Jets are the things that seem to entice the curiosity and awe of nearly everyone who sets their gaze upon them. It is hard to imagine why not. Jet aircraft are not only powerful and fast but let’s admit it, they look cool.
While there are some cool jets like F-16, not all of them are as cool. If not thousands, nearly hundreds of mediocre rate jet fighters have served various militaries in the active duty.
Today for our readers we have compiled a list of worst jet aircraft in the history (part1).
Vought F7U Cutlass
Before the Vought was acquired by the now famed Grumman, it served for the US Navy and produced for them some of the most amazing fighter aircraft. One of the notable aircraft from Vought was during World War II by the name Vought F4UY Corsair that saw active duty in the Pacific Ocean.
However, in addition to many successful aircraft, Vought also produced many unsuccessful ones with Vought F7U Cutlass being among the top ones. The aircraft as designed with an intention to upgrade the US Navy but it ended up being a rather dangerous one which caused the deaths of many US Navy pilots in its many accidents and crashes.
The Vought F7U Cutlass was designed with inspiration from the Messerschmitt’s experimental fighter aircraft. Despite it being fast, Vought F7U Cutlass had major problems regarding its engines. The aircraft was powered by the Westinghouse turbojets which did not offer the aircraft enough thrust during both landing and takeoffs. The first two of its prototypes crashed but it still underwent mass production.
US navy kept the aircraft in active duty but paid a heavy price with it losing many talented pilots during takeoff and landing accidents. The aircraft was even given many nicknames due to its bad crash history such as “The Gutlass Cutlass” and “The Ensign Eliminator”.
The PZL M-15 which is of Polish design is amongst few of the most bizarrely designed aircraft that went even in production. The aircraft is one of the mass-produced binary planes in aviation history. It is also the only crop duster aircraft that served in military service. Back in the 1970s Soviet were having a problem related to the old crop duster binary aircraft. They needed something that could spray on large farms collectively more economically and effectively. The responsibility to come up with a solution went to PZL.
The company built the PZL M-15 to be a fast spraying crop duster with slow flying agriculture jets. The PZL M-15 was able to fly at a top speed of 124 kmph. After it entered the service of the military, it was regarded as one of the slowest jets to have entered in service. Due to it making large sounds in flight, it was nicknamed as the “Belphegor”.
Eventually, the PZL M-15 proved to be a failed product as its engines used more fuel when compared with old crop duster aircraft. The Soviets had ordered nearly 3000 of these aircraft but after cancelling the order early one, only 175 were manufactured.
Some experts suggest that the PZL M-15 was designed for Soviets with an intention to sue it in chemical warfare if the Soviets invaded Europe.
After the aircraft named Harrier Jump Jet entered in service of British Naval Service, other world militaries saw the prospect of the VTOL fighter jets. The US also built itself some under the license Harriers for the Marine Corps which prompted the Soviet Union to design their own fighter jet with VTOL capability.
The result of this urgency was the Yakovlev Yak-38 designed by the Yakovlev Bureau. The Yakovlev Yak-38 was in similar shape to the Harrier but was, in fact, an inferior version of it. It was so useless that Yakovlev Yak-38 ended up being one of the most useless aircraft to have served in naval history.
The aircraft although resembled with Harrier, its lift jet system was quite different. Engineers of this aircraft installed 2 of the small thrust vector jets near the end of the fuselage as well as 2 lift jets located behind the cockpit. Its design also caused it to utilize more fuel when compared with the Harrier. It only had a range of 1300 kilometers and this too was without having any weapons mounted.
In order to save for the weight requirement, pilots left nearly no space for the weapon and even the radar was not added which made it completely useless for a jet fighter in the aerial combat missions.
Even with all this, Yakovlev Yak-38 had some more disappointing news as its lift jets only came with a life of 22 hours before needing full maintenance or otherwise it would use more gas or be prone to failure.
With the speed of sound barrier being broken back in 1947 by the US pilot Chuck Yeager, the world was thrown into an age of jet fighters. Nearly all of the world leading militaries were trying to come up with their own jet fighters with all sorts of jet fighters popping up.
Needless to say, many of them were a disappointment when it came to being called a jet fighter and one that stood at the peak of this disappointment was none other than the Bristol 188.
This aircraft that had a stainless steel fuselage was able to break the barrier of Mach 2 for the RAF. However, the RAF wanted the Bristol 188 to be flying at a speed of Mach 2.6 for longer period of times which would cause the skin of the aircraft to reach at a temperature of 3000 degrees Celsius. The aircraft was nonetheless redesigned with newer engines. The end result of this redesigning was a Bristol 188 which was long and narrow in shape. This led to it having the nickname “The Burning Pencil”.
However, the aircraft had many problems with the top of the list being the fuel leakage problem. The other problem was the long runway it needed for takeoff which added more to the leaking problems. The final problem that led to the project being buried in the annals of history was the inability of the aircraft to reach Mach 2 speeds.
After spending nearly 20 million Pounds, the British government finally called the project off.