Worlds Worst Aircraft....

Discussion in 'WWII Books' started by B-17engineer, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I have a book that goes through the worst aircraft in history. I'll post some now and again....


    What I write is from the book and I may not necessarily have the same opinion, neither will you guys....

    Starting off with

    Fairey Battle
    "The Light Bomber that was too Heavy"

    Specifications

    Crew: 3
    Powerplant: On 768kw (1030HP) Rolls Royce Merlin IV-12 Piston engine
    Max Speed: 217mph (414 KM/H)
    Span: 54ft
    Length: 42ft 4in
    Height: 15 ft 6 in
    Weight: Maximum 10,792lbs.

    "Designed in 1932-33, the Battle, with its metal skin and streamlined monoplane layout, was the height of modernity when it appeared in 1936, but by the outbreak of the war was too unmanoeuvrable and slow to avoid modern fighter and too lightly armed to cause much damage. On May 10th 1940 the Battles were thrown into action against the German advance into the Low Countries, making the low-level raids against convoys, troops and bridges. All attacking aircraft were shot down or damaged on the first day. An attack on the bridges over the Albert Canal resulted in total losses and the awarding of two (posthumous) Victoria Crosses. Belgium's small force of Battles was expended in the same attack. Battles were soon relegated to such roles as target tugs and with a particularly ugly two-cockpit version, training.

    The Fairy Battle was the product of an erroneous prewar policy that envisaged the light bomber as an effective means of ground support. Later, combat experience- particularly in North Africa resulted in the development of the fighter-bomber as the primary means of tactical support."
     

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  2. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Short SB.6 Seamew
    "An Unsuitable Anti-Submarine Machine"

    Specifications

    Crew:2
    Powerplant: One 1327 KW (1780HP) Armstrong Siddeley Mamba Turboprop
    Max Speed: 235mph (378 KM/H)
    Span: 55ft
    Length: 41ft
    Height: Unknown
    Weight: Maximum 15,000lbs

    "The ungainly Seamew was conceived as a cheap, rugged anti-submarine aircraft able to operate from small carriers used by the UK and some other allied nations. To this end it was built with a fixed landing gear and a strong structure. Despite this, the prototype was badly damaged on its first landing, although it was repaired in time for the Farnsborough Air Show. In handling terms the Seamew was described as having some 'vicious tendencies'. It was capable of aerobatics, but the chief test pilot seemed to be the only one able of wring the full maneuverability out of the Seamew- until he stalled the prototype Mk.2 during a display and was killed. Production began for RAF coastal command and the Royal Navy, but the RAF order was cancelled in 1956 and the Navy's was a victim of the defense cuts of the following year. An export drive in Europe produced no enthusiasm for the type , and Shorts had been unable to eliminate its 'vicious tendencies'. All in all, the Seamew was a sorry example of an aircraft in which handling qualities had inevitably been sacrificed in an attempt to achieve economy. It was not the first British military aircraft to pursue this path, nor would it be the last.
     

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  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A matter of semantics:)

    The Battle wasn't a bad airplane, it just wasn't a very good WARPLANE for the war it found itself in.

    It was strong, well built and fairly easy to fly. Did a lot of good work as a trainer. Both for aircrew and ground crew as squadrons worked up.
     
  4. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    #4 B-17engineer, Oct 3, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
    Caproni Campini N.1
    "A Plane Without Power"

    Specifications

    Crew:2
    Powerplant: One 671KW (900 HP) Isotta-Fraschini radial engine driving a three stage fan compressor
    Max Speed: 277mph (375 KM/H)
    Span: 52ft
    Length: 43ft
    Height: 15 ft 5 in.
    Weight: 9250lb max.

    "In 1939 inventor Secondo Campini convinced the Caproni company to build an airframe to test his new power unit, which he believed would replace the propeller. The Italian aircraft industry had decided that a gas turbine engine was impractical (even as German and British scientists were testing theirs). The Camproni Campini N.1 flew in 1940 and has sometimes been touted as the world's first jet aircraft. It was nothing of the sort- power came from a relatively small piston engine inside the forward fuselage, which turned a variable pitch compressor in what we would today call a ducted fan. A rudimentary form of afterburner allowed fuel to be burned in a peopelling nozzle to give some extra thrust. Despite this, the N.1 would only make 233mph, slower than the Fiat CR.42 biplane. The N.1 completed a number of test flights. On November 30, 1941, test pilot Mario de Bernardi flew the aircraft from Milan to Rome carry a consignment of mailbags landing at Pisa to refuel and completing the 168 mile flight at an average speed of 130mph, which was hardly a spectacular feat. Further flight testing was carried out by the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) at the Guidonia Research Establishment. It was later taken to England and scrapped after evaluation.
     

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  5. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Blohm Und Voss BV 40
    "Small and Not Very Deadly"

    Specifications

    Crew:1
    Powerplant: None
    Max Speed: 560mph in a dive.
    Span: 25ft 11in.
    Length: 18ft 9in
    Height: 5ft 5in.
    Weight: 2094lbs

    "By 1943 the enormous swarms of US bomber raiding German cities and factories spurred the Reich Air Ministry (RLM) to seek interesting technical solutions from industry: jet fighters, rocket fighters, surface to air missles and a glider fighter. The theory behind the Blohm and Voss BV40 was that a tiny glider, armed with a powerful cannon, could swoop though a formation of bombers and knock one or two down before it was detected. After its firing pass it was proposed that the BV 40 was that a make a second pass towing a bomb on a cable, this was rejected in favor of a second 30mm cannon. Despite losses of several prototypes, the flight test program proved the basic ideo was abandoned in late 1944. Before the project was canceled, several sub variants were proposed, including some with the pulse jets or rockets fitted to give the BV40 the climbing ability. Another proposed involved converting BV40's to carrying under wing bombs, the aircraft in painrs under the wings of He-177 bombers and then released into the vicinity if the combat zone. None of the proposals were ever tested in practice.
     

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  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Good interesting stuff, but if you are going to post directly from the book, then you need to source it as well.
     
  7. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Yes, all things I post are from "The World's Worst Aircraft" by Jim Winchester.

    Sorry :oops:
     
  8. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Martin P6M Seamaster
    "Master of Neither Sea Nor Sky"

    Specifications

    Crew: 4
    Power Plant: Four 13,000 lb thrust Allison J71-A-4 Afterburning Turbojets
    Max Speed: 600mph
    Span 102 ft. 7 in.
    Length: 133 ft. 1 in.
    Height: 32 ft. 1 in.
    Weight: Loaded 160,000lbs

    "In the late 1940s the US Navy realized that the limitations of its current attack aircraft and seaplanes meant that the US Air Force was likely to take over the strategic ( nuclear) role in the future. The concept of a 'Seaplane Striking Force' was developed. Along with the R3Y transports and F2Y fighters would be the P6M jet flying-boat atom bomber. Convair's SeaMaster design was chosen in 1951. The prototype flew in July 1955 and was lost in mysterious circumstances in December. It was not until 1959 that production deliveries commenced and rising costs saw planned number fall from 24 to 18 to 8. The P6M took so long to come to fruition that other developments such as the nuclear-powered aircraft carries the Polaris missile submarine had superseded it. Citing 'unforeseen technical difficulties' the Navy cancelled the Seamaster just as it was entering service. Testing of the Seamaster had revealed numerous technical problems- water seepage through the rotary weapons bay door in the hull was one, although this was later solved-and the high cost of the program had risen to three times its original estimate. Basically, the Seamaster's biggest drawback had been its advanced concept, but its operational use would would have required considerable logistics and support. Martin gave up aircraft production and decided to concentrate on missiles instead.
     

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  9. Altea

    Altea Banned

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    All is written: it was not a bad plane, but an obsolete one. Moroever it was not slower and unmanoeuvrable than Stuka, Do-217, Blenheims. Just bombing a low altitude was a hard job, against powerfull FlaK and german air superiority. Idem for Il2 Sturmovik work conditions.

    Regards
     
  10. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Okay, as I said its from the book not me.


    I'll update this after school toady.
     
  11. Altea

    Altea Banned

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    It's why we are criticizing your book, not you!:rolleyes:
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I never understood why they called the Caproni Campini N.1 one of the worst planes. It seemed to me it was more of a test bed to see if a certain technology would work or not.
     
  13. muller

    muller Active Member

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    I think the Caproni Campini N.1 looks cool! But then the italians are renowned for making good-looking bags of sh*t! I know, I've owned three Alfa Romeos :D
     
  14. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Allied Aviation XLRA-1 and -2
    The Assault Glider that never saw action

    Specifications

    Crew: 2 and 10 marines
    Powerplant: None (towed)
    Max Speed: 130mph
    Span: 72 feet
    Length: 40 feet
    Height: 12 feet 3 inches
    Weight: Unknown

    "In April 1941, at the instigation of Captain Marc Mitscher, the Navy began work on a glider for assaulting enemy beaches and carrying squads of Marines. The basic design worked out by the Bureau of Aeronautics was then handed over to industry for building. The first was built by Bristol Aeronautical Company as the XLRQ-1, followed by the two from the Allied Aviation Corporation and the XLRA-1 and -2. The low-set wing supported the glider in the water and tow-planes used in tests were amphibians such as the J2F-5 Duck and PBY-5A. Although the XLRA-1/2 was theoretically ideal for recapturing islands taken by the Japanese in the first months of the Pacific War, actual combat experience showed the strength of beach defenses and the vulnerability of even armored landing craft and amphibious vehicles during opposed invasion. In 1942 orders for 100 XLRA-2s were canceled, as was that for a 22-seat twin-hulled transport glider. It was probably a good thing that this craft never came to pass. The problems of landing large numbers of gliders on a small, well defended Pacific islands that were covered in jungles would have been virtually insurmountable, and in most cases the gliders would've compelled to land on the beaches."
     

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