First: Pan-Am Boeing 707 less than 1 year.
First I can remember: Hughes Airwest McDonald Douglas DC-9 age 4 ("banananananana plane")
First non-commercial: custom designed and home built - mostly fiberglass - 1 off designed, built and flown by a Boeing engineer. when I was age 7.
For me, a new 1953 Piper Tri-pacer in 1953. The young pilot of 18 years old just received the tri-pacer from his grandfather for a high school graduation gift . He joined the Air Force a few months latter and flew B-52's until he retired. He ended up giving me my instrument and commercial ratings.
Today the Tri-pacer is still in the area.
By 'fly in" to me means get to wiggle the controls. The rest is just a ride.
First was a Cessna 172 when I was about 10 that cost my father $20 for the flight. I'm not any more impressed with the 172 now then I was then.
The next was a PA-12 when I was 23. Ratty old patched together trainer that is still my personal standard for how a plane should fly.
I was about 3 1/2 years old on dads lap in a J3-CUB when I first remember feeling the air over the stick. Dad said I soloed his Cub at age 9. Most all my flight time from 9 on is a big blurr because of all the spray planes we had through out the years. Soloed in 150 Cessna in MN at age 17
I am told my first ride was in some kind of biplane but I don't know if I even believe that. First memory (other than airline DC-3 with a nightmare plane change at Midway field, IL) was my uncle's Ercoupe at age 8.
The best memory, however, is the shiny aluminum toy helicopter I got from my aunt for (I think) my third birthday. It was part of my former avatar. My first thought was that it was too heavy and it would be difficult to make it fly.
First real flight as a student pilot was age 15 in a Cessna 140.
Too young to remember earlier flights, but I do have some memory of riding in my grandfather’s DC-3.
Had my share of stick time since then in various planes (mostly planes my grandfather owned). Later, I worked cutting neighbors lawns or worked at the airport helping run the gas pumps and flight school desk. I used that money to pay for lessons in Art Scholl’s old J-3. My instructor was retired Air Force and didn’t see the point of me doing 4 more years of dual only, so he stepped out and had me do my solo at 12 years old. It was just me, the plane, and lots of cushions under and behind me. Of course, my ‘official solo’ was some years later.
First flights in airplanes would be PanAm and TWA 707's in the early 60's at under 2 years old. I still remember staring out the window for hours, mesmerized, and wondering why the inboard engine on the 707 had that elephant trunk on top of the nacelle.
My other earliest memories are being fascinated by the shade of indigo blue on the taxiway lights at Los Angeles Airport, 1960's. Western Airlines Convair 580's with the dark red and white "Indian Chief" logo and those art deco thin stripes running down the fuselage. Funny how you remember those useless details 55 years later. Anything with that shade of blue immediately takes me back.
First turn at the controls of an airplane would be in the right seat of the Tallmantz B-25 based out of Orange County Airport, long before it was John Wayne Airport. Within a couple of months, my second shot at the controls was when my cousin, the family stoner, rented a 150 without my parents' knowledge, risking absolute certain death if they ever found out. Despite a bunch of other s**t, I owe you for that, Marshall.
de Havilland Devon/Dove when a school air cadet aged 15.
Next flight was full aerobatics in T6 Texan which was called a Harvard here.Then took a trial flight in Cessna and was not really keen so did not take it up again until 45 years later in light sport.