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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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Joris

What was the worst plane of World War II

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In the "Best plane of WWII" topic a spinoff was suggested about the worst plane of WWII and here it is! 

My vote goes to the Italian Breda Ba.88 Lince, this plane was so bad that the only use the Italians had for it was to use it as a decoy on fake airfields. 

It was a promising design at first, fast and sleek, but when the military hardware was added to it it became extremely unstable. It was used in a number of attacks but it proved to be such a disaster that a number of planes that came from the assembly line were sent to the scrapyard immediately upon delivery. 

Breda_Ba.88_1939.jpg.0899e01c9ccf40461c08330a7a8b584f.jpg

Edited by Joris
Photo added

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The Brewster Buffalo certainly comes to mind. A virtual death sentence for the pilots sent out in them to fly against the Japanese Zero (although the Finnish Air Force were successful with them flying against the Russians). 

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I live near (i.e. within sight of) what was a Fleet Air Arm training school, (now known as "Ronaldsway Airport") Trainee pilots from Ronaldway practiced dive-bombing over the sea a few hundred yards offshore (There's still a big concrete "->" set into the slope to point the way towards the target. The planes they were practising on had a worrying tendency to spray hydraulic fluid directly into the pilot's face as he pulled up from the dive. Quite a number never DID pull up as a result, and just crashed (fatally) straight into the sea. The plane is remembered for attacks on the Tirpitz (without success)... and for crashing worryingly often. So I nominate... The Fairey Barracuda. (The second Fairey plane to achieve a nomination!)

Barracuda.jpg

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The Fairey Barracuda has a reputation as one of the most reviled aircraft of the Second World War, and is seen as symptomatic of the second class equipment the Fleet Air Arm was subjected to when other services received much more suitable machinery. The reputation of this replacement for the Royal navy’s much-loved Swordfish and Albacores can be considered at best that it was ineffective and at worst that it was downright dangerous.

There is no doubt that the Barracuda is an aircraft of contradictions. It was unquestionably flawed, unpopular and troubled throughout its life, but it achieved more than its critics like to admit and was a powerful weapon in the Fleet Air Arm’s arsenal.

 

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Bulton Paul Defiant came to my mind. It may not be really the worst but it proved to be useless agaist German fighters. It was removed from the daylight missions during BoB but continued as a night fighter. It wasn’t equipped with radar and it soon got replaced by better planes, later with Mosquito. There were worse aircraft in WWII but I’ve chosen that one because it couldn’t stand chance on what it was built for and because too many young pilots died in it while they didn’t manage to achieve serious air victories 

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On ‎29‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:26 PM, EagleFlyer said:

Bulton Paul Defiant came to my mind. It may not be really the worst but it proved to be useless agaist German fighters. It was removed from the daylight missions during BoB but continued as a night fighter. It wasn’t equipped with radar and it soon got replaced by better planes, later with Mosquito. There were worse aircraft in WWII but I’ve chosen that one because it couldn’t stand chance on what it was built for and because too many young pilots died in it while they didn’t manage to achieve serious air victories 

Although obsolete the Boulton Paul Defiant's record isn't actually too bad.

Not good enough but there are certainly far worse from the war - and from the UK in the Fairey Battle.

Stumbled on the below video on youtube recently which is worth a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUWq4ymz8Yw&t=5s

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On 12/29/2017 at 11:26 PM, EagleFlyer said:

Bulton Paul Defiant came to my mind. It may not be really the worst but it proved to be useless agaist German fighters. It was removed from the daylight missions during BoB but continued as a night fighter. It wasn’t equipped with radar and it soon got replaced by better planes, later with Mosquito. There were worse aircraft in WWII but I’ve chosen that one because it couldn’t stand chance on what it was built for and because too many young pilots died in it while they didn’t manage to achieve serious air victories 

 "too many young pilots......" ----did all the crews in the turret survive then ? 

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On 12/29/2017 at 11:26 PM, EagleFlyer said:

Bulton Paul Defiant came to my mind. It may not be really the worst but it proved to be useless agaist German fighters. It was removed from the daylight missions during BoB but continued as a night fighter. It wasn’t equipped with radar and it soon got replaced by better planes, later with Mosquito. There were worse aircraft in WWII but I’ve chosen that one because it couldn’t stand chance on what it was built for and because too many young pilots died in it while they didn’t manage to achieve serious air victories 

The rationale of the Defiant was that it could fly faster then the typical bomber of the time, and could fly alongside and rake the (UNescorted) bomber from end to end with fire from the bank of 4 machine guns.Note the difficulty with which the Luftwaffe had in providing escort fighters even in the South Eastern corner of the UK: bomber raids on the East and the North would - of necessity - have been unescorted. The Germans didn't have any fighters that could reach (for example) Manchester.They likewise found Bristol a stretch. During the Battle of France (which immediately preceded the Battle of Britain) Defiants did pretty well. NOT just (as often claimed) by being mistaken for Hurricanes by BF109's which tried to dive on them from behind - right into the turret's kill zone) The first squadron to be kitted out with Defiants had the time to explore the best way to use them. Briefly, they held the record as the single most effective squadron in the RAF, mainly by blasting Ju87 Stukas out of the sky. A second squadron was established, but at a time when the initial squadron didn't have the opportunity to pass-on their knowledge or experiences, and at a time when the RAF was DESPERATE for fighters. They were badly misused.   During the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe attempted to attack using bombers from a Luftflotte stationed in Holland and attacking - unescorted - across the North Sea. Perfect targets for the Defiants, but instead attacked by Hurricanes and Spitfires, because the mis-used Defiants had already been withdrawn from the fight.

Hard to nominate the plane that held the record (however briefly) as "the most successful shooter-down of bombers" in the RAF as "The WORST plane of WW2". It was a GOOD plane, put to the wrong use in a time of crisis.

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On 12/8/2017 at 2:35 PM, Johan said:

The focke wolf ta 154 a failed copy of the wooden wonder

300px-Focke-Wulf_Ta_154.jpg

To be fair, the plane's construction relied heavily on a kind of double-sided tape used to laminate sheets of plywood. The Allies bombed and totally destroyed the single factory which produced that adhesive material... what was used to replace it apparently didn't do a very good job. The plywood panels unilaterally de-laminated. Towards the end of WW2 German arms manufacture was plagued with a shortage of exotic materials for almost every kind of weapon, from Cannon shells to Jet aircraft.

 

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 I think that there are too many off-the-cuff answers to what amounts to an unqualified question . "Worst aeroplane" ---for what ? Some aircraft were successful in the air but a pig for the groundcrew to service . Some were a pig to manufacture , and a swine to fly , then there were those that did very well , thankyou in a job they were not designed for and failed miserably when put to their "proper" use . Many training aircraft crashed , not through the fault of their design but because of untrained pilots . A quick look around the Arnhem locality would surely put the Horsa well up the list , though it had the misfortune to hit things other than the ground when landing . So , my pet hate was the Sunderland because every time I went near one I got wet feet . 

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I'm going to make another nomination the Il-2 "Shturmovik". The most plentifully produced miitary aircraft of all time.Which might explain why it's also the most shot-down aircraft on history, although thanks to its plentiful armour, mainly shot down by German fighters rather than FLAK. The puzzle is that the Sturmovik's huge successes seem largely to have been propaganda inventions. Moscow claimed that an Ilushin squadron destroyed several hundred panzers...from a unit which had been reduced to a mere ninety tanks days before. When one side claims two hundred and seventy definite kills from attacking a unit already decimated down to under a hundred... someone clearly isn't telling the truth. MANY Shturmovik units made similarly inflated claims - that they'd destroyed HUNDREDS of German tanks in attacks on units already depleted down to a few dozen survivors. The plane was the victim of constant re-design - the powerplant was too weak (and got upgraded) The armour didn't reach the rear gunner (who resultingly got shot to pieces in air combat) and extending the armour backwards to fix the problem changed the plane's balance. The plane carried underwing rockets... but lacked the means to accurately aim them. About the only aspect of the plane that DID work effectively was the cannon. The Ilusihins would fly in formation, in a large "circle of death" (so able protect each other, using the forward-facing weapons) and they'd peel off in turns to attack ground targets, before returning to the circle. Which kind of reminds me of the Bolton-Paul Defiant: the first unit to be equipt with them developed much the same tactics for defence against enemy fighters. AIrcraft in the Western Front, like the Typhoon, the Bristol "Rockbeau", the Hurricane... were able to use underwing rockets to devastating effect. The Shturmovik really WASN'T a very good plane.

Shturmovik.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ron Walker said:

 The Shturmovik really WASN'T a very good plane.

True, but it does not make it the worst one by any stretch - even just among the RKKA planes. "Il[ushin]"s were not efficient but certainly effective enough tactically. The worst RKKA planes were less known and scarcely produced fighters Yak2/4 and very well known and mass produced Yak3, all pretty much tactically useless and vulnerable at the same time. On the other hand, minimally produced and therefore relatively unknown fighters I-185 and tactical bombers Tu-2 were among the best in their class.  

Edited by George Collins

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