Why This British Plane Was The Worst Plane Of WW2

Why This British Plane Was The Worst Plane Of WW2 | World War Wings Videos

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

The Boulton Paul Defiant was a unique aircraft that had its strengths and weaknesses. While it served its purpose in certain roles, there were several factors that contributed to its reputation as being the worst aircraft compared to others of World War II.

Here are five reasons why it’s often considered one of the less successful planes of the war:

1. They’re very vulnerable to attacks

The Defiant was designed as a turret fighter, with its main armament concentrated in a powered dorsal turret.

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

However, this design left it vulnerable to attacks from below and behind, as it lacked forward-facing guns to defend itself in a dogfight.

This limitation made it an easy target for enemy fighters, especially the more maneuverable Bf 10s  and the later models of the Fw 190.

2. It had a heavy turret

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

The turret, which was behind the pilot, added 25% more weight to the Defiant’s already stocky build.

This had a huge effect on speed, making the Defiant 100 mph slower than the Bf 109s.

3. The RAF Had The Wrong Tactics

Initially, the Royal Air Force deployed the Defiant in daylight fighter operations, expecting its turret firepower to be effective against enemy aircraft.

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

However, the Defiant found more success when redeployed as a night fighter, where its turret could be better utilized against slower-moving bomber aircraft.

4. It had poor radio reception

The Defiant had an underslung antenna that led to poor communication.

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

In WW2, 7 Defiants were shot down by Bf 109s in one day because the Defiants couldn’t communicate with the Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons nearby.

It was concluded that underslung radio aerials on the Defiants had affected radio communication between the fighter squadrons

5. They Had No Parachutes!

If these 4 other problems weren’t enough, Defiant turret gunners actually had a rough time exiting in emergencies.

YouTube / Boulton Paul Defiant

It was said that the only way to leave their positions was through the sides. To make matters worse, there’s barely any room inside for a parachute.

Because of this, Defiant crews had to settle with a “RHINO suit” which integrated the harness and parachute in a single garment, small and compact enough for their positions.

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