We are back with another amazing list about the most important aircraft of all time (part 2). Some of the aircraft this time in our list are of intriguing design while others are of conventional designs. Some of them were design for espionage missions while others for commercial use.
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is the aircraft that will always be known throughout the modern history of mankind and aviation. This was the aircraft that carried out the nuclear strike from the USA over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Although this feat also new has cemented its place in the annals of aviation, history, the aircraft is also one of a kind bomber that was developed with many amazing features that were ahead of their time.
One of the most amazing features introduced in B-29 was the remoter firing system that was sued for turret guns while others are the pressurized cabin and the dual wheel tricycle landing gear.
The Gulfstream G500 was launched alongside its sister plane the G600 as the business jet back in 2014. The aircraft had the fly-by-wire side sticks that allowed the aircraft to provide the flight crew with visual as well as the tactical feedback. This feature, before G500, was only available in the military aircraft. This feedback feature lets pilot as well as the co-pilot to not only track but also feel the control of both themselves and that of the autopilot.
The aircraft, when took its first flight back in 2015, was the most fuel efficient as well as the safest business class aircraft in the world.
The Boeing 737 with its ability to have the record to hold the most passengers inside is the original jumbo jet of the world. The aircraft is easily distinguishable by its upper deck that was manufactured to cater to the first class customers.
The aircraft, when released for commercial service, was the largest airliner in the world when compared with others. In order to build this behemoth of an aircraft, Boeing went on to build the world’s largest building at that time as well.
The aircraft was only supposed to be manufactured until the Concorde and Russian Tu-144 were in service. However, the number of Boeing 747s to be built was 400 units have now been sold for more than 1500 units with more in the developmental stages.
The aircraft has allowed the transport of nearly 3.7 billion passengers across the world which is half of the total global population.
The Bell X-1 is the research aircraft which was also the first ever aircraft to officially break the sound barrier back in 1947.
In addition to this, the aircraft was also the first of the X series that ushered the world into building rocket powered aircraft.
These aircraft were then used to test out the advanced aerodynamic and the systems that allowed the USA to be propelled into the space age.
Spirit of St. Louis
The “Spirit of St. Louis” of the officially named Ryan NYP was the aircraft that carried the man named Charles Lindbergh on a historical non-stop first flight from across the Atlantic Ocean starting from New York to Paris. The flight was for a duration of 33 hours and 30 minutes.
Charles Lindbergh at that time was not a well-known aviationist and was not able to pure enough funds to develop a suitable aircraft of its era. He improvised and manufactured an aircraft of fabric covering to make a single seat and a single engine.
This historic flight was the one that resulted in the pilot license applications to triple while the number of licensed aircraft to quadruple in the US back in May of 1927.his flight also ushered the commercial airline business into a norm. In between 1926 to 1929, nearly 173405 seats were booked on commercial airlines.
Rutan VariEze is the aircraft that was designed and manufactured by an aerospace engineer named Burt Rutan.
The aircraft instantly became popular among the armature aircraft building enthusiasts. The reasons for its popularity were as follows.
- Aerodynamic resistance against spins
- Exotic look
- Simplicity in design
Thousands of these aircraft were sold at that time and it became the most built aircraft kit in the world at that time.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
The F-35 Lightning II is the representation of the fifth generation fighter jets and its three variants such as the F-35 A, B, and C were all designed and manufactured to replace the following aging fighter jets.
- F/A 18s
The contract to manufacture 2457 of these aircraft was doled out at about 400 billion dollars which since then has been doubled and the delay of 3 years has also passed. Still, with this controversy in place, the F-35 Lightning II is one of the fastest fight generation multirole fighter jets in the world.
In order to keep up the competition with their biggest rival Boeing, Airbus also took a giant leap in their technology sector back in the 1980s. They started incorporating the fly-by-wire flight control system as well as added in the side sticks to provide better ergonomics for the pilots.
The very first A320 built on these systems was delivered for service back in 1988 and since then has become one of the highest selling airliners in the world.
The Lockheed Constellation aka the Connie is known to be the first pressurized cabin passenger aircraft in the world which was developed back in 1958. This aircraft is the one that ushered the world of commercial aviation into safe and comfortable air travel.
Howard Hughes the major stockholder in TWA at that time demanded from Lockheed to build 40 commercial aircraft with 3500 miles range. Lockheed went on to develop the best aircraft in the market with a new hydraulic boosted flight control system in the form of Connie.
General Atomics MQ-1 Predator
General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or simply known as the Predator was the first ever military drone in the world. The aircraft served its purpose as an unmanned aerial vehicle to fullest during the US war on terror against the Taliban.
The aircraft is able to remotely fly for a range of 400 nautical miles for 14 hours and return back to the base. The aircraft was not only excellent for gathering enemy Intel but was also equipped to fire the Hellfire laser-guided missiles on enemy target. This aircraft ushered the US military in drone warfare.