Top 10 Clunkers in Military Aviation History

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by bobbysocks, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    There is always discussions about which plane is better A vs B. At a certain juncture of the discussion stats are thrown around...wing load, power to weight ratio, etc ( most of which is way beyond me )...and while i can appreciate facts as being facts, sometimes it doesnt work out like that cut and dry. in fact the proposed flight model is far from what actually takes the air. some were down right disappointing. the engineers didnt purposefully design these planes to be major disappointments but thus is the reason for the 2 famous sayings..."looked good on paper" ...and "back to the drawing board". so what is your pick for the military aircraft that drastically did not live up to its expectations???
     
  2. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Funny you would use the word "Clunker". These are the words of Colonel Harold Watson, USAAF, after he had test flown the Heinkel He 177 A-5, GP+RZ W.Nr. 550526. Capt Eric Brown also held the same opinion of this aircraft.

    This of course is my choice of a "Clunker" aircraft. Lots of potential but needs to go back to the drawing board. Also it had too many cooks in the kitchen.
     
  3. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Me163 komet - cost a fortune, did nothing, led nowhere
     
  4. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    The F2A Buffalo. The Zeppelin. The TBD Devastator. The Boulton-Paul Defiant. The Bf-110. (in it's original intent) The F3H Demon. The Me-163. (killed more pilots than "kills" it achieved) The Yak-15. (Burned off its own tail) The F2Y Sea Dart. The Convair Pogo.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Clunker when it was a first prototype (and didn't get much better)?

    Clunker as it developed ( more improvements added than it could really take/support)?

    Clunker because it was used in combat 3-5 years after first issued to squadrons and progress over took it (replacement took too long)?
     
  6. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this could be a long list. Let's start with:

    Me210
    Fairey Albacore
    Ba.88 - a perennial favourite in these lists and clearly the exception to the "if it looks right it flies right" rule
    He188
    Vultee P-66 - another great-looking aircraft which really lacked any oomph in the performance department
    CW-21B - same-same as for P-66
    Avro Manchester
    AW Albermarle
    Blackburn Botha
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Is the F-35 a "clunker" ???? They say not, but it is at the moment.
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Well, not quite. Research into the Komet's rocket motor formed the basis of Britain's post-war rocketry programme; HTP was the fuel of choice for a number of British rocket motors of differing applications. Helmuth Walther's rocket research yielded lots of useful material for the Allies post-war. There were also specifications for mixed propulsion interceptors based on Me 163 technology released as well. The idea had plenty of potential; it promised incredible speeds and rates of climb for little expense; the wings were made of wood and the entire aircraft was rather simple to manufacture.

    Boulton Paul Defiant: How dare you! Can't agree about the Bf 110 either. Both excellent designs with plenty of potential.

    Bell Airacuda, Curtiss Seamew, Handley Page Halifax Mk.I, Blackburn Firebrand, Vickers Warwick, LWS-6 Zubr, Savoia Marchetti SM-85 "Flying Banana", Hawker Typhoon Mk.I, Hunting Percival P.74 helicopter; not even capable of lifting itself off the ground...
     
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  9. muskeg13

    muskeg13 Member

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    1. Bell FM-1 Aircuda
    2. Boulton Paul Defiant
    3. Douglas B-18 Bolo
    4. Messerschmitt Bf 110
    5. Boeing YB-40
    6. Martin P-6M Sea Master
    7. Fairey Albacore
    8. Convair YB-60
    9. Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
    10. Rockwell B-1 Lancer
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm amazed to see the Bf 110,an aircraft which was produced from 1936 until the end of the war,proving itself to be an extremely versatile aircraft and one of the most successful night fighters of the war is on anyone's list.
    As for the Me 210.........:)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much anything designed by Blackburn. The design team should have been awarded the Iron Cross.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    We seem to have a wide range.

    A plane may be very pleasant and safe to fly unless you are in combat. On the other hand some planes were dangerous to their crews and somewhat lethal without getting within several hundred miles of the enemy. And some planes didn't even what to do some rather basic things they were designed to do, like fly, let alone hit projected performance numbers.

    For the last catagory
    Breda 88
    Bloch 150 prototype.
    Northrop XP-56
    Hunting Percival P.74 helicopter

    A few planes from the second.

    Blackburn Botha
    Curtis Seamew
    Me 210
     
  13. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    Top on my list is the NAA/Rockwell XFV-12a. An "aircraft" that can't get off the ground? Geez!
     
  14. R Pope

    R Pope Member

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    I don't believe the Seamaster should be on the list. It did all it was expected to do, the USN just changed its priorities. A supersonic seaplane can't be all bad! (The Sea Dart notwithstanding.)
     
  15. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    He188?

    Curtiss OWL
     
  16. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    I am pretty sure the Bf 110 will rank as the most successful night fighter of all times as far as kills are concerned.
     
  17. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    +1 on that.

    Interestingly enough, no Soviet, neither Japanese planes proposed so far?
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    The "B" model is - the "A" and "C" (Airforce/ Navy) versions are progressing well AFAIK.
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Could very well be. It obviously operated in a target rich environment compared to its allied counterparts like the Mosquito.

    In any case,definitely not a clunker. It had its limitations,which were revealed in 1940, but then every design has limitations.

    I'll nominate the Handley Page Hampden as a clunker. Any design which loses almost half its total production doing the very thing it was designed to do leaves a lot to be desired!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    "I'll nominate the Handley Page Hampden as a clunker. Any design which loses almost half its total production doing the very thing it was designed to do leaves a lot to be desired!"

    True but that is stellar performance compared to the The Blackburn Botha, was judged not suitable for operational deployment at all (after equipping one squadron)and when used as a trainer turned out to be fairly lethal to the crews it was supposed to be training.

    " It was considered to have poor lateral stability, while the view to the side or rearward was virtually non-existent owing to the location of the aircraft's engines, with the poor view making the aircraft "useless as a GR [General Reconnaissance] aircraft". Finally, the Botha was also underpowered."

    "In service, the Botha proved to be severely underpowered and unstable and there were a number of fatal crashes in 1940."
    " At this point, the Air Staff made the ill-advised decision to transfer the surviving aircraft to training units, which inevitably resulted in further casualties."

    No. 608 of coastal command received it's first Bothas in July of 1940, Flew it's first operational sortie on Aug 10th, flew it's LAST operational sortie Nov 6th 1940 and then took until March 1941 to revert BACK to the Avro Anson.

    For 580 aircraft built that is a pretty dismal operational history for a torpedo bomber.

    The may have lost a lot of Hampdens but at least they accomplished something.
     
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