Top Ten Worst Planes from World War II

The Top Ten

1 LWS-6 Żubr

You've probably never heard of this plane, and for good was so bad, that even when the Polish Air Force was in such dire starits they were throwing biplanes in the path of Luftwaffe Messerschmitts, the Zubr was considered militarily useless. If any plane could have won the award for worst aircraft based soley on looks alone, the Zubr would walk away with the prize...because it probably couldn't fly away with it. The prototype killed it's entire crew on a demonstration flight, and it never really got any better. By an interesting coincidence, Zubr means Buffalo...the name of a notably inferior US fighter that slipped quietly into obscurity after being hacked from the skies during the battle of Midway. The moral, I suppose, is never fly a plane named after an overweight vegetarian. - ww2fan


2 F2A Buffalo

The Buffalo was built in three variants for the U.S. Navy, the F2A-1, F2A-2 and F2A-3. (In foreign service, with lower horsepower engines, these types were designated B-239, B-339, and B-339-23 respectively.) The F2A-3 variant saw action with United States Marine Corps (USMC) squadrons at the Battle of Midway. Shown by the experience of Midway to be no match for the Zero,the F2A-3 was derided by USMC pilots as a "flying coffin."However the F2A-3s performance was substantially inferior to the F2A-2 variant used by the Navy before the outbreak of the war despite detail improvements.Unstable and overweight, especially when compared to the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.In December 1941, Buffalos operated by both British Commonwealth (B-339E) and Dutch (B-339D) air forces in South East Asia suffered severe losses in combat against the Japanese Navy's Mitsubishi A6M Zero and the Japanese Army's Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar". The British attempted to lighten their Buffalos by removing ammunition and ...more - ww2fan

3 SB2U Vindicator

An underpowered aircraft whose performance was pitiful enough that the Royal Navy decided to replace theirs with an even older biplane. Half of all casualties in the Vindicator were cause by carrier training accidents...perhaps before it was learned that the plane's minimum takeoff roll was longer than the carrier decks it was meant to fly from.OOPS! - ww2fan

4 Heinkel He177

The He177 was Germany's only real foray into the four-engined heavy bomber design. While many designers have tried coupling more than one propeller to a single engine, the He177 was a rare and somewhat inexplicable attempt to couple a single propeller to two engines. This mechanically nightmarish arrangement resulted in no end of engine problems which plagued the plane throughout it's lackluster career, in which it caught fire more often than a Pinto at a demolition derby. - ww2fan

5 Messerschmitt Me163 Komet

Ask any pilot what in-flight emergency frightens them the most, and they will invariably mention either fire or engine failure shortly after it is a tribute to the sadism of German engineers that they managed to dream up a plane designed to incorporate both nightmare events into its normal flight plan. Imagine a small chicken egg, whose little hatchling had just managed to free it's wings by poking them out the sides of its shell. It can't really walk yet, or fly under it's own power, or do much at all other than chirp in the optimistic hope that someone will feed it. Now imagine pouring a small amount of high explosive into the egg and flinging it high into the air. Good luck, birdie! This was the plight of the hapless Me163 pilot, whose powerful rocket engine consumed all of it's fuel withing three minutes of launch. The fact that it was a fine glider was of limited consolation to the pilot, whose landing gear were designed to fall away just after takeoff. The aircraft ...more - ww2fan

This aircraft was really not good to fly. It could catch on fire easly and the engine was sucking fuel so fast that pilots had to glide back to german airfield. And when landing the whole plane wiuld litelarry plumment into a fireball... Why? Bacuase the landing gear it had is a ski._. - P-51IsDaBest

6 Blackburn Botha

An ugly, twin-engined torpedo bomber that never actually dropped a torpedo, the Botha was under powered and possessed of such treacherous handling that it was finally banished to target tug duty by the few training schools unfortunate enough to fly it. An RAF test pilot unlucky enough to fly one wrote "The cockpit is almost impossible to get should be made impossible". - ww2fan

7 Breda Ba88

The Italian Ba88 flew well enough as a prototype to establish a few short-lived records, but its propaganda value took a nose dive once the production aircraft left the assembly line with a redesigned tail and all of it's military equipment installed. The service Breda could barely fly at all, and desert-fitted examples serving in North Africa were lucky to reach half of the manufacturer's advertised top speed. The plane was so Maligned by its pilots that many examples wound up being used as airfield decoys against bombing attacks. - ww2fan

8 TBD Devastator

Torpedo Squadron 8. enough Said.(VT-8's first and best-known combat mission came during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Flying the obsolete Douglas TBD Devastators, Commander John C. Waldron's 15 planes were all shot down during their unescorted torpedo attack on Japanese aircraft carriers. The squadron did not destroy any enemy aircraft with their defensive rear.30-caliber machine guns, nor did they damage any of the Japanese carriers.) - ww2fan

9 Blackburn Roc

The Blackburn Roc was the victim of what aerodynamic engineers like to call a really dumb idea. It serves as a poster child for several unfortunate airplane designs all built around the same really dumb idea: fighters who sole armament points to the rear. Like its fellow brain fart, the Boulton Paul Defiant, its only guns were housed in a movable turret aft of the cockpit...and incapable of firing forward. The weight of the turret insured that the Roc, already based upon the embarrassingly slow Skua dive bomber, was incapable of getting out of its own way, and incapable of firing at an enemy aircraft from the only position in which it might be safe from return fire. In what seems like almost a sure sign that even its own designers hated it, the IFF sets were removed to make room for the useless turret. The Roc's unimpressive wartime combat record speaks for itself: it managed to down only a single plane during WWII. - ww2fan

10 Fairey Battle

Despite being powered by the legendary Merlin engine, the Fairey Battle still managed to be slow, underpowered and underarmed. Hopelessly vulnerable to enemy fighters, Fairey Battles fell like flies during their brief and tragic military career in the Battle of France. Despite the heroic low-altitude attacks on their targets, they achieved almost nothing, owing to their completely inadequate bombload and horrific attrition rates. After the fall of France, the Battle was hastily retired to training squadrons, where it's benign handling gave it some measure of usefulness. - ww2fan

The Contenders

11 Junkers Ju 87

Was one of the most difficult planes to get on the ground ( landing ) because of the structure wheels / wings.

12 Mitsubishi J8M

Japanese needed a plane that could intercept American bombers, but it needed to have attitude and range. They saw Germany s Komet. Germans tried to send Komets to Japan but they failed, so Japan decided to make similar plane, which had same problems and NEVER ENTERED SERVICE

13 Aichi D3A
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