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Most Important Aircraft of All Time (Part 3)

We are back with another list of the most important aircraft of all time (part 3). This time we bring some of the most bizarre aircraft that although have not been used widely, they still have impacted the future designs of the many aircraft. Some of them have been used in the training of the young generations of the pilots.

Scaled Composites Voyager

This was a high endurance aircraft; one of its kind, that interestingly enough was sketched by its designer Brut Rutan on a piece of Napkin. The aircraft after being made was piloted by the brothers of Burt Rutan. It went on to become the only aircraft in the world that circumnavigated across the world without a need for refueling.




The aircraft was powered by two propellers; one of which was in the forint while the other was in the back. This was done to spate the engines. The aircraft has a ceiling height of 11000 feet with a maximum speed limit of 116 mph.

Piper J-3 Cub

The very first bright yellow colored Piper J-3 Club was up for sale back in 1938 that had a power of 40 HP along with a mere cost of 1000 dollars. With World War II around the corner of Europe, the aircraft served its purpose as the best trainer under the Civilian Pilot Training Program. Until the war ended, nearly 80 percent of the US military pilots had all completed their flight training on this aircraft.

The aircraft is still in demand by the bush pilots; further modifications have been carried out in the little Piper. Few of these improvements are the increased horsepower for the engine as well as better electrical systems.

Messerschmitt Me 262

The Messerschmitt Me 262 is regarded as the world first jet-powered fighter aircraft.  Due to slight problems that aircraft had delays in its operational service for the German Luftwaffe. The main problems in its delayed service were the attack of the allied on Germany’s fuel supplies as well as some issues in the aircraft’s engine.

Despite not seeing the full time for showing off its capabilities, the aircraft’s design went on to usher the world in the age of fighter jets. The design of F-86 Sabre was also inspired from the Messerschmitt Me 262.

RV-3

Richard VanGrunsven decided to make an airplane in his won garage and that led to the birth of the aircraft kit building company which was amongst the most successful ones in the world.

His first ever attempt to create an aircraft was the Sitts Playboy which was later named s the RV-1. After the unsuccessful attempt of RV-2, he headed back to his drawing board and came up with the design of RV-3 that was faster and had more aerobic platform than its predecessors. The aircraft with only 150 Hp was able to reach the top speed of 200 mph.

Gossamer Albatross

The Gossamer Albatross is the aircraft that was the result of the ingenious imagination of an American aeronautical engineer named Paul B. MacCready. The aircraft was flown by the cyclist and a pilot named Bryan Allen.

After this human-powered aircraft was flown over the English Channel and across back in 1979, it managed to win the Kremer prize.

The aircraft successfully completed the 22 miles distance in nearly 3 hours at a top speed of 18 mph while flying only 5 feet above the water.

The aircraft only weighed 71 lbs which had a carbon fiber frame along with tapered wings that were wrapped in a thin plastic Mylar.

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, which had a speed twice that of sound along with a ceiling height of 50000 feet and the amazing ability to pull 9 times the normal gravity, is regarded as one of the most important aircraft to be ever built in the entire aviation history.

The aircraft was developed with the concept of giving it aerodynamic unstability which allowed it to have decreased control but increased maneuverability. Since 1976, nearly 4500 of these fighter jets were manufactured and is still in use of nearly 25 world’s Air Forces.

Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star has a very harsh history in its making. During the development and testing phases of this aircraft, nearly 2 of the best USAF’s flying aces lost their lives while another one ended with a broken back. Still, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the one that ushered the US in the age of jet age.

The aircraft was widely used by USAF in the Korean War conflict. With its swept wing transonic design, it was able to easily outmaneuver the MiG-15.

Dassault Falcon 7X

The Dassault Falcon 7X was manufactured by the French aviation manufacturer Dassault to be a business class jet. In order to give it jet capabilities, the aircraft had a fly-by-wire flights control system which was incorporated in it from the Dassault Mirage fighter jet.

The aircraft also had the Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) which was also taken from the Dassault Mirage.

Gulfstream I

After the World War II, the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation decided to turn its amazing warplanes into the fleet of airlines to accommodate the post-war economic rise in the world, it ushered the world in the business jet manufacturing.

The first product of this idea by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation was the Gulfstream I which had two turboprop engines mounted o the low wing. The aircraft allowed the passengers to standup up straight inside the cabin. The aircraft was manufactured to transport 24 passengers standing up. As for the executive configuration, only 12 passengers could neb transported.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

In the early 1980s, the need for USAF to have an aircraft that was able to land or take-off vertically as well as cruise at high speeds like a turboprop aircraft became urgency.

For this need, a joint contract was awarded to Boeing and Bell to design and manufacture an aircraft that could effectively replace the aging CH-46 Sea Knight.

The result of this creation was and still is the famed Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey.

The aircraft has proved its functioning for USAF during their time in the following countries for doing transportation and medevac missions.

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Libya
  • Kuwait

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Iconic Aircraft from the Vietnam War (Part 2)

Military Aircraft That Can Be Purchased By Civilians (Part 1)