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  • Nov 27th 2012
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Best Aircraft of All Time

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Best Aircraft of All Time is a public top list created by Listnerd on Rankly.com on November 27th 2012. Items on the Best Aircraft of All Time top list are added by the Rankly.com community and ranked using our secret ranking sauce. Best Aircraft of All Time has gotten 2.944 views and has gathered 241 votes from 241 voters. Only owner can add items. Just members can vote.

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    1
    G-BDXJ

    G-BDXJ

    G-BDXJ is the registration of a Boeing 747-236B aircraft purchased by British Airways in 1980, which after retirement found a new life as a film prop. G-BDXJ is the 440th Boeing 747 and first flew on the 26 March 1980. Named City of Birmingham, it was delivered to British Airways, which operated it for 22 years. In March 2002, it was sold to operator European Aviation Air Charter which used it for holiday charters and ad-hoc flights as well as leasing it out for Hajj flights in 2003 and 2004. European Aviation Air Charter ceased 747 operations at the end of 2004 and the aircraft was sold to Air Atlanta Europe, which used it for charter flights until it was retired in 2005. It flew its last flight on 25 May 2005 from London Gatwick Airport to nearby Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, England. The aircraft was bought by Aces High Limited, a company specialising in supplying aircraft for television and film work. After retirement, it was modified to be used as a prop in the James Bond movie Casino Royale and changed registration to N88892 (a fictional Hollywood registration, used also on a Boeing 727 in the movie Hero). In the movie, it appears as the "Skyfleet S570" a fictional prototype
    7.43
    7 votes
    2

    Swamp Ghost

    The Swamp Ghost (41-2446) is a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress piloted by Captain Frederick 'Fred' C. Eaton, Jr, that crashed in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War in 1942, during America's first mission there. Whilst flying over Rabaul, it was intercepted and it had to force-land. The plane was rediscovered in 1972 in Agaiambo swamp, Oro Province, where it earned the nickname Swamp Ghost. It was salvaged in 2006 and moved to Lae wharf where it lay waiting for permission to be transferred to the United States. By February 2010, the wreck had been cleared for import to the United States. The aircraft has been returned, and on June 11, 2010 was shown to a public gathering in Long Beach, California that included family members of the original crew. Plans were made to bring Swamp Ghost to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson for restoration to static display. However, as of March 2011, the plane is on indefinite loan to the Planes of Fame air museum at Chino Airport.
    8.17
    6 votes
    3
    The Swoose

    The Swoose

    The Swoose is a B-17D-BO Flying Fortress, USAAF 40-3097, that saw extensive use in the Southwest Pacific theatre of World War II and survived to become the oldest B-17 still intact. It is the only early "shark fin" B-17 known to exist. It is also the only existing B-17 to have seen action in the 1941-42 Philippines Campaign, the first day of the United States entry into the war. The 38th of 42 B-17Ds built by Boeing, 40-3097 was accepted by the Army Air Corps on 25 April 1941 in Seattle, Washington. It was ferried to Hickam Field, Hawaii, 13–14 May 1941, by the 19th Bomb Group as part of a group of 21 B-17C and Ds slated to equip the 11th Bomb Group. In response to the perceived hostile activities of the Japanese military, in September 1941, the War Department sent nine B-17s based in Hawaii to Clark Field, the Philippines, assigned to the 14th Bomb Squadron, 11th Bomb Group aircraft number 21, arriving at Del Monte, the only field besides Clark that could handle the Fortresses, on 12 September. The Japanese surprise attacks of 8 December 1941 on military installations on Clark Field and the Philippine Islands, eight hours after the Pearl Harbor raid, caught much of the United
    6.86
    7 votes
    4

    Galloping Ghost

    • Model: P-51 Mustang
    The Galloping Ghost was a P-51D Mustang air racer flown by Jimmy Leeward. It was a highly modified former military plane that had recently come out of retirement after undergoing major modifications, including shortening of the wings and horizontal tail in addition to other modifications to reduce the aircraft's drag. S/n 44-15651 was manufactured in 1944, and had been owned by Aero Trans Corp. DBA in Ocala, Florida.[1] It crashed into spectators at the 2011 Reno Air Races killing 11 and injuring a further 69.
    8.80
    5 votes
    5
    Thunderbird

    Thunderbird

    Thunderbird is the name given to a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. She is one of the few surviving flyable B-17s, and is the largest aircraft housed at the Lone Star Flight Museum, located in Galveston, Texas. The demonstration aircraft, originally B-17G-105-VE 44-85718, is painted to replicate a noted veteran World War II bomber of the 359th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, part of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, based at RAF Molesworth, England. The aircraft represented was also a B-17G, serial number 42-38050. She was a B-17G-25-DL manufactured by Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California, and flew 112 combat missions with the 303rd Bomb Group. She was accepted by the USAAF in November 1943 and arrived in the group on January 18, 1944, at RAF Molesworth, England. On January 23, 1944, she was assigned to the crew of 1st Lt. Vern L. Moncur, of Rupert, Idaho and Bountiful, Utah, which had six previous missions in other bombers. After that crew completed her tour on April 10, she was used as a “new crew” aircraft, used to break in replacement crews, although eight of the missions were flown by the crew of 1st Lt. Richard K. Marsh between April 11 and June 2. She flew her first
    6.83
    6 votes
    6
    Samoan Clipper

    Samoan Clipper

    Samoan Clipper was one of ten Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-42 flying boats. It exploded over Pago Pago, American Samoa, on January 11, 1938, while piloted by famous aviator, Ed Musick. Musick and his crew of six died in the crash. The aircraft developed an engine problem shortly after taking off from Pago Pago Harbor. The S-42 was fully loaded with fuel and exceeding the gross weight maximum for a safe landing. Because of this, Captain Musick elected to dump fuel before attempting an emergency landing. However, because of the seaplane's weight and reduced power, the S-42 circled the harbor with flaps extended to maintain lift while fuel dumping was in progress. Apparently, Sikorsky and Pan American had never tested fuel dumping with flaps fully extended. The position of the fuel dump vents on the wing, coupled with the consequent airflow with extended flaps created a back flow of vaporizing fuel which lingered and grew around the trailing edge of the wing. It is believed that an explosive fuel/air mixture eventually extended to the engine exhaust manifold causing a catastrophic detonation that destroyed the plane in flight.
    7.80
    5 votes
    7
    Bravo November

    Bravo November

    Bravo November is the original identification code painted on a British Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook HC2 serial number ZA718. It was one of the original 30 aircraft ordered by the RAF in 1978 and has been in service ever since. It has been upgraded several times in its history, now being designated as an HC2 airframe. It has seen action in every major operation involving the RAF in the helicopter's 30-year service life. Since 1982 it has served in the Falkland Islands, Lebanon, Germany, Northern Ireland, Kurdistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. The aircraft has seen four of its pilots awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions whilst in command of Bravo November. It first came to the attention of the general public for its survival of the Falklands Campaign. In April 1982 Bravo November was loaded, along with three other Chinooks, aboard the container ship MV Atlantic Conveyor bound for the Falkland Islands. Atlantic Conveyor was hit by an Exocet missile destroying the vessel along with its cargo. Bravo November was on an airborne task at the time and managed to land on HMS Hermes, gaining the nickname "The Survivor". It was the only serviceable heavy lift helicopter available to
    7.60
    5 votes
    8
    NC-4

    NC-4

    The NC-4 was a Curtiss NC flying boat which was designed by Glenn Curtiss and his team, and manufactured by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. In May 1919, the NC-4 became the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, starting in New York State and making the crossing as far as Lisbon, Portugal, in 19 days. This included time for stops of numerous repairs and for crewmen's rest, with stops along the way in Massachusetts, Nova Scotia (on the mainland), Newfoundland, and twice in the Azores Islands. Then its flight from the Azores to Lisbon completed the first transatlantic flight between North America and Europe, and two more flights from Lisbon to northwestern Spain to Plymouth, England, completed the first flight between North America and Great Britain. The accomplishment of the naval aviators of the NC-4 was somewhat eclipsed in the minds of the public by the first nonstop transatlantic flight, which took 15 hours, 57 minutes, and was made by the Royal Air Force pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, two weeks later. The transatlantic capability of the NC-4 was the result of developments in airplanes that began before World War I. In 1908, Glenn Curtiss had
    7.60
    5 votes
    9
    7.40
    5 votes
    10
    Double Eagle II

    Double Eagle II

    Double Eagle II, piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman, became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed 17 August 1978 in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours 6 minutes after leaving Presque Isle, Maine. It can be regarded as a successful crossing at the point that the Double Eagle II crossed the Irish coast, on the evening of 16 August, an event that Shannon Airport notified the crew about when it happened. Newman originally intended to hang glide from the balloon to a landing, while Anderson and Abruzzo continued to fly, but the hang-glider had to be dropped as ballast earlier on 16 August. While flying over France, they heard by radio that authorities had closed Le Bourget Airfield, where Charles Lindbergh had landed, for them. The crew declined the offer as they were running out of ballast and it would be too risky (to themselves and anyone below) to pass over the suburbs of Paris. They landed in a field of barley, owned by Roger and Rachel Coquerel, in Miserey, 60 miles (96 km) northwest of Paris. Television images showed a highway nearby, its shoulders and outer lanes crowded with stopped cars, people sweeping across the farm field to the
    7.00
    5 votes
    11
    Shoo Shoo Baby

    Shoo Shoo Baby

    Shoo Shoo Baby is the name of a B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II, preserved and on public display. A B-17G-35-BO, serial number 42-32076, and manufactured by Boeing, it was named by her crew for a song of the same name made popular by The Andrews Sisters, the favorite song of its crew chief T/Sgt. Hank Cordes. Photographs of the bomber indicate that a third "Shoo" was added to the name at some point in May 1944 when the original aircraft commander completed his tour of duty and was replaced by another pilot. The aircraft that would become Shoo Shoo Baby was accepted into the U.S. Army Air Forces inventory on January 19, 1944, and arrived in Great Britain on March 2. After depot modifications, it was flown to the 91st Bomb Group at RAF Bassingbourn on March 23 and began flying missions the next day. 2nd Lt. Paul C. McDuffee was the first pilot assigned to the aircraft and flew 14 of his 25 missions in it, but nine different crews flew Shoo Shoo Baby on missions. The B-17 flew 24 combat missions from England with the 91st BG, with three other missions aborted for mechanical problems, before being listed as missing in action on May 29, 1944. On its final mission, to the Focke Wulf
    10.00
    3 votes
    12

    Vin Fiz Flyer

    • Model: Wright Model EX
    The Vin Fiz Flyer was an early Wright Brothers Model EX pusher biplane that in 1911 became the first aircraft to fly coast-to-coast across the U.S., a journey that took almost three months. The publisher William Randolph Hearst had offered a US$50,000 prize to the first aviator to fly coast to coast, in either direction, in less than 30 days from start to finish. Calbraith Perry Rodgers, grandnephew of naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry and a risk-taking sort of sportsman, had taken about 90 minutes of instruction from Orville Wright in June 1911 before soloing, and had won an $11,000 air endurance prize in a contest in August. Rodgers became the first private citizen to buy a Wright airplane, a Wright Model B modified and called the Model EX. The plane's 35 horsepower (26 kilowatt) engine allowed a speed of 50 miles per hour (80 km/hr) at 1000 feet (305 meters). Since the airplane would need a considerable support crew, Rodgers persuaded J. Ogden Armour, of meatpacking fame, to sponsor the attempt, and in return named the plane after Armour's new grape soft drink Vin Fiz. The support team rode on a three-car train called the Vin Fiz Special, and included Charlie Taylor, the Wright
    6.80
    5 votes
    13
    8.00
    4 votes
    14

    Dakota Queen

    The Dakota Queen was an aircraft based in Italy that conducted strategic bombing during World War II in the European Theater of Operations, particularly missions of the Oil Campaign. The bomber was piloted by George McGovern (later a US Senator and the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee) and named after his wife (both were from South Dakota). Notable missions include: After World War II the Dakota Queen flew missions delivering food in Europe.
    7.75
    4 votes
    15

    PBY6A

    • Model: PBY Catalina
    Used by Andrew F. Bunker for aerial oceanographic sensing.
    6.40
    5 votes
    16
    Norge

    Norge

    The Norge was a semi-rigid Italian-built airship that carried out what many consider the first verified overflight of the North Pole on May 12, 1926. It was also the first aircraft to fly over the polar ice cap between Europe and America. The expedition was the brainchild of polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen, the airship's designer and pilot Umberto Nobile and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, who along with the Aero Club of Norway financed the trip. Norge was the first N class semi-rigid airship designed by Umberto Nobile and its construction started in 1923. As part of the selling contract [as the Norge] it was rebuilt for Arctic conditions. The pressurised envelope was reinforced by metal frames at the nose and tail, with a flexible tubular metal keel connecting the two. This was covered by fabric and used as storage and crew space. Three engine gondolas and the separate control cabin were attached to the bottom of the keel. Norge was the first Italian semirigid to be fitted with the cruciform tail fins first developed by the Schütte-Lanz company. In 1925, Amundsen telegrammed Nobile asking to meet him at Oslo, where he proposed an airship trip across the
    7.50
    4 votes
    17
    Santos-Dumont number 6

    Santos-Dumont number 6

    The airship, designated as his #6, was designed and built by Alberto Santos-Dumont. He used it to win the Deutsch prize in 1901. It is considered by many to be the first truly successful airship. In April 1900, Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe offered the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize, also simply known as the "Deutsch prize", of 50,000 francs to the first machine capable of flying a round trip from the Parc Saint Cloud to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and back in less than thirty minutes. The winner of the prize needed to maintain an average ground speed of at least 22 km/h (14 mph) to cover the round trip distance of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) in the allotted time. The prize was to be available from May 1, 1900 to October 1, 1903. To win the prize, Alberto Santos-Dumont decided to build a balloon bigger than his earlier craft, the dirigible Number 5. On August 8, 1901 during one of his attempts, his dirigible lost hydrogen gas. It started to descend and was unable to clear the roof of the Trocadero Hotel. A large explosion was then heard. Santos-Dumont survived the explosion and was left hanging in a basket from the side of the hotel. With the help of the crowd he climbed to the roof without
    6.00
    5 votes
    18

    Tingmissartoq

    Tingmissartoq was the name given to a Lockheed Model 8 Sirius flown by Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh in the 1930s. Tingmissartoq means "one who flies like a big bird"; the plane was thus christened by an Eskimo boy in Godthaab, Greenland, who painted the word on its side. Lockheed had introduced its Sirius model in 1929; this particular craft appears to have been built to specifications sometime between then and 1931, when the Lindberghs planned to fly to the Orient via the Great Circle Route. A low-wing monoplane, Tingmissartoq was outfitted with Edo floats, as much of the planned route was over water. The trip was described solely as a vacation flight, with "no start or finish, no diplomatic or commercial significance, and no records to be sought." It began in North Haven, Maine, from which point the couple flew to Ottawa. From there they flew to various other sites in Canada, including Moose Factory, Churchill, Baker Lake, and Aklavik, before heading to Point Barrow, Alaska. They continued on to Shismaref and Nome, after which they crossed the Pacific Ocean to Petropavlosk. From here they continued over the Kuril Islands to Tokyo, where they were enthusiastically welcomed.
    8.67
    3 votes
    19

    QinetiQ 1

    QinetiQ 1 was a balloon designed to set a new world altitude record for manned balloon flight of around 40 km (25 miles, 132,000 feet). The balloon was named after the main sponsors, QinetiQ (formerly part of DERA, the British Defence Evaluation and Research Agency). The immense 381 m high zero-pressure balloon was constructed from 5,000 kg of polyethylene. The lift gas used for the balloon was helium. At the anticipated flight ceiling, the balloon's volume would have been 1.25 million m³ (40 million ft³). The two pilots, Andy Elson and Colin Prescot, were to occupy an open deck, relying on Zvezda-manufactured Sokol space suits to keep them alive during the anticipated twelve-hour flight. The attempt was originally planned for 2002, but adverse high altitude conditions halted attempts in that year. The launch site for the twelve-hour flight was decided to be from off the coast of Cornwall. In 2003 the launch was initially set to take place on September 2 from the deck of RV Triton off the coast of St Ives. Early that morning, it was decided to postpone the launch for 24 hours due to cloud cover at high altitude. The following morning an attempt was made to inflate the balloon. At
    7.00
    4 votes
    20

    Beautiful Betsy

    • Model: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
    Beautiful Betsy was the name of an American Liberator Bomber. The wreckage of the plane was discovered in what is now Kroombit Tops National Park, located in The Boyne Valley in central Queensland, Australia. The Beautiful Betsy had suffered combat fatigue and was only being used for short supply runs. It had been retired from combat. Its final mission was a Fat Cat run from Darwin to Brisbane - transporting men and supplies as part of a regular flight. It disappeared in stormy weather. The B-24D Liberator - Beautiful Betsy was in service with the Royal Australian Air Force from February 1944 until 1947. Those killed in the crash were:
    8.33
    3 votes
    21

    Caesar's Chariot

    Caesar's Chariot was a former United Airlines Boeing 707 passenger jet which was chartered by English rock band Led Zeppelin for their 1977 concert tour of North America. The plane, N7224U (S/N: 18077), was rolled out from the assembly line on December 12, 1961 and its first flight was on January 16, 1962. It was delivered to United Airlines on April 10, and in 1975 was purchased by Desert Palace Inc. and then by Todd Leasing in March 1975, when it was named Caesars Chariot. Caesar's Chariot was hired by Led Zeppelin in 1977 from Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada. The band required the plane because the plane they had previously used for their 1973 and 1975 North American concert tours, The Starship, was permanently grounded at Long Beach Airport with engine difficulties, and they required a comparable alternative. Caesar's Chariot had been converted from a regular Boeing 707 into a 45-seat plane. For the 1977 tour, the fuselage of the plane was painted with the 'Led Zeppelin' and 'Swan Song' logos. It was also fitted with huge, overstuffed-chair type seating, and there was a bar and private rooms for each member and a Hammond organ. The fees charged for leasing
    6.75
    4 votes
    22
    Spirit of Dubai

    Spirit of Dubai

    Spirit of Dubai is one of three Skyship 600 aircraft operated by Airship Management Services of Greenwich, CT, USA. These ships are currently the world's largest currently operating non-rigid airships. The airship, N605SK (s/n 1215-05) and was originally built by Airship Industries in Cardington, UK in November 1986 and it is owned and operated by Skycruise Switzerland AG. Airship Industries was bought by Westinghouse Corporation in the very early 1990s. In November 2006, the ship was leased and decorated with new artwork and flown under the name Spirit of Dubai. The ship is planned to make a publicity tour from London to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The journey is being undertaken to promote a new land development, The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. It is planned that the journey will take in landmarks including Big Ben, The London Eye and Tower Bridge in London, Stonehenge and the White Cliffs of Dover in England, the Eiffel Tower and Versailles in Paris, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Colosseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Great Pyramids in Egypt. The airship made it to the island of Crete. The next leg of the journey was planned to go through Egypt. However, for
    6.75
    4 votes
    23
    Lucky Lady II

    Lucky Lady II

    Lucky Lady II is a United States Air Force Boeing B-50 Superfortress that became the first airplane to circle the world nonstop, when it made the journey in 1949, assisted by refueling the plane in flight. Total time airborne was 94 hours and 1 minute. As of 2010 it is one of only five B-50 Superfortresses still in existence. The Lucky Lady II was a functioning B-50 of the 43rd Bombardment Group equipped with 12 .50-caliber machine guns, with an additional fuel tank added in the bomb bay to provide additional range. The plane had a double crew with three pilots, with each crew taking a shift of four to six hours on duty and four to six hours off. The plane started its round-the-world trip with a crew of 14 under the supervision of Capt. James Gallagher at 12:21 PM on February 26, 1949, from Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, heading East over the Atlantic Ocean. After flying 23,452 miles (37,742 km), the plane passed the control tower back at Carswell AFB on March 2 at 10:22 AM, marking the end of the circumnavigation, and landed there at 10:31 AM after being in the air for 94 hours and one minute, landing two minutes before the estimated time of arrival calculated at
    8.00
    3 votes
    24

    Saro Shrimp

    The Saunders Roe A.37 Shrimp was a 1930s British two-seat four-engined experimental flying boat built by Saunders-Roe Limited ("Saro") at Cowes. The Shrimp was designed by H Knowler in 1939 as a half-size research aircraft as part of a development programme for the Saunders-Roe S.38 a four-engined patrol flying-boat to Specification R.5/39 - a replacement for the Short Sunderland. The R.5/39 project was cancelled but the Shrimp was completed as a private venture. Registered as G-AFZS, it was first flown at Cowes in October 1939. It was based at Beaumaris, Anglesey where a slipway was built for it. The Ministry of Aircraft Production acquired it in 1944 with the serial TK580 for tests to help the design of the Short Shetland a successor to the R.5/39 project being developed jointly by Saro and Short Brothers. For this its twin rudder tail was swapped for a single fin and the hull was modified to represent that of the Shetland. The Shrimp was scrapped at Felixstowe in 1949. Data from Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume 5: Flying Boats General characteristics Performance
    8.00
    3 votes
    25
    Spirit of St. Louis

    Spirit of St. Louis

    • Model: Ryan NYP
    The Spirit of St. Louis (Registration: N-X-211) is the custom-built, single engine, single-seat monoplane that was flown solo by Charles Lindbergh on May 20–21, 1927, on the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris for which Lindbergh won the $25,000 Orteig Prize. Lindbergh took off in the Spirit from Roosevelt Airfield, Garden City (Long Island), New York and landed 33 hours, 30 minutes later at Aéroport Le Bourget in Paris, France, a distance of approximately 3,600 miles (5,800 km.). Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis is one of the best known aircraft in the world due to the transatlantic flight brought fame to Ryan Airlines, the original Ryan company. But, although the names "Ryan" and "Ryan Airlines" appear on the plane, history has overlooked the other name closely intertwined with the legend of "Lucky Lindy" and his Spirit, Benjamin Franklin Mahoney, owner of Ryan Airlines. Officially known as the Ryan NYP (for New York to Paris), the single engine monoplane was designed by Donald A. Hall of the aircraft manufacturer Ryan Airlines located in San Diego, California, and was named The Spirit of St. Louis in honor of Lindbergh's supporters from The St. Louis Raquette Club in his
    8.00
    3 votes
    26

    Lonesome Polecat II

    Lonesome Polecat II was the name of a B-17 Flying Fortress that flew 21 missions over Europe as part of the 8th Air Force during the Second World War. The aircraft serial number is 42-30255. She was based in Horham England as part of the 95th Bomb Group. Entering the war in June 1943, she flew many dangerous missions and received many hits. On one mission over Bremen, Germany, with Lt. John Miller as the pilot, she lost two engines and two crew were hit and killed. Lt. Miller put the plane into a steep dive to shake off the attackers and pulled out at about 1500 ft. flying back to Horham, England full of holes. Her last mission was also to Bremen, where she was hit by flak and lost an engine then attacked by fighters and lost another one, losing altitude. But her wounded pilots (Delbern and Neff) flew on making it to Holland and out over the Wadden Sea where badly wounded Eugene Darter bailed landing just off shore of Texel island, and four other crew landing across the island. She went down with the two wounded pilots just off the beach at De Koog village on Texel Island, the Netherlands on December 16th 1943.
    9.50
    2 votes
    27
    Aluminum Overcast

    Aluminum Overcast

    • Model: B-17 Flying Fortress
    Aluminum Overcast, B-17G-105-VE, s/n 44-85740, civil registration N5017N, is one of only a few surviving B-17 Flying Fortresses in existence. It is owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and it tours the U.S.A. and Canada offering flight experiences. Although never amassing a combat record, and barely escaping the fate of many aircraft that were scrapped after World War II, Aluminum Overcast has become one of the most recognizable examples of the type, due to its extensive touring schedule with over one million flight miles accumulated. The painstaking overhaul and restoration of the airframe took more than 10 years and thousands of hours by dedicated staff and volunteers at EAA Oshkosh, Wisconsin, headquarters. Through its association as the "flagship" of the EAA, the aircraft has become a living reminder of World War II aviation for many years to come. Aluminum Overcast proudly carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group of World War II, which flew hundreds of missions over Nazi-held territory during the war. Aluminum Overcast commemorates B-17G AAF Serial No. 42-102515, shot down over France in 1944. B-17G-105-VE, 44-85740 was built by the Vega Division of Lockheed
    7.33
    3 votes
    28
    Piccadilly Lilly II

    Piccadilly Lilly II

    Piccadilly Lilly II (s/n 44-83684) was the last active B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in the United States Air Force, and retired in 1959 after nine years as a DB-17P drone director. She is currently part of Edward T. Maloney's aviation collection and is being restored to flying condition at the Planes of Fame air museum, Chino, California. This aircraft was possibly the last aircraft assigned to the 8th AF / 447th Bomb Group but perhaps not delivered (Freeman). This aircraft was used in the Dick Powell Theatre episode "Squadron," and The Quinn Martin production of Twelve O'Clock High starring Robert Lansing. She was redressed to represent the numerous aircraft which comprised the mythical 918th Bomb Group. She also appeared in The Thousand Plane Raid as well as Black Sheep Squadron. In August 1959, only days after flying its last mission for the U.S. Air Force, Piccadilly Lilly II was officially retired from active service as the last of 12,731 B-17s to serve with the USAAF / U.S. Air Force. Piccadilly Lilly II was built in May 1945 in Long Beach, California by Douglas Aircraft under license from Boeing. It was accepted into service on May 7, 1945 and placed into storage on May 11,
    7.33
    3 votes
    29

    Necessary Evil

    Necessary Evil, also referred to as Plane #91, was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-45-MO 44-86291, Victor number 91) participating in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was used as a camera plane to photograph the explosion and effects of the bomb, and to carry scientific observers. At the time of the attack the plane was not named and was known only by its 393d Victor number. The mission was flown by crew B-10, with Captain George Marquardt as aircraft commander. The crew regularly assigned to this airplane in turn flew another on the Nagasaki mission on August 9, 1945, the B-29 Big Stink, though without their aircraft commander, who was ill. Built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, Necessary Evil was accepted by the Army Air Forces on May 18, 1945, and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, by its assigned crew C-14 (1st Lt. Norman W. Ray, Aircraft Commander) in June. It departed Wendover for North Field, Tinian on June 27 and arrived on July 2. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 11 but on August 1 was given the Circle-R tail
    6.00
    4 votes
    30
    Bataan 1 and Bataan 2

    Bataan 1 and Bataan 2

    • Model: Mitsubishi G4M
    Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 were two demilitarized Japanese Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bomber/transport aircraft that carried the first surrender delegations from Japan to Ie Shima as part of the surrender of Japan in World War II. The two planes, specifically a G6M1-L2 military transport (dubbed Bataan 1) and a second, disarmed and repaired G4M1 bomber (Bataan 2), carried eight members of the delegation team, which included General Torashirō Kawabe, representing Army Chief of Staff Yoshijirō Umezu who refused to participate. They departed from Kisarazu, near Chiba at 7:18 Japanese time on August 19, touching down on Ie Shima the same day. The planes flew in an easily visible paint scheme—a pure white base marked only with green crosses on the wings (upper and lower), fuselage, and rudder. The scheme was ordered by General Douglas MacArthur, to verify that the planes were carrying the delegates. Both planes were kept under close watch by constant heavy USAAF escort, due to concerns that the delegates might attempt a kamikaze mission under the color of a flag of truce. At the same time, there were also, apparently attempts from hardliners in the Japanese military to down the planes to prevent
    4.80
    5 votes
    31

    N44982

    Rendition aircraft are aircraft used by national governments to move prisoners internationally, a practice known as rendition, the illegal version of which is referred to as extraordinary rendition. The aircraft listed in this article have been identified in international news media as being used for prisoner transports. The CIA neither confirms nor denies the existence or activities of the aircraft described in this article. N221SG is a nondescript Learjet 35 with the tail number "N221SG", reported in the media to possibly be used as a US Department of Defense prisoner transport. The plane is registered to Path Corporation of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, identified as a CIA front company. When the aircraft landed in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 7, 2005, the Danish opposition party Red-Green Alliance demanded an explanation of the plane's presence. The last flight originated in Istanbul, Turkey on March 7, 2005. Turkish media reported at the time that individuals of interest to the CIA captured by the country's security services were to be handed over to the American intelligence agency. Photo of Learjet (N221SG) N313P was a Boeing 737 that the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday,
    7.00
    3 votes
    32
    PSU Zephyrus

    PSU Zephyrus

    The PSU Zephyrus is a human-powered aircraft being constructed by the Penn State AERSP 404H team. It is a composite material, single-seat, single propeller, high-wing airplane. The Zephyrus is designed to compete in the Kremer prize sport competition. The PSU Zephyrus was developed to compete in the Kremer's prize sport competition. The basic mission goal is to traverse an equilateral triangle with sides of 500 meters once in each direction in seven minutes. The competition specifies a minimum average airspeed of 5.0 m/s during the flight. In addition, for a flight to be considered official, the airspeed cannot drop below 5.0 m/s for a period of more than 20 seconds. The aircraft is also being developed and constructed as a fulfillment of the course requirements of Penn State's AERSP 404H course. The fuselage was sized based a dimension range of a 5’10”(1.78 m) pilot and the assumption that the pilot could output the necessary power-to-weight ratio to fly the aircraft will be no greater than 1.78 m. Constraints include minimum widths for pilot comfort and desired center of gravity of the aircraft. The shape of the pod was designed to be a low-drag body that will not generate lift
    7.00
    3 votes
    33

    Strange Cargo

    Strange Cargo was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27300, Victor number 73) modified to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was one of 15 Silverplate B-29s used by the 509th, Strange Cargo was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a Block 35 aircraft. It was one of 10 modified as a Silverplate and re-designated "Block 36". Delivered on April 2, 1945, to the USAAF, it was assigned to Crew A-4 (1st Lt. Joseph E. Westover), aircraft commander) and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It left Wendover on June 5, 1945, for North Field, Tinian and arrived June 11. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 3 but on August 1 was given the large 'A' tail markings of the 497th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 73 to avoid misidentification with actual 497th BG aircraft. It was named Strange Cargo and its nose art applied after the atomic bomb missions. While at Tinian, Westover and crew A-4 flew Strange Cargo on 11 practice bombing missions and three combat pumpkin bomb missions against Japanese industrial targets at
    8.50
    2 votes
    34
    Breitling Orbiter 3

    Breitling Orbiter 3

    Breitling Orbiter 3 was the first balloon to fly around the world non-stop, piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones. Designed and built by Cameron Balloons, of Bristol, England, Breitling Orbiter 3 stood 55 m (180 ft) tall when fully inflated. The propane gas that fueled the six burners was contained in 28 titanium cylinders mounted in two rows along the sides of the gondola. Concerned about fuel consumption, the team added four additional propane containers prior to take-off; these additional four tanks were needed to complete the trip. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones took off from the Swiss Alpine village of Château-d'Oex at 8:05, GMT, March 1, 1999. They landed in the Egyptian desert 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes later on March 21, 1999, having traveled a distance of 40,814 km (25,361 mi). During the course of the trip, the balloon had climbed to altitudes of up to 11,373 m (37,313 ft), and achieved a maximum speed of 161 knots. The daily routine called for each man to spend eight hours alone at the controls; eight hours working with his crewmate; and eight hours in the single bunk. A unique pressure-operated toilet was included in a curtained off area at the rear of
    10.00
    1 votes
    35

    Old 666

    Old 666, B-17E 41-2666 was a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber which was assigned to the 43rd Bomb Group in 1943 and was the aircraft piloted by Lt. Col. (then Captain) Jay Zeamer on the mission that would earn him and 2d Lt. Joseph Sarnoski each a Medal of Honor, and every other member of the crew a Distinguished Service Cross. By 1943, Old 666, tail number 12666, had suffered heavy battle damage and had gained a reputation as a cursed bomber, often coming back from missions with heavy damage. Grounded at Port Moresby Airport, it was parked at the end of the runway where other aircrews could cannibalize it for needed parts. A Military Photographer told Zeamer said to him, "I know where there’s a bomber, but no one will fly it anymore because every time it goes out it gets shot to hell!" Captain Zeamer, who had been unable to acquire an aircraft of his own, had the bomber towed out of the 'bone yard' and, with enormous effort, not only restored the badly battered aircraft to flight status but made many changes. They included increasing the number of machine guns from 13 to 19, replacing the waist gunners' standard single guns with twin guns, replacing all .30 cal machine
    10.00
    1 votes
    36

    R-4D

    • Model: Douglas DC-3
    Used by Andrew F. Bunker for aerial oceanographic sensing.
    10.00
    1 votes
    37

    USSR-1

    USSR-1 (Russian: СССР-1) was a record-setting, hydrogen-filled Soviet Air Forces high-altitude balloon designed to seat a crew of three and perform scientific studies of the Earth's stratosphere. September 30, 1933, USSR-1 under Georgy Prokofiev's command set an unofficial world altitude record of 19,000 meters (60,698 feet). After the crash of Osoaviakhim-1 in January 1934 USSR-1 was retrofitted with a gondola parachute and a new gas envelope. June 26, 1935 it flew again as USSR-1 Bis. The balloon reached 16,000 meters where an accidental release of hydrogen, probably caused by a faulty valve, forced it into an unexpected descent. After expending all available ballast, two crewmembers bailed out on personal parachutes at low altitudes; flight commander stayed on board and managed to perform a soft landing on a crippled aircraft. Auguste Piccard's high-altitude flights of 1930–1932 aroused interest of Soviet Air Forces and Osoaviakhim, the Soviet paramilitary training organization, as well as individual pilots, designers and flight enthusiasts. Civilian projects by Osoaviakhim and the national Meteorology Committee were delayed by lack of finance, and in the first half 1933 the
    10.00
    1 votes
    38
    G-BBDG

    G-BBDG

    G-BBDG (manufacturers serial number 202, known as Delta Golf) was the third British production Concorde built for evaluation testing. Along with the French Concorde F-WTSB, the aircraft was used to enable sufficient testing to allow for the Concorde fleet to receive certification. It was stored at Filton airfield from the mid-1980s until 2003, when it was transported by road to the Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey. G-BBDG first flew on 13 February 1974, having been registered on on 7 August the previous year. Its main uses were finalising the Concorde design before the other aircraft entered passenger service and certification prior to Concorde entering passenger service. There were some differences between this aircraft and the final production aircraft, such as a thinner fuselage skin. The aircraft was painted in British Airways livery throughout its testing period. The aircraft flew a total of 1282 hrs 9 mins. Its final flight was on 24 December 1981. After the final flight, it was stored at Filton in a state of semi-airworthiness throughout 1982, where it could be returned to flight in two weeks if required. However this was never required and the aircraft was eventually
    6.67
    3 votes
    39

    Some Punkins

    Some Punkins was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27296, Victor number 84) modified to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was one of 15 Silverplate B-29s used by the 509th, Some Punkins was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a Block 35 aircraft. It was one of 10 modified as a Silverplate and re-designated "Block 36". Delivered on March 19, 1945, to the USAAF, it was assigned to Crew B-7 (Capt. James N. Price, Jr., aircraft commander) and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It left Wendover on June 8, 1945 for Tinian and arrived at North Field, Tinian, on June 14. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 4 but on August 1 was given the large 'A' tail markings of the 497th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 84 to avoid misidentification with actual 497th BG aircraft. It was named Some Punkins and its nose art applied after the atomic bomb missions. While a number of sources attribute the name to a 1930's comic strip, the nose art suggests a possible reference to the "pumpkin bomb" missions the 509th
    6.67
    3 votes
    40

    Double Eagle I

    Double Eagle was a helium balloon piloted by Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson in a failed attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 1977. It was the eleventh recorded attempt to make the crossing, which had been an open challenge in ballooning for more than a century. The balloon launched from Marshfield, Massachusetts on September 9. After being blown off course by stormy weather, the team was forced to ditch three miles off the coast of Iceland on September 12, 65½ hours after taking off. Abruzzo and Anderson, along with Larry Newman, went on to complete the first successful Atlantic crossing the following year aboard Double Eagle II. Double Eagle was designed by Ed Yost and had a 101,000 cubic foot (2,860 cubic meter) envelope. Abruzzo and Anderson rode in an insulated open gondola measuring 6 by 6.5 feet (1.8 by 2 meters) which was later reused for Double Eagle II.
    8.00
    2 votes
    41
    The Ruptured Duck

    The Ruptured Duck

    The Ruptured Duck was the nickname of a World War II North American Aviation B-25B Mitchell medium bomber (S/N 40-2261) piloted by Lt. Ted W. Lawson of the 95th Bombardment Squadron, USAAF. The aircraft was one of 16 B-25Bs which participated in the Doolittle Raid on Japan commanded by Lieutenant Colonel (later General) Jimmy Doolittle. After bombing Tokyo on 18 April 1942, Lawson ditched The Ruptured Duck in the sea near Shangchow, China. A different B-25 is on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in the colors and livery of The Ruptured Duck (another B-25B, painted and marked as Doolittle's aircraft, is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio). Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, a reprisal air raid on Japan was urged by President Roosevelt. After considering other aircraft types, Doolittle (named as planner of the raid by Army Air Forces chief Gen Henry H. Arnold) chose the relatively new B-25B, and a total of 24 such bombers were selected to participate in the mission. Only sixteen would eventually attack Japan; the others were spares used during training. The bombers were detached from the 17th Bomb Group (Medium), based at
    8.00
    2 votes
    42
    VMS Eve

    VMS Eve

    • Model: Scaled Composites White Knight Two
    VMS Eve (Tail Number: N348MS) is a carrier mothership for Virgin Galactic and launch platform for Scaled Composites SpaceShipTwo-based Virgin SpaceShips. VMS Eve is the first, and so far only, White Knight Two, built by Scaled Composites for Virgin Galactic. The "VMS" prefix stands for "Virgin Mothership". The aircraft was named after Evette Branson, the mother of Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group. The jet plane has nose art of a blonde woman holding the Virgin Galactic corporate flag. The image is based on how Evette Branson looked when she was younger and is called Galactic Girl. The aircraft was officially launched on Monday, July 28, 2008, in Mojave, California, USA, at the Mojave Spaceport, home of Scaled Composites. On December 12, 2008, the aircraft performed first taxi tests, and a week later the maiden flight. Eve will be used in the Virgin Galactic testflight program, preceding entry into commercial usage. It is the largest all composite aircraft ever constructed and has the longest single-piece composite aircraft part: a 140 ft (43 m) long wingspan. Burt Rutan has dismissed fears that pressurization cycles might induce fatigue failure in the composite
    8.00
    2 votes
    43
    Full House

    Full House

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    Full House was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27298, victor number 83) participating in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was used as a weather reconnaissance plane and flew to the city of Nagasaki, designated a "tertiary target", before the final bombing to determine if conditions were favorable for an attack. The aircraft also flew as a spare aircraft during the mission to bomb Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, but landed at Iwo Jima when the B-29 Bockscar was able to complete the mission. One of 15 Silverplate B-29s used by the 509th, Full House was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a Block 35 aircraft. It was one of 10 modified as a Silverplate and re-designated "Block 36". Delivered on March 20, 1945, to the USAAF, it was assigned to Crew A-1 (Captain Ralph R. Taylor, aircraft commander) and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It left Wendover on June 11, 1945 for North Field, Tinian and arrived June 17. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 13 but on August 1 was given the square P tail markings of the 39th
    6.33
    3 votes
    44

    Lethal Lady

    "Lethal Lady", also known as the Here, Hussein, Surprise!!!, is the name of the F-16C Block 25 Fighting Falcon that has the distinction of being the longest flying F-16 Fighting Falcon. It flew over 7,200 hours. It is currently not flying with any unit. It last flew with the 134th Fighter Squadron, of the 158th Fighter Wing. When it rolled off the production line in 1983, the F-16C, serial number 83-1165 was state of the art. Over the years, it has seen action over the skies of New England and the Middle East. After much debate, it has been decided upon that its future will be that of a museum. It was retired on November 14th, 2008 and it currently is displayed at the entrance to the Vermont Air National Guard's Burlington station. Eventually, officials say, the plane will find a home with the Smithsonian Institution's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
    6.33
    3 votes
    45
    Meckler-Allen 1912 Biplane

    Meckler-Allen 1912 Biplane

    The Meckler-Allen airplane was an early biplane built by Allen Canton and John J. Meckler in 1912, for an attempt to make a transatlantic flight. At the time of its first flight it was the largest airplane in the world. In 1912, Allen Canton and John J. Meckler, two young Bronx electricians, built a 76-foot (23 m) span hydro-biplane. The financing for the construction came from profits of their company Mechelectric which held forty-five patents for new electrical devices. The partners planned to make the first transatlantic flight to Europe. Christened the New York, it carried twenty-two tanks of gasoline and had five engines, was 104 feet (32 m) long, had a 76-foot (23 m) span and contained 2,400 square feet (220 m) of canvas, with an estimated lifting capacity of 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) when only two of the five engines were running. General characteristics Performance
    6.33
    3 votes
    46

    N900SA

    The 2006 Mexico DC-9 drug bust is a known drug seizure where a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 airliner with the former tail number N900SA (c/n 45775) was involved in drug smuggling and was caught with 5.5 tons of cocaine onboard after landing in Mexico on April 10, 2006. On April 13, 2006, the aircraft was deregistered and sold to an unknown customer in Venezuela. In December 2006, Mexican Newspaper Reforma reported the previously seized aircraft was being operated by the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) under Daniel Cabeza de Vaca and based in Mexico City as XC-LJZ. Originally manufactured in 1966 for Trans World Airlines as N1061T, the aircraft has had a long career flying for various individuals and companies, including Tracinda Investment (N241TC), Kenny Rogers (N9KR), Southmark Corporation (N89SM), the Seattle Seahawks (N40SH), Aircraft 45775, Inc, and HW Aviation. The DC-9 was traded to SkyWay Communications Holding by duPont Investment Fund 57289, Inc in exchange for 28,000,000 shares of stock. in December 2004, though photographs show the SkyWay logo to have been painted on the aircraft at least eight months before. The FAA records, however, show the aircraft as
    6.33
    3 votes
    47
    Stargazer

    Stargazer

    Stargazer, registration number N140SC, is a modified Lockheed L-1011 TriStar aircraft used by Orbital Sciences Corporation as a mother ship launch pad for Pegasus rockets. As of June 2012, 35 rockets have been launched from it, using the Pegasus-H and Pegasus-XL configurations. The first Pegasus launch to use Stargazer was conducted on 27 June 1994, and was the maiden flight of the Pegasus-XL. Previous launches used the NASA-operated Boeing NB-52B Balls 8, which was also used for four subsequent launches, as the original Pegasus could not be launched from Stargazer due to clearance issues. A modified version, the Pegasus-H, was introduced to rectify this. In addition to Pegasus launches, Stargazer was used for captive tests and transportation of the X-34 hypersonic research aircraft; however, drop tests used Balls 8. Orbital Sciences also offer the aircraft for research flights. It is capable of carrying a 23,000 kilograms (51,000 lb) payload to an altitude of 12,800 metres (42,000 ft). Pegasus launches using Stargazer are usually conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base. However, launches have also been conducted from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Wallops Flight Facility,
    6.33
    3 votes
    48

    Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon No. 37396

    • Model: Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon
    Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon, U.S. Navy Bureau Number 37396 , civil registration N7265C, named "Hot Stuff", is located at 3867 N. Aviation Way, Mount Comfort, Indiana. The aircraft, an intact example of a World War II anti-submarine patrol bomber, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 23, 2009. It was built in 1945 by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and is one of only 104 built of this PV-2 variant of the Lockheed Ventura. At the time of its listing, it was the only complete, operable example of a PV-2 in the United States, although one was being restored in Wisconsin. While this particular plane did not see combat, the type was used in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. The property was the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of May 1, 2009.
    7.50
    2 votes
    49

    Next Objective

    Next Objective was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27299, Victor number 86) modified to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was one of 15 Silverplate B-29s used by the 509th. Next Objective was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a Block 35 aircraft. It was one of 10 modified as a Silverplate and re-designated "Block 36". Delivered on March 20, 1945, to the USAAF, it was assigned to crew A-3 (1st Lt. Ralph N. Devore, aircraft commander) and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It left Wendover on June 11, 1945 for North Field, Tinian and arrived June 17. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 6 but on August 1 was given the triangle N tail markings of the 444th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 86 to avoid misidentification with actual 444th BG aircraft. It was named Next Objective and its nose art applied after the atomic bomb missions. While at Tinian, Devore and crew A-3 flew Next Objective on 12 practice bombing missions and three pumpkin bomb missions against Japanese industrial targets at Toyama,
    7.50
    2 votes
    50

    PK-AFV

    On 3 March 1942, PK-AFV a Douglas DC-3-194 airliner, operated by KNILM was shot down over Australia by Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service fighter aircraft, resulting in the deaths of four passengers and the loss of diamonds worth an estimated A£150,000–300,000 (the equivalent of A$9.5–19 million in 2010). It is widely believed that the diamonds were stolen following the crash, although no-one has ever been convicted of a crime in relation to their disappearance. PK-AFV Pelikaan had been operated by KLM and KNILM since 25 August 1937. It was on a flight from Bandung, Dutch East Indies (later Indonesia), to Broome, Australia when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft that were carrying out an attack on Broome. PK-AFV crash-landed on a beach at Carnot Bay, 80 km (50 mi) north of Broome. Pelikaan was initially registered as PH-ALP and was based in the Netherlands. On 10 May 1940, while the Pelikaan was en-route to Asia, Nazi forces invaded the Netherlands. PK-AFV was transferred to Royal Netherlands Indies Airways (KNILM) and was re-registered as PK-AFV. The aircraft is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a C-47 Skytrain or Douglas Dakota, which were names given to the military variant
    7.50
    2 votes
    51
    Straight Flush

    Straight Flush

    Straight Flush was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27301, Victor number 85) participating in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was used as a weather reconnaissance plane and flew over the city before the attack to determine if conditions were favorable for a visual drop. Pilot Claude Eatherly later expressed remorse, received psychiatric hospitalization, and engaged in anti-nuclear activism, which may be the origin of urban legends that Eatherly, Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets, or other members of the two planes' crews went insane after the bombings. Straight Flush was one of the fifteen Silverplate B-29's used by the 509th in its deployment to North Field, Tinian. It was one of ten B-29s built at the Glenn L. Martin Company plant in Omaha, Nebraska, as a "block 35" B-29 but then designated "block 36" to denote its special configuration. It was flown from Omaha to the 509th's base at Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, on April 2, 1945, and assigned to Capt. Claude Eatherly and crew C-11, and departed Wendover June 8, 1945, arriving at Tinian on June 13. It was originally assigned the Victor
    7.50
    2 votes
    52
    Akutan Zero

    Akutan Zero

    • Model: A6M Zero
    The Akutan Zero, also known as Koga's Zero and the Aleutian Zero, was a type 0 model 21 Mitsubishi A6M Zero Japanese fighter plane that crash-landed on Akutan Island, Alaska Territory, during World War II. It was captured intact by the Americans in July 1942 and became the first flyable Zero acquired by the United States during the war. It was repaired and flown by American test pilots. As a result of information gained from these tests, American tacticians were able to devise ways to defeat the Zero, which was the Imperial Japanese Navy's primary fighter plane throughout the war. The Akutan Zero has been described as "a prize almost beyond value to the United States", and "probably one of the greatest prizes of the Pacific war". Japanese historian Masatake Okumiya stated that the acquisition of the Akutan Zero "was no less serious" than the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway, and that it "did much to hasten Japan's final defeat". On the other hand, John Lundstrom is among those who challenge "the contention that it took dissection of Koga's Zero to create tactics that beat the fabled airplane". The Akutan Zero was destroyed in a training accident in 1945. Parts of it are
    9.00
    1 votes
    53

    Finito Benito

    • Model: B-25 Mitchell
    Finito Benito comes from the North American Aviation B-25J Mitchell Medium Bomber airplane named "Finito Benito Next Hirohito." This B-25J bomber was attached to the 12th Air Force, based in Naples late in World War II. The name Benito refers to the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini. Hirohito refers to the name of the Japanese emperor during World War II. Italy and Mussolini fell in 1943 while Japan and Hirohito fell in August 1945. Hitler is not mentioned in this. "Finito Benito Next Hirohito" was a B-25J assigned to the 12th Bomb Group in early 1944. The Group was transferred from the 12th Air Force in the Mediterranean to the 10th Air Force in India in March, 1944. The name reflects the change in Theater assignment. It was painted in red on the upper surfaces of the wings, as opposed to the usual placement on the nose of the airplane. B-25 Mitchell Units of the MTO, by Steve Pace, Osprey Publishing, pp. 28, 64, and 95.
    9.00
    1 votes
    54

    Big Stink

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    Big Stink was the name of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber (Victor number 90) that participated in the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was used as a camera plane in support of the bomb-carrying Bockscar, to photograph the explosion and effects of the bomb, and also to carry scientific observers. The mission was flown by crew C-14 but with Group Operations Officer Major James I. Hopkins, Jr., as the aircraft commander. Victor 90 left without one of the support members when Major Hopkins ordered Dr. Robert Serber of Project Alberta to leave the plane because the scientist had forgotten his parachute, reportedly after the B-29 had already taxied onto the runway. Since Serber was the only crew member who knew how to operate the high-speed camera, Hopkins had to be instructed by radio from Tinian on its use. The aircraft failed to make its rendezvous with the remainder of the strike flight, which completed the mission without it. It did however arrive at Nagasaki in time to photograph the effects of the blast albeit at 39,000 ft rather than the planned 30,000 ft, then recovered at Yontan Airfield,
    6.00
    3 votes
    55
    Chengdu J-7

    Chengdu J-7

    • Model: F-106 Delta Dart
    The Chengdu Jian-7 (Chinese: 歼-7; export versions F-7) is a People's Republic of China-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Though production ceased in 2008, it continues to serve, mostly as an interceptor, in several air forces, including China's. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Soviet Union shared most of its conventional weapons technology with the People's Republic of China. One of these was the limited cooperation between the two countries in the early stage development of the famous MiG-21 short-range interceptor-fighter aircraft. Powered by a single engine and designed on a simple airframe, these fighters were inexpensive, but fast, suiting the strategy of forming large groups of 'people's fighters' to overcome the technological advantages of Western aircraft. However, the Sino-Soviet split ended Chinese early participation in the developmental program of the MiG-21 abruptly, and from July 28 to September 1, 1960, the Soviet Union withdrew its advisers from China, resulting in the project being forced to stop in China. However, Nikita Khrushchev suddenly wrote to Mao Zedong in February, 1962 to inform Mao that the Soviet Union was ready to transfer MiG-21
    6.00
    3 votes
    56
    Enola Gay

    Enola Gay

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    Enola Gay is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, named after Enola Gay Tibbets, mother of the pilot, then-Colonel (later Brigadier General) Paul Tibbets. On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb as a weapon of war. The bomb, code-named "Little Boy", was targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused unprecedented destruction. The Enola Gay gained additional attention in 1995 when the cockpit and nose section of the aircraft were exhibited during the bombing's 50th anniversary at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution in downtown Washington, D.C. The exhibit was changed due to a controversy over original historical script displayed with the aircraft. Since 2003, the entire restored B-29 has been on display at NASM's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Enola Gay (B-29-45-MO, AAF Serial Number 44-86292, Victor number 82) was built by the Glenn L. Martin Company (now Lockheed Martin) at its Bellevue, Nebraska plant, at what is now known as Offutt Air Force Base. Enola Gay was one of 15 B-29s with the "Silverplate" modifications necessary to deliver atomic weapons. These
    7.00
    2 votes
    57

    Jabit III

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    Jabit III (alternately spelled Jabbitt III ) was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27303, Victor number 71) participating in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was used as a weather reconnaissance plane and flew to the city of Kokura, designated as the secondary target, before the final bombing to determine if conditions were favorable for an attack. One of 15 Silverplate B-29's used by the 509th CG, it was manufactured at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a block 35 Superfortress, one of 10 redesignated block 36 in recognition of its Silverplate status. It was delivered to the USAAF on April 3, 1945. Assigned to Crew B-6 (Captain John A. Wilson, Aircraft Commander), it was flown to its home base at Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, in April 1945. It departed Wendover for North Field, Tinian on June 5, 1945, arriving June 11. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned aircraft identification) number 1 but on August 1 was given the large 'A' tail markings of the 497th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 71 to avoid
    7.00
    2 votes
    58

    Lituanica

    Lituanica was an Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker airplane flown from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean by Lithuanian-American pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas in 1933. After successfully flying 6,411 km, it crashed, due to undetermined circumstances, 650 km from its destination, Kaunas, Lithuania. On June 18, 1932, the pilots purchased the Pacemaker airplane, serial no. 137, registered as NC-688E, from the Pal-Waukee Company for $3,200. First produced and flown in 1929, forty units of the CH-300 Pacemaker were eventually built. It was a single-engine, six-seat, high-wing monoplane. The fuselage was welded chromoly steel tubing covered with fabric. The cabin interior was covered with a sound-absorbing material. The fuselage had side and top windows, with doors on both sides. The wings were of wooden construction, with two spars, also fabric covered. The spars and ribs were made of spruce strips and plywood. The wings had two gasoline tanks with a total capacity of 88 US gallons (333 L). Wing struts were 2/3 wood, 1/3 steel (at the wings) with aero-dynamic steel ribs, fabric covered, giving an additional 47 ft² (4.4 m²) lifting surface. Tail surfaces were made of welded
    7.00
    2 votes
    59
    Nine-O-Nine

    Nine-O-Nine

    The Nine-O-Nine, a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber of the 323rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, completed 140 combat missions during World War II, believed to be the Eighth Air Force record for most missions, and never lost a crewman as a casualty. B-17G-85-DL, 44-83575, civil register N93012, owned and flown by The Collings Foundation, Stow, Massachusetts, currently appears at airshows marked as the historic Nine-O-Nine. The original aircraft was a block 30 B-17G manufactured by the Boeing Company. She was nicknamed after the last three digits of her serial number: 42-31909. She was added to the USAAF inventory on December 15, 1943, and flown overseas on February 5, 1944. After depot modifications, she was delivered to the 91st BG at RAF Bassingbourn, England, on February 24, 1944, as a replacement aircraft, one of the last B-17s received in factory-applied camouflage paint. A former navigator of the 91st BG, Marion Havelaar, reported in his history of the group that Nine-O-Nine completed either 126 or 132 consecutive missions without aborting for mechanical reasons, also believed to be a record. M/Sgt. Rollin L. Davis, maintenance line chief of the bomber, received the Bronze
    7.00
    2 votes
    60
    Question Mark

    Question Mark

    Question Mark ("?") was a modified Atlantic-Fokker C-2A airplane flown by aviators of the United States Army Air Corps to experiment with aerial refueling. It was used to establish new world records in aviation for sustained flight (heavier-than-air), refueled flight, sustained flight (lighter-than-air), and distance. The records were established between January 1 and January 7, 1929, in a non-stop flight of more than 150 hours near Los Angeles, California. The first complete inflight refueling between two aircraft took place on June 27, 1923, when two Boeing-built de Havilland DH-4Bs of the United States Army Air Service accomplished the feat over San Diego's Rockwell Field. Subsequently the same group of airmen established an endurance record of remaining aloft for more than 37 hours in August 1923, using nine aerial refuelings. In June 1928, a new endurance record of more than 61 hours was established in Belgium by Adjutant Louis Crooy and Sgt. Victor Groenen, also using aerial refueling. 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Quesada, an engineer of the U.S. Army Air Corps stationed at Bolling Field in Washington, D.C., had nearly crashed from lack of fuel in April 1928 during a long-range rescue
    7.00
    2 votes
    61

    Sir Baboon McGoon

    • Model: B-17F
    Sir Baboon McGoon was an American B-17F-75-200 bomber, ASN 42-3506, last assigned to the 324th Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Its nose art and name were based on the male character Baboon McGoon from Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner. The aircraft operated out of AAF Station 121 at the former RAF Bassingbourn airfield, Cambridgeshire, England. On Sunday afternoon, 10 October 1943, the aircraft ran out of fuel while returning to Bassingbourn, and landed on its belly in a wet and muddy sugar beet field near the village of Tannington, Sussex, England. Its recovery was described in an article in the June 1944 issue of Popular Science magazine, as well as a 1945 article in Flying magazine. The article describes how the aircraft was jacked up in the sugar beet field. Once on its own gear, it was determined that it could be flown out of the field and several weeks of mobile repairs resulted in the engines and propellers being replaced and temporary patches being applied. An 1800' steel mesh temporary runway allowed the aircraft to depart the sugar beet field in November 1943 and fly to a maintenance depot for more extensive repairs. Squadron records of the 324th BS
    7.00
    2 votes
    62
    VC-137C SAM 26000

    VC-137C SAM 26000

    • Model: Boeing VC-137C
    SAM 26000 was the first of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft specifically configured and maintained for use by the President of the United States. It used the callsign Air Force One when the President was on board, SAM 26000 otherwise. A VC-137C serial number 62-6000, SAM 26000 was a customized Boeing 707. It entered service in 1962 during the administration of John F. Kennedy and was replaced in Presidential service in 1972 but kept as a backup. The aircraft was finally retired in 1998 and is now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. SAM 26000 entered service in 1962 during the John F. Kennedy administration. It was built at Boeing's Renton, Washington plant at a cost of $8 million. Raymond Loewy, working with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, designed the blue and white color scheme featuring the presidential seal that is still used today. The plane served as the primary means of transportation for three presidents: Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon during his first term. In 1972, during the Nixon administration, the plane was replaced by another 707, SAM 27000, although SAM 26000 was kept as a back-up plane until 1998. John
    7.00
    2 votes
    63

    Boeing ZA001

    • Model: Boeing 787-8
    The first Boeing 787 airframe to be completed and one of the 5 test airframes used during flight testing of the Boeing 787 family.
    5.67
    3 votes
    64
    Lady be Good

    Lady be Good

    • Model: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
    Lady Be Good was an American B-24D Liberator, AAF serial number 41-24301, which flew for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Based at Soluch Field in Soluch (today Suluq and Benina International Airport, Libya) as part of the 514th Bomb Squadron, 376th Bomb Group, it failed to return from an April 4, 1943 bombing raid on Naples, Italy. At the time, the plane was assumed to have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea and its nine crew members were classified as Missing in Action. In 1958 the nearly intact Lady Be Good was discovered 710 km (440 miles) inland. Subsequent searches uncovered the remains of all but one of the crew. The crew of Lady Be Good were on their first combat mission, having arrived in Libya on March 18, 1943. The aircraft was also new, having reached the 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on March 25. The plane had the identification number 64 stencil-painted on its nose and its given name hand-painted on the starboard, front side of the forward fuselage; it was one of 25 B-24s assigned to bomb Naples late in the afternoon of April 4. The members of the Lady Be Good crew were: The crew took off from Soluch Field shortly after 3 pm., one of the last
    5.33
    3 votes
    65
    Glacier Girl

    Glacier Girl

    • Model: P-38 Lightning
    Glacier Girl is a Lockheed P-38F-1-LO Lightning World War II fighter plane, 41-7630, c/n 222-5757, that was restored to flying condition after being buried beneath the ice of the remote Greenland Ice Sheet for over 50 years. On 15 July 1942, due to poor weather and limited visibility, Glacier Girl's squadron was forced to make an emergency landing in Greenland en route to the British Isles during Operation Bolero. All crew members were subsequently rescued. However, Glacier Girl, along with the unit's five other P-38 fighters and two B-17 bombers, was eventually buried beneath 260 feet of ice due to decades of blowing snow and drifting glaciers. Fifty years later, in 1992, the plane was brought to the surface by members of the Greenland Expedition Society after years of searching and excavation. The aircraft was eventually transported to Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it was restored to flying condition. The excavation of Glacier Girl was documented in an episode of The History Channel's "Mega Movers" series, titled "Extreme Aircraft Recovery". On 22 June 2007 Glacier Girl departed Teterboro Airport, New Jersey in an attempt to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to Duxford, England to
    6.50
    2 votes
    66

    Luke the Spook

    Luke the Spook was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29 serial 44-86346-50-MO, Victor number 94) configured to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Luke the Spook was one of the fifteen Silverplate B-29s delivered to the 509th Composite Group for use in the atomic bomb operation and assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron. Built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft plant at Omaha, Nebraska, it was accepted by the USAAF on June 15, 1945, after most of the 509th CG had already left Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, for North Field, Tinian. Assigned to Crew C-12 (Capt. Herman S. Zahn, Aircraft Commander), it was flown to Wendover in early July and briefly used in training and practice bombing missions. On July 27, 1945, Zahn and his crew flew the airplane from Wendover to Kirtland Army Air Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico, accompanied by another 509th B-29 and one from the Manhattan Project test unit at Wendover (216th Base Unit). There each loaded one of three Fat Man atomic bomb assemblies (without the plutonium core, which had left the day before by courier on one of the 509th CG's C-54 Skymaster transports) in its bomb bay for conveyance to Tinian. The three bombers flew to Mather Army Air
    6.50
    2 votes
    67
    Memphis Belle

    Memphis Belle

    Memphis Belle is the nickname of a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress during the Second World War that inspired the making of two motion pictures: a 1944 documentary film, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, and a 1990 Hollywood feature film, Memphis Belle. The aircraft was one of the first B-17 United States Army Air Forces heavy bombers to complete 25 combat missions with her crew intact. The aircraft and crew then returned to the United States to sell war bonds. The aircraft is undergoing extensive restoration at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. The Memphis Belle, a Boeing-built B-17F-10-BO, USAAF Serial No. 41-24485, was added to the USAAF inventory on 15 July 1942, and delivered in September 1942 to the 91st Bomb Group at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine. She deployed to Prestwick, Scotland, on 30 September 1942, to a temporary base at RAF Kimbolton on 1 October, and then to her permanent base at Bassingbourn, England, on 14 October. Each side of the fuselage bore the unit identification markings of the 324th Bomb Squadron (Heavy) - DF: A. Captain Robert Morgan's crew flew 29 combat missions with the 324th Bomb Squadron,
    6.50
    2 votes
    68

    My Gal Sal

    My Gal Sal was the nickname of a World War II B-17E-BO Flying Fortress whose pilot was forced to land it on the Greenland icecap. Many years later it was recovered and taken to the USA to be restored. It is one of only three intact B-17E's in existence. On 27 June 1942, B-17E, 41-9032 - part of the 342nd Bomb Squadron of the 97th Bomb Group - was one of 13 B-17s flying the Labrador-to-Greenland leg of a ferry flight to the United Kingdom as part of Operation Bolero, the military build-up in Europe. Bad weather broke up the flight; five B-17s returned to Labrador, while the remainder continued on to Greenland. Over Greenland three of the aircraft were forced to land by the weather, including My Gal Sal. All of the crew were soon rescued, but the aircraft were abandoned, not to be seen again until a 1964 overflight by a U.S.A.F. reconnaissance aircraft. At that time, My Gal Sal appeared to be intact. 31 years later, My Gal Sal was recovered from the ice, although high winds had flipped the plane completely over and damaged it. The plane is currently being restored to a static configuration at Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport (ICAO designation: KISZ) in Cincinnati. On July 15, 1942, six
    6.50
    2 votes
    69
    Sally B

    Sally B

    Sally B is the name of an airworthy 1945-built Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. It was delivered to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) on 19 June 1945 as 44-85784; after being converted to both a TB-17G and then an EB-17G it was struck off charge in 1954. In 1975 the Institut Géographique National in France bought the plane for use as a survey aircraft. In 1975 it moved to England to be restored to wartime condition as a memorial to the USAAF B-17 airmen who lost their lives in the European theatre. It is based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, England. The Sally B was first fitted with accurate gun turrets and other much needed additions for her role as Ginger Rogers, a B-17 bomber of the fictious bomber unit featured in the 1981 LWT series We'll Meet Again. During the winter of 1983-1984, Sally B was painted in an olive drab and neutral grey colour scheme, in place of the bare metal scheme she had worn since construction, in order to protect the airframe from the damp UK weather. At the same time, she received the markings of the 447th Bomb Group. The Sally B was used in the film Memphis Belle as one of 5 flying B-17s needed for various film scenes, and it was used to
    6.50
    2 votes
    70
    The Great Artiste

    The Great Artiste

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    The Great Artiste was a U.S. Army Air Forces Silverplate B-29 bomber (B-29-40-MO 44-27353, Victor number 89), assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, that participated in the atomic bomb attacks on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Flown by 393d commander Major Charles W. Sweeney, it was assigned to the Hiroshima mission on August 6, 1945, as the blast measurement instrumentation aircraft. On the mission to bomb Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, it was to have been the aircraft carrying the bomb, but the mission schedule had been moved forward two days because of weather considerations and the instrumentation had not yet been removed from the aircraft. To avoid delaying the mission, Sweeney traded airplanes with the crew of Bockscar to carry the Fat Man atomic bomb to Nagasaki. The crew of Captain Frederick C. Bock flew The Great Artiste to Nagasaki on its instrument support mission, and landed with it on Okinawa at the conclusion of the mission. Built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, The Great Artiste was accepted by the Army Air Forces on April 20, 1945, and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, by its assigned crew C-15 (1st Lt. Charles D.
    6.50
    2 votes
    71

    The Free Life

    The Free Life (registration N2079 ) was the name of the ill-fated Roziere balloon that made the fourth attempt at crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The balloon was launched from East Hampton, New York on 20 September 1970. The balloon was piloted by Malcolm Brighton, with Rodney Anderson and Pamela Brown on board. The adventure was thought up by Rodney Anderson and his wife, Pamela Brown. Pamela Brown was the actress daughter of Kentucky politician and attorney John Y. Brown, Sr. and the sister of Kentucky Fried Chicken entrepreneur and future Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr. At age 28, she and her 32-year-old husband, commodities broker Rod Anderson, hoped to break records with the first manned balloon flight across the Atlantic. The couple planned to recoup the cost of the venture by writing a book about their experience. When the pilot whom they had been counting on for the flight withdrew late in the game, the Andersons hired Englishman Malcolm Brighton, 32, whose ascent in the Free Life was to be his 100th - and his last. Malcolm Brighton had built a number of balloons and became the main builder for the Bristol Belle, the name given to the first modern hot air balloon in
    6.00
    2 votes
    72
    Bristol Belle

    Bristol Belle

    The Bristol Belle (G-AVTL) was the name given to the first modern hot air balloon in Britain. The balloon was created from an idea developed by members of the Bristol, UK Gliding Club. Following developments by Ed Yost in the United States, members of the Bristol Gliding Club decided to create their own hot air balloon. Bill Malpas (chairman of the project), Mark Westwood, Giles Bulmer of the Bulmer cider making family and Don Cameron were the four project creators. Three other members, Charles Meisl, a Czech citizen, Tom Sage, a press photographer from London and Malcolm Brighton subsequently joined the group. Malcolm Brighton had built a number of balloons and became the main builder for the project. In the summer of 1966, the team went to Dunstable Air Day and saw a number of attempts at a hot air balloon flight by other teams. One, built by Bolton Technical college, succeeded with a tethered flight before breaking free unintentionally and taking its pilot some distance before the pilot escaped unhurt, but with the balloon draped over a power line. The committee of the air day prohibited any further balloon take offs that day. In 1967, the Bristol Belle balloon was complete.
    7.00
    1 votes
    73
    Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle was the name of several individual combat Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses of World War II. The first Liberty Belle B-17 (serial number 42-30096) crashed near Wakes Colne after an accidental on-board fire on November 30, 1943; while the BQ-7 Aphrodite variant (42-30039) named Liberty Belle against the Heligoland U-boat pens "was hit by flak and crashed" on October 15, 1944. There was a Liberty Belle (42-31610) and a Liberty Bell attached to the 91st Bomb Group (Heavy), at Bassingbourne. A third Liberty Belle (42-97849) landed in Belgium with heavy damage on February 14, 1945, during an Oil Campaign raid; and the combat Liberty Belles were commemorated by two B-17s which used the name, with one still remaining as a static display. Miss Liberty Belle (44-83690) is displayed at the Grissom Air Museum, and the Liberty Foundation flew a commemorative Liberty Belle constructed from two damaged B-17s (non-combat 44-85734 and aft of 44-85813) from 2004 until 2011 when it was destroyed in a fire after an emergency landing. The B-17G (SN 44-85734) did not see combat in World War II, and was originally sold on June 25, 1947, as
    7.00
    1 votes
    74

    T1-323

    T1-323 was the tail number (T1 = "705 Kokutai") of the plane carrying Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on an inspection tour throughout the South Pacific when he was shot down and killed by American fighter aircraft during World War II. On 18 April 1943, T1-323, a Mitsubishi G4M1 (model 11) "Betty" long-range bomber, and a sister craft departed from Rabaul, were headed to Bougainville in the Solomon Islands off New Guinea, when a task group of P-38s intercepted and downed the planes over Buin, a large Japanese army base in southern Bougainville. In addition to Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese Navy, T1-323 carried the following passengers and crew on that day: The wreck of T1-323 remains as a tourist attraction in the Bougainville jungle near Moila Point, a few kilometers off the Panguna-Buin road. Signposts can be found near the village of Aku, 24 km outside Buin. A path to the wreck has been cut through the jungle, an hour's walk from the road. Other artifacts from the crash site, including the outer wing panel and the Admiral's seat, reside at the Isoroku Yamamoto Memorial Hall & Museum in Nagaoka, Japan.
    7.00
    1 votes
    75
    Autogyro

    Autogyro

    An autogyro (from Spanish autogiro), also known as gyroplane, gyrocopter, or rotaplane, is a type of rotorcraft which uses an unpowered rotor in autorotation to develop lift, and an engine-powered propeller, similar to that of a fixed-wing aircraft, to provide thrust. While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro's rotor must have air flowing through the rotor disc to generate rotation. Invented by the Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva to create an aircraft that could safely fly at slow speeds, the autogyro was first flown on 9 January 1923, at Cuatro Vientos Airfield in Madrid. De la Cierva's aircraft resembled the fixed-wing aircraft of the day, with a front-mounted engine and propeller in a tractor configuration to pull the aircraft through the air. Under license from Cierva in the 1920s and 1930s, the Pitcairn & Kellett companies made further innovations. Late-model autogyros patterned after Igor Bensen's designs feature a rear-mounted engine and propeller in a pusher configuration. The term Autogiro was a trademark of the Cierva Autogiro Company, and the term Gyrocopter was used by E. Burke Wilford who developed the Reiseler Kreiser feathering rotor equipped
    5.50
    2 votes
    76
    Southern Cross

    Southern Cross

    Southern Cross is the name of the Fokker F.VIIb/3m trimotor monoplane which in 1928 was flown by Australian aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew in the first ever trans-Pacific flight to Australia from the mainland United States, about 7,250 miles (11,670 km). The Southern Cross began life as the Detroiter, a polar exploration aircraft of the Detroit News-Wilkins Arctic expedition. The aircraft had crashed in Alaska in 1926, and was recovered and repaired by the Australian expedition leader, Hubert Wilkins. Wilkins, who had decided the Fokker was too large for his Arctic explorations, met with Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm in San Francisco and arranged to sell them the aircraft, without engines or instruments. Having fitted the aircraft out with engines and the other required parts, Kingsford Smith made two attempts at the world endurance record, in an attempt to raise funds and interest for his trans-Pacific flight. However, after the New South Wales government withdrew its sponsorship of the flight, it looked as if the money would run out and Kingsford Smith would have to sell the Southern Cross. The aircraft was bought by American aviator and philanthropist Allan
    5.50
    2 votes
    77

    America

    • Model: Fokker C-2
    The America was a trimotor Fokker C-2 monoplane that was flown in 1927 by Richard E. Byrd, Bernt Balchen, George Otto Noville, and Bert Acosta on their transatlantic flight. For eight years after the first non-stop heavier than air Atlantic crossing by a British Vickers Vimy in 1919, there were no further such flights. Then, in 1927, three crossings were made by United States flyers, the America's being the third after Lindbergh's first solo crossing in the Spirit of St. Louis flight and Clarence Chamberlin's "Columbia" flight from New York to Berlin. All three were aspiring to win the Orteig Prize. It was also the first aircraft to carry official airmail across the Atlantic. The America was destroyed after it was ditched near the French village of Ver-sur-Mer after having flown to Paris but unable to land due to fog. Distance covered was about 3,800 miles not counting the time and distance spent at Paris waiting in vain for the fog to clear. After it was towed ashore, it was torn apart by souvenir hunters. Portions of the aircraft reside in several museums in Europe and in the United States. Some portions of the plane are commercially available. The "America" is also the subject
    6.00
    1 votes
    78

    Double Eagle V

    Double Eagle V was the first balloon to make a successful crossing of the Pacific Ocean. It launched from Nagashima, Japan on November 10, 1981, and landed in Mendocino National Forest in California 84 hours and 31 minutes later, travelling a record 5,768 miles (9,283 km). The four-man crew consisted of Albuquerque balloonists Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, and Ron Clark, and thrill-seeking restauranteur Rocky Aoki, who helped fund the flight. Abruzzo and Newman had previously been two of the pilots of Double Eagle II, which in 1978 became the first balloon to cross the Atlantic. Double Eagle V failed to attract the same degree of media attention as the earlier flight, in part because it was overshadowed by the concurrent Space Shuttle mission STS-2.
    6.00
    1 votes
    79
    LZ 129 Hindenburg

    LZ 129 Hindenburg

    • Model: Hindenburg class airship
    LZ 129 Hindenburg (Luftschiff Zeppelin #129; Registration: D-LZ 129) was a large German commercial passenger-carrying rigid airship, the lead ship of the Hindenburg class, the longest class of flying machine and the largest airship by envelope volume. It was designed and built by the Zeppelin Company (Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH) on the shores of Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen and was operated by the German Zeppelin Airline Company (Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei). The airship flew from March 1936 until destroyed by fire 14 months later on May 6, 1937, at the end of the first North American transatlantic journey of its second season of service. Thirty-six people died in the accident, which occurred while landing at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. Hindenburg was named after the late Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934), President of Germany (1925–1934). The Hindenburg had a duralumin structure, incorporating 15 Ferris wheel-like bulkheads along its length, with 16 cotton gas bags fitted between them. The bulkheads were braced to each other by longitudinal girders placed around their circumferences. The airship's outer skin was
    6.00
    1 votes
    80
    Sentimental Journey

    Sentimental Journey

    Sentimental Journey (44-83514) is the nickname of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber. It is housed at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. by the Commemorative Air Force. The aircraft is regularly flown to airshows around the country. Nose art features Betty Grable, the number-one pin-up girl of the World War II era. The aircraft's name takes after a song made very popular by Doris Day in 1945. Over the years, this aircraft has performed many different missions from military reconnaissance through drone "mother ship" during nuclear testing before being retired to storage at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona in 1959. Aero Union Corporation of Chico, California acquired and converted the aircraft into a firefighter, which it remained until donated to the CAF in 1978.
    6.00
    1 votes
    81
    VSS Enterprise

    VSS Enterprise

    • Model: SpaceShipTwo
    The VSS Enterprise (Tail Number: N339SS) is the first of five commercial suborbital spacecraft being constructed for Virgin Galactic by Scaled Composites. It will also be the first ship of the Model 339 SpaceShipTwo class, based on upscaling the design of record-breaking SpaceShipOne. The VSS Enterprise's name is an acknowledgement of the USS Enterprise from the Star Trek television series. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, head of Virgin Galactic, offered William Shatner, the actor who portrayed Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, a free ride into space on the inaugural space launch of the VSS Enterprise, with a retail value of $200,000. However, Shatner turned it down, and said, "I do want to go up but I need guarantees I'll definitely come back." It was rolled out on December 7, 2009. Projections by Virgin Galactic in 2008 called for test flights to begin in late 2009 and commercial service to start in 2011. In October 2009, Virgin Galactic CEO Will Whitehorn outlined the flight test program for SpaceShipTwo. The test program includes seven phases: On 22 March 2010, the SpaceShipTwo vehicle VSS Enterprise underwent a captive carry test flight, with the parent White Knight
    6.00
    1 votes
    82
    Bockscar

    Bockscar

    • Model: B-29 Superfortress
    Bockscar, sometimes called Bock's Car, is the name of the United States Army Air Forces B-29 bomber that dropped the "Fat Man" nuclear weapon over Nagasaki on 9 August 1945, the second atomic weapon used against Japan. It was assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group. The name painted on the aircraft after the mission is a pun on "boxcar" after the name of its aircraft commander, Captain Frederick C. Bock. Bockscar was flown on August 9, 1945, by the crew of another B-29, The Great Artiste, and piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney, commander of the 393d BS. The plane was co-piloted by 1st Lt. Charles Donald Albury, the normal aircraft commander of Crew C-15. The Great Artiste was designated as the observation, instrumentation support plane for the second mission, and another B-29, The Big Stink, flown by Group Operations Officer Major James I. Hopkins, Jr., as the photographic aircraft. The mission had as its primary target the city of Kokura, Japan, and as its only secondary, Nagasaki. Bockscar had been flown by Sweeney and crew C-15 in three test drop rehearsals of inert "Fat Man" assemblies in the eight days leading up to the second mission, including the final
    5.00
    1 votes
    83

    C-54Q

    • Model: Douglas DC-4
    Used by Andrew F. Bunker for aerial oceanographic sensing.
    5.00
    1 votes
    84
    G for George

    G for George

    • Model: Avro Lancaster
    G for George is an Avro Lancaster Mk.I bomber, squadron code AR-G and serial number W4783, operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF during World War II. It is now preserved at the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Canberra Australia. G-George flew 96 combat missions over occupied Europe with 460 Squadron, and is the second most prolific surviving Lancaster, behind R5868 S for Sugar of No. 83 Squadron RAF/No. 463 Squadron RAAF/No. 467 Squadron RAAF (137 sorties). Most operational Lancasters were shot down before they had reached 20 sorties: of the 107,085 sorties by Lancasters despatched in bombing raids on Germany 2687 aircraft went missing G-George has the added distinction of bringing home, alive, every crewman who flew aboard it. Upon retirement from combat duty in 1944, G-George was flown to Australia by an all-RAAF crew of Bomber Command veterans, and played a major part in raising war bonds during a round-Australia publicity trip. Post war, it was left to decay in the open air at RAAF Base Fairbairn, before being moved to the AWM in the early 1950s. In 2003, G-George returned to display at the AWM in the new ANZAC Hall after a five year restoration program, which restored the aircraft
    5.00
    1 votes
    85

    The Starship

    The Starship was a former United Airlines Boeing 720 passenger jet, bought by Bobby Sherman and his manager, Ward Sylvester, and leased to touring musical artists in the mid-1970s. The Starship, N7201U (S/N: 17907), was the first Boeing 720 built. It was delivered to United Airlines on October 1960 and then purchased in 1973 by Contemporary Entertainment. English rock band Led Zeppelin used the aircraft for their 1973 and 1975 North American concert tours. During the 1972 tour and in the early part of the 1973 tour the band had hired a small private Falcon Jet to transport its members from city to city, but these aircraft are comparatively light and susceptible to turbulence. After performing a show at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco in 1973 Led Zeppelin encountered bad turbulence on a flight back to Los Angeles. As a result, the band's manager Peter Grant resolved to hire The Starship for the remainder of the tour, at a cost of $30,000. The aircraft was the same type as used by commercial airlines, but its owners allowed it to be specifically modified to suit the whim of their clients. Sherman and Sylvester invested $200,000 to reduce its seating capacity to forty and to install
    5.00
    1 votes
    86
    VC-137C SAM 27000

    VC-137C SAM 27000

    • Model: Boeing VC-137C
    SAM 27000 was the second of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft that were specifically configured and maintained for the use of the President of the United States. It used the call sign Air Force One when the President was on board, and at other times it used the call sign SAM 27000. The VC-137C serial number 72-7000 was a customized version of the Boeing 707 which entered service during the Nixon administration in 1972. It served all US presidents until George W. Bush and was retired in 2001; it is now on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The plane first entered service in 1972 during the administration of Richard Nixon. SAM 27000 replaced the aging SAM 26000 as the primary means of presidential travel, although SAM 26000 remained as a back-up plane. SAM 27000 served seven presidents in its twenty-nine years of service: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1990, it was replaced as the primary presidential plane by two Boeing VC-25 jumbo jets — SAM 28000 and SAM 29000. Nixon was the first president to utilize this Air Force One, dubbing it and its sister plane, SAM 26000, the
    5.00
    1 votes
    87
    Gossamer Condor

    Gossamer Condor

    The Gossamer Condor was the first human-powered aircraft capable of controlled and sustained flight; as such, it won the Kremer prize in 1977. It was created by Paul MacCready and Peter Lissaman of AeroVironment, Inc. The Kremer prize had been set up in 1959 by Henry Kremer, a British industrialist, and offered £50,000 in prize money to the first group that could fly a human-powered aircraft over a figure-eight course covering a total of a mile (1.6 kilometers). The course also included a ten-foot pole that the aircraft had to fly over at the start and end. Early attempts to build human-powered aircraft had focused on wooden designs, which proved too heavy. Very early attempts – notably the HV-1 Mufli and Pedaliante – used catapult launches. In 1961, Southampton University's Man Powered Aircraft SUMPAC took to the air at Lasham Airfield on 9 November, piloted by Derek Piggott, achieving a maximum flight of 650 metres. One week later, on 16 November, the Hatfield Puffin flew, and eventually managed a maximum flight of 908 metres but it was difficult to turn. The Jupiter managed 1,239 m in June 1972. The Nihon Stork B achieved over 2 kilometers in 1976. In the early 1970s, Dr Paul
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    88
    Flak Bait

    Flak Bait

    • Model: B-26 Marauder
    Flak Bait was a B-26 Marauder aircraft that holds the record within the United States Army Air Forces for number of bombing missions survived during World War II. A B-26B manufactured in Baltimore, Maryland, by Martin, this aircraft was completed in April, 1943. It was christened Flak Bait by one of the pilots, James J. Farrell, who adapted the nickname of a family dog, "Flea Bait". Flak Bait was assigned to the 449th Bombardment Squadron, 322d Bombardment Group stationed in England. During the course of its 202 (some sources say 207 ) bombing missions over Germany as well as the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, Flak Bait lived up to its name by being shot with over 1000 holes, returned twice on one engine and once with an engine on fire, lost its electrical system once and its hydraulic system twice, and participated in bombing missions in support of D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Flak Bait returned to the United States in December 1946. The front portion of the fuselage is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
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    89

    Kee Bird

    The Kee Bird was a United States Army Air Forces B-29-95-BW Superfortress, 45-21768, of the 46th Reconnaissance Squadron, that became marooned after making an emergency landing in northwest Greenland during a secret Cold War spying mission on 21 February 1947. Although the entire crew was safely evacuated, after spending three days in the isolated Arctic tundra, the aircraft itself was left at the landing site. It lay there undisturbed until 1994, when a privately-funded mission was launched to repair and return it. The attempted recovery resulted in the destruction and loss of the airframe by fire on the ground. In the early years of the Cold War, some of the most important strategic reconnaissance was carried out by Strategic Air Command units deployed to Ladd Army Airfield, near Fairbanks, Alaska Territory. One of the SAC's initial missions was to plan strategic aerial reconnaissance on a global scale. The first efforts were in photo-reconnaissance and mapping. Along with the photo-reconnaissance mission, a small electronic intelligence (ELINT) cadre was operating. Weather reconnaissance was part of the effort, as was Long Range Detection, the search for Soviet atomic
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    90

    Laggin' Dragon

    Laggin' Dragon was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29 serial 44-86347-50-MO, Victor number 95) configured to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Laggin' Dragon was the last of the fifteen Silverplate B-29s delivered to the 509th Composite Group for use in the atomic bomb operation. Built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft plant at Omaha, Nebraska, it was accepted by the USAAF on June 15, 1945, after most of the 509th CG had already left Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, for North Field, Tinian. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, Crew A-2 (Capt. Edward M. Costello, Aircraft Commander) flew it to Wendover in early July and briefly used in training and practice bombing missions. On July 27, 1945, Costello and his crew flew the airplane from Wendover to Kirtland Army Air Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico, accompanied by another 509th B-29 and one from the Manhattan Project test unit at Wendover (216th AAF Base Unit). There each loaded one of three Fat Man atomic bomb assemblies (without the plutonium core, which had left the day before by courier on one of the 509th CG's C-54 Skymaster transports) in its bomb bay for conveyance to Tinian. The three bombers flew to Mather Army Air Field,
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    1 votes
    91
    DHL Balloon

    DHL Balloon

    The DHL Balloon, located in Singapore, was the world's second largest tethered helium balloon. It was closed and dismantled in October 2008. The DHL Balloon was first located on Tan Quee Lan Street in the Downtown Core of Singapore, near the New 7th Storey Hotel and Bugis MRT Station. Launched at a cost of $2.5 million, the DHL Balloon was a joint venture by Aerophile Balloon Singapore Pte Ltd and Vertical Adventure Pte Ltd, and took one year to plan. The project was sponsored by global courier, freight and logistics company DHL Express which received exclusive advertising space on the balloon. The business partners involved in the project worked with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Singapore Land Authority and Singapore Tourism Board to allow public advertising on the balloon, and arranged to lease the site at a cost of more than S$1 million over two years. Prior to this project, large advertisements in public areas were not allowed in Singapore. S$800,000 was spent priming the ground for the balloon and another S$60,000 to purchase the helium. On 19 April 2006, 40 crew members took 12 hours to inflate the French-made balloon, which took its first passengers in May 2006.
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    92
    Gwiazda Polski

    Gwiazda Polski

    Gwiazda Polski (The Star of Poland) was a balloon, which, according to the Polish planners, was going to reach the stratosphere, thus beating the 1930s high-altitude world record, established on November 11, 1935 by Albert William Stevens and Orvil Arson Anderson, in the Explorer II balloon. Stevens and Anderson ascended to the altitude of 22,066 m (72,395 feet), the Poles wanted to reach the altitude of 30 kilometers. Polish crew, consisting of Captain Zbigniew Burzynski and Doctor Konstanty Jodko-Narkiewicz, attempted the stratospheric flight in The Star of Poland on October 14, 1938 in the Tatra Mountains, but the balloon caught fire when it was less than 100 feet above the ground. In mid-1930s, ballooning was a very popular sport in Poland, pilots from the Polish Aero Club, using equipment made by the renowned Balloon and Parachute Factory Aviotex (Wytwornia Balonow i Spadochronow Aviotex) from Legionowo won several awards during international competitions, including the Gordon Bennett Cup in ballooning, which the Poles won in 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1938. The first idea of making a Polish flight into the stratosphere was conceived in 1937 by the military authorities, who wanted
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    93
    Hawker Hurricane PZ865

    Hawker Hurricane PZ865

    Hawker Hurricane PZ865 is a single-engined Second World War fighter operated by the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. It was the last of 14,533 Hurricanes produced and is now flown as an airborne memorial. Named The Last of the Many serial number PZ865 first flew at Langley, Buckinghamshire on 22 July 1944 and was retained by Hawker Aircraft for trials work. It moved in 1950 to the Hawker factory at Dunsfold Aerodrome where it was given the civil registration G-AMAU on 1 May 1950. It was flown into second place at the 1950 King's Cup Air Race by Group Captain Peter Townsend. At this time it was painted in Hawker Aircraft's dark blue colour scheme with gold lettering and lining. The aircraft also appeared in the Battle of Britain film in 1968. In 1972 the aircraft was refurbished and presented by Hawkers to the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight then based at RAF Coltishall, reverting to its RAF serial as identity. Formerly painted as code JX-E to represent "Night Reaper" flown by 1 Squadron fighter ace Flt Lt Karel Kuttelwascher DFC during night intruder operations from RAF Tangmere, In 2010 the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight began a rebuild of
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    94
    Intrepid

    Intrepid

    The Intrepid was a hydrogen gas balloon or aerostat built for use by the Union Army Balloon Corps for aerial reconnaissance purposes during the American Civil War. It was one of seven balloons constructed for the Balloon Corps and was one of the four larger balloons designed to make ascensions to higher elevations with a larger lift capacity for telegraph equipment and an operator. It was the balloon of choice for Chief Aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe overlooking the Battle of Fair Oaks. The fateful flight over the Battle of Fair Oaks was instrumental in saving the fragmented army of Union Army General Samuel P. Heintzelman from what would have been sure defeat at the hands of the Confederates. The Intrepid undergoing a lengthy inflation was quickly hooked up to the spout of the smaller Constitution by means of a de-bottomed camp kettle by which the gas was transferred in shorter time to make the ascent. In 1983, the U.S. Postal Service honored the Intrepid with a postage stamp.
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    95
    Lady Southern Cross

    Lady Southern Cross

    The Lady Southern Cross was a Lockheed Altair monoplane owned by Australian pioneer aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. In this aircraft, Kingsford Smith made the first eastward trans-Pacific flight from Australia to the United States, in October and November of 1934. In April 1934, Kingsford Smith ordered an aircraft from Lockheed for use in the MacRobertson Air Race in October of that year. The aircraft was rebuilt from a Lockheed Sirius originally built for George R. Hutchinson in 1930. The aircraft was delivered by ship to Sydney, Australia in July 1934, bearing Kingsford Smith's requested blue livery and the name 'ANZAC'. However, before it could be flown in Australia, the Government objected to the commercial use of ANZAC (the use of which remains restricted in Australian law today), and Kingsford Smith was forced to remove it. After finally getting the machine, now named Lady Southern Cross, out of Customs, Kingsford Smith and copilot Patrick Gordon Taylor set several speed records flying between Australian cities as they prepared to fly to England for the race. With all paperwork finally complete, they began the flight to England on 29 September 1934, with a first leg
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    96

    MacRobert's Reply

    MacRobert's Reply was the name given to a famous World War II, Royal Air Force aircraft, a Short Stirling bomber, serial N6086 operated by No. 15 Squadron. The aircraft was paid for by a generous £25,000 donation from Lady Rachel Workman MacRobert, and was named 'MacRobert's Reply' in commemoration of her three sons, all of whom were killed whilst serving with the RAF. The eldest son Alasdair died in a flying accident in 1938, whilst Roderic and Iain were both killed in action during 1941. A second Short Stirling, serial W7531, was also named 'MacRobert's Reply' after the first aircraft N6086 was written off in an accident Short Stirling N6086 was the first aircraft to bear the name 'MacRobert's Reply' and was handed over to her crew at RAF Wyton on October 10, 1941, with Lady MacRobert attending the naming ceremony. The aircraft had the MacRobert coat of arms painted on to its nose, and was given the code LS-F, LS being the squadron code and the last letter identifying the aircraft as "F for Freddie", a designation all subsequent aircraft given the name 'MacRobert's Reply' have used. The aircraft flew twelve missions between October 1941 and January 1942, before swinging on take
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    97

    Osoaviakhim-1

    Osoaviakhim-1 was a record-setting, hydrogen-filled Soviet high-altitude balloon designed to seat a crew of three and perform scientific studies of the Earth's stratosphere. On January 30, 1934, on its maiden flight which lasted over 7 hours, the balloon reached an altitude of 22,000 metres (72,000 ft). During the descent the balloon lost its buoyancy and plunged into an uncontrolled fall, disintegrating in the lower atmosphere. The three crew members, probably incapacitated by high g-forces in a rapidly rotating gondola, failed to bail out and were killed by a high-speed ground impact. According to public investigation reports, the crash was ultimately caused by a prolonged stay at record altitudes exceeding maximum design limits. The balloon, overheated by sunlight, lost too much lifting gas in upper atmosphere. As it descended past the 12,000 metres (39,000 ft) mark, cooling down to ambient air temperature, quick loss of buoyancy caused downward acceleration that triggered structural failure of the suspension cables. The aircraft design was marked by numerous engineering flaws, notably insufficient ballast weight and faulty gondola suspension design, which all contributed to the
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    98
    The Pink Lady

    The Pink Lady

    The Pink Lady is the nickname of a B-17G Flying Fortress bomber. It is one of the few B-17s still in flying condition, and the only flying survivor to see action in Europe during World War II. Rolled out of the Lockheed-Vega production facility in Burbank, California in December, 1944, The Pink Lady was then only known as a B-17G-85-VE Fortress, serial number 44-8846. On March 1, 1945, 44-8846 was flown to RAF Polebrook, England, and assigned to the 511th Bomb Squadron, 351st Bomb Group. Since she entered active service so close to the end of the war, 44-8846 only flew six missions over Germany, the last one on April 20, 1945, when the 351st ended combat operations. She was transferred to the 365th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group, based at RAF Chelveston, England, when the rest of the 351st returned to the United States. She was featured as the fictional B-17F Mother and Country, in addition to The Pink Lady, in the film, Memphis Belle, painted on one side to resemble the older B-17F. The Pink Lady was kept at Paris - Orly Airport, France, just to the south of Paris, until its hangar was listed for demolition. In october 2006 she was stored for winter 2006-2007 in a hangar in St
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    99

    Top Secret

    Top Secret was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27302, Victor number 72) modified to carry the atomic bomb in World War II. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was one of 15 Silverplate B-29s used by the 509th. Top Secret was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, as a Block 35 aircraft. It was one of 10 modified as a Silverplate and re-designated "Block 36". Delivered on April 2, 1945, to the USAAF, it was assigned to crew B-8 (1st Lt. Charles F. McKnight), aircraft commander) and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah. It left Wendover on June 5, 1945, for North Field, Tinian and arrived June 11. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification) number 2 but on August 1 was given the large 'A' tail markings of the 497th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 72 to avoid misidentification with actual 497th BG aircraft. It was named Top Secret and its nose art applied after the atomic bomb missions. While at Tinian, McKnight and crew B-8 flew Top Secret on 13 practice bombing missions and four combat pumpkin bomb missions against Japanese industrial targets at Otsu,
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    100

    Up An' Atom

    Up An' Atom was the name of a B-29 Superfortress (B-29-36-MO 44-27304, Victor number 88) configured during World War II in the Silverplate project to carry an atomic bomb. Assigned to the 393d Bomb Squadron, 509th Composite Group, it was built at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Plant at Omaha, Nebraska, accepted by the Army Air Forces on April 3, 1945, and flown to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah, by its assigned crew B-10 (Capt. George W. Marquardt, Aircraft Commander). It departed Wendover for North Field, Tinian on June 11 and arrived on June 17. It was originally assigned the Victor (unit-assigned identification number) number 8 but on August 1 was given the triangle N tail markings of the 444th Bomb Group as a security measure and had its Victor changed to 88 to avoid misidentification with actual 444th BG aircraft. It was named and had its nose art painted after the Nagasaki mission. The name is a word play on the colloquial idiom "Up and at 'em", meaning "There is a lot of work to be done," and referencing the unit's atomic mission. While at Tinian, Marquadt and crew B-10 flew Up An' Atom on eight training and practice bombing missions and pumpkin bomb missions against industrial
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