Seeing all the high-tech aircraft being launched in today’s world, have you ever wondered about all the aircraft that were built a long time ago? How did all the aircraft turn out knowing that technology was still not that developed compared to what the world has now? Well, knowing that the people in the field of aviation were in a trying time, it was not a surprise that a lot of aircraft turned into a huge failure. Here are some of the aircraft that was supposed to be a success, yet ended up being an epic failure.
The Fisher P-75 Eagle
The Fisher P-75 Eagle was a fighter aircraft invented by the Fisher Body Division of General Motors. The word “eagle” that could be seen in its name represented the glory of America. The number 75 was inspired by the French 75-mm gun, the Great War weapon. Years were needed to build this aircraft. However, despite all the unique and various kinds of equipment used in building The Fisher P-75 Eagle, it did not have the required horsepower needed for it to work appropriately – leading the aircraft and its creators to a huge failure.
The Douglas DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a wide-body airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. It is still flying until now – thanks to all the improvements that were made to the aircraft. Did you know that after it was launched in the field of aviation, lots of people who rode the Douglas DC-10 tragically died because of its faulty parts? Well, its door was the central part that deserved to be blamed. The cargo door was designed to open outwards – leading the aircraft to be involved in a lot of incidents. One of the tragedies happened in the middle of the 70s when the door opened in the middle of a flight.
The Bell FM-1 Airacuda
Here comes another fighter aircraft. The Bell YFM-1 was launched in the 1930s as a military aircraft designed by the Bell Aircraft Corporation. All of the people involved in its creation were thrilled to see Airacuda’s first flight. The materials used in building the aircraft were high-class, and its design was extraordinary – it was built with weapons that could be used to fire opponents. However, the construction turned into a massive failure because the aircraft suffered from frequent overheating, and the people who flew Airacuda said that every time they would use the weapons, tons of smoke would be released inside the aircraft. Yikes!
The Vought F7U Cutlass
The Vought F7U Cutlass was a carrier jet fighter used by the United States Navy. People were fascinated by its unique design. However, that fascination quickly turned into disappointment when it experienced a lot of crashes as it had a problem flying in the air. The Cutlass had a top speed of 1,094 km/h – it was traveling so fast, and that was one of the reasons why it crashed several times. This just proved that you should not judge the book by its cover – despite its innovative design, there was a massive problem in its construction, especially in its engine.
The Convair NB-36
The Convair NB-36, which was also known as the Crusader, used to be an aircraft that was created for experimentation for the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion – it was built to carry a nuclear reactor. It was a very dangerous aircraft. That was why every time it flew, there were people who carefully followed it for safety purposes. In the middle of 1961, it had its last flight following the cancellation of the ANP program – the program the aircraft was made for.
The PZL M-15 Belphegor
The PZL M-15 Belphegor was a jet-powered biplane that was designed by the WSK PZL-Mielec. It had a very noisy engine, that was why the “Belphegor” in its name came from the noisy demon named Belphegor. It had a unique design; however, it seemed like making it a jet-powered biplane was one of the mistakes made by its creators – because of this, the materials needed to make it fly plus other fees they had to pay cost them a lot of money.
The Wright Flyer
The Wright Flyer was the very first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft designed by the one and the only, the Wright brothers. We all know the Wright brothers as the ones who invented a lot of aircraft. Some of their inventions turned into a massive success as some turned into an epic failure – the Wright Flyer could be classified as the latter. When they had it for a test flight, they discovered that the aircraft could only keep on flying for a minute. After that, a lot of malfunctions were detected by the Wright brothers, which led them to give up on the Wright Flyer and just focus on another invention.
The Harrier Jump Jet
The Harrier Jump Jet, which was simply known as the Harrier, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft. It was built with an extraordinary design, but this invention was another proof supporting the fact that people should not judge the book by its cover. Despite all of its features, the Harrier Jump Jet only managed to stay flying through the air for a maximum of 15 minutes and reaching a maximum of 800 miles of flight.
The Lockheed Martin VH-71
The Lockheed Martin VH-71 was designed to replace the United States Marine Corps’ Marine One U.S. Presidential transport fleet. It was a tremendous and well-constructed aircraft, so what made it unsuccessful and appeared on this list? It was because of its price. Years after it was launched, it became costly to maintain – making the U.S. government choose another transport fleet and making its manufacturers give up all their plans involving the aircraft.
The Bristol 188
The Bristol 188, which was also known as the Flaming Pencil, is a research aircraft designed and manufactured by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It got its nickname, Flaming Pencil, because of its design which looked like a pencil. Everyone was excited to see its very first flight only to discover that it had a minor problem taking off – it had to reach at least 300 mph first before it could safely take off. Another thing that made this aircraft an epic failure was the fact that its fuel tank leaked every time it was flying.
The Aerodrome was created in 1901 by Samuel Pierpont Langley, a well-known scientist who had invented lots of prototypes. The Aerodrome was the very first aircraft to have a man-powered flight. It was supposed to be a successful aircraft, but something unexpected happened – it crashed several times and landed in different places.
The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
The McDonnell XF-85 Goblin was a fighter aircraft. It was not a simple fighter aircraft, though. It was invented and built as a parasite fighter – an aircraft attached to a bigger fighter aircraft that would eventually be detached from the bomber (the bigger aircraft) to attack the opponents. It had a unique design, but it was overpowered by other jets because of its small machine guns when it went to a fight.
The Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon
The Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon, which was also known as merely the Salmon, was an aircraft built and designed for the U.S. military. It was invented to have a vertical take-off – little did they know that landing it through the same vertical way would be very strange to look at. Another thing that made the Salmon unsuccessful was the fact that its engine broke after a few flights.
The Grumman X-29
The Grumman X-29 was an aircraft built for experimentation done by Grumman, its creator, with the company of the United States Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). If you would look at its appearance, it had a very unique and fantastic design; however, if you would look at it technically, its forward-swept wings made the aircraft unstable during flight. Such a structure made the Grumman X-29 almost impossible to be flown through the air.
The Baade 152
The Baade 152, which was also known by the name of Dresden 152, was an airliner built by the VEB Flugzeugwerke Dresden, an East German aircraft company. It had a very excellent design and structure on the outside, but we have to talk about a few things about what was going on inside of the airliner. On its second flight, all of the employees who were in the airliner suffered from a tragedy as the Baade 152 crashed on the ground. After a thorough investigation, it was revealed that the engine malfunctioned because of a problem in the fuel lining.
The Rockwell XFV-12
The Rockwell XFV-12 was a fighter aircraft manufactured by Meritor Inc. and Rockwell International. Knowing that the aircraft’s manufacturers had a big name in the field of aviation, people expected a lot from the aircraft they were going to make. However, because of several significant problems, people were disappointed because the Rockwell XFV-12 did not make it to its first flight.
The Tupolev Tu-144
The Tupolev Tu-144 was a supersonic airliner built in the middle of the 1960s that had a total of 24 central systems. It had a very fancy structure making all the people in the world, especially the people who created the aircraft, very excited to see it fly through the air. Unfortunately, in one of its flights, the Tupolev Tu-144 crashed because 22 of its central systems underwent a sudden malfunction. Lots of people were devastated when the news about the unexpected crash flew around the town.
The Dassault Balzac V
The Dassault Balzac V was an aircraft designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It was built to have a vertical take-off. It had a very delicate structure and appearance if you would look at it from the outside. However, this one was another proof that people should not judge the book by its cover because it seemed like the aircraft had a huge technical problem. One day, it suddenly crashed, making two pilots sacrifice their own lives. Well, the death of the pilots did not stop the manufacturers from keeping on going with the innovation of the Dassault Balzac V. A few years after the incident, it crashed again, and that marked the last and final flight of the aircraft.
De Havilland Comet
De Havilland Comet was the very first commercial jet airliner to be made. It was designed and manufactured by de Havilland. Thousands of people were fascinated by the airliner. Well, their fascinations turned into disappointments when the airliner performed underwhelmingly. That outcome, however, did not stop the manufacturers from choosing to keep on improving the aircraft. It seemed like all of their efforts were just not enough – despite all the enhancements made with the airliner, it still performed in a very underwhelming way.
The Devil’s Hoverbike
The Devil’s Hoverbike was an aircraft that was designed for the use of the U.S. Army. It was launched in the middle of the 1950s. You might be thinking if this aircraft has something to do with hoverboards – yes, the Devil’s Hoverbike was the thing that inspired people to create hoverboards. Back in the 50s, the pilots, who would fly the aircraft, had something to balance their feet on to make the aircraft move. Well, if you would think of it, that was a challenging task – maybe that was one of the factors that made this aircraft end up being a colossal failure.
The Christmas Bullet
The Christmas Bullet, which was also known as the Cantilever Aero Bullet, was an aircraft created by a man who was out of his mind. It was designed by Dr. William Whitney Christmas to malfunction whenever it reached a particular height. Being the psychopath he had always been, Dr. William invited Cuthbert Mills, who was a great pilot, to try his invention and fly it. The pilot gladly accepted it and even invited his mother to come with him. When they were already at a very high altitude, the aircraft had a malfunction – Cuthbert Mills and his mother died from the crash. Well, this is one of the worst aircraft to exist in the entire aviation history.
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was an interceptor aircraft that was designed by Alexander Lippisch. It was a rocket-powered aircraft. That was why it managed to fly at a very high speed. The primary issue that this aircraft faced was the fact that it had a minimum fuel capacity. It could only stay flying through the air for a maximum of three minutes – after that, it would need to land so that its fuel tank would be refilled again. That minor problem led to several fuel leaks, which eventually led to several accidents.
The Noviplano, which was also known as the Caproni Ca.60 Transaero, was a transatlantic passenger airliner. It seemed like its designer, Caproni, wanted to launch a unique aircraft to the point that he designed the Noviplano in a very distinctive, yet strange way. The aircraft had a total of nine wings and eight engines – it looked terrible. If you are assuming that the aircraft’s design was the only factor that made it an epic failure, I am sorry, but you are wrong. The Noviplano also had a lot of technical issues, making it perform in a very underwhelming manner.
The Blackburn Roc
The Blackburn Roc, which was also known as the Blackburn B-25 Roc, was a fighter aircraft that was built to be used during World War II. To be honest, I do not have anything nice to say about this aircraft, aside from the fact that it managed to take one enemy plane down during the war, so let us now go to the criticisms. First of all, the aircraft was not pleasing to look at. The structure was not good. Another thing that made the Blackburn Roc a massive failure was the fact that the choice of materials to be used in building it was unfortunate, making the aircraft very heavy – that was why it moved slowly.
The Blackburn Botha
Here comes another Blackburn aircraft. The Blackburn Botha was a torpedo bomber that was designed to have a total of four seats. Just like the Blackburn Roc, the way it was constructed was very faulty. First, the aircraft weighed too heavy, making it mobilize languidly. The other flaw that the Blackburn Botha had was the fact that the compartment view could not be used for surveillance because it had an awful design. To sum it all up, the Blackburn Botha was a complicated aircraft to fly – even if it would be the most excellent pilot in the whole world to fly it, he or she would still have a tough time because of the structure of the aircraft.
The Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
The Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia is a twin-turboprop commuter airliner that was designed and manufactured by Embraer of Brazil. There was nothing wrong with the way it looked. However, the airliner had a lot of technical issues – knowing that it was built as a passenger aircraft, it was hazardous to ride the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia. This airliner was involved in multiple accidents.
The B.E.9. Was an experimental aircraft that was made by the British Royal Flying Corps in the middle of World War I. All of the people, who worked hard in building the aircraft, were very excited to use the aircraft the moment it was launched. However, when a couple of pilots tried to fly the B.E.9., the propeller blades almost cut them into pieces. The design of how the aircraft was built was terrible – it seemed like the creators did not think about it thoroughly.
The Fairey Albacore
The Fairey Albacore was a biplane torpedo bomber that was invented by the Fairey Aviation in the middle of 1939 for it to be used by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. After a few pilots tried to fly it, all of them did not want to fly it ever again. Some of them even chose to simply use an older aircraft instead of flying the Fairey Albacore, which was poorly built – even though it may look beautiful from the outside, it had a lot of technical issues.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 was created to be a variable-geometry fighter aircraft. Aside from the fact that it was built with a shoot-down radar, there are no more positive things left to say about this aircraft, so let us talk about the negative things that made it an epic failure. The MiG-23 was poorly designed. All the pilots who tried to fly this aircraft had a tough time because they had barely had a clear view from the inside, and the seat where they got to stay was tiny. Knowing this information, it was not surprising anymore to know that the pilots simply chose to fly the older versions of the aircraft rather than flying the MiG-23.
The Yakovlev Yak-42, or merely the Yak-42, is a passenger-jet that has a total of 100 seats. It was built with three massive engines. Well, this aircraft has no technical issues at all; however, a lot of problems could be pointed out from the way its structure was designed. First, the door, where the passengers were supposed to enter, is so small. Another issue has something to do with the stairway at the back of the aircraft – every time a person would walk on it, it would shake and rattle terrifyingly. Another flaw would be the seats – it is terrifying to sit on them because a passenger shared his experience and said that it felt like his seat would fold at any moment.
The Ilyushin Il-62
The Ilyushin Il-62 is a passenger jet-liner that was launched in the middle of the 1960s. A passenger who had the chance to ride the aircraft shared his experience. He said that with the controls that could be used in the plane, it was evident that the Ilyushin Il-62 was still using manual flight controls. He also shared his experience of coming across a minor malfunction because of the aircraft’s engines. To sum everything that the passenger said up, he told everyone how “old-school” the Ilyushin Il-62 was and how it did not become high-tech at all after all the years that passed by after its very first flight.
The Brewster Buffalo
The Brewster F2A Buffalo was a fighter aircraft that was built and manufactured by Brewster Aeronautical Corporation. It was used in the middle of World War II. If you would look at the picture, its appearance may seem subtle, but its technical structure was built poorly. As of the pilots who had the chance to use it, the Brewster Buffalo was an aircraft that was difficult to control and to fly. Well, all the crashes and malfunctions it had just proved that it was an awful aircraft – no wonder why it appeared on this list.
The Tupolev TU-144
The Tupolev TU-144 was a supersonic passenger airliner. Knowing the fact that it was the world’s first commercial supersonic transport aircraft, everyone expected a lot. However, they ended up being disappointed because of the various problems the Tupolev TU-144 had. Tons of passengers had always complained about the loud noise the aircraft’s engine kept on making. Frequently, the aircraft suffered from a problem involving the fuel tank. All in all, people were not pleased with TU-144’s underwhelming performance.
The ATR 72
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop passenger aircraft that has a total of 74 seats. Passengers who had the chance to travel with this aircraft complained about how old their planes were. A passenger even said that it felt like a part of the aircraft was about to fall apart at any time. He also pointed out the fact that the engines seemed very old because everyone could hear it rattling in the compartment where it was contained. In short, flying with the ATR 72 was a terrible experience for a lot of passengers.
The Heinkel He-162
The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger was a German fighter aircraft. It had to be built in the middle of World War II, so its creator had to finish it as soon as possible. With a lot of hard work, determination, and teamwork, the Heinkel He-162 was finished in 90 days. Desperate times call for desperate measures – wood was the only kind of material used to construct this aircraft. After a few flights, the wooden materials eventually fell apart because the only thing that was used to hold all the materials together was a strong glue.
The Fairey Battle
The Fairey Battle was a British aircraft that had precisely one engine. Already given in its name, the bomber was built and manufactured by the Fairey Aviation Company. Looking at its outer structure, it looked good. That was why tons of people, especially the creators who worked hard to produce such an aircraft, expected a lot. However, it turned out that the Fairey Battle was so massive which made it move in a prolonged manner. All in all, the aircraft’s performance was so underwhelming.
The Douglas TBD Devastator
The Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber that was created by the Douglas Aircraft Company for it to be used by the United States Navy. If you would look at its name, it was called a “Devastator” because all of the enemy aircraft should be devastated by its presence. However, it seemed like everything went upside down because the people who used this aircraft were the ones who ended up being devastated because of the aircraft’s abysmal performance. It could barely fight the enemy planes – it could bomb a torpedo if and only if it was flying in a straight and direct path at 115 miles per hour.
The LWS-6 Żubr
The LWS-6 Żubr was a medium bomber that was built with a couple of engines. Before World War II, wherein the aircraft was mainly used, the LWS-6 Żubr was used by pilots to practice their skills. As time passed by, tons of problems were faced by the people who used the aircraft – one of those was the difficulty of landing the bomber because of undercarriage issues. Yikes!
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 thing that made this aircraft appear in this list is the fact that it makes a loud noise that usually bothers everyone in the plane, especially the pilots who are flying the aircraft. One pilot even said that he would consider bringing and wearing earplugs the next time he would fly such a plane because the noise was coming from the engine, which was located near the pilot’s seat, disturbed him a lot.
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. The very first MD-80 aircraft was created in the middle of 1977. Most of the MD-80 planes have a very underwhelming performance – proven and experienced by the passengers who already had flown with such an aircraft. Another disturbing fact about this family of passenger planes is that it is well-known for being involved in a lot of tragic crashes. However, it seemed like the people in the field of aviation neglected all of these negative things as MD-80 planes could still be seen flying until now.
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. It seemed like the choice of materials to be used in building the aircraft was abysmal because the aircraft was already kind of heavy, leaving only a few amounts of weight allotted for the passengers and their luggage. The passengers were disappointed by the fact that the employees working with the airline had to require them to bring the lightest luggage they could pack. Aside from the weight issues, the propeller blades make a loud noise that never fails to disturb the passengers.