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Ltlabner
11-16-2006, 08:12 PM
What is your favorite aircraft? I'll split it up into categories to try to keep it manageable. Don't get too hung up on them as I know many modern millitary aircraft are multi-role platforms. Just go with what the aircraft is mostly known for.

1) Millitary - WWII
Fighter
Bomber
Other

2) Millitary - Jet Age
Fighter
Bomber
Ground Attack
Navy aircraft
Other

3) Commercial Aircraft

4) General Aviation

Ltlabner
11-16-2006, 08:21 PM
Here are mine....

1) Millitary - WWII
Fighter - Torn between ME-109 and Hawker Hurricane
Bomber - Flying Fortress
Other - Always had a soft spot for the Feisler Storch (sp?), not sure why

2) Millitary - Jet Age
Fighter - F4, Mig 21
Bomber - B-52
Ground Attack - Toss up between A10 and A-1 Skyraider (finally got to see one fly at Oshkosh 2005)
Navy aircraft - A6 Intruder
Other - Mi-24 (just one mean looking chopper)

3) Commercial Aircraft - No question, B727. One classy lady.

4) General Aviation - no preference

paintmered
11-16-2006, 11:49 PM
1) Millitary - WWII
Fighter - so many famous aircraft to choose from here from both sides of the war. It's hard to limit it to a single aircraft. The Supermarine Spitfire with its elliptical wing, the P-51D. The P-38 produced the biggest American aces of the war and the P-47 was the workhorse that could take a beating. They are all beautiful planes. Then, of course there's the Me-262 which has an absolutely fascinating story associated with it. If you are a fan of the Me-262, I recommend picking up a copy of "American Raiders" by Wolfgang Samuel.

Bomber - the B-17. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have the fully restored Memphis Belle in my backyard. There are three remaining B-17 combat veterans in the world and the USAF Museum now has two of them.

Other - the C-47, which was the Air Corps designator for the DC-3. It's as classic of an airplane as there ever will be.

2) Millitary - Jet Age

Fighter - F-15C. "Not a pound for air to ground." Also, the F-22 is simply a freak of an aircraft.

Bomber - B-52 if only for its longevity and its ability to adapt to new roles. 50+ years and still going strong.

Ground Attack - A-10. It's a really huge gun with wings, not the other way around.

Navy aircraft - eh, I'm an Air Force guy. I guess I'll say the F-4 just because it was originally a naval aircraft.

Other - SR-71. The world's first low observable aircraft, it's just that nobody really knew it at the time. Oh, and it was fast and sleek and grew a foot when at Mach 3.2. Honorable mention to the C-17.

3) Commercial Aircraft

I'm a fan of the heavies, so the 747-400. But on a side note, I flew on a 737-800 today. That is one nice airplane.

4) General Aviation

This:

http://barnstormers.ws/images/waco.jpg

RedsFan75
11-16-2006, 11:58 PM
1) Millitary - WWII
Fighter - Chance Vought F4U Corsair
Bomber - Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Other - How can it not be... Douglas C-47 Skytrain

2) Millitary - Jet Age (harder choices here for me..)
Fighter - Going to go with the F86 Sabre Jet or the F105D
Bomber - Always loved the Vulcan, but the B-52 is hard to beat
Ground Attack - The A-10. Try tracking one of those things with targeting radar!!!!!!!
Navy aircraft - A6 Intruder
Other - Agreed with ltlAbner Mi-24 Hind

3) Commercial Aircraft - Hmmm... I'll take the Concorde. :)

4) General Aviation - Hard to beat the Cessna 172

Nugget
11-17-2006, 05:16 AM
1) Military WWII
Fighter - Mustang
Bomber - Lancaster
Other - Dakota

2) Military - Jet
Fighter - F-14
Bomber - B1-B Lancer
Ground Attack - Strike Eagle
Navy - After F14 - the EA-6B
Other - F-111

3) Commercial - 777

4) General - DHC-2 Beaver

RedsBaron
11-17-2006, 06:11 AM
I'm not a pilot, nor have I ever been in the military, so in a way I feel unqualified to even express an opinion on this topic....but I will anyway.
Military-WWII
Fighter--P-51D Mustang. This was the most versatile, best around fighter of the war, the fighter that did so much to make the daylight bombing campaign over Germany a success. It is also arguably both the "prettiest" and the deadliest fighter of the war. Finally, it was the plane of Chuck Yeager-'enuff said!
Bomber--B-17 Flying Fortress. Obviously the B-29 was the superior bomber, but the Flying Fort is my favorite.
Other--pretty much any of the seaplanes of the era

Military-Jet
Fighter--Either the F-86 Sabre, our first great jet fighter; or the F-15 Eagle in all its various forms, our most ever dominant fighter to date; or the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which seems to be a great dogfighter in the traditional sense.
Bomber--B-52. The "BUFF" arguably is the most amazing, most adapatable plane ever. It is as if a car built 50+ years ago was the winner of this year's Indy 500 or as if Mickey Mantle, at age 75, had won this year's triple crown.
Ground attack--A-10 Warthog
Navy aircraft-- F-14 Tomcat
Other--SR-71 Blackbird and the Apache helicopter and the Harrier

Ravenlord
11-17-2006, 06:11 AM
i'm more of an arms geek than an aircraft geek, though i've always been fascinated by the P-38 Lightning. A-10's and Super Cobras are probably my favorite 'modern' aircraft though.

Ltlabner
11-17-2006, 08:59 AM
Bomber - the B-17. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have the fully restored Memphis Belle in my backyard. There are three remaining B-17 combat veterans in the world and the USAF Museum now has two of them.

Paint, Wright Pat got the Memphis Belle? When in the world did this happen?

The Buttler County Regional Airport here locally had a little mini-airshow some years back. It was fantastic. Had flying P47, P51 and Corsairs. Did a bunch of fly-bys going flat out. Hearing that radial engine bliss, going full tilt....almost orgasmic.

They also had in a B17. It was supposed to fly but they blew up a fuel pump or something and had to scrap it. I did get to see the engine start up and got a bunch of pics.

They even had a Vampire. One of those jets from that wacky Post WWII-Korea phase when jets sorta got..out there. Remember the Cuttlas? Anyway, the Vampire is sorta like a P38 except it has a jet engine on the back of the pilots naccelle. Definatley different.

Roy Tucker
11-17-2006, 09:07 AM
) Millitary - WWII
Fighter - I've gots lots of favorites from this era, but I finally went with the P-51 Mustang. Pleasing to look at (as much as a warplane can be), turned like a bandit, and fast as all get out. I also like the P-47 Thunderbolt because it was such a heavy-duty plane (and fast, could break the sound barrier in a dive). The twin-boom P-38 Lightning was one of my favorite planes to look at. I always liked the "Flying Tiger" version of the P-40 Warhawk. Liked the gull-wing F4U Corsair and the wicked looked P-61 Black Widow night fighter. On the enemy side, the German ME-109 and the ME-262 jet and the Japanese A6U Zero. I built a lot of models as a kid.
Bomber - I'll have to go with the B-29 Superfortress, the first really modern bomber (cost more to develop than the Manhattan Project). I liked the twin-engine B-25 Mitchell too as an agile and fast light bomber. The B-17 Flying Fortress truly was that, the plane could absorb an enormormous amount of punishment.
Other - It was a lousy plane, but the TBD-1 Devastator was the plane that Torpedo Squadron 8 flew at Midway. If you don't know the story of these brave men, go look it up.

2) Millitary - Jet Age
Fighter - I liked the swept-wing F-86 from the Korean War and the F-4 Phantom II and the F-111 from the Vietnam War era. But the modern day F-15 is probably my favorite. Such a versatile and superior fighter. Hard to believe it first flew in 1972. The F-16 Flying Falcon and Mig-25 Foxbat deserves mention too. A little further back in the Cold War era, the F-101 Voodoo, the F-102 Delta Dagger, and the F-104 Starfighter.
Bomber - Yeah, I'll go with the B-52 as well. It's been such a cornerstone of American military aviation for over 50 years now and such a classic design. I did like the B-36 bomber, the largest piston engine bomber ever. And the B-47 Stratojet just because I thought it looked cool.
Ground Attack - Like paint said, the A-10 Warthog is a flying munitions platform and and can withstand an ungodly amount of punishment.
Navy aircraft - The F-14 Tomcat, mostly because of Top Gun.
Other - F-117 Stealth fighter.

3) Commercial Aircraft - I've always liked to fly in the Boeing 747. The 737 is a nice plane too. I like the Canadair Regional Jet CRJ since its like I'm in my own personal Lear jet.

4) General Aviation - I'll just mention the C-47/DC-3 because of its longevity. I also liked the WWI era SPAD and Fokker Dr.1 fighters.

dman
11-17-2006, 09:09 AM
Military WWII:
Fighter - Grumman F6F Hellcat/Focke-Wulf FW-190/P-51C Mustang, P-47 T-Bolt, F4U Corsair (tie)
Bomber - Consolidated B-24 Liberator/B-17G Flying Fortress/B-29 Superfortress (tie)
Other - Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina

Military Jet:
Fighter: F-4E Phantom/F-15E Strike Eagle/SU-27 Flanker (3 way tie)
Bomber - Obvious choice, the BUFF (B-52)
Ground Attack - A-7 Corsair II
Navy: F-14 Tomcat/F-8 Crusader/F-9F Panther (another 3 way tie)
Other: KC-135R Stratotanker

Commercial: Tie between the Boeing 727, 757, and Lockheed Constellation

General Aviation: Beechcraft King Air 350

Like Roy, I could go with several others as Honorable Mentions:

WWII: TBF Avenger, B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder
Korea: F-84 Thunderstreak/Thunderjet
Vietnam/Cold War: F-101 Voodoo, F-100 Super Sabre, and the B-36 Peacemaker
Modern: F-16, MiG 29, F/A-18

I'm really impressed with the performance of the up to date warplanes like the F-22, F-117, B-2, and the JSF, but those aircraft just don't do it for me like the aircraft of old. Military aircraft now just don't have that elegance and grace about them the way older ones did.

Ltlabner
11-17-2006, 09:16 AM
) Other - It was a lousy plane, but the TBD-1 Devastator was the plane that Torpedo Squadron 8 flew at Midway. If you don't know the story of these brave men, go look it up.

Roy, I've always had a soft spot for some of those WWII Navy aircraft like the Devistator, Dautless and Avenger. Nice Stuff.

But you are right, the Devistator ranks right up there with the Brewster Buffalo, Fairey Battle and the Boulton-Paul Defiant as craptastic aircraft of WWII.

RedsFan75
11-17-2006, 10:16 AM
Roy, I've always had a soft spot for some of those WWII Navy aircraft like the Devistator, Dautless and Avenger. Nice Stuff.

But you are right, the Devistator ranks right up there with the Brewster Buffalo, Fairey Battle and the Boulton-Paul Defiant as craptastic aircraft of WWII.

If you're talking craptastic, we can't leave out the P39-AirCobra

This is the one with the engine behind the pilot and the propeller shaft running between his legs.

paintmered
11-17-2006, 10:37 AM
Paint, Wright Pat got the Memphis Belle? When in the world did this happen?


They acquired her maybe two years ago. While on display in Memphis, she fell into really horrible condition because she was displayed outside. There was also some vandalism done to her. Really sad stuff considering how iconic she is to American history.

So they moved her to the USAF Museum where she is currently undergoing a full restoration. It's going to be a few more years before she's back on public display since there's plenty of work to be done. They have behind-the-scenes restoration tours you can go on if you want to see her in her current state. The museum used to offer these tours maybe once or twice a month. But after acquiring the Belle, they do these tours at least weekly now due to public demand.

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-060414-003.jpg

For more information on these tours, go here: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/education/tours.asp

dman
11-17-2006, 10:45 AM
They acquired her maybe two years ago. While on display in Memphis, she fell into really horrible condition because she was displayed outside. There was also some vandalism done to her. Really sad stuff considering how iconic she is to American history.

So they moved her to the USAF Museum where she is currently undergoing a full restoration. It's going to be a few more years before she's back on public display since there's plenty of work to be done. They have behind-the-scenes restoration tours you can go on if you want to see her in her current state. The museum used to offer these tours maybe once or twice a month. But after acquiring the Belle, they do these tours at least weekly now due to public demand.

They also have the original Hanoi Taxi C-141 that they will be working on for display. The USAF Museum is such a phenominal place. I go 3-4 time per year and there is always something different each time I go. Best tourist attraction in Ohio IMO.

Redsland
11-17-2006, 12:43 PM
1) Millitary - WWII
Fighter: P-38 Lightning - A little die-cast one of these was my first toy plane.

Bomber: B-17 Flying Fortress - Before the P-51 hit the scene, these babies had to fight and claw their way to Germany and out again. Because of them, it was riskier to work in a German ball bearing plant than it is to be a Tel Aviv bus driver.

Other: F6F Hellcat - Anything with a name like "Hellcat" deserves a shoutout.

2) Millitary - Jet Age

Fighter: F-16 Fighting Falcon - It's the whole package; fast, maneuverable, and lethal. Plus it's a bargain. You can literally buy 10 of them for the price of one F-22. ($18.8 mil vs. $187.3 mil)

Bomber: B-1 Lancer - Looks great on the flightline, and when the four engines go to afterburner, they rip and tear at the air and fling it backward with absolute contempt.

Ground Attack: A-10 Thunderbolt - One of these was doing a tactical demonstration as I entered my first air show. It was mesmerizing to watch this ugly thing twist and turn so effortlessly (and so slowly!).

Navy aircraft: F-14 Tomcat - The scariest-looking plane since its predecessor the Phantom. Fast and powerful.

Other: The F-117A - Conceived and built in total secrecy and made invisible to radar by little more than American ingenuity.

3) Commercial Aircraft: DC-3 - My grandfather told me wonderful stories about the dawn of commercial aviation and the flying palaces that were DC-3s. I try not to think about these stories when I'm sitting in a CRJ.

4) General Aviation: Cessna 152 - The only plane I've personally commanded.