10 Worst British Aircraft

Mark you ( thread drift as the atr isn’t British) but the atr qualifies as a bit of a dog in its own right. I know of 2 pilots who declined jobs flying them due to their well known “quirks”when flown in known icing conditions.
 
It wasn’t. I posted the list in the fugly aircraft thread. Here it is:

In order of cackness they are:
  1. Blackburn Twin Blackburn
  2. Blackburn Roc
  3. Blackburn Botha
  4. Saro Lerwick
  5. DH Sea Vixen
  6. Blackburn Firebrand
  7. Gloster Javelin
  8. Tornado
  9. Supermarine Scimitar
  10. Blackburn Beverley
Blackburn didn’t do very well, did they.
Sorry, should've been clearer - I was responding the the inclusion of the MB2 in the 'Arrsers' Variations on the List' which has broken out here.

Blackburn produced one great aircraft [and but for the RR Spey...], a couple of reasonable ones, and some utter rubbish

For instance:


Blackburn Triplane - designed as an anti-Zeppelin fighter, hindered by the Admiralty demand for it to carry a Davis gun. Not very good.



Blackburn Blackburn - for crimes against aesthetics and aerodynamics. A plodding but otherwise reasonable aircraft, again done in more by the spec than anything else.



Blackburn F3 - my favourite since it was so unstable on the ground that the company concluded that asking the pilot to attempt to fly it would be quite unfair...



Blackburn Firecrest - supposed improved version of the Firebrand. Eric Brown suggested that it was only superior to the Firebrand in that it wasn't a Firebrand....

It will come as no surprise that a couple of these have featured on the ugly aircraft thread as well....
 
Last edited:
My nomination for today
Bae’s finest the Another Technical Problem (atp)
Supossedly jig built but when you (frequently) need to replace the main undercarriage bracket on the main spar ( due to the undercarriage Oleo’s having 3 inch of travel, )you had better order at plain forging and mark the bolt holes up on site because the pre drilled ones from Woodford are usually about a cm out.
The men and women who built Lancaster’s must shudder when they see what Manchester made in the end.
Lord, the ATP ... I think my mind had blanked that one out. Back when I worked at Hatfield the people I knew who worked on that side of the airfield called it the Yugo - as in Yugo and tell them it's broke. They were 146 people though, so perhaps a touch biased.

For those not familiar with it the Advanced TurboProp was a rebuild of the 748 to allegedly more modern standards, as they'd sold a lot of those so obviously a newer version would sell well.

NARRATOR: It did not.

In years to come the only place I ever saw it was the BAE shuttle service sending shiny grey suited middle managers from Warton to productive sites.
 
I have vague memories of some being used as cargo aircraft - A bright purple Crimson paint scheme rings a bell
Possibly by Royal mail?
not that I'm disagreeing it was both a commercial flop and universally hated


Edit in light of a quick google Crimson is closer to the colour I'm thinking of rather than purple**

**Im a straight male therefore prone to confusion when confronted by soft furnishings and non primary colours
 
Last edited:
I was surprised to see several ATPs up in Sweden a couple of years ago.

Regards,
MM
 
Whilst I agree with most on @Tedsson 's list:
The Javelin was pretty well liked by its' pilots because it had excellent high altitude performance, a roomy and comfortable cockpit and excellent one engine handling. It was stable and easy to fly at altitudes where the Hunter would be approaching the stall "coffin corner" of the flight envelope. Oh, and it had about twice the range of a Hunter.

Remember that it's primary role was to knock down high altitude Russian bombers (Bears) not to mix it with MiGs and was mainly handicapped by the lack of a decent missile system until they got Firestreak sorted.

Ditto I generally disagree about the Sea Vixen as we were trying to operate a big fast jet aircraft off flat-tops designed for 100mpg Stringbags and Grumman Martlets. The position of the RIO wasn't clever but the thinking was that he would not be distracted from the radar screen and radios.

The Bev was slow and noisy but it was extremely useful for STOL capability which the RAF lacked at the time.

I'm interested to note that you put Tornado in the worst list. Possibly not nice to work on but has been a great workhorse for the RAF.
 
Whilst I agree with most on @Tedsson 's list:
The Javelin was pretty well liked by its' pilots because it had excellent high altitude performance, a roomy and comfortable cockpit and excellent one engine handling. It was stable and easy to fly at altitudes where the Hunter would be approaching the stall "coffin corner" of the flight envelope. Oh, and it had about twice the range of a Hunter.

Remember that it's primary role was to knock down high altitude Russian bombers (Bears) not to mix it with MiGs and was mainly handicapped by the lack of a decent missile system until they got Firestreak sorted.

Ditto I generally disagree about the Sea Vixen as we were trying to operate a big fast jet aircraft off flat-tops designed for 100mpg Stringbags and Grumman Martlets. The position of the RIO wasn't clever but the thinking was that he would not be distracted from the radar screen and radios.

The Bev was slow and noisy but it was extremely useful for STOL capability which the RAF lacked at the time.

I'm interested to note that you put Tornado in the worst list. Possibly not nice to work on but has been a great workhorse for the RAF.
Soon after I joined the RAF many moons ago I held at RAF Binbrook and met one of the Service's last 3 Master Pilots who was a Lightning sim instructor. He was a former Javelin pilot and related that they were all disparaging of the Lightning when it arrived as it only had 2 AAMs and a much shorter endurance.

Concur regarding the Tornado; there are a great many British aeroplanes I'd put ahead of both the GR1/GR4 and the F3.

Regards,
MM
 
Ditto I generally disagree about the Sea Vixen as we were trying to operate a big fast jet aircraft off flat-tops designed for 100mpg Stringbags and Grumman Martlets. The position of the RIO wasn't clever but the thinking was that he would not be distracted from the radar screen and radios.
RIO?

Did the Buccaneer suffer the same loss rate as the Sea Vixen when operating from the same carriers? I believed the Sea Vixen had less than optimal speed/power control, so getting the speed right for the carrier landing was difficult. At the same time, it struggled to go to max power in the event of missing the wires.
 
Thinking about it - I am sure the Sea Vixen was derived from what was intended to be a land based fighter for both the RAF. That might explain some of the issues.
 
Thinking about it - I am sure the Sea Vixen was derived from what was intended to be a land based fighter for both the RAF. That might explain some of the issues.
Conversely, companies like Grumman, Fairey, and the much-maligned Blackburn, made a decent business out of carrier-based aircraft, designed for sea duty from scratch.
 
Thinking about it - I am sure the Sea Vixen was derived from what was intended to be a land based fighter for both the RAF. That might explain some of the issues.
The Sea Vixen (nee DH110) had its origins in an unsolicited approach by De Havilland to the Admiralty for a twin seat, twin jet, radar equipped night fighter with the company optimising the design to RN requirements. In 1947, two separate but related specifications were issued for similar Admiralty and Air Ministry NF requirements.

The DH110 crash at Farnborough acted as the catalyst for the RAF to declare their requirements would be met by the Javelin; the RN persisted with the De Havilland design with the Sea Venom as an interim solution.

Regards,
MM
 
The Sea Vixen (nee DH110) had its origins in an unsolicited approach by De Havilland to the Admiralty for a twin seat, twin jet, radar equipped night fighter with the company optimising the design to RN requirements. In 1947, two separate but related specifications were issued for similar Admiralty and Air Ministry NF requirements.

The DH110 crash at Farnborough acted as the catalyst for the RAF to declare their requirements would be met by the Javelin; the RN persisted with the De Havilland design with the Sea Venom as an interim solution.

Regards,
MM
How did Sea Vixen and Buccaneer loss rates compare when operating from the same carriers - I mean launch and recovery related accidents. Does anyone know?
 
Whilst I agree with most on @Tedsson 's list:
The Javelin was pretty well liked by its' pilots because it had excellent high altitude performance, a roomy and comfortable cockpit and excellent one engine handling. It was stable and easy to fly at altitudes where the Hunter would be approaching the stall "coffin corner" of the flight envelope. Oh, and it had about twice the range of a Hunter.

Remember that it's primary role was to knock down high altitude Russian bombers (Bears) not to mix it with MiGs and was mainly handicapped by the lack of a decent missile system until they got Firestreak sorted.

Ditto I generally disagree about the Sea Vixen as we were trying to operate a big fast jet aircraft off flat-tops designed for 100mpg Stringbags and Grumman Martlets. The position of the RIO wasn't clever but the thinking was that he would not be distracted from the radar screen and radios.

The Bev was slow and noisy but it was extremely useful for STOL capability which the RAF lacked at the time.

I'm interested to note that you put Tornado in the worst list. Possibly not nice to work on but has been a great workhorse for the RAF.
Err. Ummm. You can disagree all you like with the list DN but it’s not my list.

It’s the aircraft in the video in the OP rearranged in order of crapness.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Sorry, should've been clearer - I was responding the the inclusion of the MB2 in the 'Arrsers' Variations on the List' which has broken out here.

Blackburn produced one great aircraft [and but for the RR Spey...], a couple of reasonable ones, and some utter rubbish

For instance:


Blackburn Triplane - designed as an anti-Zeppelin fighter, hindered by the Admiralty demand for it to carry a Davis gun. Not very good.



Blackburn Blackburn - for crimes against aesthetics and aerodynamics. A plodding but otherwise reasonable aircraft, again done in more by the spec than anything else.



Blackburn F3 - my favourite since it was so unstable on the ground that the company concluded that asking the pilot to attempt to fly it would be quite unfair...



Blackburn Firecrest - supposed improved version of the Firebrand. Eric Brown suggested that it was only superior to the Firebrand in that it wasn't a Firebrand....

It will come as no surprise that a couple of these have featured on the ugly aircraft thread as well....
You should have included the Blackburn Twin Blackburn

Twice the Blackburn in one hideous package
Blackburn_Twin_Blackburn.jpg
 
that's why there were only 60 built...the buying airlines stayed away in droves and the ATR claimed the market for freighters and pax to itself.
The HS-748 was a successful aeroplane, so why could not BAe just re-engine the '748 and give it a glass cockpit in the same manner as Fokker did with the F27, which became the Fokker 50. But oh no the drawing office numpties had to get their mitts on it and totally screw it up. Same with the Jetstream 41.
 

Latest Threads

Top