What aircraft do you guys think were designed "perfect" from the outset?

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Kyle Boatright

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The XB-52 had tandem seating under a canopy... (and other stuff)
IMO, the BUFF mods were tweaks, not corrections. It flew just fine with the tandem canopy but LeMay wanted SBS. So Boeing made the change. New engines? Of course you update the technology as better comes along, so as newer versions came along, they got better engines. They are close to re-engining the H's now. None of that reflects negatively on the original design.
 

Mad MAC

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The Corby Starlet seem pretty popular with its pilots.

Perhaps part of the problem is that large jumps in design accumulate risk of requiring a redesign.

Now for some tread drift how many designs have ended up with a Piper Cub derived wing (not counting cub clones), now that must have been right straight of the drawing board (or its just cheap and does the job).
 

rotax618

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What about the ubiquitous Piper J3 Cub, it has only been improved over the years as new engines and technology came available, a great airplane that has spawned many copies.
 

Doggzilla

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Ya the Cub could definitely make the list.

It was improved, but not because it was defective. The original would operate just fine today. A bit underpowered, but it would work.
 

Mark Z

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One would want to consider the paths of the Bonanza and the Cessna 210. Off the shelf the Bonanza is an all around good airplane from original design that has had few tweaks. On the other hand the 210 evolved into a pretty good airplane as the redesign took place with the “R” being most desirable but out of reasonable price range.
 

PMD

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I'm biased but the Beech Bonanza design stayed pretty much the same for something like 40 years but even the Baron fuselage version is still going 70 years later and few planes match it spec for spec in its category. There are more of them and they are still out there being flown every year than any other. Yes, engines get bigger and interiors and panels get fancier but the design stays the same. Even the Barron fuselage ones share the same lineage, landing gear, controls, wing pretty much, yadda... If we are talking a design series that was gotten right at first and stayed that way then it has to be included. Those that are going to say doctor killer really haven't looked into the record.
Surely you jest! Among the most flawed designs in aviation was the original V35. Wings tore off because of the sharp stress concentration at the gear bay and lack of sufficient leading edge skin thickness and/or nose ribs. Killed a lot of people from the single spar horizontal stab (easily fixed by the IIRC Smith STC, but ignored for many years by Beech). Won't even to near the -95 shedding wings and the -18 shedding wings...geez, see the pattern?

Yes, I too am biased as a long time -18 owner - but not blinded. Beech designs almost single handedly created the world of the LLL (Legal Liability Lottery) that pretty much destroyed the genav industry on this continent.
 

wsimpso1

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There are no rules per se against thread drift, and the moderators have not been deleting posts or taking actions against it. I personally have an objection to thread drift as the Title and the topic under discussion become less and less related, and that interferes with using the collected wisdom of hba.com as a reference, locating specific topics, etc. So, I comment on Thread Drift, but only as a member. Since this OP does not mind and even encouraged thread drift, so be it.

Billski
 

Jay Kempf

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Good on you for -18 ownership. That is true masochism. I salute you.

But I don't jest. Not blinded either but the record is long. From what I can ascertain most of the reputation comes from steaming downhill significantly past redline in ILS conditions. But I am not the librarian of such things. 17,000ish were built over 70 years. Not sure how many still flying but A LOT. So how did so many people sneak through the fatal design flaws you describe? I am not disputing the things you describe. Even the Vtail cuff and increased skin thickness only helped past redline. But it was a hotrod when it was new and really still is. Now it is a well known entity and all that own them know to fly them by the numbers or else it is your peril. Add the cuffs and inspect for corrosion always and they just keep on keepin on. They are old now but still good or great airplanes. Those that love them love them. Those that don't don't. I liken it to the holding the same place in the airplane world that my 928 holds in the sportscar world. Timeless, still relevant, still stands up, still serviceable. That is the definition of a game changing design.

I concur on the Stelio Frati Falco vote!
 

wsimpso1

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I'm biased but the Beech Bonanza design stayed pretty much the same for something like 40 years but even the Baron fuselage version is still going 70 years later and few planes match it spec for spec in its category. There are more of them and they are still out there being flown every year than any other. Yes, engines get bigger and interiors and panels get fancier but the design stays the same. Even the Barron fuselage ones share the same lineage, landing gear, controls, wing pretty much, yadda... If we are talking a design series that was gotten right at first and stayed that way then it has to be included. Those that are going to say doctor killer really haven't looked into the record.
Sorry Jay.

The Bonanza design tail was quickly found to be too small during early test flights and was enlarged once, more enlargements came both from the field and eventually from Beech. The initial area add was made by extending the leading edge of the stab forward. The early production versions had a tendency to shed tails and otherwise break up in flight to fatal results. Beech attempted to write these accidents off to exceeding Vne and other hot dogging, but then one came back after doing an uncommanded loop from level flight with the leading edge of the stab bent up. Aftermarket mods to add a forward spar on the stab became popular and Beech eventually made that the production version, but not without government prodding. The V tail was undersize from the drawing board and from early production with inadequate structure from the drawing board, from initial production, and even from later production.

Then there were the wing weaknesses with fatal results that needed to be changed.

Nope, Bonanza ended up right only after multiple changes were implemented, many initiated from the field, not from the design team.

As to the twins spawned from the Bonanza, inadequate single engine capability (called the Twin Bonanza) with the original tail is a significant flaw while later versions (renamed Baron) corrected with enough vertical tail area.

What was it with Beech and undersized and underbuilt tailplanes?

Billski
 

Jay Kempf

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OK, I'll yield. I totally agree with the tail "becoming" inadequate, but my version of that is the onset of people wanting more engine and increase gross weight and it was quickly inadequate. The fix added all the area 7" of chord in front of the spar. Early tails Bonanzas seem to do fine over the long term as long as VNE is obeyed. I know about the stress riser issue but not the numbers involved also many corrosion related issues. In fact I don't have a good source for the numbers of all categories of incidents. Have to find better sources. Have no interest in the twins. My ex boss had a B55. Seemed solid for what it was at $.5M...
 

bmcj

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Columban Cri Cri?

Beech Staggerwing? Yes, it did grow to include retracts and bigger engines.

Howard DGA-15?

I know some might argue the last two on issues of pilot visibility and ground handling of taildraggers, but that was the norm in its day.
 

Elmog

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The C-17 has never had a crash due to a design issue. One was lost near Elmendorf AF base in Alaska due to hotdogging by the captain before an air show. There were issues in development (wing spar mod) but has proved to be an extremely reliable aircraft since. I might be a bit biased after working on the aircraft for 15 years...
 

MadRocketScientist

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Columban Cri Cri?

Beech Staggerwing? Yes, it did grow to include retracts and bigger engines.

Howard DGA-15?

I know some might argue the last two on issues of pilot visibility and ground handling of taildraggers, but that was the norm in its day.
The CriCri airframe is pretty much spot on, the engines not so much....
 

bmcj

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The C-17 has never had a crash due to a design issue. One was lost near Elmendorf AF base in Alaska due to hotdogging by the captain before an air show. There were issues in development (wing spar mod) but has proved to be an extremely reliable aircraft since. I might be a bit biased after working on the aircraft for 15 years...
Hey, a fellow club member... I worked as an engineer on the C-17 (for McDonnell-Douglas at the Long Beach office) during design and first prototype build.

:beer:
 
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