Top 5 worst fighters in the US Air Force

The difference between the best and worst fighters may not be too great. Thanks to the development of military technology, cars that are now considered elite, in a few years can get the nickname "flying coffin."

Fighters are national strategic assets, and should be evaluated as such. Here are a few criteria for assessing them: is the airplane able to fulfill the tactical task for which it was created? Is he effective compared to his contemporaries? Is he more dangerous to his pilot than enemy fighters?

We present to you top-5 worst American fighters according to the edition of The National Interest, devoted to US foreign policy.


  • 5. Bell P-59 Airacomet
  • 4. Vought F7U Cutlass
  • 3. Grumman F-11 Tiger
  • 2. Convair F-102 Delta Dagger
  • 1. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

5. Bell P-59Airacomet

Was the first attempt by Americans to create a jet fighter. During the competition with the participation of the heavy fighter Lockheed P-38 Lightnings, fighter-bomber Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and captured Japanese Mitsubishi Zero, it became clear that the P-59 has no advantages compared to conventional fighters with piston engines of that time. And in some cases, machines with piston engines even surpassed the reactive "colleague".

Eventually, the R-59 was turned into a test aircraft, where pilots got acquainted with the features of jet technology.

4. Vought F7U Cutlass

The United States Decade Aircraft of the Cold War era and the first "tailless" American fighter. Not only the design of Vought F7U Cutlass made this car an unforgettable, but also impressive list of the dead pilots. Due to design errors, weak engine power and reliability, and other miscalculations in the creation of the aircraft, about 25% of the cars built crashed in accidents, sending to the next world 4 test pilots and 21 pilots from the naval aviation.

Rear Admiral of the US Navy retired Edward Lewis from the Blue Angels aerobatic team in an interview with Air &Space Smithsonian Magazine said that he resigned on the spot when he was told that his group would be bought by Cutlass. Thanks to all this "merit" Vought F7U Cutlass and got the fourth place in the list of worst fighters in the history of American aviation

3. Grumman F-11 Tiger

Grumman company is famous for the creation of combat aircraft, which are the pride of the US Navy. And F-11 Tiger is famous for others. He is one of the few aircraft in history who managed to knock themselves out without help. During the test flight, Test Pilot Thomas Ettridge released about 70 shells from four 20-mm guns at an altitude of 4 km, and then turned on the afterburner and overtook them at an altitude of 2 km. Unintentionally, of course, but because of the increase in the angle of decline and speed. It's good that the shells were educational, and the pilot was able to land a car near the runway.

The life of the "Tiger" was short-lived, 13 years after the creation, he was sent into retirement.

2. Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

The high-speed interceptor Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was developed to destroy Soviet bombers at high altitude.

To reduce the resistance designers upgraded the design of the fighter, in the end, their creation was shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola. Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was the first active supersonic interceptor of the US Air Force with a delta-shaped wing.

Although the speed of the F-102 eventually surpassed the Mach 1.22, the aircraft did not meet the high expectations of the developers.

1. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The first place in the ranking of the worst fighters of the US Air Force has gotten a graphic illustration of what happens when ambitions prevail over opportunities. The winged vehicle was to be used by the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aviation, with all three options having a minimum of differences. By 2014, the program F-35 was spent 163 billion dollars and it is 7 years behind schedule. And the head of the independent analytical company Air Power Australia, Carlo Kopp, said that in comparison with the Russian S-400 Triumph SAM F-35 is not a serious competitor and will become an easy target for Russian air defense systems.