A6M though. But the winning factor, both in the Pacific and in Finland, was pilot quality. The Japanese pilot was in 1940 the best trained in the world, most of his Soviet counterparts hardly had any training at all.

    m-7 wrote :

    Good candidate. I remember reading that only 5% of Me 163 losses were caused by enemy actions. 80% were caused by take-off and landing accidents and 15% blew up in the air. Also, a number of German pilots, including Hanna Reitsch, were severely injured in various accidents. The dolly had a tendency to bounce off the ground and hit the aircraft during take-off, just to mention one type of accident.
     
  5. Roel

    Roel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    Ouch... that is seriously more dangerous to its crew than to anything else.

    I would like to nominate the Boulton-Paul Defiant (yes, there it is again). This plane was ONLY armed with a dorsal turret, thus making it vulnerable to attacks from about every side except the rear and upper sides. It most definitely killed more of its crew than its enemy.
     
  6. Skua

    Skua New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norway
    via TanksinWW2
    I have to disagree with you about the Defiant Roel. It turned out to be a decent nightfighter, I believe it recorded more "kills" per interception than any of its contemporary night fighters during the early stages of the war. It was in any case the turret which made it unsuitable as a day fighter. Boulton Paul made a single seat, turret-less version during the Battle of Britain which showed superiour performance to the Hurricane. Unfortunately it never entered production.
     
  7. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    High Point, North Carolina, USA
    via TanksinWW2
    The Heinkel He 177. This flying fiasco was totally despised by the men who had to fly it, largely because of its unfortunate tendency to catch fire in midair, even when no one was shooting at it. Designed (or even redesigned) correctly, it could have had a big impact on the war, which makes its failure even more galling, from the German perspective. The 177 was a casualty of the idiotic Luftwaffe dictum that said "all bombers must dive".
     
  8. Roel

    Roel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    Oh, then I'll take the HS129B-3. Despite the fact that this was a murderous tank killer with its huge 75mm gun, the plane was underpowered, cumbersome, hardly manoeuverable at all, slow, almost unarmed for defence against fighters, and its structure simply couldn't support the huge load and recoil of a fully automatic 75mm gun.
     
  9. Moonchild

    Moonchild New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    via TanksinWW2
    Man, you must be jokin'!!! :angry: Though Komet had many child-problems, it was the fastest airplane in the WW2!
    I would vote for He-177, I-16 and Boulton-Paul Defiant
     
  10. Nashorn phpbb3

    Nashorn phpbb3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utrecht , the netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    The defiant would have my vote too. To heavy , to slow, not enough manouverability. In other words completely useless :D
     
  11. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,841
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Luton, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    Well...

    Me-163 units (overall) lost more pilots than kills made

    Fairey Battle was obsolete - it was used as a trainer but apparently was highly unforgiving to the poor trainee pilots

    Boulton-Paul Defiant was a flawed concept from the very start. It had some success as a night-fighter, but was only a stop-gap

    He-177 was a good plane, except the engines caught fire a lot...

    Brewster Buffalo was great at low level, but not at altitude. We (Brits & Americans) used it at altitude, Finns used it at low level.

    My vote could well be the Blackburn ROC.
    Basically, a B-P Defiant that was 50mph slower...

    Or of course the Zubr...
     
  12. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,006
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    On a space station in geosynchronous orbit above y
    via TanksinWW2
    I think plane that failed could be divided into two catagories.

    1) Planes that were outdated or used beyond their capabilities. An example of this was the USN Devastator a good thirties plane but outdated by the forties. It doesn't make them bad planes, after all the Spitfire was a great plane but if you put it against a modern plane it wouldn't even be able to run away. The Swordfish is another good example, on paper it should have been massacred every time it put in an appearance but in fact racked up a useful war record.

    2) Planes that were simply flawed either through poor construction or the wrong idea. ie the Defiant.

    To be considered the most unsuccessful I believe a plane has to fall into catagory two.
     
  13. Moonchild

    Moonchild New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Slovakia
    via TanksinWW2
    We must spend a word also for Me-262 although it was an excellent plane. Its variation "Sturmvogel" which was a fighter/bomber came from completely misuderstanding of its use. Hitler wanted another Wunderwaffe against Britain, but Me-262 with bombs unser its belly and wings was nothing more than a fighter with usual speed.
    Another bad airplane was Me-210, though its version 210/410 came to be one of the best two-engine fighters in the war.
     
  14. Roel

    Roel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    As Ebar analyzes it (nice work Ebar!) the Polikarpov I-16 falls into category 1; it was a relatively good plane for the thirties, but when faced with the Bf109 and later German fighters it was of course terribly obsolete. Still it performed well and compared to the other Soviet fighters in action at the outbreak of the War it was excellent. Being the first monoplane fighter the Soviets had in action, one might even argue that the plane itself was very very good. It was simply obsolete.
     
  15. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    High Point, North Carolina, USA
    via TanksinWW2
    I have a question, then. Do the 1939 RAF bombers *other than* the Vickers Wellington fall into Category 1 or Category 2? I'm speaking of the Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley, the Handley-Page Hampden, and the Bristol Blenheim in this context. Were these aircraft well designed even by the standards of the mid 1930s, or simply kept in service after they had become outdated?
     
  16. Roel

    Roel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    The Hampden was a very good plane except for its cramped interior; in almost every field it beat the Blenheim and other contemporary bombers of the same class by a wide margin. So this plane would definitely be a cat-1'er. The Blenheim, however, was almost underpowered from the start and never had much potential. I'd say that this plane is a cat-2, but it wasn't as useless as some of the other things mentioned here. It just had some better alternatives, making it obsolete more quickly.
     
  17. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,006
    Likes Received:
    23
    via TanksinWW2
    The Blenheim was developed from a commercial prototype which easily outran the RAF's best fighters when it emerged. But it took time to turn the design into a military plane and by the time WW2 started the world had moved on.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
    forum
     
  18. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Suomi Finland Perkele
    via TanksinWW2
    And as usual, Finland got some Blenheims and made some success with them. Somehow Finland managed to get those aircraft that other countries rejected or disliked. :(
     
  19. Roel

    Roel New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,678
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Netherlands
    via TanksinWW2
    Somehow? The countries that gave them were far too busy building their own military to pass the best to the countries abroad! And I think they were wary to give their best new developments away to other countries (potential enemies of the future!), too. In the case of Finland, all too wise.

    As far as I know the Blenheim never had success in its design, even though it served well (as well as it could).
     
  20. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,006
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    On a space station in geosynchronous orbit above y
    via TanksinWW2
    Almost anything can be useful as long as it is used within its limitations. I think it was the Germans that got some use out of old biplane fighters using them as harassment bombers at night
     

Share This Page