The Flying Coffins: 5 Worst Fighter Aircraft of All Time

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zero-one

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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 10:20

Article from National Interest.
I'd say some of the planes on the list (i.e. Mig-23 were well deserving) but do you guys think the Century series deserved to be here:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... page=0%2C1

Century Series (F-101 (807), F-102 (1000), F-104 (2578), F-105 (833))

Picking a candidate from the Century series was a struggle. Most of the Century Series aircraft were developed while the Air Force was still dominated by the strategic bombing cadre, and interested primarily in the prospects of nuclear combat with the Soviet Union. Tactical Air Command tried to resolve this problem by making itself as “strategic” as possible, focusing on interceptors that could catch and kill Soviet bombers, and also on fighters heavy enough to deliver nuclear weapons. This left the fighters of the USAF poorly equipped to tangle with the tiny, maneuverable MiGs deployed by the PAVNAF.

The series was not a complete disaster; the F-100 was an adequate second generation fighter, the F-106 an entirely capable interceptor. The rest had the sort of troubles expected of a misaligned set of strategic and technological concepts. The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was an interceptor converted into a fighter-bomber, a combination that made nearly no sense. It would mostly see service as a recon aircraft. The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger performed inadequately as both an interceptor and a fighter-bomber, briefly seeing combat in Vietnam before turning in its most notable service as a remote-control target drone.

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was fast, beautiful, and a death trap, earning the “flying coffin” nickname while suffering over thirty mishaps per 100000 flight hours (it was also known as the “Missile with a Man in It”). Over 50% of F-104s in Canadian service were lost in crashes, over 30% in German. The enormous Republic F-105 Thunderchief deserved better; designed as a nuclear bomber, it was ill-suited to the conventional bombing mission forced by the Vietnam War, and became easy prey to the Frescos, Fishbeds, and SA-2s.


The aircraft of the Century series had different builders, and were intended to perform different missions. However, they were procured in enormous quantities, and all suffered from problems associated with the same cause; the inability of the United States Air Force to conceptualize warfare outside of the strategic realm.
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 10:57

"Dishonorable mentions: F-4 Phantom"
What in the actual ****
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 11:04

juretrn wrote:"Dishonorable mentions: F-4 Phantom"
What in the actual ****


To be fair if it weren't for the extreme, combined efforts of the pilots, maintainers, officers and an entire top to bottom shift in thinking, the F-4 would not be what we know it to be now. It did not excel in the way it was envisioned to excel in air combat.
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 13:34

"Robert Farley, a frequent contributor to TNI, is a Visiting Professor at the United States Army War College."


It is best if Mr. Farley stick with USAWC issues-


The F-4 Phantom was originally developed as a FLEET DEFENSE INTERCEPTOR. It did not ask for the USAF or USMC to start weighing it down with nearly 8 tons of ordinance for the CAS/AG role. It performed the Fleet Interceptor mission very well. When the S and E models were equipped with LES, it was also a pretty good (or improved) dog-fighter. Could it turn with a Mig-17? No, but neither could anything else in the US inventory. And the J,K,M had the worlds first in service DP radar/fire control system. What limited the AWG-10A/B was the AIM-7 missile.


F-4 pilots such as Beaulier, Chesire, Gledhill, Romah, Miller.... have had mostly good/great things to say about it. Even the late model USAF F-4E Rivet Haste jets were a vast improvement.


And the 101,102,106 were developed as ADC interceptors, not WVR dog-fighters. WVR combat was never their primary mission.
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 17:10

As beautiful as it was, the Gutless Cutlass F7U.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... -12023991/
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 17:26

Well what a ya know, he also has a " Best of all time" list
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... page=0%2C2
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botsing

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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 18:02

zero-one wrote:Well what a ya know, he also has a " Best of all time" list
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... page=0%2C2

nationalinterest wrote:Honorable mentions include the North American Aviation F-86 Sabre, the Fokker D.VII, the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the Supermarine Spitfire, the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, the McDonnell Douglas EA-18 Growler, the English Electric Lightning, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the Sukhoi Su-27 “Flanker,” and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Wut? What is the Growler doing in that list?
"Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know"
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Unread post30 Oct 2018, 23:14

It’s National Interest. Everything I’ve seen from them speaks to an anti military ideology thinly veiled by isolationism.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 08:10

count_to_10 wrote:It’s National Interest. Everything I’ve seen from them speaks to an anti military ideology thinly veiled by isolationism.


I view that site as a mixed bag. In fact I know many Russian fans who hate that site for being too pro-western propaganda.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... f-35-34622
China’s J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters cannot super-cruise, or fly at supersonic speeds like their closest rivals, Lockheed Martin’s F-22 and F-35 stealth planes, without using afterburners.”


https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... page=0%2C1
Severodvinsk may not be able to update its sonar suite, and making the Russian submarines quieter may not be easily implemented. Overall, the edge has to be given to the Virginia class.
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hythelday

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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 11:58

zero-one wrote:
I view that site as a mixed bag. In fact I know many Russian fans who hate that site for being too pro-western propaganda.


Lol, if only you'd know how often they cite "western media" (National Interest) when it publishes anything bad regarding F-35 :mrgreen:
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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 14:17

zero-one wrote:Well what a ya know, he also has a " Best of all time" list
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... page=0%2C2


Tough to argue with his pick of the F-15. It's air to air combat record is unmatched, and will probably remain so for the future. One can argue that the F-22 has certainly surpassed it in nearly every part of the envelope, and the latest Flankers in some parts of it. I wouldn't count the F-15 out though in a duel with the Flanker, particularly in BVR. It holds some impressive advantages there, including it's latest AESA radar, the AIM-120D, etc. The SU-35's incredibly powerful PESA is no slouch, but it can't compare to the Eagle's AESA. And for sure the AIM-120D out-performs the Russian equivalent R-77. Hell, most of the time it flies with the equivalent of the old American Sparrow.

People will rightfully claim the Flanker is more maneuverable WVR, but its post stall advantages might ultimately be its undoing. Whatever AOA advantage the Flanker holds is more than negated by the AIM-9x. And those are American F-15C's I'm talking about. You take the CFT's off a Strike Eagle or latest Saudi F-15SA's, and you have an aircraft with a thrust to weight ratio that's better than a lightly loaded Typhoon!

So here we are, 42 years after the Eagle entered service and by some counts it STILL outperforms aircraft designed decades later, in some cases (like the Flanker), aircraft designed specifically to be out-perform it. Kudos to the engineers at McDonnell Douglas. Tremendous accomplishment... :)
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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 16:27

zero-one wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:It’s National Interest. Everything I’ve seen from them speaks to an anti military ideology thinly veiled by isolationism.


I view that site as a mixed bag. In fact I know many Russian fans who hate that site for being too pro-western propaganda.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... f-35-34622
China’s J-20 and J-31 stealth fighters cannot super-cruise, or fly at supersonic speeds like their closest rivals, Lockheed Martin’s F-22 and F-35 stealth planes, without using afterburners.”


https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... page=0%2C1
Severodvinsk may not be able to update its sonar suite, and making the Russian submarines quieter may not be easily implemented. Overall, the edge has to be given to the Virginia class.

You have to keep in mind that they slant things one way or the other in service to their overall push. So, existing systems are great if it means new systems are unnecessary.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
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zero-one

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Unread post31 Oct 2018, 17:38

mixelflick wrote:
So here we are, 42 years after the Eagle entered service and by some counts it STILL outperforms aircraft designed decades later, in some cases (like the Flanker), aircraft designed specifically to be out-perform it. Kudos to the engineers at McDonnell Douglas. Tremendous accomplishment... :)


The F-15 was really over engineered for it's day. It was overkill,
they really wanted a fighter that had no weakness in combat.

This is one reason why I'm in favor of a modernized F-22 program to be part of the Family of systems approach for the PCA program. That thing was also over engineered and was far far ahead of its time.

I wouldn't be surprised if by 2040, the Raptors we have now would still be the primary CAP aircraft of the USAF
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Unread post01 Nov 2018, 01:14

strykerxo wrote:As beautiful as it was, the Gutless Cutlass F7U.

https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... -12023991/


+1. Many "fighters" e.g. Ponnier, Weymann that never even got to production or if they did, never got to shoot down an aircraft.

By safety record, agree with F7U. Same goes with He162 that killed more German pilots than they did Allied (but at least the Heinkel got to shoot down some).
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Unread post02 Nov 2018, 15:57

My vote has to go to the F-104.

HALF of Canada's F-104's were lost in crashes. Given their demonstrated acquisition (mal)practice, who has 2nd hand F-104's they can buy? Surely, we have more than a few in the boneyard?? :mrgreen:
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