Almost everybody knows who the Wright Brothers are, especially if you are someone who takes a particular focus on the history of aviation. They are some of the most well-known aircraft designers in history. Even though they failed several times before they succeeded eventually, however, they were not the only people who attempted and failed. In particular, in the 1950s and 1960s, people were always trying to reinvent the aircraft but largely failed. Let’s see some of the most significant aircraft failures in history.
The Fisher P-75 Eagle
Everyone had very high hopes when this plane was being created. The plane was made to symbolize victory and the “75” was driven from a 75 mm French gun, the Great War weapon. The “Eagle” is an American symbol because its mascot is the Bald Adler. This aircraft was responsible for taking and combining multiple parts from different planes. Unfortunately, it didn’t do as well as people had hoped, and it was a major letdown.
The Douglas DC-10
In 55 accidents, this is probably one of the worst aircraft ever created. The problem with this aircraft was that the doors opened externally and not internally, making it hard or impossible to close properly. The door opened mid-air during a flight in 1972, which took place in 1974. In 1979, a wing fell off the aircraft during the start. Fortunately, many changes have been made to make this aircraft safer.
The Bell FM-1 Airacuda
In 1937, the Airacuda was introduced, and its innovative design and features anticipated to be great. One of its positive aspects was the placement of motors and weapons, as the use as a fighter jet was quite easy. Unfortunately, this plane quickly overheated and had a poor design to escape a gunner. Furthermore, firing a weapon from inside the plane caused smoke to fill the whole interior.
The Vought F7U Cutlass
The Cutlass became known as it was not built with a regular tail and a non-traditional wing design. Despite its cool design, the aircraft had a lot of difficulties. Although the aircraft could reach high speeds, it could not reach high altitudes or stay in the air for long periods. Not only so, but the plane barely had enough strength to complete a take-off; the plane crashed almost 25% of the time.
The Convair NB-36
The nuclear reactor is used to initiate a nuclear chain reaction which is the exact reason that it should only be used in controlled locations such as nuclear power generation stations. It was added to an aircraft in the 1950s, despite the danger, resulting in the aircraft being so dangerous and risking that every time another aircraft was flying… which was only 47 times.
The PZL M-15 Belphegor
Created and designed in Poland, the PZL M-15 Belphegor was the first-ever biplane and thought to be the ugliest plane ever built. This aircraft was constructed in 1972 and originally designed as a crop duster. The PZL M-15 was unique, with a twin-boom tail, a pair of over and underwings connected by struts, and 377-gallon tanks for chemicals. The aircraft was built with jet power, which was much more costly than anyone expected.
The Wright Flyer
The Wright Flyer was produced in 1899 from a complex four-year research and development program of Wilbur and Orville Wright. The Smithsonian said this about the Wright Flyer: “the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard.” Furthermore, the plane could not last even a minute and was extremely hard to navigate. On 17 December 1903, the plane tried four times to fly, but that is it.
The Harrier Jump Jet
Inspired by the British Navy, the Soviet Union created a plane called Yakovlev Yak-38. The Soviet version of the British plane, unfortunately, did not live up to its standards. The aircraft could only stay airborne for 15 minutes when it was hot on the outside. In better weather, the aircraft can only fly about 800 miles if it has no weapons. The first flight of the Harrier was in 1967, two years before the man reached the moon.
The Lockheed Martin VH-71
This aircraft was designed with excellent paper design. This aircraft was launched on the market by AgustaWestland and Lockheed Martin in the United States in 2002. This aircraft appeared so awesome that the Marine Corps even suggested that it be used for transporting the President! Unfortunately, just a few years later, the price ranged from $6.1 billion to $11.2 billion, which was not realistic.
The Bristol 188
It is always important that you are at least on par with your competition, no matter what you sell or do. When Chuck Yeager invented the Bell X-1 in 1947, others tried to build a similar plane. The British had the Bristol 188, but the aircraft had many imperfections. The fuel tank not only leaked on flights but the plane was not allowed to leave until it reached a ground speed of 300 MPH.
Samuel Pierpont, the scientist, and inventor designed an aircraft that could successfully fly over a mile in 1901. He then set up the first man-powered flight. With its 52-hp radial and a successful power – to – weight ratio, the Aerodrome was quite impressive, but unfortunately, it failed and twice landed in the Potomac River.
The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
This aircraft was built for one particular reason: being a parasite fighter. If you are not sure what this means, just imagine this little aircraft attached to a much bigger plane being thrown midflight to help combat enemy aircraft. While this sounds brilliant, it didn’t work as planned; these small planes were dominated by large enemy aircraft and their weapons.
The Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon
The Lockheed XFV-1 was designed by a USN requirement issued in 1950 for a ship-borne VTOL plane able to operate from a small deck. The military had a lot of out-of-the-box ideas, and some of those ideas became a reality thanks to their huge budget. This plane was designed to take off vertically, but it also had to land vertically, which eventually tears down the motor and destroys the aircraft.
The Grumman X-29
Between the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. Airforce got the Grumman X-29. Its forward-facing wings were designed to give it better aerodynamics and smarter looks, but in fact, it just made it impossible astronomically to fly correctly. Although the air force, NASA, Grumman, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have designed it, it still has several major flaws. A NASA employee said: “It was unflyable without a digital flight computer that corrected the flight path 40 times per second.”
The Baade 152
The Baade 152, also called Dresden 152, VL-DDR 152, or just 152, was designed and manufactured by the Dresden-based East German airline VEB Flugzeugwerke. The plane had characteristics great for a bomber but not as a true aircraft. Its run of tests crashed and killed every crew member, only after two flights. The prototype was canceled in 1961, and it’s the only aircraft ever built in East Germany. It was designed with the design of a bomber plane.
The Rockwell XFV-12
It must have been a difficult concept to design the first type of aircraft. However, you would consider the design strong enough to ensure that one of the top airline firms wouldn’t mess so badly by the 1970s. However, the thought was wrong when the Rockwell XFV-12 was invented. It had a singular design and interesting characteristics but never started on a flight.
The Tupolev Tu-144
Tupolev Tu-144 was originally designed as a supersonic airliner during the 1970s. Unfortunately, during the Paris Air Show, its prototype collapsed and failed. The aircraft attempted to fly approximately 55 times before retirement and never again. Among its notable characteristics were the “double-delta” swept-back wings, the “mustache” foreplanes pivoting off the fuselage just rear of the deck for the enhancement of flight characteristics during departure and landing, and the downwards “fall” portion for the crew improvement during departure and landing.
The Dassault Balzac V
This idea looked unbelievable on paper but was unspeakably awful when it was implemented in actual life. The French wanted to hop on the train and create a plane, which would do that properly and designed the Mirage III. Two pilots died in the test run, but the French never stopped trying again… even if this plane crashed too. Fortunately, this time, the pilot was able to eject and survive.
De Havilland Comet
The De Havilland Comet was the world’s first pressurized commercial jet airliner and the object of immense domestic pride. It was the beginning of the new era of passenger voyages when it was launched into BOAC service in May 1952. While the De Havilland Comet had many great characteristics, its negative features overweight the great ones. The De Havilland Comet was probably the face of horrific built aircraft at one time. The technicians tried their best to revise the template, but none of the fatal accidents could sadly be prevented.
The Devil’s Hoverbike
The Devil’s Hoverbike was a plane intended for use in the United States. Army. It was established in the mid-1950s. You might wonder if this plane is connected to hoverboards – yes, Devil’s Hoverbike inspired people to create hoverboards. In the 1950s, the pilots, who were going to fly the plane, had to brace their feet to move the aircraft. Ok, if you were to think about it, it was a challenge –maybe that’s one of the factors that caused the aircraft to fail tremendously.
The Christmas Bullet
The Christmas Bulletin, also known as the Cantilever Aero Bulletin, was a plane made by a man out of his mind. Dr William Whitney Christmas engineered it to fail whenever it reached a certain height. Dr William was always the psychopath and invited Cuthbert Mills, a fantastic pilot, to try to fly his invention. The pilot welcomed it with pleasure and even invited his mother to come. At a very high altitude, the plane crashed-Cuthbert Mills and his mother were killed by the crash. Okay, it is one of the worst aircraft in the history of aviation.
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was an Alexander Lippisch-designed interceptor plane. It was an aircraft powered by rockets. That’s why he managed to travel very quickly. The primary issue faced by this aircraft was that its fuel capacity was limited. It could only stay in the air for a maximum of three minutes then it would have to land to refill its fuel tank again. This minor problem resulted in several fuel leaks and eventually, several incidents.
The Caproni Ca.60 Transaero, also referred to as Noviplano, was a transatlantic passenger airliner. It seemed as though Caproni, its builder, wanted to start a special aircraft, to the point that he made Noviplano very distinctive yet unusual. The aircraft had a total of nine wings and eight engines. If you believe that the construction of the aircraft was the only factor that caused an epic failure, I am sorry, but you are incorrect. The Noviplano also had a lot of technical problems, which made it work very poorly.
The Blackburn Roc
The Blackburn Roc is also known as the Blackburn B-25 Roc was a fighter plane designed to be used during the Second World War. To be honest, I have nothing nice to say about this aircraft, apart from the fact that it was possible to take one enemy airplane down during the war, so let’s now condemn it. Another aspect that caused a massive failure for Blackburn Roc was the unfortunate range of materials for construction, which made the aircraft very heavy-that is why it moved slowly.
The Blackburn Botha
Another Blackburn aircraft arrives here. The Blackburn Botha was a torpedo bomber with four seats in all. Like the Blackburn Roc, the concept was impoverished. Second, the plane weighed too heavily and ignited lingeringly. The other flaw that the Blackburn Botha had was that the compartment view could not be used for monitoring because it had a bad design. In short, Blackburn Botha was a difficult aircraft to fly even if it were the best pilot in the world to fly it, because of the aircraft structure he or she would still have tough times.
The Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
The EMB 120 Brasilia is a double-turboprop airliner which Embraer of Brazil has designed and manufactured. Nothing was wrong with what it looked like. However, the airliner had a lot of technical problems. It was dangerous to travel on the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, as it was built as a passenger aircraft. This airliner has been involved in several accidents.
The B.E.9. was an experimental aircraft produced in mid-World War I by the British Royal Flying Corps. All the people working hard to make the aircraft were very happy to use the aircraft when it began. Nevertheless, the propeller blades nearly cut them into pieces when some pilots tried to fly the B.E.9. The complexity of the layout of the aircraft looked awful–the designers didn’t think carefully about it.
The Fairey Albacore
In the middle of 1939, the Fairey Albacore was designed by Fairey Aviation as a torpedo bomber for Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm service. After a few pilots were trying to fly, they all never wanted to fly again. Some even decided to use an older aircraft instead of flying the poorly constructed Fairey Albacore. Still, although it might look beautiful on the outside, there were a lot of technical problems.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MIG-23 was designed as a fighter aircraft with variable geometry. Apart from the fact that it was constructed on a down radar, there is nothing more positive about this aircraft to say. All the pilots who were trying to fly that aircraft had a hard time because they barely had a clear view from the inside, and the seat they had to sit was low. With this detail, it was not surprising to know that, rather than using the MiG-23, the pilots simply chose to fly the older versions of the aircraft.
The Yakovlev Yak-42 or simply the Yak-42 is a 100-seat passenger jet. It was fitted with three massive motors. This aircraft has no technical problems; however, some problems can be noticed from the design of its construction. Firstly, the door to the entry of passengers is so small. Second is the stairway on the back of the aircraft-it would shake and rattle horrifyingly every time a person stepped on it. Another mistake would be chairs. It’s frightful to sit on them because a passenger expressed his experience and said he feared his seat would fold any time.
The Ilyushin Il-62
The Ilyushin Il-62 was launched in the late 1960s as a passenger jet-liner. A passenger who had the opportunity to travel the aircraft shared his experience. He said it was clear that the Ilyushin Il-62 still used manual flight controls with the controls on the aircraft. He also shared his experience of a minor malfunction due to the engines of the aircraft. In summary, he told everyone how “old school” Ilyushin Il-62 was and that after all the years that followed its first flight, it did not become high-tech.
The Brewster Buffalo
The Brewster F2A Buffalo was a fighter aircraft designed and developed by Brewster. It was used in the middle of the Second World War. If you look at the picture, it looks subtle, but its industrial structure is poorly constructed. The Brewster Buffalo was an aircraft that was difficult to control and to fly from the pilots who could use this aircraft. Okay, all the accidents and failures it had just proved to be an awful aircraft-no wonder why it was mentioned here.
The Tupolev TU-144
The Tupolev TU-144 was a supersonic aviator. Everyone expected a lot, believing it was the world’s first commercial supersonic transport aircraft. But they were disappointed at the numerous problems faced by the Tupolev TU-144. Lots of passengers were always moaning about the persistent loud noise of the aircraft engine. The aircraft often suffered from a fuel tank problem. In all, people were not happy with the overwhelming success of TU-144.
The ATR 72
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine passenger turboprop plane with 74 seats in total. Passengers getting the opportunity to travel with this aircraft complained about the ancient design of their aircraft. A passenger even said that it seemed as if some of the aircraft were ever about to crash. He also pointed out that the engines seemed very old because everyone could hear it rattling in the cabin. In short, it was a terrible experience for many passengers to travel with the ATR 72.
The Heinkel He-162
The Heinkel He 162 was a German aircraft fighter. In the middle of World War II it had to be created, and so its designer had to finish it as soon as possible. The HeinkelHe-162 was completed in 90 days with a lot of hard work, dedication, and teamwork. Desperate times demand desperate measures-wood was the only material used to build this aircraft. The wooden materials eventually collapsed after a couple of flights because the only thing used to keep all the materials together was a strong bond.
The Fairey Battle
The Fairey Battle was a British aircraft with just one engine. The bomber was already designed and produced by the Fairey Aviation Company in its name. Looking at its exterior, it looked good. That’s why many people, in particular the designers who worked hard to produce such aviation, expected a lot. It turned out, however, that the Fairey Battle was so big that it continued for a long time. All in all, the performance of the aircraft was so amazing.
The Douglas TBD Devastator
Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber built for the United States Navy by the Douglas Aircraft Company. When you look at its name, it was dubbed a “Devastator,” because the presence of all the enemy aircraft would devastate. Nevertheless, everything seemed to be turning upside down because the people who used this aircraft were the ones who were shocked due to the abysmal performance of the aircraft. It could barely battle the enemy planes-it could bomb a torpedo only if it flew 115 miles an hour along a clear and direct path.
The LWS-6 Żubr
The LWS-6 was a medium-sized bomber with multiple engines. Before the second world war, where the aircraft was mainly operated, pilots used the LWS-6 busbar to exercise their skills. Over time, the people using the aircraft had tons of problems overseeing, and one of these was the challenge of landing the bomber because of undercarriage issues. Many flaws quickly became obvious, and cracks were dealt with by adding wooden patches to it. Sadly, the prototype eventually fell apart, bringing prospective Romanian buyers.
The Saab 340
The Saab 340 is a twin-engine aircraft that was manufactured by Saab AB and Fairchild Aircraft. Inside, it has a total of 37 seats. The only negative feature of this aircraft is that it makes a loud noise which usually bothers everybody in the aircraft, particularly the pilots that fly. One pilot even said he would plan to carry and wear earplugs the next time he fled such an aircraft because the noise came from the engine near the pilot’s seat.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-80, or simply MD-80, is a family of airliners that have a total of 172 seats arranged in a single aisle. In mid-1977 the very first MD-80 aircraft was made. Most of the MD-80 aircraft perform very poorly–confirmed and observed by passengers who had already flown with such an airplane. Another disturbing fact about this family of passenger aircraft is its involvement in many fatal accidents. It seemed, however, that aviation people had forgotten all these negative things because the MD-80 aircraft can still fly.
The Bombardier Dash 8
The Bombardier Dash 8, which is also known as the De Havilland Canada DHC-8, is a family of turboprop-powered passenger aircraft. The choice of materials to build the aircraft seemed abysmal, as the aircraft were already a heavy type, leaving just a few weights to the passengers and their luggage. The passengers were shocked that the airline employees had to ask them to carry the lightest possible luggage. Besides the weight problems, the propeller blades make a loud noise that never disturbs travelers.
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was an interceptor rocket-powered aircraft designed by Alexander Lippisch. The fuel tank was the main issue for all pilots flying this aircraft. The comet ME-163 was fuel-efficient. After up to three minutes of flight, the pilots will land again to refuel the fuel tank. However, the Me 163 can rightly be considered a significant technological achievement because of the circumstances in which it has been developed and deployed.
The Hindenburg aircraft became famous for participating in one of the most horrific accidents in the world’s history. The Hindenburg had a weak building, and that was eventually proven-after a thorough study of its crash, the main factor leading to a malfunction was a sudden electrostatic discharge. In its last tragic journey, the Hindenburg departed Frankfurt on 3 May 1937. Four newsreel companies filmed the crash, but none caught the first fire.
The British B.E.-2
The British B.E.-2, also known as the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, was a British two-seat single-engine tractor biplane with an uncomfortable configuration to look at. It was originally used as an aircraft for identification and light bombers; it was adapted as a single-seater and proved effective as a night combatant, destroying several German airships. One thing that made the British B.E.-2 an epic failure was the fact that flight and control were difficult.
A twin-turboprop aircraft with eight seats is the Starship, also known as the Beechcraft Starship. All, especially the people who worked hard to produce this aircraft, expected a lot. Nevertheless, they were misled because the Starship just gave the world a very underwhelming performance. It was a major failure because it was too heavy–which is why pilots found it extremely difficult to control.
The Hiller VZ-1
The Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee was a Hiller Aircraft designed and built rotor lift. It had a unique characteristic, and this was the only way to manage the aircraft. The idea to guide the aircraft surprised everyone because nobody had ever done it before. All of these fascinations turned into disappointments because it was a massive failure of the pilot who tried to fly the Hiller VZ-1.
The Flying Dorito
The Flying Dorito was named after the McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II. It’s a Dorito-like plane, and that’s why it was called. The finished product of the very first Flying Dorito was delighted to everybody due to its high-tech features, such as synthesizing materials and various radars. The sight of the aircraft was interesting to people. The other fascinating thing was its scale. It was so expensive, and only a few people bought it.
The Boeing XB-15, or just XB 15, was a bomber aircraft used by the US Armed Forces. It was the most important aircraft ever built by the USA when the XB 15 was invented, and therefore no engine was still able to support such a large aircraft-it was meant to be a very high avion. Nonetheless, the more successful plans for XB 15 were canceled.