17 Most Important Airplanes of all Time

by Stanley

Airplanes are integral part of human and commodity transportation from one continent to another or even in the same continent or country. The following are some of the important airplanes of all time.

Important Airplanes of All Time.

  1. Spirit of St. Louis. The Ryan NYP, known as the “Spirit of St. Louis,” carried Charles Lindbergh on his landmark 33-hour, 30-minute non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris.


Lindbergh, who was relatively unknown in the aviation community at the time, was unable to procure the funds to acquire a suitable existing airplanes design. Eventually the fabric-covered, single-seat, single-engine airplanes were designed jointly between Lindbergh and the Ryan Aircraft Company.

  1. Rutan VariEze. Designed by famed aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, this unique composite airplane became wildly popular among amateur aircraft builders because of its aerodynamic resistance to spins, its exotic looks, and its simplicity of design. In a departure from the traditional vertical and horizontal tail configuration similar to the tail feathers of an arrow, the VariEze received a Rutan hallmark: a smaller forewing or canard and large winglets at the tips of the larger main rear wing.
  2. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Many modern fighters currently in active military roles began production in the 1970’s. As many of these aircraft are reaching the end of their service life, with what is supposed to be an affordable alternative. The F-35 represents an entirely new class of fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Three variations of the fighter were developed to replace the U.S. military’s aging fleet of F-16s, F/A-18s, A-10s, and AV-8B Harrier jump jets.
  3. Airbus A320. To catch up to its biggest competitor, Boeing, Airbus took a leap forward in technology in the late 1980s by widely adopting the use of fly-by-wire flight controls and implementing side-sticks for improved ergonomics for the flight crew. The result is less arm fatigue and more precise control inputs that allow the crew to sit closer to larger integrated flight control instrumentation.

aeroplane1    5.Lockheed Constellation. The Connie is known for being the first pressurized airliner in widespread use. Built between 1943 and 1958, the Constellation ushered in an era of affordable and comfortable air travel.

    6.General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. The Predator was the first military “drone” (though the more. It became famous for its role in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Predator can be remotely piloted to fly over a 400-nautical-mile course, circle its target for up to 14 hours, and return to base. The extensive use of the Predator not only to gather Intel but also to fire Hellfire laser-guided missiles marked the beginning of the modern era of extensive drone warfare by the U.S. military.

     7. Scaled Composites Voyager. Burt Rutan originally sketched this high endurance one-of-a-kind aircraft on a napkin. It went on to be piloted by Burt’s brother Dick and Jeana Yeager, to become the first aircraft to circumnavigate the globe without the need to stop or refuel.

      8. Piper J-3 Cub. The first bright yellow J-3 went for sale in 1938 pumping out a whopping 40 hp and costing a mere $1,000 dollars. With war looming in Europe, the little Cub became a primary trainer for the Civilian Pilot Training Program. By the end of the Second World War, 80 percent of all U.S. military pilots received their primary training in a J-3.

      9. Messerschmitt Me 262. Although engine problems delayed its operational status with the German Luftwaffe, in 1942 the Schwalbe became the world’s first jet-powered fighter aircraft. It was late to the fight in WWII, and engine reliability issues hampered its effectiveness and Allied attacks on German fuel supplies.


      10. RV-3. By quitting his day job to build an airplane of his own design in the garage behind his house, Richard Van Grunsven quietly began the most successful aircraft kit-building company in history.

Van Grunsven continued to build a line of successful kit aircraft based on this original RV-3 for four decades, and the business eventually outgrew two facilities. Now, each year the number of aircraft built that were designed by Van Grunsven outnumbers the combined production of all commercial general aviation companies.

  1. Gossamer Albatross. Designed by American aeronautical engineer Paul B. Mac Cready and flown by amateur cyclist and pilot Bryan Allen, this human-powered aircraft won the second Kremer prize when it was successfully flown across the English Channel on June 12, 1979. Allen completed the 22.2-mile crossing in 2 hours and 49 minutes, reaching a top speed of 18 mph at an average altitude of 5 ft. above the water.
  2. Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. Despite its very dangerous development period, which killed two top aces and broke the back of another test pilot, the United States’ first turbo-jet powered combat aircraft helped to bring about the jet age.
  3. Dassault Falcon 7X. This French-built business jet used a fly-by-wire flight control system adapted from Dassault’s Mirage military fighter jet. Also borrowed from the Mirage was the extensive use of three-dimensional visualization software for all phases of design.
  4. Gulfstream When the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation came up with the brilliant idea to turn its robust line of warplanes into a fleet of scaled-down airliners to accommodate the post-war economic boom, the business jet was born.
  5. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. The ability to take off and land vertically as if a helicopter but cruise at high speed and long ranges like a turboprop became an important need for the United State military in the early 1980s. Boeing and Bell were jointly contracted to develop such a craft to replace the aging fleet of CH-46 Sea Knights.


      16. Wright Flyer. The airplane that made the first successful flight in a heavier-than-air powered aircraft may be the most important airplane of all time. However, do not forget, the Wright Brothers that went far beyond those first few minutes aloft on the beaches of Kitty Hawk. The Wrights’ use of wing warping to achieve bank, in coordination with yaw from the rudder, allowed their craft to be properly controlled. This concept is still used on virtually every plane in the air today.

       17. Supermarine Spitfire. The Spitfire was the only British fighter in continuous production throughout the entire Second World War. It became the backbone of the Royal Air Force Fighter Command and was most noted for beating back the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. The distinct elliptical wings were designed to have the thinnest possible cross section, which resulted in higher speeds than many other fighters of the day did.

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