Controversy over Top 100 Airplanes: Platinum Edition List

Spoiler alert: The following story reveals one of the top ten airplanes in our Top 100 Airplanes: Platinum Edition list.

As the kids sing on Sesame Street, "One of these things is not like the others," a number of readers have been taken aback by the inclusion of an odd bird in Flying Magazine's Top 100 Airplanes: Platinum Edition. The list, launched to overwhelming response two weeks ago, is a follow-on to the hugely popular original Top 100 list that made its debut just before Oshkosh AirVenture 2012. The Platinum update sought to take reader response into account for the re-determination of the best, most influential and most notable aircraft of the last 100-plus years by including not only what airplanes were much beloved but which ones were most influential as well.

The one airplane in question, the General Atomics Predator drone, is the only one that flies unmanned, and its inclusion in its position irked more than a few readers.

"The choice of the General Atomics Predator (now known as the Reaper)," says Flying editor-in-chief Robert Goyer, "was in no way an endorsement of the move from piloted to unpiloted aircraft. It is, in fact, quite the contrary," he added. "The Predator's inclusion at this high spot in the lineup was our way of highlighting a sea change in aviation that, as much as some of us would like to deny, is a change that will have profound impact on the world of aviation for decades to come, not only in military applications but in domestic roles as well."

Interestingly enough, based on reader response, the Predator drone was not the least popular choice in the list. That distinction belonged to another aircraft. We'd love to hear your guess as to which one topped our unofficial "least favorite" list. Email us your choice for that spot at

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