10 WWII Planes That Were Complete Failures

Aviation enthusiasts find a wealth of information concerning famous planes used during WWII. The Lancaster, P-51 Mustang and Spitfire cone to mind as a few examples. Along with the aircraft capably completing a number of successful missions there were also planes that represented absolute failures. While some made it to the frontlines, others proved inept during training.


1) Breda ba.88 Lince from Italy

Before seeing military action, this plane broke a number of speed records. However, after adding armor plating, weaponry and additional equipment, the aircraft only had the capability of achieving half the speed.

2) Fairey Battle from Great Britain

The three seat bombers made their maiden flight in 1936. Poorly armed with two rifle caliber machine guns, the slow fighter planes served as sitting ducks against the more advanced German squadrons. In total, the Brits lost a total of 99 planes in 1940 alone.

3) PZL.30 Zubr from Poland

Originally designed as a passenger plane, the military opted to transform the monstrous aircraft into a bomber. After the redesign, the plane fell apart in midair. Engineers amazingly reinforced the wings with plywood glued into place. The landing gear locking system also failed, which meant flying with the gear down.

4) Messerschmitt Me 210 from Germany

Compared to its predecessor, the Me 210 flew 50mph faster, had greater range and better weaponry. The armament aboard the aircraft included remote controlled side-mounted, rear firing MG turret guns. Though flown with high hopes, the plane suffered multiple problems that included a tendency toward stalling.

5) Blackburn Botha from Great Britain

Constructed with poor performance engines, the bombers suffered miserable reputations as being death traps. Though equipped with torpedoes, the planes never dropped one bomb. They instead served as transport vessels for troops and anti-submarine artillery.

6) Blackburn Roc from Great Britain

The innovation of this plane included four 7.62mm machine guns operated by a gunner positioned behind the pilot. Nonetheless, the gun design proved inefficient, as the weapons only exhibited accuracy if the plane flew level. Flaws also hindered escape for the gunner in emergencies.

7) Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet from Germany

Though touted as attaining speeds of up to 550mph, the rocket powered craft failed miserably. The speed of the aircraft made firing accurately impossible. The limited fuel capacity meant running out in a mere 7.5 minutes. Additionally, the volatility of the fuel caused explosions during take-off or landing with sudden jolts.

8) Douglas TBD Devastator from USA

Considered slow at speeds of 206mph, the planes also suffered from being equipped with malfunctioning torpedoes. The bombs did not release properly if the plane exceeded 115mph. When successfully deployed the torpedoes often failed to explode.

9) Lavochkin Gorbunov Goudkov LaGG3 from USSR

Constructed of wood and coated with lacquer, the heavy planes failed horribly in battle. Slow and unable to climb, the planes handled poorly and were susceptible to spinning out of control. The wooden frames also shattered upon impact.

10) Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka from Japan

The Japanese designed these manned missiles as suicide bombers. Launched from beneath Betty bombers, the craft achieved speeds of up to 620mph. However, not equipped with adequate maneuverability, the explosive laden vessels routinely missed their targets.

Poor engineering and rushed manufacturing led to the failure of many of these planes. Not only did the aircraft cost countries untold amounts of money, the planes claimed numerous lives.


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