First on my list would be the Dakota. Still in everyday use, and reliable as ever, if you can shut the door on the cargo it will still take off...
The Spitfire must share honours with the Hurricane; our Continental friends might nominate something different from that era.
Third, the Catalina.
Fourth on my list would be the 747. Alas, the Concorde never proved so enduring.
And fifth, my own PA18, now being flown at White Waltham. I miss it so much. Slow flying over the summer scenery, with doors wide open, banked right over to starboard for the best effect... Piper Cubs first designed back in the l930s, and still used today tugging gliders, banners, flying on floats and skis, the chariot of choice for Alaska, or Africa for that matter.
Well first has to be the Spitfire - probably second only to Concorde as the most beautiful aeroplane ever, standing still or in flight. The Hurricane was a bus in comparison - a Fury with the top wing removed and the thick wooden lower wing still on. It was the major scorer in the Battle of Britain, but only because at that time the RAF didn't have enough Spitfires.
The DC3 of course is there as well. As is the Tiger Moth (though as I know from experience it's not the best handling aeroplane - the Chipmunk takes that accolade for me).
Of the Cubs, it has to be the J3 (or, in my experience, L4 military version). Simple, but so 'right'.
The Lancaster and Mosquito would be my piston bomber choices, and the fabulous Vulcan my jet bomber choice.
Jet fighters - the Hunter for its grace and the Lightning for its brutality.
And the Harrier of course. So much more elegantly KISS than that modern US VSTOL thing.
The 747 because it changed the airline industry.
Concorde was just the pinnacle. Not really a classic as it was unique in what it did, just the best ever thing that flew. It suffered political pressures and assassination, the US and USSR tried to do it and failed, and it gave us almost 30 years of regular London - NY in just over 3 hours.
4.5 hours at M2 is something unheard of before or since, even ignoring it did it with 100 champagne-slurping shirt-sleeve luxuxry customers on board. And to this day it's the only aeroplane to fly the Atlantic supersonic (double supersonic, actually), without in-flight refuelling.
So for me Concorde is the pinnacle of flight, the classics follow in its wake.
Last edited by Shaggy Sheep Driver; 7th Jun 2012 at 22:19.
Some favourites of mine already listed. However, what about the Shorts Sunderland?
Recently saw Kermit Weeks' one in Florida. I've always liked it since I built an Airfix one as a wee lad.
Imagine the holidays you could have! Canada would be ideal as a base. Nice kip in the bunks with the waves lapping against the hull, a good fry up brekkie with a big mug of builder's tea from the galley, then off for some sightseeing across British Columbia before alighting on a (big) lake and mooring up for the night.
I was thinking the same until I saw your post, that or the Pup.Even earlier, Avro 504. Tiger Moth, OK, but the dH60 is much nicer and that along with the Fox, Rapide and Chippie for dH. Spitfire and Mossie for me in the WW2 types, plus Typhoon Tempest or Sea Fury -can't make my mind up which one. Hunter, yes, though I did think the Gnat suited the Reds, and the Harrier.
Not really a fan of Airliners, but Concorde was just soooooo gorgeous
Hurricane, and if anybody ever wants to offer me a Spitfire flight, I'd not turn it down.
Supermarine Scimitar - for the sole reason that my Dad used to build 'em.
For me however the fascination is not so much in getting to fly something unique, but in gettting to learn about it. So I'd love to fly and analyse any of the Lympne air race aeroplanes, and having flown two later derivatives, an original Flying Flea.
In recent years for example I got to fly an Auster and an Aeronca Chief, both with an element of flight testing about them, and both needing some days of reading into the aeroplane and preparation. That, culminating in a successful flight and a meaningful outcome is where I get my real kick. Just getting a ride isn't enough for me.
For which reason my real dream is one day to do the first flight of a completely new design, which would mean more to me that any vintage aeroplane - however much fun that is (although have flown the Cub, Stinson, Harvard, Auster, Hunter, Aeronca Chief, and a few others, so have scratched that itch to a fair extent).
Test flying homebuilt and vintage aeroplanes is one of the few things I'll normally do for free!
Concorde. Always and forever, truly, madly, deeply. (Which I don't really consider a „classic“ as it is more or less of the same vintage as the Citation I fly at work...)
And the ones that I would really want to fly in, at least once:
- Demoiselle (the only one from the really old ones that could tempt me)
- Hurricane (although I hate everything connected with the two world wars, but the Hurricane is simply a marvellous piece of engineering)
- Super Constellation (somewhere in Florida one can still get type-rated on one, maybe one day when I win the lottery...)
- Hawker Seahawk, the cutest little jet flighter (together with the Gnat maybe) ever built. Again, if I ever win the lottery, I might consider building a replica, but with a modern (quieter) engine, otherwise they won't let me fly with it.
Happy landings, max
Last edited by what next; 8th Jun 2012 at 11:55.