What was the first airplane you flew in and how old ?

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Kyle Boatright

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A distant cousin took me up in his Aeronca Champ when I was about 4. Then his dad gave me (us) a ride in his C-172.

My main memory is how loud the Champ was.
Thinking about this today, back in 1969 or 1970, when I took that ride, the Champ was mentioned as an "old" airplane. It would have been about 25 years old. My RV is >20 now, and I don't consider it old at all.

How times change.
 

Derswede

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First flight was in a Tri-Pacer. Father got hired by a Beech sales FBO and his commuter was a Debonaire. Thought that was a class bird. First time in a Tail dragger was N11733, Monocoupe D-145. Though there may have been a Champ and a J-3 back there somewhere. Most FUN flight? 110 Special N15E, now in the museum in Oshkosh. I was NOT allowed to fly it, and I hated it when my dad came back from Tamiami on a commercial flight without it, but with a big check in his pocket. He would go out and beat up the sky for awhile in the "Coupe. I thought that was about as cool as one could get.

Derswede
 

mcrae0104

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Not my first flight, but some memorable ones have been:

172, sometime in my thirties - first time in a GA aircraft, with my recently-divorced buddy whose ex-wife had forbidden him to fly. He chose wisely. That flight is the reason I eventually got my PPL. When you've only experienced the "human mailing tube," the sense of freedom you get from GA flying is unbelievable. I envy you guys who experienced this earlier in life.

747, around the same time. I'm so glad I got to experience the "queen of the skies" on a number of international flights before they were relegated to freight. Magnificent airplane. It's magical to walk laps around the cabin in the middle of the night and occasionally look down and see the inky Pacific Ocean 30,000 feet below in the moonlight. It's mind-blowing when you really start thinking about the fact that you're rocketing through the sky at six or seven hundred miles and hour, miles above the ocean, thousands of miles from any shore... Once, with a healthy tailwind, our groundspeed was greater than the speed of sound. That's kinda fun.

787. Really marvelous machine in terms of passenger experience. The bigger windows and electrochromic glass make the flight quite unlike the average aluminum tube. Also it's really fun to watch those wings rise and flex as you take off. Feels almost like the structure is a living, breathing creature.

Citabria. Before starting my PPL training, my friend (and later CFI) put me in the front seat of a Citabria. I think he did it to make sure I got hooked and would start flight training. It worked. I tried to do my primary training in it, but insurance requirements dictated otherwise. I need to get back into one!

S35 Bonanza. My 172 friend above got serious with another girl. He really wanted a Bonanza, and she told him he better go for it before they got married and had kids and he got too busy (yeah, she's a keeper). I rode along in the back seat while he did his transition training. The first day, we did a lap from KBJC to Steamboat, then Shivley Field in WY, back down to Rifle (western CO), then over Leadville, alongside the fourteeners of the Collegiate Range, down south to the Royal Gorge (Canyon City), and back home. These are all places I love to go, but they're each a day trip by car. I'd never covered so much ground in a GA plane, so it was a real eye-opener about what a moderately-fast GA plane can do for you.

Back to a 172, first solo. Well, let's face it, it's an unremarkable plane, but it sure was fun to see how much better it climbs without the CFI in the right seat. I bet a lot of you guys have good solo stories to tell. After that, my first passenger was my friend who first took me up in a 172--it was a great bookend to the chapter of my start in aviation.
 

wktaylor

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OK guys... to elaborate on my a-little-too-brief comment #30...

"Piper Cub, 4-months old, Edwards AFB flying club, in Mom's arms."

Dad was flying... he was one of the few 'AAF/AF fighter pilots' that could actually fly the cub safely [oddly, most WWII era fighter pilots had never even sat in one]… and it would have been early spring 1953. DANG.
 

Yellowhammer

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One time a friend of mine started a local flight school. Ask me and a couple others if we would give free rides for the grand opening for the week end. Flew 8 hours on Saturday and had a great time. Took a 87 year old man for his first airplane ride and always let whoever that was in the right seat of the Cherokee to put their hands on the yoke for a while. Just a short flight in a large pattern. The flight school advertised free airplane rides in the local newspaper and radio station. We were overwhelmed to say the least. After about flying 6 hours on Sunday, I was so tired, I had to quit. Always a line of at least 30+ people . About the time I quit, 6 or 7 of other pilots got their airplane out of the hangers and managed to give everyone a ride before dark. I give 187 different people rides for that weekend.

Thats big time!
 

Pops

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Don't know how it could have been more unless I had more seats. No time lost.
 

oldguyflier

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12. Lived on farm in New Mexico, 3 miles from ex-US ARMY field. On Saturdays I would walk across the desert to sweep sand out of the hangars all morning for about 15-20 minutes in a J3.

There were three Fairchild trainers abandoned behind the line of hangars. Watched them rot away.
 

oldguyflier

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12. Lived on farm in New Mexico, 3 miles from ex-US ARMY field. On Saturdays I would walk across the desert to sweep sand out of the hangars all morning for about 15-20 minutes in a J3.

There were three Fairchild trainers abandoned behind the line of hangars. Watched them rot away.
Sorry - brain fart: Ryan trainers (PT-22)
 

PTAirco

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First ride : DC8 from Cologne to Las Palmas, Mallorca in the Med. My parents won a vacation in a TV lottery in 1974! First time at the controls: K 13 glider, Dublin, Ireland in 1984. Lousy weather, 2500 ' aerotow and 15 minute sled rides back down. I don't think thermals visit Ireland. Ever.
 

Tinbuzzard

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First ride: North Central Airlines DC3 from Madison, Wis to Chicago at age 4. First time at the controls: Cessna 150 orientation flight. It was part of an aviation elective course offered by my high school for a few years in the early seventies.
 

Vigilant1

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First flight I remember: I've got a vague recollection of being on an airliner when I was about 5, so this would have been in the in the mid 1960s. I got the wings and got to visit the cockpit and a crewmember (flight engineer?) told me about the plane. Probably a 707.

Giant thrill: There was a small helicopter (bubble enclosure, probably a Bell 47) that gave short rides at the county fair. It was pricey--probably about $25 in about 1970, and that was more money than it cost our whole family to go the fair. I wanted badly to go in that helicopter, but I don't think I even asked my dad, it was way out of reach. But I'd watch it fly until my folks dragged me away. About the third year it was there out of the blue my dad suggested that we take a ride. I remember it very clearly, swooping up over the parking lot, dashing low over the nearby golf course, etc. It was magic, even better than I'd imagined it would be (and I'd been building it up in my mind for years).
 
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Dan Riffe

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Answering as asked, the 1929 Ford Tri-motor at the '66 Rockford Fly-in, which would make it about 37 years old, at the time.

Got to meet and a photo of Steve Wittman, who flew in that morning from Oshkosh, landing as we watched, dressed in wool dress trousers, with braces and a long-sleeve, white dress shirt and dress oxfords. With his wire-rimmed glasses, he looked as adventurous as your accountant. Patiently signed autographs seemingly forever.

Still remember the steep climb up the inclined cabin floor, from the entry door, pulling myself along, toward the cockpit, by gripping the seat backs of the woven-wicker-over-steel-tubing passenger seats. Sat about 3 rows from front, window, left, and so had a commanding view of the left P&W and the co-pilot. Pilot really laid it up on the left wing in his turns, allowing you to appreciate that, as you looked out the window, straight down at the ground, you were suspended in a chair reminiscent of Grandmother's picnic basket, only stronger, you hoped. The effectiveness of the Ford's soundproofing was such that after a couple of turns 'round the pattern, when you exited back to real-life, you were pretty much done with hearing much of anything very well, for the rest of the afternoon.

A pretty good first-time for a 15 year old Hoosier kid.
 

wiloows5050

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I was 11 years old and had to sit on a phone book. Cessna 150. My instructor who took me through to my pp, I found out later was in vmf214. He call me up just before my check ride and ask me to come to the flight center to meet someone. My dad (navy pilot ww2), and my instructor were sitting at a table with another person who happened to be Pappy Boyington.
 

Frank Stark

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Piper Tripacer, around 1957 with my Dad and my uncle, (Charles Hohler, Captain, Eastern Air Lines). Rhode Island to Block Island and return. Next experiences were flying with a Mr. Botter in his Taylorcraft BC-12. He was on my paper route. He got free newspapers and I got to go flying.
 

cluttonfred

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Mine was a Waco UPF-7 sightseeing flight in the front pit with my Dad, pilot in the rear pit, from the old White Mountain Airport (became an outlet mall in the late 1980s) in North Conway, New Hampshire. I must have been 8 or 9 so call it summer of 1976 or 1977. I still have a “selfie” that my Dad took with a Kodak 110 Instamatic, we even had flying helmets and goggles. ;-)
 

Doran Jaffas

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1965..4 years old...Piper Tri Pacer...with my dad, brother and pilot George Haveman. Lake City, Michigan. My wife and I now own a place on that very airport and we just bought this past fall.
 
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