World’s worst air force (2019)

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The Federal Republic of Hushkonia is yet again riddled with political problems. Following an attempted coup by members of the air force, all military aircraft were destroyed in 2018. Now under UN Resolution 8576, no new military aircraft can be procured, “…unless demonstrably offering no threat to the neighbouring countries or region.” The government noticed a loophole in this; if they picked the worst aircraft possible they could still rebuild their air force. The UN resolution also banned the nation from converting civilian or historical types, meaning they had to procure types that were still in active military service in 2019. With this in mind the Huskonian Air Force went shopping for the world’s worst operational aircraft. 

 

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Fighters 

Shenyang F-6 ‘Kim Jong’s Longjohns’

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Even Bangladesh, which is on a pretty tight budget, got rid of their’s in 2014. Yet the F-6 — a Chinese MiG-19, a type that first flew in 1952 —  is still operated by the North Korean Air Force. And an aircraft that has been obsolete for at least forty years is an excellent choice for the air force of Hushkonia. No missiles, no search radar, a slow top speed and terrible pilot situational awareness all count against a fighter designed to fight F-86s and B-47s in a world long gone.

 IAIO Qaher-313 ‘Qaher as folk’

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Iran’s 2013 announcement of a new stealth fighter was greeted with bewilderment, derision and incredulous curiosity by Western observers. Was it a toy? A mock-up? Could it even fly? Whatever the truth, Huskitonia will be the first export customer for the deeply weird 313.

Attack helicopter

IAR-317 Airfox ‘Samantha Mambo Foxtons’ 

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When a shopping trolley loves an Alouette you get an Airfox. When Hushkonia found a Romanian drugs cartel using this remarkable machine they immediately took out their cheque books, arguing that legally the cartel had an air force.

Bomber

Xian Y-7 ‘Cokehead’

The Sudanese Air Force use the Antonov An-24 tactical transport as a makeshift bomber rolling unguided bombs out of the rear cargo doors. Inaccurate, vulnerable and slow, the An-24 is a terrible bomber – we’ll take ten please, maybe Chinese Y-7s.antonov-an-24263032-xian-y-7-06.jpg

Jet trainer/maritime patrol/armed reconnaissance 

PZL TS-11 Iskra ‘The Iskranoplan’

1918_a_PZL_TS-11-200SB_Bis-DF(R)_Iskra_I_of_OSzl_of_the_Polish_Air_Force.jpgIskra Arabella Lawrence is a British plus-size model who refused to serve as our maritime patrol aircraft. Fortunately, the next best thing, the Polish Iskra, was willing to serve. The Iskra remains in service with the Polish Air Force — despite it being 2019 and the Iskra dating back to 1960.

10 worst Soviet aircraft here

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Iskra Arabella Lawrence, not to be confused with the TS-11.

Basic Trainer 

AMD Alarus CH2000 Let’s meet up in the CH2000′

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Look at it.

Transport

Alenia C-27A ‘Sparta tomata’

While the C-27J Spartan is brilliant, the US ‘Alpha’ version has proved a huge flop. $486 million was spent on 20 secondhand C-27As (from the Italian air force) for the Afghan Air Force. They proved practically unserviceable, probably as spare parts were no longer made.  This half-a-billion purchase resulted in 16 C-27As being sold as scrap to an Afghan construction company for $32,000. The four remaining aircraft were stored at Ramstein Air Base, Germany before being sold to Huskonia. 

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10 worst German aircraft here

Tanker

Boeing KC-46 Pegasus ‘The 7 ‘666’ 7′

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In 2001, the USAF began a programme to replace its oldest KC-135E Stratotanker tankers, and selected Boeing’s KC-767. By 2003 the Pentagon smelt something fishy with the deal and paused the project while corruption investigations took place. It turned out that the deal was indeed crooked. In October 2004, one Darleen Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison for corruption, fined $5,000 (she was allegedly on a $250K salary with Boeing and had received a $50,000 sign-up bonus). Druyun was also investigated for a 1993 McDonnell Douglas scandal and would later be found guilty of dodgy dealings in connection with the Boeing Small Diameter Bomb contract. The Air Force’s KC-767A contract was officially cancelled in January 2006. A new search for the now desperately aged tankers began. When USAF picked the Airbus/Northrop Grumman KC-45 in 2008 they chose a winner, a world-beating versatile tanker. However, Boeing didn’t like Europeans muscling in on their turf and kicked up a fuss — and eventually their entry, the considerably more speculative KC-46 (based on the Boeing 767 again) won. 11 years later the Airbus design is serving seven nations with aplomb and the KC-46 is still in testing as USAF soldiers on with tankers as old the hills. The aircraft are too late, too expensive —with $3.2 billion cost overruns, additionally “The Air Force is withholding as much as $28 million from the final payment on each aircraft as a financial hook to ensure Boeing makes the necessary improvements.”  Despite the USAF’s huge thirst for new tankers, only 179 KC-46s will be procured while a new generation tanker is being studied. The Pegasus is thus the perfect tanker for the HuAF. An additional plus is that none of the HuAF have a refuelling capability anyway.

(In late February 2019, the KC-46 fleet was grounded following the discovery of tools and debris within the aircraft, left from an allegedly ‘sloppy’ manufacturing process.)

10 worst US aircraft here

VVIP transport ‘Careless love’

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Loud, fuel thirsty and crashy, the Tu-154 is perfect for our Presidential transport.

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Thanks to Thomas Lovegrove for his generous help in creating this.

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One comment

  1. db

    By your selection criteria the IAR-317Airfox shouldn’t be on this list. It has never been operational. Nor has it been requested by the Romanian Army (or anybody else) at any point. Only one prototype has been built. It is the IAR equivalent of the Atlas XH1 Alpha.

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