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Flying readers weighed in on their picks for the top aircraft of all time. Here are the airplanes that made the list.
After our publication of the Top 100 Airplanes of all time, Flying readers have spoken out about which aircraft they think should, and shouldn't, have made the list.
Click through this list to check out the most popular top 10 picks.
Guess you are never going to win and a good general selection but the B 52? B O A R I N G. How about the real mans plane in this space THE Convair B-36 "peacemaker". 6 big mean kick arse radial engines zinging through the fuselage and 4 turbo boost jets. Kept the cold war at bay and the US speaking english. B-52 quiet jet engine pusseys plane.
@ mootin - nah, if this was about general "awesomeness" the B36 would obviously rate highly. But then, so would the AC-130 gunship - the aircraft no self respecting, mushroom-cloud-laying so-and-so should leave home without! A top 100 is about overall importance, innovation and impact. The B36 was briefly the main strategic bomber but only as a stop-gap measure. The B52 was a game changer and may still be in use 80 years after it's introduction... that's seriously epic.
You know, a top 100 "awesome" aircraft could be interesting ...
1. P-51 mustang
2. Boeing 707
3. Cessna 172
6. Lear 23
7. Piper cub
8. Boeing 747
10. Beech King Air
I like stevenj54's list (must be my B-17 bias!)
I think leaving the 707 off the list was a big mistake. The 707 literally brought the world together, put the jet in jet set, and changed the course of history by changing the way the world does business and handles diplomacy. Looking back today, it may seem obvious that the 707 would be a success, but at the time it was very much in doubt. The DeHavilland Comet was giving jet travel a bad name with all it's safety problems. The Air Force didn't even want the prototype that would go on to be the KC-135 and Boeing had to fund the program entirely out of company resources with no launch customer on board. Finally, no less than Donal Douglas, a competitor that was eating Boeing's lunch with his DC-6 and DC-7 aircraft, was planning on building the DC-8 not as the jet it became, but as another propellor aircraft. No one outside of Boeing thought the 707 would be successful.
One last observation on the importance of the 707. When I was a boy, Hawaii was a brand new state with limited tourism. When the 707 went into service, the face of Hawaii changed dramatically in the first ten years. Thousands of tourism jobs came to the islands and thousands of seasonal visitors rode in on the new 707 jets. Not many airplanes can claim to have been the catalyst in doubling the size of two states, but the 707 had that impact on the States of Hawaii and Washington.
The 707 was the plane no one wanted, and almost overnight became the plane everyone had to have. The sheer audacity of Boeing building the plane that changed the industry is worthy of a place on this list. I would put the DC-3 at #1 and the 707 at #2. The Cub and the 172 are important to pilots, the two most significant transports of all time are important to everyone else.
mmhullinger yes. The 707 as per Tex Johnson and IATA would "shrink the world by a factor of two" and was the first major continuing success of a commercial jet. stevenj54 sorry too much US aircraft and nothing worldwide. There are many other countries that have made aircraft the we fly in every day.
I would put it down to if it has been in service over 40 years put it in a list.
Missing from the list: C-130; F-4; P-38; P-80; T-33; F-86; U-2; SR-71; Stearman; 727; 737; 777; B-52; B-47;
Wait a minute: B-29
The aircraft selected are mostly of US origin. The Comet did have accidents, but without them we wouldn't have gained the knowledge that made pressurised flying safe.
The DH Mosquito was the quickest bomber with a huge bomb load that was used for a variety of roles, especially the Pathfinders
If Cessna 172s are included then so should the Peper Pa28 in its variants. Perhaps Austers and Chipmunks trained as many as C172s.
L1049s created the overseas travel scenario and then as others have said B707 opened the market for the B747 .
The DC3 and B737 were/are the workhorses for just about every airline and country.
As far as ground breakers the Concorde has to be included-totally safe until a piece of ground debris ended its career.
Canberra bomber served as long as the B52 and the Hawker Harrier was in a class of it's own.
Regards Ken B
@ mootin - You must have never heard a B-52 take off. Far from quiet. :-)
This list is so American-centric, as if nobody but America and Britain ever produced a tremendous airplane. Here are my top 15, because ten is simply not enough:
1. Wright Flyer-first powered plane in the air gets first on my list
2. Douglas DC-3-First airliner to consistently show profits for its carrier
3. Cessna 172-Most highly produced light plane of all time
4. Boeing B-17-The backbone of Bomber Command, paid the price to win WW-2
5. Hawker Hurricane-won the battle of Britain; way more kills than the Spitfire
4. Boeing 737-The world's most highly manufactured airliner
5. North American P-51D Mustang-Covered the bombers; ended the war in Europe
6. DeHavilland Beaver-Opened up the Canadian north for mineral exploration
7. Beechcraft F-33C-Bonanza-fast cruiser with aerobatic capability
9. Embraer ERJ 145-Long range + low costs =$$$ for airlines on regional routes
10. Pilatus PC-9-Best turbine trainer, aka Texan 11, aka CT-155 Harvard II
11. North American T-6 Texan, aka Harvard, aka SNJ. Best WW-2 piston trainer
12. Extra 330-best of a fine lot of unlimited aerobatic planes
13. EuroFighter Typhoon-Most maneuverable, multi-role fighter from Europe
14. Canadair Super Saber-Blows the doors off a stock F-86
15. Lancair IVP-292 kts at FL 240...See ya!
There are some excellent (additional) choices here, ALL of which rate consideration. I may have missed it, but the DHC-2 Beaver should be included.
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