I read in Wikipedia that the operational life of Consolidated B-32 was limited to just a handful of months (January to August 1945).

Please note that B-32 wasn’t an experimental model, but an aircraft which was industrially produced in relatively large scale, was issued to some operative wings and was engaged in some actual combat events, showing even several appreciated features.

Was it the most short-lived aircraft type, all that considered?

I mean, is there another military aircraft type, assigned for combat mission to operative units, which was discontinued earlier than the B-32 (only seven months after the beginning of service)?


3 Answers 3


Japanese Ki-100 made its combat debut on the night of 9 March 1945. The last loss of a Ki-100 occurred on 14 August 1945, a day before the surrender of Japan. Hence the interceptor has been in the service for 158 days, or 5 months 5 days, with 396 units produced.

Looks like nothing bad can be said about this interceptor. It has been recently developed, without major flaws, and, as such, was obviously superior to the older models. It was between the first interceptors to feature the factory-installed armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, and some think it was the best interceptor used by the Army during entire war. But, with the end of the war, it was no longer required.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting case, a true candidate for the “short-timer” award in its category, I suppose. $\endgroup$
    – Filippof
    Nov 28, 2018 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ Note that armor and self-sealing fuel tanks were only new in context of Japan—they were already common in western aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Nov 30, 2018 at 6:46

Another contender - the Ambrosini SAI.207 had under two months of active service.

SAI.207 (model) SAI.207 model - source

Exact dates are hard to come by, but they were first deployed operationally in July 1943. Even before the armistice of 3 September all the aircraft had been returned to SAI-Ambrosini for refurbishment, so it seems certain that fewer than 60 active days in service could be claimed for the type.


The Heinkel He-162 first saw combat in mid-April 1945 and the war ended on May 8 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinkel_He_162

  • $\begingroup$ That is true, but they were deployed operationally in February 1945, so I think their "service life" could be considered a bit longer. $\endgroup$
    – Party Ark
    Dec 1, 2018 at 16:50

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