We are back with some more of the worst jet aircraft in the history of the world.
Some of these jets in our list today are so weird that is hard to even call them a proper aircraft but here they are. So without wasting any further time, let’s look at the list of the Worst jets aircraft in the history (part 2).
Before World War II Germany was the leading country in the jet technology bit following them losing the war, the country was pushed back to a huge margin in the jet industry. It was not until 1956 when German started to work on their very own jet based airliner. The first jet airliner that the Germany produced was made by the company named Junker located in East Germany by the name of Baade 152. While it was the historically first of the country’s jet airliner; it was not at all a good one.
Junkers developed the Baade 12 design based on their concept of bomber aircraft from back in the 40s which is why the design of the airliner did not looked much like that of an airliner. It had unusual huge wings and a center landing gear which made it similar to the US’s B-47. While these features were great for a bomber aircraft, they were not suitable for a passenger airliner as the design configuration of the fuselage barely left any place for the passengers.
The more bad news followed Baade 152 when during its 2nd test flight the aircraft crashed resulting in death of its entire crew. Many changes were made in its design including those in landing gear and the engine fairing. However, after many test flights, pilots found that the aircraft during its descent lost it fuel lines along with the engine stopped working.
The project was dropped by 1961 and many of the engineers on the project defected to West Germany.
During the period in between 1960 to 1970, the world was in race to make Superposing airliners. The first significant contribution in this field was made by France and Britain as they presented their famed Concorde aircraft. Soviets soon followed their suit and designed and manufactured their own version of Concorde and named it as Tupolev Tu-144, however, in comparison between both Concorde and Tu-144, Tu-144 won the title of being the worst supersonic airliner. In fact Tu-144 went on to become one of the worst supersonic airliners to be ever built.
While the Concorde finished early than Tu-144, the Tu-144totok its first flight 2 months earlier than the Concorde. Tu-144 had many design flaws and this led to many conspiracy theories that Soviets stole the blueprints of Concorde to make the Tu-144. Some theorist even went on far to say that French and British knew that Soviets would steal the blueprints and led them to steal blueprints with major flaws.
Whatever the case was, Tu-144 was bound to fail with the first accident happening during its first passenger prototype demonstration which met with a horrific crash at the Paris Air Show of 1973. Despite many problems, Soviets gave Tu-144 a go head to be used on commercial flights. Still during the flight pilots found out that out of 24 main systems nearly 22 of them failed mid flight. Instead of stopping the service of Tu-144 soviets only reduced the limit of passengers to have minimum loss of passengers in case the aircraft crashed.
The Tu-144 was flown by the Aeroflot and they too discontinued the service of Tu-144 after making 50 commercial flights. The Tu-144 was then transferred for transport aircraft role. After another 50 transport flights, the Tu-144 was grounded for good by Aeroflot.
One model of Tu-144 was purchased by NASA as a test aircraft for its supersonic airliner research and served its purpose effectively.
Dassault Balzac V and Mirage III V
Back in the 1960s, British were working on their VTOL based Harrier aircraft while French were working on their own VTOL fighters. However, instead of making an entirely new aircraft like British did, France decided to upgrade the design of its already existent Mirage III as they upgraded it with lift jet engines. While the idea seemed great in theory, it turned out to be an epic disaster in practicality.
Dassault company was responsible to create this redesigned Mirage III and they manufactured a jet fighter with 8 of the lift jet engines. They named it as Balzac V which took its first VTOL flight back in 1963.
With the initial test turning out great, disaster soon struck the Balzac V as it flipped during one landing resulting in death of a pilot. Dassault made some modifications and started a new test flight with help of an American pilot.
However, this aircraft also met disaster when suddenly the lift engines gave out mid flight and the pilot was not able to eject in time causing him to die.
De Havilland Comet
UK was propelled by the company named De Havilland into the future of airliner market when they presented their aircraft called Comet.
The aircraft was a result of the designing and research of decades and it stunned the world with its sleek design. The aircraft with its state of the art aeronautical technologies at that time was the world’s very first jet powered airliner.
However, the Comet was an idea ahead of its design and the engineers could not figure it out completely which resulted in many crashes and deaths of many passengers.
Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig
With a single glance at the Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig, anyone can say that this aircraft is a mistake of an aircraft and a dangerous one at that. The aircraft was designed in order to test out the feasibility for the VTOL aircraft.It might seem that how could this aircraft with its simple tin jet engines and a small frame could test out VTOL, but nonetheless it did.
The aircraft had no wings, no fuselage just two engines and seat for pilot to sit. These two engines were used to provide the aircraft a thrust vectoring but the throttle response of the aircraft was not great as it made the aircraft difficult for any pilot to control it.
The Rolls Royce soon concluded that it was impossible to test VTOL flight on Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig and even more of a risk for anyone trying to operate it. One tragedy in 1957 pulled the plug of this experimental aircraft when a Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig rolled over and crushed its pilot.