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Dangerous machines, death traps, disasters and design flaws - for 2024


Marklo
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B0-A79508-203-C-40-A8-BA72-71989-DB0102-Browsing through the kindle store and this caught my eye and got me thinking.

 

So the proposal would be for models of subjects that gained a bad reputation or were actually more dangerous to their operators than their enemies.  So I’ll start the list of possibles.

 

2023s bunfight is pretty full so if this goes through I’d propose we hang on to it for 2024.
 

1. Royal aircraft BE2 family, nicknamed the Quirk, an inherently stable design that was a sitting duck in combat. 

 

2. F104 star fighter nicknamed the missile with a man, very fast but difficult to fly and easy to crash.

 

3. Heinkel 177 Grief nicknamed the flying coffin like the Avro manchesters twinned Buzzard engines the Heinkel suffered from engine fires and mechanical reliability and has difficulty staying in the air.

 

4. Albatross DV the successor to the DIII  the lower wing had a tendency to come off during dives and tight manoeuvres, more or less fixed on the DVa by adding a small reinforcing strut.

 

5. Fokker EV the precursor to the DVIII the type had major issues with the parasol wing failing the issue was fixed but the plane was renamed the DVIII.

 

6. M4 Sherman nicknamed the Tommy cooker by the Germans and the Ronson by the British; after the ronson lighters marketing line ‘lights up first time every time’. Wet ammunition storage was added to the later models to alleviate the problem. Any non wet storage mark.

 

7. The Kursk, sank with all hands.

 

8. Me 163 used hydrazine and hydrogen peroxide fuels that were volatile and or explosive and as a result killed more Germans in fuel related accidents than enemy flight crew.

 

9. Bachem Ba349 Natter a seriously dangerous vertically launched rocket intercepter managed to kill its pilot on its first and only manned flight.

 

10. Sopwith Camel the most successful fighter of all time in the right hands, due to the gyroscopic effect of the radial engine a dangerous machine in the wrong ones, many a trainee pilot was lost to the machine.

 

 11. Bolton & Paul Defiant, designed to be a bomber destroyer  a fundamentally flawed concept that was so badly mauled in the Battle of Britain it was withdrawn from frontline service. It did find a niche later in the war as a night fighter. 


12. Avro Manchester. As part of the spec to be a twin used the RR Buzzard engine which had issues causing it to either just not start or conversely unexpectedly go up in flames. it was developed into the Avro Lancaster.

 

13. Me328 designed as a cheap Argus powered intercepter/bomber then developed as a suicide bomber, poor handling delayed the production of the aircraft. As the application was primarily to be anti shipping D-day rendered the concept obsolete.

 

14. Fieseler 105 Richenberg the piloted V1 developed as a stopgap while the issues with  Me328 were to be solved. Killed quite a few test pilots but was never used operationally.

 

As I read my book and think of other aviation Turkeys I’ll add to the list.

 

1. @Marklo

2. @stever219

3. @Mjwomack

4. @helios16v

5. @IanC

6. @vppelt68

7. @theplasticsurgeon

8. @Corsairfoxfouruncle

9. @ArnoldAmbrose

10. @VMA131Marine

11. @Bandsaw Steve

12. @Rob G

13. @Jb65rams

14. @CliffB

15. @Jinxman

16. @drdjp11

17. @bigfoot

18. @Rafwaffe

19. @Colin W

20. @DaddyO

21.  @JOCKNEY

22. @Pin

23. @Adam Poultney

 

 

Edited by Marklo
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Early model Martin B-26 Murderer, sorry, Marauder   Too hot to handle on landing for inexperienced pilots.

 

dH 108, 100% kill rate of experienced test pilots.

 

Fairey Battle; elegant; underpowered, under-armoured and under-gunned, a latter-day BE2.

 

Lagg-3; lakirovany guarantirovany grob (my Russian is appallingly bad) varnished guaranteed coffin.

 

Brewster Buffalo; like the Lagg-3 but less varnish.

Edited by stever219
@#%#<*>&** auto-incorrect!!!!!
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1 hour ago, Marklo said:

I am of course counting you in @stever219 if that’s ok.

Damn!  That means I'm going to have to work out how to post images on here. (I know there's a "how to" thread but it might as well be written in Outer Alpha Centaurean for all the sense I can make of it )

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I'd be down for this.  Unique, focused theme with a broad subject matter.  I concur holding for 2024 this late in the year as well.  I'd likely be in with a Starfighter.....lord knows I've got "a couple" in the stash.  :whistle:

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Great idea, but should the Sherman tank be there? Yes, some versions were vulnerable but by that measure you could have nearly every other WW2 tank. They all went up if penetrated and the fuel/ammo cooked off. Just a thought.

 

I like the aircraft suggestions, especially the B-26 Marauder, literally nicknamed the 'widowmaker' - 'One a Day in Tampa Bay' 

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46 minutes ago, IanC said:

They all went up if penetrated and the fuel/ammo cooked off. Just a thought.

My thought was machines with a bad reputation and the Sherman was thought to be more susceptible to a ‘Brew’ than other allied armour.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Marklo said:

7. The Kursk, sank with all hands.

Gidday, I guess this means the GB is not limited to aircraft. A contender here I think would be the K-class of steam powered submarines (nicknamed the Kalamity class). Designed in 1913 they were intended to operate with the RN battle fleet. Of 18 built, none were sunk by enemy action, although 6 were lost due to accidents, with considerable loss of life. RIP.

Regards, Jeff.

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Some more candidates:

 

Douglas TBD-1 Devastator - devastated at Midway

Pretty much any of the Gee Bee racers

Blackburn Roc - slower than the Skuas it was supposed to protect, maybe that was just a bad aeroplane 

Bell X-2

G4M1 Betty - the one-shot lighter

 

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OK - good idea but time for the first ‘clarification’ question…

 

Are ‘sound designs that were out of date by time of use and hence “death traps” in or out?’

 

For example- the Fairey Battle was basically a sound aircraft but was obsolete by 1940 and mis-used in action and is now widely regarded as a ‘death trap’.

 

Also are ‘things associated with mass loss of life through no design fault’ in or out? (I’m thinking Titanic, Andrea Doria, or possibly DC10’s).

 

just curious and trying to cut off possible confusion before it arises.

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1 hour ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

 

Are ‘sound designs that were out of date by time of use and hence “death traps” in or out?’

 

For example- the Fairey Battle was basically a sound aircraft but was obsolete by 1940 and mis-used in action and is now widely regarded as a ‘death trap’.

 

Good point. Same applies to the Blenheim - faster than contemporary fighters in 1937, shot out of the sky in 1940-41. 

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1 hour ago, VMA131Marine said:

Douglas TBD-1 Devastator - devastated at Midway

Gidday, with respect would the Devastator qualify here? Yes it suffered badly at Midway but I believe it did OK at Coral Sea. Hence it was obsolescence rather than design issues that caused the losses. This is my perception and I am willing to be corrected here.       Regards, Jeff.

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2 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

For example- the Fairey Battle was basically a sound aircraft but was obsolete by 1940 and mis-used in action and is now widely regarded as a ‘death trap

I’d say yes as it’d be the same logic as the BE2c which was a perfect training and observation aircraft it was just a terrible combat aircraft.

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25 minutes ago, Rob G said:

How about cars that were less than stellar? There's quite a few civil and racing versions that would be eligible,  I'm sure. 

Definitely fits the brief.

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I don’t want to hijack your proposal (which I think is a good idea by the way) but think that  a common theme of ‘less than excellent’ -or some such - rather than just ‘widow makers’ might work in your favour. I’ve noticed that the more inclusive and generic group build proposals are more likely to succeed in the bunfight.

 

WRT cars a Ford Edsel might might a great ‘less than excellent’ subject but I don’t think they normally killed their owners.

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2 hours ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

that  a common theme of ‘less than excellent’ -or some such - rather than just ‘widow makers’ might work in your favour. I’ve noticed that the more inclusive and generic group build proposals are more likely to succeed in the bunfight.

Funnily enough i do like the term widow makers as it’s quite direct even stark but I’m also thinking that a GB based around  flawed concepts, dangerous machines and equipment with a bad rep would work better, but dangerous not just bad eg the Austin Princess although arguably the worst  car ever mass produced wouldn’t qualify  but the pinto would.

 

So just come up with a catchier title and I’m game :) 

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How about…

 

‘Deathtraps; dysfunctional, defective or otherwise dangerous’ 

 

 

To be clear. Under this definition soundly designed but outdated gear would be ‘in’. (eg the Bristol Blenheim) as these were ‘deathtraps’ but not ‘widowmakers.’

 

Poorly designed but generally safe gear would be ‘out’ (eg the Austin Princess)

 

Gear that was well designed but just had bad fortune would be ‘out’ (eg the Andrea Doria)

 

That’s my suggestion but of course it’s your call. 
 

If you need a co-host just sing out. I think I’d be game. Oh…. and maybe put me down for an F-104G

 

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8 hours ago, Rob G said:

How about cars that were less than stellar? There's quite a few civil and racing versions that would be eligible,  I'm sure. 

Ford Pinto

Chevy Corvair, at least the early first generation cars

Lancia Beta

REVA G-Wiz

 

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  • Marklo changed the title to Dangerous machines, death traps, disasters and design flaws - for 2024

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