Most Beautiful Aircraft Ever Built

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Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2009
Northern California
Military Corsairs are absolutely beautiful. To this day, the only art contest I have won involved a drawing of a Corsair and I contend that it was the subject matter and not my "skill" as an artist that won me the award.

Hands down, although I have always had a particular fondness for F-4 Phantoms. This is simply due to the squadron of them that used to fly over my childhood home. I have two things I regularly blame for my addiction to aircraft. The first is Burt Rutan (and I have told him this) and the second is the cadre of F-4 pilots from the 181st Tactical Fighter Squadron from the mid-1980s. The fact that Rutan had a lot to do with working the bugs out of the F-4 does not escape me either.
I agree. It's our childhood loves that bring back the fondest memories :smile:

I've always had a soft spot for F7F Tigercats, because there was (and still is) a Department of Forestry Air Tanker base at my local airport, and a number of F7F's--with retardant drop tanks--used to be based there. Every summer in my youth (mid 60's to mid '70s) these planes would fly at treetop level over my house on a regular basis on their way to a fire. There ain't nothing like the roar of twin 2100HP Pratt & Whitney's up close:

During particularly large fires, B-17's, B-24's, and other at-that-time surplus aircraft that had been converted to drop retardant joined the fire fight. A number of us local kids would spend most of the day at the airport watching them land, reload with retardant, and stagger back into the air off the too-short runway. The wheels would leave the ground just about the time the pavement ran out. D**m those pilots were good. The CDF air tanker base is still there, and a couple of S-2 Air Tankers and an OV-10 Bronco spotter are based there now.

Better still, that airport (KGOO) is only about 25 miles from Beale AFB, the home base of the SR-71 and the U-2, long ago. Highway 20 runs just north of the Beale runway, and I drove it often as a young college student. I remember numerous occasions when I'd spot one on final and modulate my speed (not much traffic on that road back then) so it would pass a hundred feet or so over my motorcycle. God that plane was gorgeous; even more so in the air:

It's clear to me that my lifelong struggle with an aviation addiction is due to being exposed to such things at too tender an age.
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Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
Warren, VT USA
Very nice looks. I know it's a racing plane but I wonder about its rudder authority... maybe racers can always land into wind??
It was a dedicated reno racer. That means it is treated like a Thoroughbred. Those things are such spare designs. The Push Kat was I think the first one to push the envelope of what two fixed wheels means... It had a retract nose wheel. Some cried fowl but it was faaaaast. Could have been faster if the engine was gotten out farther behind the wing I think. The original had a shrouded prop and the rudder and elevator were just movable parts of the duct trailing edge. Talk about minimalist.


Well-Known Member
May 29, 2012
North America
Oh yeah, and notice the tiny canard on this later version. CG issues? :)

A more Gentlemanly version of the Pushy, with tip or inboard rudders; would make for a fast single place commuter (one hour legs @ 4 gallon per hour fuel). Capable of short field operations (< 1000). 220mph with 100hp Turbo engine.

I'm thinking to get the slow stall speeds we'll need a design like yours Jay.



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