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Most Beautiful Aircraft Ever Built

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malte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
80
Location
Flensburg / Germany
I don't think aircraft beauty is a competetive sport. But very beautiful aircraft in my book are:

Big guys
Focke Wulff Condor:
1601295440091.png

Dornier 26:
1601295503414.png
1601295526858.png
Grumman Goose:
1601296140095.png
Blohm & Voss 238:
1601296410768.png


Medium guys
Saunders-Roe SR.A/1:
1601296494560.png




Small guys
Of course the MJ-2 Tempête:
1601295849989.png
1601295978338.png
Jodel D9:
1601295570455.png
Electric CriCri:
1601295663691.png
 

Twodeaddogs

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
989
Location
Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
Oh No. Lightnings were a pile of doo-doo. They went fast but had no range worth a **** and their stacked engine layout was appalling for access and maintenance and they ate tyres and brakes. I knew a guy that worked on them and he thought he was having a great time until he moved onto other aircraft and realised how bad the Lightnings were in terms of access, ease of removal of parts and the amount of manhours per flight hour. Pilots loved them, as they were the sports car of their day, but they had a very high casualty rate. Sorry,just no.
 

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
8,606
Location
North Carolina
They weren't designed for range, or ease of maintenance. They were designed as very, very fast interceptors. They were very good at it. The UK needed something that could react very fast to threats. They weren't beaten in time to altitude until the Mig 25 and F15 came along. They could still intercept aircaft that the F15 could not, like Concorde and the 'untouchable' U2 at max altitude, which they liked to come down on...
They did their design mission pretty well. It was not lazy touring...
Performance figures were kept secret, so we only have delayed anecdotes to go on.
 

joolkano

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
24
Location
New Jersey
Stelio Frati designed gorgeous planes. Here are some of his beautiful designed airplanes. F8L Falco, Siai Marchetti (SF-260), General Avia F-22 Pinguino, Jet Squalus & an Ultra Light, The Passero (Sparrow).
 

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Twodeaddogs

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
989
Location
Dunlavin, County Wicklow,Ireland
They weren't designed for range, or ease of maintenance. They were designed as very, very fast interceptors. They were very good at it. The UK needed something that could react very fast to threats. They weren't beaten in time to altitude until the Mig 25 and F15 came along. They could still intercept aircaft that the F15 could not, like Concorde and the 'untouchable' U2 at max altitude, which they liked to come down on...
They did their design mission pretty well. It was not lazy touring...
Performance figures were kept secret, so we only have delayed anecdotes to go on.
As one pilot said, a Lightning was a fuel emergency from take off. Which is why it got a bigger belly tank and the overwing tanks. No point in being the fastest kid on the block if you can't actually sustain the mission when you get there. Nice to fly, provided it didnt set itself on fire or run out of fuel but too much down time lost because it was so hard to work on. It tried to be what the F-4 actually achieved. Apart from that, it's ugly. A Mirage III,now there's a classy gal...
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
5,174
Location
US
I think all the military "point designs" of the 50s and 60s are very interesting. The designers had serious constraints (limited engine thrust and high specific fuel consumption) and "must achieve" goals that were seen as possibly critical to national survival. The BAC Lighting, Avro Vulcan, all the Century Series planes (of these, arguably the F-100 was an exception and more well rounded/multirole than the rest), the B-58, and certainly the Soviet Yak-28 and others that looked like spaceships. Some were more beautiful than others, but they were all exquisite expressions of the very focused intent of their designers.
 
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Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,388
Location
USA.

jvliet

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2019
Messages
16
How about the Italian Piaggio-Pegna PC.7 ?? Often described as "the most beautiful airplane that never flew", it was built to compete in the 1929 Schneider Trophy race for seaplanes.
2015_0812as.jpg
For increased speed, the designer eliminated the bulky floats as seen on other racing seaplanes. At rest, it floated on its fuselage. To take off, the clutch to the rear (water) prop was engaged, and the aircraft would rise out of the water on its hydrofoils. When the front (air) prop was clear of the water, its clutch was engaged and the aircraft would lift off.

However, many attempts to fly the aircraft ended in failure - it could not get off the water. There were two fundamental design faults - one minor and one major - that made this concept unworkable. The side view below gives a strong hint... let's see if anyone can guess what these design faults were...
piaggio-pegna_pc7_photo1.jpeg
 

Speedboat100

Banned
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
1,466
Location
Europe
How about the Italian Piaggio-Pegna PC.7 ?? Often described as "the most beautiful airplane that never flew", it was built to compete in the 1929 Schneider Trophy race for seaplanes.
View attachment 102423
For increased speed, the designer eliminated the bulky floats as seen on other racing seaplanes. At rest, it floated on its fuselage. To take off, the clutch to the rear (water) prop was engaged, and the aircraft would rise out of the water on its hydrofoils. When the front (air) prop was clear of the water, its clutch was engaged and the aircraft would lift off.

However, many attempts to fly the aircraft ended in failure - it could not get off the water. There were two fundamental design faults - one minor and one major - that made this concept unworkable. The side view below gives a strong hint... let's see if anyone can guess what these design faults were...
View attachment 102425

Long rudder in water. Prevents rotation.

No visibility.
 
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