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Thread: The Most Elegant Aircraft Ever Built

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    Member viapanam's Avatar
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    The Most Elegant Aircraft Ever Built

    Thought this might be a fun thread to start.
    In the second chapter of my MA thesis, I make the assertion that the British built two of the most elegant aircraft ever to fly - Comet and Concorde. Obviously this is a highly subjective statement for a historian to make, but I will stand by it.

    So my question for everyone in the forum is, what do you believe is / was the most elegant aircraft ever to fly. Not the most successful, powerful, unique, popular, etc, but the most elegant.

    Why Comet? I believe the recessed power plants give Comet a true elegance of line. And I think the dramatic lines of Concorde speak for themselves. Of course elegance of design don't necessarily lead to success, and neither Comet nor Concorde came anywhere near to commercial success. Nevertheless, both were innovative, first of their class aircraft that gave Britain a certain distinction in the air.

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    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Even though I'm an old Boeing guy, my two picks for this would be the Lockheed Super Constellation and the TriStar.

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    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    IMO nothing beats the Queen of the skies.

    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

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    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
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    Elegance for me, the Concorde & the B747.


    Now Moose, the L-1011 was a great aircraft, but elegant?

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    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    gotta agree with nick..... 747!!
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

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    For me, I'd have to say the Boeing 747 or the Boeing 307. Theres just something about a highly polished plain aluminum 307 that just subtly SCREAMS class.
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    All right, you're probably going to call me weird--you wouldn't be the first--but I'd have to say the Boeing 314 is one, and I'll agree with Moose above on the Connie for another of the most elegant.

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    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wunaladreamin View Post
    For me, I'd have to say the Boeing 747 or the Boeing 307. Theres just something about a highly polished plain aluminum 307 that just subtly SCREAMS class.
    The one at the Smithsonian makes me emotional!! Beautiful airplane.

    For me the SR-71 is very elegant as is the North American XB-70 Valkyrie
    however, for traditional airliners:

    --De Havilland Comet despite its poor history.
    --The Convair 880 and Boeing 707 are very close so they get equal billing, although the way the engines were mounted on the Convair, wow!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    The one at the Smithsonian makes me emotional!! Beautiful airplane.
    Do you realize how close they came to losing that airplane?

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...lane-crash.htm

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    Senior Member Zee71's Avatar
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    It is difficult to pick one from the bunch of so many elegant aircraft since they have their own uniqueness. So I grouped mine to commercial, and military.

    Commercial - The Queen of the Skies.....the 747, she stands out from the rest, and is easily recognizable. Don't mess with this gal, she has been around a long time and gone through a few makeovers with her recent being the 747-800 series.

    Military - Definitely the SR-71 Blackbird, from the sharpness of her edges to her pointed engines she is a marvel to look upon. The other is the B-58 Hustler, with her delta wing and 4 engines. She too has an elegance.
    Mark
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    The Lockheed L-1049C Super Constellation and Beech Model 17 Staggerwing.

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    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    I agree totally with the Boeing 747 - but - my second choice would also be the Constellation..
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
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    Member viapanam's Avatar
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    So far I stand alone with Comet.
    I love the 747 - I remember standing inside the Pan Am terminal watching the inaugural push back ... and then come back with yet another overheated engine. (Almost missed that, we were walking towards the parking lot when I looked back and saw it returning to the gate). I also like the suggestion of the Convair 880 - I hadn't even considered that; I do think the 707 merits consideration as well. I have never been a huge prop fan - so I will defer opinion on the Connie. I'll stand by my original statement for my thesis (the chapter deals with the diplomatic machinations between the US, France and Great Britain to secure Concorde landing rights) but I love the additional suggestions.
    I will also throw this one out - the Caravelle. It was mainly United that flew it within the US (if I remember correctly) but there was a certain elegance about that one as well.

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    Senior Member Spunker's Avatar
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    I've got to go with the Connie and the Tristar
    Gene Delaney

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    Senior Member 727C47's Avatar
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    DC3,707,727,747,Lockheed Constellation ,all tied for 1st !!!
    The beehive hummm of the JT9D and GE CF680C2,the thunder of the JT8D-17,the rumble of the PW1830 and the high ,thin whine of the PW 545A are all music to my ears!

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