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Best Aircraft model of All Time

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    1
    Douglas AC-47 Spooky

    Douglas AC-47 Spooky

    • Aircraft type: Fixed-wing gunship
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas AC-47 Spooky (also nicknamed "Puff, the Magic Dragon") was the first in a series of gunships developed by the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. It was felt that more firepower than could be provided by light and medium ground-attack aircraft was needed in some situations when ground forces called for close air support. The AC-47 was a United States Air Force C-47, (the military version of the DC-3) that had been modified by mounting three 7.62mm General Electric miniguns to fire through two rear window openings and the side cargo door, all on the left (pilot's) side of the aircraft. Other armament configurations could also be found on similar C-47 based aircraft around the world. The guns were actuated by a control on the pilot's yoke, where he could control the guns either individually or together, though gunners were also among the crew to assist with gun failures and similar issues. Its primary function was close air support for ground troops. It could orbit the target for hours providing suppressing fire. Coverage given by a Spooky was over an elliptical area approximately 52 yd (47.5 m) in diameter, placing a round every 2.4 yd (2.2 m) during a
    6.80
    10 votes
    2
    Airbus A300

    Airbus A300

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Airbus A310
    • Manufacturer: Airbus
    The Airbus A300 is a short- to medium-range widebody jet airliner. Launched in 1972 as the world's first twin-engined widebody, it was the first product of Airbus Industrie, a consortium of European aerospace companies, fully owned today by EADS. The A300 can typically seat 266 passengers in a two-class layout, with a maximum range of 4,070 nautical miles (7,540 km) when fully loaded, depending on model. Launch customer Air France introduced the type into service on 30 May 1974. Production of the A300 ceased in July 2007, along with its smaller A310 derivative. Freighter sales for which the A300 competed are to be fulfilled by a new A330-200F derivative. The mission requirements were given in 1966 by Frank Kolk, an American Airlines executive, for a Boeing 727 replacement on busy short- to medium-range routes such as United States transcontinental flights. His brief included a passenger capacity of 250 to 300 seated in a twin-aisle configuration and fitted with two engines, with the capability of carrying full passengers without penalty from high-altitude airports like Denver. American manufacturers responded with widebody trijets, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Lockheed
    6.22
    9 votes
    3
    Dornier Do 17

    Dornier Do 17

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Variants: Dornier Do 215
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Flugzeugwerke
    The Dornier Do 17, sometimes referred to as the Fliegender Bleistift (German: "flying pencil"), was a World War II German light bomber produced by Claudius Dornier's company, Dornier Flugzeugwerke. It was designed as a Schnellbomber ("fast bomber"), a light bomber which, in theory, would be so fast that it could outrun defending fighter aircraft. The Dornier was designed with two engines mounted on a "shoulder wing" structure and possessed a twin tail fin configuration. The type was popular among its crews due to its manoeuvrable handling at low altitude, which made the Dornier capable of surprise bombing attacks. Its sleek and thin airframe made it harder to hit than other German bombers, as it presented less of a target. Designed in the early 1930s, it was one of the three main Luftwaffe bomber types used in the first three years of the war. The Do 17 made its combat debut in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, operating in the Condor Legion in various roles. Along with the Heinkel He 111 it was the main bomber type of the German air arm in 1939–1940. The Dornier was used throughout the war, and saw action in significant numbers in every major campaign theatre as a front line
    8.67
    6 votes
    4
    B-29 Superfortress

    B-29 Superfortress

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Variants: Boeing KB-29
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The B-29 Superfortress is a four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing that was flown primarily by the United States toward the end of World War II and during the Korean War. It was one of the largest aircraft to see service in World War II and a very advanced bomber for its time, with features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. The name "Superfortress" was derived from that of its well-known predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress. Though the B-29 was designed as a high-altitude daytime bomber, it was used extensively in low-altitude night-time incendiary bombing missions. It was the primary aircraft used in the American firebombing campaign against the Empire of Japan in the final months of World War II and was used to carry out the atomic bombings that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike many other World War II-era bombers, the B-29 remained in service long after the war ended, with a few even being employed as flying television transmitters for the Stratovision company. The B-29 served in various roles throughout the 1950s. The Royal Air Force flew the B-29 and used the name Washington
    7.33
    6 votes
    5
    Rutan Long-EZ

    Rutan Long-EZ

    • Variants: Mark-1 X- Racer
    The Rutan Model 61 Long-EZ is a homebuilt aircraft with a canard layout designed by Burt Rutan's Rutan Aircraft Factory. It is derived from the VariEze, which was first offered to homebuilders in 1976. The prototype, N79RA of the Long-EZ first flew on June 12, 1979. Changes from the VariEze include a larger main wing with modified Eppler 1230 airfoil and less sweep—the canard uses the same GU25-5(11)8 airfoil as the VariEze—larger strakes containing more fuel and baggage storage, slightly wider cabin, and the ability to use a Lycoming 108 hp engine with no nose ballast. Plans were offered from 1980 to 1985. As of late 2005, approximately 700 Long EZ's are FAA registered in the USA. The aircraft is designed for fuel-efficient long-range flight, with a range of just over 2,000 miles (3,200 km). It can fly for over ten hours and up to 1,600 miles (2,600 km) on 52 gallons (200 liters) of fuel. Equipped with a rear-seat fuel tank, a Long-EZ has flown for 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers). The pilot sits in a semi-reclined seat and controls the Long-EZ by means of a side-stick controller situated on the right-hand console. In addition to having an airbrake on the underside, the twin tail's
    7.33
    6 votes
    6
    Airbus A310

    Airbus A310

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: CC-150 Polaris
    • Manufacturer: Airbus
    The Airbus A310 is a medium- to long-range twin-engined widebody jet airliner. Launched in July 1978, it was the second aircraft to enter production by Airbus Industrie, the consortium of European aerospace companies which is now owned by EADS. The A310 is a shortened derivative of the A300, the first twin-engined widebody airliner. During the development of the original Airbus A300, a range of aircraft size and capacity were studied; the resulting Airbus A300B was one of the smaller options. When the A300B1 prototypes emerged, a number of airlines asked for greater capacity, which resulted in the initial production A300B2 version. As the A300 entered service, it became increasingly apparent that there was also a sizable market for a smaller aircraft; some operators did not have enough traffic to justify the relatively large A300, others wanted more frequency or lower aircraft-mile costs at the expense of higher seat-mile cost, (specifically Swissair and Lufthansa). Airbus reduced the Research & Development costs of a smaller A300 to a minimum, studying several early projects called A300B10MC (Minimum Change). Capacity was reduced to 220 passengers, which was then a desired
    8.40
    5 votes
    7
    F-117 Nighthawk

    F-117 Nighthawk

    • Aircraft type: Stealth aircraft bomber
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin
    The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). Its first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983. The F-117 was "acknowledged" and revealed to the world in November 1988. A product of Lockheed Skunk Works and a development of the Have Blue technology demonstrator, it became the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology. The F-117A was widely publicized during the Persian Gulf War of 1991. It was commonly called the "Stealth Fighter" although it was a ground-attack aircraft. The Air Force retired the F-117 on 22 April 2008, primarily because of the fielding of the F-22 Raptor and the impending introduction of the F-35 Lightning II. Sixty-four F-117s were built, 59 of which were production versions with five demonstrators/prototypes. In 1964, Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet mathematician, published a seminal paper titled Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in the journal of the Moscow Institute for Radio Engineering, in which he showed that the strength of a radar return is related to the
    7.17
    6 votes
    8
    RWD-6

    RWD-6

    • Aircraft type: Sports plane
    • Manufacturer: Warsaw University of Technology
    The RWD-6 was a Polish sports plane of 1932, constructed by the RWD team. It was a winner of the Challenge 1932 international tourist aircraft contest. The aircraft was designed specially for the purpose of competing in the international tourist aircraft contest Challenge, which RWD attended in 1930, without major success. It was constructed by the RWD team of Stanislaw Rogalski, Stanislaw Wigura and Jerzy Drzewiecki in the workshops of Students' Mechanical Club of Warsaw University of Technology (their designs were named RWD after their initial letters). The new plane differed from previous RWD designs, having a cab with two seats next to each other, folding wings and good wing mechanization (slats and flaps). Only three aircraft were built, the first one was flown on June 3, 1932 by its designer Jerzy Drzewiecki. The aircraft were given civilian registrations SP-AHL, SP-AHM and SP-AHN. During trials, SP-AHM crashed and Drzewiecki was hurt. After some modification of the tail, the two remaining RWD-6s were sent to the Challenge contest. Challenge 1932, held between August 11-August 28, 1932, was eventually won by Franciszek Żwirko (pilot) and Stanisław Wigura (mechanic) in their
    8.20
    5 votes
    9
    XF-88 Voodoo

    XF-88 Voodoo

    • Aircraft type: Escort fighter
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Aircraft
    The McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo was a long-range, twin-engine jet fighter aircraft with swept wings designed for the United States Air Force. Although it never entered service, its design was adapted for the subsequent supersonic F-101 Voodoo. The XF-88 originated from a 1946 United States Army Air Forces requirement for a long-range "penetration fighter" to escort bombers to their targets. It was to be essentially a jet-powered replacement for the wartime North American P-51 Mustang that had escorted Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers over Germany. It was to have a combat radius of 900 mi (1,450 km) and high performance. McDonnell began work on the aircraft, dubbed Model 36, on 1 April 1946. On 20 June the company was given a contract for two prototypes designated XP-88. Dave Lewis was Chief of Aerodynamics on this project. The initial design was intended to have straight wings and a V-shaped tail but wind tunnel tests indicated aerodynamic problems that led to a conventional tailplane being substituted and the wings being swept. The USAAF confirmed the order for the two prototypes on 14 February 1947, while a change in designation schemes lead to the unflown prototypes being
    7.00
    6 votes
    10
    Saunders-Roe SR.177

    Saunders-Roe SR.177

    • Aircraft type: Mixed power interceptor
    • Manufacturer: Saunders-Roe
    The Saunders-Roe SR.177 was a 1950s project to develop a combined jet- and rocket-powered interceptor aircraft for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The German Navy also expressed interest in the project, which was cancelled due to changes in Britain's military policies in 1957. A much larger development was studied under the SR.187 project for Operational Requirement F.155, but this work was also cancelled in 1957, after approximately 90% of the first prototype had been completed. In 1952, Saunders-Roe had won a contract to develop a similar aircraft, the Saunders-Roe SR.53. However, as development progressed, the shortcomings of the design became increasingly evident. Most particularly, as with the German rocket-powered interceptors of the Second World War, the range and endurance of such an aircraft were limited by the high rate of fuel consumption by the rocket engine. However, as turbojets developed and became increasingly powerful and efficient, soon new powerplants were available that would make the aircraft more practical. The SR.177 began as an advanced design concept for the SR.53, but when a development contract was issued by the Ministry of Defence (specification
    6.83
    6 votes
    11
    Ikarus S-49C

    Ikarus S-49C

    • Aircraft type: Fighter-bomber
    • Manufacturer: Ikarus Aircraft factory
    The Ikarus S-49 was one of the first fighter aircraft produced in Yugoslavia after World War II by the Ikarus Aircraft factory. It was a conventional, low-wing cantilever monoplane with retractable tailwheel undercarriage and bore a strong resemblance to the Yakovlev Yak-9, although it was in fact a fresh design. After the Resolution of Informbiro in 1948 and breakup with Soviet Union, Yugoslavia was forced to rely on its domestic military industry. The same constructors that built the Rogozarski IK-3 before the war, engineers Kosta Sivcev, Slobodan Zrnic and Svetozar Popovic, used existing technical documentation of IK-3 to construct a new fighter aircraft, the Ikarus S-49. The first prototype of the S-49A flew in the June 1949. The first operational aircraft were delivered to combat units at the beginning of 1950. The S-49A was of mixed construction, with Soviet built VK-105 engines which were no longer available after 1948. Therefore, it was decided to produce a new version of aircraft powered by the similar French Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 engine. Because of the bigger and heavier engine, the new aircraft had to be of all metal construction with a much longer nose. While the
    7.80
    5 votes
    12
    MH-53 Pave Low

    MH-53 Pave Low

    • Aircraft type: Heavy-lift helicopter
    • Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft
    The Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low series is a long-range combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter for the United States Air Force. The series was upgraded from the HH-53B/C, variants of the Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion. The HH-53 "Super Jolly Green Giant" was initially developed to replace the HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant". The helicopters later transitioned to Special Operations missions. The U.S. Air Force's MH-53J/M fleet was retired in September 2008 and was replaced by the CV-22B Osprey. The US Air Force ordered HH-53B and HH-53C variants for Search and Rescue units, and developed the MH-53J Pave Low version for Special Operations missions. The Pave Low's mission was low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces. Pave Lows often work in conjunction with MC-130H Combat Talon for navigation, communications and combat support, and with MC-130P Combat Shadow for in-flight refueling. The large green airframe of the HH-53B earned it the nickname "Super Jolly Green Giant". This name is a reference to the smaller HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant", a stretched variant of the H-3
    7.80
    5 votes
    13
    ARH-70

    ARH-70

    • Aircraft type: Armed Reconnaissance helicopter
    • Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron
    The Bell ARH-70 Arapaho is a four-bladed, single-engine, light military helicopter designed for the United States Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program. With a crew of two and optimized for urban combat, the ARH-70 was slated to replace the Army's aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. Excessive delays and growth in program costs forced its cancellation on 16 October 2008, when the Department of Defense failed to certify the program to Congress. The ARH-70 was touted as having been built with off-the-shelf technology; the airframe was based on Bell's commercially successful Bell 407. On 23 February 2004, the U.S. Army announced their decision to cancel the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program. The program had cost US$6.9 billion and 20 years of development without fielding a production aircraft. The cancellation was a result of a six-month Army study directed by Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker. The study recommended that by canceling the program before the Comanche reached production, the Army could save US$14 billion which could then be used to update and replace the aging airframes of the current fleet. The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior was targeted by the study for
    7.60
    5 votes
    14
    BAC Strikemaster

    BAC Strikemaster

    • Aircraft type: Attack aircraft
    • Manufacturer: British Aircraft Corporation
    The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine. The BAC 167 Strikemaster is essentially an armed version of the Jet Provost T Mk 5; the Strikemaster was modified with an up-rated engine, wing hardpoints, a strengthened airframe, new communication and navigation gear, up-rated ejection seats, a revised fuel system, and shortened landing gear. First flown in 1967, the aircraft was marketed as a light attack or counter-insurgency aircraft, but most large scale purchasers were air forces wanting an advanced trainer although Ecuador, Oman and Yemen have used their aircraft in combat. A total of 146 were built. Capable of operating from rough air strips, with dual ejection seats suitable even for low-altitude escape, it was widely used by third-world nations. Use of the type was restricted by most users after the Royal New Zealand Air Force found fatigue cracking in the wings of its aircraft. Aircraft retired by Botswana, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have found their way
    7.60
    5 votes
    15
    Douglas DC-8

    Douglas DC-8

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: DC-8 Super 60 Series
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Launched later than the competing Boeing 707, the DC-8 nevertheless established Douglas in a strong position in the airliner market, and remained in production until 1972 when it began to be superseded by much larger designs, including the DC-10 and Boeing 747. The DC-8 design allowed it to hold slightly more cargo than the 707. Some re-engined DC-8s remain in service as freighters. In the post-World War II era, Douglas held a commanding position in the commercial aircraft market. Although Boeing had pointed the way to the modern all-metal airliner in 1933 with the 247, it was Douglas that, more than any other company, had made commercial air travel a reality. Douglas produced a succession of piston-engined aircraft (DC-2, DC-3, DC-4, DC-5, DC-6, and DC-7) through the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. When de Havilland introduced the first jet-powered airliner, the Comet, in 1949, Douglas took the view that there was no reason to rush into anything new. Their U.S. competitors at Lockheed and Convair felt the same way: that there would be a gradual
    8.75
    4 votes
    16
    Messerschmitt Bf 110

    Messerschmitt Bf 110

    • Aircraft type: Night Fighter
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Bf 110, often (erroneously) called Me 110, was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer—German for "Destroyer") in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Hermann Göring was a proponent of the Bf 110, and nicknamed it his Eisenseiten ("Ironsides"). Development work on an improved type to replace the Bf 110, the Messerschmitt Me 210 began before the war started, but its teething troubles resulted in the Bf 110 soldiering on until the end of the war in various roles, alongside its replacements, the Me 210 and the Me 410. The Bf 110 served with success in the early campaigns, the Polish, Norwegian and Battle of France. The Bf 110's lack of agility in the air was its primary weakness. This flaw was exposed during the Battle of Britain, when some Bf 110-equipped units were withdrawn from the battle after very heavy losses and redeployed as night fighters, a role to which the aircraft was well suited. The Bf 110 enjoyed a successful period following the Battle of Britain as an air superiority fighter and strike aircraft in other theatres. During the Balkans Campaign, North African Campaign and on the Eastern Front, it rendered valuable ground support to the
    8.75
    4 votes
    17
    Antonov An-2

    Antonov An-2

    • Aircraft type: Utility aircraft aircraft
    • Variants: Antonov An-3
    The Antonov An-2 (Russian nickname: кукуру́зник (kukuruznik, "maize farmworker", inherited from the earlier Polikarpov Po-2); also nicknamed "Annushka" or "Annie") is a single-engine biplane utility/agricultural aircraft designed in the USSR in 1946. (USAF/DoD reporting name Type 22, NATO reporting name Colt.) The An-2 is used as a light utility transport, parachute drop aircraft, agricultural work and many other tasks suited to this large slow-flying biplane. Its slow flight and good field performance make it suited for short, unimproved fields, and some specialized variants have also been built for cold weather and other extreme environments. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the 45-year production run for the An-2 was for a time the longest ever, for any aircraft, but it was recently exceeded by the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The Antonov An-2 was designed to meet a 1947 Soviet Ministry of Forestry requirement for a replacement for the Polikarpov Po-2, which was used in large numbers in both agricultural and utility roles. Antonov designed a large single bay biplane of all-metal construction, with an enclosed cockpit and a cabin with room for seats accommodating twelve
    7.40
    5 votes
    18
    Aero A.14

    Aero A.14

    • Aircraft type: Mailplane
    • Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
    The Aero A.14 was a Czechoslovakian biplane military reconnaissance aircraft built in the 1920s. It was essentially a slightly modified version of the Hansa-Brandenburg B.I aircraft that Aero had been built during World War I as the Ae.10, and for this reason, the aircraft is sometimes referred to as the A.14 Brandenburg. When equipped with a slightly different engine (the Hiero L in place of the standard Hiero N), the aircraft was designated A.15 instead. The two versions were otherwise almost identical. Even though it was obsolete by the time it entered production in 1922, the A.14 is nevertheless noteworthy for its role in the establishment of Czech airline CSA. A.14s provided by the Czech Air Force served to survey routes that CSA airliners would soon fly, and at least 17 were put into service as mail planes between Prague and Bratislava. They could also carry a single passenger when required. General characteristics Performance
    8.50
    4 votes
    19
    PWS-33 Wyżeł

    PWS-33 Wyżeł

    • Manufacturer: Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów
    The PWS-33 Wyżeł was a Polish twin-engined military trainer aircraft from a period before World War II constructed by Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów or PWS ("Podlasie Aircraft Factory"). Although destined for production it got no further than the prototypes before Poland was invaded. With an expected advent of a twin-engine heavy fighter, the PZL.38 Wilk, which was supposed to be a basic fighter and bomber aircraft in the Polish Air Force, there appeared the need for a twin-engine trainer aircraft for pilots. In 1936, the PWS works were ordered to build a trainer of cheap wooden construction, similar in layout to the PZL.38. The main designer was Wacław Czerwiński, known for designing several successful sailplanes. The prototype of the PWS-33 first flew in August-September 1938. The aircraft appeared successful with good flight characteristics and the maximum speed turned out to be even higher than had been estimated. It was given a name Wyżeł (Polish: "pointer"). The prototype was soon shown at the Paris Air Show, in November-December 1938 (under the name PZL Wyżeł) and met with an interest in the world press. In January 1939 the second prototype PWS-33/II flew. It was also capable
    8.50
    4 votes
    20
    Consolidated P-30

    Consolidated P-30

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Consolidated Aircraft
    The Consolidated P-30 (PB-2) was a 1930s United States two-seat fighter aircraft. An attack version called the A-11 was also built, along with two Y1P-25 prototypes and YP-27, Y1P-28, and XP-33 proposals. The P-30 is significant for being the first fighter in United States Army Air Corps service to have retractable landing gear, an enclosed and heated cockpit for the pilot, and an exhaust-driven turbosupercharger for altitude operation. In 1931, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, parent company of the Lockheed Aircraft Company built a two-seat single-engined fighter aircraft based on the Lockheed Altair high-speed transport as a private venture. The prototype, the Detroit-Lockheed XP-900, flew in September 1931 and was purchased by the United States Army Air Corps as the Lockheed YP-24. Its performance was impressive, being faster than any fighter then in service with the Air Corps, and an order for five Y1P-24 fighters and four Y1A-9 attack aircraft was placed for the new aircraft, despite the loss of the prototype on 19 October 1931. The Detroit Aircraft Corporation went into bankruptcy eight days later, however, leading to the cancellation of the contract. When the Detroit
    7.20
    5 votes
    21
    Dornier Do 217

    Dornier Do 217

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Variants: Dornier Do 317
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Flugzeugwerke
    The Dornier Do 217 was a bomber used by German Luftwaffe during World War II as a more powerful version of the Dornier Do 17, known as the Fliegender Bleistift (German: "flying pencil"). Designed in 1937 and 1938 as a heavy bomber, its design was refined during 1939 and production began in late 1940. It entered service in early 1941 and by the beginning of 1942 was available in significant numbers. The Dornier Do 217 had a much larger bomb load capacity and had much greater range than the Do 17. In later variants, dive bombing and maritime strike capabilities using glide bombs were explored in depth, with considerable success in the latter role. Early Do 217 variants were more powerful than the Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88, having a greater speed, range and bomb load. Owing to this it was designated a heavy bomber rather than a medium bomber. The Do 217 served on all fronts in all roles. On the Eastern Front and Western Front it operated as a strategic bomber, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It also performed tactical functions, either direct ground assault or anti-shipping strikes during the Battle of the Atlantic and Battle of Normandy. The Do 217 was also
    8.25
    4 votes
    22
    HAL HJT-36

    HAL HJT-36

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
    The HAL HJT-36 Sitara (Hindi: सितारा, Sitārā: "star") is a subsonic intermediate jet trainer aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. The HJT-36 will replace the HAL HJT-16 Kiran as the Stage-2 trainer for the two forces. The Sitara is a conventional jet trainer with low swept wings, tandem cockpit and small air intakes on either side of its fuselage. It entered limited series production by 2010, with initial operational capability expected by mid-2011. HAL started design work on an intermediate jet trainer in 1997. The concept was developed as a successor to HAL's earlier trainer, the HJT-16 Kiran, introduced in 1968. In 1999, following reviews by the Indian Air Force, the Government of India awarded HAL a contract for development, testing and certification of two prototype IJT aircraft. The first and second prototypes of the HJT-36, labelled PT-1 and PT-2, flew on 7 March 2003 and in March 2004, respectively. The program was then delayed with the Air Force assessing the SNECMA Turbomeca Larzac engine, with 14.1 kN of thrust, as under-powered. In response, in August 2005, HAL reached a deal to replace the SNECMA engine
    8.25
    4 votes
    23
    Saab 91 Safir

    Saab 91 Safir

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Saab AB
    The Saab 91 Safir (English:"Sapphire") is a three (91A, B, B-2) or four (91C, D) seater, single engine trainer aircraft. The Safir was built by Saab AB in Linköping, Sweden, (203 aircraft) and by De Schelde in Dordrecht, Netherlands (120 aircraft). The Safir's first flight on 20 November 1945. The all-metal Safir was designed by Anders J. Andersson, who had previously worked for Bücker, where he designed the all-wood Bücker Bü 181 "Bestmann". The Safir thus shared many conceptual features of its design with the Bestmann. The Saab 91A is powered by a 125 hp four cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Major 2c piston engine, or a 145 hp Gipsy Major 10 piston engine. The 91B, B-2 and C have a six-cylinder Lycoming O-435A engine with 190 hp. The 91D has a four-cylinder Lycoming O-360-A1A engine with 180 hp. The "Safir" was later used as a platform to test at low speeds the new swept wing for the Saab 29 Tunnan jet fighter. 323 units were built in 5 versions (A, B, B-2, C and D). The Safir was used by the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Austrian, Tunisian and Ethiopean air forces as a trainer aircraft, and a single aircraft was used by the Japan Defense Agency as an STOL test platform. Major civilian
    8.25
    4 votes
    24
    Junkers Ju 188

    Junkers Ju 188

    • Variants: Junkers Ju 388
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 188 was a German Luftwaffe high-performance medium bomber built during World War II, the planned follow-on to the famed Ju 88 with better performance and payload. It was produced only in limited numbers, due both to the presence of improved versions of the Ju 88, as well as the deteriorating war condition and the resulting focus on fighter production. In 1936, Junkers submitted proposals for the Ju 85 and Ju 88 into competition for the new standardized Luftwaffe high-speed tactical bomber, known as the Schnellbomber (fast bomber). The two designs were almost identical, differing only in that the Ju 85 used a twin-rudder and the Ju 88 a single fin. At the same time, they offered modified versions of each as the Ju 85B and Ju 88B, again similar to the original designs, but using an "egg shaped" stepless cockpit forward fuselage design that was essentially one large window, another example of the "bullet-nose" design philosophy that almost all new German bomber designs exhibited from the time of the Heinkel He 111P onwards. The new nose design for the Ju 88B also tightly integrated the undernose Bola ventral gondola defensive gun position into the newer nose design,
    8.00
    4 votes
    25
    North American YF-93

    North American YF-93

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: North American Aviation
    The North American YF-93 was an American fighter development of the F-86 Sabre that emerged as a radically different variant that received its own designation. Two were built and flown before the project was eventually canceled. In 1947, North American Aviation began a design study, NA-157, to create a true "penetration fighter" to meet the requirements of a long-range version of its F-86A Sabre. In order to accommodate more fuel, a much larger F-86A was envisioned, eventually able to carry 1,961 US gallons (7,420 l), both internally and with two 200-US-gallon (760 l) underwing drop tanks. The new variant possessed a theoretical unrefuelled range of over 2,000 nmi (2,300 mi; 3,700 km), twice that of the standard production F-86A. The resultant fighter originally designated the F-86C was intended to compete with the XF-88 Voodoo and Lockheed XF-90 to fulfill the USAF's Penetration Fighter requirement for a bomber escort. The F-86C was much larger and heavier, weighing in at 10,640 lb (4,830 kg) more than its antecedent. The increased weight and girth necessitated a dual-wheel main landing gear, increased wing area and a more powerful engine, the Pratt & Whitney J48 rated at
    8.00
    4 votes
    26
    BAE Sea Harrier

    BAE Sea Harrier

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: RAF Harrier II
    The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar". Unusual in an era in which most naval and land-based air superiority fighters were large and supersonic, the principal role of the subsonic Sea Harrier was air defence from Royal Navy aircraft carriers. The Sea Harrier served in the Falklands War, both of the Gulf Wars, and the Balkans conflicts; on all occasions it mainly operated from aircraft carriers positioned within the conflict zone. Its usage in the Falklands War was its most high profile and important success, where it was the only fixed-wing fighter available to protect the British Task Force. The Sea Harriers shot down 20 enemy aircraft during the conflict with one loss to enemy ground fire. They were also used to launch ground attacks in the same manner as the Harriers operated by the Royal Air Force. The Sea Harrier was marketed for sales abroad, but by 1983 India was the only operator other than Britain after sales to Argentina and Australia were
    9.00
    3 votes
    27
    Curtiss XP-62

    Curtiss XP-62

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Curtiss-Wright
    The Curtiss XP-62 was a prototype heavily armed, high-performance, single engine fighter aircraft built for the United States Army Air Corps by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. The terms of the contract, in accordance with a proposal of 29 April 1941, called for the first flight within fifteen months of the award. The maximum level flight speed at 27,000 ft (8,230 m) had to be at least 468 mph (753 km/h). The aircraft was to feature an air-conditioned pressurized cockpit. Proposed armament was either eight 20 mm (.79 in) cannons or twelve 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, mounted in the wings. Two prototypes were ordered; the first designated XP-62 and the second designated XP-62A. On 2 August 1941, the specifications were submitted for the XP-62 reducing the maximum speed to 448 mph (721 km/h) with eight 20 mm (.79 in) cannon armament and increasing the loaded weight by 1,537 lb (697 kg). During a project review of 1 January 1942, the contract specification was again revised: the loaded weight would be reduced by eliminating four cannon and removing the propeller deicing equipment. On 25 May 1942 a contract for 100 P-62 fighters was awarded. Before construction could begin, on 27
    9.00
    3 votes
    28
    De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter

    De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter

    • Aircraft type: STOL utility transport
    • Manufacturer: De Havilland Canada
    The de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft developed by de Havilland Canada. It was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, but was overall a larger aircraft. When de Havilland Canada began design work on the "King Beaver" (the Otter's original name) in January 1951, it was trying to extend the company's line of rugged STOL utility transports that had begun with the Beaver. The single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven DHC-3 Otter was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the Beaver, but was considerably larger, the veritable "one-ton truck" (in company parlance, the Beaver was the "half-ton truck"). Using the same overall configuration of the earlier and highly successful DHC2 Beaver, the new design incorporated a longer fuselage, greater-span wings, a cruciform tail, and was much heavier. Seating in the main cabin is for 10 or 11, whereas the Beaver could seat six. Power is supplied by a 450-kW (600 hp) Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial. Like the Beaver, the Otter can be fitted with skis or floats. The Otter served as the basis for the very successful
    9.00
    3 votes
    29
    Messerschmitt Me 210

    Messerschmitt Me 210

    • Aircraft type: Heavy fighter
    • Variants: Messerschmitt Me 410
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 210 was a German heavy fighter and ground-attack aircraft of World War II. The Me 210 was designed to replace the Bf 110 in heavy fighter role; design started before the opening of World War II. The first examples of the Me 210 were ready in 1939, but they proved to have poor flight characteristics. A large-scale operational testing program throughout 1941 and early 1942 did not cure the aircraft's problems. The design eventually entered limited service in 1943, but was almost immediately replaced by its successor, the Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet"). The Me 410 was a further development of the Me 210, renamed so as to avoid the 210's notoriety. The failure of the Me 210's development program meant that the Luftwaffe was forced to continue fielding the outdated Bf 110, to mounting losses. Messerschmitt designers had started working on an upgrade of the Bf 110 in 1937, before the production version of the Bf 110 had even flown. In late 1938, the Bf 110 was just entering service, and the RLM started looking ahead for its eventual replacement. Messerschmitt sent in their modified Bf 110 design as the Me 210, and Arado responded with their all-new Ar 240.
    9.00
    3 votes
    30
    F-82 Twin Mustang

    F-82 Twin Mustang

    • Aircraft type: Heavy fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: North American Aviation
    The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was the last American piston-engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force. Based on the P-51 Mustang, the F-82 was originally designed as a long-range escort fighter in World War II; however, the war ended well before the first production units were operational, so its postwar role changed to that of night-fighting. Radar-equipped F-82s were used extensively by the Air Defense Command as replacements for the Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighter. During the Korean War, Japan-based F-82s were among the first USAF aircraft to operate over Korea. The first three North Korean aircraft destroyed by U.S. forces were shot down by F-82s, the first being a North-Korean Yak-11 downed over Gimpo by the USAF 68th Fighter Squadron. Initially intended as a very long-range (VLR) escort fighter, the F-82 was designed to escort Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers on missions exceeding 2,000 mi (3,219 km) from the Solomons or Philippines to Tokyo, missions beyond the range of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning and conventional P-51 Mustangs. Such missions were part of the planned U.S. invasion of the Japanese home islands, which was forestalled
    7.75
    4 votes
    31
    Sikorsky S-76

    Sikorsky S-76

    • Aircraft type: SAR
    • Variants: Sikorsky S-75
    • Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft
    The Sikorsky S-76 is an American medium-size commercial utility helicopter, manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The S-76 features twin turboshaft engines, four-bladed main and tail rotors and retractable landing gear. The development of the S-76 began in the mid-1970s as the S-74, with the design goal of providing a medium helicopter for corporate transportation and the oil drilling industry; the S-74 was later re-designated the S-76 in honor of the U.S. Bicentennial. Sikorsky's design work on the S-70 helicopter (which was selected for use by the United States Army as the UH-60 Black Hawk) was utilized in the development of the S-76, incorporating S-70 design technology in its rotor blades and rotor heads. It was the first Sikorsky helicopter designed purely for commercial rather than military use. The prototype first flew on March 13, 1977. Initial US Federal Aviation Administration type certification was granted on November 21, 1978, with the first customer delivery on February 27, 1979. The S-76 was named "Spirit" late in 1978, but this name was officially dropped by the company on October 9, 1980 due to translation issues into some foreign languages. The first
    6.60
    5 votes
    32
    Beriev Be-30

    Beriev Be-30

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Beriev Aircraft Company
    The Beriev Be-30 (NATO reporting name "Cuff") is a Russian regional airliner and utility transport aircraft designed by the Beriev Design Bureau. It was developed specifically for Aeroflot local service routes using short, grass airstrips. It was also designed to be used in the light transport, aerial survey and air ambulance roles. It competed against the Antonov An-28 and the Czechoslovakian LET-410. The original design featured interconnected engines, so that in case of one engine failing, the remaining engine could drive both propellers. This feature was not implemented in the production version. The first prototype flew on 3 March 1967, fitted with Shvetsov ASh-21 piston engines, while the first production prototype flew on 18 July 1968, using more powerful Glushenkov TVD-10 turboprop engines. The first deliveries to Aeroflot were in mid-1969. The Be-30 was designed for a flight crew of two with passenger arrangements for 14 (in the Be-30) to a maximum of 17 (in the Be-32) seated two abreast. Corporate shuttle configuration seated seven. The air ambulance configuration could accommodate nine stretcher patients, six seated patients and one medical attendant. Three Be-30s and
    7.50
    4 votes
    33
    Cessna AgWagon

    Cessna AgWagon

    • Aircraft type: Light agricultural aircraft airplane
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    The Cessna 188 is a family of light agricultural aircraft produced between 1966 and 1983 by the Cessna Aircraft Company. The various versions of the 188 — the AGwagon, AGpickup, AGtruck and AGhusky, along with the AGcarryall variant of the 185, constituted Cessna's line of agricultural aircraft. In the early 1960s Cessna decided to expand their already wide line of light aircraft by entering the agricultural aircraft market. They surveyed pilots and operators of other brands of agricultural aircraft to see what features and capabilities these operators were looking for. The resulting aircraft was a conventional single-seat, piston-powered, strut-braced low-winged agricultural airplane. The Cessna 188 borrowed heavily from the Cessna 180, the initial version using the same tail cone and fin structure as well as the same Continental O-470-R 230 hp (170 kW) powerplant. The 188’s airframe is predominantly built from 2024-T3 aluminum, with the chemical hopper constructed from fibreglass. The fuselage is of semi-monocoque construction and is pressurized on later models (using the dynamic pressure resulting from the aircraft's forward speed) to reduce induction of chemicals into the
    7.50
    4 votes
    34
    Convair B-36

    Convair B-36

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Variants: Convair YB-60
    • Manufacturer: Convair
    The Convair B-36 "Peacemaker" was a strategic bomber built by Convair and operated solely by the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made. It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built (230 ft, 70.1 m), although there have been larger military transports. The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its two bomb bays without aircraft modifications. With a range greater than 9,700 km (6,000 mi) and a maximum payload of 33,000 kg (73,000 lb), the B-36 was the world's first manned bomber with an unrefueled intercontinental range. Until it was replaced by the jet powered Boeing B-52 Stratofortress which first became operational in 1955, the B-36 was the primary nuclear weapons delivery vehicle of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), and the B-36 set the standard for range and payload for subsequent US intercontinental bombers. The genesis of the B-36 can be traced to early 1941, prior to the entry of the U.S. into World War II. At the time it appeared there was a very real chance that Britain might fall to the Nazi "Blitz",
    7.50
    4 votes
    35
    Ilyushin Il-96

    Ilyushin Il-96

    • Aircraft type: Widebody aircraft airliner
    • Manufacturer: Ilyushin
    The Ilyushin Il-96 (Russian: Ил-96) is a four-engined long-haul widebody airliner designed by Ilyushin in the Soviet Union and manufactured by the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association in Voronezh, Russia. It is powered by four Aviadvigatel PS-90 two-shaft turbofan engines. The Ilyushin Il-96 is a shortened, long-range, and advanced technology development of Russia's first widebody airliner, the Ilyushin Il-86. It features supercritical wings fitted with winglets, a glass cockpit, and a fly-by-wire control system. It was first flown in 1988 and certified in 1992. The basic Il-96-300 is equipped with modern Russian avionics integrating six multi-function colour LCD displays, inertial and satellite navigation systems, and a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (including mode "S"). It allows the airplane to be operated with two crew members. The avionics correspond to modern requirements on international routes in Europe and North America (RNP-1) and allow navigation and landing under ICAO CAT III/A conditions. The Il-96 is offered in three main variants: the Il-96-300, Il-96M/T and Il-96-400. The Il-96-300 has a standard passenger capacity of 262 seats in a two-class configuration
    7.50
    4 votes
    36
    Junkers Ju 287

    Junkers Ju 287

    • Aircraft type: Bomber prototype
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 287 was a German flying testbed built to develop the technology required for a multi-engine jet bomber. It was powered by four Junkers Jumo 004 engines, featured a revolutionary forward-swept wing and was built largely from scavenged components from other aircraft. The flying prototype and an unfinished third prototype were captured by the Red Army in the closing stages of World War II and the design was further developed in the Soviet Union after the end of the war. The Ju 287 was intended to provide the Luftwaffe with a bomber that could avoid interception by outrunning enemy fighters. The swept-forward wing was suggested by the project's head designer, Dr. Hans Wocke as a way of providing extra lift at low airspeeds - necessary because of the poor responsiveness of early turbojets at the vulnerable times of take-off and landing. The first prototype was intended to evaluate the concept, and was cobbled together from the fuselage of a Heinkel He 177, the tail of a Ju 388, main undercarriage from a Ju 352, and nosewheels taken from crashed B-24 Liberators. Two of the Jumo 004 engines were hung under the wings, with the other two mounted in nacelles added to the sides
    7.50
    4 votes
    37
    Dornier Do 335

    Dornier Do 335

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Flugzeugwerke
    The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil ("Arrow") was a World War II heavy fighter built by the Dornier company. The two-seater trainer version was also called Ameisenbär ("anteater"). The Pfeil's performance was much better than other twin-engine designs due to its unique "push-pull" layout and the much lower drag of the in-line alignment of the two engines. The Luftwaffe was desperate to get the design into operational use, but delays in engine deliveries meant only a handful were delivered before the war ended. The origins of the Do 335 trace back to World War I when Claudius Dornier designed a number of flying boats featuring remotely-driven propellers and later, due to problems with the drive shafts, tandem engines. Tandem engines were used on most of the multi-engine Dornier flying boats that followed, including the highly successful Do J Wal and the gigantic Do X. The remote propeller drive, intended to eliminate parasitic drag from the engine entirely, was tried in the innovative but unsuccessful Do 14, and elongated drive shafts as later used in the Do 335 saw use in the rear engines of the four-engined, twinned tandem-layout Do 26 flying boat. There are many advantages to this design
    8.67
    3 votes
    38
    Miles M.20

    Miles M.20

    • Aircraft type: Lightweight fighter
    • Manufacturer: Miles Aircraft
    The Miles M.20 was a Second World War fighter developed by Miles Aircraft in 1940. Designed as a simple and quick-to-build 'emergency fighter' alternative to the Royal Air Force's Spitfires and Hurricanes should their production get disrupted by bombing. In the event, due to dispersal of manufacturing, the Luftwaffe's bombing of the Spitfire and Hurricane factories did not seriously affect production, and so the M.20 proved unnecessary and was cancelled. During the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force was faced with a potential shortage of fighters. To meet the Luftwaffe threat, the Air Ministry commissioned Miles to design the M.20, to specification F.19/40; nine weeks and two days later the first prototype flew. To reduce production times the M.20 was of an all-wood construction, used many parts from the earlier Miles Master trainer, lacked hydraulics, and had spatted fixed landing gear. The engine was a complete Rolls-Royce Merlin XX "power egg", and was identical to those used on the Avro Lancaster and some Bristol Beaufighter marks. The design also featured a bubble canopy for improved pilot visibility, one of the first fighters to do so. The first prototype, with the
    8.67
    3 votes
    39
    Saro Lerwick

    Saro Lerwick

    • Aircraft type: Flying-boat
    • Manufacturer: Saunders-Roe
    The Saunders-Roe A.36 Lerwick was a British flying boat built by the Saunders Roe Limited (Saro). It was intended to serve alongside the Short Sunderland in the Royal Air Force's Coastal Command, but it was a flawed design and only a small number were built. They had a poor service record and a high accident rate - out of 21 aircraft, 10 were lost to accidents and one lost for unknown reasons. Air Ministry Specification R.1/36 was issued in March 1936 to several companies that had experience in building flying boats. The specification was for a flying boat to replace the Royal Air Force's Saro London, Supermarine Stranraer and Short Singapore biplane flying boats, for anti-submarine, convoy escort and reconnaissance. An order was placed for a prototype of Blackburn's radical response to the specification - the Blackburn B-20 - but this would only be delivered in 1940. Meanwhile, a contract was issued in June 1937 to buy 21 of Saunders-Roe's proposed aircraft - the S.36 Lerwick - even though this only existed on paper. The Lerwick was a compact twin-engined, high-winged monoplane of all-metal construction. It had a conventional flying boat hull with a planing bottom and two
    8.67
    3 votes
    40
    Sikorsky S-62

    Sikorsky S-62

    • Aircraft type: SAR
    • Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft
    The Sikorsky S-62 was a single turbine engine, three-blade rotor amphibious helicopter originally developed as a commercial venture by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation of Stratford, Connecticut. It was used by the United States Coast Guard as the HH-52A Seaguard primarily for air-sea rescue, and now has been replaced by non-amphibious types such as the HH-65 Dolphin which rely on using a winch to retrieve passengers from a hover. A number of S-62s were bought by the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics for the US Coast Guard for use as a search and rescue helicopter. Initially designated HU2S-1G Seaguard, it was re-designated as the HH-52A Seaguard in 1962. The HH-52A used a boat hulled shaped fuselage, smaller but similar to the US Navy's SH-3 (Sikorsky S-61), and was employed aboard the larger Coast Guard cutters and icebreakers. The S-62 used a single 1,250 hp (930 kW) General Electric T58-GE-8 turboshaft engine, the same powerplant used on the larger twin-engined SH-3; and a 1,050 hp T58-GE-6 derated to 670 hp, moving the same main and tail rotor as S-55 Model, in the prototype. The turbine powered S-62 could carry more weight and fly faster than the H-19 (S-55). The aircraft was
    8.67
    3 votes
    41
    T-34 Mentor

    T-34 Mentor

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Hawker Beechcraft
    The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor is a propeller-driven, single-engined, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. The earlier versions of the T-34, dating from around the late 1940s to the 1950s, were piston-engined. These were eventually succeeded by the upgraded T-34C Turbo-Mentor, powered by a turboprop engine. The T-34 remains in service more than six decades after it was first designed. The T-34 was the brainchild of Walter Beech, who developed it as the Beechcraft Model 45 private venture at a time when there was no defense budget for a new trainer model. Beech hoped to sell it as an economical alternative to the North American T-6/NJ Texan, then in use by all services of the U.S. military. Three initial design concepts were developed for the Model 45, including one with the Bonanza's signature V-tail, but the final design that emerged in 1948 incorporated conventional tail control surfaces for the benefit of the more conservative military (featuring a relatively large unswept vertical fin that would find its way onto the Travel Air twin-engine civil aircraft almost ten years later). The Bonanza's fuselage with four-passenger cabin was replaced with a
    6.40
    5 votes
    42
    Dornier Do 31

    Dornier Do 31

    • Aircraft type: Transport
    • Manufacturer: Dornier Flugzeugwerke
    The Dornier Do 31 was a West German experimental VTOL jet transport built by Dornier. The Do 31 was designed to meet a NATO specification (BMR-4) for a tactical support aircraft for the EWR VJ 101 VTOL strike aircraft designed under the NATO contract of BMR-3. The project was cancelled in 1970 due to high costs, technical problems and a change of requirement. In the early 1960s, the Luftwaffe became increasingly concerned that their airfields were vulnerable to air attack from Eastern Bloc forces and actively researched the possibility of dispersed operations which included flying from Autobahnen but required aircraft with STOVL capabilities. Part of these trials involved Luftwaffe F-104 Starfighters being rocket launched from stationary ramps in what became known as the ZELL program. The Starfighters were to be recovered to short strips using aircraft carrier-type arresting gear. The Do 31 was intended to use the same strips as forward operating bases. When the high cost, technical and logistical difficulties were realised the Luftwaffe ceased trials involving VTOL aircraft such as the Do 31, VJ101 and the later VFW VAK 191B which resulted in the cancellation of these projects and
    7.25
    4 votes
    43
    Avia B-534

    Avia B-534

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Avia
    The Avia B-534 is a Czechoslovak biplane produced during the period between the Great War and World War II. In 1932, the Czechoslovak aircraft company flew a first prototype of a single-engined fighter biplane, the Avia B-34, designed by František Novotný. After modification, the Czechoslovak Ministry of Defence placed an order for B-34s. A second prototype, the Avia B-34/2, was built, which was intended to be powered by a 600 horsepower (450 kW) Avia Rr 29 radial engine instead of the Hispano-Suiza 12N V12 engine of the first prototype and the initial production series. This engine proved prone to overheating and vibration, however, and it was decided to re-engine the B.34/2 before it flew, fitting it with a Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs V12 engine. The Avia B-34/2 made its maiden flight on 25 May 1933. The prototype was sent for testing in September and was redesignated as B-534.1. On 10 September the B-534 was displayed to the public for the first time at an Army Air Day. It was to compete against the Praga E-44 and Letov Š-231. A second prototype, the B-534/2 was completed in September 1933. It differed from the first prototype in having an enclosed cockpit, a revised tail and
    8.33
    3 votes
    44
    Cessna T-41 Mescalero

    Cessna T-41 Mescalero

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    The Cessna T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the popular Cessna 172 used by the United States Air Force and Army as well as the armed forces of various other countries as a pilot training aircraft. In 1964, the US Air Force decided to use the off-the-shelf Cessna 172 as a preliminary flight screener for pilot candidates and ordered 237 T-41As from Cessna. The T-41B was the US Army version, with a 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 and constant-speed propeller in place of the 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300 and 7654 fixed-pitch propeller used in the 172 and the T-41A. In 1968, the US Air Force acquired 52 more powerful T-41Cs, which used 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 and a fixed pitch climb propeller, for use at the Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs. In 1996, the aircraft were further upgraded to the T-41D, which included an upgrade in avionics and to a constant-speed propeller. Beginning in 1993, the United States Air Force replaced much of the T-41 fleet with the Slingsby T-3A Firefly for the flight screening role, and for aerobatic training, which was outside the design capabilities of the T-41. The T-3A fleet was indefinitely grounded in 1997 and
    8.33
    3 votes
    45
    F9F Panther

    F9F Panther

    • Aircraft type: Fighter-bomber
    • Variants: F9F Cougar
    • Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corporation
    The Grumman F9F Panther was the manufacturer's first jet fighter and one of the U.S. Navy's first successful carrier-based jet fighters. The Panther was the most widely used U.S. Navy jet fighter of the Korean War, flying 78,000 sorties and scoring the first air-to-air kill by the US Navy in the war, the downing of a North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter. Total F9F production was 1,382, with several variants being exported to Argentina. The Panther was the first jet aircraft used by the Blue Angels flight team, being used by them from 1949 through to late 1954. Development studies at the Grumman company began near the end of the World War II as the first jet engines emerged. The prototype Panther, piloted by test pilot Corky Meyer, first flew on 24 November 1947. Propulsion was an imported Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet, although production aircraft would have a Nene engine built under license by Pratt & Whitney as the J42. Since there was insufficient space within the wings and fuselage for fuel for the thirsty jet, permanently mounted wingtip fuel tanks were added, which incidentally improved the fighter's rate of roll. It was cleared for flight from aircraft carriers in September 1949.
    8.33
    3 votes
    46
    Mikoyan MiG-31

    Mikoyan MiG-31

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor aircraft
    • Variants: MiG-31M
    • Manufacturer: Mikoyan
    The Mikoyan MiG-31 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-31; NATO reporting name: Foxhound) is a supersonic interceptor aircraft developed to replace the MiG-25 "Foxbat". The MiG-31 was designed by the Mikoyan design bureau based on the MiG-25. The MiG-25, despite Western panic about its tremendous performance, made substantial design sacrifices in capability for the sake of achieving high speed, altitude, and rate of climb. It lacked maneuverability at interception speeds, was difficult to fly at low altitudes, and its inefficient turbojet engines resulted in a short combat range at supersonic speeds. The MiG-25's speed was limited to Mach 2.83 in operations, but it could reach a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 with the risk of damaging the engines beyond repair. Development of the MiG-25's replacement began with the Ye-155MP (Russian: Е-155МП) prototype which first flew on 16 September 1975. Although it bore a superficial resemblance to a stretched MiG-25 with a longer fuselage for the radar operator cockpit, it was in many respects a new design. The MiG-25 used 80% nickel steel in its structure to allow welding. The Ye-155MP doubled the use of titanium to 16% and tripled the aluminium content to 33%
    8.33
    3 votes
    47
    Polikarpov Po-2

    Polikarpov Po-2

    • Aircraft type: Utility biplane
    • Manufacturer: Polikarpov
    The Polikarpov Po-2 (also U-2) served as a general-purpose Soviet biplane, nicknamed Kukuruznik (Russian: Кукурузник, from Russian "kukuruza" (кукуруза) for maize; thus, 'maize duster' or 'crop duster'), NATO reporting name "Mule". The reliable, uncomplicated as well as a low-cost ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in USSR. It is the second most produced aircraft, and the most produced biplane, in the history of aviation. More than 40,000 Po-2s were built between 1928 and 1953. It remained in production for a longer period of time than any other Soviet-era aircraft. The aircraft was designed by Nikolai Polikarpov to replace the U-1 trainer (Avro 504), itself known as Avrushka to the Soviets. Its name was changed to Po-2 in 1944, after Polikarpov's death, according to the new Soviet naming system using designer's initials. The prototype of the U-2, powered by a 74 kW (99 hp) Shvetsov M-11 air-cooled five cylinder radial engine, first flew on 7 January 1928 piloted by M.M. Gromov. Aircraft from the pre-production series were tested at the end of 1928 and
    8.33
    3 votes
    48
    Shorts SC.7 Skyvan

    Shorts SC.7 Skyvan

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Shorts 330
    • Manufacturer: Short Brothers
    The Skyvan is a 19-seater twin turboprop aircraft manufactured by Short Brothers of Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is used mainly for short-haul freight and skydiving. The Skyvan is a high wing twin-engined all-metal monoplane with a high semi-cantilever tailplane with twin rudders. The first flight of the Skyvan, the Skyvan 1, was on 17 January 1963. It is affectionately called "the shed" by pilots and crew. The Short 330 and Short 360 are stretched models of the original SC-7 which were designed as regional airliners. In 1958, Shorts were approached by F.G. Miles Ltd (successor company to Miles Aircraft) who were seeking backing to produce a development of the H.D.M.106 Caravan design with a Hurel Dubois high aspect ratio wing. Shorts acquired the design and data gathered from trials of the Miles Aerovan based H.D.M.105 prototype. After evaluating the Miles proposal, Shorts rejected the Caravan. They developed their own design for a utility all-metal aircraft which was called the Short SC.7 Skyvan. It was popular with freight operators compared to other small aircraft because of its large rear door for loading and unloading freight. Its fuselage resembles the shape of a railroad
    8.33
    3 votes
    49
    A-6 Intruder

    A-6 Intruder

    • Aircraft type: Attack aircraft
    • Variants: YA2F-1
    • Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corporation
    The Grumman A-6 Intruder was an American, twin jet-engine, mid-wing attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. In service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps between 1963 and 1997, the Intruder was designed as an all-weather medium attack aircraft to replace the piston-engined Douglas A-1 Skyraider. As the A-6E was slated for retirement, its precision strike mission was taken over by the Grumman F-14 Tomcat equipped with LANTIRN pod. A specialized electronic warfare derivative, the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler, remains in service as of 2012. Following the good showing of the propeller-driven AD-6/7 Skyraider in the Korean War, the United States Navy issued preliminary requirements in 1955 for an all-weather carrier-based ground-attack aircraft. The U.S. Navy published an operational requirement document for it in October 1956. It released a request for proposals (RFP) in February 1957. Proposals were submitted by Bell, Boeing, Douglas, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin, North American, and Vought. Following evaluation of the bids, the U.S. Navy announced the selection of Grumman on 2 January 1958. The company was awarded a contract for the development of the A2F-1 in February
    9.50
    2 votes
    50
    Blackburn Skua

    Blackburn Skua

    • Aircraft type: Dive bomber
    • Variants: Blackburn Roc
    • Manufacturer: Blackburn Aircraft
    The Blackburn B-24 Skua was a carrier-based low-wing, two-seater, single-radial engine aircraft operated by the British Fleet Air Arm which combined the functions of a dive bomber and fighter. It was designed in the mid-1930s, and saw service in the early part of the Second World War. It took its name from the seabird. Built to Air Ministry specification O.27/34, it was a low-wing monoplane of all-metal (duralumin) construction with a retractable undercarriage and enclosed cockpit. It was the Fleet Air Arm's first service monoplane, and was a radical departure for a service that was primarily equipped with open-cockpit biplanes such as the Fairey Swordfish. Performance for the fighter role was compromised by the aircraft's bulk and lack of power, resulting in a relatively low speed; the contemporary marks of Messerschmitt Bf 109 made 290 mph (467 km/h) at sea level over the Skua's 225 mph (362 km/h). However, the aircraft's armament of four fixed, forward-firing 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in the wings and a single flexible, rearward-firing .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun was effective for the time. For the dive-bombing role, a single 250 lb (110 kg) or 500 lb
    9.50
    2 votes
    51
    KC-135 Stratotanker

    KC-135 Stratotanker

    • Aircraft type: Transport
    • Variants: C-137 Stratoliner
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is an aerial refueling military aircraft. It and the Boeing 707 airliner were developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype. The KC-135 was the US Air Force's first jet-powered refueling tanker and replaced the KC-97 Stratotanker. The Stratotanker was initially tasked to refuel strategic bombers, but was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers. The KC-135 entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1957; it is one of six military fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service with its original operator. The KC-135 is supplemented by the larger KC-10. Despite increased maintenance costs, studies conclude many of the aircraft could be flown until 2040. The aircraft will be replaced by the Boeing KC-46. Like its sibling, the commercial Boeing 707 jet airliner, the KC-135 was derived from the Boeing 367-80 jet transport "proof of concept" demonstrator, which was commonly called the "Dash-80". As such the KC-135 is similar in appearance to the 707, but has a narrower fuselage and is shorter than the 707. The KC-135
    5.33
    6 votes
    52
    Concorde

    Concorde

    • Aircraft type: Supersonic airliner
    • Manufacturer: British Aircraft Corporation
    Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde ( /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/) is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST), and remains one of only two SSTs to enter commercial service. Concorde was a product of the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), produced under a joint Franco-British treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years. Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK and Washington Dulles; it profitably flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss, Air France and British Airways had also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aerospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support. Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom
    7.00
    4 votes
    53
    Convair XB-46

    Convair XB-46

    • Aircraft type: Medium bomber
    • Manufacturer: Convair
    The Convair XB-46 was a single example of an experimental medium jet bomber which was developed in the mid-1940s but which never saw production or active duty. In 1944 the U.S. War Department was aware of aviation advances in Nazi Germany and issued a requirement for a range of designs for medium bombers weighing from 80,000 to more than 200,000 pounds (36,000 to over 90,000 kg). Consolidated Vultee Aircraft (Convair) responded with their Model 109, a 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) design which was accepted by the USAAF in November 1944 and designated the B-46. Other designs resulting from this competition included the North American XB-45, the Boeing XB-47 and the Martin XB-48. Procurement began with a letter contract (cost-plus-fixed-fee) on 17 January 1945 with mock-up inspection and approval in early February. Orders for three prototypes followed on 27 February 1945 with certain changes recommended by the board. Serials 45-59582 to 59584 were assigned. Budgetary concerns also led to the contract being changed to a fixed-price type. In the fall of 1945, Convair found it was competing with itself when the USAAF became interested in an unorthodox canard jet attack design, the XA-44-CO
    7.00
    4 votes
    54
    Yakovlev Yak-7

    Yakovlev Yak-7

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Yakovlev
    The Soviet Yakovlev Yak-7 was developed from the earlier Yak-1 fighter, initially as a trainer but converted into a "heavy" fighter. As both a fighter and later reverting to its original training role, the Yak-7 proved to be a capable aircraft and was well liked by air crews. The Yak-7 was simpler, tougher and generally better than the Yak-1. In 1939, Alexander Yakovlev designed a tandem-seat advanced trainer, originally designated "I-27" and then "UTI-26", offered along with the original I-26 proposal that became the Yak-1. The "UTI" (Uchebno Trenirovochnyi Istrebitel, translated as: Training Fighter) was intended to give pilots-in-training experience on a high-performance aircraft before transitioning to a fighter. With development work stated in 1940, the UTI-26 differed from its predecessor in its larger span wing being placed farther back for balance as well as having two cockpits with dual controls and a rudimentary communication system. It was armed with a single 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun in the cowling, mainly for use in training, but Yakovlev envisioned a multi-purpose aircraft that could also undertake courier and light transport duties at the front. The first production
    7.00
    4 votes
    55
    A-12 Avenger II

    A-12 Avenger II

    • Aircraft type: All-weather stealth attack aircraft
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
    The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was a proposed American ground-attack aircraft from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics. It was to be an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber replacement for the Grumman A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Its Avenger II name was taken from the Grumman TBF Avenger of World War II. The development of the A-12 was troubled by cost overruns and several delays, causing questions of the program's ability to deliver upon its objectives; these doubts led to the development program being canceled in 1991. The manner of its cancellation has been contested through litigation to this day. The United States Navy began the Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program in 1983. The program was to develop and field a replacement for the A-6 Intruder by 1994. Stealth technology developed for the United States Air Force would be used heavily in the program. Concept design contracts were awarded to the industry teams of McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics, and Northrop/Grumman/Vought in November 1984. The teams were awarded contracts for further concept development in 1986. The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics team was
    8.00
    3 votes
    56
    Airbus A380

    Airbus A380

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Airbus A380-800F
    • Manufacturer: Airbus
    The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the world's largest passenger airliner and, due to its size, many airports have had to expand their facilities to properly accommodate it. Designed to challenge Boeing's monopoly in the large-aircraft market, the A380 made its initial flight on 27 April 2005 and entered initial commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. The aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX during much of its development, before receiving the A380 designation. The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft. This allows for an A380-800's cabin with 478 square metres (5,145.1 sq ft) of floor space; 49% more floor space than the next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 321 square metres (3,455.2 sq ft), and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The A380-800 has a design range of 15,400 kilometres (8,300 nmi; 9,600 mi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong, and a cruising speed of
    8.00
    3 votes
    57
    Eurocopter Cougar

    Eurocopter Cougar

    • Aircraft type: Medium utility helicopter
    The Eurocopter AS532 Cougar is a twin-engined, medium-weight, multipurpose helicopter developed by France. The AS532 is a development and upgrade of the Aérospatiale Puma in its militarized form. (Its civilian counterpart is the Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma.) The AS532 has been further developed as the Eurocopter EC725. The AS332 Super Puma, designed as a growth version to replace the SA 330 Puma, first flew in September 1977. It was fitted with two 1330 kW Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines, composite rotor blades, improved landing gear and a modified tailfin. In 1990 all military Super Puma designations were changed from AS 332 to AS 532 Cougar to distinguish between the civil and military variants of the helicopter. Canada had considered purchasing the Cougar to replace their CH-113 Labrador, but opted in the end to purchase the CH-149 Cormorant. Licenced production of 48 units in TAI. ‎ Data from Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory General characteristics Performance
    8.00
    3 votes
    58
    PBM Mariner

    PBM Mariner

    • Aircraft type: Flying boat
    • Variants: P5M Marlin
    The Martin PBM Mariner was a patrol bomber flying boat of World War II and the early Cold War period. It was designed to complement the Consolidated PBY Catalina in service. A total of 1,366 were built, with the first example flying on 18 February 1939 and the type entering service in September 1940. In 1937 the Glenn L. Martin Company designed a new twin engined flying boat, the Model 162, to succeed its earlier Martin P3M and complement the PBY Catalina. It received an order for a single prototype XPBM-1 on 30 June 1937. This was followed by an initial production order for 21 PBM-1 aircraft on 28 December 1937. To test the PBM's layout, Martin built a ⅜ scale flying model, the Martin 162A Tadpole Clipper with a crew of one and powered by a single 120 hp (90 kW) Chevrolet engine; this was flown in December 1937. The first genuine PBM, the XPBM-1, flew on 18 February 1939. The aircraft was fitted with five gun turrets, and bomb bays that were in the engine nacelles. The gull wing was of cantilever design, and featured clean aerodynamics with an unbraced twin tail. The PBM-1 was equipped with retractable wing landing floats that were hinged inboard, like the Catalina. The PBM-3 had
    8.00
    3 votes
    59
    Sukhoi Su-34

    Sukhoi Su-34

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Sukhoi
    The Sukhoi Su-34 (Russian: Сухой Су-34) (export designation: Su-32, NATO reporting name: Fullback) is a Russian twin-seat fighter-bomber. It is intended to replace the Sukhoi Su-24. The Su-34 had a somewhat muddied and protracted beginning. In the mid-1980s, Sukhoi began developing a new multi-role tactical aircraft to replace the swing-wing Su-24, which would incorporate a host of somewhat conflicting requirements. The bureau thus selected the Su-27, which excelled in maneuverability and range, and could carry a large payload, as the basis for the new fighter. More specifically, the aircraft was developed from the naval trainer derivative of the Sukhoi Su-27K, the "T10KM-2". Known internally as "T-10V", the development was shelved towards the end of the 1980s due to the construction suspension of aircraft carriers; this was the result of the massive political upheaval in the Soviet Union experienced and the subsequent disintegration. In August 1990, however, a photograph taken by a TASS officer showed an aircraft making a dummy approach towards Tbilisi. The aircraft, subsequently and erroneously labelled Su-27KU by Western intelligence, made its maiden flight on 13 August 1990
    8.00
    3 votes
    60
    Curtiss P-40

    Curtiss P-40

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Curtiss XP-46
    • Manufacturer: Curtiss-Wright
    The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by the air forces of 28 nations, including those of most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York. Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models, making it the official name in the United States for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants. P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during
    6.75
    4 votes
    61
    Beriev Be-8

    Beriev Be-8

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Beriev Aircraft Company
    The Beriev Be-8 (USAF/DoD reporting name "Type 33", NATO reporting name "Mole"), was built by the Soviet Beriev OKB in 1947. It was a passenger/liaison amphibian aircraft with a layout similar to the Be-4 but substantially larger and heavier. It was a single engine parasol with the wing installed on a thin pylon and a pair of short struts. Compared to the Be-4, the Be-8 was equipped with retractable landing gear, and pilot and passenger cabins had heating utilizing engine heat. The Be-8 was intended as a civil aircraft and carried no armament. First flight was on December 3, demonstrating good performance. Two experimental aircraft were built, and one was demonstrated during 1951 Soviet Aviation Day at Tushino. One of Be-8 was equipped with hydrofoils, developed at TsAGI. These "Underwater Wings" were installed on landing gear struts and pushed aircraft above the water well before it could be done by the wing lift force. As a result, takeoff was much easier and imposed less punishment on the hull from the waves. Despite very effective during takeoff hydrofoils had negative impact on flight speed. Construction of retractable hydrofoils was not ready, and the concept did not find
    9.00
    2 votes
    62
    F-8 Crusader

    F-8 Crusader

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: A-7 Corsair II
    • Manufacturer: Vought
    The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) was a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps, replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass. After the Navy's disappointing experience with the F7U, the F8U was referred to by some as "Vought's Last Chance." The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955, and was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, principally serving in the Vietnam War. The RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U.S. service than any of the fighter versions. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means. US Naval Reserve units continued to operate the RF-8 until 1987. In September 1952, United States Navy announced a requirement for a new fighter. It was to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft (9,144.0 m) with a climb rate of 25,000 ft/min (127.0 m/s), and a landing speed of no more than 100 mph (160 km/h). Korean War experience had demonstrated that 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns were no longer sufficient and as the
    9.00
    2 votes
    63
    Junkers Ju 88

    Junkers Ju 88

    • Aircraft type: Dive bomber
    • Variants: Junkers Ju 188
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 88 was a World War II German Luftwaffe twin-engine, multi-role aircraft. Designed by Hugo Junkers' company through the services of two American aviation engineers in the mid-1930s, it suffered from a number of technical problems during the later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Affectionately known as "The Maid of all Work" (a feminine version of "jack of all trades"), the Ju 88 proved to be suited to almost any role. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it was used successfully as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter, and even as a flying bomb during the closing stages of conflict. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945, and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout the production, the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged, proof of the outstanding quality of the original design. The Ju 85 was a twin-engined
    9.00
    2 votes
    64
    Kawasaki Ki-45

    Kawasaki Ki-45

    • Aircraft type: Twin-engine heavy fighter
    • Manufacturer: Kawanishi
    The Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (屠龍, "Dragon Slayer") was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II. The army gave it the designation "Type 2 Two-Seat Fighter"; the Allied reporting name was "Nick". In response to the rapid emergence in Europe of twin-engine heavy fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 110, the army ordered development of a twin-engine, two-seat fighter in 1937, and assigned the proposal by Kawasaki Shipbuilding the designation of Ki-38. This only went as far as a mock up, but by December of that year, the army ordered a working prototype as the Ki-45, which first flew in January 1939. Results from the test flights, however, did not meet the army's expectations. The Ha-20 Otsu engine was underpowered and failure-prone, while the airframe suffered from nacelle stall. The Ki-45 did not enter use, but the army, insistent on having a working twin-engine fighter, ordered Kawasaki to continue development. Kawasaki responded by replacing the engines with the proven Nakajima Ha-25. Flight tests were promising. In October 1940, the army ordered continued improvements such as switching to 805 kW (1,080 hp) Mitsubishi Ha-102 engines. This
    9.00
    2 votes
    65
    McDonnell Douglas MD-80

    McDonnell Douglas MD-80

    The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a family of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet airliners. The MD-80 series were lengthened and updated from the DC-9. The airliner family can seat from 130 up to 172 passengers depending on variant and seating configuration. The MD-80 series was introduced into commercial service on October 10, 1980 by Swissair. The series includes the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87, and MD-88. These all have the same fuselage length except the shortened MD-87. The MD-80 series was followed into service in modified form by the MD-90 in 1995 and the MD-95/Boeing 717 in 1999. Douglas Aircraft developed the DC-9 in the 1960s as a short-range companion to their larger DC-8. The DC-9 was an all-new design, using two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines, and a T-tail. The DC-9 has a narrow-body fuselage design with 5-abreast seating, and holds 80 to 135 passengers depending on seating arrangement and aircraft version. The MD-80 series was the second generation of the DC-9. It was originally called the DC-9-80 series and the DC-9 Super 80 and entered service in 1980. The MD-80 series was then developed into the MD-90 entering service in 1995. The
    9.00
    2 votes
    66
    Messerschmitt Me 309

    Messerschmitt Me 309

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 309 was a prototype German fighter designed in the early years of World War II to replace the Bf 109. Although it had many advanced features, the Me 309's performance left much to be desired and it suffered from so many problems that the project was cancelled with only four prototypes built. The Me 309 was one of two failed Messerschmitt projects intended to replace the aging Bf 109, the other being the Me 209 of 1943. The Me 309 project began in mid-1940, just as the Bf 109 was having its first encounters with the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, the first aircraft to match the 109 in speed and performance. Already, Messerschmitt anticipated the need for an improved design to replace the Bf 109. The Reich Air Ministry, however, did not feel the same urgency, with the project given a low priority resulting in the design not being finalized until the end of 1941. The new fighter had many novel features, such as tricycle landing gear (with a nose gear strut that twisted through 90° during retraction, to a "flat" orientation under the engine) and a pressurized cockpit, which would have given it more comfortable and effective high-altitude performance. Each of
    9.00
    2 votes
    67
    P-3 Orion

    P-3 Orion

    • Aircraft type: Maritime patrol aircraft
    • Variants: CP-140 Aurora
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or "MAD Boom", used for the magnetic detection of submarines. Over the years, the aircraft has seen numerous design advancements, most notably to its electronics packages. The P-3 Orion is still in use by numerous navies and air forces around the world, primarily for maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare. A total of 734 P-3s have been built, and by 2012, it will join the handful of military aircraft such as the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress which have served 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Navy. The U.S. Navy's remaining P-3C aircraft will eventually be replaced by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. In August 1957, the U.S. Navy called for replacement proposals for the aging twin piston engined Lockheed P2V Neptune (later redesignated P-2) and Martin P5M Marlin (later redesignated P-5) with a more
    9.00
    2 votes
    68
    Arado Ar 234

    Arado Ar 234

    • Aircraft type: Reconnaissance Bomber
    • Manufacturer: Arado Flugzeugwerke
    The Arado Ar 234 was the world's first operational jet-powered bomber, built by the German Arado company in the closing stages of World War II. Produced in very limited numbers, it was used almost entirely in the reconnaissance role, but in its few uses as a bomber it proved to be nearly impossible to intercept. It was the last Luftwaffe aircraft to fly over England during the war, in April 1945. The Ar 234 was commonly known as Blitz ("lightning"), although this name refers only to the B-2 bomber variant, and it is not clear whether it derived from the informal term Blitz-Bomber (roughly, "very fast bomber") or was ever formally applied. The alternate name Hecht ("pike") is derived from one of the units equipped with this aircraft, Sonderkommando Hecht. In autumn 1940, the RLM offered a tender for a jet-powered high-speed reconnaissance aircraft with a range of 2,156 km (1,340 mi). Arado was the only company to respond, offering their E.370 project, led by Professor Walter Blume. This was a high-wing conventional-looking design with a Junkers Jumo 004 engine under each wing. The projected weight for the aircraft was approximately 8,000 kg (17,600 lb). In order to reduce the weight
    7.67
    3 votes
    69
    F3H Demon

    F3H Demon

    • Aircraft type: Naval aviation fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Aircraft
    The McDonnell F3H Demon was a subsonic swept-wing United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter aircraft. After severe problems with Westinghouse J40 engine that was ultimately abandoned, the successor to the McDonnell F2H Banshee served starting in 1956 redesigned with the J71 engine. Though it lacked sufficient power for supersonic performance, it complemented daylight dogfighters such as the Vought F8U Crusader and Grumman F11F Tiger as an all-weather, missile-armed interceptor until 1964. It was withdrawn before it could serve in the Vietnam when it, and ultimately also the Crusader, was replaced by the extremely successful McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. McDonnell's Phantom, which was equally capable against ground, fighter and bomber targets, bears a strong family resemblance, as it was conceived as an advanced development of the Demon. The supersonic United States Air Force McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was similar in layout, but was derived from the earlier XF-88 Voodoo, which also influenced the Demon's layout. Development work began in 1949, using a swept wing from the start rather than adapting a straight-winged design as was done with the Grumman F9F Panther. A competing
    7.67
    3 votes
    70
    Hawker Henley

    Hawker Henley

    • Aircraft type: Target tug
    • Variants: Hawker Hotspur
    • Manufacturer: Hawker
    The Hawker Henley was a British two-seat target tug derived from the Hawker Hurricane that was operated by the RAF during the Second World War. In 1934 Britain’s Air Ministry issued Specification P.4/34 which called for a light bomber that could also be deployed in a close-support role. Fairey, Gloster and Hawker all rushed to fulfill this need, and competition was tight to attain the highest performance possible. Seeing as the aircraft required only a modest bomb load, and with performance being paramount, the Hawker design team chose to focus its efforts on developing an aircraft similar in size to the Hurricane fighter. The Hurricane itself was then in an advanced design stage, and it was thus beneficial both economically and production-wise if some assemblies could be common to both aircraft. This resulted in the Henley, as it was to become known, sharing identical outer wing panel and tailplane jigs with the Hurricane. Both were also equipped with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine as it offered the best power/weight ratio as well as a minimal frontal area. The Henley’s cantilever fabric-covered monoplane wing was mid-set, retractable tailwheel type landing gear was selected, and
    7.67
    3 votes
    71
    IAI Lavi

    IAI Lavi

    • Aircraft type: Multirole fighter
    • Manufacturer: Israel Aircraft Industries
    The IAI Lavi (Hebrew: לביא, "Lion") was a single-engined combat aircraft developed in Israel in the 1980s. It was a multi-billion dollar fighter aircraft project that was discontinued when the Israeli government concluded it could not finance production on its own and received political pressure from the US government to cancel a fighter that would compete with American exports of the F-16. Only two of the Lavi prototypes remain — one is on display at the Israeli Air Force Museum and the other (the Lavi TD, technology demonstrator) can still be found at the IAI facilities at the Ben Gurion airport. The Lavi was planned to be the Israeli Air Force's solution for the early 21st century battlefield. The uniqueness of its design was in the combination of a small, aerodynamic, highly maneuverable plane, with sophisticated, software-rich systems, low armed drag, and the ability to carry a large payload at high speed and long distances. The Lavi project began in February 1980, when the Israeli government authorized the IAF to present it with a list of technical specifications for the development of the IAF's future fighter. The development stage began in October 1982, with the choice of a
    7.67
    3 votes
    72
    Junkers Ju 288

    Junkers Ju 288

    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 288, originally known as the EF 074, was a German bomber project designed during World War II, but which only ever flew in prototype form. The first of 22 development aircraft flew on 29 November 1940. Prior to the opening of World War II, the Luftwaffe bomber force was primarily aircraft of limited performance, some originally developed with civilian uses in mind as well. The only truly modern design in the inventory was the Ju 88, and although it outperformed the other designs it had numerous problems of its own. Perhaps most notable among these was its very small internal bomb bay that forced it to carry some of its load externally, slowing performance. Junkers had been experimenting with a variety of improved models of the Ju 88 since 1937, powered by the Jumo 222 or 223 inline engines of greatly increased power. No serious work was undertaken on these versions, but after Heinrich Hertel left Heinkel and joined Junkers in 1939, the EF 074 design was submitted to the RLM in May 1939. The EF 074 entry was essentially a scaled-up Ju 88, sharing its general layout and most of its fuselage and wings with extensions in various places. The nose was completely
    7.67
    3 votes
    73
    Messerschmitt Me 410

    Messerschmitt Me 410

    • Aircraft type: Multirole fighter-bomber
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet") was a German heavy fighter and Schnellbomber used by the Luftwaffe during World War II. Though essentially a straightforward modification of the Me 210, it was designated the Me 410 to avoid association with its notoriously flawed predecessor. Development of the Me 210 had been underway since 1939, but the aircraft proved extremely unstable and was never considered for full-scale production. Modifications to the layout produced the Me 210C and 210D, which proved somewhat superior. As studies progressed on the Me 210D, it was instead decided to introduce a "new" model, the Me 410. The major change between the Me 210 and 410 was the introduction of the larger and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 603A engines, which improved power to 1,750 PS (1,730 hp, 1,290 kW) compared to the 1,475 PS DB 605s used on the Me 210C. The engine performance increased the Me 410's maximum speed to 625 km/h (388 mph), greatly improved rate of climb, service ceiling, and most notably the cruise speed, which jumped to 579 km/h (360 mph). It also improved payload capability to the point where the aircraft could lift more war load than could fit into the bomb bay
    7.67
    3 votes
    74
    P-80 Shooting Star

    P-80 Shooting Star

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: T-33 Shooting Star
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces. Designed and built by Lockheed in 1943 and delivered in just 143 days from the start of the design process, production models were flying but not ready for service by the end of World War II. Designed with straight wings, the type saw extensive combat in Korea with the United States Air Force (USAF) as the F-80. America's first successful turbojet-powered combat aircraft, it helped usher in the "jet age" in the USAF, but was outclassed with the appearance of the swept-wing transonic MiG-15 and quickly replaced in the air superiority role by the North American F-86 Sabre. The F-94 Starfire, an all-weather interceptor on the same airframe, also saw Korean war service. The closely related T-33 Shooting Star trainer would remain in service with the U.S. Air Force and Navy until the 1970s and many still serve in a military role or are in private hands. The XP-80 was a conventional, all-metal airframe with a slim low wing and tricycle undercarriage (landing gear). Like most early jets designed during World War II, and before the Allies captured German swept wing research
    7.67
    3 votes
    75
    PZL M-4 Tarpan

    PZL M-4 Tarpan

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: PZL
    PZL M-4 Tarpan (also tarpan) was a Polish trainer and sports aircraft prototype of the 1960s, designed in WSK-Mielec. The M-4 was designed for a demand of the Polish Aero Club, for a trainer plane with a retractable tricycle landing gear. It was based on an earlier project PZL M-2. The basic variant was to be M-4P, for navigation training. The works started in 1958, and the first prototype was built in 1960. Due to a long engine development, it first flew on September 7, 1961 (registration SP-PAW). Trials showed, that the weight was much higher, than estimated (890 kg instead of 748 kg), which demanded changes in design. In July 1964 the second prototype was flown (registration SP-PAK). Flight characteristics and stability of the M-4 were estimated as good, it also fit to aerobatics and rally flying. The cab offered an excellent view for the crew and the plane was overall quite successful. However, because of too high price, the Polish Aero Club decided not to order the plane and the production has not started. A development of the flat engine PZL WN-6 was troublesome and was finally canceled at that time as well. In 1965 both prototypes were converted to single seater aerobatics
    7.67
    3 votes
    76
    T-6 Texan II

    T-6 Texan II

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Raytheon Aircraft Company
    The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (now Hawker Beechcraft). Based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. It has replaced the Air Force's T-37B Tweet and is replacing the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II), the German Air Force, the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force. The T-6 is a development of the Pilatus PC-9, modified significantly by Beechcraft in order to enter the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s. A similar arrangement between Pilatus and British Aerospace had also been in place for a Royal Air Force competition in the 1980s, although this competition selected the Short Tucano. The aircraft was designated under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system and named for the decades-earlier T-6 Texan. The Beechcraft brand has since been
    7.67
    3 votes
    77
    Yakovlev Yak-12

    Yakovlev Yak-12

    • Aircraft type: Utility aircraft
    • Variants: PZL-101 Gawron
    • Manufacturer: Yakovlev
    The Yakovlev Yak-12 (Russian: Як-12, also transcribed as Jak-12, NATO reporting name: "Creek") is a light multirole STOL aircraft used by the Soviet Air Force, Soviet civilian aviation and other countries from 1947 onwards. The Yak-12 was designed by Yakovlev's team to meet a requirement of the Soviet Air Force of 1944 for a new liaison and utility plane, to replace the obsolete Po-2 biplane. It was also meant to be used in civil aviation as a successor to Yakovlev's AIR-6 of 1934, built in a relatively small series. Yakovlev's first proposal was a four-place high-wing aircraft, the Yak-10 (first named Yak-14), built in January 1945. It won the competition with a low-wing Yak-13, based on the same fuselage, and a series of 40 Yak-10s were produced, powered with a 108 kW (145 hp) Shvetsov M-11M radial. In 1947, Yakovlev developed a new aircraft to replace the Yak-10. This was fitted with a more powerful 119 kW (160 hp) M-11FR, a new wing and undercarriage, and a fuselage with a revised shape (lower tail). The new type was designated Yak-12, first flying in 1947. 788 of the basic variant were produced, including military observation planes, some Yak-12S air ambulances, Yak-12SKh
    7.67
    3 votes
    78
    Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet

    Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet

    • Aircraft type: Advanced trainer
    • Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
    The Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet is a light attack jet and advanced trainer aircraft co-manufactured by Dornier of Germany and Dassault-Breguet of France. In the early 1960s, European air forces began to consider their requirements for the coming decades. One of the results was the emergence of a new generation of jet trainers to replace such aircraft as the Lockheed T-33 and Fouga Magister. The British and French began a collaboration on development of what was supposed to be a supersonic jet aircraft in two versions: trainer and light attack aircraft. The result of this collaboration, the SEPECAT Jaguar, proved to be an excellent aircraft, but its definition had changed in the interim, and the type emerged as a full-sized, nuclear-capable strike fighter, which two-seat variants were used for operational conversion to the type, not for the general training. This left the original requirement unfulfilled and so the French began discussions with West Germany for collaboration. A joint specification was produced in 1968. The trainer was now subsonic, supersonic trainers having proven something of a dead end. A joint development and production agreement was signed in July 1969 which
    10.00
    1 votes
    79
    Eclipse 500

    Eclipse 500

    • Aircraft type: Very Light Jet
    • Manufacturer: Eclipse Aviation
    The Eclipse 500 is a small six-seat business jet aircraft manufactured by Eclipse Aviation. Eclipse 500 became the first of a new class of Very Light Jet when it was delivered in late 2006. The aircraft is powered by two lightweight Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines in aft fuselage-mounted nacelles. Production of the Eclipse 500 was halted in mid-2008 due to lack of funding and the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 25 November 2008. The company was then entered Chapter 7 liquidation on 24 February 2009.After lengthy Chapter 7 procedure, Eclipse Aerospace was confirmed as the new owner of the assets of the former Eclipse Aviation on 20 August 2009 and opened for business on 1 September 2009. In October 2011 Eclipse Aerospace announced that they will put a new version of the aircraft, to be called the Eclipse 550, into production with deliveries starting in 2013. The Eclipse 500 is based on the Williams V-Jet II, which was designed and built by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites in 1997 for Williams International. It was intended to be used as a testbed and demonstrator for their new FJX-2 turbofan engine. The aircraft and engine debuted at the 1997 Oshkosh
    10.00
    1 votes
    80
    Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod

    Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod

    • Aircraft type: Maritime patrol aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Hawker-Siddeley
    The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a military aircraft developed and built in the United Kingdom. It is an extensive modification of the de Havilland Comet, the world's first jet airliner. It was originally designed by de Havilland's successor, Hawker Siddeley, now part of BAE Systems. It was designed as a Royal Air Force maritime patrol aircraft, the Nimrod MR1/MR2, its major role being anti-submarine warfare (ASW), although it also had secondary roles in maritime surveillance and anti-surface warfare. It served from the early 1970s until March 2010. The Nimrod series was due to be replaced by the now cancelled Nimrod MRA4. In addition to the three Maritime Reconnaissance variants, two further Nimrod types were developed. The RAF also used the Nimrod R1 variant in an electronic intelligence gathering (ELINT) role, while the Nimrod AEW3 was intended as a dedicated airborne early warning platform in the early-to-mid 1980s; this was unsuccessful and was cancelled in 1986 in favour of the Boeing E-3 Sentry. The development of the Nimrod patrol aircraft began in 1964 as a project to replace the Avro Shackleton. The Nimrod design was based on that of the Comet 4 civil airliner which had
    10.00
    1 votes
    81
    Northrop YB-49

    Northrop YB-49

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop shortly after World War II. Intended for service with the U.S. Air Force, the YB-49 featured a flying wing design. It was a jet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35; the two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft. The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 Peacemaker piston-driven design. Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49 nonetheless proved to be valuable to Northrop decades later in the eventual development of the B-2 stealth bomber, which entered service in the early 1990s. With the XB-35 program seriously behind schedule by 1944, and the end of piston-engined combat aircraft in sight, the production contract for this propeller driven type was cancelled in May of that year. Nevertheless, the Flying Wing design was still sufficiently interesting to the Air Force that work was continued on testing a single YB-35A production aircraft. Among the aircraft later completed were two airframes that the Air Force ordered be fitted with jet propulsion
    10.00
    1 votes
    82
    Westland Wessex

    Westland Wessex

    • Aircraft type: Helicopter
    The Westland Wessex is a British turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft (later Westland Helicopters), initially for the Royal Navy, and later for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Wessex was built at Westland's factory at Yeovil in Somerset. An American-built Sikorsky HSS-1 was shipped to Westland in 1956 to act as a pattern aircraft. It was re-engined with a Napier Gazelle turboshaft engine, and first flew in that configuration on 17 May 1957. The first Westland-built Wessex XL727, designated a Wessex HAS.1, first flew on 20 June 1958, and they entered anti-submarine duties in 1961 with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. The Royal Navy's anti-submarine examples (HAS.1, HAS.3) also used the Gazelle engine. The design was adapted in the early 1960s for the RAF, and later Royal Marines, to become a general-purpose helicopter capable of troop-carrying, air ambulance and ground support roles. In contrast with the HAS.1, it used twin Rolls-Royce Gnome engines. These marks (HC.2, HCC.4, HU.5) had a single large exhaust on each side of the nose, the Gazelle-powered examples having a pair of smaller exhausts on either side. The Wessex
    10.00
    1 votes
    83
    Bristol Brigand

    Bristol Brigand

    • Aircraft type: Dive bomber
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
    The Bristol Brigand was a British anti-shipping/ground attack/dive bomber attack aircraft developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company as a replacement for the Beaufighter. A total of 147 were built, and they served with the Royal Air Force in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency and Kenya until replaced by the de Havilland Hornet in Malaya and the English Electric Canberra jet bomber elsewhere. The Bristol Type 164 was the outcome of the 1942 Air Ministry specification H.7/42 calling for a faster edition of the Beaufighter for long-range torpedo work and anti-shipping strikes. Bristol design team under Leslie J. Frise used the wings, tail and undercarriage of the Buckingham with a new fuselage of oval cross-section. The three crew - pilot, navigator/bomb aimer and radio-operator/gunner were grouped together in the forward cockpit. In spite of the official change in its role to a bomber, the first 11 Brigands off the production line were completed as torpedo bombers. These initial aircraft served with the RAF Coastal Command from 1946–1947 before being converted to bombers. The first unit to convert from Beaufighters to the Brigand was 45 Squadron, then based at RAF Station Tengah on
    6.50
    4 votes
    84
    CAC Boomerang

    CAC Boomerang

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
    The CAC Boomerang was a World War II fighter aircraft designed and manufactured in Australia between 1942 and 1945. The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation produced Boomerangs under the production contract numbers CA-12, CA-13, CA-14 and CA-19, with aircraft supplied under each subsequent contract incorporating modifications and improvements. The Boomerang is significant as the first combat aircraft designed and built in Australia. The Pacific War began on 7 December 1941 with surprise attacks by the Empire of Japan on Pearl Harbor, Thailand, Malaya, and the Philippines. Within a few months, Japanese forces had conquered vast areas of the Pacific and South East Asia. During these campaigns, the ill-prepared Allied air forces in the Pacific suffered devastating losses. Because of political and cultural ties between the United Kingdom and Australia, British manufacturers were the main source of RAAF aircraft. However, the British aircraft industry had long been hard-pressed to meet the needs of the RAF. Although United States companies had enormous aircraft manufacturing capacity, their output was now intended first and foremost for U.S. air units. Even if aircraft built overseas did
    6.50
    4 votes
    85
    Vickers F.B.5

    Vickers F.B.5

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Vickers Limited
    The Vickers F.B.5 (Fighting Biplane 5) (known as the "Gunbus") was a British two-seat pusher military biplane of the First World War. Armed with a single .303 in  (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun operated by the observer in the front of the nacelle, it was the first aircraft purpose-built for air-to-air combat to see service, making it the world's first operational fighter aircraft. Vickers began experimenting with the concept of an armed warplane designed to destroy other aircraft in 1912. The first resulting aircraft was the "Destroyer" (later designated Vickers E.F.B.1) which was shown at the Olympia Aero Show in February 1913, but crashed on its maiden flight. This aircraft was of the "Farman" pusher layout, to avoid the problem of firing through a tractor propeller, and was armed with a single belt-fed Vickers gun. The E.F.B.1 was the first in a line of Vickers' "Experimental Fighting Biplanes", of which the F.B.5 was the most famous - and the first to be built in quantity. While the "Destroyer" was a failure, Vickers continued to pursue the development of armed pusher biplanes, and their designer Archibald Low drew up a new design, the Vickers Type 18, or Vickers E.F.B.2. This was a
    6.50
    4 votes
    86
    PZL P.7

    PZL P.7

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: PZL
    The PZL P.7 was the Polish fighter aircraft designed in early-1930s in the PZL factory in Warsaw. A state-of-the-art construction, one of the first all-metal monoplane fighters in the world, in 1933–1935 it was a main fighter of the Polish Air Force. It was replaced in Polish service by its follow-up design, the PZL P.11c. More than 30 P.7 fighters remained in service in the Polish Defensive War of 1939, scoring several kills despite their obsolescence. The history of the PZL P.7 started in 1928, when a talented designer, Zygmunt Puławski designed an all-metal, metal-covered monoplane fighter, the PZL P.1. It introduced a high gull wing, giving a pilot an optimal view. The wing design was called the "Polish wing" or "Pulawski wing". The P.1 was powered by an inline engine, and developed a speed of 302 km/h, but remained a prototype, because a decision was made to use a licence produced radial engine in the Polish Air Force fighters. Therefore, the next model, the PZL P.6, flown in August 1930, was powered by the Bristol Jupiter VI FH radial engine. Both aircraft were well received in the aviation world with the press recognizing the P.6 as one of the world's top fighters; it won
    5.60
    5 votes
    87
    AgustaWestland AW139

    AgustaWestland AW139

    • Aircraft type: Medium SAR
    • Variants: AB139
    • Manufacturer: AgustaWestland
    The AgustaWestland AW139 is a 15-seat medium sized twin-engined helicopter manufactured by AgustaWestland. Originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, it was redesignated the AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project. The AW139 has become one of AgustaWestland's most influential products; it has been subsiquently developed into two enlarged medium-lift helicopters, the military-orientated AW149 and the AW189 for the civil market. In 1997, the Italian helicopter manufacturer Agusta launched a programme to develop a replacement for the Bell Huey family of helicopters, which had been built in very large numbers both by Bell and Agusta, with a potential market of 900 aircraft being predicted. In 1998, Bell and Agusta entered into an agreement, setting up a joint venture, Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company (BAAC) to develop both the Italian helicopter and a tiltrotor aircraft, which became the Bell/Agusta AB139 and Bell/Agusta BA609 respectively. The first orders were placed by Bristow Helicopters on 26 September 2000. The first AW139 flew on 3 February 2001 at Vergiate in Italy, and the first production aircraft on 24 June
    8.50
    2 votes
    88
    Bell 407

    Bell 407

    • Aircraft type: Multipurpose utility helicopter
    • Variants: ARH-70
    • Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron
    The Bell 407 is a four-blade, single-engine, civil utility helicopter; a derivative of the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger. The 407 uses the four-blade, soft-in-plane design rotor with composite hub developed for the United States Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior instead of the two-blade, semi-rigid, teetering, rotor of the 206L-4. The Bell 407 is frequently used for corporate and offshore transport, as an air ambulance, law enforcement, electronic news gathering and movie making. In 1993, Bell began the development of the New Light Aircraft as a replacement for its Model 206 series. The program resulted in the 407, a development of Bell's LongRanger. A 206L-3 LongRanger was modified to serve as the 407 demonstrator. The demonstrator used hardware for the 407 and added molded fairings to represent the 407's wider fuselage then under development. The demonstrator was first flown on April 21, 1994, and the 407 program was publicly announced at the Heli-Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January 1995. The first 407 prototype (C-GFOS) accomplished its maiden flight on June 29, 1995, and the second prototype (C-FORS) followed on July 13, 1995. After a short development program, the first production 407
    8.50
    2 votes
    89
    CAC Wirraway

    CAC Wirraway

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
    The Wirraway (an Aboriginal word meaning "challenge") was a training and general purpose military aircraft manufactured in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) between 1939 and 1946. The aircraft was an Australian development of the North American NA-16 training aircraft. During World War II, the Wirraway saw action, in a makeshift light bomber/ground attack capacity, against Japanese forces. It was also the starting point for the design of an "emergency fighter", the CAC Boomerang. Three Royal Australian Air Force officers, led by Wing Commander Lawrence Wackett, were sent on an overseas evaluation mission in 1936 to select an aircraft type for local production in Australia. The aircraft selected was the North American Aviation (NAA) NA-16. Production licences were obtained in 1937 and two NA-16s were purchased from North American Aviation to act as prototypes. The first of these two aircraft was the fixed undercarriage NA-16-1A (similar in design to the BT-9); the second was the retractable undercarriage NA-16-2K (similar to the BC-1). These two aircraft were also known by their NAA project accounting codes (NA-32 for the NA-16-1A and NA-33 for the NA-16-2K)
    8.50
    2 votes
    90
    F2G Corsair

    F2G Corsair

    • Aircraft type: Naval aviation fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Vought
    The Goodyear F2G "Super" Corsair was a development by the Goodyear Aircraft Company of the FG-1/F4U-1 Corsair design as a special low-altitude version of a fighter equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 twenty-eight-cylinder, four-row radial air-cooled engine. Although often cited that the origin of the aircraft was as an interceptor of low-flying Japanese suicide aircraft, its actual beginnings came about in 1939 when the Pratt and Whitney company first proposed its enormous new engine. Thus the F2G lineage was tied to its engine design rather than tactical requirements. Using experience from building the fixed-wing FG-1, a version of the folding wing F4U-1 Corsair, in early 1944, Goodyear extensively modified a standard FG-1 airframe, designated the XF2G-1, to take advantage of the 50% increase in take-off power provided by the R-4360 engine. In addition, an all-round vision bubble-type canopy was installed. In March 1944, Goodyear was awarded a contract to deliver 418 F2G-1 and 10 F2G-2 aircraft. The F2G-2 version included modifications for carrier operations. Armament provisions included alternative wing-mounted installations for four or six 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns and
    8.50
    2 votes
    91
    Handley Page Dart Herald

    Handley Page Dart Herald

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    The Handley Page Dart Herald was a 1950s British turboprop passenger aircraft. In the mid 1950s the Handley Page Aircraft Company developed a new fast short-range regional airliner, intended to replace the venerable Douglas DC-3, particularly in third-world countries. The design, originally known as the HPR-3 Herald, emanated from the drawing office at Handley Page (Reading) Limited - the former Miles Aircraft factory site, which had developed an earlier airliner design, the Miles Marathon. The Herald was an extensive re-development of the original concept of the Marathon, notable for its high mounted wing. The HP Reading division succeeded in producing a modern design with excellent flight and performance characteristics. However, the company made a serious misjudgement which was, in the end, to cost the company dearly, and like some other classic British aircraft of the time, the Herald missed its chance. After extensive consultation with DC-3 operators, it was decided to power the new airliner with piston engines, rather than turboprops, which were considered risky by the small airlines at which the HPR.3 was aimed. Handley Page preferred a four-engined design, which led to the
    8.50
    2 votes
    92
    Bell X-1

    Bell X-1

    • Aircraft type: Rocket plane
    • Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft
    The Bell X-1, originally designated XS-1, was a joint NACA-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by the Bell Aircraft Company. Conceived in 1944 and designed and built during 1945, it reached nearly 1,000 m.p.h. (1,600 km/h) in 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 m.p.h. (2,575 km/h) in 1954. The X-1 was the first airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the so-called X-planes, an American series of experimental rocket planes designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret. On 16 March 1945, the U.S. Army Air Forces Flight Test Division and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) made a contract with the Bell Aircraft Company to build three XS-1 (for "Experimental, Supersonic", later X-1) aircraft to obtain flight data on conditions in the transonic speed range. The X-1 was in principle a "bullet with wings", its shape closely resembling a Browning .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun bullet, known to be stable in supersonic flight. The pattern shape was followed to the point of seating its
    7.33
    3 votes
    93
    Campini Caproni CC.2

    Campini Caproni CC.2

    • Manufacturer: Caproni
    The Caproni Campini N.1 (sometimes referred to as the CC.2) was an experimental aircraft built by the Italian aircraft manufacturer Caproni. It was considered the first jet-powered airplane to take flight, before the Heinkel He 178 was made public. In 1931, Italian engineer Secondo Campini submitted a report on the potential of jet propulsion to the Regia Aeronautica, and the following year, demonstrated a jet-powered boat in Venice. In 1934, the Regia Aeronautica granted approval for the development of a jet aircraft to demonstrate the principle. As designed by Campini, the aircraft did not have a jet engine in the sense that we know them today. Rather, a conventional 700 kW (940 hp) Isotta Fraschini L.121/R.C.40 piston engine was used to drive a compressor, which forced air into a combustion chamber where it was mixed with fuel and ignited. The exhaust produced by this combustion was to drive the aircraft forward. Campini called this configuration a "thermojet," but the term "motorjet" is in common usage today for this arrangement since thermojet is now used to refer to a particular type of pulsejet (an unrelated form of jet engine). It has also been described as a ducted
    7.33
    3 votes
    94
    Hawker Sea Hawk

    Hawker Sea Hawk

    • Aircraft type: Naval fighter
    • Manufacturer: Hawker-Siddeley
    The Hawker Sea Hawk was a British single-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), the air branch of the Royal Navy (RN), built by Hawker Aircraft and its sister company, Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. Although its origins stemmed from earlier Hawker piston-engined fighters, the Sea Hawk became the company's first jet aircraft. After successful acceptance in the RN, the type proved to be a reliable and sturdy workhorse and went on to export success abroad. In the final years of the Second World War, Hawker's design team explored jet engine technology, initially looking at "stretching" and modifying the existing Hawker Fury/Sea Fury planform fitting a mid-engine Rolls-Royce Nene jet engine and moving the cockpit to the extreme front of the fuselage, creating the P.1035. With encouragement from the Air Ministry, the design was altered substantially, with the wing losing the elliptical shape of the Fury and featuring wing-root air intakes and short bifurcated jet exhausts (which gained the name "trouser legs"). This redesign culminated in building the private venture P.1040. The unusual bifurcated jet pipe reduced jet pipe power loss and freed up space in the rear fuselage for fuel
    7.33
    3 votes
    95
    Henschel Hs 123

    Henschel Hs 123

    • Aircraft type: Dive bomber
    • Manufacturer: Henschel & Son
    The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat biplane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to midpoint of World War II. Although an obsolete design, it continued to see front-line service until 1944, and was only withdrawn due to a lack of serviceable airframes and spare parts. Henschel was a German locomotive manufacturer. Soon after Hitler's rise to power, Henschel decided to start designing aircraft, one of the first being the Hs 123. The aircraft was designed to meet the 1933 dive bomber requirements for the reborn Luftwaffe. Both Henschel and rival Fieseler (with the Fi 98) competed for the production contract requirement, which specified a single-seat biplane dive bomber. The first prototype Hs 123, the Hs 123V1 was cleared for its maiden flight on 1 April 1935, and General Ernst Udet, a World War I ace, flew the first prototype on its first public demonstration fight on 8 May 1935. The first three Henschel prototypes, with the first and third powered by 485 kW (650 hp) BMW 132A-3 engines and the second by a 574 kW (770 hp) Wright Cyclone, were tested at Rechlin in August 1936. Only the first prototype
    7.33
    3 votes
    96
    Lockheed Orion

    Lockheed Orion

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed Model 9 Orion was a single engine passenger aircraft built in 1931 for commercial airlines. It was the first airliner to have retractable landing gear and was faster than any military aircraft of that time. Designed by Richard A. Von Hake, it was the last wooden monoplane design produced by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. The Orion was the last design using many identical elements from the Lockheed designs preceding it. It primarily used all the elements of the Altair, but included a forward top cockpit similar to the Vega, plus the NACA cowling introduced in the Air Express. Lockheed used the same basic fuselage mold and wing for all these wooden designs (the Explorer wing was unique), hence the close similarities between them. The Orion featured an enclosed cabin with seating for six passengers. The Orion received its Approved Type Certificate on May 6, 1931. Gerard F. Vultee was Lockheed's chief engineer in 1928 through 1931 and was involved in the designs of all the Lockheed variants of that time and specifically designed Charles Lindbergh’s Sirius. Although designed with the passenger market in mind, its speed made it a natural for air races. The first Bendix
    7.33
    3 votes
    97
    Northrop M2-F3

    Northrop M2-F3

    • Aircraft type: Lifting body
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop M2-F3 was a heavyweight lifting body rebuilt from the Northrop M2-F2 after it crashed at the Dryden Flight Research Center in 1967. It was modified with an additional third vertical fin - centered between the tip fins - to improve control characteristics. The "M" refers to "manned" and "F" refers to "flight" version. Early flight testing of the M2-F1 and M2-F2 lifting body reentry configurations had validated the concept of piloted lifting body reentry from space. When the M2-F2 crashed on May 10, 1967, valuable information had already been obtained and was contributing to new designs. NASA pilots said the M2-F2 had lateral control problems, so when the M2-F2 was rebuilt at Northrop and redesignated the M2-F3, it was modified with an additional third vertical fin - centered between the tip fins - to improve control characteristics. After a three-year-long redesign and rebuilding effort, the M2-F3 was ready to fly. The May 1967 crash of the M2-F2 had torn off the left fin and landing gear. It had also damaged the external skin and internal structure. Flight Research Center engineers worked with Ames Research Center and the Air Force in redesigning the vehicle with a
    7.33
    3 votes
    98
    Junkers Ju 52

    Junkers Ju 52

    • Aircraft type: Transport
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 52 (nicknamed Tante Ju ("Auntie Ju") and Iron Annie) was a German trimotor transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler. In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber. The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s. The Ju 52 was similar to the company's previous Junkers W33, although larger. In 1930, Ernst Zindel and his team designed the Ju 52 at the Junkers works at Dessau. The aircraft's unusual corrugated duralumin metal skin, pioneered by Junkers during World War I, strengthened the whole structure. The Ju 52 had a low cantilever wing, the midsection of which was built into the fuselage, forming its underside. It was formed around four pairs of circular cross section duralumin spars with a corrugated surface that provided torsional stiffening. A narrow control surface, with its outer section functioning as the aileron, and the inner section
    6.25
    4 votes
    99
    XP-67 Bat

    XP-67 Bat

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Aircraft
    The McDonnell XP-67 "Bat" or "Moonbat" was a prototype for a twin-engine, long range, single-seat interceptor aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces. Although the design was conceptually advanced, it was beset by numerous problems and never approached its anticipated level of performance. The project was cancelled after the sole completed prototype was destroyed by an engine fire. In 1940, the U.S. Army Air Corps issued Request for Proposal R-40C, requesting designs for a high-speed, long-range, high-altitude interceptor intended to destroy enemy bombers. The specifications were very bold, encouraging manufacturers to produce radical aircraft that would outperform any existing fighter in the world at the time. Upstart aerospace parts manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft, eager to begin manufacturing its own aircraft, responded to the proposal with drawings and specifications of the proposed Model I, which would be powered by an unusual geared drivetrain with a single Allison V-3420 engine buried in the fuselage powering twin wing-mounted pusher propellers in the wings. However, 22 other manufacturers also issued proposals to meet the Army’s request; the McDonnell proposal had
    6.25
    4 votes
    100
    Sukhoi Su-9 (1946)

    Sukhoi Su-9 (1946)

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Sukhoi
    The Sukhoi Su-9, or Samolyet K (Russian: Aircraft K), (USAF/DOD designation: Type 8), was an early jet fighter built in the Soviet Union shortly after World War II. The design began in 1944 and was intended to use Soviet-designed turbojet engines. The design was heavily influenced by captured German jet fighters and it was subsequently redesigned to use a Soviet copy of a German turbojet. The Su-9 was slower than competing Soviet aircraft and it was cancelled as a result. A modified version with different engines and a revised wing became the Su-11 (Samolyet KL), but this was did not enter production either. The Su-13 (Samolyet KT) was a proposal to re-engine the aircraft with Soviet copies of the Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet as well as to modify it for night fighting, but neither proposal was accepted. In 1944, the Sukhoi design bureau (OKB) began designing a twin-engined fighter powered by two Lyulka TR-1 turbojets, known internally as the Samolyet or Izdeliye (item or product) K. The ultimate design was very probably influenced by a captured Messerschmitt Me 262, but the Su-9 was not a copy of the German aircraft. The Su-9 had a oval cross-section, all-metal stressed skin
    5.40
    5 votes
    101
    Airspeed Oxford

    Airspeed Oxford

    • Aircraft type: Training aircraft
    • Variants: Airspeed Consul
    • Manufacturer: Airspeed Ltd.
    The Airspeed AS.10 Oxford was a twin-engine aircraft used for training British Commonwealth aircrews in navigation, radio-operating, bombing and gunnery during the Second World War. The Oxford, built to Specification T.23/36, was based on Airspeed's commercial 8-seater aircraft, the AS.6 Envoy, designed by Hessell Tiltman. Seven Envoys had been modified for the South African Air Force as the "Convertible Envoy", which could be equipped at short notice with a single machine-gun in a hand-operated Armstrong Whitworth dorsal turret, and with bomb racks. Airspeed Ltd. was founded by Nevil Shute Norway (later to become a well-known novelist under his first two names) and the talented designer Hessell Tiltman. In his autobiography, Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer, Nevil Norway gives an account of the founding of the company and of the processes that led to the development and large scale production of the Oxford. (He received the Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society for his innovative fitting of a retractable undercarriage to the aircraft.) The Oxford was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a semi-monocoque constructed fuselage and wooden tail unit. Its main landing
    7.00
    3 votes
    102
    E-1 Tracer

    E-1 Tracer

    • Aircraft type: Carrier AEW
    • Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corporation
    The E-1 Tracer was the first purpose built airborne early warning aircraft used by the United States Navy. It was a derivative of the Grumman C-1 Trader and first entered service in 1958. It was replaced by the more modern E-2 Hawkeye in the early 1970s. The E-1 was designated WF under the old US Navy system; the designation earned it the nickname "Willy Fudd". Since the S-2 Tracker was known as S2F under the old system, that aircraft was nicknamed "Stoof"; the WF/E-1 with its distinctive radome gained the nickname "Stoof with a Roof." The E-1 featured folding wings for compact storage aboard aircraft carriers. Unlike the S-2 and C-1 in which the wings folded upwards, the radome atop the fuselage necessitated the E-1 to fold its wings along the sides of the fuselage. The Tracer was fitted with the Hazeltine AN/APS-82 in its radome. The radar featured an Airborne Moving Target Indicator (AMTI), which analyzes the Doppler shift in reflected radar energy to distinguish a flying aircraft against the clutter produced by wave action at the ocean's surface. Separating a moving object from stationary background is accomplished by suitable hardware. As one of the first carrier based early
    7.00
    3 votes
    103
    Junkers Ju 89

    Junkers Ju 89

    • Aircraft type: Heavy bomber
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 89 was a heavy bomber designed for the Luftwaffe prior to World War II. Two prototypes were constructed, but the project was abandoned without the aircraft entering production. Elements of its design were incorporated into later Junkers aircraft. From the very beginnings of the Luftwaffe in 1933, General Walther Wever, the chief of staff, realised the importance that strategic bombing would play in any future conflict. A Langstrecken-Grossbomber ("long-range big bomber") was needed to fulfill this role. Under the Ural bomber program, he began secret talks with two of Germany's leading aircraft manufacturers - Dornier and Junkers - requesting designs for a long-range bomber. The two companies responded with the Dornier Do 19 and the Junkers Ju 89 respectively, and the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium, "Reich Aviation Ministry") ordered prototypes for both aircraft in 1935. It is reported that the RLM request asked for two prototypes and a prototype series of nine aircraft. The Ju 89 and its competitor, the Dornier Do 19, both proved promising, but fell victim to a change of direction within the Luftwaffe. Wever was killed in a plane crash in 1936. His successors -
    7.00
    3 votes
    104
    Lockheed XP-49

    Lockheed XP-49

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed XP-49 (company Model 522) was an advancement on the P-38 Lightning for a fighter in response to U.S. Army Air Corps proposal 39-775. Intended to use the new 24-cylinder Pratt & Whitney X-1800 engine, this proposal, which was for an aircraft substantially similar to the P-38, was assigned the designation XP-49, while the competing Grumman Model G-46 was awarded second place and designated XP-50. Ordered in October 1939 and approved on January 8, 1940, the X-1800-powered XP-49 would feature a pressurized cockpit and armament of two 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and four 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. However, after two months into the contract a decision was made to substitute the Continental XI-1430-1 (or IV-1430) twelve cylinder liquid-cooled inverted vee engines for the X-1800. The XP-49, 40-3055, first flew on 11 November 1942. A crash landing on 1 January 1943 occurred when the port landing gear failed to lock down due to a combined hydraulic and electric failure, and the XP-49 flew again on 16 February 1943 after repairs were made. The preliminary flight data showed that performance of the XP-49 was not sufficiently better than the production P-38, and with a questionable
    7.00
    3 votes
    105
    Luscombe 8

    Luscombe 8

    • Manufacturer: Luscombe
    The Luscombe 8 is a series of high wing, side-by-side seating, conventional geared monoplanes designed in 1937 and built by Luscombe Aircraft. The Luscombe Aircraft Corporation was re-formed as a New Jersey company in 1937, and a new design was begun. The Luscombe 50 (Model 8) was to become the company's most famous product. The Model 8 used the new horizontally opposed small engines that had just been developed by the engine manufacturers. For simplicity, the aircraft was designed with a round firewall to minimize frontal area and simplify construction. Although it was alleged this might allow the installation of a small radial engine if the flat four did not work, none of the original design engineers recall that being a design consideration. The Model 8 followed in the Luscombe tradition of using no wood in the construction, and had a monocoque fuselage with fabric-covered metal wings. For a cheap, light aircraft, this was a revolutionary construction technique . Its competitors were built of fabric-covered steel tubing, with wooden spars and sometimes ribs in the fabric-covered wings. Luscombe's construction techniques allowed him to build his aircraft quickly and cheaply,
    7.00
    3 votes
    106
    Short Belfast

    Short Belfast

    • Aircraft type: Heavy airfreighter
    • Manufacturer: Short Brothers
    The Short Belfast was a heavy lift turboprop freighter built by Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 were built for the British Royal Air Force with the designation Short Belfast C.1. When they were retired by the RAF, five went into civilian service with the cargo airline HeavyLift Cargo Airlines. Two aircraft still exist, one is on display at the RAF Museum Cosford. The Belfast was developed to meet a Royal Air Force operational requirement (ASR.371) for a freighter capable of carrying a wide range of military loads over long ranges. The military loads envisaged included artillery, more than 200 troops, helicopters, and guided missiles. Shorts' design was based on studies they had worked on in the late 1950s and the project started as the SC.5/10 in February 1959. From that design, the prototype Belfast first flew on 5 January 1964. The aircraft was flown by Shorts' chief test pilot Denis Taylor; the crew consisted of Peter Lowe (2nd pilot), Malcolm Wild (engineer), Ricky Steel (flight engineer), Bill Mortimer (radio operator & navigator), Alex Mackenzie and Gil Thomas (flight observers)/ The Belfast was notable for being only the second aircraft type to be built equipped with
    7.00
    3 votes
    107
    Sikorsky Ilya Muromets

    Sikorsky Ilya Muromets

    • Aircraft type: Bi-plane bomber
    The Ilya Muromets (Russian: Илья Муромец) refers to a class of Russian pre-World War I large four-engine commercial airliners and heavy military bombing aircraft used during World War I by the Russian Empire. The aircraft series was named after Ilya Muromets, a hero from Russian mythology. The series was based on the Russky Vityaz or Le Grand, the world's first four-engined aircraft, designed by Igor Sikorsky. The Ilya Muromets aircraft as it appeared in 1913 was a revolutionary design, intended for commercial service with its spacious fuselage incorporating a passenger saloon and washroom on board. During World War I, it became the first four-engine bomber to equip a dedicated strategic bombing unit. This heavy bomber was unrivaled in the early stages of the war, as the Central Powers had no aircraft capable enough to challenge it until much later. The Ilya Muromets (Sikorsky S-22) was designed and constructed by Igor Sikorsky at the Russo-Baltic Carriage Factory (RBVZ) in Riga in 1913. It was based on his earlier S-21 Russky Vityaz (or Le Grand) which had played an important role in the development of Russian aviation and the multi-engine aircraft industries of the world. Russia
    7.00
    3 votes
    108
    Tupolev Tu-4

    Tupolev Tu-4

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Variants: Tupolev Tu-85
    • Manufacturer: Tupolev
    The Tupolev Tu-4 (NATO reporting name: Bull) was a piston-engined Soviet strategic bomber that served the Soviet Air Force from the late 1940s to mid 1960s. It was a reverse-engineered copy of the U.S.-made Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Towards the end of World War II, the Soviet Union saw the need for a strategic bombing capability similar to that of the United States Army Air Forces. The Soviet VVS air arm did have their own-design Petlyakov Pe-8 four-engined "heavy" in service at the start of the war, but only 93 were built by the end of the war as the type had been equipped with unreliable turbocharged V12 diesel engines at the start of its service to give it long range. The U.S. regularly conducted bombing raids on Japan, extremely close to the Soviet Union's borders, from distant Pacific forward bases using B-29 Superfortresses. Joseph Stalin ordered the development of a comparable bomber. The U.S. twice refused to supply the Soviet Union with B-29s under Lend Lease. However, on four occasions during 1944, individual B-29s made emergency landings in Soviet territory and one crashed after the crew bailed out. In accordance with the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, the Soviets
    7.00
    3 votes
    109
    De Havilland Canada Dash 7

    De Havilland Canada Dash 7

    • Aircraft type: Regional STOL airliner
    • Manufacturer: De Havilland Canada
    The de Havilland Canada DHC-7, popularly known as the Dash 7, is a turboprop-powered regional airliner with STOL capabilities. It first flew in 1975 and remained in production until 1988 when the parent company, de Havilland Canada, was purchased by Boeing and was later sold to Bombardier. Bombardier sold the aircraft design (type certificate) to Viking Air in 2006. In the 1960s, de Havilland Canada was already well known worldwide for their series of high-performance STOL aircraft, notably the very popular DHC-6 Twin Otter. However, these aircraft were generally fairly small and served outlying routes, as opposed to the main regional airliner routes which were already well served by larger, higher-performance turboprop aircraft such as the Fokker F27, Fairchild F-27 and Convair 580. The de Havilland Canada company felt they could compete with these designs in a roundabout way. With their excellent STOL performance, their designs could fly into smaller airports located in city centres and smaller, outlying, more austere airports having runways that the other aircraft could not easily use (unpaved, unimproved). The original specification called for a 40-passenger aircraft with a
    5.20
    5 votes
    110
    Boeing 757

    Boeing 757

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Boeing C-32
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner that was built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1981 to 2004. It is the manufacturer's largest single-aisle passenger aircraft. The twinjet has a two-crewmember glass cockpit, turbofan engines, a conventional tail and, for reduced aerodynamic drag, a supercritical wing design. Intended to replace the smaller three-engine 727 on short and medium routes, the 757 can carry 200 to 289 passengers for a maximum of 3,150 to 4,100 nautical miles (5,830 to 7,600 km), depending on variant. The 757 was designed concurrently with a wide-body twinjet, the 767, and owing to shared features pilots can obtain a common type rating that allows them to operate both aircraft. The 757 was produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 757-200 entered service in 1983; the 757-200PF, a package freighter (PF) variant, and the 757-200M, a passenger-freighter combi model, debuted in the late 1980s. The stretched 757-300, the longest narrow-body twinjet ever produced, began service in 1999. Passenger 757-200s have been modified to special freighter (SF) specification for cargo use, while military derivatives include the C-32 transport, VIP
    6.00
    4 votes
    111
    Aérospatiale Gazelle

    Aérospatiale Gazelle

    • Aircraft type: Utility
    • Variants: Aérospatiale Gazelle SA 340
    • Manufacturer: Sud Aviation
    The Aérospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat light helicopter, powered by a single turbine engine. It was designed and manufactured in France by Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale), and has also been manufactured under licence by Westland Aircraft in the United Kingdom (as the Westland Gazelle), by SOKO in Yugoslavia, and ABHCO in Egypt. The Gazelle is and has been used by many military forces around the world. The Aérospatiale Gazelle originated in a French Army requirement for a lightweight utility helicopter. The design quickly attracted British interest, leading to a development and production share out agreement with British company Westland Helicopters. The deal, signed in February 1967, allowed the production in Britain of 292 Gazelles and 48 Aérospatiale Pumas ordered by the British armed forces; in return Aérospatiale was given a work share in the manufacturing programme for the 40 Westland Lynx naval helicopters for the French Navy. Gazelles were also manufactured in Egypt by ABHCO and in Yugoslavia by SOKO. Though the general layout resembles that of the Alouette series, the Gazelle featured several important innovations. This was the first helicopter to carry a Fenestron or
    8.00
    2 votes
    112
    Dassault Super Mystère

    Dassault Super Mystère

    • Aircraft type: Fighter-bomber
    • Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
    The Dassault Super Mystère was a French fighter-bomber, the first Western European supersonic aircraft to enter mass production. The Super Mystère represents the final step in evolution which began with the Dassault Ouragan and progressed through the Mystère II/III and Mystère IV. While earlier Mystère variants could attain supersonic speeds only in a dive, the Super Mystère could exceed the speed of sound in level flight. This was achieved thanks to the new thin wing with 45° of sweep (compared with 41° of sweep in the Mystère IV and only 33° in Mystère II) and the use of an afterburner-equipped turbojet engine. The first prototype Super Mystère B.1, powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon RA.7R, took to the air on March 2, 1955. The aircraft broke the sound barrier in level flight the following day. The aircraft entered production in 1957 as the Super Mystère B.2. The production version differed from the prototype by having a more powerful SNECMA Atar 101G engine. In 1958, two Super Mystère B.4 prototypes were built. Equipped with a new 48° swept wing and a more powerful SNECMA Atar 9B engine, the aircraft were capable of Mach 1.4. Production never materialized because the faster Dassault
    8.00
    2 votes
    113
    Horten Ho IV

    Horten Ho IV

    • Aircraft type: Glider
    The Horten H.IV was a German tailless flying wing glider in which the pilot lay in a prone position to reduce the frontal area, and hence drag. It was designed by Reimar and Walter Horten in Göttingen. Four were built between 1941 and 1943. They were flown in a number of unofficial competitions in Germany during World War II. After the war the flying examples were transported to the United Kingdom and the United States where several contest successes were achieved. Data from General characteristics Performance
    8.00
    2 votes
    114
    Lockheed XF-90

    Lockheed XF-90

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed XF-90 was built in response to a United States Air Force requirement for a long-range penetration fighter and bomber escort. The same requirement produced the McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo. Lockheed received a contract for two prototype XP-90s (redesignated XF-90 in 1948). The design was developed by Willis Hawkins and the Skunk Works team under Kelly Johnson. Two prototypes were built (s/n 46-687 and -688). Developmental and political difficulties delayed the first flight until 3 June 1949, with Chief Test Pilot Tony LeVier at the controls. Performance of the design was considered inadequate due to being underpowered, and the XF-90 never entered production. In response to a 1945 Army request for an advanced jet fighter, Lockheed proposed a jet powered initially by a Lockheed L-1000 axial flow turbojet, and then the General Electric J35. Further design refinements included using two Westinghouse J34 engines with afterburners. After data showed that a delta planform would not be suitable, the Lockheed Model 90 was built as a mock-up in 1947 with swept wings. The final design embodied much of the experience and shared the intake and low-wing layout of the previous Lockheed F-80
    8.00
    2 votes
    115
    Messerschmitt Me 264

    Messerschmitt Me 264

    • Aircraft type: Long-range bomber
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerika was a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft developed during World War II for the German Luftwaffe. It was intended to support U-boat operations far into the Atlantic, serving both as a scout to direct the attack, as well as launching attacks of its own. The design was later selected as a competitor in the Reichsluftfahrtministerium's (the German Air Ministry) "Amerika Bomber" programme, which intended to develop a strategic bomber capable of attacking New York City from bases in France or the Azores. Three prototypes were built, but production was abandoned to allow Messerschmitt to concentrate on fighter production while another design, the Junkers Ju 390, had been selected in its place as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The origin of the Me 264 design came from Messerschmitt's long-range reconnaissance aircraft project, the P.1061, of the late 1930s. A variant on the P.1061 was the P.1062 of which three prototypes were built, with only two "engines" to the P.1061's four, but they were, in fact, the more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 606s, each comprising a pair of DB 601 inverted V-12 engines, themselves derided by Reichsmarschall Hermann
    8.00
    2 votes
    116
    Novi Avion

    Novi Avion

    • Aircraft type: Multirole fighter
    The Novi Avion (English: New Aeroplane) was a 4th-generation, supersonic multi-role combat aircraft of cropped delta-canard planform, designed by Vazduhoplovno Tehnicki Institut (VTI) of Yugoslavia but cancelled just before production began in 1991. The project was started in the mid-1980s in order to make Yugoslavia fully self-sufficient in the manufacture of military equipment, and air superiority fighter jets were the only thing that Yugoslavia still had to import, having obtained the capability to build all other military equipment (tanks, light attack jets, submarines, etc.) by the 1980s. When Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1991, the project was cancelled, since the break-up of the country made the financial resources necessary to start production of the plane unavailable. The design was approximately one year from completion at the time of cancellation, and design of some production facilities and prototypes of some parts such as the cockpit had already been built. Had it not been cancelled, it would have had its first flight in 1992, and entered service some time in the mid or late 1990s. The work was undertaken by the Vazduhoplovno Tehnicki Institut (VTI) ("Aeronautical
    8.00
    2 votes
    117
    Seversky P-35

    Seversky P-35

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: P-43 Lancer
    • Manufacturer: Republic Aviation Company
    The Seversky P-35 (P=Pursuit) was a fighter aircraft built in the United States by the Seversky Aircraft Company in the late 1930s. A contemporary of the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, the P-35 was the first single-seat fighter in U.S. Army Air Corps to feature all-metal construction, retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit. The origins of the P-35 trace back to the Seversky SEV-3 three-seat amphibian, designed by Alexander Kartveli, Seversky's chief designer and Seversky's first aircraft. The SEV-3 first flew in June 1933 and was developed into the Seversky BT-8 basic trainer, 30 of which were ordered by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) in 1935. This proved grossly underpowered and was quickly replaced by the North American BT-9. The second prototype SEV-3 was completed as a two-seat fighter derivative, the SEV-2XP. It was powered by a 735 hp (548 kW) Wright R-1820 radial engine, had fixed landing gear in aerodynamic spats and was armed with one .50 in (12.7 mm) and one .30 in (7.62 mm) forward-firing machine guns plus an additional .30 in (7.62 mm) gun for rear defence. When the USAAC announced a competition for a new single-seat fighter in 1935,
    8.00
    2 votes
    118
    Sukhoi Su-33

    Sukhoi Su-33

    • Aircraft type: Multirole fighter
    • Manufacturer: Sukhoi
    The Sukhoi Su-33 (Russian: Сухой Су-33; NATO reporting name: Flanker-D) is an all-weather carrier-based air defence fighter designed by Sukhoi and manufactured by KnAAPO. It is a derivative of the Su-27 "Flanker" and was initially known as the Su-27K. First used in operations in 1995 aboard the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the fighter officially entered service in August 1998, by which time the designation "Su-33" was used. Following the break-up of the Soviet Union and the subsequent downsizing of the Russian Navy, only 24 aircraft were produced. Attempted sales to China and India fell through. Compared with the Su-27, the Su-33 has a strengthened undercarriage and structure, folding wings and stabilators, all for carrier operations. The wings are larger than on land-based aircraft for increased lift. The Su-33 has upgraded engines and a twin nose wheel, and is air refuelable. The aircraft's range and payload are greater than those of the rival MiG-29K, but the Mikoyan fighter has more advanced avionics and is capable of a wider range of missions, including strike operations. In 2009, the Russian Navy ordered the MiG-29K as a replacement for the Su-33. During the 1970s, the Yakovlev
    8.00
    2 votes
    119
    XA-38 Grizzly

    XA-38 Grizzly

    • Aircraft type: Heavy attack
    • Manufacturer: Beechcraft
    The Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly was a United States ground attack aircraft, fitted with a forward-firing 75 mm cannon to attack heavily armored targets. The first prototype flew on 7 May 1944 but after testing it became obvious it would not be ready for the projected invasion of Japan, and furthermore it used engines required by the B-29 Superfortress — which had priority - and so it was canceled after two prototypes had been completed. The United States Army Air Forces awarded the Beech Aircraft Corporation a contract in December 1942 for two prototypes for their Model 28 "Destroyer". The requirement was for a powerful ground attack aircraft to replace the Douglas A-20 Havoc, with the ability to hit "hardened" targets like tanks and bunkers. This capability was achieved through a 75 mm cannon with 20 rounds, mounted in a fixed position on the nose as well as two .50 cal (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns firing forward. Defensive armament consisted of remotely-controlled ventral and dorsal turrets, each armed with twin .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns. There were to be two crew members, a pilot and an observer/gunner in the rear cabin, using periscope sights to aim the guns. On 7 May
    8.00
    2 votes
    120
    A-1 Skyraider

    A-1 Skyraider

    • Aircraft type: Attack aircraft
    • Variants: A2D Skyshark
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter. The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career, even inspiring its straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the British Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Air Force of the Republic of Vietnam (VNAF), and others. The piston-engined Skyraider was designed during World War II to meet US Naval requirements for a carrier-based, single-seat, long-range, high performance dive/torpedo bomber, to follow-on from earlier types such as the Helldiver and Avenger. Designed by Ed Heinemann of the Douglas Aircraft Company, prototypes were ordered on 6 July 1944 as the XBT2D-1. The XBT2D-1 made its first flight on 18 March 1945 and in April 1945, the USN began evaluation of the aircraft at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC). In December
    9.00
    1 votes
    121
    Caudron Simoun

    Caudron Simoun

    • Manufacturer: Caudron
    The Caudron Simoun was a 1930s French four-seat touring monoplane. It was used as a mail plane by Air Bleu, flew record-setting long-range flights, and was also used as a liaison aircraft by the Armée de l'Air during World War II. General characteristics Performance
    9.00
    1 votes
    122
    Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

    Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
    • Manufacturer: Mikoyan
    The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-15) was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in daylight. The MiG-15 also served as the starting point for development of the more advanced MiG-17 which was still an effective threat to supersonic American fighters over North Vietnam in the 1960s. The MiG-15 is believed to have been the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made, with over 12,000 built. Licensed foreign production perhaps raised the total to over 18,000. The MiG-15 is often mentioned along with the North American F-86 Sabre in lists of the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War and in comparison with fighters of other eras. NATO and USAF reporting names were as follows: The first Soviet turbojet fighter developed by Mikoyan-Gurevich was the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 NATO reporting name: Fagot which appeared in the years immediately after World War II. It used a pair reverse-engineered German BMW 003 engines, which had been
    9.00
    1 votes
    123
    Abramovich flyer

    Abramovich flyer

    • Aircraft type: Early experimental aircraft
    The Abramovich Flyer was an early aircraft built by Russian aviator Vsevolod Mikhailovich Abramovich in 1912, based on the Wright brothers' designs he had seen while working for their German subsidiary. Differences from the Wright designs of the time included wheeled undercarriage and conventional empennage replacing the canard the Wrights used. Abramovich retained the wing warping technique the Wrights used for banking the aircraft, but controlled this with a control stick rather than the hip-controlled harness of the Wrights' design. Using this aircraft, Abramovich was successful in setting many early aviation records in Russia, including carrying several passengers. General characteristics Performance
    6.67
    3 votes
    124
    Avro 504

    Avro 504

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Brush Electrical Machines
    The Avro 504 was a World War I biplane aircraft made by the Avro aircraft company and under licence by others. Production during the War totalled 8,970 and continued for almost 20 years, making it the most-produced aircraft of any kind that served in World War I, in any military capacity, during that conflict. Over 10,000 were built from 1913 to the time production ended in 1932. First flown on 18 September 1913, powered by an 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome Lambda seven-cylinder rotary engine, the Avro 504 was a development of the earlier Avro 500, designed for training and private flying. It was a two-bay biplane of all-wooden construction, with a square-section fuselage. Small numbers of early aircraft were purchased both by the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) prior to the start of World War I, and were taken to France when the war started. One of the RFC aircraft was the first British aircraft to be shot down by the Germans, on 22 August 1914. The pilot was 2nd Lt. Vincent Waterfall and his navigator Lt Charles George Gordon Bayly (both of 5 Sqn RFC) The RNAS used four 504s to form a special flight in order to bomb the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshafen on
    6.67
    3 votes
    125
    Cessna 150

    Cessna 150

    • Aircraft type: Multipurpose civil aircraft
    • Variants: Cessna 152
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    The Cessna 150 is a two-seat tricycle gear general aviation airplane, that was designed for flight training, touring and personal use. The Cessna 150 is the fourth most produced civilian plane ever, with 23,839 aircraft produced. The Cessna 150 was offered for sale in the 150 basic model, Commuter, Commuter II, Patroller and the aerobatic Aerobat models. Development of the Model 150 began in the mid 1950s with the decision by Cessna Aircraft to produce a successor to the popular Cessna 140 which finished production in 1951. The main changes in the 150 design were the use of tricycle landing gear, which is easier to learn to use than the tailwheel landing gear of the Cessna 140, and replacing the rounded tips of wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers with more modern, squared-off profiles. In addition, the narrow, hinged wing flaps of the 140 were replaced by larger, far more effective Fowler flaps. The Cessna 150 prototype first flew on September 12, 1957, with production commencing in September 1958 at Cessna's Wichita, Kansas plant. 216 aircraft were also produced by Reims Aviation under license in France. These French manufactured 150s were designated Reims F-150, the "F"
    6.67
    3 votes
    126
    Douglas XB-22

    Douglas XB-22

    • Aircraft type: Prototype bomber aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas XB-22 was to be a modified B-18A Bolo with much more powerful engines. Despite a 60% increase in power, however, the re-engined XB-22 had unsatisfactory estimated performance and the project was cut before any aircraft were converted. General characteristics Performance Armament
    6.67
    3 votes
    127
    F-15E Strike Eagle

    F-15E Strike Eagle

    • Aircraft type: Strike fighter
    • Variants: F-15I
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
    The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. United States Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intakes. The Strike Eagle has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Odyssey Dawn carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries. The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle had been introduced by the United States Air Force (USAF) as a replacement for its fleet of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs. However, unlike the F-4, the F-15 was strictly designed for the air-superiority mission with little consideration for a ground-attack role; the F-15 Special Project Office opposed the idea of F-15s performing the interdiction
    6.67
    3 votes
    128
    Fairey Spearfish

    Fairey Spearfish

    • Aircraft type: Torpedo bomber
    • Manufacturer: Fairey Aviation
    The Fairey Spearfish was a 1940s British torpedo bomber designed and built by Fairey Aviation for the Fleet Air Arm. It was one of the largest single-engine aircraft to ever operate from a British aircraft carrier. The Spearfish was designed by Fairey Aviation to Admiralty Specification O.5/43. Having learned the lessons of the Barracuda, the Spearfish had a much more powerful engine and an integral ASV anti-submarine radar (the external installation on the Barracuda caused problems with longitudinal stability). Problems with the Bristol Centaurus engine delayed the first flight until 5 July 1945. Only four more aircraft were built, two at Fairey's Hayes factory and two at their Stockport plant, during 1945/47. After the end of the war and with the proposal for a more advanced turboprop anti-submarine aircraft (which became the Gannet), further work on the project was stopped and orders for 152 production aircraft cancelled. The Admiralty did not accept the Spearfish for operational use. One aircraft was used by the Royal Navy Carrier Trials Unit at Ford, Sussex, until mid 1952 and another was modified by Napier at Luton for research into methods of obtaining artificial ice
    6.67
    3 votes
    129
    Lavochkin La-5

    Lavochkin La-5

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Lavochkin La-7
    • Manufacturer: Lavochkin
    The Lavochkin La-5 (Лавочкин Ла-5) was a Soviet fighter aircraft of World War II. It was a development and refinement of the LaGG-3 and was one of the Soviet Air Force's most capable types of warplane. The La-5's heritage began even before the outbreak of war, with the LaGG-1, a promising yet underpowered aircraft – turning a full circle, for example, took 20 seconds. The LaGG-3 was a modification of that design that attempted to correct this by both lightening the airframe and fitting a more powerful engine. Nevertheless, this was not enough, and the lack of power remained a significant problem. In early 1942, two of the LaGG-1 and -3's designers, Semyon Lavochkin and Vladimir Gorbunov, attempted to correct this deficiency by experimentally fitting a LaGG-3 with the more powerful Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engine. Since the LaGG-3 was powered by an inline engine, they accomplished this by grafting on the nose section of a Sukhoi Su-2 (which used this engine). By now, the shortcomings of the LaGG-3 had caused Lavochkin to fall out of Joseph Stalin's favour, and factories previously assigned to LaGG-3 construction had been turned over to building the rival Yakovlev Yak-1 and Yak-7. The
    6.67
    3 votes
    130
    T-6 Texan

    T-6 Texan

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Variants: CAC Wirraway
    • Manufacturer: North American Aviation
    The North American Aviation T-6 Texan was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1950s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard, the name it is best known by outside of the US. It remains a popular warbird aircraft. The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1, 1935) which, modified as the NA-26, was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March, 1937. The first model went in to production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I. The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, and a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine. The BC-1 was the production version of the NA-26 prototype, with retractable tailwheel landing gear and the provision for armament, a two-way
    6.67
    3 votes
    131
    Westland Whirlwind

    Westland Whirlwind

    • Aircraft type: Helicopter
    • Manufacturer: Westland Aircraft
    The Westland Whirlwind helicopter was a British licence-built version of the U.S. Sikorsky S-55/H-19 Chickasaw. It primarily served with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in anti-submarine and search and rescue roles. In 1950, Westland Aircraft, already building the American Sikorsky S-51 under license as the Westland Dragonfly, purchased the rights to manufacture and sell Sikorsky's larger Sikorsky S-55 helicopter. While a Sikorsky-built pattern aircraft was flown by Westland in June 1951, converting the design to meet British standards (including the provision of a revised main-rotor gearbox), was time consuming, and the first prototype British aircraft, registered G-AMJT, powered by the 600 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-40 Wasp did not fly until August 1953. This was followed by ten Whirlwind HAR.1s, which entered service shortly afterwards. They served in non-combat roles, including search and rescue and communications functions. The HAR.3 had a larger 700 hp Wright R-1300-3 Cyclone 7 engine. The performance of early versions was limited by the power of the American Wasp or Cyclone engines, and in 1955, the HAR.5, powered by the more powerful British power plant, the Alvis Leonides
    6.67
    3 votes
    132
    BAC TSR-2

    BAC TSR-2

    • Aircraft type: Tactical Strike
    • Manufacturer: British Aircraft Corporation
    The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons. Another aspect of its combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed photo reconnaissance, requirements that necessitated incorporating "state-of-the-art" aviation technology that would make it the highest-performing aircraft in these roles. Only one airframe flew and test flights and weight rise during design indicated that the aircraft would be unable to meet its original stringent design specifications. The design specifications had been reduced as the results of flight testing became available. The TSR-2 was the victim of ever rising costs and inter-service squabbling over Britain's future defence needs, which led to the controversial decision to scrap the programme in 1965. With the election of a new government, the TSR-2 was cancelled due to rising costs, in favour
    5.75
    4 votes
    133
    Boeing 707

    Boeing 707

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: C-137 Stratoliner
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 707 is a mid-size, narrow-body four-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. Its name is commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". Versions of the aircraft have a capacity from 140 to 189 passengers and a range of 2,500 to 5,750 nautical miles (4,600 to 10,650 km). Developed as Boeing's first jet airliner, the 707 is a swept-wing design with podded engines. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s and remaining common through the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the Jet Age. Although it was not the first jetliner in service, the 707 was the first to be commercially successful. It established Boeing as one of the largest manufacturers of passenger aircraft, and led to the later series of aircraft with "7x7" designations. The later 727, 737, and 757 share elements of the 707's fuselage design. The 707 was developed from the Boeing 367-80, a prototype jet aircraft first flown in 1954. A larger fuselage cross-section and other design modifications resulted in the initial production 707-120, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT3C turbojet engines, which first flew on December 20, 1957. Pan American World Airways began
    5.75
    4 votes
    134
    Boeing Wedgetail

    Boeing Wedgetail

    • Aircraft type: Airborne Early Warning
    • Variants: C-40 Clipper
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
    The Boeing 737 AEW&C is a twin-engine airborne early warning and control aircraft. It is lighter than the 707-based Boeing E-3 Sentry, and mounts a fixed, electronically scanned, rather than a rotating, radar antenna. It was designed for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) under "Project Wedgetail". The 737 AEW&C has also been selected by the Turkish Air Force (under "Project Peace Eagle", Turkish: Barış Kartalı) and the Republic of Korea Air Force ("Project Peace Eye", Korean: "피스 아이"), and has been proposed to Italy and the United Arab Emirates. In the 1990s, Australia began forming a need for an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. In 1996, Australia issued an RFP for the aircraft for the RAAF under Project Wedgetail. In 2000, Australia awarded Boeing Integrated Defense Systems a contract to supply four AEW&C aircraft with options for three additional aircraft. The 737 AEW&C is based on Boeing Business Jet 1; a 737-700IGW airframe variant of the Boeing 737 Next Generation, roughly similar to the 737-700ER. The aircraft uses the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar. The radar is located on a dorsal fin on top
    7.50
    2 votes
    135
    CANT Z.506

    CANT Z.506

    • Aircraft type: Patrol aircraft
    • Variants: CANT Z.509
    • Manufacturer: CANT
    The CANT Z.506 Airone (Italian: Heron) was a triple-engine floatplane produced by CANT from 1935. It served as a transport and postal aircraft with the Italian airline "Ala Littoria". It established 10 world records in 1936 and another 10 in 1937. During World War II it was used as a reconnaissance aircraft, bomber and air-sea rescue plane, by the Italian Regia Aeronautica and Regia Marina, Aeronautica Cobelligerante del Sud, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana and the Luftwaffe. The military version revealed itself to be one of the best floatplanes ever built. Despite its wooden structure it was able to operate in very rough seas. A number of Z.506S air-sea rescue aircraft remained in service until 1959. The CANT Z.506 was designed as a 12 to 14-seat transport twin-float seaplane, powered by three 455 kW (610 hp) Piaggio Stella IX radial engines. It was derived from the larger and heavier Z.505 seaplane. The Z.506 entered production in 1936 as the Z.506A, powered by more powerful 560 kW (750 hp) Alfa Romeo 126 RC.34 nine cylinder radial engines, giving a maximum output of 780 CV on take off and 750 CV at 3,400 meters. The fuselage had a wooden structure covered in tulipier wooden
    7.50
    2 votes
    136
    Robinson R44

    Robinson R44

    • Aircraft type: Trainer helicopter
    • Variants: Robinson R66
    • Manufacturer: Robinson Helicopter
    The Robinson R44 is a four-seat light helicopter produced by the Robinson Helicopter Company since 1992. Based on the company's two-place Robinson R22, the R44 features hydraulically-assisted flight controls. The R44 was first flown on 31 March 1990, and received FAA certification in December 1992, with the first delivery in February 1993. The R44 is a single-engined helicopter with a semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor and a skid landing gear. It has an enclosed cabin with two rows of side-by-side seating for a pilot and three passengers. Tail rotor direction of rotation on the R44 is reversed compared to the R22 for improved yaw control authority. On the R44 the advancing blade is on the bottom. Designed during the 1980s by Frank Robinson and his staff of engineers, the R44 first flew on March 31, 1990. The R44 Astro was awarded an FAA Type Certificate in December 1992, with the first deliveries taking place in January 1993. In January 2000, Robinson introduced the Raven with hydraulically-assisted controls and adjustable pedals. In July 2002, Robinson introduced the Raven II featuring a more powerful, fuel-injected engine and wider blades, allowing a
    7.50
    2 votes
    137
    AgustaWestland EH101

    AgustaWestland EH101

    • Aircraft type: Medium-lift transport
    • Variants: VH-71
    • Manufacturer: AgustaWestland
    The AgustaWestland AW101 is a medium-lift helicopter used in both military and civil applications. It was developed by joint venture between Westland Helicopters in the UK and Agusta in Italy and was named the EH101 until 2007. It is manufactured at factories in Yeovil, England and Vergiate, Italy. It has replaced many older helicopters such as the Sikorsky S-61 for roles such as medium-sized transport and anti-submarine warfare. The AW101 first flew in 1987, and entered into service in 1999. In 2000, Westland Helicopters and Agusta merged to form AgustaWestland. The name Merlin is in common usage for those AW101s in service with the British, Danish and Portuguese militaries. The AW101 is also operated by Italy and Japan. The CH-149 Cormorant variant is used by Canada for conducting air-sea rescue operations. In the US, the VH-71 Kestrel variant was to serve as the Marine One aircraft in the US presidential transport fleet, but the program was cancelled. The AW101 is also being used in civilian service, often for the VIP transport mission. In 1977, the UK Ministry of Defence issued a requirement for an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter to replace the Royal Navy's Westland Sea
    6.33
    3 votes
    138
    Blackburn Buccaneer

    Blackburn Buccaneer

    • Aircraft type: Strike aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Hawker-Siddeley
    The Blackburn Buccaneer was a British low-level subsonic strike aircraft with nuclear weapon delivery capability serving with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force between 1962 and 1994, including service in the 1991 Gulf War. Designed and initially produced by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough it was later known as the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer when Blackburn became a part of the Hawker Siddeley group. In the early 1950s the Russian Navy introduced the Sverdlov class cruiser into service. Light cruisers by World War II standard, they were fast, effectively armed, and numerous. They presented a serious threat to the merchant fleets in the Atlantic, as the German "pocket battleships" of the war did, but in far greater numbers and over 25% faster. To counter this threat the Royal Navy decided not to use a new ship class of its own, but a new specialised strike aircraft employing conventional or nuclear weapons instead. Operating from its fleet carriers and attacking at high speed and low level, it would offer a solution to the Sverdlov problem. A detailed specification was issued in June 1952 as Naval Staff Requirement NA.39, calling for a two-seat aircraft with folding wings, capable of
    6.33
    3 votes
    139
    Horten Ho 229

    Horten Ho 229

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Gothaer Waggonfabrik
    The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 (often called Gotha Go 229 due to the identity of the chosen manufacturer of the aircraft) was a German prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik late in World War II. It was the first pure flying wing powered by a jet engine. It was given the personal approval of German Luftwaffe Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and was the only aircraft to come close to meeting his "3×1000" performance requirements, namely to carry 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) of bombs a distance of 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) with a speed of 1,000 kilometres per hour (620 mph). Its ceiling was 15,000 metres (49,000 ft). Since the appearance of the B-2 Spirit flying wing stealth bomber in the 1990s, its similarities in role and shape to the Ho 229 has led many to retroactively describe the Ho 229 as "the first stealth bomber". However, the Ho 229 was not the first flying wing, nor was it designed with radar stealth in mind. The flying wing shape was intended only for its usual purpose at the time: minimizing parasitic drag to extend the aircraft's range and airspeed, based on extensive aerodynamic testing conducted by the
    6.33
    3 votes
    140
    Shafaq

    Shafaq

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company
    HESA Shafaq or Shafagh (Persian: هواپیمای شفق‎, "before the dawn") is an Iranian subsonic stealth aircraft project. Reports have indicated that Shafaq will be a sub-sonic aircraft but this might be improved, and it will have a skin of radar-absorbing material according to Iranian officials. This two-seat Advanced training and Attack aircraft appears to be based on the Russian-Iranian "Project Integral" and are fitted with Russian ejection seats. Reportedly there are plans to produce three versions—one two-seat trainer/light strike version and two one-seat fighter-bomber versions. The Shafaq is designed by the Aviation University Complex (AUC), part of the Malek-Ashtar University of Technology (MUT). At the start of the program Iran received help from Russia and the aircraft was known as Integral. Russia later backed away from this project due to several reasons and Iran carried on the project by itself and the aircraft became known as Shafaq. The Shafaq is a sub-sonic aircraft, made of radar-absorbing material. It has a large leading edge root extension (LERX) and a root aft of the wing which gives it an unusual circular sub-section. A 1/7 scale model of the Shafaq has already
    6.33
    3 votes
    141
    Antonov An-8

    Antonov An-8

    • Aircraft type: Light transport
    • Manufacturer: Antonov
    The Antonov An-8 (NATO reporting name: Camp) is a Soviet-designed twin-turboprop-engine high-wing light military transport aircraft. In December 1951 OKB-153 initiated the design of a twin-engined assault transport aircraft, designated DT-5/8 (Desahntno-Trahnsportnyy [samolyot] - assault transport aircraft), to be powered by two Kuznetsov TV-2 turboprop engines, and fitted with a large rear cargo door to allow vehicles to be driven straight into the hold. On 11 December 1953 the Soviet Council of Ministers issued directive No.2922-1251 to the Antonov OKB, requiring them to build a twin-turboprop transport aircraft derived from the DT-5/8. Bearing the in-house designation of Izdeliye P the resulting aircraft followed state of the art practice with a high wing carrying two propeller engines sat atop a rectangular section fuselage, tricycle undercarriage, with main gear units housed in pods either side of the fuselage, an upswept rear fuselage providing clearance of the tail unit for loading and unloading. After State acceptance trials production was not recommended due to poor spinning characteristics, directional stability and control issues, nosewheel shimmy, poor controllability
    8.00
    1 votes
    142
    Curtiss XA-8

    Curtiss XA-8

    • Aircraft type: Attack aircraft
    • Variants: YA-10 Shrike
    • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
    The A-8 was a low-wing monoplane ground-attack aircraft built by the United States company Curtiss, designed in response to a 1929 United States Army Air Corps requirement for an attack aircraft to replace the A-3 Falcon. The Model 59 "Shrike" was designated XA-8 (the "Shrike" nickname was not officially adopted). The XA-8 won a competition against the General Aviation/Fokker XA-7, after which 13 service test aircraft were ordered (five as YA-8s and eight as Y1A-8s). After the completion of testing, 11 of these aircraft were redesignated A-8. The A-8 was the first Curtiss machine of all-metal low-wing monoplane configuration with advanced features such as automatic leading edge slats and trailing-edge flaps. Four forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns were mounted in the wheel fairings, and an additional weapon of the same calibre was fitted in the observer's cockpit for rear defense. The standard bomb load was four 100 lb (45 kg) bombs. One YA-8 was fitted with a radial engine and designated YA-10, while another was used for testing of the Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine as the Y1A-8A. This aircraft was redesignated A-8 upon the completion of testing. 46 aircraft were
    8.00
    1 votes
    143
    Handley Page Halifax

    Handley Page Halifax

    • Aircraft type: Heavy bomber
    • Manufacturer: Handley Page Aircraft Company
    The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing. The Halifax was also operated by squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Free French Air Force, and Polish forces, and after the Second World War by the Royal Egyptian Air Force, the Armée de l'Air and the Royal Pakistan Air Force. Handley Page produced the H.P.56 design to meet Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a twin-engine medium bomber for "world-wide use". Other candidates for the specification included the Avro 679, and designs from Fairey, Boulton Paul and Shorts; all used twin engines – Rolls-Royce Vultures, Napier Sabres, the Fairey P.24 or Bristol Hercules. A four-engined wing was then still a new idea in British bombers. The introduction of the successful P.13/36 candidates was delayed by the necessity of ordering more Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley and Vickers Wellington bombers first. The Avro and HP.56 designs were ordered "off the drawing board" in mid 1937, with
    8.00
    1 votes
    144
    Junkers Ju 388

    Junkers Ju 388

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 388 Störtebeker was a World War II German Luftwaffe multi-role aircraft based on the Ju 88 airframe by way of the Ju 188. It differed from its predecessors in being intended for high altitude operation, with design features such as a pressurized cockpit for its crew. The Ju 388 was introduced very late in the war, and production problems along with the deteriorating war conditions meant that few were built. The Reich Air Ministry (RLM) first learned of the American B-29 Superfortress heavy bomber in late 1942, possibly from the sighting of a YB-29 nicknamed the "Hobo Queen" at RAF Bovingdon, which had made a headline photo appearance in a news article in the Völkischer Beobachter newspaper. The performance estimates of this aircraft were cause for great concern in the Luftwaffe. The B-29 had a maximum speed of around 560 km/h (348 mph), and would attack in a cruise at about 360 km/h (224 mph) at 8,000-10,000 m (26,247-32,810 ft), an altitude where no current Luftwaffe aircraft was effective. To counter the B-29, the Luftwaffe would need new day fighters and bomber destroyers. The fighter chosen was the Focke-Wulf Ta 152H. This was based on the Fw 190D with longer
    8.00
    1 votes
    145
    Junkers Ju 390

    Junkers Ju 390

    • Aircraft type: Heavy bomber
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 390 was a German aircraft intended to be used as a heavy transport, maritime patrol aircraft, and long-range bomber, a long-range derivative of the Ju 290. It was one of the aircraft (along with the Messerschmitt Me 264 and Focke-Wulf Ta 400, and some time later, Heinkel's He 274) submitted for the abortive Amerika Bomber project. Two prototypes were created by attaching an extra pair of inner-wing segments onto the wings of basic Ju 90 and Ju 290 airframes, and adding new sections to lengthen the fuselages. The first prototype, the V1, (bearing Stammkennzeichen code of GH+UK), was modified from the Ju 90 V6 airframe (Werknummer J4918, civil registration D-AOKD from July 1940 to April 1941, then to the Luftwaffe as KH+XC from April 1941 through April 1942, then returned to Junkers and used for Ju 390 V1 construction). It made its maiden flight on 20 October 1943 and performed well, resulting in an order for 26 aircraft, to be designated Ju 390 A-1. None of these were actually built by the time that the project was cancelled (along with Ju 290 production) in mid-1944. The second prototype, the V2 (RC+DA), was longer than the V1 because it was constructed from a Ju 290
    8.00
    1 votes
    146
    Junkers Ju 90

    Junkers Ju 90

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Junkers Ju 290
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 90 was a 40-seat, four-engine airliner developed for and used by Deutsche Luft Hansa shortly before World War II. It was based on the rejected Ju 89 bomber. During the war, the Luftwaffe impressed them as military transports. The Junkers Ju 90 airliner and transport series descended directly from the Ju 89, a contender in the Ural bomber programme aimed at producing a long-range strategic bomber. This concept was abandoned by the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium, Reich Aviation Ministry) in April 1937 in favour of smaller, faster bombers. Deutsche Luft Hansa put a request for a long-distance commercial aircraft as early as 1933. When the Ju 89 program was abandoned, the third prototype was partially completed and at the request of Luft Hansa, it was rebuilt as an airliner, retaining the wings and tail of the original design but incorporating a new, wider passenger-carrying fuselage. The new design was designated the Ju 90. The Junkers Ju 90 was a four-engine all-metal, low-wing aircraft fitted with twin end-plate vertical stabilizers. The wings were built around five tubular girder spars covered with a smooth stressed skin. The leading edge was quite markedly swept,
    8.00
    1 votes
    147
    T-38 Talon

    T-38 Talon

    • Aircraft type: Advanced trainer
    • Variants: F-5 Freedom Fighter
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop T-38 Talon is a twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2012 in air forces throughout the world. The United States Air Force (USAF) is the largest operator of the T-38. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The US Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots. As of 2012, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator (the USAF). The basic airframe was used for the light combat aircraft F-5 Freedom Fighter family. In the 1950s Northrop began studying lightweight and more affordable fighter designs. The company began with its single-engine Northrop N-102 Fang concept. The N-102 was facing weight and cost growth, so the project was canceled and the company N-156 project was begun. Although the USAF had no need for a small fighter at the time, it became interested in the trainer as a replacement for the T-33
    8.00
    1 votes
    148
    Yakovlev Yak-11

    Yakovlev Yak-11

    • Aircraft type: Training aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Yakovlev
    The Yakovlev Yak-11 (NATO reporting name: "Moose", Russian: Як-11) was a trainer aircraft used by the Soviet Air Force and other Soviet-influenced air forces from 1947 until 1962. The Yakovlev design bureau began work on an advanced trainer based on the successful Yak-3 fighter in mid 1944, although the trainer was of low priority owing to the ongoing Second World War. The first prototype of the new trainer, designated Yak-UTI or Yak-3UTI flew in late 1945. It was based on the radial-powered Yak-3U, but with the new Shvetsov ASh-21 seven-cylinder radial replacing the ASh-82 of the Yak-3U. It used the same all-metal wings as the Yak-3U, with a fuselage of mixed metal and wood construction. Pilot and observer sat in tandem under a long canopy with separate sliding hoods. A single synchronised UBS 12.7 mm machine gun and wing racks for two 100 kg (220 lb) bombs comprised the aircraft's armament. An improved prototype flew in 1946, with revised cockpits and a modified engine installation with the engine mounted on shock absorbing mounts. This aircraft successfully passed state testing in October 1946, with production beginning at factories in Saratov and Leningrad in 1947. Production
    8.00
    1 votes
    149
    Boeing C-22

    Boeing C-22

    • Aircraft type: Freight aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The Boeing C-22 was a US military version of the Boeing 727, used as a primary medium-range transport aircraft by the Air National Guard and National Guard Bureau to airlift personnel. The 727-100 was introduced by the airline industry in 1963. It proved to be a major innovative design with its three Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofan engines, one on each side of the rear fuselage and the third in the tail cone. There were three C-22B's in use, all assigned to the 201st Airlift Squadron, District of Columbia Air National Guard. The C-22B's unique arrangement of leading-edge devices and trailing-edge flaps permit lower approach speeds, thus allowing operation from runways never intended for a 600 mph (1000 km/h), Mach 0.82 aircraft. The aircraft has heated and pressurized baggage compartments - one on the right side forward and the second just aft of the wheel well. The two compartments provide 425 cubic feet (12 m³) of cargo space. The fuselage also incorporates a forward entry door and hydraulically opened integral aft airstairs in the tail cone. The flight controls consist of a hydraulically powered dual-elevator control system with control tab to assist during manual operation.
    5.25
    4 votes
    150
    Aeronca L-3

    Aeronca L-3

    • Aircraft type: Observation
    • Manufacturer: Aeronca Aircraft
    The Aeronca L-3 group of observation and liaison aircraft were used by the United States Army Air Corps in World War II. The L-3 series were adapted from Aeronca's pre-war Tandem Trainer and Chief models. The L-3 was initially designated the O-58 at the time it was first ordered by the Air Corps, a designation prefix that was retired in April 1942. The airplane underwent service tests in the summer of 1941 during maneuvers in Louisiana and Texas. When American forces went into combat after Pearl Harbour, the Army Air Force used the L-3 in much the same manner as observation balloons were used during World War I — spotting activities and directing artillery fire. It was also used for liaison and transport duties and short-range reconnaissance which required airplanes to land and take off in short distances from unprepared landing strips. Liaison pilots would train on L-3s before moving on to front-line aircraft like the Piper L-4 or the Stinson L-5. Some L-3s were shipped to north Africa, and subsequently given to the Free French Forces in the area at the time. At least one of the aircraft served with US forces in Italy. The TG-5 was a three-seat training glider of 1942 based upon
    7.00
    2 votes
    151
    Avro Anson

    Avro Anson

    • Aircraft type: Multirole aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Avro
    The Avro Anson is a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm and numerous other air forces prior to, during, and after the Second World War. Named after British Admiral George Anson, it was originally designed for maritime reconnaissance, but was soon rendered obsolete in that role. However, it was rescued from obscurity by its suitability as a multi-engine air crew trainer, becoming the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By the end of production in 1952, the Anson spanned nine variants and a total of 8,138 were built in Britain by Avro. From 1941, a further 2,882 were built by Canadian Federal Aircraft Ltd. Only one Mk 1 Avro Anson is airworthy in the world today, a 1936 model which returned to the air on 18 July 2012 in Nelson, New Zealand after a 10 year rebuild by Bill and Robyn Reid. The Anson was derived from the commercial six-seat 652 and the militarised version, which first flew on 24 March 1935, was built to Air Ministry Specification 18/35. It was the first RAF monoplane with a retractable undercarriage. Avro allotted the type number 652A to the Anson. The first production run resulted in 174 Anson
    7.00
    2 votes
    152
    B-32 Dominator

    B-32 Dominator

    • Aircraft type: Heavy bomber
    • Manufacturer: Consolidated Aircraft
    The Consolidated B-32 Dominator (Consolidated Model 34) was a heavy bomber made for United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and has the distinction of being the last Allied aircraft to be engaged in combat during World War II. It was developed in parallel with the Boeing B-29 Superfortress as a fallback design should the Superfortress prove unsuccessful. It only reached units in the Pacific during the summer of 1945, and subsequently only saw limited combat operations against Japanese targets before the end of the war. Most of the extant orders of the B-32 were cancelled shortly thereafter and only 118 B-32s of all types were built. The engineering development of the B-29 had been underway since mid-1938 when, in June 1940, the US Army Air Corps requested a similar design from Consolidated Aircraft Company in case of development difficulties with the B-29. The Consolidated Model 33 used to base its proposal was similar to the B-24 Liberator. Like the B-24 it was originally designed with twin fins and a large Davis-type wing, but with a longer, rounder fuselage and a rounded nose. The powerplants were to be four 2,200 horsepower (1,600 kW) Wright R-3350s, the same as
    7.00
    2 votes
    153
    Douglas DC-7

    Douglas DC-7

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas DC-7 is an American transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1953 to 1958. It was the last major piston engine powered transport made by Douglas, coming just a few years before the advent of jet aircraft such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8. In 1945 Pan American World Airways requested a DC-7, a civilian version of the Douglas C-74 Globemaster military transport. Pan Am canceled its order shortly afterward; that DC-7 is unrelated to the later airliner. American Airlines revived the designation when it requested an aircraft that could fly the USA coast to coast non-stop in about eight hours. Robert Rummel (at the time head of engineering at TWA) has stated that pilot union rules limiting flying time to eight hours per day influenced American's request to Douglas. Douglas was reluctant to build the aircraft until American Airlines president C. R. Smith placed a firm order for 25 at a price of $40 million, thus covering Douglas' development costs. The DC-7 used the DC-4's wing with a fuselage 3 feet longer than the DC-6. The engine was the eighteen-cylinder Wright R-3350 Turbo-Compound. The prototype flew in May 1953 and American received its first
    7.00
    2 votes
    154
    Embraer R-99

    Embraer R-99

    • Manufacturer: Embraer-Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica
    The Embraer R-99 and P-99 are military versions of the ERJ 145 civil regional jet. The R-99 series are equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan engines, although they are modified to provide 20% more thrust than the civil version. The first flight was in 1999. The R-99A/E-99/EMB 145 AEW&C is an Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft, equipped with the Erieye airborne radar from Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson Microwave Systems) of Sweden. The FAB claims that it has 95% of the capability of the larger AWACS aircraft which are in service in the air forces of other nations. In 2008 the FAB redesignated the R-99A as the E-99. The R-99B/R-99/EMB 145 MULTI INTEL is a remote sensing aircraft. It employs a synthetic aperture radar, combination electro-optical and FLIR systems as well as a multi-spectral scanner. The aircraft also possesses signal intelligence and C3I capabilities. In 2008 the FAB redesignated the R-99B as the R-99. The P-99/EMB 145 MP is the maritime patrol version of the R-99. It shares much of the same sensor suite as the R-99B, but most visibly, lacks the multi-spectral scanner and the side-looking radar. It retains many of the C3I and ELINT capabilities
    7.00
    2 votes
    155
    Lola Utva 75

    Lola Utva 75

    • Aircraft type: General Aviation Aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Lola Utva
    The UTVA 75 is a compact, piston-engine aircraft manufactured by UTVA. It was mainly used as a military basic trainer and sporting aircraft. Designed to replace the UTVA Aero 3 as the primary basic trainer in the Yugoslav Air Force. Over a hundred units were built and served in the former Yugoslav Air Force. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, many were passed on to the succeeding countries. The last two Utva 75s were produced in 2003 and exported to the United States. All were passed on to successor states. General characteristics Performance
    7.00
    2 votes
    156
    Aero A.102

    Aero A.102

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
    The Aero A.102 was a Czechoslovakian fighter aircraft that flew in prototype form in 1934. It was developed in response to a Czech Air Force requirement of that year, but was passed over in favour of the Avia B.35. The A.102 was of gull winged monoplane configuration with tailwheel undercarriage, and was perhaps inspired by the successful PZL P.11. Data from The Complete Book of Fighters General characteristics Performance Armament
    6.00
    3 votes
    157
    Beechcraft Starship

    Beechcraft Starship

    • Aircraft type: Executive transport
    • Manufacturer: Beechcraft
    The Beechcraft Starship is a twin-turboprop six- to eight-passenger pressurized business aircraft produced by Beech Aircraft Corporation (now Beechcraft Division of Hawker Beechcraft). Development of the Starship began in 1979 when Beech decided to explore designs for a successor to its King Air line of turboprops that would fly faster and carry more passengers. The design was originated by Beechcraft in January 1980 as Preliminary Design 330 (PD 330). On August 25, 1982 Beech contracted with Scaled Composites to refine the design and build an 85% scale proof-of-concept (POC) aircraft. One of the significant changes made to the design by Scaled Composites was the addition of variable geometry to the canard. The POC aircraft first flew in August 1983. This aircraft had no pressurization system, no certified avionics, and a different airframe design and material specifications than the planned production Model 2000. Only one POC was built and it has since been scrapped. Prototypes were produced even as development work was continuing—a system demanded by the use of composite materials, as the tooling required is very expensive and has to be built for production use from the outset.
    6.00
    3 votes
    158
    Bell XP-83

    Bell XP-83

    • Aircraft type: Escort fighter
    • Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft
    The Bell XP-83 was a United States prototype escort fighter designed by Bell Aircraft during World War II. It first flew in 1945. As an early jet fighter, its limitations included a lack of power and it was soon eclipsed by more advanced designs. The early jet fighters consumed fuel at a prodigious rate, which severely limited their range and endurance. In March 1944, the United States Army Air Forces requested Bell to design a fighter with increased endurance, and formally awarded a contract for two prototypes on 31 July 1944. Bell had been working on its "Model 40" interceptor design since 1943. It was redesigned as a long-range escort fighter, retaining the general layout of the P-59 Airacomet. The two General Electric J33-GE-5 turbojet engines were located in each wing root, which left the large and bulky fuselage free for fuel tanks and armament. The fuselage was an all-metal semimonocoque, capable of carrying 1,150 gal (4,350 l) of fuel; in addition, two 250 gal (950 l) drop tanks could be carried. The cabin was pressurized, and the canopy a small and low bubble type. The armament was to be six 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose. Early wind tunnel reports had
    6.00
    3 votes
    159
    F-4 Phantom II

    F-4 Phantom II

    • Aircraft type: Fighter-bomber
    • Variants: F-4B
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
    The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem, two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their respective air wings. The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry over 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated a M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959 it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record. The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war. The
    6.00
    3 votes
    160
    F-89 Scorpion

    F-89 Scorpion

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop F-89 Scorpion was an early American jet-powered fighter aircraft designed from the outset as an all-weather interceptor. Though its straight wings limited its performance, it was among the first USAF jet fighters with guided missiles, and notably the first combat aircraft armed with air-to-air nuclear weapons (the unguided Genie rocket). The Scorpion stemmed from a 1945 United States Army Air Forces Army Air Technical Service Command specification ("Military Characteristics for All-Weather Fighting Aircraft") for a jet-powered night fighter to replace the P-61 Black Widow. Bell Aircraft, Consolidated-Vultee, Douglas Aircraft, Goodyear, Northrop and Curtiss-Wright all submitted proposals. Northrop submitted four different designs, prepared by Jack Northrop's team, including a radical flying wing but settled on the N-24, a slim-bodied aircraft with a cantilevered mid-mounted wing and two Allison J35 turbojet engines with afterburners. It was to have radar and a crew of two, with an armament of four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon in a unique trainable nose turret. One of the unusual aspects of the design was the use of Northrop's "Deceleron", a clamshell-style split aileron which
    6.00
    3 votes
    161
    Grumman Gulfstream II

    Grumman Gulfstream II

    • Aircraft type: Business jet
    • Variants: C-20 Gulfstream III
    • Manufacturer: Gulfstream Aerospace
    The Gulfstream II (G-II) is an American twin engine business jet designed and built by Grumman and then in succession, Grumman American and finally Gulfstream American. Its Grumman model number is G-1159 and its US military designation is C-11 Gulfstream II. It has been succeeded by the Gulfstream III. The first Gulfstream II flew on October 2, 1966. The Gulfstream II is a twin-jet swept wing corporate transport designed to provide high speed and long range capability without sacrificing the airport performance, reliability, and other operational advantages of its predecessor, the turboprop Gulfstream I. Preliminary design of the wing was influenced by both cruise and low speed considerations. The aft-mounted engine location was selected after extensive analysis and design iterations considering aerodynamic, structural, and ground clearance requirements. Airfoil geometry was developed to maximum sweep benefit from the selected planform. The interference problem at the wing-body juncture was treated by modification of the airfoil shape and thickness over the inner third of the wing span. The basic airfoils for the main area of the wing are similar to those of the Grumman A-6
    6.00
    3 votes
    162
    PWS-26

    PWS-26

    • Aircraft type: Trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów
    The PWS-26 was a Polish advanced training aircraft, used from 1937 to 1939 by the Polish Air Force, constructed in the PWS (Podlaska Wytwórnia Samolotów - Podlasie Aircraft Factory). It was the second most numerous Polish pre-war aircraft, after the RWD-8. The aircraft was a final development of a series: PWS-12, PWS-14 and PWS-16, designed in response to a Polish Air Force requirement for an advanced trainer. The chief designer was Augustyn Zdaniewski. The PWS-26 was a direct development of the PWS-16bis, sharing the same silhouette, being a more militarized variant - with strengthened construction, which allowed dive-bomber training. Contrary to its predecessors, the PWS-26 could be armed with a forward-shooting machine gun and practice bombs. It also had other improvements and was capable of aerobatics. A visual difference from the PWS-16bis were the canvas-covered struts of the landing gear. The prototype was flown in 1935. After trials, its production started in 1936. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, 320 had been built. The PWS-26 was used in Polish military aviation from early 1937, becoming a standard type of advanced trainer for fighter pilots. It replaced most of
    6.00
    3 votes
    163
    Tupolev Tu-16

    Tupolev Tu-16

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Variants: Tupolev Tu-104
    • Manufacturer: Tupolev
    The Tupolev Tu-16 (NATO reporting name: Badger) was a twin-engine jet bomber used by the Soviet Union. It has flown for more than 50 years, and the Chinese licence-built Xian H-6 remains in service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force. In the late 1940s the Soviet Union was strongly committed to matching the United States in strategic bombing capability. The Soviets' only long-range bomber at the time was Tupolev's Tu-4 'Bull', a reverse-engineered version of the American B-29 Superfortress. The development of the extremely powerful Mikulin AM-3 turbojet led to the possibility of a large, jet-powered bomber. The Tupolev design bureau began work on the Tu-88 ("Aircraft N") prototypes in 1950. The Tu-88 first flew on 27 April 1952. After winning a competition against the Ilyushin Il-46, it was approved for production in December 1952. The first production bombers entered service with Frontal Aviation in 1954, receiving the service designation Tu-16. It received the NATO reporting name Badger-A. It had a new, large swept wing and two large Mikulin AM-3 turbojets, one in each wing root. It could carry a single massive FAB-9000 9,000-kg (19,800 lb) conventional bomb (the Russian
    6.00
    3 votes
    164
    AMD Zodiac

    AMD Zodiac

    • Aircraft type: Light-sport aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Aircraft Manufacturing and Development
    The Zodiac is a family of Canadian all-metal, two-seat, fixed landing gear airplanes that first flew in 1984. The aircraft have been produced as kits and completed aircraft by Zenair in Canada and Zenith Aircraft Company in the USA. The latest models in the Zodiac family are the ready-to-fly AMD Zodiac LS and LSi produced by Aircraft Manufacturing and Design. The design has a single-piece bubble canopy. The original Zodiac airplane was designed in the mid-eighties, by Chris Heintz. It started out as a kit plane, meaning that consumers can purchase the plane as components to assemble it themselves. The Zodiac has since been manufactured in Canada, Europe, USA and South America as a factory-assembled, ready-to-fly aircraft. Heintz drafted the regulations for light-sport aircraft in Canada around the time he designed the Zodiac. He also played an important role in drafting the current light-sport aircraft (LSA) rules for the United States. Zenith Aircraft Company still produces kits and Quick-build kits for the Zodiac kit for the homebuilt-market. In the Netherlands, the Dutch government grounded the 12 Dutch-registered CH 601 XLs on 24 October 2008. The planes were banned from flying
    5.67
    3 votes
    165
    Bristol Freighter

    Bristol Freighter

    • Aircraft type: Cargo aircraft
    • Variants: Bristol Superfreighter
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
    The Bristol Type 170 Freighter was a British twin-engine aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company as both a freighter and airliner, although its best known use is as an air ferry to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances. The Bristol Type 170 was designed to Air Ministry Specifications 22/44 and C.9/45 originally as a rugged, heavy-duty transport to operate from unimproved airstrips. After the end of the Second World War the design was adapted by the Bristol Chief Designer A.E. Russell and his design team as a rugged, heavy-duty aircraft. It was an all-metal, twin-engine high-wing monoplane and built without the use of expensive alloys and with a minimum of machined parts. The square-sectioned fuselage was designed to be clear of internal obstructions. The flight deck was high in the fuselage nose, accessed via a ladder. The Freighter was a somewhat bulbous and cumbersome-looking aircraft. Like the more slender prewar Bombay, it was a high-wing monoplane with fixed undercarriage, the main gear legs supported by substantial vertical struts beneath the Bristol Hercules radial engines and horizontally from the lower edge of the (slab-sided)
    5.67
    3 votes
    166
    Cessna Citation X

    Cessna Citation X

    • Aircraft type: Business Jet
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    The Cessna Citation X is a long-range medium business jet aircraft. The Citation X is powered by two Rolls-Royce turbofan engines and is built by the Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. It is the fastest operational civilian jet in the world. The Citation brand of business jets encompasses six distinct "families" of aircraft. Although based on the earlier Citation III, VI and VII models, the Citation X is significantly different, with a new wing design, new engines, and a new glass cockpit. The Citation Ten is an upgraded model with improved engines and avionics. When the Citation X was announced, the Citation 650 series, the "family" at the top of the product line, which includes the Citations III, VI, and VII, was eight years old. In 1990, Cessna made a proposition for an improved 650 model to their Customer Advisory Council. The council was interested in some new elements such as increased speed and a pressurized baggage compartment. This pushed Cessna toward the Citation X program, which became the new 750 series. Moreover, Cessna wanted to improve the image of the Citation family. The Citation models that emerged in the 1970s were originally intended to be practical
    5.67
    3 votes
    167
    F-14 Tomcat

    F-14 Tomcat

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: F-14D
    • Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corporation
    The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental (VFX) program following the collapse of the F-111B project. The F-14 was the first of the American teen-series fighters which were designed incorporating the experience of air combat against MiG fighters during the Vietnam War. The F-14 first flew in December 1970 and made its first deployment in 1974 with the U.S. Navy aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The F-14 served as the U.S. Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor and tactical reconnaissance platform. In the 1990s, it added the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pod system and began performing precision ground-attack missions. The Tomcat was retired from the active U.S. Navy fleet on 22 September 2006, having been supplanted by the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. As of 2012, the F-14 was only in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, having been exported to Iran in 1976, when the U.S. had amicable diplomatic relations with
    5.67
    3 votes
    168
    Atlas Oryx

    Atlas Oryx

    • Aircraft type: Military helicopter
    • Variants: Denel Aviation AH-2 Rooivalk
    The Atlas Oryx (named after the Oryx antelope) is a medium-sized utility helicopter manufactured by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation (now Denel Aviation) of South Africa. Outside France, the SAAF was the largest user of Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma and South Africa was the first export customer. The Oryx can trace its origins back to the Bush War. Despite the efforts of the gunship Alouette, the need for a dedicated gunship was recognized. Atlas Aircraft Corporation produced an experimental attack helicopter, the Alpha XH-1. This helicopter was used for feasibility studies and could not serve any practical purpose - this led to the more powerful XTP-1 in April 1987. Two XTP-1s were converted, and based on a Puma J airframe. Various weapons and other systems were tested on XTP-1 and paved the way for Project: Rooivalk. However, the dynamic flight components of the XTP-1 made Atlas realise what advantages an upgraded Puma could have. A 330L Puma, no. 177, was converted to Oryx configuration and used as a prototype and as the results exceeded all expectations the Oryx programme was launched. The sanctions era encouraged the local aviation industry to become self sufficient in producing
    6.50
    2 votes
    169
    B-17 Flying Fortress

    B-17 Flying Fortress

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Variants: XB-38 Flying Fortress
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930s for the then United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and more than met the Air Corps' expectations. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the Air Corps was so impressed with Boeing's design that they ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances. The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force based at many airfields in southern England, such as Thorpe Abbotts airfield and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy - with many units stationed at the existing bases surrounding Foggia - complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in Operation Pointblank to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for
    6.50
    2 votes
    170
    Boeing 787

    Boeing 787

    • Aircraft type: Wide-body aircraft jet airliner
    • Variants: Boeing 787-3
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 210 to 290 passengers. Boeing states that it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction. According to Boeing, the 787 consumes 20% less fuel than the similarly-sized 767. Its distinguishing features include a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. The 787 shares a common type rating with the larger 777 twinjet, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features. The aircraft's initial designation was 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, at Boeing's Everett assembly factory, by which time it had reached 677 orders; this is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner. By October 2011, the 787 program had logged 873 orders from 57 customers, with ILFC having the largest number on order. The 787 development and production has involved a large-scale
    6.50
    2 votes
    171
    Boeing C-32

    Boeing C-32

    • Aircraft type: Very Important Person transport
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The Boeing C-32 is a military passenger transportation version of the Boeing 757 for the United States Air Force. The C-32 provides transportation for United States leaders to locations around the world. The primary customers are the Vice President of the United States, using the distinctive call sign "Air Force Two", the First Lady, and occasionally members of the U.S. Cabinet and U.S. Congress, however the Vice President is the one who uses it the most. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have at times flown on a C-32 as Air Force One in place of the larger VC-25A. The C-32 is a military version of the Boeing 757-200 extended range aircraft, selected along with the C-37A to replace the aging fleet of VC-137 aircraft. Active-duty aircrews from the 1st Airlift Squadron, 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, fly the aircraft. The contract was awarded for the C-32 in August 1996. By using commercial off-the-shelf acquisition practices, a new record has been set from contract award to aircraft delivery: less than two years. The C-32 is the first military aircraft ever acquired in this manner. The 89th Airlift Wing acquired the first of four
    6.50
    2 votes
    172
    Canadair CF-104

    Canadair CF-104

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Canadair
    The Canadair CF-104 Starfighter (CF-111, CL-90) was a modified version of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter supersonic fighter aircraft built in Canada by Canadair under licence. It served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and later the Canadian Forces until it was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet. In the late 1950s, Canada redefined its role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with a commitment to a nuclear strike mission. At the same time, the RCAF began to consider a replacement for the Canadair F-86 Sabre series that had been utilized as a NATO day fighter. An international fighter competition involved current types in service as well as development, including the Blackburn Buccaneer, Dassault Mirage IIIC, Fiat G.91, Grumman Super Tiger, Lockheed F-104G Starfighter, Northrop N-156 and the Republic F-105 Thunderchief. Although the RCAF had preferred the F-105 Thunderchief equipped with an Avro Canada Orenda Iroquois engine, eventually the choice for a strike-reconnaissance aircraft revolved around cost as well as capability. A Canadian government requirement for a license manufacture also favoured the Lockheed proposal due to a collaboration with
    6.50
    2 votes
    173
    Embraer Phenom 300

    Embraer Phenom 300

    • Manufacturer: Embraer-Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica
    The Embraer Phenom 300 is a light jet aircraft developed by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. It can carry 8 or 9 occupants with a flying range of 1,971 nmi (3,650 km). Its price was estimated at US$ 5 million in 2012. At 45,000 feet (14,000 m), the Phenom 300 is pressurized to a cabin altitude of 6,000 feet (1,800 m). The jet features single-point refueling and an externally serviced private rear lavatory, refreshment center and baggage area. It received FAA Type Certification on 14 December 2009 as the Embraer EMB-505. On 29 December 2009 Embraer delivered the first Phenom 300 to Executive Flight Services at the company's headquarters at São José dos Campos, Brazil. ITALY Data from Embraer Phenom 300 brochure (downloaded 09-Jan-2008) General characteristics Performance Avionics
    6.50
    2 votes
    174
    Fokker F70

    Fokker F70

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Fokker
    The Fokker 70 is a narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range, jet airliner produced by Fokker as a smaller version of the Fokker 100 jetliner. With its first flight in 1994, 47 aircraft, plus one prototype, have been manufactured and most are still in active service with airlines around the world, especially European airlines. The Fokker company of the Netherlands started to develop the airliner in November 1992 with an aim to replace its aging Fokker F28 airliner, with a more modern and fuel efficient aircraft. The Fokker 70's first flight occurred on April 4, 1993, at the company's base at Woensdrecht in southern Netherlands, and had a duration of three hours. Following its first flight, the Fokker 70 was flown to Granada and Spain, where many hours were realised in order to obtain the certification at the end of 1994. The first production aircraft first flew in July 1994. Certification was granted on October 14, 1994, while the first delivery of a Fokker 70 to a customer, Ford Motor Company (in an "Executive Jet" configuration), occurred later in the same month. The launch customer of this aircraft by the airline, was now defunct Indonesian airline, Sempati Air. The development of
    6.50
    2 votes
    175
    Grob G 120

    Grob G 120

    • Manufacturer: Grob
    The Grob G 120 is a two seated training and aerobatic low-wing aircraft with a carbon composite airframe, built by Grob Aircraft. It is based on the Grob G 115TA training aircraft and is specially designed for military and civil pilots training. It has a tricycle landing gear and a low tailplane. The first buyer was Lufthansa Flight Training. The airframe is made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic and is stressed to +6/-4g. Its minimum service life is just over 15,000 flight hours. The cockpit provides room for students wearing military equipment and helmets. The plane is equipped with movable seats and rudder pedals and an air conditioning system. A second thrust lever is available. Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004 General characteristics Performance Avionics
    6.50
    2 votes
    176
    H-34 Choctaw

    H-34 Choctaw

    • Aircraft type: Helicopter
    • Variants: Westland Wessex
    • Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft
    The Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw (Company designation S-58) was a piston-engined military helicopter originally designed by American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky for the United States Navy for service in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role. Sikorsky H-34s have since served mostly as medium transports on every continent with the armed forces of twenty-five countries — from combat in Algeria, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and throughout Southeast Asia, to saving flood victims, recovering astronauts, fighting fires, and carrying presidents. As one of the last piston-powered helicopter designs before its replacement by turbine-powered types such as the UH-1 Huey and CH-46 Sea Knight, it would see a remarkably long run of 2,108 H-34s produced between 1953 and 1970. It would see extended use when adapted to turbine power by the British licencee as the Westland Wessex and Sikorsky as the later S-58T. The British did not retire the Wessex until 2003 as the main transport helicopter; it was replaced by the Aérospatiale Puma. The Sikorsky S-58 was developed as a lengthened and more powerful version of the Sikorsky (model S-55) or UH-19 Chickasaw, with a similar nose, but with a
    6.50
    2 votes
    177
    Nakajima Kikka

    Nakajima Kikka

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Manufacturer: Nakajima Aircraft Company
    The Nakajima Kikka (中島 橘花, "Orange Blossom") was Japan's first jet-powered aircraft. It was developed late in World War II and the first prototype had only flown once before the end of the conflict. It also called Kōkoku Nigō Heiki (皇国二号兵器, "Imperial Weapon No.2"). After the Japanese military attaché in Germany witnessed trials of the Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1944, the Imperial Japanese Navy issued a request to Nakajima to develop a similar aircraft to be used as a fast attack bomber. Among the specifications for the design were the requirements that it should be able to be built largely by unskilled labor, and that the wings should be foldable. This latter feature was to enable the aircraft to be hidden in caves and tunnels around Japan as the Navy began to prepare for the defense of the home islands. Nakajima designers Kazuo Ohno and Kenichi Matsumura laid out an aircraft that bore a strong but superficial resemblance to the Me 262. The Kikka was designed in preliminary form to use the Tsu-11, a very crude thermojet style of jet engine that was little more than a ducted fan with an afterburner. Subsequent designs were planned around the Ne-10 (TR-10) centrifugal-flow turbojet, and
    6.50
    2 votes
    178
    AEG B.I

    AEG B.I

    • Aircraft type: Reconnaissance aircraft
    • Manufacturer: AEG
    The AEG B.I was a German two-seat biplane unarmed reconnaissance aircraft produced in very small numbers from 1914. It formed the basis for the more successful B- and C-type aircraft from AEG. General characteristics Performance
    4.75
    4 votes
    179
    Henschel Hs 126

    Henschel Hs 126

    • Aircraft type: Reconnaissance aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Henschel & Son
    The Henschel Hs 126 was a German two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft of World War II that was derived from the Henschel Hs 122. The pilot was seated in a protected cockpit under the parasol wing and the gunner in an open rear cockpit. The prototype aircraft frame was that of a Hs 122A fitted with a Junkers engine. The Hs 126 was well received for its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics which were needed at the time. It was put into service for a few years, but was soon superseded by the general-purpose, STOL Fieseler Fi 156 Storch and the medium-range Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "flying eye". The first prototype was not entirely up to Luftwaffe standards; it was followed by two more development planes equipped with different engines. Following the third prototype, ten pre-production planes were built in 1937. The Hs 126 entered service in 1938 after operational evaluation with the Legion Condor contingent to the Spanish Civil War. By the time the Hs 126A-1 joined the Luftwaffe, the re-equipping of reconnaissance formations was already well advanced, and by the start of World War II in September 1939, Germany already had several good short range observation and long
    7.00
    1 votes
    180
    Junkers G.38

    Junkers G.38

    • Aircraft type: Transport
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers G.38 was a large German four-engined transport aircraft which first flew in 1929. Two prototypes were constructed in Germany. Both aircraft flew as a commercial transport within Europe in the years leading up to World War II. During the 1930s, the design was licensed to Mitsubishi which constructed and flew a total of six aircraft, in a military bomber/transport configuration, designated Ki-20. The G.38 carried a crew of seven. On board mechanics were able to service the engines in flight due to the G.38's blended wing design which provided access to all four power plants. Structurally the G38 conformed to standard Junkers' practice, with a multi-tubular spar cantilever wing covered, like the rest of the aircraft in stressed, corrugated duraluminium. The biplane tail, found in other large aircraft of the time was intended to reduce rudder forces; initially there were three rudders with only a central fixed fin. The undercarriage was fixed, with double tandem main wheels that were initially enclosed in very large spats. The wing had the usual Junkers "double wing" form, the name referring to the full span movable flaps which served also as ailerons in the outer part. The
    7.00
    1 votes
    181
    Junkers Ju 86

    Junkers Ju 86

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Variants: Ju 86B
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 86 was a German monoplane bomber and civilian airliner designed in the early 1930s, and employed by both sides during World War II. The civilian model Ju 86B could carry 10 passengers. Two were delivered to Swissair and five to Luft Hansa. In addition a single civilian Ju 86Z was delivered to the Swedish AB Aerotransport. In 1934, a specification for a modern twin-engined aircraft capable of operating both as a high speed airliner for the German airline Luft Hansa and as a medium bomber for the still-secret Luftwaffe was issued to both Junkers and Heinkel. Five prototypes were ordered from each company; the Junkers Ju 86 and Heinkel He 111. Junkers' design was a low-winged twin engined monoplane, of all-metal stressed skin construction. Unlike most of Junkers' previous designs, it discarded their typical corrugated skinning in favour of smooth metal skinning which helped to reduce drag. The craft was fitted with a narrow track retractable tailwheel undercarriage and twin fins and rudders. It was intended to be powered by the Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engines, which although heavy, gave better fuel consumption than conventional petrol engines. The bomber aircraft had a
    7.00
    1 votes
    182
    Short Sandringham

    Short Sandringham

    • Aircraft type: Civil flying boat
    • Variants: Short Sunderland
    • Manufacturer: Short Brothers
    The Short S.25 Sandringham was a British civilian flying boat produced during the Second World War by the demilitarized conversions of Short Sunderland military flying boats previously operated by the Royal Air Force. From late 1942, several RAF Sunderlands were stripped of their armament and fitted with bench-type seats. From early 1943, the aircraft gradually acquired civil markings and went into service with BOAC between Poole Harbour Dorset and West Africa. A BOAC Sunderland made a proving flight to Karachi in the Indian subcontinent in late 1943 to research future civil operations to India. These conversions were designated by Shorts as the Sunderland 3. All the Sandringhams were civil conversions of former Royal Air Force Coastal Command Short Sunderlands. The Sandringham Mark 1 used Bristol Pegasus engines, while the later marks of Sandringham used Pratt & Whitney "Twin Wasp" engines. The conversions were carried out by Short and Harland Ltd at Belfast Harbour. In 1963 an additional conversion of a former Royal New Zealand Air Force Sunderland V was carried out by Ansett with a 43-seat interior, although described as a Sandringham the Islander was a unique design. Following
    7.00
    1 votes
    183
    Tupolev Tu-154

    Tupolev Tu-154

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Tupolev
    The Tupolev Tu-154 (Russian: Ту-154; NATO reporting name: Careless) is a three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner designed in the mid 1960s and manufactured by Tupolev. As the workhorse of Soviet and (subsequently) Russian airlines for several decades, it serviced over a sixth of the world's landmass and carried half of all passengers flown by Aeroflot and its subsidiaries (137.5 million/year or 243.8 billion passenger kilometers in 1990). Having been exported and operated by 17 non-Russian airlines and a number of air forces, it remained the standard domestic route airliner of Russia and former Soviet states until the mid 2000s. With a cruising speed of 975 kilometres per hour (606 mph), the Tu-154 is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in operation and has a range of 5,280 kilometres (3,280 mi). Capable of operating from unpaved and gravel airfields, it was widely used in extreme Arctic conditions of Russia's northern and eastern regions where other airliners were unable to operate and where service facilities were very basic. With a service life of 45,000 hours (18,000 cycles) but capable of 80,000 hours with upgrades, it is expected to continue operations until 2016,
    7.00
    1 votes
    184
    B-57 Canberra

    B-57 Canberra

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Manufacturer: Glenn L. Martin Company
    The Martin B-57 Canberra was a United States-built, twin jet engine tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, which entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1953. The B-57 was a licence-built version of the English Electric Canberra, although the Glenn L. Martin Company later modified the design to produce several unique variants. The retirement in 1983 of the B-57 ended the era of the tactical bomber that had its beginning with the World War I De Havilland DH-4. The last two remaining flight worthy WB-57Fs are technically assigned to the NASA Johnson Space Center at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas as high altitude scientific research aircraft, but are also used in a testing and war-fighting capability in both the U.S. and Middle East, specifically Afghanistan. At the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the USAF found itself in dire need of an all-weather interdiction aircraft. The piston-engined Douglas A-26 Invaders were limited to fair weather operations and were in short supply. Consequently, on 16 September 1950, the USAF issued a request for a jet-powered bomber with a top speed of 630 mph (1,020 km/h), ceiling of 40,000 feet (12,190 m), and range of
    6.00
    2 votes
    185
    Canadair F86

    Canadair F86

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Canadair
    The Canadair Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft built by Canadair under licence from North American Aviation. It was was produced until 1958 and used primarily by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) until replaced with the Canadair CF-104 in 1962. Several other air forces would adopt the aircraft. The resulting variant was considered one of the finest "dogfighters" of its day. In 1948, the Canadian government decided to re-equip the RCAF with the F-86 Sabre and Canadair was contracted to produce them in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. An initial batch of 10 aircraft was ordered for tool verification. The Korean War changed this to a production batch of 100 aircraft. Canadair slowly built up its production facility to make all components with related equipment obtained from other Canadian suppliers. Canadair gave the Sabre the project number CL-13. Canadair produced six versions of the CL-13 Sabre. The sole Sabre Mk.1 was essentially the same as the North American Sabre F-86A. It had a General Electric J47-GE-13 turbojet of 5,200 lbf (23 kN) thrust. The Sabre Mk.2 had the same engine, although after the first 20 aircraft were produced, the remainder of the production run was distinguished
    6.00
    2 votes
    186
    Junkers Ju 290

    Junkers Ju 290

    • Aircraft type: Maritime Patrol
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 290 was a long-range transport, maritime patrol aircraft and heavy bomber used by the Luftwaffe late in World War II. The Junkers 290 was developed directly from the Ju 90 airliner, versions of which had been evaluated for military purposes, and was intended to replace the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor which by 1942 was proving increasingly slow and vulnerable when confronted by RAF aircraft over the "narrow seas" around Europe. It was also intended to meet the need for large transport aircraft. A bomber version, the A-8, was planned, but never built. The development programme resulted in the Ju 290V1 prototype (works no. 290000001), with Stammkennzeichen of BD+TX), which first flew on 16 July 1942. It featured a lengthened fuselage, more powerful engines, and a Trapoklappe hydraulic rear loading ramp. Both the V1 and the first eight A-1 production aircraft were unarmed transports. The need for heavy transports saw the A-1s pressed into service as soon as they were completed. Several were lost in early 1943, including one taking part in the Stalingrad Airlift, and two flying supplies to German forces in Tunisia, and arming them became a priority. The urgent need for Ju
    6.00
    2 votes
    187
    Lockheed L-1011

    Lockheed L-1011

    • Aircraft type: Wide-body aircraft
    • Variants: L-1011-150
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 (pronounced "L-ten-eleven") or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, after the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. The aircraft has a seating capacity of up to 400 persons and a range of over 4,000 nautical miles (7,410 km). Its trijet configuration places one Rolls-Royce RB211 engine under each wing, with a third, center-mounted RB211 engine with an S-duct air inlet embedded in the tail and the upper fuselage. The aircraft has an autoland capability, an automated descent control system, and available lower deck galley and lounge facilities. The L-1011 TriStar was produced in two fuselage lengths. The original L-1011-1 first flew in November 1970, and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in 1972. The shortened, long-range L-1011-500 first flew in 1978, and entered service with British Airways a year later. The original length TriStar was also produced as the high gross weight L-1011-100, uprated engine L-1011-200, and further upgraded L-1011-250. Post-production conversions for the L-1011-1 with increased takeoff
    6.00
    2 votes
    188
    Raytheon Hawker 4000

    Raytheon Hawker 4000

    • Aircraft type: Private jet
    • Manufacturer: Raytheon Aircraft Company
    The Hawker 4000, originally known as the Hawker Horizon, is a super-midsize business jet developed by Hawker Beechcraft (formerly Raytheon Aircraft Company). Raytheon announced a new business jet in November 1996 as a larger aircraft than the existing Hawker 1000 that formed the top of Raytheon's jet range. The design, then known as the Hawker Horizon, was intended to fly in 1999, with certification and initial customer deliveries planned for 2001. The first prototype made its maiden flight on August 11, 2001, with the second prototype and third prototypes making their maiden flights on May 10 and July 31, 2002. It made its public debut in November 2002 when a development aircraft was displayed at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. As of March 2007 orders totaled more than 130 aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in June 2008. On December 2, 2005 NetJets signed an order for 50 of the new aircraft, the largest single commercial order in the history of Raytheon Aircraft. The Hawker 4000 is being certified to FAA FAR Part 25 standards, which places a five-year time limit on certification of a new transport category aircraft. The 4000 completed
    6.00
    2 votes
    189
    Rutan Quickie

    Rutan Quickie

    • Manufacturer: Quickie Aircraft
    The Quickie is a light single seat homebuilt aircraft that was designed by Burt Rutan and Tom Jewett. One of the dozens of unconventional aircraft penned by Rutan for the general aviation market, the original Quickie is Model 54 in Rutan’s design series. The Q2 is a two seater version in kit form designed by Canadian Garry LeGare and the founders of the Quickie Aircraft Corporation Tom Jewett, and Gene Sheehan. Over 2000 kits were sold before production ended. Highly efficient, the Quickie and Q2 are of composite construction. Appearing at first glance to be a modified biplane or canard design, the Quickie is a tandem wing aircraft. The forward wing is technically a canard, fitted with elevators, but it provides about 60% of the lift. The aft wing serves as tailplane, although all pitch control comes from the forward canard. The Quickie is a taildragger with main wheels in the tips of the forward wing, obviating the need for separate landing gear. However, propeller clearance is limited and the Quickie is rather vulnerable to prop-strikes, although the trigear version avoids this danger. The Quickie was designed in 1977 by Burt Rutan, with the prototype construction commenced in
    6.00
    2 votes
    190
    Vickers Wellesley

    Vickers Wellesley

    • Aircraft type: General purpose bomber
    • Manufacturer: Vickers
    The Vickers Wellesley was a British 1930s light bomber built by Vickers-Armstrongs at Brooklands near Weybridge, Surrey, for the Royal Air Force. While it was obsolete by the start of the Second World War, and unsuited to the European air war, the Wellesley was successfully used in the desert theatres of East Africa, Egypt and the Middle East. The design originated from the Air Ministry Specification G.4/31 which called for a general purpose aircraft, capable of carrying out level bombing, army co-operation, dive bombing, reconnaissance, casualty evacuation and torpedo bombing. The biplane Vickers Type 253 design, which used a radical geodesic airframe construction that was derived from that used by Barnes Wallis in the airship R100, was ordered by the Ministry and tested against the specification along with the Fairey G.4/31, Westland PV-7, Handley Page HP.47, Armstrong Whitworth A.W.19, Blackburn B-7, Hawker P.V.4 and the Parnall G.4/31. The Type 253 was declared the winner, with 150 being ordered. The Vickers Type 246 monoplane, which used the same geodetic design principles for both the fuselage and wings, was then built as a private venture, first flown at Brooklands by
    6.00
    2 votes
    191
    RAH-66 Comanche

    RAH-66 Comanche

    • Aircraft type: Attack helicopter
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Helicopters
    The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche was an advanced five-blade armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter designed for the United States Army. The RAH-66 program was canceled in 2004, before mass production began, after nearly $7 billion was spent on the program. During the early 1980s, the U.S. Army began formulating a requirement for the replacement of its helicopters then in service, resulting in the Light Helicopter Experimental program. In 1991, the Boeing-Sikorsky team was chosen to produce prototypes. The Comanche would incorporate stealth technologies, featuring a number of designs previously untried. It was to employ advanced sensors in its reconnaissance role, and was intended to designate targets for the AH-64 Apache. The aircraft was also armed with missiles and rockets to destroy armored vehicles. Two RAH-66 prototypes were built and conducted flight testing from 1996 to 2004. Since the cancellation the prototypes have been placed on display. In 1982 the U.S. Army started the Light Helicopter Experimental (LHX) program to replace UH-1, AH-1, OH-6, and OH-58 helicopters. It took six years, until 1988, before the request for proposal (RFP) was issued, in which the
    5.00
    3 votes
    192
    Aero A.18

    Aero A.18

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Aero Vodochody
    The Aero A.18 was a biplane fighter aircraft built in Czechoslovakia in the 1920s. It was a development of the Ae 02 and Ae 04 fighters Aero had designed during World War I, but also borrowed from the more recent A.11 reconnaissance-bomber design. The aircraft was designed by Antonin Vlasák and Antonin Husnik and first flew in March 1923. It was only one of three prototype fighters that Aero flew that year, but this one was selected for production over the A.19 and A.20 that competed with it. Twenty machines saw service with the Czech air force in the period between the wars. The A.18B and A.18C were specially modified racing variants that competed in the Czech Aero Club's first two annual air races, in 1923 and 1924 respectively. Both aircraft won their races, and the A.18C is preserved at the Letecke Muzeum in Kbely along with a replica of a standard A.18 fighter. Data from General characteristics Performance Armament
    5.50
    2 votes
    193
    AH-64 Apache

    AH-64 Apache

    • Aircraft type: Attack helicopter
    • Variants: Westland WAH-64 Apache
    • Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
    The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. The Apache was developed as Model 77 by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975. The AH-64 was introduced to US Army service in April 1986. The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability. The U.S. Army selected the AH-64, by Hughes Helicopters, over the Bell YAH-63 in 1976, and later approved full production in 1982. McDonnell Douglas continued production and development after purchasing Hughes Helicopters from Summa Corporation in 1984. The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded version of the
    5.50
    2 votes
    194
    AMX International AMX

    AMX International AMX

    • Aircraft type: Attack aircraft
    • Manufacturer: AMX International
    The AMX International AMX is a ground-attack aircraft for battlefield interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance missions. It was built until 1999 by AMX International, an Italian-Brazilian joint venture, and is designated the A-1 by the Brazilian Air Force. The AMX is capable of operating at high subsonic speed and low altitude, by day or night, and if necessary, from bases with poorly equipped or damaged runways. Low IR signature and reduced radar equivalent cross-section help prevent detection, while low vulnerability of structure and systems aid survivability. Integrated ECM, air-to-air missiles and nose-mounted guns provide self-defence capabilities. In 1977, the Italian Air Force issued a requirement for a strike fighter to replace its Aeritalia G.91 and some of its F-104 Starfighters. Rather than competing for the contract, Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica) and Aermacchi agreed to make a joint proposal, as both firms had been considering the development of a similar class of aircraft for some years. Aermacchi, for example, had worked on a design study for a light ground attack aircraft, designated MB-340, in the early 1970s. Development work began in April 1978. In
    5.50
    2 votes
    195
    Cessna T-37

    Cessna T-37

    • Aircraft type: Military trainer aircraft
    • Variants: A-37 Dragonfly
    • Manufacturer: Cessna
    The Cessna T-37 Tweet (designated Model 318 by Cessna) is a small, economical twin-engine jet trainer-attack type aircraft which flew for decades as a primary trainer for the United States Air Force (USAF) and in the air forces of several other nations. The A-37 Dragonfly variant served in the light attack role during the Vietnam War and continues to serve in the air forces of several South American nations. The T-37 served as the U.S. Air Force's primary pilot training vehicle for over 52 years after its first flight. After completing Primary in the Tweet, students moved on to other advanced Navy, Marine Corps or Allied trainers. 1,269 Cessna T-37s were built, with 419 still serving in the United States Air Force in 2006. Between 2001 and 31 July 2009 the USAF phased out the T-37 in favor of the T-6 Texan II. The Cessna Aircraft Company of Wichita, Kansas provided the United States Army during World War II and the Korean War with utility, light transport, and observation aircraft, particularly the "O-1 Bird Dog" series. In the spring of 1952 the United States Air Force (USAF) issued a request for proposals for a "Trainer Experimental (TX)" program, specifying a lightweight
    5.50
    2 votes
    196
    Rutan Defiant

    Rutan Defiant

    The Rutan Model 40 Defiant is a four-seat, twin-engine aircraft with the engines in a push-pull configuration. It was designed by well-known aerospace engineer Burt Rutan for the Rutan Aircraft Factory. The prototype Defiant, N78RA, first flew on 30 June 1978. It was intended as a proof-of-concept of a very safe light twin design, requiring little trim change and no pilot action in case of engine failure, and with good single engine performance. A comparison of the Defiant single engine climb rate with a Grumman Cougar showed about 390 vs 280 ft/min at low altitude with both aircraft cleaned up. The prototype is now owned by the Hiller Aviation Museum. In 1979 the Rutan Aircraft Factory announced they would proceed with certification of a Defiant-based light twin. Adequate financing was not secured for this project, and the design was modified for homebuilt construction as the Model 74, with the second aircraft (built by Fred Keller) appearing at Oshkosh 1983. Plans were offered in mid-1984. 176 sets of plans were purchased before RAF discontinued selling plans in 1985. Nine examples were known to be flying as of mid-1987. Nineteen are registered with the FAA as of 2005. The
    5.50
    2 votes
    197
    Aérospatiale Puma

    Aérospatiale Puma

    • Aircraft type: Utility helicopter
    • Variants: IAR 330
    • Manufacturer: Westland Aircraft
    The Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter. The Puma was originally manufactured by Sud Aviation of France. The SA 330 Puma was originally developed by Sud Aviation to meet a requirement of the French Army for a medium-sized all-weather helicopter. The helicopter also had to be capable of operating by day and night as well as in a wide variety of climates. In 1967, the Puma was also selected by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and given the designation Puma HC Mk 1. As a result of this decision, the SA 330 was included in a joint production agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland Helicopters of the UK, which also resulted in the purchase of Aérospatiale Gazelle by the United Kingdom and the Westland Lynx by France. This resulted in Westland building components for the Puma, and assembling the RAF's Pumas. The first of two Puma prototypes flew on 15 April 1965. Six pre-production models were also built, the last of which flew on 30 July 1968. The first production SA 330 Puma flew in September 1968, with deliveries to the French Army starting in early 1969. Production of the SA 330 Puma by Aérospatiale ceased in 1987, by which time a
    6.00
    1 votes
    198
    Boeing 727

    Boeing 727

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Boeing 727-100
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 727 is a mid-size narrow-body three-engine jet aircraft built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It can carry 149 to 189 passengers and later models can fly up to 2,400 to 2,700 nautical miles (4,400 to 5,000 km) nonstop. Intended for short and medium-length flights, the 727 can use fairly short runways at smaller airports. It has three Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines below the T-tail, one on each side of the fuselage with a center engine that connects through an S-duct to an inlet at the base of the fin. The 727 is Boeing's only trijet aircraft, as well as the only one without a conventional tail. The 727 followed the 707 quad-jet airliner with which it shares its upper fuselage cross-section and cockpit design. The 727-100 first flew in February 1963 and entered service with Eastern Air Lines in February 1964; the stretched 727-200 flew in July 1967 and entered service with Northeast Airlines that December. The 727 became a mainstay of airlines' domestic route networks and was also used on short- and medium-range international routes. Passenger, freighter, and convertible versions of the 727 were built. The 727 was heavily produced into the 1970s; the last 727 was completed
    6.00
    1 votes
    199
    Boeing 777

    Boeing 777

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: 777-300
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 777 is a long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and has a capacity of over 300 passengers, with a range of 5,235 to 9,380 nautical miles (9,695 to 17,370 km), depending on model. Commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven", its distinguishing features include the largest-diameter turbofan engines of any aircraft, six wheels on each main landing gear, a circular fuselage cross-section and a blade-shaped tail cone. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, the 777 was designed to replace older wide-body airliners and bridge the capacity difference between the 767 and 747. As Boeing's first fly-by-wire airliner, it has computer-mediated controls; it is also the first entirely computer-designed commercial aircraft. The 777 is produced in two fuselage lengths. The original 777-200 model first entered service in 1995, followed by the extended-range 777-200ER in 1997. The stretched 777-300, which is 33.3 ft (10.1 m) longer, entered service in 1998. The longer-range 777-300ER and 777-200LR variants entered service in 2004 and 2006 respectively, while a freighter version, the 777F,
    6.00
    1 votes
    200
    De Havilland Vampire

    De Havilland Vampire

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: De Havilland Venom
    • Manufacturer: De Havilland
    The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. Although it arrived too late to see combat during the war, the Vampire served with front line RAF squadrons until 1953 and continued in use as a trainer until 1966, although generally the RAF relegated the Vampire to advanced training roles in the mid-1950s and the type was generally out of RAF service by the end of the decade. The Vampire also served with many air forces worldwide, setting aviation firsts and records. Almost 3,300 Vampires were built, a quarter of them under licence in other countries. The Vampire design was also developed into the de Havilland Venom fighter-bomber as well as naval Sea Vampire variants. The Vampire was considered to be a largely experimental design due to its unorthodox arrangement and the use of a single engine, unlike the Gloster Meteor which was already specified for production. The low-powered early British jet engines meant that only twin-engine aircraft designs were considered practical; but as more powerful engines were
    6.00
    1 votes
    201
    Falcon 900

    Falcon 900

    • Variants: Dassault Falcon 7X
    • Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
    The Dassault Falcon 900 is a French-built corporate jet aircraft made by Dassault Aviation. It, and its larger sibling the Falcon 7X, are the only trijets in production. Both aircraft are notable in featuring an S-duct central engine. The Falcon 900 is a development of the Falcon 50, itself a development of the earlier Falcon 20. The Falcon 900 design incorporates composite materials. Improved models include the Falcon 900B, featuring improved engines and increased range, and the Falcon 900EX featuring further improvements in engines and range and an all-glass flight deck. The Falcon 900C is a lower-cost companion to the Falcon 900EX and replaces the Falcon 900B. Later versions are the Falcon 900EX EASy and the Falcon 900DX. At EBACE 2008, Dassault announced another development of the 900 series; the Falcon 900LX incorporating High Mach Blended Winglets designed by Aviation Partners Inc. The same winglets are certified for the entire Falcon 900 series as a retrofit kit. Pre-owned value: $15,000,000-$40,000,000 The Falcon 900 is used by the Escadron de transport, d'entraînement et de calibrage which is in charge of transportation for officials of the French state. A wide range of
    6.00
    1 votes
    202
    Focke-Wulf Ta 183

    Focke-Wulf Ta 183

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: FMA IAe 33 Pulqui II
    • Manufacturer: Focke-Wulf
    The Focke-Wulf Ta 183 Huckebein was a design for a jet-powered fighter aircraft intended as the successor to the Messerschmitt Me 262 and other day fighters in Luftwaffe service during World War II. It was developed only to the extent of wind tunnel models when the war ended, but the basic design was further developed post-war in Argentina as the FMA Pulqui II. The name Huckebein is a reference to a trouble-making comic strip raven. In early 1945, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) became aware of Allied jet developments, and were particularly concerned that they might have to face the Gloster Meteor over the continent. In response, they instituted the Emergency Fighter Program, ending production of most bomber and multi-role aircraft in favor of fighters, especially jet fighters. Additionally, they accelerated the development of experimental designs that would guarantee a performance edge over the Allied designs, designs that would replace the first German jet fighters, the Messerschmitt Me 262 and Heinkel He 162. The result was a series of advanced designs, some using swept wings for improved transonic performance, others instead using the tailless design to lower drag to the
    6.00
    1 votes
    203
    Hawker Hart

    Hawker Hart

    • Aircraft type: Light bomber
    • Variants: Hawker Hector
    • Manufacturer: Hawker Aircraft
    The Hawker Hart was a British two-seater biplane light bomber of the Royal Air Force (RAF), which had a prominent role during the RAF's inter-war period. The Hart was designed during the 1920s by Sydney Camm and built by Hawker Aircraft. It spawned several variants, including a naval version. In 1926, the Air Ministry stated a requirement for a two-seat high-performance light day-bomber, to be of all-metal construction and with a maximum speed of 160 mph (258 km/h). Designs were tendered by Hawker, Avro and de Havilland. Fairey, who had sold a squadron's worth of its wooden Fox bomber in 1925, was not at first invited to tender to the specification, and was only sent a copy of the specification after protesting to the Chief of the Air Staff, Hugh Trenchard. Hawker's design was a single-bay biplane powered by a Rolls-Royce F.XI water-cooled V12 engine (the engine that later became known as the Rolls-Royce Kestrel). It had, as the specification required, a metal structure, with a fuselage structure of steel-tube covered by aluminium panels and fabric, with the wings having steel spars and duralumin ribs, covered in fabric. The crew of two sat in individual tandem cockpits, with the
    6.00
    1 votes
    204
    Learjet 25

    Learjet 25

    • Aircraft type: Business jet
    • Variants: Learjet 25A
    • Manufacturer: Lear Jet
    The Learjet 25 is a ten-seat (two crew and eight passengers), twin-engined, high speed business jet aircraft manufactured by Learjet. It is a stretched version of the Learjet 24. The first Model 25 flew on August 12, 1966, and the first delivery was in November 1967. The Learjet 25 is similar to the Model 24 but is 1.27 m (4 ft 2 in) longer, allowing for three additional passengers. In 1970 the Learjet 25B was produced along with the Learjet 25C in the same year. The aircraft has two General Electric CJ610-6 (or CJ610-8) turbojet engines. Baggage is stowed in a compartment at the rear of the cabin. Two General Electric CJ610-6 single-rotor axial-flow turbojet enigins are pylon-mounted on each side of the aft fuselage. Each engine is rated at 2950 pounds of thrust at sea level. The engine compartments consist of an eight-stage axial-flow compressor directly coupled to a two-stage turbine, a through-flow annular combustion system, variable inlet guide vanes, controlled compressor interstage bleed, exhaust nozzle and accessory drive system. Starting ignition is provided by a dual output capacitor-discharge system. As the ignition cycle is completed, the igniter plugs cease sparking
    6.00
    1 votes
    205
    Messerschmitt Me 163

    Messerschmitt Me 163

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivaled at the time. Messerschmitt test pilot Rudy Opitz in 1944 reached 1,123 km/h (698 mph). Over 300 aircraft were built; however, the Komet proved ineffective as a fighter, having been responsible for the destruction of only about nine Allied aircraft (16 air victories for 10 losses, according to other sources). Work on the design started under the aegis of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (DFS)—the German Institute for the Study of sailplane flight. Their first design was a conversion of the earlier Lippisch Delta IV known as the DFS 39 and used purely as a glider testbed of the airframe. A larger follow-on version with a small propeller engine started as the DFS 194. This version used wingtip-mounted rudders, which Lippisch felt would cause problems at high speed. He later redesigned them to be mounted on a conventional vertical stabilizer at the rear of the aircraft. The design included a number of
    6.00
    1 votes
    206
    Northrop A-17

    Northrop A-17

    • Aircraft type: Ground attack
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop A-17, a development of the Northrop Gamma 2F was a two seat, single engine, monoplane, attack bomber built in 1935 by the Northrop Corporation for the U.S. Army Air Corps. The Northrop Gamma 2F was an attack bomber derivative of the Northrop Gamma transport aircraft, developed in parallel with the Northrop Gamma 2C, (of which one was built, designated the YA-13 and XA-16. The Gamma 2F had a revised tail, cockpit canopy and wing flaps compared with the Gamma 2C, and was fitted with a new semi-retractable undercarriage. It was delivered to the United States Army Air Corps for tests on 6 October 1934, and after modification, including fitting with a conventional fixed undercarriage, was accepted by the Air Corps. A total of 110 aircraft were ordered as the A-17 in 1935. The resulting A-17 was equipped with perforated flaps, had fixed landing gear with partial fairing. It was fitted with an internal fuselage bomb bay that carried fragmentation bombs and well as external bomb racks. Northrop developed a new undercarriage, this time completely retractable, producing the A-17A variant. This version was again purchased by the Army Air Corps, who placed orders for 129 aircraft.
    6.00
    1 votes
    207
    Rutan VariEze

    Rutan VariEze

    The Rutan VariEze is a composite, canard aircraft designed by Burt Rutan. It is a fairly high-performance homebuilt, hundreds of which have been constructed. The design later evolved into the Long-EZ and other, larger cabin canard aircraft. The Varieze is notable for popularizing the canard configuration and moldless composite construction for homebuilt aircraft. Work on the VariEze design, which grew out of Rutan's experience designing and building the VariViggen, began in 1974. The first prototype, designated Model 31 and registered N7EZ, first flew on May 21, 1975 after four months of construction. This aircraft used a Volkswagen engine conversion. Three months later it was shown at Oshkosh where Dick Rutan piloted it to an under 500 kg class distance record of 1,638 miles (2,636 km). Burt believed that by engaging in a program of breaking class records he could further fine-tune the design. The aircraft was so popular at Oshkosh that Rutan redesigned the aircraft so that it could be sold as a set of plans. A second prototype, the Model 33, N4EZ, built using a larger wing, a Continental O-200 engine, and many other detail changes, was shown at Oshkosh in July 1976 and plans were
    6.00
    1 votes
    208
    Saeqeh

    Saeqeh

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company
    Saeqeh (Persian: صاعقه‎, "thunderbolt"), alternatively spelt Sa'eqeh; Saegheh, or Saeqeh-80, is an Iranian built single-seat jet fighter, derived from the American Northrop F-5. A joint product of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force and the Iranian Ministry of Defense, it is the second generation of the Iranian Azarakhsh fighter. Saeqeh aircraft were tested successfully in Iran 20 September 2007. The first prototype of the jet was shown on state television making a test flight in July 2004. According to the translation by the Washington-Based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) of a broadcast on Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), the Saeqeh became operational on September 6, 2006, when it participated in an Iranian military wargame exercise called "Blow of Zulfiqar". In that exercise, which began on August 19, 2006, the new fighter carried out actions described as "a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets", and "a mock bombing mission". Two prototypes, which appeared to differ from the one that had been shown previously, conducted a fly-past at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on 20 September 2007. Three prototypes took part in a military parade on 22 September
    6.00
    1 votes
    209
    Vickers Valiant

    Vickers Valiant

    • Aircraft type: Strategic bomber
    • Manufacturer: Vickers
    The Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant was a British four-jet bomber, once part of the Royal Air Force's V bomber nuclear force in the 1950s and 1960s. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational, and was followed by the Handley Page Victor and the Avro Vulcan; however it was noticably less advanced than its counterparts. Several Valiants were soon converted to perform various support roles, such as aerial refuelling tankers and reconnaissance aircraft. The Valiant was originally intended for operations as high-level strategic bomber; advances in anti-aircraft technologies meant that a low-level mission profile was assumed. However, continous low-level flight led to a number of serious problems as the Valiant's wing spar attachment castings showed premature fatiguing and inter-crystalline corrosion traced to the use of an inappropriate type of aluminium alloy. Rather than proceeding with an expensive rebuilding program, the Valiant was formally retired in 1965. Its duties were continued by the other V-bombers which remained in service until the 1980s. In November 1944, the Joint Technical Warfare Committee, along with a separate committee chaired by Sir Henry Tizard,
    6.00
    1 votes
    210
    YFM-1 Airacuda

    YFM-1 Airacuda

    • Aircraft type: Bomber destroyer
    • Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft
    The Bell YFM-1 Airacuda was an American heavy fighter aircraft, developed by the Bell Aircraft Corporation during the mid 1930s. It was the first military aircraft produced by Bell. Originally designated the "Bell Model 1," the Airacuda first flew on 1 September 1937. The Airacuda was marked by bold design advances and considerable flaws that eventually grounded the aircraft. The Airacuda was Bell Aircraft's answer for a "bomber destroyer" aircraft. Although it did see limited production, and one fully operational squadron was eventually formed, only one prototype and 12 production models were ultimately built, in three slightly different versions. In an effort to break into the aviation business, Bell Aircraft created a unique fighter concept touted to be "a mobile anti-aircraft platform" as well as a "convoy fighter." Created to intercept enemy bombers at distances beyond the range of single-seat fighter interceptors, the YFM-1 (Y, service test; F, fighter; M, multiplace) was an innovative design incorporating many features never before seen in a military aircraft, as well as several never seen again. Utilizing a streamlined, "futuristic" design, the Bell Airacuda appeared to be
    6.00
    1 votes
    211
    Heinkel He 177

    Heinkel He 177

    • Aircraft type: Heavy bomber
    • Variants: Heinkel He 277
    • Manufacturer: Heinkel
    The Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffin) was the only operational long-range bomber to be flown in combat by the Luftwaffe. Starting its existence as Germany's first purpose-built heavy bomber just before the war, and built in large numbers during World War II, it was also mistakenly tasked, right from its beginnings, to perform a milder version of the precision dive bombing the Junkers Ju 87 had pioneered during the Spanish Civil War. This requirement for a dive-bombing capability in such a large aircraft resulted in a design possessing considerably lower drag than any other "four-engined" heavy bomber of its time, in order to be able to perform the task in any measure, resulting in many major deficiencies being exposed in its general design, and hindering its widespread adoption for strategic bombing. Luftwaffe aircrew nicknamed it the Luftwaffenfeuerzeug (Luftwaffe's lighter) or the "Flaming Coffin" due to the serious engine problems on initial versions of the aircraft. When these problems were later rectified, the type was successful, but it could not be deployed in large numbers due to Germany's deteriorating situation in the war. In 1936 the company of Heinkel Flugzeugwerke
    4.33
    3 votes
    212
    Beechcraft Staggerwing

    Beechcraft Staggerwing

    • Aircraft type: Utility aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Beechcraft
    The Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing is an American biplane with an atypical negative stagger (the lower wing is further forward than the upper wing), that first flew in 1932. At the height of the Great Depression, aircraft executive Walter H. Beech and airplane designer T. A. "Ted" Wells joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the "Staggerwing" was first flown on November 4, 1932. During its heyday it was used as an executive aircraft, much as the private jet is now, and its primary competition were the Waco Custom Cabin and Waco Standard Cabin series of biplanes. The Model 17's unusual negative stagger wing configuration (the upper wing staggered behind the lower) and unique shape maximized pilot visibility while negligibly reducing interference between the wings. The fabric-covered fuselage was faired with wood formers and stringers over a welded, steel tube frame. Construction was complex and took many man-hours to complete. The Staggerwing's retractable conventional landing gear, uncommon at that time, combined with careful
    5.00
    2 votes
    213
    Messerschmitt Bf 108

    Messerschmitt Bf 108

    • Aircraft type: Communications
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun was a German single-engine sports and touring aircraft developed by Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works). The Bf 108 was of all-metal construction. Originally designated the M 37, the aircraft was designed as a four-seat sports/recreation aircraft for competition in the 4th Challenge de Tourisme Internationale (1934). The M 37 prototype flew first in spring 1934 powered by a 250 PS (247 hp, 184 kW) Hirth HM 8U inverted-V engine, which drove a three-blade propeller. Although it was outperformed by several other aircraft in the competition, the M 37's overall performance marked it as a popular choice for record flights. Particular among these traits was its extremely low fuel consumption rate, good handling, and superb takeoff and landing characteristics. One of the first major changes made to the production variants was to adapt the fuselage for a four-seat configuration. The Bf 108A first flew in 1934, followed by the Bf 108B in 1935. The Bf 108B used the Argus As 10 air-cooled inverted V8 engine. The nickname Taifun (German for "typhoon") was given to her own aircraft by Elly Beinhorn, a well known German pilot, and was generally
    5.00
    2 votes
    214
    Messerschmitt Me 262

    Messerschmitt Me 262

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe ("Swallow") was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started before World War II began but engine problems prevented the aircraft from attaining operational status with the Luftwaffe until mid-1944. Compared with Allied fighters of its day, including the British jet-powered Gloster Meteor, it was much faster and better armed. One of the most advanced aviation designs in operational use during World War II, the Me 262 was used in a variety of roles, including light bomber, reconnaissance and even experimental night fighter versions. Me 262 pilots claimed a total of 542 Allied kills (although higher claims are sometimes made) against the loss of only about 100 Me 262s in the air. The Allies countered its potential effectiveness in the air by relentlessly attacking the aircraft on the ground and while they were taking off or landing. Maintenance problems and a lack of fuel during the deteriorating late-war situation also reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft as a fighting force. In the end, the Me 262 had a negligible impact on the course of the war as a result of its late introduction and the consequently small
    5.00
    2 votes
    215
    YF-17 Cobra

    YF-17 Cobra

    • Aircraft type: Prototype fighter aircraft
    • Variants: F/A-18 Hornet
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop YF-17 (nicknamed "Cobra") was a prototype lightweight fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) technology evaluation program. The LWF was initiated because many in the fighter community believed that aircraft like the F-15 Eagle were too large and expensive for many combat roles. The YF-17 was the culmination of a long line of Northrop designs, beginning with the N-102 Fang in 1956, continuing through the F-5 family. Although it lost the LWF competition to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the YF-17 was selected for the new Naval Fighter Attack Experimental (VFAX) program. In enlarged form, the F/A-18 Hornet was adopted by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps to replace the A-7 Corsair II and F-4 Phantom II, complementing the more expensive F-14 Tomcat. This design, conceived as a small and lightweight fighter, was scaled up to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which is similar in size to the original F-15. The aircraft's main design elements date to early 1965, from the internal Northrop project N-300. The N-300 was itself derived from the F-5E, and features a longer fuselage, small leading-edge root extensions
    4.00
    3 votes
    216
    CAC Winjeel

    CAC Winjeel

    • Aircraft type: Military trainer aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
    The CAC CA-25 Winjeel (aboriginal for young eagle) entered service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1955 as an ab-initio to advanced training aircraft. The Winjeel was developed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend in Victoria to satisy RAAF technical requirement No.AC.77. Sixty two aircraft were built and given the fleet serials A85-401 to A85-462. The first Winjeel entered service with No.1 Basic Flight Training School (BFTS) at Uranquinty, near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. For most of the service life of the Winjeel it was used as a basic-training aircraft at RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria. The Winjeel remained in service with the RAAF as a basic-training aircraft until replaced by the New Zealand-built PAC CT/4A in 1977. A small number of Winjeels were used in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role from 1977 until 1994. By then there were fourteen examples in service with No. 76 Squadron, and that year they were replaced by the Pilatus PC-9. Examples of the aircraft remain in flying condition in private ownership as well as museum displays around Australia. General characteristics Performance
    4.50
    2 votes
    217
    Bell 222

    Bell 222

    • Variants: Bell 222B
    The Bell 222 is a twin-engined light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. The Bell 230 is an improved development with different engines and other minor changes. A cosmetically modified version of the 222 was used as the titular aircraft in the American television series Airwolf. In the late 1960s Bell began designing a new twin turbine engine light helicopter. A mock-up of the new helicopter was displayed in January 1974 at a helicopter convention. Following interest at the convention the company announced the new Bell 222. It was the first light commercial twin turbine engine helicopter developed in the United States. The Bell 222 incorporated a number of advanced features including dual hydraulic and electrical systems, sponsons housing the retractable landing gear, and the Noda Matic vibration reduction system developed for the Bell 214ST. Manufacturing began in 1975. The Model 222 first flew on August 13, 1976. It received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on August 16, 1979 and was approved for visual flight rules (VFR) use on December 20, 1979. Helicopter deliveries began on January 16, 1980. The FAA approved the 222 for single pilot instrument
    5.00
    1 votes
    218
    Compass Cope

    Compass Cope

    • Aircraft type: Unmanned aerial vehicle
    • Variants: AQM-91 Firefly
    • Manufacturer: Ryan Aeronautical Company
    The Boeing YQM-94 B-Gull (also called Compass Cope B) was a developmental reconnaissance drone developed by Boeing. It could take off and land from a runway like a manned aircraft, and operate at high altitudes for up to 24 hours to perform surveillance, communications relay, or atmospheric sampling. Compass Cope was a program initiated by the United States Air Force in 1971 to develop an upgraded reconnaissance drone that could take off and land from a runway like a manned aircraft, and operate at high altitudes for up to 24 hours to perform surveillance, communications relay, or atmospheric sampling. Two aircraft, the Boeing YQM-94 Compass Cope B, and the Ryan Aeronautical YQM-98A Compass Cope R participated in the program. Boeing was originally selected as a sole source for the Compass Cope program, with the USAF awarding the company a contract for two YQM-94A (later YGQM-94A) demonstrator vehicles. However, Ryan then pitched the Model 235 as an alternative, and the next year, 1972, the Air Force agreeably awarded Ryan a contract for two YQM-98A (later YGQM-98A) demonstrators as well. The Boeing YQM-94A is a cantilever shoulder-wing monoplane, basically a jet-powered sailplane,
    5.00
    1 votes
    219
    De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou

    De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou

    • Aircraft type: STOL Transport
    • Manufacturer: De Havilland Canada
    The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou (designated by the United States military as the CV-2 and later C-7 Caribou) is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. The Caribou was first flown in 1958 and although mainly retired from military operations, is still in use in small numbers as a rugged "bush" aircraft. The de Havilland Canada company's third STOL design was a big step up in size compared to its earlier DHC Beaver and DHC Otter, and was the first DHC design powered by two engines. The Caribou, however, was similar in concept in that it was designed as a rugged STOL utility. The Caribou was primarily a military tactical transport that in commercial service found itself a small niche in cargo hauling. The United States Army ordered 173 in 1959 and took delivery in 1961 under the designation AC-1, which was changed to CV-2 Caribou in 1962. The majority of Caribou production was destined for military operators, but the type's ruggedness and excellent STOL capabilities requiring runway lengths of only 1200 feet (365 metres) also appealed to some commercial users. US certification was awarded on 23 December 1960.
    5.00
    1 votes
    220
    Douglas DC-6

    Douglas DC-6

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Variants: Douglas DC-7
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
    The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range commercial transport market. More than 700 were built and many still fly today in cargo, military and wildfire control roles. The DC-6 was known as the C-118 Liftmaster in United States Air Force service and as the R6D in United States Navy service prior to 1962 after which all U.S. Navy variants were also designated as the C-118. The United States Army Air Forces commissioned the DC-6 project as the XC-112 in 1944. The Army Air Forces wanted an expanded, pressurized version of the popular DC-4 based C-54 Skymaster transport with improved engines. By the time the renamed XC-112A flew, the war was over and the USAAF had rescinded its requirement. Douglas converted its prototype into a civil transport (redesignated YC-112A, having significant differences from subsequent production DC-6 aircraft) and delivered the first production DC-6 in March 1947. However, a series of mysterious inflight fires
    5.00
    1 votes
    221
    Eurocopter Tiger

    Eurocopter Tiger

    • Aircraft type: Attack helicopter
    • Manufacturer: Eurocopter Group
    The Eurocopter Tiger (company designation EC 665) is an attack helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter. In Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre. In 1984, the French and West German governments issued a requirement for an advanced multi-role battlefield helicopter. A joint venture consisting of Aérospatiale and MBB was subsequently chosen as the preferred supplier. Due to high costs, the program was cancelled in 1986, but was relaunched during 1987. Subsequently, in November 1989, Eurocopter received a contract to build five prototypes. Three were to be unarmed testbeds and the other two armed prototypes: one for the French escort helicopter variant and the other for the German anti-tank variant. The first prototype first flew in April 1991. When Aérospatiale and MBB, among others, merged in 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group, the Tiger program was transferred as well. Serial production of the Tiger began in March 2002 and the first flight of the first production Tiger HAP for the French Army took place in March 2003. The delivery of the first of the eighty helicopters ordered by the French took place in September 2003. At the end of 2003,
    5.00
    1 votes
    222
    Boeing 80

    Boeing 80

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Boeing
    The Boeing 80 was an American airliner of the 1920s. A three-engined biplane, the Model 80 was built by the Boeing Airplane Company for Boeing's own airline, Boeing Air Transport, successfully carrying both airmail and passengers on scheduled services. Boeing Air Transport was formed on February 17, 1927 by William Boeing to operate the Contract Air Mail (CAM) service between San Francisco and Chicago (CAM.18), taking over the route on July 1, 1927. The route was initially operated by single-engined Boeing 40A biplanes, which could carry four passengers, which provided a useful supplement to the subsidized revenue from carrying airmail. In order to take better advantage of passenger traffic, Boeing decided that it needed a larger aircraft that was more suitable for passenger carrying, and in early 1928 designed a trimotor aircraft capable of carrying 12 passengers, the Model 80. Unlike the Fokker F.VII and Ford Trimotors operated by other airlines, the Model 80 was a biplane, chosen to give good takeoff and landing performance when operating from difficult airfields on its routes, many of which were at relatively high altitude. The fuselage was of fabric covered steel and aluminium
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    223
    Bristol Buckingham

    Bristol Buckingham

    • Aircraft type: Transport aircraft
    • Variants: Bristol Brigand
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
    The Bristol Type 163 Buckingham was a British Second World War medium bomber for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Overtaken by events, it was built in small numbers, and was used primarily for transport and liaison duties. In early 1939 Bristol suggested a bomber variant of the Beaufighter with their Hercules engines. British policy at the time was for medium bombers to be provided from the US allowing British industry to concentrate on heavy bomber designs but a design was requested preferably based on an existing design which effectively meant working with the Beaufighter or Beaufort. Bristol worked on their design first as the Bristol Type 161 then the Type 162 Beaumont. Air Ministry specification B.7/40 called for a medium bomber to replace the Blenheim. The specification stipulated a speed of at least 300 mph with a normal load of 1,000 lb of bombs and a turret armed with at least two machine guns of 0.50 inch calibre. Only one manufacturer tendered a full design, but it did not meet with approval. Bristol then brought their Type 162 to the Air Staff, which was fortunately well matched to B.7/40 and which led to a request for a completed mock-up and then a contract for three
    4.00
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    224
    Grumman Gulfstream I

    Grumman Gulfstream I

    • Aircraft type: Business aircraft
    • Variants: Grumman Gulfstream II
    • Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corporation
    The Grumman Gulfstream I (company designation G-159) is a twin turboprop business aircraft. It first flew on August 14, 1958. The United States military version for this plane is the C-4 Academe. The TC-4 is a version with added instruments and navigation. It was used by US Navy for bombadier/navigator training for the A-6 Intruder. A VC-4A variant was flown by the United States Coast Guard as an executive transport until the early 1980s. It was later used as a logistics and long-range command and control aircraft until 2001. A 38-passenger stretched version, the G-159C, was developed by Gulfstream. Five were delivered from November 1980. Air North (Plattsburgh NY) was one among the few airlines to use this version, before its acquisition by Brockway Glass. In August 2006, a total of 44 Grumman Gulfstream I aircraft remain in service. The major operator is Phoenix Air in the United States with 13 aircraft. Some 19 other airlines also operate the type. Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1965-66 General characteristics Performance
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    225
    Martin XB-48

    Martin XB-48

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Manufacturer: Glenn L. Martin Company
    The Martin XB-48 was a medium jet bomber developed in the mid-1940s. It never saw production or active duty, and only two prototypes, serial numbers 45-59585 and 45-59586, were built. In 1944, the U.S. War Department was aware of aviation advances in Germany and issued a requirement for a range of designs for medium bombers weighing from 80,000 lb (36,287 kg) to more than 200,000 lb (90,718 kg). Other designs resulting from this competition, sometimes named the class of '45, included the North American XB-45 and the Convair XB-46. Production orders finally went to the B-45 Tornado and even this airplane only served for a couple of years before again being replaced by the much more modern Boeing B-47 Stratojet although the B-45 had enough "utility" built in to maintain a niche as reconnaissance aircraft. In retrospect, the class of '45 were transitional aircraft combining the power of turbojets with the aeronautical knowledge of World War II. The XB-48 was no exception, as its round fuselage and unswept wings show a distinct influence of the Martin B-26 medium bomber. Still, where the B-26 had enough thrust with two massive 18-cylinder radial engines, the XB-48 needed no less than
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    226
    Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19

    Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Shenyang J-6
    • Manufacturer: Mikoyan
    The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-19) (NATO reporting name: "Farmer") is a Soviet second-generation, single-seat, twin jet-engined fighter aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U.S. "Century Series" fighter was the North American F-100 Super Sabre, although the MiG-19 would primarily oppose the more modern McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and Republic F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam. Furthermore, the YF-100 prototype appeared approximately one year after the MiG-19 (first prototype flights for the two aircraft were May 25, 1953 and May 27, 1952, respectively), making the MiG-19 the first operational supersonic jet in the world. On 20 April 1951, OKB-155 was given the order to develop the MiG-17 into a new fighter called "I-340", which was to be powered by two Mikulin AM-5 non-afterburning jet engines (a scaled-down version of the Mikulin AM-3) with 19.6 kN (4,410 lbf) of thrust. The I-340 was supposed to attain 1,160 km/h (725 mph, Mach 0.97) at 2,000 m (6,562 ft), 1,080 km/h (675 mph, Mach 1.0) at 10,000 m (32,808 ft), climb to 10,000 m (32,808 ft) in 2.9 minutes, and have a
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    227
    Percival Provost

    Percival Provost

    • Aircraft type: Military trainer aircraft
    • Variants: BAC Jet Provost
    • Manufacturer: Hunting Aircraft
    The Percival P.56 Provost was a British ab initio trainer for the Royal Air Force in the 1950s, replacing the Percival Prentice. It was a low-wing, monoplane with a fixed, tailwheel undercarriage. Seating was side-by-side. After a lengthy service career, the design was adapted for a turbojet. The Provost was designed to Air Ministry specification T.16/48 for a single-engined basic trainer aircraft to meet Operational Requirement 257 for a Percival Prentice replacement. The specification was issued on 11 September 1948 and the ministry received over 30 proposals for consideration. Two designs were chosen for prototype construction, the Handley Page H.P.R 2 and the Percival P.56. Percival was given a contract dated 13 January 1950 to build two Cheetah powered prototyes. The company also built a third prototype with an Alvis Leonides Mk 25 engine. The Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah powered prototype serial number WE522 first flew on 24 February 1950. After evaluation against the H.P.R 2 at Boscombe Down the Leonides powered P.56 was selected for production as the Provost T.1, with an initial order for 200 aircraft being placed on 29 May 1951. Production ended in 1956 when 461 aircraft had
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    228
    ATG Javelin

    ATG Javelin

    • Aircraft type: Civil utility aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Israel Aircraft Industries
    The ATG Javelin was a small high-speed personal jet that was developed by the Aviation Technology Group (ATG) prior to its bankruptcy. Planned for FAA certification under 14 CFR part 23, the Javelin had a design resembling a fighter aircraft, an unusual concept for civilian jets. The Javelin MK-20 derivative, developed in cooperation between ATG and Israel Aerospace Industries, was expected to fill the jet trainer role for various air forces. The first prototype took flight on 30 September 2005. ATG halted all further development on the Javelin in December 2007 after failing to get $200 million to finance further development. The company subsequently declared bankruptcy in 2008, ending the development of the Javelin. General characteristics Performance
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    229
    Bell P-59A

    Bell P-59A

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Bell Aircraft
    The Bell P-59 Airacomet (P=Pursuit) was the first American jet fighter aircraft, designed and built during World War II. The United States Army Air Forces was not impressed by its performance and cancelled the contract when fewer than half of the aircraft ordered had been produced. Although no P-59s went into combat, it paved the way for another design generation of U.S. turbojet-powered aircraft and was the first turbojet fighter to have its turbojet engine and inlet nacelles integrated within the main fuselage. Major General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold became aware of the United Kingdom's jet program when he attended a demonstration of the Gloster E.28/39 in April 1941. The subject had been mentioned, but not in depth, as part of the Tizard Mission the previous year. He requested, and was given, the plans for the aircraft's powerplant, the Power Jets W.1, which he took back to the U.S. On 4 September, he offered the U.S. company General Electric a contract to produce an American version of the engine. On the following day, he approached Lawrence Dale Bell, head of Bell Aircraft Corporation, to build a fighter to utilize it. Bell agreed and set to work on producing three prototypes. As
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    230
    Boeing 767

    Boeing 767

    • Aircraft type: Wide-body aircraft
    • Variants: Boeing E-767
    • Manufacturer: Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a conventional tail, and for reduced aerodynamic drag, a supercritical wing design. Designed as a smaller wide-body airliner than preceding aircraft such as the 747, the 767 has a capacity of 181 to 375 persons and a range of 3,850 to 6,385 nautical miles (7,130 to 11,825 km), depending on variant. Development of the 767 occurred in tandem with a narrow-body twinjet, the 757, resulting in shared design features which allow pilots to obtain a common type rating to operate both aircraft. The 767 is produced in three fuselage lengths. The original 767-200 entered service in 1982, followed by the 767-300 in 1986 and the 767-400ER, an extended-range (ER) variant, in 2000. The extended-range 767-200ER and 767-300ER models entered service in 1984 and 1988, respectively, while a production freighter version, the 767-300F, debuted in 1995. Conversion programs have modified passenger 767-200 and 767-300 series aircraft for cargo use, while
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    231
    Bristol Beaufort

    Bristol Beaufort

    • Aircraft type: Torpedo bomber
    • Variants: Bristol Beaufighter
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
    The Bristol Beaufort (manufacturer designation Type 152) was a British twin-engined torpedo bomber designed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and developed from experience gained designing and building the earlier Blenheim light bomber. Beauforts first saw service with Royal Air Force Coastal Command and then the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm from 1940, until they were withdrawn from operational service in the European theatre in 1942. RAF Beauforts flying from Britain operated as torpedo bombers, conventional bombers and mine-layers and were then used as training aircraft until being declared obsolete in 1945. Beauforts also saw considerable action in the Mediterranean; Beaufort squadrons based in Egypt and on Malta helped put an end to Axis shipping supplying Rommel's Deutsches Afrikakorps in North Africa. Beauforts were most widely used, until the end of the Second World War, by the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific theatre. All but six of the RAAF's Beauforts were manufactured under licence in Australia. Although designed as a torpedo-bomber, the Beaufort more often flew as a level-bomber. The Beaufort also flew more hours in training than on operational missions and more
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    232
    Bristol Belvedere

    Bristol Belvedere

    • Aircraft type: Cargo aircraft
    • Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
    The Bristol Type 192 Belvedere was a British twin-engine, tandem rotor military helicopter built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It was designed for a variety of transport roles including troop transport, supply dropping and casualty evacuation. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1961 to 1969. The Belvedere was based on the Bristol Type 173 10-seat (later 16-seat) civil helicopter which first flew on 3 January 1952. The 173 project was cancelled in 1956 and Bristol spent time on the Type 191 and Type 193 to Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy specifications. These two naval variants were cancelled, but the RAF expressed an interest in the aircraft and the Type 192 "Belvedere" was created. Three Type 191 airframes were almost complete when the order was cancelled, but they were used to aid the development of the Type 192. The first two were used as test rigs for the new Napier Gazelle engines and the third was used for fatigue tests. The Type 192 shared some of its design features with the cancelled naval variants, which made it less than ideal for transporting troops. The front undercarriage was unusually tall, originally designed to give adequate clearance for
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    233
    C-119 Flying Boxcar

    C-119 Flying Boxcar

    • Aircraft type: Military transport aircraft
    • Variants: XC-120 Packplane
    • Manufacturer: Fairchild
    The Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar (Navy and Marine Corps designation R4Q) was an American military transport aircraft developed from the World War II-era Fairchild C-82 Packet, designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute. The first C-119 made its initial flight in November 1947, and by the time production ceased in 1955, more than 1,100 C-119s had been built. Its cargo-hauling ability and unusual appearance earned it the nickname "Flying Boxcar". The Air Force C-119 and Navy R4Q was initially a redesign of the earlier Fairchild C-82 Packet, built between 1945 and 1948. The Packet provided service to the Air Force's Tactical Air Command and Military Air Transport Service for nearly nine years during which time its design was found to have several serious problems. All of these were addressed in the C-119. In contrast to the C-82, the cockpit was moved forward to fit flush with the nose rather than its previous location over the cargo compartment. This resulted in more usable cargo space and larger loads than the C-82 could accommodate. The C-119 also featured more powerful engines, and a wider and stronger
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    234
    Dassault Falcon 20

    Dassault Falcon 20

    • Variants: Dassault Falcon 50
    • Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
    The Dassault Falcon 20 is a French business jet and was the first of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation. Marcel Dassault gave the go-ahead for production of an eight or ten seat executive jet or military liaison aircraft the Dassault-Breguet Mystère 20 in December 1961. The Mystère 20 was a low-wing monoplane with two rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 engines. The prototype, registered F-WLKB, first flew on the 4 May 1963 at Bordeaux-Merignac. Under the influence of Pan American the aircraft was re-engined with two General Electric CF700 engines and some dimensions were increased. Pan American signed a contract to distribute the Mystère 20 in the western hemisphere and ordered 40 aircraft with options on 120. The re-engined aircraft first flew on 10 July 1964. The first production aircraft flew on 1 January 1965 and both French and American certification was awarded in June 1965. Deliveries began to the Pan American outfitting facility at Burbank Airport, California. In 1966 the company re-designated the American-delivered aircraft as the Fan Jet Falcon, this later became the Falcon 20. Military orders from Australia and Canada were received. All non-American
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    235
    F-5 Freedom Fighter

    F-5 Freedom Fighter

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: F-20 Tigershark
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic fighter aircraft, designed and built by Northrop. Hundreds remain in service in air forces around the world in the early 21st century, and the type has also been the basis for a number of other aircraft. The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first-generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. The USAF had no need for a light fighter but specifed a requirement for a supersonic trainer, procuring about 1,200 of a derivative airframe for this purpose, the Northrop T-38 Talon. The improved second-generation F-5E Tiger II was also primarily used by American Cold War allies and, in limited quantities, served in U.S. military aviation as a training and aggressor aircraft; Tiger II production amounted to 1,400 of all versions, with production ending in 1987. Many F-5s continuing in service into the 1990s and 2000s have undergone a wide variety of upgrade programs to keep pace with the changing combat environment. The F-5 was also
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    236
    F9C Sparrowhawk

    F9C Sparrowhawk

    • Aircraft type: Parasite fighter
    • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
    The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk was a light 1930s biplane fighter aircraft that was carried by the United States Navy airships USS Akron and Macon. The Sparrowhawk is an example of a parasite fighter, a small airplane designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. At 20 ft (6.1 m) long and with only a 25 ft (7.6 m) wingspan, the Sparrowhawk was ideal for service in the fighter complement of large rigid-framed airships because of its small size. Although the Sparrowhawk was armed, its primary duty was reconnaissance, and it provided the airships it served with a much wider search area. Akron was reported to have a complement of three Sparrowhawks, while Macon was discovered at its underwater resting place with four in its hangar. To achieve launching and recovery from the airship, a hook/anchor system was developed (dubbed by crews the "flying trapeze," after the equipment used in circus acts). The Sparrowhawk had a hook mounting on its top wing that attached to the cross-bar of the trapeze. For launching, the biplane's hook was engaged on the trapeze inside the (internal) hangar, the trapeze was lowered clear of the hull into the (moving) airship's
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    237
    Gloster Meteor

    Gloster Meteor

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Meteor F.1, Trent turboprop
    • Manufacturer: Gloster Aircraft Company
    The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. Although the German Messerschmitt Me 262 was the world's first operational jet, the Meteor was the first production jet as it entered production a few months before the Me 262. The Meteor's development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, developed by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd. Development of the aircraft began in 1940, work on the engines had started in 1936. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although the Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft, it proved to be a successful and effective combat fighter. Several major variants of Meteor were made to incorporate technological advances during the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands of Meteors were built to serve in the RAF and other air forces, and remained in use for several decades. The Meteor saw limited action in the Second World War, while Meteors of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) provided a significant contribution to the Korean War and several other operators such as Argentina, Egypt and Israel
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    238
    Handley Page Hermes

    Handley Page Hermes

    • Aircraft type: Airliner
    • Manufacturer: Handley Page Aircraft Company
    The Handley Page HP 81 Hermes was a British civilian airliner built by Handley Page in the 1940s and 50s. Closely related to Handley Page's Hastings military transport, the Hermes was a low-wing monoplane powered by four piston engines. 29 were built, serving briefly with BOAC in the early 1950s and later with several charter airlines. The Hermes was built to meet the 1944 Air Ministry specification for a pressurised civil transport capable of carrying 34 first-class or 50 tourist-class passengers, at the same time as the RAF required a new transport to replace its Handley Page Halifax, for which Handley Page designed the very similar Handley Page Hastings. Unlike the tail-wheel Hastings, the Hermes was planned to have a nose wheel undercarriage, although the first two prototypes, of which the first was an unpressurised "bare shell" and the second to be pressurised and fully equipped. It was intended to introduce the Hermes before the Hastings, but production was delayed after the first prototype (HP 68 Hermes 1), registered G-AGSS crashed on its maiden flight on 2 December 1945. Development of the civil Hermes was delayed to resolve the instability that caused the accident to the
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    239
    Heinkel He 219

    Heinkel He 219

    • Aircraft type: Night fighter
    • Variants: Hütter Hü 211
    • Manufacturer: Heinkel
    The Heinkel He 219 Uhu ("Eagle-Owl") was a night fighter that served with the German Luftwaffe in the later stages of World War II. A relatively sophisticated design, the He 219 possessed a variety of innovations, including an advanced VHF-band intercept radar. It was also the first operational military aircraft in the world to be equipped with ejection seats, and the first operational German World War II-era aircraft with tricycle landing gear. Had the Uhu been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect upon the strategic night bombing offensive of the Royal Air Force; but only 294 of all models were built by the end of the war and these saw only limited service. Development and production of the He 219 was protracted and tortuous, due to political rivalries between Josef Kammhuber, commander of the German night fighter forces, Ernst Heinkel, the manufacturer, and Erhard Milch, responsible for aircraft construction in the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM — the German Aviation Ministry). The aircraft was also complicated and expensive to build; these factors further limited the number of aircraft produced. When engineer Robert Lusser returned to Heinkel from
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    240
    Junkers A50

    Junkers A50

    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers A50 was a German sports plane of 1930s, also called the A50 Junior. The Junkers A50 was the first sportsplane designed by Hermann Pohlmann in Junkers works. It had the same modern all-metal construction, covered with corrugated duralumin sheet, as larger Junkers passenger planes. The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by further four prototypes, in order to test different engines. Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales. Apart from Germany, they were used in several other countries and some were used by airlines. The purchase price in 1930 in the United Kingdom was between £840 or £885. Starting from the A50ce variant, the wings could be folded for easier transport. Three German A50 took part in the Challenge international touring plane competition in July 1929, taking 11th place (A50be, pilot Waldemar Roeder) and 17th place. Three A50 took part also in the Challenge 1930 next year, taking 15th (A50ce, pilot Johann Risztics), 27th and 29th places. In June 1930 a series of eight FAI world records for altitude, range and
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    241
    Junkers EF 132

    Junkers EF 132

    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The EF 132 was a planned jet bomber, under development for the Luftwaffe during World War II. It was the last aircraft project development undertaken by Junkers during the war, and was the culmination of the Ju 287 design started in 1942. The shoulder-mounted wings were swept back 35° and featured a small amount of anhedral. Six Junkers Jumo 012 jet engines, each of which developed 24.5 kN (5,500 lbf) of thrust, were buried in the wing roots. Wind tunnel results showed the advantages of having the engines within the wing, rather than causing drag by being mounted below the wing surfaces. Several wooden mockups were built of the wing sections, in order to find the best way to mount the engines without wasting too much space while at the same time providing maintenance accessibility. The trailing edge flaps were designed to be split flaps, and the goal was to make the gearing and operation simple. Because of the high placement of the wings to the fuselage, an unbroken bomb bay of 12 m (39 ft 4 in) could be utilized in the center fuselage. The tailplanes were also swept back and the EF 132 had a normal vertical fin and rudder. An interesting landing gear arrangement was planned, that
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    242
    Junkers Ju 87

    Junkers Ju 87

    • Aircraft type: Bomber
    • Variants: Ju 87a
    • Manufacturer: Junkers
    The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, "dive bomber") was a two-man (pilot and rear gunner) German ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War. The aircraft was easily recognizable by its inverted gull wings, fixed spatted undercarriage and its infamous Jericho-Trompete ("Jericho Trumpet") wailing siren, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the blitzkrieg victories of 1939–1942. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration. Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective, the Ju 87 was vulnerable to modern fighter aircraft, like many other dive bombers of the war. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain; poor manoeuvrability and a lack of both speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required heavy fighter escort to operate effectively. The Stuka operated with further success after the Battle of Britain,
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    243
    Kamov Ka-22

    Kamov Ka-22

    • Aircraft type: Transport gyrodyne
    • Manufacturer: Kamov
    The Kamov Ka-22 Vintokryl (rotor-wing, or literally, (air)screw-wing) (Cyrillic:Камов Ка-22 Винтокрыл) (NATO reporting name: Hoop) was a rotorcraft developed by Kamov for the Soviet Air Force. The experimental transport aircraft combined the capabilities of a helicopter for vertical take-off and landing with those of a fixed-wing aircraft for cruise. The Ka-22 carried a large payload, having a hold comparable in size to the Antonov An-12. Eight world records for altitude and speed were set by the Ka-22 in its class, none of which have since been broken. In order to increase the effective range of a helicopter, Kamov designer Vladimir Barshevsky drew up a design for a helicopter with wings and an aeroplane propulsive system. In 1954 a proposal was agreed to produce three Ka-22s. The programme was delayed and on 28 March 1956 prototypes 2 and 3 were cancelled. The Ka-22 first lifted from the ground on 17 June 1959, and made its first untethered flight on 15 August 1959. Serious control difficulties were encountered, leading to orders being postponed until the problems were solved, and in July 1960 an order was received to manufacture three more Ka-22s. The Ka-22 was in essence a
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    244
    Lockheed U-2

    Lockheed U-2

    • Aircraft type: High-altitude Reconnaissance
    • Variants: U-2CT
    • Manufacturer: Skunk works
    The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, very high-altitude (70,000 feet / 21,000 m), all-weather intelligence gathering. The aircraft is also used for electronic sensor research and development, satellite calibration, and satellite data validation. In the early 1950s, with Cold War tensions on the rise, the U.S. military desired better strategic reconnaissance to help determine Soviet capabilities and intentions. The existing reconnaissance aircraft, primarily bombers converted for reconnaissance duty, were vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery, missiles, and fighters. It was thought an aircraft that could fly at 70,000 feet (21,000 m) would be beyond the reach of Soviet fighters, missiles, and even radar. This would allow overflights to take aerial photographs. Under the code name "Bald Eagle", the Air Force gave contracts to Bell Aircraft, Martin Aircraft, and Fairchild Engine and Airplane to develop proposals for the new reconnaissance aircraft. Officials at Lockheed Aircraft
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    245
    Messerschmitt Bf 109

    Messerschmitt Bf 109

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Avia S-199
    • Manufacturer: Messerschmitt
    The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109, was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid 1930s. It was one of the first truly modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine. The Bf 109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe's fighter force. From the end of 1941 the Bf 109 was supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-, night-, all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced from 1936 up to April 1945. The Bf 109 was
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    246
    Northrop BT

    Northrop BT

    • Aircraft type: Dive bomber
    • Variants: SBD Dauntless
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop BT was a two-seat, single-engine monoplane dive bomber built by the Northrop Corporation for the United States Navy. At the time Northrop was a subsidiary of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The design of the initial version began in 1935. It was powered by a 700 hp (520 kW; 710 PS) Pratt and Whitney XR-1535-66 double row air-cooled radial engine and had slotted flaps and a landing gear that partially retracted. The next iteration of the BT, the XBT-1, was equipped with a 750 hp (560 kW; 760 PS) R-1535. This aircraft was followed in 1936 by the BT-1, powered by an 825 hp (615 kW; 836 PS) R-1535-94 engine. One BT-1 was modified with a fixed tricycle landing gear and was the first such aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. The final variant, the XBT-2, was a BT-1 modified to incorporate a fully retracting landing gear, wing slots, a redesigned canopy, and was powered by an 800 hp (600 kW; 810 PS) Wright XR-1820-32 radial. The XBT-2 first flew on 25 April 1938 and after successful testing the Navy placed an order for 144 aircraft. In 1939 the aircraft designation was changed to the Douglas SBD-1 with the last 87 on order completed as SBD-2s. By this point, Northrop had
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    247
    Republic XF-103

    Republic XF-103

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor
    • Manufacturer: Republic Aviation Company
    The Republic XF-103 was an American project to develop a high speed interceptor aircraft capable of destroying Soviet bombers. Despite a prolonged development, it never progressed past the mock-up stage. In 1949, the USAF issued a request for an advanced supersonic interceptor to equip the Air Defense Command. Known formally as Weapon System WS-201A, but better known informally as the "1954 interceptor", it called for a supersonic aircraft with all-weather capability, intercept radar and air-to-air missile armament. Republic was one of six companies to submit proposals. On 2 July 1951, three of the designs were selected for further development, Convair's scaled-up XF-92 that evolved into the F-102, a Lockheed design that led to the F-104, and Republic's AP-57. AP-57 was an advanced concept to be built almost entirely of titanium and capable of Mach 3 at altitudes of at least 60,000 ft (24,400 m). A full-scale mock-up of the AP-57 was built and inspected in March 1953. A contract for three prototypes followed in June 1954. Work on the prototypes was delayed by continued problems with the titanium construction, and more notably by continued problems with the proposed Wright J67
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    248
    Rutan VariViggen

    Rutan VariViggen

    • Aircraft type: Light aircraft
    • Variants: Rutan VariEze
    • Manufacturer: Scaled Composites
    The Rutan VariViggen is an airplane designed by Burt Rutan. He named it after the Swedish fighter plane, the Saab 37 Viggen, which had partially inspired his design. The aircraft is a two-seat (tandem arrangement), wood and fiberglass canard utilizing a 150 hp Lycoming O-320 piston engine in pusher configuration. The prototype was designated Model 27, and the production version was Model 32. Rutan became interested in aircraft which resisted stalls and spins, and the VariViggen was his first full scale design. He began working with the design as a student at Cal Poly in the early 1960s, and started building the prototype in his garage in 1968. After four years of work, the aircraft made its first flight in April, 1972. The Model 32, also known as the VariViggen SP, utilized a slightly longer fuselage, larger span and winglets in order to increase efficiency. Rutan also began work on an all-aluminum variant, the MiniViggen, but later abandoned the project and focused his efforts on the VariEze. The Rutan Aircraft Factory sold over 600 plan sets for the VariViggen to homebuilders, and eventually about 20 of the aircraft were built. Fewer than five are currently still flying following
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    249
    Sopwith Snipe

    Sopwith Snipe

    • Aircraft type: Fighter aircraft
    • Variants: Sopwith Salamander
    • Manufacturer: Sopwith Aviation Company
    The Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe was a British single-seat biplane fighter of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed and built by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and came into squadron service a few weeks before the end of that conflict, in late 1918. The Snipe was not a fast aircraft by the standards of its time, but its excellent climb and manoeverability made it a good match for contemporary German fighters. It was selected as the standard post-war single seat RAF fighter - the last examples were not finally retired until 1926. In April 1917, Herbert Smith, the chief designer of the Sopwith Company, began to design a fighter intended to be the replacement for Sopwith's most famous aeroplane, the highly successful Sopwith Camel. The resultant design, called Snipe by Sopwith, was a single-bay biplane, slightly smaller than the Camel, and to be powered by similar engines. The pilot sat higher than in the Camel while the centre-section of the upper wing was uncovered, giving a much better view than the Camel. Armament was to be two Vickers machine guns. In the absence of an official order, Sopwith began construction of two prototypes as a private venture in
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    250
    XP-79 Flying Ram

    XP-79 Flying Ram

    • Aircraft type: Interceptor
    • Manufacturer: Northrop Corporation
    The Northrop XP-79 was an ambitious design for a flying wing fighter aircraft, designed by Northrop. It had several notable design features; among these, the pilot would operate the aircraft from a prone position, permitting the pilot to withstand much greater g-forces in the upward and downward direction with respect to the plane – and welded magnesium monocoque structure instead of riveted aluminum. In 1942, John K. Northrop conceived the XP-79 as a high-speed rocket-powered flying-wing fighter aircraft. In January 1943, a contract for three prototypes designation XP-79 was issued by the United States Army Air Forces. To test the radical design, glider prototypes were built. One designated MX-324 was towed into the air on 5 July 1944 by a P-38 making it the first US-built rocket-powered aircraft to fly. Originally, it was planned to use a 2,000 lbf (9 kN) thrust XCALR-2000A-1 "rotojet" rocket motor supplied by Aerojet that used monoethyl aniline and red fuming nitric acid; because of the corrosive and toxic nature of the liquids, the XP-79 was built using a welded magnesium alloy monocoque structure (to protect the pilot if the aircraft was damaged in combat) with a ⅛ in (3 mm)
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