View Full Version : Concorde- Best Looking Aircraft Ever??

27th Oct 2003, 19:41
OK, I know there have been umpteen threads re Concorde, and although I'm firmly in the "lets keep her flying" or more plausible "at least keep the preserved examples in the UK" camps, lets forget the politics for a minute.Lets just look at the remarkable, aesthetically perfect piece of craftsmanship she is - surely the most gorgous machine thats ever flown??

Or is she??

Here are a few examples that I would rank as "good lookers", at least for the decade they were produced in and taking the merits of technology available.What do you think?
I think its hard to find a really good looking biplane- too many strings and things sticking out etc.Perhaps between 1903-1919 the Albatross DV ranks up there? a soft curving fuselage and bird like wings.
1920-1930 Hawker Fury /Nimrod - surely the epitomy of biplane elelgance.
1930-1940 Gotta be the Spitfire? a later series merlin engined one , say a mk9 with full span wings and the smaller , rounded fin.
1940-1950 Lockheed Constellation? perhaps only the podgy radial engines spoiling the otherwise perfrect contours.
1950-1960 Mmmm, a lot of jets around and so streamlining is more prolific producing better shapes. Hunter?? - still the tops for me as a perfect jet fighter shape!!
1960-1970 Saab Draken ? Boeing 707, Vigilante? Fairey Delta, TSR2?
1970-1980 Mirage III/V/2000/F1?, Hawk
1990-2000 Stealth technology with all those weird angles and shapes but I suppose there is a certain menacing grace about the F117 and B2 in the air.

I know there are loads out there, but from memory these stick out in my mind - How about you??

27th Oct 2003, 21:03

The most beautiful aircraft that ever flew. Full stop.

RIP :{

No comment
28th Oct 2003, 03:32
Stand on the ground about 20 feet in front of Concorde's nosewheel and just admire it!

If said Concorde happens to be in the air then she looks just as good from any angle.

28th Oct 2003, 13:07
I know most of this has been covered before in other threads, but that was before I registered, so here's my 2 cents (or 5, we don't have anything smaller in NZ). To make it a little more interesting (or self indulgent) I came up with a few extra categories.
Thus for your consideration I present;

Overall best looking for combining speed, grace and proportion is Concorde. Runner up after a tough decision is the SR-71 Blackbird (Hmmm, light vs dark).

Stealing HCE's categories:
1903-1919 Fokker DVII, Fokker DrI
1920-1930 Bristol Bulldog, Ford Tri-motor
1930-1940 Beech Staggerwing (possibly best looking biplane ever), and yes, Supermarine Spitfire (agreed, Mk IX is probably best looking, but Mk XIV is personal favourite for some reason).
1940-1950 FW190 D-9, F-86 Sabre (first flight '48-49 IIRC)
1950-1960 F-104 Starfighter, Buccaneer S.2, E.E Lightning F.3 or later (definitely heading for best looking rather than beautiful I think!), A-5 Vigilante, B-58 Hustler, F-8 Crusader
1960-1970 Saab Viggen, TSR.2 definitely, Yak-28 series, TU-22 Blinder, XB-70 Valkyrie
1970-1980 F-14 Tomcat, Su-27 Flanker, F-117A Nighthawk (prototype first flew '77 IIRC)
1980-1990 Saab Gripen
1990-2003 F-18 Super Hornet, Su-37 Berkut

Meanest (as in, "you look at me again and I'll come over there and kick your a@@e") looking - Mi-24 Hind 'D' or later, late '70's+ B-52H Stratofortress

Looks too pretty to be mean- F-16 Fighting Falcon, Folland Gnat/HAL Ajeet, Canberra B12.

Looking at it makes you wonder quite what the designers were thinking- P-82 Twin Mustang.

Best 'Thrust will solve all your problems' look- Mig-25 Foxbat, X-15

Most innocuous-but-not-to-be-underestimated looking- RNZAF A-4 Kahu Skyhawk (minus hump).

Most funky looking- Late Su-22 Fitter (swing wings apparently bolted on as after-thought), F 105 Thunderchief.

Most evil looking- B-1B Lancer, Anti-Flash white Avro Vulcan B.2 w/Blue Steel, shark-mouthed USAF PACAF F-4E with wall to wall AAMs.

Looked cool but wasn't really that useful from what I've heard- F-89 Scorpion, DH Venom, Tornado F.2

Least graceful looking- A10 Thunderbolt II, A-6 Intruder, Fairey Barracuda, AW Whitley.

'It just looks wrong'-Supermarine Swift, Yak 38 Forger, FMA Pucara, Mitsubishi F1, SR.53, Gloster Javelin, Boulton-Paul Defiant, any of those wierd hinged wing things NASA used to fool around with.

Doubtless more categories and contenders will come to mind about 30s after I click 'submit' (and I know, there's not a lot of civilian kit there), but right now I'm off to find a shovel and a helmet in case some of my picks are seen as a little inflammatory.


29th Oct 2003, 19:57
Hitemwiththewagner - Only one there that I'd disagree with. The Swift? Looks wrong? May I have some of what you're drinking...? :D

As for the most beautiful aircraft ever built, I'm also unable to narrow it down to one (although if REALLY pressed, I'd opt for Concorde), so I have a small list.

Concorde - sheer perfection.

Spitfire V - the classic shape, with just enough power to make it punchy. Anything after the V just doesn't quite look 'right'.

Mosquito FB VI - hard to believe something so beautiful could be so deadly.

Miles Magister - an incredibly pretty little aeroplane. A girly mate of mine once said of Hairyplane's one "Ah, it's even got pretty wellies on" :hmm:

Folland Gnat - just a gorgeous little sports car. The MG of the aviation world.

Dr Jekyll
30th Oct 2003, 05:47
The Beech Starship deserves an honourable mention at the very least, as does the Marchetti SF 260.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Oct 2003, 07:29
Concorde. Nothing else comes close.

Second in my book is the MK 1X Spitfire, but it's a fair way behind and there are lots of others crowded very close behind the Spit for the no. 3 slot.......


30th Oct 2003, 11:35
Beauman-That'll be Guiness from the tap or three fingers of neat Kahlua, chilled.
My problem with the aesthetics of the Swift is this: Planform looks great, but the swept up nose looks like it's run into something at speed, and the vertical fin looks like it belongs on another aircraft entirely. Of course this is a personal opinion and thus totally subjective.:p

Dr Jekyll- Quite right. My main interest is in military types, so I tend not to notice or forget civilian stuff.:O

31st Oct 2003, 04:49


31st Oct 2003, 17:04
Hi Beauman,

The Maggie is indeed drop dead gorgeous, as is the Miles Falcon too I reckon, but them I'm biased. Didn't Miles produce some pretty planes?

I have promised you a ride in the Maggie before, such an enthusiast needs to get airborne in it pronto. I am keen to learn from you if the flying experience blows your frock up just as much?!

PM me to organise. My pleasure. Possibly this weekend WP.


2nd Nov 2003, 22:47
Hi HP,

I've sent the PM; sorry for the delay, haven't frequented these parts for a few days.

Many thanks,


3rd Nov 2003, 00:10
Staggerwing, especially the post-war G17S, and its close rival the Waco RE series.

Anything by Stelio Frati. Well, OK, perhaps not the Canguro...

The orginal Lear Jet 23. Beech Duke.

Sea Hawk. Folland Midge, rather than Gnat. Bristol T.188. And the Vulcan with its original straight-leading-edge wing planform, in anti-flash white of course.